Records of the Virginia Company of London







In my report for 1904 I gave the reasons in favor of the printing by the Library of this and of similar unpublished manuscript records in its possession. It would save excessive wear and tear upon the originals; it would enable the texts to be studied by investigators who can not come to Washington; and it would encourage that thorough, detailed, and continuing study of them which their value and interest and a proper understanding of American history require. These reasons apply with peculiar force to the Records of the Virginia Company, unique in themselves and unique of their kind, and an additional one, in their case influential; that publication would make them available to persons who would not master the difficult chirography of the original.

Their history is fully told in the Introduction by Miss Kingsbury, and their importance as a document emphasized in the Preface by Professor Osgood. Previous efforts to secure their publication in extenso had not been successful. The present one originated in a proposal by Professor Osgood in behalf of the Public Archives Commission of the American Historical Association to edit them as a contribution to one of the Annual Reports of the Association; and although the work as issued is an independent publication of the Library, it has had the benefit of his expert counsel. It was at his instance also that Miss Kingsbury, then a graduate student in his department at Columbia, began the undertaking which she has so well accomplished, and which has consisted (1) in a complete transcript of the text itself; (2) in a close study not merely of this but of the numerous collateral and subsidiary documents both here and abroad; (3) in the preparation of the Introduction, Notes, Bibliography, and Index; and (4) in aid upon the proof. The proof has also, however, been read word for word with the original text, and revised by the Chief of the Division of Manuscripts, with the excellent assistance of Miss Minnie V. Stinson of that Division.

Herbert Putnam Librarian of Congress Worthington Chauncey Ford Chief, Division of Manuscripts


The records, and especially the Court Book, of the Virginia Company of London have long been regarded as among the most precious manuscript treasures which have found a lodgment within the United States. Not only is their inherent value as an historical source very great, as has been explained by the editor in her introduction, but a sentimental value also attaches to them. This has a twofold origin. It arises, in the first place, from the fact that they belong at once to the romantic period of our own beginnings and to the heroic period of England's great struggle against absolutism. The men who figure in the pages of this record were at the same time playing their parts, on the one side or the other, in the controversies which were then beginning with James I, and which were to broaden and deepen under his son till England was plunged into the agonies of the great civil war. They were contemporaries, and in not a few cases associates, of Coke and Eliot and Hampden, of Bacon and Wentworth and Buckingham. The names of Sandys and the Ferrars stand high on the roll of patriots by which the first generation of the Stuart period is distinguished. These same men also, together with a long list of the merchants and nobles of the time, were deeply interested in discovery and colonization. As successors of Gilbert and Raleigh they were planting a new England beyond the Atlantic. About this enterprise still clung some of the spirit and memories of the Elizabethan seamen and their early struggles with Spain. In the days when Smythe and Sandys were active the prosaic age of English colonization had not yet begun. The glamour of romance, of the heroic, attaches to the founding of Virginia and Plymouth, and makes them fit subjects for the poet. By the time when the other colonies were founded the glow and inspiration had grown faint or wholly disappeared. In the Records of the Virginia Company some reflection may be seen of this early zeal, of the plans and ideals to which it gave rise. Even their pages, cast in a style which is quite unusual in records of this nature, make one realize that he is in the company of noble and earnest spirits, men who were conscious that they were engaged in a great enterprise. The Court Book itself, now that it is printed in full, will be found to be a worthy monument of English speech, as it was used at the close of the Elizabethan epoch and by contemporaries of Shakespeare and Bacon.

The fate which probably befell the original of this record, and the unusual steps which it became necessary to take in order to secure and preserve a copy, were nat- ural consequences of the struggles of the time, and add still further to the interest of the text as we now possess it. Miss Kingsbury, by her use of the Ferrar papers, has been able to establish by the clearest proof the connection of Nicholas Ferrar with the transcription, and in many other ways she has added definiteness to the accounts usually given of the origin and preservation of the record as we now possess it. The transfer of the copy of the Court Book to Virginia and its transmission from hand to hand till, through the medium of Thomas Jefferson's library, it finally passed into the possession of Congress fittingly concludes the remarkable history of the preservation of this manuscript.

The high estimate which has been placed on its value is evidenced not only by the use that has been made of it by historians, but by the long-continued efforts which have been made to secure its publication. In 1858 Mr. J. Wingate Thornton, in an article in the "Historical Magazine," explained the nature of the Court Book, told how it had been preserved, and insisted upon the importance of its being published. "As these volumes are of national rather than of local interest," said he, "reaching back to the very foundation of the English companies for colonizing America; as they have escaped the chances and mishaps of two centuries, on either side of the Atlantic, ... and as Providence has now placed them in the keeping of our National Congress, is it not our national duty to have them appropriately edited and published?" The following year Mr. Thornton published a pamphlet in Boston, in which he outlined the history of the manuscript and again raised the question of its publication. But soon the Civil War came on, and plans of that kind, especially so far as they related to southern history, had to be postponed.

But in 1868, three years after the close of the war, Mr. Edward D. Neill pre- sented a memorial to Congress, in which he dwelt on the neglect by historians of these most valuable manuscripts. He stated that, while preparing his book entitled "Terra Mariae," he had familiarized himself with the chirography of the records. He now offered to undertake their editing without compensation, if he might be fur- nished with two copyists for a limited time and be allowed a small sum for stationery and contingent expenses. But this offer met with no response, and Mr. Neill was forced to content himself with the publication of extracts from the manuscript in his "History of the Virginia Company of London" (Albany, 1869).

In March, 1877, Mr. Robert A. Brock, of the Virginia Historical Society, pub- lished in the "Richmond Daily Dispatch" a "Plea for the Publication of the Records of the Virginia Company." In 1881 Senator John W. Johnston, of Virginia, intro- duced into Congress a bill which was intended to provide for the publication of the records. This passed the Senate, but failed in the House.

During three successive sessions between the years 1885 and 1888 Dr. J. Franklin Jameson applied to the Library Committee of Congress for permission to edit and publish the records without expense to the Government. His plan was to obtain a sufficient number of subscribers to justify the issue of the volumes by a private firm and to meet the cost of the sale. Another suggestion which he also made was the appointment of a commission which should concern itself with the publishing of historical material in the possession of Congress. While occupied with this matter Dr. Jameson explained the history and value of the records to the Rhode Island Historical Society, and his address was reviewed in the "Magazine of American History" (vol. 21, January–June, 1889, p. 82).

But meantime some progress had been made with the actual printing of the Court Book. Mr. Conway Robinson had made copious extracts from it, especially of the documentary material which is contained in the second volume. His extracts the Virginia Historical Society published in 1889, under the editorship of Mr. R. A. Brock. Until the present time this edition, in two volumes, has served the purpose of most students. But the requirements of historical study in this country have now reached a point where more complete and critical editions of the sources are needed than have been common in the past. If this need was to be met, it became at once apparent that no body of records was better adapted for a beginning than those which related to the Virginia Company of London. In date and subject matter they stand at the very threshold of American history. In character they form a distinct and unique group of material. By the issue of a definitive edition of these records the demand which scholars have so long made for their publication would be met and satisfied. It was under the influence of considerations like these that the present work was undertaken.

In the preparation of this body of records for the press critical accuracy and helpfulness have been sought in all possible ways. The spelling of the original has been carefully preserved throughout, for in editing a source of this character and importance any attempt to modernize the text would be properly regarded as unjusti- fiable. Not only has the spelling been preserved, but also the signs and abbrevia- tions which abound, the use of which the men of the period had inherited from still earlier times. So far as such a thing is possible in print, the text is exactly repro- duced in these volumes, while an added element of reality is supplied by the photo- graphs of specimen pages of the original manuscript.

Brief notes have been added where it was necessary to explain or call attention to obscurities, omissions, or other irregularities in the text, the purpose being to enable the reader to gain information of this kind from the printed page with the same certainty as if he were using the manuscript. In the notes, cross references have also been given to the documents of the company and to its publications, when they have been found to reproduce, or to illustrate and make more definite, the state- ments which are contained in the Court Book. In citations of this kind the number of each document is given as it appears in the List of Records in the Introduction. In this way the unity of the records of the company as a whole receives illustration, and the investigator will be aided in any effort which he may make to learn all which they have to reveal in reference to any subject. Finally, the index completes the invaluable service which Miss Kingsbury has rendered in the editorship of the work.

Herbert L. Osgood Columbia University


I. Character of the Virginia Company:
Comparison with earlier movements for discovery 11
Comparison with earlier movements for trade 11
Importance of the Virginia Records 14
II. The Records of the Company under Sir Thomas Smythe:
Organization of the company under the charter of 1606 17
Change in character from 1606 to 1609 21
Classes of records, character and value 23
I. Fundamental documents emanating from the Crown. II. The court books. III. Documents issued by the company. IV. Letters from the planters and the outline of Argall's register in the colony. V. Publications of the company. VI. Private papers of adventurers. VII. Supplementary contemporary cor- respondence
III. The Collections of Documents, 1616–1624:
General character of the records 39
The Jefferson Library in the Library of Congress 41
The copy of the court book—acquirement by Mr. Jefferson. Manuscript records of the company, Volume III. The "courte booke" of the colony—contents and description
Transcripts of the Virginia Records 48
Randolph copy in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society. Jefferson tran- scripts. Transcripts of documents in England recently acquired by the Library of Congress
Documents in Richmond 54
Manuscripts in the New York Public Library 55
Collections of Americana 55
John Carter Brown Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Library, Private
Transcripts in the New York Public Library 58
Collections in England—Ferrar Papers, Magdalene College, Cambridge 59
History, description, and contents
Collections in England—Public Record Office 61
Manchester papers, history and character. State papers, colonial and domestic Records of courts: Admiralty, chancery, quo warranto, the King's bench. Origin and character
Collections in England—The Privy Council Office 66
Collections in England—British Museum 67
IV. The Records of the Company under the Sandys-Southampton Administration: Page
Organization of the company—Membership, meetings, officers 71
Methods of procedure—General usage and elections. Rewards 74
Record books provided for by the company 75
The extant records—The court book 78
History of the contemporary copy. Description of the contemporary copy in the Library of Congress. System of keeping the court book. Contents of the court book
The extant supplementary records 87
Documents giving an outline of the activity of the company. Documents revealing the movements for trade and industry. Documents which concern the relation with the colony. Records of the colony. Documents which concern the develop- ment of factions and the recall of the charter. Documents which record the relations between the company and the Crown
Conclusion—Value of the Virginia Records 103
Understanding of the organization and activity of the company. Value in a study of problems of state and of proprietary colonies.
V. The Fate of the Original Records of the Company:
Events leading up to the confiscation of the records by the Privy Council 107
The confiscation of the records, May 22, 1623 108
In charge of the clerk of the Privy Council, May 22–November 7, 1623. In charge of commissioners.
Theories as to the fate of the records 111
Retention by the Privy Council for the successive commissions of 1625, 1631, and 1634. Dissipation among the members of the successive commissions. Private collections which have been searched in vain for these records
Destruction of the records 115
April 28, 1619, to May 8, 1622.
I. Certification of Volume I of the Original MS Front.
II. Writing of Thomas Collette (?) 280
Being page 54 of Volume I of the original MS.
III. Writing of the First Copyist (not identified) with John Ferrar's Notes 344
A record of the Summer Islands' Courts, from the Ferrar Papers.
IV. Writing of the Third Copyist (not identified) 464
Being page 214 of Volume I of the original MS.

