Berkeley Hall’s Rich History Lord John Berkeley of Stratton, an English army officer and colonial proprietor of the 17th Century, was one of seven original lords of the Carolina colonies. Rewarded for his steadfast loyalty to the King of England and the royal family, Berkeley (along with first cousin John Colleton) was granted extraordinary powers to grant “title of honor” to hundreds of thousands of acres of land. In January 1665, the lord proprietors issued a document to allow early Carolina settlers self-government, freedom of religion and generous land grants. Berkeley and other lords were entrusted with the “full and absolute power” to determine the constitution and approbation of the provinces. Lord Berkeley’s influence and leadership were instrumental in the export of Sea Island cotton from Barbados and the Bahamas to the Carolinas. The development of the cotton trade aided the settlement of Beaufort County, where cotton was the primary crop. Because of the role Berkeley played in the history of this part of South Carolina, the Berkeley family crest has been adopted as the logo for Berkeley Hall and the Berkeley Hall Club.
Published on Sep 25, 2013