IT will be recollected that the proprietary was enabled
by his charter to " assign, alien, grant, demise or enfeoff"
lands " in fee simple or fee tail, or for term of life, lives,
or years." His grants, passed in the land office, under the
great seal of the province, were, in general, of a fee simple
estate of inheritance with a reserved quit-rent, which
constituted the patentees his tenants, and so they were
invariably called. But as the vast quantity of land retained for his
use, in manors and reserves, could not be cultivated on his
own account, and as those lands were more likely to be
improved than injured by clearing and cultivation, it was the
policy of the proprietary to let them out by leases for terms
of years, and various instructions and regulations occur
upon that subject some of which appear in the documents
already inserted. As this was a business with which the land
office had in general not much to do, it is not necessary to be very
particular about the forms attending it; but, as the lands which
were found under lease at the time of our revolution became
the object of distinct provisions in the succeeding acts of
assembly, it has appeared requisite to take some notice of the
subject of leases before we close our account of the ancient
The early leases appear to have been given, like perpetual¾
grants, under the great seal, and were called lease patents.
The following extracts and references will shew the form, and
general substance of these instruments.
" CECILIUS, &c. To all persons, &c.
" Know ye that we for divers good causes and
considerations us thereunto especially moving, and for the rents and
covenants hereafter in this lease expressed, have demised sett,
and to farm lett unto (John Bogue, now or late of the
Resurrection manor, in Calvert county,) all that parcel of land, part
of our manor of Patuxent, in the county aforesaid,
beginning, &c. containing 500 acres, to have and to hold the same
unto him the said John Bogue and his assigns, to the full
end and term of eleven years, from the day of the date
hereof to be compleat and ended. Yielding and paying therefore
yearly unto us, &c. the rent of ten shillings sterling, &c.
Provided that the said John Bogue, his heirs, executors,
administrators or assigns, do within one year next ensuing the