First Hand Accounts

Proceedings of the Virginia Assembly, 1619

First. Sir George Yeardley,1 Knight, Governor and Captaine general of Virginia, having sent his sumons all over the Country, as well to invite those of the Counsell of Estate that were absent as also for the election of Burgessess, there were chosen and appeared.

For James citty2

Captaine William Powell,

Ensigne William Spense.

For Charles citty3

Samuel Sharpe,

Samuel Jordan.

For the citty of Henricus4

Thomas Dowse,

John Polentine.

For Kiccowtan5

Captaine William Tucker,

William Capp.

For Martin Brandon6 - Capt. John Martin's Plantation

Mr. Thomas Davis,

Mr. Robert Stacy.

For Smythe's hundred7

Captain Thomas Graves,

Mr. Walter Shelley.

For Martin's hundred8

Mr. John Boys,

John Jackson.

For Argall's guiffe9

Mr. Pawlett,

Mr. Gourgaing.

For Flowerdieu hundred10

Ensigne Roffingham,

Mr. Jefferson.

For Captain Lawne's plantation11

Captain Christopher Lawne,

Ensigne Washer.

For Captaine Warde's plantation12

Captaine Warde,

Lieutenant Gibbes.

The most convenient place we could finde to sitt in was the Quire13 of the Churche Where Sir George Yeardley, the Governor, being sett downe in his accustomed place, those of the Counsel of Estate sate nexte him on both hands excepte onely the Secretary then appointed Speaker, who sate right before him, John Twine, clerke of the General assembly, being placed nexte the Speaker, and Thomas Pierse, the Sergeant, standing at the barre, to be ready for any service the Assembly shoulde comaund him. But forasmuche as men's affaires doe little prosper where God's service is neglected, all the Burgesses tooke their places in the Quire till a prayer was said by Mr. Bucke,14 the Minister, that it would please God to guide and sanctifie all our proceedings to his owne glory and the good of this Plantation. Prayer being ended, to the intente that as we had begun at God Almighty, so we might proceed with awful and due respecte towards the Lieutenant,15 our most gratious and dread Soveraigne, all the Burgessess were intreatted to retyre themselves into the body of the Churche, which being done, before they were fully admitted, they were called in order and by name, and so every man (none staggering at it) tooke the oathe of Supremacy, and entred the Assembly. At Captaine Warde the Speaker tooke exception, as at one that without any Comission or authority had seatted himselfe either upon the Companies, and then his Plantation would not be lawfull, or on Captain Martin's lande, and so he was but a limbe or member of him, and there could be but two Burgessess for all.16 So Captaine Warde was comanded to absent himselfe till such time as the Assembly had agreed what was fitt for him to doe. After muche debate, they resolved on this order following:

An order concluded by the General assembly concerning Captaine Warde, July 30th, 1619, at the opening of the said Assembly.

At the reading of the names of the Burgesses, Exception was taken against Captaine Warde as having planted here in Virginia without any authority or comission from the Tresurer, Counsell and Company in Englande. But considering he had bene at so great chardge and paines to augmente this Colony, and adventured his owne person in the action, and since that time had brought home a good quantity of fishe, to relieve the Colony by waye of trade, and above all, because the Comission for authorising the General Assembly admitteth of two Burgessess out of every plantation without restrainte or exception, Upon all these considerations, the Assembly was contented to admitt of him and his Lieutenant (as members of their body and Burgesses) into their society. Provided, that the said Captaine Warde with all expedition, that is to saye between this and the nexte general assembly (all lawful impediments excepted), should procure from the Tresurer, Counsell and Company in England a comission lawfully to establish and plant himselfe and his Company as the Chieffs of other Plantations have done. And in case he doe neglect this he is to stande to the censure of the nexte general assembly. To this Captaine Warde, in the presence of us all, having given his consente and undertaken to performe the same was, together with his Lieutenant, by voices of the whole Assembly first admitted to take the oath of Supremacy, and then to make up their number and to sitt amongst them.

This being done, the Governor himselfe alledged that before we proceeded any further it behooved us to examine whither it were fitt, that Captaine Martin's17 Burgessess shoulde have any place in the Assembly, forasmuche as he hath a clause in his Patente which doth not onely exempte him from that equality and uniformity of lawes and orders which the great charter saith are to extende over the whole Colony, but also from diverse such lawes as we must be enforced to make in the General Assembly. That clause is as followeth: Item. That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Captain John Martin, his heyers, executors and assignes to governe and comaunde all suche person or persons as at this time he shall carry over with him, or that shalbe sente him hereafter, free from any comaunde of the Colony, excepte it be in ayding and assisting the same against any forren or domestical enemy.

Upon the motion of the Governor, discussed the same time in the assembly, ensued this order following:

An order of the General Assembly touching a clause in Captain Martin's Patent at James Citty, July 30, 1619

After all the Burgesses had taken the oath of Supremacy and were admitted into the house and all sett downe in their places, a Copie of Captain Martin's Patent was produced by the Governor out of a Clause whereof it appeared that when the general assembly had made some kinde of lawes requisite for the whole Colony, he and his Burgesses and people might deride the whole company and chuse whether they would obay the same or no. It was therefore ordered in Courte that the foresaid two Burgesses should withdraw themselves out of the assembly till suche time as Captaine Martin had made his personall appearance before them. At what time, if upon their motion, if he woulde be contente to quitte and give over that parte of his Patente, and contrary thereunto would submitte himselfe to the general forme of governemente as all others did, that then his Burgesses should be readmitted, otherwise they were to be utterly excluded as being spies rather than loyal Burgesses, because they had offered themselves to be assistant at the making of lawes which both themselves and those whom they represented might chuse whether they would obaye or not.

Then came there in a complainte against Captain Martin, that having sente his Shallop to trade for corne into the baye, under the commaunde of one Ensigne Harrison, the saide Ensigne should affirme to one Thomas Davis, of Paspaheighe, Gent. (as the said Thomas Davis deposed upon oathe,) that they had made a harde voiage, had they not mett with a Canoa coming out of a creeke where their shallop could not goe. For the Indians refusing to sell their Corne, those of the shallop entered the Canoa with their armes and tooke it by force, measuring out the corne with a baskett they had into the Shallop and (as the said Ensigne Harrison saith) giving them satisfaction in copper beades and other trucking stuffe.