1. The Character of the Company

The individual effort which had revealed itself at the close of the medieval period in other phases of the economic development and in the military history of the past quarter century was especially prominent in the movement in 1606 for a society of adventurers to trade in Virginia. The commercial advance had been due chiefly to private enterprise, and the naval expeditions into the West Indies against the Spanish had been fitted out and prosecuted by such adventurous spirits as Sir Francis Drake, while the zeal for exploration and for gold, which inspired John and Sebastian Cabot to search for a passage to Cathay and the East Indies in 1497, led Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh a century later to seek out the resources of the lands from Florida to Newfoundland. It is the same spirit of adventure which inspired the narratives of John Smith and Henry Spelman as they told of their relations with the Indians of America. But it is in the progress of both the commercial and the political life of England that the Virginia Company is important. For the plantation founded and nourished by a private concern as an enterprise purely for gain was the social cause from which developed the colony as a form of government. Its political organization is seen in its relations to the Crown, of which there were two distinct phases. During the first three years it was distinctly a creature of the King, the affairs of which were conducted by the King through a council created by himself and responsible to himself, while to the investors were left the privileges of raising the funds, furnishing the supplies, and sending out the expeditions. It was a modification of this form of management to which the government reverted after the dissolution of the Company in 1624, and again at the end of the century when royal colonies were substituted for proprietary and corporate forms throughout America. In the second phase the undertakers became distinctly proprietary, retaining the commercial responsibilities, but assum- ing governmental functions in place of the King.

A comparison between the royal grants for discovery in the sixteenth century and those of the Virginia Company shows that there was an increase in the direct territorial relations between King and subject, a limitation upon monopoly of trade, and a tendency on the part of the Crown to retain directly or indirectly the powers of government. Thus, in the letters patent to Richard Warde, Thomas Ashehurst, and associates in 1501, a

Biddle, Cabot, Appendix, pp. 312, 314, for this charter.

to Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1578, and to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584, b

Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 17–23, 289–296.

the Crown conferred proprietorship of land with the right to grant it out in fee simple at will. But in 1606 the land was held by the undertakers, and again in 1609 by the adventurers and planters in free and common socage, as of the manor of Greenwich of the county of Kent. Under the first Vir- ginia charter it was granted by the King to those approved by the council; under the second, by the members of the company to anyone who should have adventured a certain sum of money or his person. The fief, distinctly so called in the early charters, for which homage was to be rendered, with no service, however, save that of one-fifth of the gold and silver gained, had disappeared; and the only direct feudal relation with the King which remained arose from the requirement of a per cent of the precious metals. The monopoly of trade by which Warde, Gilbert, and Raleigh were allowed to seize and detain any one who trafficked within two hundred leagues of a set- tlement was altered in 1606 so that the planters had only the right of collecting a tax from such interlopers. The rights of government which had been surrendered absolutely to the grantees in the sixteenth century charters were reserved to the King by the letters patent of 1606 to be exercised through the council. In 1609 these powers were conferred on the company as an open body, it must be remem- bered, and thus differed from the earlier grants and from the later proprietary grants to Lord Baltimore or to William Penn.

Although the charter emphasizes the government of the plantation, the Virginia Company was purely a commercial enterprise conducted by a private concern, even before the charter of 1609, as is shown by the history of its early years. It was backed by the patronage of the King, but only for the purpose of advancing the trade of the Kingdom in foreign parts and saving the Crown from expense and responsi- bility, as had been the policy in regard to the other trading companies. Nevertheless, it was a step toward colonial expansion, for, as has well been said, "the explorer is potentially a colonizer," and the army of laborers on the plantation became in time an army of free tenants in a colony. c

Osgood, H. L., The American Colonies in the 17th Century, I, 83.

While in the spirit of its commercial life the company was closely allied to the efforts for exploration and search for gold, morally supported by Elizabeth in her feudal grants, in its organization, as well as in its pur- pose, it resembled the private companies for trade based on ancient charters, and in its development is to be understood only through a knowledge of both of these earlier movements.

Thus in order to protect trade, but not for exploration and settlement, the ancient charters granted to the Merchant Adventurers in 1407 and 1462, and particularly the one of 1564, incorporated that company into a "Body Politick." The words of the grant declared its purpose to be "for the good Government, Rule and Order of the * * * Fellowship of Merchants Adventurers * * *. As also of all and every other of the subject of our heirs * * * using the seate of Trade of the said Merchants Adventurers * * *." a

Lingelbach, The Merchant Adventurers of England, 218–236 for extracts from the charters. The first two are published in Rymer, Foedera, and Hakluyt.

This was also the object expressed in the charter to the East India Company, b

East India Company, Charters.

although it contained an additional provi- sion for the acquisition of lands by purchase. Monopoly of trade and powers of government over factors, masters, or others in the employ of the company were conferred, but the exemption from customs was to continue for only four years, and the only settlements provided for were to have the form of factories. It had been established as a regulated company, that is, one in which each individual invested his own capital subject to the rules of the company; but in 1612 by increasing the importance of the directors and investing sums for a limited period it became a joint stock company. c

Cunningham, W., the Growth of English Industry and Commerce in Modern Times (edition of 1903), Part I, ch. VI, sec. VII.

As a prototype of the companies later incorporated both for discovery and trade, such as the Virginia Company, the Muscovy or Russian Company, known as the "Merchant Adventurers of England for the discoveries of lands and territories unknown," was established in 1555 with a joint stock of £6,000. Sebastian Cabot was appointed governor for life and with him was associated a board of directors of 4 consuls and 24 assistants. However, this company had also the rights of the compa- nies for exploration—that is, those of conquest, of acquiring lands, and of seizing the ships of any who should infringe on their monopoly of trade. d

See the patent in Hakluyt, II, 304–316. For full citation of the titles of printed works referred to in the notes, see the Bibliography, p. 212, post.

In 1583 a committee from the Muscovy merchants drew up a set of resolutions concerning a conference with M. Carlile upon his "intended discoverie and attempt into the hithermost parts of America," e

See "Articles set down by the Committees appointed in behalfe of the Company of muscovian Marchants to conferre with M. Carlile, upon his intended discoverie and attempt into the hither most parts of America," printed in Hakluyt, VIII, 147–150.

which was not dissimilar to the plan of Sir Walter Raleigh, and hence foreshadowed companies of the seventeenth century. It proposed to send forth 100 men for one year, providing £4,000 for the adventure, in order to gain a "knowledge of the particular estate of the country and gather what commodity may hereafter be looked for." Also, like the Virginia Company, it provided for a joint stock consisting of two groups, one of "adventurers" and one of "enterprisers," each to have one-half of the lands which should be divided among the members by the generality, but all trade was to belong to the adventurers and the corporation was to be closed after the first adventure. The scheme differed from the sixteenth century enterprises, which were especially intended for exploration, in that no question of government was considered, but it conformed to the ideas of Gilbert and Raleigh and of the trading companies, in that its rights over trade were to be purely monopolistic.

Apparently this plan of the Muscovy Company stands as a connecting link between the ideas of the explorer and those of the trader and the planter, a plan which may be said to have been carried out by the Virginia Company. It is significant that many of the members of the Virginia Company were men who had taken part in the expeditions of the late sixteenth century and had been interested in certain private voyages of exploration carried on during the five years preceding the receipt of its first charter, while most of the leaders of this company were at the same time stock- holders and even officers in the Muscovy Company, the Company of Merchant Adventurers, the East India Company, and later of the Turkey, the Guinea, and the African companies.

It is unnecessary to cite the charters of other companies or to search the history of the trading corporations of the sixteenth century in order to show that the Virginia Company was similar in character. But, like the Muscovy Company and the East India Company, it was established to carry on trade in new and uninhabited lands, and hence had the additional features of a company whose purpose was exploration and plantation. The latter characteristic appears more especially in the charter, the former in the instructions and correspondence of the entire period of its life. The object of its first undertakers was doubtless to search for minerals and for a route to the southwest, and to secure for trade the materials which were native and peculiar to those regions. The plantation was a necessity for this purpose, and incidentally, because of the character of the country, it was forced to become a colony. To estab- lish a settlement which should become a market for English goods, to advance the shipping, to spread the religion of the Kingdom were doubtless motives which aroused sympathy for the undertaking; but the arguments which brought investment were the opportunities for gain.

The position of the Virginia Company in the development of English exploration and trade was therefore important, and the study of its history is of value not only for the light which it throws on Virginia itself but for an understanding of the economic condition of England as well. Nor is this all. The few private records which remain of the Merchant Adventurers Company and those of the East India Company correspond so closely in form and in subject-matter to the court book of the Virginia Company that the similarity in form of organization and methods of conducting business is established. The fact that the private records, the books from which the knowledge of the actual financial transactions could be obtained, are missing in most cases, may prove that their loss in the case of the early Virginia Company is not due to intentional destruction, but to the general opinion of the period that such material was valueless.

The only other enterprise of which there is sufficient material for anything like an exhaustive study is the East India Company, and hence its records combine with those of the Virginia Company to supply a source of information concerning all of these companies. The conclusion seems valid, therefore, that the great mass of min- utes, orders, instructions, letters, and memoranda of the company for Virginia will aid in the interpretation of the comparatively few records of the earlier associations. The records of this company are necessary to enable one to comprehend the life of the other companies, as is its history to the understanding of their development.

It was during the life of the company that the plantation gradually assumed the aspects of a colony, that the settlement which was originally planned for exploration and the discovery of gold became a center for the development of the natural and agricultural resources of the surrounding country. The origin within the colony of the assembly, of local government, of private ownership of land, and of freedom of trade is to be found before the dissolution of the company by the Crown. There- fore the records of the company, as well as those of the colony, form the material through which the history of the beginnings of English colonies, viewed from the standpoint of the colonist, is to be gained.

Their value for the comprehension of the development of political institutions in England is not so patent. The growing correspondence between the Crown and the company and the interference in the acts of the company stand as evidence of the gradual increase of the interest of the Crown or its council in the undertaking. This interest was most apparent when the tobacco trade promised a revenue to the Crown, but the encouragement of the growth of other staple products, the spasmodic revival of acts touching English shipping and the balance of trade, and the main- tenance of staple ports in England are all new activities appearing in the records of the company. Throughout, also, is apparent the readiness to allow the already uncertain economic policy to be altered or nullified by the political relations with Spain, or because of moral or whimsical views.

The gradual definition of policy on the part of the Stuarts, perhaps first apparent under Charles I, is closely connected with the leaders of the Virginia Company. The opinions expressed in the courts of the company by the adherents both of the Puritan party and of the party of the Crown, the correspondence between the Privy Council and the company, the letters and memoranda concerning the company and its policy, and the story of the formation of the Sandys and the Warwick factions, resulting in the dissolution of the company, furnish evidence of the gradual development of the despotic attitude of the Stuarts, especially in their reach for revenue and in their repression of the principles of freedom. The appointment of the commissions to investigate the affairs of the company and the condition of the colony, the creation of a commission for the control of the colony after the overthrow of the charter, the later appointment of a committee of the Privy Council for the same purpose are all steps in the growth of a colonial system and of a colonial policy. Although the maturity of this system and policy is not reached until after the Commonwealth, the influence of the associates of James I and of Charles I is apparent.

