Philip Carteret, 1st Colonial Governor of New Jersey

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Philip Carteret

Also Known As: "Philippe", "de Carteret "
Birthplace: Manoir de la Hougue, St. Peter Parish, Bailiwick of Jersey
Death: December 1682 (42-43)
Elizabethtown, Essex County, Province of West Jersey
Immediate Family:

Son of Helier de Carteret and Rachel de Carteret
Husband of Elizabeth Townley and Elizabeth Townley
Brother of John de Carteret; Peter Carteret, Colonial Governor; Benjamin de Carteret; Rachel Payn; Colonel Charles de Carteret and 3 others

Occupation: 1st Proprietary Governor of New Jersey and East Jersey, First Governor of New Jersey
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Philip Carteret, 1st Colonial Governor of New Jersey

Philip Carteret (1639–1682) was the first and fourth British colonial governor of New Jersey, from 1665 to 1672 and from 1674 to 1682.


The English annexed the Dutch province of New Netherland in 1664, and lands west of Long Island and Manhattan Island were awarded to two Lords Proprietors, John Berkeley and George Carteret (cousin of Philip). In 1665, Carteret (or "Cartaret") was appointed by them to take possession of the newly acquired territory which been renamed the Province of New Caesaria, or New Jersey, and assume the position of governor.

Philip Carteret and Berkeley issued the Concessions and Agreements of the Proprietors of New Jersey, the "most liberal grant of political privileges made by any English colonial proprietor to the people". Freedom of conscience was guaranteed and generous land grants were promised. Carteret indeed issued many grants of lands to settlers and landowners, partly with the purpose of increasing the worth of the colony. The pair "expected to profit from sales of their rich North American land holdings, and they were not disappointed".

Carteret designated Elizabethtown (named after the wife of George Carteret) as the capital of New Jersey, where a representative assembly first met in 1668. Middletown Township and Shrewsbury Township refused to send representatives to this New Jersey Assembly and declared their independence, electing James Carteret as their leader. Carteret became angry and left for England, and had the English government force the New Jersey settlers to pay quitrents.

Carteret found the province inhabited by "a few hundred Dutchmen and English Puritans. During his governorship, more towns sprung up in New Jersey. By the end of his term in 1682 the province consisted of seven towns, and many outlying plantations. The populations (exclusive of Lenape natives) was about 3500 in the seven established towns of Berghen, Newarke, Elizabeth Towne, Woodbridge, Piscattawy and Middletown, with an undetermined number in outlying areas.

After the death of George Carteret, Governor Edmund Andros of New York attempted to seize power in East Jersey. When Philip Carteret refused to give up his position as governor, Andros sent a raiding party to his home and had him beaten and arrested to New York. Carteret was placed on trial, but was acquitted by the jury. The attack caused permanent injuries to Carteret, and he died in 1682.

   OCCUPATION: Governor of New Jersey
   BIRTH: 1639, Isle of Jersey, England
   DEATH: Dec 1682, Elizabethtown, Essex, NJ 



First governor of New Jersey.

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Philip Carteret, 1st Colonial Governor of New Jersey's Timeline

St. Peter Parish, Bailiwick of Jersey
December 1682
Age 43
Elizabethtown, Essex County, Province of West Jersey