Hitherto Mr. Davys upon his oath.

Furthermore it was signified from Opochancano to the Governour that those people had complained to him to procure them justice. For which considerations and because suche outrages as this might breede danger and loss of life to others of the Colony which should have leave to trade in the baye hereafter, and for prevention of the like violences against the Indians in time to come, this order following was agreed on by the general assembly:

A second order against Captain Martin, at James citty, July 30, 1619.

It was also ordered by the Assembly the same day in case Captaine Martin and the ging18 of his shallop would not thoroughly answere an accusation of an outrage committed gainst a certaine Conoa of Indians in the baye, that then it was thought reason (his Patent notwithstanding, the authority whereof he had in that case abused) he should from henceforth take leave of the Governour as other men, and should putt in security, that his people shall comitte no such outrage any more.

Upon this a letter or warrant was drawen in the name of the whole assembly to sumon Captaine Martin to appeare before them in the forme following:

By the Governour and general assembly of Virginia.

Captaine Martine, we are to request you upon sight hereof, with all convenient speed to repair hither to James citty to treatt and conferre wth us about some matters of especial importance which concerns both us and the whole Colony [and] yourself. And of this we praye you not to faile. James citty, July 30, 1619.

To our very loving friend, Captain John Martin, Esquire, Master of the ordinance.

These obstacles removed, the Speaker, who for a long time has bene extreame sickly, and therefore not able to passe through long harangues, delivered in briefe to the whole assembly the occasions of their meeting. Which done he read unto them the commission for establishing the Counsell of Estate and the general Assembly, wherein their duties were described to the life.

Having thus prepared them he read over unto them the greate Charter, or commission of privileges, orders and laws,19 sent by20 Sir George Yeardley out of Englande. Which for the more ease of the Committies, having divided into fower books, he read the former two the same forenoon for expeditions sake, a second time over, and so they were referred to the perusall of twoe Committies, which did reciprocally consider of either, and accordingly brought in their opinions. But some may here objecte to what ende we should presume to referre that to the examination of Committies which the Counsell and Company in England had already resolved to be perfect, and did except nothing but our assente thereunto. To this we answere, that we did it not to the ende to correcte or controll anything therein contained, but onely in case we should finde ought21 not perfectly squaring with the state of this Colony or any lawe which did presse or binde too harde, that we might by waye of humble petition, seeke to have it redressed, especially because this great Charter is to bind us and our heyers for ever.

The names of the Committies for perusing the first booke of the fower:

1. Captain William Powell,

2. Ensigne Rosingham,

3. Captaine Warde,

4. Captaine Tucker,

5. Mr. Shelley,

6. Thomas Douse,

7. Samuel Jordan,

8. Mr. Boys.

The names of the Committies for perusing the second booke:

1. Captaine Lawne,

2. Captaine Graves,

3. Ensigne Spense,

4. Samuel Sharpe,

5. William Cap,

6. Mr. Pawlett,

7. Mr. Jefferson,

8. Mr. Jackson.

These Committies thus appointed, we brake up the first forenoon's assembly.

After dinner the Governour and those that were not of the Committies sate a second time, while the said Committies were employed in the perusall of those twoe bookes. And whereas the Speaker had propounded fower severall objects for the Assembly to consider on: namely, first the great charter of orders, lawes and privileges; Secondly, which of the instructions given by the Counsel in England to my Lo: La: warre,22 Captain Argall or Sir George Yeardley, might conveniently putt on the habite of lawes; Thirdly, what lawes might issue out of the private conceipte of any of the Burgesses, or any other of the Colony; and lastly, what petitions were fitt to be sente home for England. It pleased the Governour for expedition sake to have the second objecte of the fower to be examined and prepared by himselfe and the Non-Committies. Wherein after having spente some three howers conference, the twoe Committies brought in their opinions concerning the twoe former bookes, (the second of which beginneth at these wordes of the charter: And forasmuche as our intente is to establish one equall and uniforme kinde of government over all Virginia &c.,) which the whole Assembly, because it was late, deferred to treatt of till the next morning.

Satturday, July 31.

The nexte daye, therefore, out of the opinions of the said Committies, it was agreed, these Petitions ensuing should be framed, to be presented to the Treasurer, Counsel and Company in England. Upon the Committies perusall of the first book, the Generall Assembly doe become most humble suitors to their lops23 and to the rest of that honble Counsell and renowned Company, that albeit they have bene pleased to allotte unto the Governor to themselves, together with the Counsell of Estate here, and to the officers of Incorporations, certain lande24 portions of lande to be layde out within the limites of the same, yet that they woulde vouchsafe also, that groundes as heretofore had bene granted by patent to the antient Planters by former Governours that had from the Company received comission so to doe, might not nowe after so muche labour and coste, and so many yeares habitation be taken from them. And to the ende that no man might doe or suffer any wrong in this kinde, that they woulde favour us so muche (if they meane to graunte this our petition) as to sende us notice, what comission or authority for graunting of landes they have given to eache particular Governour in times paste.

The second petition of the General assembly framed by the Committies out of the second book is. That the Treasurer and Company in England would be pleased with as muche convenient speed as may be to sende men hither to occupie their landes belonging to the fower Incorporations, as well for their owne behoofe and proffitt as for the maintenance of the Counsel of Estate, who are nowe to their extream hindrance often drawen far from their private busines and likewise that they will have a care to sende tenants to the ministers of the fower Incorporations to manure their gleab, to the intente that all allowance they have allotted them of 200 G.25 a yeare may be more easily raised.

The thirde Petition humbly presented by this General Assembly to the Treasurer, Counsell and Company is, that it may plainly be expressed in the great Comission (as indeed it is not) that the antient Planters of both sortes, viz., suche as before Sir Thomas Dales' depart26 were come hither upon their owne chardges, and suche also as were brought hither upon the Companie's coste, maye have their second, third and more divisions successively in as lardge and free manner as any other Planters. Also that they wilbe pleased to allowe to the male children, of them and of all others begotten in Virginia, being the onely hope of a posterity, a single share a piece, and shares for their issues or for themselves, because that in a newe plantation it is not knowen whether man or woman be more necessary.

