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The Lords Proprietors was a group of eight English noblemen awarded the Province of Carolina in 1663 by Charles II for its efforts in helping him regain the throne. One of the proprietors, known as Lord Shaftsbury, drafted the Fundamental Constitution of Carolina, the colony's first set of governing laws. As part of the constitution, the "eldest" of the Proprietors was named the "Palatine," or, leader of the group. George Monck, Duke of Albemarle, was named as the colony's Palatine. Two other proprietors, John Berkeley and George Carteret, were important figures in the Province of New Jersey as well.
The Lord's Proprietors offered religious freedom, freedom from taxes called quitrents, political representation in government, and large land grants for English settlers who agreed to settle in Carolina. By 1700, over 6,600 settlers had come to Carolina, and by 1712, the colony was split between North and South Carolina. The settlers, however, were in constant danger from attacks by the Spanish and the local natives. Between 1712 and 1716, the settlers fought off large-scale attacks from the Spanish, French, and natives in both Queen Anne's War and the Yamassee War. In 1729, seven of the eight original Lord's Proprietors (or their heirs) sold their interests in the colony back to the Crown. Only John Carteret, heir of George Carteret retained his interest.