Royal Charter Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection includes two contemporary copies of the Royal Charter issued to the College of William and Mary by King William III and Queen Mary II in 1693.
One copy was probably made for the personal reference of Sir Edmund Andros. It is uncertain for whom the second copy, known as the Harvard copy, was created. It is referred to as the Harvard copy because it was found in an attic at Harvard and subsequently given to the College of William and Mary in 1937. The Harvard copy suffered severe water damage at some point prior to coming to William and Mary.
The collection also includes other documents related to the Royal Charter: a certified copy of the Patent Roll Charter of the College of William and Mary in Latin obtained by the Hon. James Barbour in 1829; a copy of the Warrant from the King to the Attorney General authorizing him to draw up the Charter of the College of William and Mary made in 1828 from the original in the Rolls Chapel, London also at the request of Barbour; and correspondence from Herbert L. Ganter, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts to the Deputy Keeper of Records in London concerning the purchase of a photostatic copy of the Charter in 1950-1951.
Additional information about the Royal Charter is available at the SCRC Wiki: Royal Charter
- Creation: 1693
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access:
Transcriptions, printed texts, photocopies, and photographic copies of the Charter are available and must be used in place of original documents. A transcription of the Charter is available at http://swem.wm.edu/departments/special-collections/exhibits/exhibits/charter/charter/. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
Conditions Governing Use:
Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.
William III of England (The Hague, 14 November 1650 - Kensington Palace, 8 March 1702; also known as William II of Scotland and William III of Orange) was a Dutch aristocrat and a Protestant Prince of Orange from his birth, Stadtholder of the main provinces of the Dutch Republic from 28 June 1672, King of England and King of Ireland from 13 February 1689, and King of Scotland from 11 April 1689, in each case until his death.
The College of William & Mary was named for William III and his wife Queen Mary II. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki:
King of England William III
1.5 Linear Feet
Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:
Transcriptions, printed texts, photocopies, and photographic copies of the Charter are available and must be used in place of original documents.
It is uncertain for whom the Harvard copy was created. It is referred to as the Harvard copy because it was found in an attic at Harvard and subsequently given to the College of William and Mary in 1937 by the Harvard College Library.
Consult staff for acquisitions information. The Harvard copy of the Royal Charter was accessioned as Acc. 1937-135 on 2/24/1937, a gift through the Harvard College Library. The Andros copy of the Charter is Acc. 1977.13 and was purchased in 1977.
A transcription of the Charter is available at http://swem.wm.edu/departments/special-collections/exhibits/exhibits/charter/charter/. Photocopies and photographic copies are also available in the Special Collections Research Center.
- Guide to the Royal Charter Collection
- Finding Aid Authors: Special Collections Staff.
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- The collection description/finding aid is written in English