Their fourth Petition is to beseech the Treasurer, Counsell and Company that they would be pleased to appoint a Sub-Treasurer here to collecte their rents, to the ende that the Inhabitants of this Colony be not tyed to an impossibility of paying the same yearly to the Treasurer in England, and that they would enjoine the said Sub-Treasurer not precisely according to the letter of the Charter to exacte mony of us (whereof we have none at all, as we have no minte), but the true value of the rente in comodity.27

The fifte Petition is to beseeche the Treasurer, Counsell and Company that, towards the erecting of the University and Colledge, they will sende, when they shall thinke it most convenient, workmen of all sortes, fitt for that purpose. 28

The sixte and last is, they wilbe pleased to change the savage name of Kiccowtan, and to give that Incorporation a new name. 29

These are the general Petitions drawen by the Comitties out of the two former bookes which the whole general assembly in maner and forme above sett downe doe most humbly offer up and present to the honourable construction of the Treasurer, Counsell and Company in England.

These petitions thus concluded on, those twoe Comitties broughte me a reporte what they had observed in the two latter bookes, which was nothing else but that the perfection of them was suche as that they could finde nothing therein subject to exception, only the Governors particular opinion to my selfe in private hathe bene as touching a clause in the thirde booke, that in these doubtfull times between us and the Indians, it would behoove us not to make as lardge distances between Plantation as ten miles, but for our more strength ande security to drawe nearer together. At the same time, there remaining no farther scruple in the mindes of the Assembly touching the said great Charter of lawes, orders, and priviledges, the Speaker putt the same to the question, and so it had both the general assent and the applause of the whole assembly, who, as they professed themselves in the first place most submissively thankful to almighty god, therefore so they commaunded the Speaker to returne (as nowe he doth) their due and humble thankes to the Treasurer Counsell and company for so many priviledges and favours as well in their owne names as in the names of the whole Colony whom they represented.

This being dispatched we fell once more debating of suche instructions given by the Counsell in England to several Governors as might be converted into lawes, the last whereof was the Establishment of the price of Tobacco, namely, of the best at 3d 30 and the second at 18d the pounde. At the reading of this the Assembly thought good to send for Mr. Abraham Persey, the Cape marchant,31 to publishe this instruction to him, and to demaunde of him if he knewe of any impediment why it might not be admitted of? His answere was that he had not as yet received any suche order from the Adventurers of the32 in England. And notwithstanding he sawe the authority was good, yet he was unwilling to yield, till suche time as the Governor and Assembly had layd their commandment upon him, out of the authority of the foresaid Instructions as followeth:

By the General Assembly.

We will and require you, Mr. Abraham Persey, Cape Marchant, from this daye forwarde to take notice, that, according to an article in the Instructions confirmed by the Treasurer, Counsell and Company in Englande at a general quarter courte, both by voices and under their hands and the Comon seall, and given to Sir George Yeardley, knight, this present governour, Decemb. 3, 1618, that you are bounde to accepte of the Tobacco of the Colony, either for commodities or upon billes, at three shillings the beste and the second sorte at 18d the punde, and this shalbe your sufficient dischardge.

James citty out of the said General Assembly, July 31, 1619.

At the same the Instructions convertible into lawes were referred to the consideration of the above named Committies, viz., the general Instructions to the first Committie and the particular Instructions to the second, to be returned by them into the assembly on Munday morning.

Sunday, Aug. 1.

Mr. Shelley,33 one of the Burgesses, deceased.

Monday, Aug. 2.

Captain John Martin (according to the sumons sent him on Fryday, July 30,) made his personall appearance at the barre, whenas the Speaker having first read unto him the orders of the Assembly that concerned him, he pleaded lardgely for himself to them both and indevoured to answere some other thinges that were objected against his Patente. In fine, being demanded out of the former order whether he would quitte that clause of his Patent which (quite otherwise then Sir William Throckmorton's, Captain Christopher Lawnes and other men's patentes) exempteth himselffe and his people from all services of the Colonie excepte onely in case of warre against a forren or domesticall enemie, His answere was negative, that he would not infringe any parte of his Patente. Whereupon it was resolved by the Assembly that his Burgesses should have no admittance.

To the second order his answere was affirmative, namely, that (his Patent notwithstanding) whensoever he should send in to the baye to trade, he would be contente to putt in security to the Governour for the good behaviour of his people towardes the Indians.

It was at the same time further ordered by the Assembly that the Speaker, in their names, should (as he nowe doth) humbly demaunde of the Treasurer, Counsell and Company an exposition of this one clause in Captaine Martin's Patente namely, where it is saide That he is to enjoye his landes in as lardge and ample manner, to all intentes and purposes, as any lord of any manours in England dothe holde his grounde out of which some have collected that he might by the same graunte protecte men from paying their debts and from diverse other dangers of lawe. The least the Assembly can alledge against this clause is, that it is obscure, and that it is a thing impossible for us here to knowe the Prerogatives of all manours in Englande. The Assembly therefore humbly beseeches their lopps and the rest of that Honble house that in case they shall finde any thing in this or in any other parte of his graunte wherby that clause towards the conclusion of the great charter, (viz., that all grauntes aswell of the one sorte as of the other respectively, be made with equall favour, and graunts of like liberties and imunities as neer as may be, to the ende that all complainte of partiality and indifferency may be avoided,) might in any sorte be contradicted or the uniformity and equality of lawes and orders extending over the whole Colony might be impeached, That they would be pleased to remove any such hindrance as may diverte out of the true course the free and publique current of Justice.

Upon the same ground and reason their lops, together with the rest of the Counsell and Company, are humbly besought by this general assembly that if in that other clause which exempteth Captaine Martin and his people from all services of the Colony etc., they shall finde any resistance [to] that equality and uniformity of lawes and orders intended nowe by them to be established over the whole Colony, that they would be pleased to reforme it.