Every phase of colonial development, from the mixed system which existed under the patent of 1606 to the chartered proprietary company after 1609 and the royal province after 1624, is here illustrated. The transition from the chartered to the Royal Government in 1624, the prelude to "the most important transition in American history previous to the colonial revolt," is only to be understood from these records, since the tendency to self-government in the colony is one of the pretended reasons for the overthrow of the company. All the steps of the change are to be traced in the royal correspondence, in the memoranda of the royal party, and in the record of the suit under the writ of quo warranto. The significance of such material is best understood from the fact that "the constitutional law and practice of the old colonial system has not yet been attempted to be known," and as yet no book has been written concerning the forms or functions of the British Government as employed in colonial administration.

2. The Records of the Company under Sir Thomas Smythe
The Organization of the Company as in 1606

In the year preceding the grant of a charter to the Virginia Company there had been movements along two lines for establishing plantations in Virginia, one by private investment and the other by royal patronage. Examples of the private interests are the enterprise of the Earl of Southampton in 1605 and that of Lord Zouch as set forth in his contract a

Printed in full in Brown, Genesis of the United States, I, 33–35.

with Captain George Waymouth of October 30, 1605. In this Lord Zouch agreed to secure and provide two ships and 200 men of "arts suitable for a colony," and to pay £100 to Captain Waymouth for the trans- portation of the same. The interesting feature is the agreement, suggestive of feudal relations, that Lord Zouch should be the first officer and have the first choice of land, while Captain Waymouth as second officer should have second choice of land, which he was to hold from the former as lord paramount for himself, his heirs and assigns. At the same time Sir John Popham was busily engaged in the attempt to form royal colonies by obtaining charters from the Crown, whereby the territory from 34° to 45° north latitude should be taken under the protection of the King, and private settlements should thus be excluded.

The plan which obtained followed neither course, though it was bound to result in a modification of Popham's scheme. The motives of the grantees and the arguments which induced the King in 1606 to abandon the policy of Elizabeth and to give royal patronage to the undertaking, and even to assume royal control, are set forth in a petition presented to Parliament in 1606, entitled "Reasons for raising a publique stocke to be imploied in the discovering of such countries as may be found most convenient * * * ." b

Printed in full, Brown, Genesis, I, 36–42.

It is evident, however, that the unknown plan of investment in the adventure of 1606 is not here suggested, since there was no intima- tion of financial support by the King. The stock was apparently to be raised by a tax "Upon the emoderate gaines of those that contrary to lawe abuse the poore." and was not in any way to be "raised upon the sweat of the poore or the industrie of the husbandmen, Artificer, or tradisman," but in such a way that nothing should "be demanded from anie man without presente assurance of gaine and hope of future profit * * * but in such sorte that the payer shall for every ijd paied gaine iiijd." To the Kingdom and to the Crown were to redound the greatest gain. Ten thousand pounds a year were to be added to His Majesty's receipts by an increase of many thousand pounds in the imposts and customs; and furthermore it "would savior too much of affectacon of a popular State to levie monies without imparting some convenient portion to his Majestie." But the value to shipping was emphasized perhaps more vigorously as developing a defence to the island, as furnishing a source for the necessities for ships—cordage, pitch, tar, and resin—and as protecting the shipping from decay. The desirability of a revival of the declining export trade, as well as that of establishing the importation of necessities from a part of the dominions, though distant, was urged, together with the importance of strengthening by settlement those countries already acquired by discovery. That such undertakings by private enterprise had been failures; that it was more honorable for the State to back an exploitation by public consent than by private monopoly; that public colonies were bound to be more obedient and industrious because of the greater confidence in the character of the control, were all reasons which had long before been set forth whereby to gain the support of the Crown.

Charter of 1606.

The royal aid as finally obtained for a colonial enterprise came in a somewhat different form. The letters patent to Sir Thomas Gates and others for plantations to be made in Virginia a

For a reprint of the letters patent, see Brown, Genesis, I, 52–62, or Poore's Constitutions.

show that the investment was made solely by individuals, and that the joint stock was not public, although in the regulation of affairs in the colony the body of undertakers was to have little influence, even as far as its commercial interests in the plantation were concerned. The business management was left to the joint stock companies, and the magazine was controlled by a treasurer or cape merchant and by two clerks elected by the President and Council in the Colony. In fact, the only activity of the adventurers, so far as it is revealed in the extant documents, consisted in the choice in London of one or more groups of agents, called "companies," to manage the goods sent out and received and to look after the profits. b

Articles, Instructions and Orders for the government of the Colonies, November 20, 1606. Reprinted in Brown, Genesis, I, 64–75, from a manuscript record book in the register's office of Virginia. There is a manuscript copy in the Library of Congress, in the Virginia Miscellaneous Records, 1606–1692, pp. 25–33.

The undertakers were to have all lands with their resources which lay within 50 miles of the plantation in any direction, together with the islands within 100 miles of the coast, and were privileged to inhabit and fortify the same according as the council for Virginia should direct. The right freely to transport subjects was granted the investors, while they were permitted customs free for seven years to export armor, provisions, and all necessities of life for the colonists. They could impose upon any subjects of the Crown, who were not adventurers, trafficking in those regions, a tax of 2½ per cent of the articles concerned, and upon foreigners twice that amount, and thus maintain a control of the trade for twenty-one years.

But the government of the colonies and of the territory of Virginia was reserved to the Crown through the council of thirteen for Virginia, which was to be appointed by the King and to reside in England. Instructions a

Printed in full, Brown, Genesis, I, 64–75.

were issued and signed by the royal hand, which outlined the form of administering affairs in the settlement and created a council of thirteen in the colony. They conferred upon it the right to coin money and to pass ordinances which should be valid till altered by the Crown, provided that they should be consonant with the laws of England. This council in Virginia was to choose its own president for one year. It could remove him or any member for just cause and fill the vacancies. All civil causes and all lesser criminal cases were to be decided by the president and council, the former having two votes in case of a tie. Cases of manslaughter and the more heinous crimes were to be tried before a jury and were punishable with death. To the president and council was reserved the right of pardon.

The council in England nominated to the Crown the persons to whom lands were to be granted by the King. It had, in fact, the supervision of affairs, appointed the first council in Virginia, issued orders for the conduct of the first expedition under Captain Newport, b

See Certain Orders and Directions, December 10, 1606. Manuscript in the Library of Congress, Virginia Miscellaneous Records, 1606–1692, pp. 19–23. Reprinted in Brown, Genesis, 1, 75–79.

and provided a paper of advice c

See Instructions by way of Advice, December, 1606. Manuscript in the Library of Congress, Vir- ginia Miscellaneous Records, 1606–1692, pp. 14–17. Reprinted in Brown, Genesis, 1, 79–85.

as to the establishment of a fort and of a town.

It is in this latter document that the first indication of the real motive of the undertaking is found. The orders laid down were to "make choice" of the river "which bendeth most toward the North-West, for that way you shall soonest find the other sea," while the choice of a healthy location, wise inter- course with the natives, and the fortification and preparation of a single settle- ment were emphasized. The chief objects, however, were to plant in a place which should be fitted "to receive the trade of all the countries about," to dis- cover minerals, and to find the passage to the western sea.

The loss of the records, both of the council and of the "companies" for trade, covering this period, leaves, as the only source of information, both for affairs in England and in Virginia, the narratives of the early settlers. Of these the most important are the reports of Captain Newport, and the relations of John Smith, of Edward Maria Wingfield, and of George Percy. a

See John Smith, A True Relation, 1608, reprinted in Arber, Works of John Smith, 1884; Discourse of Virginia, by Edward Maria Wingfield, printed in the Archaeologia Americana, IV, 77–103; Observa- tions gathered out of a Discourse of the Plantation * in Virginia * 1606, by George Percy, printed in Brown, Genesis, I, 152–168; and the following documents probably written by Captain Archer: A Relatyon of the Discovery of Our River, from James Forte into the maine: * * by Capt. Christopher Newport, 1607, printed in Archaeologia Americana, IV, 40–58; The Description of the now-discovered river and country of Virginia, printed in the Archaeologia Americana, IV, 59–62; A Brief Description of the People, printed in Archaeologia Americana, IV, 63–65.

The council had dispatched three expeditions, all under Captain Newport; one in December, 1606, in three ships with 120 emigrants; another in October, 1607, with two vessels and about the same number of passengers; and a third in August of 1608 with about 70 emigrants.

The reports of Newport, Percy, Wingfield, and Smith encouraged the managers of the enterprise to continue their efforts, but proved that a change in object as well as in policy would be necessary. From Newport came descriptions of the fruitful- ness of the soil, of the quantities of fish and of timber, and of clay for making brick, and enumerations of the possible exports, comprising sturgeon, clapboard, wainscot, saxafrage, tobacco, dyes, furs, pitch, resin, turpentine, oils, wines, wood and soap ashes, iron, copper, pearls; but the reports as to the mines were vague. He declared that the country was rich in gold and copper, and took home with him earth to be assayed, while Smith, in A True Relation, states that he had been left to dig a rock which Captain Newport thought was a mine, but no mention of results is made.

The full description of the country by Newport and also by Captain John Smith gave the council a clear idea of its geography, as is indicated by the instructions to Sir Thomas Gates in 1609. But the expedition, which penetrated to a distance of 160 miles up the river, brought the explorers to hostile tribes and left the council still uncertain, though hopeful of the discovery of a passage to the south sea. Further- more, Captain Newport positively stated that there could be no commerce with the Indians, and all evidence shows that the natives were to be a resource for the neces- sities of life rather than for the exchange of lucrative objects of trade. Hence it is that the broadside which was issued by the company in 1609, b

Nova Britannia, printed February 18, 1609. This document is reprinted in Force's Tracts, I, No. 6.

as an incident of its attempt to secure capital for the undertaking in its new form, emphasized the rich- ness of the soil and the resources of the country—which in later years would yield abundant return—the value of the settlement as a market for English cloths, and the advantage to shipping and shipbuilding which would come from colonization.

But the effort to develop the resources of the country and to found a settlement for such purposes rather than for exploration required larger investments and more men. Then, too, the regulation of the affairs of the colony without any control from the council in England meant continued jealousies and quarrels among such a small number of colonists and under such unsettled conditions. According to Wingfield the provisions for defense seem to have been insufficient, the magazine was mismanaged, and the relations with the Indians were strained. To John Smith must be attributed the wisdom of foreseeing the necessity of strong support from England and of the establishment of permanent colonial settlements and the develop- ment of the country for self-support. a

For a history of the organization of the company and of the founding of the colony, see Osgood, I, Chs. i-iv.

