Commission of William Knyff to be fiscal of New Netherland

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Anthony Colve, Governor-General of New Netherland for their High Mightinesses the Lords States-General of the United Netherlands and his Serene Highness the Prince of Orange.

To all who shall see these presents or hear them read, Greeting, make known:

Whereas, it is necessary to commission a fit and proper person for Fiscal and Conservator of the Laws (Reght bewaerder) of this Province of New Netherland; therefore, I being sufficiently assured of the capacity and fidelity of William Knyff, Captain of a company of Netherlands Infantry here in Fort Willem Hendrick, have commissioned and qualified, as I do hereby commission and qualify Captain Willem Knyff as Fiscal and Public Prosecutor of the Province of New Netherland aforementioned, to the best of his ability to promote its increase, population, peace and quiet, and to take care that the sovereign jurisdiction and domain of their High Mightinesses and his Serene Highness over this Province be duly maintained without suffering anything to be directly or indirectly attempted to the prejudice or injury thereof; also to apprehend and prosecute all malefactors, whether criminal, political, or military, who have committed anything against this Province or its supreme magistracy; likewise, to pay particular attention that all scandals, irregularities and ungodliness be driven from this Province; moreover, that good law and justice be administered without respect of persons, in all courts of justice within this Province, according to the laudable custom, laws and ordinances of our Fatherland. Item, to execute all placards and ordinances, also all sentences and judgments of the supreme magistracy, according to their tenor, and to prosecute all law-breakers as they deserve, and furthermore to govern and demean himself as a faithful Fiscal and Conservator of the Laws of the land is officially and in duty bound to do: Ordering and commanding all magistrates, officers and justices, soldiers and inhabitants of this Province to acknowledge said Captain Knyff as their Fiscal and Conservator of the Laws, for such have I deemed to be necessary for the public good.
Thus done provisionally and subject to the approbation of their High Mightinesses, the Lords Majors, in Fort Willem Hendrick, this 15th December, 1673.


Translation: O'Callaghan, E.B., trans./ed., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York, vol. 2 (Albany: Weed, Parsons: 1858), pp. 569-730 (vol. 23, pp. 1-270 only).A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.