In fine, wheras Captaine Martin, for those ten shares allowed him for his personal adventure and for his adventure of ¥70 besides, doth claim 500 acres a share, that the Treasurer, Counsell and Company woulde vouchsafe to give notice to the Governour here, what kinde of shares they meante he should have when they gave him his Patent. 34

The premisses about Captaine Martin thus resolved, the Committies appointed to consider what instructions are fitt to be converted into lawes, brought in their opinions, and first of some of the general instructions.

Here begin the lawes drawen out of the Instructions given by his Maties Counsell of Virginia in England to my lo: la warre, Captain Argall and Sir George Yeardley, knight.

By this present General Assembly be it enacted that no injury or oppression be wrought by the English against the Indians whereby the present peace might be disturbed and antient quarrells might be revived. And farther be it ordained that the Chicohomini are not to be excepted out of this lawe; untill either that suche order come out of Englande or that they doe provoke us by some newe injury.

Against Idlenes, Gaming, drunkenes and excesse in apparell the Assembly hath enacted as followeth:

First, in detestation of Idlenes be it enacted, that if any man be founde to live as an Idler or renagate, though a freedman, it shalbe lawful for that Incorporation or Plantation to which he belongeth to appoint him a Mr35 to serve for wages, till he shewe apparant signes of amendment.

Against gaming at dice and Cardes be it ordained by this present assembly that the winner or winners shall lose all his or their winninges and both winners and loosers shall forfaite ten shillings a man, one ten shillings whereof to go to the discoverer, and the rest to charitable and pious uses in the Incorporation where the faulte is comitted.

Against drunkenness be it also decreed that if any private person be found culpable thereof, for the first time he is to be reprooved privately by the Minister, the second time publiquely, the thirde time to lye in boltes 12 howers in the house of the Provost Marshall and to paye his fee, and if he still continue in that vice, to undergo suche severe punishment as the Governor and Counsell of Estate shall thinke fitt to be inflicted on him. But if any officer offende in this crime, the first time he shall receive reprooff from the Governour, the second time he shall openly be reprooved in the churche by the minister, and the third time he shall first be comitted and then degraded. Provided it be understood that the Governor hath alwayes power to restore him when he shall in his discretion thinke fitte.

Against excesse in apparell that every man be cessed in the churche for all publique contributions, if he be unmarried according to his owne apparell, if he be married, according to his owne and his wives, or either of their apparell.

As touching the instruction of drawing some of the better disposed of the Indians to converse with our people and to live and labour amongst them, the Assembly who knowe well their dispositions thinke it fitte to enjoin, least to Counsell those of the Colony, neither utterly to reject them nor yet to drawe them to come in. But in case they will of themselves come voluntarily to places well peopled, there to doe service in killing of Deere, fishing, beatting of Corne and other workes, that then five or six may be admitted into every such place, and no more, and that with the consente of the Governour. Provided that good guarde in the night be kept upon them for generally (though some amongst many may proove good) they are a most trecherous people and quickly gone when they have done a villany. And it were fitt a house were builte for them to lodge in aparte by themselves, and lone inhabitants by no meanes to entertain them.

Be it enacted by this present assembly that for laying a surer foundation of the conversion of the Indians to Christian Religion, eache towne, citty, Borrough, and particular plantation do obtaine unto themselves by just means a certine number of the natives' children to be educated by them in true religion and civile course of life - of which children the most towardly boyes in witt and graces of nature to be brought up by them in the first elements of litterature, so to be fitted for the Colledge intended for them that from thence they may be sente to that worke of conversion.

As touching the busines of planting corne this present Assembly doth ordain that yeare by yeare all and every householder and householders have in store for every servant he or they shall keep, and also for his or their owne persons, whether they have any Servants or no, one spare barrell of corne, to be delivered out yearly, either upon sale or exchange as need shall require. For the neglecte of which duty he shalbe subjecte to the censure of the Governor and Counsell of Estate. Provided always that the first yeare of every newe man this lawe shall not be of force.

About the plantation of Mulbery trees, be it enacted that every man as he is seatted upon his division, doe for seven yeares together, every yeare plante and maintaine in growte six Mulberry trees at least, and as many more as he shall think conveniente and as his vurtue and Industry shall move him to plante, and that all suche persons as shall neglecte the yearly planting and maintaining of that small proportion shalbe subjecte to the censure of the Governour and the Counsell of Estate.

Be it farther enacted as concerning Silke-flaxe, that those men that are upon their division or setled habitation doe this next yeare plante and dresse 100 plantes, which being founde a comodity, may farther be increased. And whosoever do faill in the performance of this shalbe subject to the punishment of the Governour and Counsell of Estate.

For hempe also both English and Indian and for English flax and Anniseeds, we do require and enjoine all householders of this Colony that have any of those seeds to make tryal thereof the nexte season.

Moreover be it enacted by this present Assembly, that every householder doe yearly plante and maintaine ten vines untill they have attained to the art and experience of dressing a Vineyard either by their owne industry or by the Instruction of some Vigneron. And that upon what penalty soever the Governor and Counsell of Estate shall thinke fittt to impose upon the neglecters of this acte.

Be it also enacted that all necessary tradesmen, or so many as need shall require, suche as are come over since the departure of Sir Thomas Dale, or that shall hereafter come, shall worke at their trades for any other man, each one being payde according to the quality of his trade and worke, to be estimated, if he shall not be contented, by the Governor and officers of the place where he worketh.

Be it further ordained by this General Assembly, and we doe by these presents enacte, that all contractes made in England between the owners of the lande and their Tenants and Servantes which they shall sende hither, may be caused to be duely performed, and that the offenders be punished as the Governour and Counsell of Estate shall thinke just and convenient.

Be it established also by this present Assembly that no crafty or advantagious means be suffered to be put in practise for the inticing awaye the Tenants or Servants of any particular plantation from the place where they are seatted. And that it shalbe the duty of the Governor and Counsell of Estate most severely to punish both the seducers and the seduced, and to returne these latter into their former places.