The Change in Character from 1606 to 1609

The fact that the source of authority before 1609 was in the Crown is nowhere so clearly evidenced as in the records themselves. The fundamental documents emanated from the King and his Council or from the council for Virginia representing the royal authority, all instructions to officers bore the sign manual and all letters and reports from Captain Newport, from Edward- Maria Wingfield, and from his associates were addressed to the council for Virginia. Furthermore, the president and council appeared in the name of the Crown as the plaintiffs in a suit by which an attempt was made to enforce the contract with the master of the "Guift of God" for supplying provisions to the passengers in a voyage to North Virginia. b

Bibliographical List of the Records of the Virginia Company, post, p. 121, No. 7.

The direct relations of the planters to the Crown are similarly emphasized by two heretofore unpublished documents, which are in the Library of Congress, consisting of the oaths administered to the colonists and to the secretary of the colony. c

List of Records, p. 121, Nos. 5, 6.

The commercial status of the undertaking is more difficult to determine than the political. That the company was organized for the purpose of exploration and trade has been proved, but whether the control of trade was vested in the council or in companies or groups of undertakers is uncertain. The exact relation of the council to the plantation and of the Crown to the enterprise must have been stated in the court book, in which were kept the records of the acts of the council and perhaps of the companies for the administration of trade. This book, covering the period from the 28th of January, 1606, to the 14th of February, 1615, was in the possession of the company as late as 1623, but unfortunately no trace of the book has yet been discovered and even its existence has heretofore been unknown. a

When the Privy Council demanded the records of the company, a receipt bearing the date April 21, 1623, was given to the secretary of the company for the "several court books." This document was discovered by the Editor among the Ferrar papers, Magdalene College, Cambridge, in December 1903. See List of Records, p. 171, No. 470.

Whatever may have been the source of control, the narrations of Captain Percy, Edward-Maria Wingfield, and Captain Newport indicate that the business of the company consisted chiefly in raising funds and equipping expeditions to be sent to Virginia under Captain Newport. This failure of the investment to bring in returns of gold and silver and of articles for trade, or to accomplish anything in the way of discovery of trade routes to the East Indies during the first three years, served to convince both King and undertakers that a change in method of control was essential. The document known as "Reasons against publishing the Kings title to Virginia. A justification for planting Virginia" b

This document was recently found by the Editor in the Bodleian Library. Ibid., p. 121, No. 1.

seems to show an agitation among the investors arising from fear lest the desire to placate Spain, or religious considerations, might lead the Crown to abandon the scheme. The arguments there adduced may well explain the readiness of the King to surrender not only the com- mercial and territorial control but also full rights of government to the corporate body of the Virginia company, and thus to avoid any rupture with Spain. Certain it is that the desire for more direct authority and for securing larger investments were the motives of the petitioners in asking for a new charter.

As a result of this movement the letters patent of 1609 were issued, transform- ing the undertakers into a body politic. In this case also the documents are especially characteristic of the organization. Whereas the Crown was formerly the source of all power, beginning with 1609 the council of the company, acting as a standing committee for the adventurers rather than in the name of the King, exercised the controlling authority. After the charter of 1612 had provided for more frequent meetings of the generality, the council was gradually superseded by special committees and the tendency arose to decide all matters of importance in the general quarter courts and to insist upon all communications being addressed to the company rather than to the council. The act of incorporation erected a commercial company and made it the overlord of a proprietary province. It at once strengthened its plantation as a center for traffic and established a system for joint management of land and trade to extend over a period of seven years, prom- ising dividends to the adventurer and support to the planter. The records of the corporation reveal as clearly as do its broadsides and pamphlets that it was a business venture. These records may be grouped into seven classes. a

For the documents in these various classes, see the classifications by Roman numerals at the left of each entry under the "List of Records," post, pp. 121–205.

The Classes of Records

All of these records of the company for the period previous to 1616, so far as they were known to him, were collected and reprinted in full or cited, if already available in America, by Alexander Brown, in the year 1890. a

For the documents of the period from 1606–1609 not mentioned by Mr. Brown in his Genesis of the United States, most of which have recently been discovered, see List of the Records of the Virginia Company, post, pp. 121–125, Nos. 1–38.


As far as appears from the evidence of the extant documents, when by the charters of 1609 and 1612, James I surrendered to the company full rights of trade, as well as territorial and governmental rights in Virginia he apparently lost all interest and part in the undertaking, and it was only when the plantation had developed into the colony, and when at the expiration of the privileges of free importation in 1619, the business of the corporation had become so good as to offer a prospect of revenue that the King in his council began to interfere in the affairs of the company. b

In March, 1619, Abraham and John Jacobs received a grant for the collection of customs or imports on tobacco. This became an important feature of the business of the company in its later procedure. See List of Records, pp. 127, 129, Nos. 53, 73.

In 1613, under the administration of Sir Thomas Smythe, the adventurers were com- pelled to appeal to the Crown because of the complications with France which arose from the expedition of Sir Samuel Argall along the northern coasts of America, c

Brown, Genesis, II, 640–644.

while a similar relation was brought about by the controversy with Spain with regard to the attack on Spanish vessels by the ship Treasurer in 1619. d

List of Records, p. 132, No. 102.

In both instances the protection desired was granted. When the financial stringency forced the adven- turers to great efforts in 1614, and they appealed unsuccessfully to Parliament for aid, the Privy Council attempted to arouse confidence in the undertaking throughout the country. It passed orders urging the city companies of London to invest sums in the Virginia lottery, and in the following year it addressed similar orders to the "Several Cityes and Townes of the Kingdome," e

Brown, Genesis, II, 676, 679, 685, 733, 760.

with special letters to the lieu- tenants of County Surrey. f

List of Records, p. 126, No. 49.

But the aid thus secured was not such as to draw upon the resources of the Crown, and the attempt of members of the company to gain a monopoly of the tobacco trade in 1616 met with the same opposition as had similar efforts on the part of the merchant adventurers in previous years. On the other hand the company was com- pelled against its will to submit to the treatment of its plantation as a penal colony by James I in his spasmodic efforts to develop a policy which should save England from an overpopulation of vagabonds. a

There is a series of 14 orders of the Privy Council for the transportation of prisoners to Virginia in the years 1617 and 1618 not hitherto noted. List of Records, pp. 121–131, Nos. 4, 41, 65, 90. The transportation thus effected is mentioned by Miss E. M. Leonard, The Early History of the English Poor Relief, pp. 229–230, n.

With the exception of these unimportant relations with the Crown, the company seems to have conducted its business independently of royal aid or interference dur- ing the first decade of its existence as a corporate body.


It is therefore in the court book of the company and in its instructions, corre- spondence, and other records suggested under the preceding classifications II and III, that its activity and methods must be found. That court books were kept under the administration of Sir Thomas Smythe is known from the receipt in the Ferrar papers, already referred to. The first book extended from January 28, 1606, to February 14, 1615, and with it were "other perticuler writings belonging to the company." The second included the period between January 31, 1615, and July 28, 1619. What these books contained can only be surmised from the scope of the two later volumes, dated April 28, 1619, to May 22, 1622, and May 20, 1622, to April 2, 1623, the contemporary copies of which are now extant and in the Library of Congress, at Washington. b

This receipt covered these four volumes, "the other perticuler writings belonging to the company," and two volumes of the court book of the Somers Islands Company, December 3, 1613, to January 24, 1620, and February 7, 1620, to February 19, 1622. However, the second volume of the court book, which is now in the Library of Congress—the fourth volume here mentioned—was continued until June 19, 1624, after the return of the records to the company.

The contents of the "other perticuler writings," none of which are now known to be extant, are suggested by a memorandum of Sir Nathaniel Rich in a document among the Manchester papers. In attempting to prove the good done during Sir Thomas Smythe's administration Rich cites certain records as authority. The first one mentioned was a "booke of perticulers" con- taining the "Public workes: done in Sr T. Smithes tyme", and showing "the plenty of Armes &c left in Sr Th. Smithes tyme"; the second was a "p̱ticular already deliuered to the Comrs." in which appeared the "Staple Com̃odityes raysed in Sr T. Smithes tyme"; while the third formed a "collec̃ of the publiq̢ workes made by Sr Sa. Argall wch he [comenset]" and was entitled "The p̱ticulars of the Boates". Rich mentions two documents contained in this volume. He states that pages "11, 12, 13, 14, 15, &c.," contain the "League of the Natiues," and that on pages 51 to 59 was "Sir T. Dales ɫre." In his notes for discussion Rich also refers to "The Courte Bookes," and further declares that "Wrott remembers 4 warrants" by which lotteries were erected under the hands of the "Counsell of Virginia". In connection with the lottery he cites "th' Accompts" of Gabnell and declares that "He kept Tables". a

This paper is evidently a series of rough notes of heads and references to prove charges of mismanagement by the Sandys faction. It is in the handwriting of Sir N. Rich. List of Records, p. 167, No. 438.

Thus the discovery by the Editor of these two documents in these two similar collections belonging to the hostile factions has proved that the company possessed record books; but a knowledge of their contents must be gained from other sources.

To supply the loss of these documents of the company, both during the control of the council and after that control had passed into the hands of the company by virtue of the charter of 1612, there is a considerable mass of material, which affords a fair outline of the transactions of the company and the life of the colony. But much of this information is lacking in the completeness and authenticity which would have been supplied by the court book and the other records. The greatest loss is perhaps that of definite knowledge concerning the financial status of the company. The sums adventured by individuals and corporations is preserved in two alphabetical lists; but, so far as is known, only one of these lists is official, and that includes the names of the particular adventure about the year 1610. b

Brown, Genesis, I, 465–469.

The other is an unpublished list apparently both incomplete and unofficial, and was probably made somewhat later than 1618 at the order of the court, c

For an act providing for such a compilation see the record of the court, Dec. 15, 1619.

although the date 1618 has been assigned to it in the Manchester papers, where it is to be found. d

List of Records, p. 127, No. 58.

From the records of the various London companies and from records of English towns, as also from adventures sealed to individuals by the Virginia Company, comes the most authentic information concerning the large sums invested during this decade. In a similar way the knowledge, otherwise to be found in the court book and "The p̱ticulers of the Boates," concerning the ships dispatched and the sums expended for the equipment of planters, individuals, and companies, is scattering and indefinite. The broadsides issued are calls for adventurers, planters, and colonists, with the requirements or statements concerning the lottery schemes; but they do not furnish the wide information which is found in those of the later period. So far as revenue is concerned, there was probably little except that which came from new adventurers and the lotteries, but we have no way of knowing even that resource, while our knowledge of the income from tobacco and commodities brought from Virginia is derived from three or four scattering receipts only, found mostly among the papers of the Earl of De La Warr and of Lord Sackville. a

List of Records, Nos. 59, 60. Also Brown, Genesis, II, 772.

Even our knowledge as to the economic condition of the colony is most indefinite and comes only from printed pamphlets issued by the company. Judging from the sources of information in the later period, this uncertainty is due to the disappearance of the letters themselves, since, after 1619, the published relations of individual planters, the declarations by the company, and even the records of the court books are all more general in character than the letters which were sent from the colony to the company. Furthermore, in the later period the daily acts of the colonists and their needs, as reported from time to time by returning ships, afforded the adventurers a body of information concerning the social condition of the colony which in form and accuracy left little to be desired. After the time of Captain John Smith not much was accurately known of the colony until the year 1617, when Captain John Rolfe and Ralph Hamor supplied statistics as to the numbers, condi- tion, settlements, and resources of the colony as it then was.

