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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Grand Assembly of Albemarle

by Louis P. Towles, 2006

Seal of the government of Albemarle and Province of North Carolina 166? to 1730. Image from the North Carolina Digital Collections.The Grand Assembly of Albemarle was the name of the legislative body summoned by North Carolina's first governor, William Drummond (1663-67), to assist in the drafting of temporary laws and to act within the guidelines of the Concessions and Agreement pact (1665) between the Lords Proprietors and existing settlers. Among other powers, the Assembly had control over its own call and dismissal, taxation, and the appointment of county courts and officials. It also gave the body responsibility for the governor's salary and all "necessary" governmental funding, wartime appropriations, and any laws deemed essential for the welfare of the colony.

Although the bulk of the enactments of this period have been lost, usage of the term "Grand Assembly of Albemarle" persisted throughout the Proprietary period, as did "Albemarle County" and the use of the county's seal for the colony as a whole.


Robert J. Cain, ed., Records of the Executive Council, 1664-1734 (1984).

Mattie Erma Edwards Parker, ed., North Carolina Charters and Constitutions, 1578-1698 (1963).

Additional Resources:

Albertson, Catherine "Chapter II: The First Albemarle Assembly—Hall's Creek Near Nixonton." In ancient Albemarle. Raleigh [N.C.]: Commercial Printing Company. 1914. p.13-18. (accessed October 4, 2012).

Vaughan, Frank. "The Albemarle District of North Carolina." 1895. North Carolina Collection, Joyner Library, East Carolina University. (accessed October 4, 2012).

Image Credits:

Grimes, J. Bryan "Seal of the government of Albemarle and Province of North Carolina 166- to 1730." Great seal of the state of North Carolina: 1666-1909. Raleigh [N.C.]: North Carolina Historical Commission. 1909. (accessed October 4, 2012).