Be it further enacted that the orders for the Magazin lately made be exactly kepte, and that the Magazin36 be preserved from wrong and sinister practises, and that according to the orders of courte in Englande all Tobacco and sasafras be brought by the Planters to the Cape marchant till suche time as all the goods nowe or heretofore sent for the Magazin be taken off their hands at the prices agreed on. That by this meanes the same going for Englande with one hande the price thereof may be uphelde the better. And to that ende that all the whole Colony may take notice of the last order of Courte made in Englande and all those whom it concerneth may knowe howe to observe it, we holde it fitt to publishe it here for a lawe among the rest of our lawes. The which order is as followeth:

Upon the 26 of October, 1618, it was ordered that the Magazin should continue during the terme formerly prefixed and that certaine abuses now complained of should be reformed and that for preventing of all Impositions save the allowance of 25 in the hundred proffitt, the Governor shall have an invoice as well as the Cape marchant till, that if any abuse in the sale of the goods be offered, wee upon Intelligence and due examination thereof, shall see it correctede. And for incouragement of particular hundreds,37 as Smythe's hundred, Martin's hundred, Lawnes' hundred, and the like, it is agreed that what comodoties are reaped upon anie of these General38 Colonies, it shalbe lawefull for them to returne the same to their owne adventurers. Provided that the same comodity be of their owne growing, without trading with any other, in one entyre lumpe and not dispersed and that at the determination of the jointe stocke, the goods then remaining in the Magazin shalbe bought by the said particular Colonies before any other goods which shall be sente by private men. And it was moreover ordered that if the lady la warre, the Lady Dale, Captain Bargrave and the rest, would unite themselves into a settled Colony they might be capable of the same priviledges that are graunted to any of the foresaid hundreds. Hitherto the order.

All the general Assembly by voices concluded not only the acceptance and observation of this order, but of the Instruction also to Sir George Yeardley next preceding the same. Provided first, that the Cape marchant till do accepte of the Tobacco of all and everie the Planters here in Virginia, either for Goods or upon billes of Exchange at three shillings the pounde the beste, and 18d the second sorte. Provided also that the billes be only payde in Englande. Provided, in the third place, that if any other besides the Magazin have at any time any necessary comodity which the Magazine dothe wante, it shall and may be lawfull for any of the Colony to buye the said necessary comodity of the said party, but upon the termes of the Magazin viz: allowing no more gaine then 25 in the hundred, and that with the leave of the Governour. Provided lastly, that it may be lawfull for the Governor to give leave to any Mariner, or any other person that shall have any suche necessary comodity wanting to the Magazin to carrie home for Englande so muche Tobacco or other naturall comodities of the Country as his Customers shall pay him for the said necessary comodity or comodities. And to the ende we may not only persuade and incite men, but inforce them also thoroughly and loyally to aire their Tobacco before they bring it to the Magazine, be it enacted, and by these presents we doe enacte, that if upon the Judgement of fower sufficient men of any incorporation where the Magazine shall reside, (having first taken their oaths to give true sentence, twoe whereof to be chosen by the Cape marchant and twoe by the Incorporation), any Tobacco whatsoever shall not proove vendible at the second price, that it shall there imediately be burnt before the owner's face. Hitherto suche lawes as were drawen out of the Instructions.

Tuesday, Aug. 3, 1619.

This morning a thirde sorte of lawes (suche as might proceed out of every man's private conceipt) were read and referred by halves to the same comitties which were from the beginning.

This done, Captaine William Powell presented to the Assembly a pettiton to have justice against a lewde and trecherous servante of his who by false accusation given up in writing to the Governor sought not only to gett him deposed from his government of James citty and utterly (according to the Proclamation) to be degraded from the place and title of a Captaine,39 but to take his life from him also. And so out of the said Petition sprang this order following:

Captaine William Powell presented a pettition to the generall Assembly against one Thomas Garnett, a servant of his, not onely for extreame neglect of his business to the great loss and prejudice of the said Captaine, and for openly and impudently abusing his house, in sight both of Master and Mistress, through wantonnes with a woman servant of theirs, a widdowe, but also for falsely accusing him to the Governor both of Drunkennes and Thefte, and besides for bringing all his fellow servants to testifie on his side, wherein they justly failed him. It was thought fitt by the general assembly (the Governour himself giving sentence), that he should stand fower dayes with his eares nayled to the Pillory, viz: Wednesday, Aug. 4th, and so likewise Thursday, fryday, and Satturday next following, and every of those dayes should be publiquely whipped. Now, as touching the neglecte of his worke, what satisfaction ought to be made to his Mr40 for that is referred to the Governour and Counsell of Estate.

The same morning the lawes abovewritten, drawen out of the instructions, were read, and one by one thoroughly examined, and then passed once again the general consente of the whole Assembly.

This afternoon the comitties brought in a reporte, what they had done as concerning the thirde sorte of lawes, the discussing whereof spente the residue of that daye. Excepte onely the consideration of a pettiton of Mr. John Rolfes againste Captaine John Martine for writing a letter to him wherein (as Mr. Rolfe alledgeth) he taxeth him both unseemly and amisse of certaine thinges wherein he was never faulty, and besides, casteth some aspersion upon the present government, which is the most temperate and juste that ever was in this country, too milde indeed, for many of this Colony, whom unwoonted liberty hath made insolente and not to know themselves. This Petition of Mr. Rolfes' was thought fittt to be referred to the Counsell of State.

Wednesday, Aug. 4th.

This daye (by reason of extream heat, both paste and likely to ensue and by that meanes of the alteration of the healthes of diverse of the general Assembly) the Governour, who himself also was not well, resolved should be the last of this first session; so in the morning the Speaker (as he was required by the Assembly) redd over all the lawes and orders that had formerly passed the house, to give the same yett one reviewe more, and to see whether there were any thing to be amended or that might be excepted againste. This being done, the third sorte of lawes which I am nowe coming to sett downe, were read over [and] thoroughly discussed, which, together with the former, did now passe the laste and finall consente of the General Assembly.

A thirde sorte of lawes, suche as may issue out of every man's private conceipte.

