English exploration and colonization of the United States started here more than four hundred years ago. In 1587, a party of colonists arrived who were destined to become Sir Walter Raleigh’s “lost colony” on Roanoke Island.
It was not until 1663 that serious efforts were once again made to settle this region. In that year, Charles II granted a royal charter for land in North America to eight influential supporters and appointed them the Lords Proprietors of Carolina.
So the Lords Proprietors were the 8 Englishmen to whom, by the charters of 1663 & 1665, King Charles II granted ownership of a New World tract called “Carolina.” These eight men had pledged loyalty to the English Crown or had helped Charles to restore to the throne.
In 1664, Albemarle County was created and within a few years, it had been split into four large, regional precincts: Chowan, Currituck, Perquimans, and Pasquotank.