Sir George Carteret


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Carteret, SIR GEORGE, English naval officer; born in St. Ouen, Jersey, in 1599. Charles I. appointed him governor of the Island of Jersey; and when the civil war broke out he was comptroller of the navy, and esteemed by all parties. Leaving the sea, he went with his family to Jersey, but soon afterwards returned to help his royal master. In 1645 he was created a baronet, and returned to his government of Jersey, where he received and sheltered the Prince of Wales (afterwards Charles II.) when the royal cause was ruined in England. Other refugees of distinction were there, and he defended the island gallantly against the forces of Cromwell. At the Restoration he rode with the King in his triumphant entry into London. Carteret became one of the privy council, vice-chamberlain, and treasurer of the navy. Being a personal friend of James, Duke of York, to whom Charles II. granted New Netherland, Carteret and Berkeley (another favorite) easily obtained a grant of territory between the Hudson and Delaware rivers, which, in gratitude for his services in the Island of Jersey, was called New Jersey. Carteret retained his share of the province until his death, in 1680, leaving his widow, Lady Elizabeth, executrix of his estate. Sir George was one of the grantees of the Carolinas, and a portion of that domain was called Carteret colony. Governor Andros, of New York, claimed political jurisdiction, in the name of the Duke of York, over all New Jersey. Philip Carteret, governor of east Jersey, denied it, and the two governors were in open opposition. A friendly meeting of the two magistrates, on Staten Island, was proposed. Carteret declined it; and Andros warned him to forbear exercising any jurisdiction in east Jersey, and announced that he should erect a fort to aid him (Andros) in the exercise of his authority. Carteret defied him; and when, a month later, Andros went to New Jersey, seeking a peaceful conference, Carteret met him with a military force. As Andros came without troops, he was permitted to land. The conference was fruitless. A few weeks later Carteret was taken from his bed, in his house at Elizabethtown, at night, by New York soldiers, and carried to that city and placed in the hands of the sheriff. He was tried in May (1678) , and though Andros sent his jurors out three times, with instructions to bring in a verdict of guilty, he was acquitted. But he was compelled to give security that he would not again assume political authority in New Jersey. The Assembly of New Jersey were asked to accept the duke's laws, but they preferred their own. At the same time they accepted the government of Andros, but with reluctance. Carteret went to England with complaints, and the case was laid before the duke by his widow after his death. The Friends, of west Jersey, had already presented their complaints against Andros, and the case was referred to the duke's commissioners. These, advised by Sir William Jones, decided that James's grant reserved no jurisdiction, and that none could be rightly claimed. This decided the matter for east Jersey also, and in August and October, 1680, the duke signed documents relinquishing all rights over east and west Jersey.



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