It shalbe free for every man to trade with the Indians, servants onely excepted, upon paine of whipping, unless the Mr. will redeeme it off with the payment of an Angell,41 one-fourth parte whereof to go to the Provost Marshall one fourth parte to the discoverer, and the other moyty42 to the publique uses of the Incorporation.

That no man doe sell or give any of the greatter howes43 to the Indians, or any English dog of quality, as a mastive, greyhound, bloodhounde, lande or water spaniel, or any other any other dog or bitche whatsoever, of the Englishe race, upon paine of forfaiting 5s sterling to the publique uses of the Incorporation where he dwelleth.

That no man do sell or give any Indians any piece shott or poulder, or any other armes, offensive or defensive upon paine of being held a Traytour to the Colony, and of being hanged as soon as the facte is proved, without all redemption.44

That no man may go above twenty miles from his dwellingplace, nor upon any voiage whatsoever shalbe absent from thence for the space of seven dayes together without first having made the Governor or comaunder of the same place acquanted therwith, upon paine of paying twenty shillings to the publique uses of the same Incorporation where the party delinquent dwelleth.

That no man shall purposely goe to any Indian townes, habitations or places or resortes without leave from the Governor or comaunder of that place wher he liveth, upon paine of paying 40s to publique uses as aforesaid.

That no man living in this Colony, but shall between this and the first of January nexte ensueing come or sende to the Secretary of Estate to enter his own and all his servants' names, and for what terme or upon what conditions they are to serve, upon penalty of paying 40s to the said Secretary of Estate. Also, whatsoever Mrs45 or people doe come over to this plantation that within one month of their arrivall (notice being first given them of this very lawe) they shall likewise resorte to the Secretary of Estate and shall certifie him upon what termes or conditions they be come hither, to the ende that he may recorde their grauntes and comissions, and for how long time and upon what conditions their servants (in case they have any) are to serve them, and that upon paine of the penalty nexte above mentioned.

All Ministers in the Colony shall once a year, namely, in the moneth of Marche, bring to the Secretary of Estate a true account of all Christenings, burials and marriages, upon paine, if they faill, to be censured for their negligence by the Governor and Counsell of Estate; likewise, where there be no ministers, that the comanders of the place doe supply the same duty.

No man, without leave of the Governor, shall kill any Neatt46 cattle whatsoever, young or olde, especially kine, Heyfurs or cow-calves, and shalbe careful to perserve their steers and oxen, and to bring them to the plough and such profittable uses, and without having obtained leave as aforesaid, shall not kill them, upon penalty of forfaiting the value of the beast so killed.

Whosoever shall take any of his neighbors' boates, oares, or canoas without leave from the owner shalbe helde and esteemed as a felon and so proceeded againste; tho hee that shall take away by violence or stelth any canoas or other thinges from the Indians shall make valuable restitution to the said Indians, and shall forfaict, if he be a freeholder, five pound; if a servant, 40s, or endure a whipping; and anything under the value of 13d shall be accounted Petty larceny.

All ministers shall duely read divine service, and exercise their ministerial function according to the Ecclesiastical lawes and orders of the churche of Englande, and every Sunday in the afternoon shall Catechize suche as are not yet ripe to come to the Com.47 And whosoever of them shalbe found negligent or faulty in this kinde shalbe subject to the censure of the Governor and Counsell of Estate.

The Ministers and Churchwardens shall seeke to presente all ungodly disorders, the comitters wherofe if, upon goode admonitions and milde reprooff, they will not forbeare the said skandalous offenses, as suspicions of whordomes, dishonest company keeping with weomen and suche like, they are to be presented and punished accordingly.

If any person after two warnings, doe not amende his or her life in point of evident suspicion of Incontincy or of the comission of any other enormous sinnes, that then he or shee be presented by the Churchwardens and suspended for a time from the churche by the minister. In which Interim if the same person do not amende and humbly submit him or herself to the churche, he is then fully to be excomunicate and soon after a writt or warrant to be sent from the Governor for the apprehending of his person ande seizing on all his goods. Provided alwayes, that all the ministers doe meet once a quarter, namely, at the feast of St. Michael the Arkangell, of the nativity of our saviour, of the Annuntiation of the blessed Virgine, and about midsomer, 48 at James citty or any other place where the Governor shall reside, to determine whom it is fitt to excomunicate, and that they first presente their opinion to the Governor ere they proceed to the acte of excomunication.

For the reformation of swearing every freeman and Mr.49 of a family after thrise admontion shall give 5s or the value upon present demaunde, to the use of the church where he dwelleth; and every servant after the like admonition, excepte his Mr. discharge the fine, shalbe subject to whipping. Provided, that the payment of the fine notwithstanding, the said servant shall acknowledge his faulte publiquely in the Churche.

No man whatsoever, coming by water from above, as from Henrico, Charles citty, or any place from the westwarde of James citty, and being bound for Kiccowtan,50 or any other parte on this side, the same shall presume to pass by, either by day or by night, without touching firste here at James citty to knowe whether the Governor will comande him any service. And the like shall they performe that come from Kicawtan ward, or from any place between this and that, to go upwarde, upon paine of forfaiting ten pound sterling a time to the Governor. Provided, that if a servant having had instructions from his Master to observe this lawe, doe notwithstanding, transgresse the same, that then the said servant shalbe punished at the Governor's discretion; otherwise, that the master himselfe shall undergo the foresaid penalty.

No man shall trade into the baye, either in shallop, pinnace, or ship, without the Governor's license, and without putting in security that neither himself nor his Company shall force or wrong the Indians, upon paine that, doing otherwise, they shalbe censured at their returne by the Governor and Counsell of Estate.51

All persons whatsoever upon the Sabaoth daye shall frequente divine service and sermons both forenoon and afternoon, and all suche as beare armes shall bring their pieces swordes, poulder and shotte. And every one that shall transgresse this lawe shall forfaicte three shillinges a time to the use of the churche, all lawful and necessary impediments excepted. But if a servant in this case shall wilfully neglecte his Mr's comande he shall suffer bodily punishmente.

