PENN v. KLYNE, 4 U.S. 402 (1805)

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U.S. Supreme Court

PENN v. KLYNE, 4 U.S. 402 (1805)

4 U.S. 402 (Dall.)

Penn's Lessce

Circuit Court, Pennsylvania District.

October Term, 1805

By an act of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, passed on the 27th day of November 1779 (1 vol. State Laws, 622. Dall. edit.) the estates of the late proprietaries were vested in the commonwealth, subject to the following proviso:

    'Sect. 8. Provided also. That all and every the private estates, lands and hereditaments, of any of the said proprietaries, whereof they are now possessed, or to which they are now entitled, in their private several right or capacity, by devise, purchase or descent; and likewise all the lands called and known by the name of the proprietary tenths or manors, which were duly surveyed, and returned into the Land-office, on or before the fourth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, together with the quit or other rents, and arrearages of rents, reserved out of the said proprietary tenths or manors, or any part or parts thereof, which have been sold, be confirmed, ratified and established for ever, according to such estate or estates therein, and under such limitations, uses and trusts, as in and by the several and respective reservations, grants and conveyances thereof, are directed and appointed.'

The present suit, and a number of other ejectments, were brought for tracts of land, lying in York county; in all of which, the general question was, whether the land was included in a tract called and known by the name of a proprietary manor, duly surveyed

Page 4 U.S. 402, 403

and returned into the land-office, on or before the 4th day of July 1776?

The title of the lessor of the plaintiff to the premises in dispute, was regularly deduced from the charter of Charles the 2d to William Penn,1 provided there was a manor called and known by the name of Springetsbury, duly surveyed and returned, according to the terms and meaning of the act of November 1779.

The material facts, upon the controverted point, were these: At the time that Sir William Keith was governor of the province, the controversy between the proprietor and Lord Baltimore had arisen; and many persons from Maryland intruded upon the adjacent lands in Pennsylvania. Under the pressure of these intrusions, Sir William, on the 18th of June 1722, issued a warrant to John French, Francis Worley and James Mitchell, in which he recited, 'that the three nations of Indians on the north side of Susquehanna are much disturbed, and the peace of the colony in danger, by attempts to survey land on the south west bank of the river, over against the Indian towns and settlements, without any right, or pretence of authority, so to do, from the proprietor, unto whom the lands unquestionably belong; that it is agreeable to treaty and usage to reserve a sufficient quantity of land, on the south-west side of the Susquehanna, within the proprietor's land, for accommodating the said Indians: and that the Indians had requested, at a treaty, held on the 15th and 16th instant, that a large tract of land, right against their towns on Susquehanna might be surveyed for the proprietor's use only; because, from his bounty and goodness, they would always be sure to obtain whatsoever was necessary and convenient for them, from time to time.' Sir William's warrant then proceeded, that 'by virtue of the powers wherewith he is entrusted for the preservation of his majesty's peace in this province, and with a due respect and regard to the propietor's absolute title, and unquestionable rights, he directs and authorises, the persons named in the warrant, to cross and survey, mark and locate, 70,000 acres in the name and for the use of Springet Penn Esq., which shall bear the name, and be called the manor, of Springetsbury: beginning upon the south-west bank, over against Conestogoe creek; thence W. S. W. 10 miles; thence N. W. by N. 12 miles; thence E. N. E. to the uppermost corner of a tract called Newberry; thence S. E. by S. along the head line of Newberry, to the southern corner tree of Newberry; thence down the side line of Newberry E. N. E. to the Susquehanna; and thence down the river side to the place of beginning: And to return the warrant to the governor and council of Pennsylvania.' The survey being executed on the 19th and 20th of June, was returned to the council, on the 21st of June 1722, according to the following boundaries: 'From a red oak, [4 U.S. 402, 404]

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