English Crown Grants


The American Bar Association, historical societies, colonial organizations and all thoughtful citizens have a vital interest in the unique history and present-day dominating influence, in America, of the old English Crown Grants. Our democracy has been in place for some time now and it may be easy to overlook the fact that for many areas of our country, including Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, New York and other states, English Crown Grants are the basis for many of our governmental, commercial, educational and industrial institutions. Confirmed by treaty between Great Britain and America, these grants are the beginnings of our country and continue to have an effect on how we live today.

Mershon begins his book with a chapter entitled "The Psychology of Crown Grants". It is a look at Crown Grants and the reasoning behind them, why they were accepted then and why they may still have ramifications today. The author then selects English Crown Grants of lands on Staten Island to do a case study of sorts on the workings and the problems of these grants. Further chapters include “The Indian and Crown Grants,” “Riparian Rights and Crown Grants,” “The Grip of Crown Grants” and “Analysis of One of the Crown Grants,” which examines, paragraph by paragraph, the Staten Island land granted to Lancaster Symes by Queen Anne of Great Britain. The current division of counties, boroughs and some state institutions, especially in the original thirteen states, can be directly traced to those first Crown Grants. An understanding of how they were formed and how they were and are interpreted can be helpful in title searches and understanding family ownership of colonial lands. A new every-name index has been included.

S. L. Mershon

(1918), 2012, 5x8½, paper, index, 280 pp.

ISBN: 9780788402814