No maide or woman servant, either now resident in the Colonie or hereafter to come, shall contract herselfe in marriage without either the consente of her parents, or of her Mr or Mris, or of the magistrate and minister of the place both together. And whatsoever minister shall marry or contracte any suche persons without some of the foresaid consentes shalbe subjecte to the severe censure of the Governor and Counsell of Estate.

Be it enacted by this present assembly that whatsoever servant hath heretofore or shall hereafter contracte himselfe in England, either by way of Indenture or otherwise, to serve any Master here in Virginia and shall afterward, against his said former contracte depart from his Mr without leave, or, being once imbarked shall abandon the ship he is appointed to come in, and so, being lefte behinde, shall putt himselfe into the service of any other man that will bring him hither, that then at the same servant's arrival here, he shall first serve out his time with that Mr that brought him hither and afterward also shall serve out his time with his former Mr according to his covenant.

Here ende the lawes.

All these lawes being thus concluded and consented to as aforesaid Captaine Henry Spellman52 was called to the barre to answere to certaine misdemeanors layde to his chardge by Robert Poole, interpretour, upon his oath (whose examination the Governor sente into England in the Prosperus), of which accusations of Poole some he acknowledged for true, but the greattest part he denyed. Whereupon the General Assembly having throughly53 heard and considered his speaches, did constitute this order following against him:

Aug. 4th, 1619.

This day Captaine Henry Spelman was convented before the General Assembly and was examined by a relation upon oath of one Robert Poole, Interpreter, what conference had passed between the said Spelman and Opochancano at Poole's meeting with him in Opochancano's courte. Poole chardgeth him he spake very unreverently and maliciously against this present Governor, whereby the honour and dignity of his place and person, and so of the whole Colonie, might be brought into contempte, by which meanes what mischiefs might ensue from the Indians by disturbance of the peace or otherwise, may easily be conjectured. Some thinges of this relation Spelman confessed, but the most parte he denyed, excepte onely one matter of importance, and that was that he had informed Opochancano that within a yeare there would come a Governor greatter then this that nowe is in place. By which and by other reportes it seemeth he hath alienated the minde of Opochancano from this present Governour, and brought him in much disesteem, both with Opochancano and the Indians, and the whole Colony in danger of their slippery designes.

The general assembly upon Poole's testimony onely not willing to putt Spelman to the rigour and extremity of the lawe which might, perhaps both speedily and deservedly, have taken his life from him (upon the witness of one whom he muche excepted against) were pleased, for the present, to censure him rather out of that his confession written then out of any other prooffe. Several and sharpe punishments were pronounced against him by diverse of the Assembly, But in fine the whole courte by voices united did encline to the most favorable, which was that for this misdemeanour he should first be degraded of his title of Captaine, at the head of the troupe, and should be condemned to performe seven years service to the Colony in the nature of Interpreter to the Governour.

This sentence being read to Spelman he, as one that had in him more of the Savage than of the Christian, muttered certaine wordes to himselfe neither shewing any remorse for his offenses, nor yet any thankfulness to the Assembly for theire sofavourable censure, which he at one time or another (God's grace not wholly abandoning him) might with some one service have been able to have redeemed.

This day also did the Inhabitants of Paspaheigh, alias Argall's towne,54 present a petition to the general assembly to give them an absolute discharge from certain bondes wherein they stand bound to Captain Samuell Argall for the payment of 600lb and to Captain William Powell, at Captain Argall's appointment, for the payment of 50lb more. To Captaine Argall for 15 skore acres of wooddy ground, called by the name of Argal's towne or Paspaheigh; to Captaine Powell in respect of his paines in clearing the grounde and building the houses for which Captaine Argal ought to have given him satisfaction. Nowe, the general assembly being doubtful whether they have any power and authority to discharge the said bondes, doe by these presents (at the Instance of the said Inhabitants of Paspaheigh, alias Martin's hundred people) become most humble sutours to the Treasurer, Counsell and Company in England that they wilbe pleased to gett the said bondes for 600lb to be cancelled; forasmuche as in their great comission they have expressly and by name appointed that place of Paspaheigh for parte of the Governour's lande. And wheras Captain William Powell is payde his 50 which Captain Argall enjoined the saide Inhabitants to presente him with, as parte of the bargaine, the general assembly, at their intreaty, do become sutours on their behalfe, that Captaine Argall, by the Counsell and Company of England, may be compelled either to restore the said 50lb from thence, or else that restitution thereof be made here out of the goods of the said Captaine Argall.

The last acte of the Generall Assembly was a contribution to gratifie their officers, as followeth:

Aug. 4th, 1619.

It is fully agreed at this general Assembly that in regard of the great paines and labour of the Speaker of this Assembly (who not onely first formed the same Assembly and to their great ease and expedition reduced all matters to be treatted of into a ready method, but also his indisposition notwithstanding wrote or dictated all orders and other expedients and is yet to write severall bookes for all the Generall Incorporations and plantations both of the great charter, and of all the lawes) and likewise in respecte of the diligence of the Clerke and sergeant, officers thereto belonging, That every man and man-servant of above 16 yeares of age shall pay into the handes and Custody of the Burgesses of every Incorporation and plantation one pound of the best Tobacco, to be distributed to the Speaker and likewise to the Clerke and sergeant of the Assembly, according to their degrees and rankes, the whole bulke whereof to be delivered into the Speaker's handes, to be divided accordingly. And in regarde the Provost Marshall of James citty hath also given some attendance upon the said General Assembly, he is also to have a share out of the same. And this is to begin to be gathered the 24th of February nexte.

In conclusion, the whole Assembly comaunded the Speaker (as nowe he doth) to present their humble excuse to the Treasurer Counsell and Company in England for being constrained by the intemperature of the weather and the falling sick of diverse of the Burgesses to breake up so abruptly - before they had so much as putt their lawes to the ingrossing. This they wholly comitted to the fidelity of their speaker, who therin (his conscience telles him) hath done the parte of an honest man, otherwise he would be easily founde out by the Burgesses themselves, who with all expedition are to have so many bookes of the same lawes as there be both Incorporations and Plantations in the Colony.

