Archive of Original Records

Archive of Original Records

Detail - Deed from Governer Nicolls to Philip Pinkney

Royal Patent of 1666 

Five of Eastchester’s founding documents are presented here in their original handwritten form, which includes the “irregular” spelling of the late 17th and early 18th centuries and indicates the older speech patterns of the day.  Three of them have been transcribed, which makes understanding them much easier.

The Pell Deed, signed on June 24, 1664,  is evidence of our 350th anniversary date of June 24, 2014.   The Covenant describes the code of civic conduct that the first twenty-six farm families agreed upon.  The land grants document how the real estate that formed the early Town of Eastchester was acquired by its settlers — either as a royal patent or a purchase from local Indians.  With respect to the 1666 Royal Patent/land grant from the colonial governor acting on behalf of the Duke of York, there is the original record filed in Albany, as well as the copy of the recording entered by the Westchester County Clerk at a later date, which also demonstrates procedures of that time.

  1. The Pell Deed, 1664, a copy of which was obtained from The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan, reflects Thomas Pell’s sale of land to the original ten families who formed the new settlement soon to be known as East Chester.
  2. Eastchester Covenant, 1665, from the Town Clerk’s Archives, Town Minutes, Book 1, pp. 74 -75. Its typed transcription and that of most of the early town records was prepared by long-time residents Harriet Bianchi and Phyllis Knowles in advance of Eastchester’s 300th Anniversary in 1964.
  3. Royal Patent or Land Grant of 1666, recorded in 1700, established the boundaries of the original town as the land granted by Governor Richard Nicolls,  acting as the colonial agent on behalf of James, Duke of York.  The recipients were Philip Pinckney, James Everts and William Haiden, three of the original ten farmers.   Town of Eastchester, recorded March 9, 1667.  NYS  Archives, A0272, Book 1, folio 12.
  4. Copy of the Royal Patent or Land Grant of 1666, from Governor Richard Nicolls, acting on behalf of James, Duke of York, to patentees Philip Pinkney, James Everts and William Haiden, recorded  May 14, 1700. Westchester County Archives, County Clerk Liber C, folio 44-47 with a typed transcription of the complete text compiled in the 1920s.
  5. Indian Deed, 1700 recorded in the County Clerk’s Liber C, 1700-01, memorializing the sale of additional land by the three Indian Chiefs; Woariatapus, Annhook and Porrige and granted to Richard Shute, John Drake, and Henry Fowler, three representatives of the town, and reciting that it confirmed a 1666 sale . Although not a party to the sale, Gramatan Sachem’s name (Chief Gramatan of Bronxville lore) appears next to a list of English witnesses to the signing.  Westchester County Archives,  County Clerk Liber C, p. 214 with a typed transcription of the complete text compiled in the 1920s.
  6. The Long Reach Patent, 1708, recorded at the NYS Archives, A0487-88, Book 7, Volume 7, pp. 380-81, by which Queen Anne conveyed to the Eastchester settlers over 3,000 acres of land that makes up much of modern Eastchester.