The individual enterprises of this decade in the life of the company are altogether unknown, except from a few contracts for shipping found here and there. Such movements must at least have been noted in the court book. Of the first "hundred," established in 1618, nothing is recorded except the single report, heretofore unknown, b

Ibid., No. 76. This is among the Ferrar papers of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

of a meeting of the committee for Smythes Hundred. But the greatest loss which we suffer through the disappearance of the court book is that of material which should throw light on the aims, motives, and unsuccessful efforts of the company and on the struggles and difficulties through which it passed. For example, there is a single reference to an attempt to found a college, but no infor- mation whatever on the subject. The factions which developed and which resulted finally in the dissolution of the company evidently existed in this period, for a letter from Chamberlain to Carleton, dated May 8, 1619, c

Ibid., No. 108.

in which he speaks of the failure to reelect Sir Thomas Smythe as treasurer of the Virginia Company as having been "somewhat bettered at a later meeting of the Summers Island Company by his choice as treasurer of that company," proves that the change was due to factional differences, although the extant court books open with the refusal of Sir Thomas Smythe to continue as treasurer. Similarly, the choice of officers for the company, the votes received by each candidate, the appointments to positions in the colony, the petitions to the company and its action thereupon, and numerous other acts, revealing the relations and attitude of the individual members, are all unknown. a

Scattering information of such a character concerning this period appears in the discussions and quarrels recorded in the later court books.


Of the official documents issued by the company during the decade from 1609 to 1619 the most important have been unknown up to this time. They include the first instructions ever given to a governor of a colony by an English administrative body, and the records of the first suits entered by the company in chancery for the purpose of enforcing the payments of sums adventured in the company and of securing a part of the income from the lottery, which the company claimed had been withheld by the agent, William Leveson. b

List of Records, pp. 123–124, Nos. 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31. There are three cases recorded in the chancery proceedings in which the company attempted to enforce the payment of adventured sums. The bill of complaint is identical in each case, with the exception of the names of the defendant and the sums they underwrote. The bill, dated April 28, 1613, against Sir Henry Nevile, Sir Henry Carye, and eighteen others is printed in Brown's Genesis of the United States, II, pp. 623–631, from a copy found among the Smyth of Nibley papers. It differs slightly in orthography only from the original record. The five recorded answers supply even more valuable information than the bills of complaints.

The knowledge which the administrators of the affairs of the company had gained from the early settlers, and their grasp of the necessities for exploration, for trade, and for the conduct of affairs in the plantation, has hitherto been a matter of surmise based on the relations of the planters. From the "Instrucc̃ons, orders, and constituc̃ons to Sir Thomas Gates," c

This manuscript is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, Ashmolean Manuscripts, 1147, folios 175–190a. It was discovered by the Editor in October, 1903. See also List of Records, p. 122, No. 10.

in May, 1609, and a similar document given to "Sir Thos. West Knight Lo:Lawarr" d

Ashmolean Manuscripts, 1147, folios 191–205a. See also List of Records, p. 122, No. 11.

in 1609 or 1610 comes a revelation of the motives of the adventurers, as well as of the policy adopted and of the methods outlined for the prosecution of their efforts. These instructions to Gates and De La Warr afforded the authority for the termination of the previous govern- ment in Virginia, the stated ideas of the company as to locations for settlements, forts, and magazines, and concerning journeys inland. It also included an interesting reference to Raleigh's colonists. The general policy in administering the affairs of the colonists and the detailed orders as to the relations with the Indians, as far as they concern guards, trade, and treaties, and the daily life of the inhabitants, indicate a definiteness in the control of the company which formerly was not understood. In such a revelation of the knowledge of the country and of the natives there is a basis for belief that the affairs of the company were managed and its records were kept in a systematic and businesslike way. a

Care on the part of the company is also seen in the general instructions of 1609 to the lieutenant- governor of Virginia, which are known only through a copy of the sixth article, preserved in the paper of the Marquis of Lansdowne. Ibid., No. 9.

The company had become convinced that the policy of John Smith was a wise one, and hence it ordered that a number of plantations should be settled and that efforts should be immediately directed to building healthful and sufficient houses and to planting widely enough for the self-support of the community. Here was the germ which was to develop into the colony, but the plan was as yet by no means so far-reaching. A common store, a common magazine, common refectories, labor by groups with a superintendent for each five or six persons, the prohibition of trade with the Indians except through the truck merchant were economic methods which looked to the gain of the adventurer in London rather than to the develop- ment of a colonial settlement. When the settlers had become self-supporting and capable of defense, then measures were to be taken to provide returns, so "that our fleetes come not home empty." Discovery of the seas and of royal mines, exchange of commodities, the exaction of tribute, and the development of the resources of the country for the purpose of securing "wines, pitche, Tarre, sope-ashes, Steele, Iron, Pipestaues, hempe, flaxe," silk grass, fishing for pearls, cod, and sturgeon were to be the sources of revenue. The instructions placed authority implicitly in the hands of the governor, who was expected to hear, but not necessarily to heed, the advice of the council and to judge according to "naturall right and equity then vppon the nicenes of the lawe."

The agents of the corporation—the governor and his council in Virginia—received their authorization for the exercise of judicial as well as legislative powers through a commission. The one issued to Sir Thomas Gates is lost, but doubtless is as similar to that given to Lord La Warr b

The commission bears the date February 28, 1610. It is printed in full in Brown, Genesis, I, 376–384.

as are his instructions. With the exception of a set of "Instructions for such things as are to be sente from Virginia, 1610," c

Printed in full in Brown, Genesis, I, 384–386.

these orders and commissions are the only documents which show anything of the direct authority exercised by the company over affairs in the plantation until the issue of the "Great Charter of privileges, orders, and Lawes" in November, 1618. d

Post, p. 34. This set of instructions to Governor George Yeardley, although given late in 1618, belongs both in spirit and effect to the period of the Sandys-Southampton administration.

Otherwise, the whole course of the activity of the company under Sir Thomas Smythe was in strong contrast with the work of Sir Edwin Sandys. It was a con- tinual struggle to arouse such interest in the scheme as would result in investment. The problem of marketing the products of the colony, which concerned the later company, did not arise until toward the close of the period, when a single unsuccessful effort was made to gain a monopoly of the sale of tobacco. In order to increase the capital stock, the company made personal appeals and issued printed statements and descriptions which it scattered broadly. The story is told in the lists of adventurers cited above, in the earnest endeavors to secure new planters and new adventures from individual town and guild, in the efforts to enforce the payment of sums already adventured, in a few receipts concerning tobacco, in the lottery schemes, which were legalized by the charter of 1612, and in printed broadsides and declarations. Thus the sums adventured by individuals, by the various London companies, and by the towns of England are given in a series of requests for adventure and in bills of adventure a

For the text of these adventures, see Brown, Genesis, I, 238, 252–3, 308, 391–2 (has signature of secretary and seal of company), 452–3, 453–4, 461–2, 463–5; II, 496 (signature and seal), 555. For two not yet published see List of Records, pp. 122, 123, Nos. 16, 17, 23.

issued by the company and found in the records of those companies and towns b

For this series of about 30 records see Brown, Genesis, I, 254, 257, 257–8, 277, 277–8, 278, 280–2, 291, 292–3, 302–6, 306–7, 309–10, 388–9, 390, 344; II, 558–9, 560, 561, 592, 686–8, 690–1, 768–9, 757. Also List of Records, p. 122, No. 15.

as also in private collections. The chancery proceedings, in three suits, state that the company attempted to secure an adventure of £18,000 and the equipment of 600 men during the year 1611, and the failure to accomplish its purpose was set forth by the defendants as a reason for refusing to pay the sums adventured. Incidentally there was mentioned an income in the year 1613 of £8,000 from the lottery, of £2,000 from the sale of the Somers Islands, and of £600 or £800 from the disposal of the ship De La Warr. c

Ibid., Nos. 21, 22, 25, 27, 31.

However, with the exception of an unpublished letter from Sandys to the mayor of Sandwich d

Printed in Brown, Genesis, I, 461–2, 463–5.

concerning the adventure by that town, in which he inclosed a list of the subscribers to that particular adventure, with the sums set down by each, e

The list is printed in full in Brown, Genesis, I, 465–9.

the official records reveal but little as to the sums which must have been received by the company.

In a similar manner there are unauthentic records of economic value concerning the lotteries and the importation of tobacco. Of the latter a few receipts and mem- oranda among the papers of Lord Sackville f

List of Records, p. 127, No. 59.

and the Earl De La Warr g

Ibid., No. 35, 60, and Brown, Genesis, II, 772. See also reference to payments for tobacco sent to Virginia in the List of Records, p. 122, No. 13.

are positively all there is in existence relating to the origin of a trade which was estimated in 1619 to be worth £100,000. Of the former, there is a "Declaration for the Lottery," published in 1615 by the company, and an order of the Privy Council, together with letters urging the towns of the Kingdom to adventure in this the second great lottery of the company. a

Brown, Genesis, II, 760–766. For unpublished letters, see List of Records, p. 124, Nos. 32, 33, 34.

A letter from the governor of the Virginia Company to the mayor and aldermen of Ipswich b

Ibid., No. 71.

is to the same effect, but none of these documents tell of the income therefrom. The only record which will give an idea of the value of the first lottery is in the chancery proceedings, and relates to a suit of the company with William Leveson to secure moneys from the lottery, c

Ibid., No. 28.

in which the sum received in 1613 is here stated to have been £2,793 and 10 shillings. The answer of Leveson is of further interest in that it alone tells of the methods by which the business was conducted and of the house built for the lottery west of St. Paul's Church.


Because of the close relation of the publications of the company to the documents issued by the company, the discussion of Class V precedes that of Class IV.

The struggle for capital and for settlers before 1616 is most apparent from the advertisements that were issued. The broadsides of the years 1609, 1610, and 1611 are printed as official declarations of an intention on the part of the company to send voyages to Virginia, and contain the necessary information as to the classes of emigrants wanted—artificers only—and the conditions and rewards for emigration. The broadside of February, 1611, is of most value, in that the classes of emigrants with the numbers of each desired are specified, while that of 1610 is a defense against the slander of recently returned colonists, and emphasizes the former need of artificers as colonists. e

These are all reprinted in Brown, Genesis, I, (1) 248–249, (2) 354–356, (3) 439, (4) 445, (5) 469–470.

The broadsides of 1613 and 1615 concern the drawing of the lotteries, the latter declaring in a general way the prosperous condition of the country and announcing the prizes and rewards, thus affording some conception of the sums received from such an enterprise. f

Brown, Genesis, I, 608, 761–765.

The publications of the year 1616 disclose, as well as assert, the prosperity of the settlement and the assurance of its success, though giving no statistical information. That of April arranges for the first division of lands among old adventurers and promises the same to new adven- turers, declaring the intention to send a new governor and surveyors to the colony for the purpose, while that of the winter of the same year announces that any settlers may return to England who will. a

Brown, Genesis, I, 774–779, 797–799.