In the seconde place, the Assembly doth most humbly crave pardon that in so shorte a space they could bring their matter to no more perfection, being for the present enforced to sende home titles rather then lawes, Propositions rather then resolutions, Attemptes then Acchievements, hoping their courtesy will accepte our poor endevour, and their wisedome wilbe ready to supporte the weakness of this little flocke.

Thirdly, the General Assembly doth humbly beseech the said Treasurer, Counsell and Company, that albeit it belongeth to them onely to allowe or to abrogate any lawes which we shall here make, and that it is their right so to doe, yet that it would please them not to take it in ill parte if these lawes which we have now brought to light, do passe currant and be of force till suche time as we may knowe their farther pleasure out of Englande: for otherwise this people (who nowe at length have gotten the raines of former servitude into their owne swindge) would in shorte time growe so insolent, as they would shake off all government, and there would be no living among them.55

Their last humble suite is, that the said Counsell and Company would be pleased, so soon as they shall finde it convenient, to make good their promise sett downe at the conclusion of their commission for establishing the Counsel of Estate and the General Assembly, namely, that they will give us power to allowe or disallowe of their orders of Courte, as his Majesty hath given them power to allowe or to reject our lawes.

In sume Sir George Yeardley, the Governour prorogued the said General Assembly till the first of Marche, which is to fall out this present yeare of 1619,56 and in the mean season dissolved the same.


{1} Sir George Yeardley, who had been a soldier in the Low Country wars, sailed for Virginia as captain of Sir Thomas Gates's company in 1609. He was wrecked with Gates on the Bermuda Islands and reaching Virginia was deputy-governor from the departure of Dale in April, 1616, to the arrival of Argall in May, 1617. After Lord Delaware's death he was appointed to succeed him as governor and captain-general. He convened the first legislative assembly in America. He served till November 18, 1621. In March, 1626, he was reappointed governor, and continued in that office till his death in November, 1627.

{2} The immediate district of Jamestown.

{3} The region of City Point.

{4} Or Henrico; on Farrar's Island.

{5} Elizabeth City.

{6} Brandon, on the south side of James River. This was one of the private plantations, resembling manors.

{7} Afterward Southampton Hundred, running along the north side of the James, from Weyanoke to the Chickahominy. This hundred, and some of those subsequently mentioned, were the property of different small associations subordinate to the Virginia Company. On hundreds, see p. 266, note 2.

{8} In the east end of the present James City County, some miles below Jamestown.

{9} Argall's Gift lay about a mile north of Jamestown. See p. 275, note 1.

{10} On the south side of the river, half way from Brandon to City Point.

{11} At Lawne's Creek in Isle of Wight County.

{12} On the south side of James River, above Brandon, where Ward's Creek still preserves the name.

{13} Choir.

{14} Rev. Richard Buck was educated at Oxford and came to Virginia in 1610 with Sir Thomas Gates. He married John Rolfe to Pocahontas in Jamestown, April 5, 1614. In 1618 Rolfe writes that "he was a verie good preacher." He died before February, 1624.

{15} King James I.

{16} The whole plantation.

{17} Captain John Martin was one of the original council of Virginia, being the only member still resident in Virginia at this time. When Jamestown was abandoned in 1610, he was the only one of the colonists to protest against it. He was living as late as 1627.

{18} Gang, or crew.

{19} This "greate Charter" was addressed to Sir George Yeardley. A copy is preserved in the Department of Manuscripts, Library of Congress, Washington. It is presented with several omissions in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, II. 154-165.

{20} With.

{21} Anything.

{22} Lord De-la-Warre or Delaware.

{23} Lordships.

{24} Doubtless an error for large.

{25} An error doubtless for L, as shown in the "Greate Charter," Virginia Magazine, II. 158.

{26} Departure.

{27} This refers to the quit-rent of twelve pence annually for every fifty acres of land granted to every settler "after midsummer day during the next seven years." The prayer of the petition is to pay "comodity," chiefly tobacco.

{28} In response to this petition workmen were sent over, lands were laid out at Henrico, and a rector was elected for said "University and Colledge"; but the Indians in March, 1622, killed nearly all the people at the settlement and destroyed the enterprise.

{29} It was given the name of Elizabeth City.

{30} An error for 3s.

{31} Keeper of the public stores.

{32} Supply "Magazine," which appears in the Bancroft and McDonald copies.

{33} Walter Shelley of Smyth's Hundred, the country on the north side of the river between Weyanoke and Chickahominy River.

{34} The question of Captain Martin's patent came up in England, and he was finally forced to take a new patent submitting to the authority of the colony.

{35} Master.

{36} The company's storehouse.

{37} Hundred was the Anglo-Saxon word for a community occupying a larger territory than a town or for a subdivision of the county. The application was revived in Virginia, and the hundred might embrace several boroughs.

{38} Bancroft's and McDonald's copies render this word "severall," which is evidently right.

{39} In 1617 Governor Samuel Argall made Powell captain of the governor's guard, and commander of Jamestown, the fort, and the blockhouses.

{40} Master.

{41} An English coin bearing the figure of the archangel Michael, worth from 8s. 6d. to 10s.

{42} Half.

{43} Hoes.

{44} As long as the Indians had to depend on their bows and arrows, they were comparatively harmless.

{45} I.e., masters.

{46} Cattle, as distinguished from horses, sheep, goats, etc.

{47} Communion.

{48} September 29, December 25, March 25, and June 24.

{49} Master.

{50} Kecoughtan, i.e., Elizabeth City.

{51} "The trade into the bay" was trade with the Indian tribes in furs, skins, and Indian baskets.

{52} See p. 202, note 4.

{53} Thoroughly.

{54} Argall's Town or Gift was situated on the north side of the river a mile from Jamestown in the old fields, where once stood the chief village of the Paspaheghs, but from which they had removed to Sandy Point not long before the coming of the white men. Argall's Town was established by Argall in 1617.

{55} In after days the acts of the Assembly passed as laws, until they were vetoed by the king.

{56} I.e., till March 1, 1620, of new style.