Charter of Incorporation of the Serampore College
We Frederick the Sixth, by the Grace of God King of Denmark, the Vendors and Gothers, Duke of Slesvig Holsten, Storman, Ditmarsken, Limessborg and Oldenborg, by these writings make known and publicly declare, that whereas William Carey and Joshua Marshman, Doctors of Divinity, and John Clark Marshman, Esq., inhabitants of our town of Fredericksnagore (or Serampore) in Bengal, being desirous of founding a College to promote piety and learning particularly among the native Christian population of India, have to secure this object erected suitable buildings and purchased and collected suitable books, maps, etc., and have humbly besought us to grant unto them and such persons as shall be elected by them and their successors to form the Council of the College in the manner to be hereafter named, our Royal Charter of Incorporation that they may the more effectually carry into execution the purposes above mentioned : - We being desirous to encourage so laudable an undertaking have of our special grace and free motion ordained, constituted, granted and declared, and by these presents We do for ourselves, our heirs and successors ordain, constitute, grant and declare:
- That the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman, and such other person or persons as shall successively be elected and appointed the Council of the said College, in the manner hereafter mentioned, shall by virtue of these presents be for ever hereafter one body politic and incorporate by the name of the Serampore College for the purposes aforesaid to have perpetual succession and to have a common seal, and by the said name to sue and to be sued, to implead and be impleaded and to answer and be answered unto in every court and place belonging to us, our heirs and successors.
- And We do hereby ordain. constitute and declare that the persons hereby incorporated and their successors shall for ever be competent in law to purchase, hold and enjoy for them and their successors any goods and chattels whatsoever and to receive, purchase, hold and enjoy, they and their successors, any lands, tenements or hereditaments whatever and that they shall have full power and authority to sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of any real or personal property to be by them acquired as aforesaid, unless the sale or alienation of such property be specially prohibited by the donor or donors thereof, and to do all things relating to the said College or Corporation in as ample a manner or form as any of our liege subjects, or any other body politic or corporate in our said kingdom or its dependencies may or can do.
- And We do hereby ordain, grant and declare that the number of Professors, Fellows or Student Tutors and Students shall be indefinite and that the said William Carey Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman shall be the first Council of the said College, and that in the event of its appearing to them necessary during their life-time, or in the case of the death of anyone of the three members. of the said first Council, the survivors or survivor shall and may under their respective hands and seals appoint such other person or persons to be members of the Council of the College, and to succeed each other so as to become members of the said Council in the order in which they shall be appointed, to the intent that the Council of the said College shall for ever consist of at least three persons.
- And We do hereby further ordain, grant and declare, that for the better government of the said College and the better management of its concerns, the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman, the members of the first Council, shall have full power and authority for the space of ten years from the date of these presents, to make and establish such Statutes as shall appear to them useful and necessary for the government of the said College, in which Statutes they shall define the powers to be entrusted to their successors, to the Professors, the Fellows or Student Tutors and the other officers thereof, and the duties to be performed by these respectively for the management of the estates, lands revenues and goods-and of the business of the said College, and the manner of proposing, electing, admitting and removing all and every one of the Council, the Professors, the Fellows or Tutors, the officers, the students and the servants thereof, and shall make and establish generally all such other Statutes as may appear to them necessary for the future good government and prosperity of the said College, provided that these Statutes be not, contrary to the laws and Statutes of our realm.
- And We do hereby further ordain, grant and declare that the Statutes thus made and established by the said three members of the first Council and given or left in writing under their respective hands, shall be valid and in full force at the expiration of ten years from the date of these presents, so that no future Council of the College shall have power to alter change or vary them in any manner whatever, and that the Statutes shall for ever be considered the constitution of the said College. And We do hereby appoint and declare that these Statutes shall be made and established by the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman alone, so that in case either of them should die before the expiration of ten years the power of completing or perfecting these Statutes shall devolve wholly on the survivors or survivor; and that in case all three of them should die before the expiration of ten years, the statutes which they have left in writing under their hands or under the hand of the last survivor among them, shall be considered. ‘The Fundamental Statutes and Constitution of Serampore College’, incapable of receiving either addition or alteration, and shall and may be registered in our Royal Court of Chancery as ‘The Statutes and Constitution of Serampore College’.
- And We do hereby further appoint, grant and declare that from and after the completion of the Statutes of the said College in the above said time of ten years, the said Council of the College shall be deemed to consist of a Master or President and two or four members who may be Professors or otherwise as the Statutes may direct so that the said Council shall not contain less than three, nor more than five persons, as shall be defined in the Statutes. The Council shall ever be elected as the Statutes of the College may direct, yet the said Master or President shall always previously have been a member of the College; and upon the decease of the said Master or President, the Council of the said College shall be unable to do any act or deed until the appointment of a new Master or President, save and except the appointment of such a Master.
- And We further appoint, grant and declare that the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman, the members of the first Council and their successors for ever, shall have the power of conferring upon the students of the said College, native Christians as well as others, degrees of rank and honour according to their proficiency in as ample a manner as any other such College, yet the said Serampore College shall only have the power of conferring such degrees on the students that testify their proficiency in Science, and no rank or other special right shall be connected therewith in our dominions. And We do hereby further appoint, grant and declare, that after the expiration of the said ten years, the said Council of the College and their successors forever shall have power to make and establish such orders and by-laws as shall appear to them useful and necessary for the government of the said College, and to alter, suspend or repeal those already made, and from time to time make such new ones in their room as shall appear to them most proper and expedient provided the same be not repugnant to the Statutes of the College or the laws of our realm, and that after the expiration of these ten years any member of the Council shall have power to move the enactment of any new by-law, or the alteration, suspension or repeal of any existing one provided notice of such motion shall have been delivered in writing to the Master and read from the Chair at one previous meeting of the Council of the said College. but that no such motion shall be deemed to have passed in the affirmative, until the same shall have been discussed and decided by ballot at another meeting summoned especially for that purpose, a majority of the members then present having voted in the affirmative; and in this as in all other cases, if the votes be equal, the Master or President shall have the casting vote.
Given at our Royal Palace in Copenhagen on the twenty-third day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, in the nineteenth year of our reign.
Under our Royal Hand and Seal.