Lords Proprietors of South Carolina
“L” is for Lords Proprietors of Carolina. In 1663, King Charles II granted the land that became South and North Carolina to eight English noblemen: the Earl of Clarendon, the Duke of Albemarle, the Earl of Craven, the Earl of Shaftsbury, Baron Berkeley of Stratton, and his brother Sir William Berkeley. Most of these men had been staunch supporters of the monarchy and were key figures in the king’s gaining the throne in 1660. South Carolina owes its formative beginnings to these shareholders and their joint colonial enterprise. Before the government of King George II bought out the last owners in 1729, nearly fifty individuals owned or claimed to own these eight shares. Only the Carteret, Colleton, and Craven shares remained in the hands of the families of the original Lords Proprietors of Carolina.