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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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by William S. Powell, 2006

Signories, or "seignories," were territories over which an official, a group of officials, or an individual had dominion. The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina on 1 Mar. 1669 directed that the province be divided into counties, with each county further divided into eight signories held by the eight Lords Proprietors. A signory was to consist of 12,000 acres, and manorial courts were to be held by feudal lords in the signories as well as in other places.


J. Bryan Grimes, comp., North Carolina Wills and Inventories (1912).

Mattie Erma Edwards Parker, ed., North Carolina Charters and Constitutions, 1578-1897 (1963).

Additional Resources:

"The Second Charter Granted By King Charles the Second, to the Proprietors of Carolina." A Complete revisal of all the acts of Assembly, of the province of North-Carolina, now in force and use: together with the titles of all such laws as are obsolete, expired, or repealed: with marginal notes and references, and an exact table to the whole. New Bern [N.C.]: James Davis. 1773. p. vii. (accessed August 29, 2012).

Locke, John. "The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina." Revised statutes of the State of North Carolina, passed by the General Assembly at the session of 1836-7, including an act concerning the Revised statutes and other public acts, passed at the same session : together with the second charter granted by Charles the 2d to the proprietors of Carolina, the great deed of grant from the Lords Proprietors, the grant from George the 2d to John Lord Granville, the Bill of Rights and Constitution of the state, with the amendments thereto, the Constitution of the United States, with the amendments, the Treaty of Peace of 1783, the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, with a short narrative thereof. Raleigh [N.C.]: Turner & Hughes. 1837.  (accessed August 29, 2012).