With the aid of John Locke, who was a member of his household and secretary to the proprietorship, Lord Ashley wrote the Fundamental Constitutions for the colony and oversaw arrangements for the expedition that brought the first permanent English settlers to South Carolina.
The Fundamental Constitutions established a Carolina aristocracy, with the Lords Proprietors at the apex of society, provincial nobles called landgraves and cassiques (or caciques), and freemen. Landless tenants, called leetmen, were the base of the social pyramid described in the constitution. Slavery was authorized and protected.
Until his death, Colleton was the foremost leader of the Lords Proprietors. Under Colleton’s direction, the proprietors set out to populate “Carolina” with settlers from existing New World colonies, including New England, Virginia, and the Caribbean islands, especially Barbados.
In August 1694 Archdale was chosen by his fellow proprietors as governor of the Carolinas, and he arrived in Charleston the following year.