In addition to the advertisements for investment and adventure, both of person and of money, the company put forth a series of publications, consisting of four sermons preached before the company at stated intervals, intended to arouse both interest and confidence in their undertaking. These afford but little if any definite information, but reveal the spirit of the times, as also the lines of criticism and resistance which the company had continually to meet. b

Brown, Genesis, I, (1) 282; (2) 293; (3) 312–316; (4) 360–373. A fourth sermon preached by Richard Crakanthorpe, March 24, 1608/9, on the anniversary of the accession of James I, has favorable references to the project. See Brown, Genesis, I. 255–256.

But of far greater importance to a comprehension of the attitude of the com- pany, and especially of the progress of the plantation, are the declarations concern- ing the colony, which were published by the company. c

Brown either reprints all of these or cites the reference. Genesis, I, (1) 241–243; (2) 279–280; (3) 337–353; (4) 420–426; (5) 427–428; (6) 477–478; II, (7) 558–559; (7) 577–588, 611–620; (9) 746–747.

They are nine in number, and bear the following titles and dates:

The documents published in 1609 and also the poem of 1610 were efforts on the part of the company to defend itself against charges of failure in earlier years and to reveal the advantages which were promised under the new system of government. This is distinctly the tone and motive of the Nova Britannia, in which appear argu- ments in favor of the colony, and the statements of the plans, resources, and needs of the colony, together with an outline of the government which was now to be administered.

A True and sincere declaration further explains the unsatisfactory condition of the colony by reference to the incompetence of previous governors, furnishing perhaps the best historical narrative which was issued by the company during the first period of the plantation. It also holds out the promise of improved conditions under Gates and De La Warr, who are to be shortly sent to Virginia with a complete outfit of men and provisions. The second document describes the southern part of the country and cites the advantages of Florida as evidence of the opportunities in Virginia. After the time of De La Warr the published accounts of the plans, movements, and successes of the colonists became more complete. While the state- ments of De La Warr in his Relation are a bare outline of the conditions as he found them and the improvements in trade and discovery to which Captain Argall had contributed, together with his lordship's plans for the future, it is of value as forming, with Hamor's narrative four years later, a surprisingly accurate and satisfactory treatment of the development in the colony during those years.

Hamor gives a clear statement of the methods and success of Captain Dale in his relations with the Indians, of his organization and reform of the colony, and of his establishment of order therein, and reveals clearly the state of affairs on the arrival of Gates, the cause of the failure heretofore, and the details of the building of the successive towns, with descriptions and statistics for each. He gives also an his- torical narrative of the relations with the various Indian tribes and his knowledge and statements concerning the resources of the country are equally satisfactory. While Whittaker's Good Newes from Virginia and The New Life of Virginea are of value as corroborative evidence, they add but little to the knowledge of condi- tions or resources, and evidently were written more in the spirit of the poem of 1610, being intended to inspire confidence in the management of the colony, in the new system, and in the officers installed, as well as to arouse enthusiasm in the project.

It is evident that these publications are of more direct value in the study of the progress of the colony and tell at first hand but little more than the methods employed by the company to gain its end, but, together with the other reports from the colony which are preserved in manuscript form, they to an extent supply what has been lost by the disappearance of the court book. They prove that there was a gradual change in the motive and means of the company, due entirely to the exigencies of the case. The failure to discover precious metals forced the company to concern itself with the development of the resources of the country and with the production of staple articles which were needed in England. Then, too, the first written laws promulgated by Gates, De La Warr, and Dale in 1610–1612, martial in form and harsh in character, reveal the type of the plantation which the company now proposed; a

For the Colony of Virginea Britannia, Lawes Divine, Morall and Martiall, &c., entered for publica- tion on December 13, 1611, is a code first established by Sir Thomas Gates, May 24, 1610, approved by the lord governor, June 12, 1610, and exemplified and enlarged by Sir Thomas Dale, June 22, 1611. They are reprinted in Force, Tracts, Vol. III.

the freedom of the individual was to be reduced to a minimum, all labor was to be regulated as if it were a military discipline and the produce was to belong to the common store. Thus the evils of the early settlement were to be avoided. But of necessity this plan was temporary. Argall, like Smith, was a good colonizer. The explorations of Smith and his trade with the Indians, together with the order and prosperity which were brought by Dale, resulted in the founding of various settlements, such as Henrico and others farther south, which became self-supporting and independent of the "supplies" from England. This meant that the company was to be forced to assume a different attitude toward the colony; that the common labor, common store, and common trade must be abandoned. By 1614 private lands had been given to a few inhabitants, every family had been assured of a house of four rooms, rent free, for one year, and women had been sent to the colony to aid in keeping the settlers contented and permanent.

Whether the company made any resistance to this development within the set- tlement, by which the adventurer in London must share the profit with the planter, will only be known when the court book shall have been discovered, but it is certain that by 1616 the point of view of the leaders of the company had changed. They had then come to realize that they were to be the middlemen for the marketing of the produce of the planters. This is proved by the movement in 1616 for the monopoly of the importation of the only lucrative staple, tobacco. Again, in 1619, when the time for free importation from the plantation had expired, they most eagerly sought an adjustment with the Crown, although, in 1614, Sir Edwin Sandys, by this time the leading spirit in the company, had been the chairman in the House committee which reported against monopolies.

To such an extent had the colony now grown that the instructions given to Sir George Yeardley in November, 1618, called "The Great Charter of privileges, orders, and Lawes," recognized the necessity for local government. They provided for two houses, the "Council of State," to be chosen by the company in its quarter court, and the general assembly, to consist "of the Council of State and two Burgesses chosen out of each Town Hundred or other particular Plantation." a

List of Records, p. 129, No. 72.

The great dif- ference between this act of the company and that of nine years before, when the instructions to Gates were issued and the laws of Dale were approved, is apparent. Whether it was due entirely to the necessities arising from the changed conditions in the colony heretofore noted or to the abuse of power by Samuel Argall, from 1616 to 1619, is uncertain. b

There are extracts from two letters dealing with the alleged misappropriations and abuse of power by Captain Argall, deputy governor from May, 1617, to April 20, 1619. One of these was addressed to Captain Argall and bears the date August 22, 1618; the other to Lord De La Warr, August 23, 1618. They are preserved in the court book of the company under the date of June 19, 1622. See also Ibid., Nos. 82, 83.

Whether it was but a reflection of the growing popular senti- ment within the company by which the generality exercised the powers of adminis- tration or whether it was due to the influence of the "opposition" in parliament can not be settled without fuller records than are at present extant.


The printed reports from the colonists and the printed declarations of the company were of course based on the letters from the planters and on those from the governor and council of Virginia to the Virginia Company. There were also letters from indi- viduals in the colony to officers of the company or to other adventurers in England. They may perhaps reveal more clearly the condition of affairs in the colony and the influences which moved the company in its change of policy, since they do not attempt to conceal, excuse, or palliate any of the circumstances. Six of these narrate the story of the voyage of Gates and Somers, the misery in the plantation on the arrival of Gates and of De La Warr in 1610, and the steps that were taken to improve con- ditions. c

These letters were from the governor and council, July 7, 1610; from John Radcliffe, October 4, 1609, Gabriel Archer, August 31, 1609, and from Captain Somers and Lord La Warr, August, 1610, to the Earl of Salisbury; and from William Strachey in A True Repertory, July 15, 1610. They are reprinted in Brown, Genesis, I, 328–332, 400–402, 402–413, 416–417.

Through other letters from the colony the company gained its knowledge respecting voyages to Virginia, progress and order in the colony, and the building of Jamestown, d

See Strachey, A True Repertory, in Purchas, His Pilgrimes, IV, pp. 1734–1756.

especially under Sir Thomas Dale, and as to the prosperity of the settlers. Dale in 1611, outlined his plans and his achievements, urged the sending of 2,000 men, and suggested that the difficulty of securing planters might be overcome by making the settlement a penal colony. In 1615, 1616, and 1617 the company received reassurances from Dale, Hamor, and Rolfe of the prosperity of the colony; but the publications of the company and the letters from the colony from 1615 to 1618 were either very few in number, or have not been preserved. These were the years of the excessive abuses in the colony under Sir Samuel Argall. a

For the log book of Argall and for these letters from Spelman, Dale, Argall, and Rolfe, see Brown, Genesis, I, 428–439, 483–488, 488–494, 501–508; II, 639–640: Virginia Magazine of History, IV, 28, 29; X, 134–138. Also noted in the List of Records post, p. 125, Nos. 39, 40.

The only evidence of records kept by the colonists is an abstract of "A Register book during the Goũmt of Saml Argall Esqr admiral, and for ye time present, prin- cipal Gour of Virga" in the year 1618. This abstract was probably made in 1730 under the direction of R. Hickman, deputy clerk of the general court of Virginia at that time, and has heretofore been unnoticed. From it comes a knowledge of correspondence between the governor and Bermuda Hundred and Kicoughtan, and between the governor and the company in London. A complaint of the largeness of privilege given to Captain Martin in his grant is significant because of the long con- test during later years, between the company and Captain Martin over this patent. There are, too, a number of commissions to officers for trade and for command, and several warrants, edicts, and proclamations. These are very similar in character to those issued by the governor and council in 1623, and reveal the fact that methods of government had not altered materially, though the source of authority had been changed by the great charter of 1618. The severity of penalty and the threats of reduction to slavery for offense are perhaps the features most characteristic of the period. b

For full citation of these abstracts of about twenty documents, see Ibid., Nos. 40, 42–48, 50– 52, 55–57, 64, 65, 67, 74, 75.


While the company probably did not officially use the private correspondence received from the colony by individual adventurers, it doubtless profited by the information which it contained. Thus, the relation of John Rolfe, c

Reprinted in the Virginia Historical Register, I.

addressed to Lord Rich and the King in 1616, ranked in value with the descriptions of Ralph Hamor, for it discussed the water supply of the colony, its food, clothing, houses, and government and gave statistical information as to the various towns, their location, the number of their inhabitants, and their officers. There are at least six other letters extant, similar in character, though of less value. d

(1) Sir Samuell Argall to Nicholas Hawes, June, 1613; (2) Whittaker to Crashaw, August 9, 1611; (3) Percy to Northumberland, August 17, 1611; (4) Dale to Winwood, June 3, 1616; (5) Dale to D. M., June 18, 1614; (6) Whittaker to Master G., June 18, 1614. See Brown, Genesis, I, (1) 640–644; (2) 497–500; (3) 500–501; II, (4) 780–782; (5) 747; (6) 747.

But another series of private papers partakes most strongly of the nature of documents of the company. These are the contracts and correspondence relating to individual adventures to Virginia or to groups of adventurers. They indicate a tendency in the company to grant private monopolies and to encourage private settlements—measures which indicate the growing importance of the undertaking and the development of individual trade. Only one series of documents relating to individual adventures is extant, those by which Lord Zouch's investment in Virginia was secured to him. His contracts were made in May, 1618, with John Bargrave and James Brett. There is also his warrant to John Fenner to pass to Virginia and trade with the colony and the savages in his pinnace Silver Falcon, in February, 1618/19. a

For these documents see List of Records, p. 129, Nos. 77, 82, 98, 99.

The other series of documents, which illustrate the legal forms and methods of the company, as also the way in which the first plantations were undertaken by private means, concern Smythe's Hundred and Berkeley Hundred. Among the Ferrar papers are the minutes of the meeting of the committee for Smythe's Hundred on May 8, 1618, b

Ibid., No. 76.

the first record concerning the hundred, which provides for the sending out and equipment of thirty-five men at an expense of £657 9s. 4d.


In addition to the documents which are either official records or similar to such records in character, there is a large amount of correspondence between officers of state in England and other individuals which by its reference throws light on the affairs of the company or gives additional or corroborative data. All of this which is earlier in date than 1616 has been published by Alexander Brown.

There are seven letters, the dates of which fall between 1616 and 1619, that are of the same character; but they add nothing in fact to the other documents, although two of them reveal the measures taken even at this early date to impress youths and maidens for Virginia and to send reprieved prisoners to the colony. c

Ibid., Nos. 84, 85, 88, 89, 96.

Of the documents of this character, which are given by Brown, perhaps the correspond- ence between the Spanish ambassador in London and the King of Spain is the most valuable, not in the trustworthiness of the data—though much of it confirms other sources—but in the revelation it contains of the part that Spanish relations played in the development of the company and especially in its decline during the follow- ing decade, while its reference to prevalent rumors, reports, and sentiment are extremely illuminating. There are thirty-seven of these documents in all, including the correspondence concerning the Spanish ship Chaloner. The Chamberlain-Carleton, Digby-Salisbury, Cottington-Salisbury, and Lee-Wilson correspondence add occa- sional data and serve to fix dates and facts which are known from other sources. a

See Brown, Genesis, "Table of Contents."

Of similar value are the chronicles of Howes, Abbot's Geography, Smith's Map of England and his General History, the Commons Journal, the writings of Sir Fer- dinando Gorges, and other material which emanated from the Plymouth adventurers.

3. The Collections of Documents, 1616–1624
General Character of the Records

The character of the documents of the company after 1619 is fundamentally the same as in the preceding decade. Virginia was still a proprietary province with a commercial company as an overlord, and therefore the company was still the immediate source of all government in the colony. To it came all appeals from colonial authorities; it exercised control over all commerce, both from and to Virginia; it granted all land and all privileges. Although the number of doc- uments emanating from the Crown a

See documents under Class I in the List of Records.

—that is, of the first class—is large, they are rather an indication of the increasing wealth and importance of the company, than of royal interference. They concern the regulation of trade, complain of the abuse of power by the company, or provide for the investigation of its acts rather than assume any authority in the direct administration of its affairs. In them interference in the management is foreshadowed, but it is not until the dissolution of the company that the Crown again becomes the proprietor.

The mass of materials which form the records for this period is much greater than in the earlier decade. This is due on the one hand to their preservation in two or three collections, and on the other especially to the vast growth of business in the company and the rapid development from a colony for exploitation into a colony for settlement. Thus the minutes of the company, forming the second class of documents, show that it conducted a larger amount of business than any other proprietary company. b

For this statement, as also for a full understanding of the character of the company, see The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, I, 61.

These minutes comprise two large volumes of the court book, and fill 741 manuscript pages. c

Grouped under Class II in the List of Records.

In the third class there are nine letters from the company to the governor and council in the colony, and twelve from the latter body to the company, in addition to a large number of receipts, commissions, instructions, and laws. d

Ibid., Class III.

A mass of material belonging distinctly to the plantation serves as a part of the records of the company and at the same time furnishes the story of the beginning of the political unity of the colony. This group consists of the "court booke" of the council of the colony during the last year of the authority of the company, covering about 65 pages; 54 commissions, orders, proclamations, and warrants to subordinates in the colony issued by the governor and council in Virginia, and 35 petitions to the same body from the members of the colony. a

Grouped under Class IV in the List of Records. These papers are all in the Library of Congress.

The publica- tions of the company for this final period of its existence number 3 large broadsides, 11 declarations containing 168 printed pages, and 4 sermons and treatises made up of 150 pages. b

Ibid., Class V.

The supplementary official material found in the correspondence between individuals of the company and of the colony or between members of the company in England, in addition to the records of the private companies within the larger body, includes many documents and memo- randa. c

Ibid., Class VI.

Sixty-six of these are preserved in the Manchester papers, while 78 are from the Ferrar papers, which are now first made known and published. The unofficial material, consisting of records of other companies, of towns, and of correspondence touching on the affairs of the company or colony, numbers about 40 documents. d

Ibid., Class VII.

The relative value of the various classes of the records for this period has been altered by the preservation of the court book which has made the other material supplementary, or even subsidiary, with the exception of the correspond- ence; for in it is either recorded or summarized the information which the company had received from all other sources, or which it imparted to individuals or to the public by other means. But the fact that the other records are supplementary does not decrease their value, for they often furnish the data which are the basis of the acts and conclusions of the company, while some of them also reveal the legal or political processes of the company, of the colony, of the courts, or of the sovereign authority, and others are of great value in the light which they throw on the dissenting party within the company.

The subject-matter of the court book, as well as the character and contents of the various documents, proves the changed condition which the increase of business had brought about, since a large proportion of the records deal with the founding and conducting of private enterprises, and many of them are really documents of a private nature. It is apparent that the company still looked upon the colony as a source of income for the investors, but that the ulterior object had become the development of the resources of Virginia instead of the produc- tion of wealth through mines and the opening of new trade routes. As a result of this change in commercial object had come the need of larger, more numerous, and more scattered settlements in the colony, and of greater co-operation on the part of the settlers, although it may well be claimed that the latter necessity had been urged upon the leaders by the mismanagement of Captain Argall during the three years previous to the change in administration. In order to increase the number of planters, concessions of privilege had been made to private parties or groups as early as 1618, since such investments were doubtless easier to secure when the adventure was under the immediate control of the undertaker. Simi- larly, for the purpose of stimulating capital and gaining the co-operation of the planters, the division of land, promised in 1609, was proclaimed in 1616. Free tenancy was now guaranteed to all individuals, even to indented servants, at the expiration of seven years. The organization of joint stock companies for the manage- ment of trade, which supplanted the magazine, was a movement toward private enter- prize. Hence it is that these subjects, together with those which concern the impor- tation and sale of tobacco, occupy the greater part of the court book, and must have consumed most of the attention of the corporation. The burden of discussion in the courts concerned the best means of marketing the products, whereas in the earlier decade it must have related to the increase of capital. The records of the colony were no longer simple reports to the company and instructions from the proprietor, but assumed the character of political documents, since liberty of land and trade, and the creation of numerous plantations and scattered settlements resulted in the growth of "political conditions and forces side by side with the commercial and economic." The minutes of the colonial legislative assembly, the records of the colonial court, the petitions to the governor and council, and the commissions and orders granted by that body are all distinctively new features in the records. Here is evidence of the crea- tion of the colony, with its body of free citizens, out of the plantation, with its body of half-servile laborers.


The records of the company under the administration of Sir Edwin Sandys and the Earl of Southampton, or the copies of them so far as extant, are to-day scattered among many public and private collections both in England and in America. The Library of Congress at Washington possesses by far the largest and most impor- tant collection in this country. It contains the contemporary certified copy of the court book from 1619 to 1624, as well as a mass of original correspondence, or contemporary copies of the same, between the company and the council in Virginia. It also includes many original records of the colony, many eighteenth century tran- scripts of the original commissions, patents, and other records, and many recent transcripts and photographs of documents in the collections of England.

The eighteenth century transcripts and the original documents and contemporary copies came to the Library of Congress from Thomas Jefferson's collection in two different groups: the first in 1815, when his library, purchased "in a lump as it stood on the catalogue," a

Manuscript letters of Thomas Jefferson in the Library of Congress. In this letter to William Hening, March 11, 1815, from Monticello, Mr. Jefferson stated that he could not retain a volume, since Congress had purchased his library.

was secured by Congress for the sum of $23,950; the second was secured when the books of Mr. Jefferson were sold at auction subsequent to his death in 1826. The catalogue of the auction sale classified those acquired by the Library of Congress at the latter date under two numbers as follows: b

The "Catalogue. President Jefferson's library — (as arranged by himself,) — to be sold at auction, at the Long Room, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington — —–, 27th of February, 1829, — —," p. 4, is in the Library of Congress, Miscellaneous Pamphlets, Vol. 859, No. 14.

"No. 121. Records of the Virginia Company, 2 vols., fol. MS. (the authentic copy mentioned in Stith's History).

"No. 122. Old Records of Virginia, 4 vols. fol. MS. viz:

Transactions of the council from Dec. 9, 1698, to May 20, 1700." e

Catalogue of the Library of Congress, 1830, p. 167.

The volumes of Jefferson manuscripts relating to the company, which became the property of the Government in 1815, were as follows:

The entire set in the first group, acquired in 1829, is composed either of original documents or of contemporary transcripts, while the second paper of the second group belongs to the same period. The Miscellaneous Papers, 1606–1683, are a seventeenth century transcript. The Laws of 1623 and the Miscellaneous Records, 1606–1692, are transcripts of the early eighteenth century and are attested by R. Hickman, who was clerk of the general court in 1722. The origin and identification of these various volumes, together with a later copy of the court book of the com- pany, now in the library of the Virginia Historical Society and commonly known as the [John] Randolph [of Roanoke] copy, has been a subject of doubt and discussion, arising from the conflicting descriptions of the volumes by the early historians of Virginia, William Stith and John D. Burk, and by the editor of many of the documents in 1809, William Hening.

The following statements with regard to the first group made by Mr. Jefferson in a letter to Hugh P. Taylor, October 4, 1825, a

From the National Intelligencer, October 19, 1825.

will serve as a basis for the attempt to ascertain the history and authenticity of those manuscripts:

"The only manuscripts I now possess relating to the antiquities of our country are some folio volumes: Two of these are the proceeding[s] of the Virginia company in England; the remaining four are of the Records of the Council of Virginia, from 1622 to 1700. The account of the first two volumes, you will see in the preface to Stiths History of Virginia. They contain the records of the Virginia Company, copied from the originals, under the eye, if I recollect rightly, of the Earl of South- ampton, a member of the company, bought at the sale of his library by Doctor Byrd, of Westover, and sold with that library to Isaac Zane. These volumes happened at the time of the sale, to have been borrowed by Col. R. Bland, b

Col. R. Bland died October 26, 1776.

whose library I purchased, and with this they were sent to me. I gave notice of it to Mr. Zane, but he never reclaimed them.

"The other four volumes, I am confident, are the original office records of the council. My conjectures are, that when Sir John Randolph was about to begin the History of Virginia which he meant to write, he borrowed these volumes from the council office to collect from them materials for his work. He died before he had made any progress in that work, and they remained in his library, probably unobserved, during the whole life of the late Peyton Randolph, his son. From his executor, I purchased his library, in a lump, and these volumes, were sent to me as a part of it. I found the leaves so rotten as often to crumble into dust on being handled; I bound them, therefore together, that they might not be unnecessarily opened; and have thus preserved them forty-seven years."


The two volumes referred to by Mr. Jefferson as the "proceedings of the Virginia Company in England" are the contemporary copies of the court book which were secured by the Hon. William Byrd, of Westover, Virginia, from the estate of the Earl of Southampton, either at the time of his death in 1667 or later. Since Mr. Byrd was a boy of 15 living in London in 1667, it may have been when the Virginia estates were left him in 1671, or even in 1687 when he made a visit to England, that he made the purchase. a

William Byrd died December 4, 1704. See Byrd, History of the Dividing Line.

That the books remained in the possession of the descendants of Mr. Byrd for a century is proved by the fact that they are mentioned in a manuscript catalogue of the library of the third William Byrd, who died in 1777, b

"Catalogue of the Books in the Library at Westover belonging to William Byrd, Esqr.," p. 437, in The Writings of Colonel William Byrd, edited by J. S. Bassett.

but these two volumes were not in the library of Colonel Byrd, when it was sold by his widow in Philadelphia to Isaac Zane. Mr. Jefferson's statement that he purchased them from Colonel Bland may be accepted, c

For a description of these volumes and the circumstances of their making, see the discussion, pp. 78–84, post.

but it would be difficult to prove whether he is equally reliable when he states that the volumes had been loaned to Colonel Bland and had not been returned by him to Colonel Byrd, or whether Mr. Deane is correct in saying that Colonel Bland, as an antiquary, had secured them. That Stith used these contempo- rary copies of the court book in his History of Virginia is apparent from his description of them, as also from his statement that they had been communicated to him by the "late worthy president of our council, the Hon. William Byrd, esq." d

It is hardly possible that Mr. Jefferson's statement is incorrect and that, instead of having been acquired by Col. Richard Bland at that time, they passed from Stith to his brother-in-law, Peyton Randolph, and with the library of the latter to Jefferson. This is one of the solutions suggested by Justin Winsor. See Narrative and Critical History of the United States, III, 158.


The other manuscript volumes, which the Library of Congress acquired from Mr. Jefferson and which are included under No. 122 of the Jefferson catalogue, belong to the early seventeenth century. They are the documents which Mr. Jefferson referred to in his letter to Mr. Taylor as having come from the library of the Hon. Peyton Randolph in such a fragile condition, and which in a letter to Mr. Wythe, of January 16, 1795, urging the necessity of publishing the laws of Virginia, he describes in a similar way. e

Hening, Statutes at Large, I, p. viii.

That these are the papers discussed by Stith is proved by comparing them with the Hickman (Bland) transcripts. In his preface, Stith confirms the description by Mr. Jefferson, but he apparently destroys the latter's theory that the papers had been in the possession of Peyton Randolph since the death of Sir John Randolph in 1736. Mr. Stith wrote his preface in 1746, and suggests that they were at that time in the possession of the House of Burgesses, although he does not make a positive statement to that effect. His assertions are worth recording, since they carry the history of the volumes back thirty years and also throw light on the Hickman transcripts.

"I must chiefly depend upon such of our Records, as are still extant. Many of them doubtless perished in the State-house at James-Town, and by other Accidents; and those, which have survived the Flames and Injuries of Time, have been so care- lesly kept, are so broken, interrupted, and deficient, have been so mangled by Moths and Worms, and lie in such a confused and jumbled State (at least the most ancient of them) being huddled together in single Leaves and Sheets in Books out of the Binding, that I foresee, it will cost me infinite Pains and Labour, to reduce and digest them in any tolerable Order, so as to form from them a just and connected Narration. And some of them have been lost, even since Mr. Hickman was Clerk of the Secretary's Office. For I cannot find, among the Papers in our Offices, some old Rolls, to which he refers. I have therefore been obliged, in a few Points, to depend upon the Fidelity of that Gentleman's Extracts out of our oldest Records, made for the Use of Sir John Randolph. But these things were so far from discouraging and rebuffing me, that they were rather an additional Spur to my Industry. For I thought it highly necessary, before they were entirely lost and destroyed, to apply them to their proper Use, the forming a good History. But as the House of Burgesses in a late Session, upon my shewing their moldering and dangerous State to some of the Members, have justly taken them into their Consideration, and have ordered them to be reviewed and fairly transcribed, I doubt not, by their Assistance, and with the Help of the late Sir John Randolph's Papers, and such others, as are in the Hands of private Gentlemen in the Country, and will undoubtedly be readily communicated to further so noble and so useful a Design, to be able to collect and compose a tolerably regular and complete History of our Country." a

Stith, History of Virginia preface, p. viii.

Hence, we are again left in a quandary. The papers may have come into Peyton Randolph's possession through the arrangement made by the burgesses for their transcription; but no transcript made directly from the documents as late as 1746 is known to us. Whether they were borrowed from the province by Mr. Stith or by Peyton Randolph, his brother-in-law, or by some other historian or antiquarian is not yet proved; and our only evidence that Jefferson secured them from Peyton Randolph's executor is his statement made twenty years after the date of the purchase.

The papers, after almost a century in the Capitol, were in a still more deplorable condition in 1901 than that described by Mr. Stith, but the loose pages have now been carefully and skillfully repaired. The order of contents of the volumes (while not chronologically arranged) may be known from the abstracts made under the direction of Hickman about 1722. This agrees with an arrangement determined by the early pagination, the subject-matter, and the writing. That these manuscripts are original records or contemporary copies is evidenced by the form of some of them, by the signatures of others, and by the autographs of the secretaries and clerks of the period. The supposition is that they escaped destruction when the Province House was burned in Bacon's rebellion in 1678, during the administration of Gooch in 1698, and again during the Revolution, only to be lost to the State in the latter half of the eighteenth century.

The volume designated as 122, A, in the Jefferson catalogue, and there entitled "Letters, proclamations in 1622–23, and correspondence 1625," is evidently the one referred to by page in the Hickman abstract of the rolls as "the other side of No. A 42." a

This volume of correspondence is cited in the List of Records as the "Manuscript Records of the Virginia Company of London, Vol. III, pt. ii," thus including in Vol. III all of this miscellaneous manuscript material of the company.

This abstract is a quarto bound into the Miscellaneous Records, 1606–1692, called by Hening the "Bland copy." In pages 1 to 14a of this volume are eighteen letters from the colony to the King or to the company between 1621 and 1625, while pages 15 to 30 contain nine letters from the company to the colony between 1621 and August 6, 1623. The first group are holographs, but of a secretary or clerk not yet identified. The second are doubtless in the autograph of Edward Sharpless. b

Edward Sharpless had been a clerk of the secretary of the colony, Christopher Davison, and succeeded him upon his death in the winter of 1623/4. He remained as acting secretary until his trial on May 20, 1624, for giving copies of the acts of the assembly to the commissioners of the King; John Sotherne then took up his duties.

Both are contemporary copies of the originals. c

See Plates, post, Vol. II for illustrations of these holographs, and for evidence as to the autographs.

The documents classed in the Jefferson catalogue as 122 (42) form the balance of this volume and also probably include the journal of the council and assembly, 1626–1634. The latter was evidently used by Hening in compiling his statutes.

Presuming that this fragile document, which is the only one concerning the company and the colony while controlled by the company, formed one volume, its contents was as follows:

No. A 42:

No. A 42. "The other side:"

The first part of the volume thus opens with the letters of the Privy Council to the colony on April 28, 1623, when the King first began the action looking toward the dissolution of the company, and with the first direct correspondence with the officers of the colony. The writing and the dates place the documents as consecutive through the entry of the acts of the assembly, March 5, 1623/4, when the assembly seems to have ceased. After that page, copies of scattered documents appear in a different writing, commencing on the back of the last assembly record. These are largely fundamental or constitutional, including the instructions of November 20, 1606, the charter of 1606, the order of 1607 enlarging the council, and the oaths administered to officials of the colony of the same period. The other part of the volume opens with the correspondence between the colony and the home government. After a hiatus of fifteen pages the documents of the governor and assembly begin as indicated under the second division above. The writing is that of Edward Sharp- less and Christopher Davison, and remains the same throughout the petitions of the next group. The last group of miscellaneous documents agrees in subject with the letters of the first part and in autograph with the first section of those letters. On a fly leaf among the loose papers is inscribed the following: "Records of W. Clay- bourne or Claiborne./ p̱ Joseph [Jokeg] / Tho Farloue & / Vpton gent / Thos. Ba[u]rbag[e] / Cler̃ Conc̃"./ This may belong to the records of the period after May 14, 1626, when William Claybourne was appointed secretary of the colony by Charles I, or it may have been placed in an earlier volume, or it may indicate that a part at least of the earlier volume was transcribed under his direction.

Section B (9) of No. 122 in the Jefferson catalogue, cited as orders from February, 1622, to November, 1627, and including loose pages as late as 1634, is the only octavo manuscript of these records and has been saved from its almost useless condition by repair. That this is the original blotter of the court book of the gover- nor and council in Virginia, containing the original record of suits tried before that body and of orders issued by it, is proved by the hasty and brief entries, giving the volume an entirely different character from those of the carefully elaborated tran- scripts of the clerks. The records of twenty-three courts held as here given and of the cases considered during the era of the authority of the company, consisting of about forty-five pages of manuscript, are noted in the list of the records of the company, but are not printed in this collection since they may be included more properly in a publication of the "Records of the Colony."


It is now certain that at least two copies of the court book existed at the beginning of the nineteenth century, since the so-called John Randolph [of Roanoke] copy has recently come to light. a

The three volumes are in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, but they are so closely associated with the Library of Congress MSS. that they are discussed here rather than under the MSS. of Richmond.

It bears every evidence of being an eighteenth century transcript made from the contemporary copy now in the Library of Congress; the manuscript is of the century following that of the contemporary copy; the order, paragraphing, form of insertion of documents, and material is identical; but the omissions and errors arise from illegibility in the earlier manuscript. The other differences lie in occasional carelessness by the copyist and in the fact that the abbreviations are expanded and the spelling and the capitalization are modernized.

The caption of the first volume of this eighteenth century copy is as follows: "The Ancient Records of this Colony under The Treasurer and Company." It opens with "A Quarter Court held for Virginia at Sir Thomas Smith's house in Philpott Lane, 28th of April 1619," and ends on page 535 with the court of July 3, 1622. The final statement is as follows: "The rest of the Company's Acts are contained in a Second Volume." Volume II begins with a court of July 17, 1622, and closes on page 491 with the proceedings of June 7, 1624. It bears the caption, "The Records of the Company of Virginia, Vol. 2d." Pages 492 to 502 include a list of "The names of the Adventurers for Virginia, as they were in the Year 1620." On the inside of the board of this volume is written the name, "Sam'l Perkins of Cawson." There is a third volume of this series of transcripts which is described by Mr. Robinson thus: "The other volume begins with the first charter to the proprietors of Carolina dated the 24th of March, in the fifteenth year of Charles II, (1663) and ends page 543 with report of the petition of Philip Laudwell against the Lord Effingham made by the Lords Committees of Trade and Plantations, Dated at the Council Chamber 26th of April 1689." This document ends on page 530. The volume closes on page 544 with "A Memorial for obtaining a more perfect Rent Roll, & advancing Her Majesty's Quit Rents in Virginia". On the first cover is the date, "Sep 19th 1759."

Mr. Brown thinks that these copies were made for Colonel Richard Bland from Colonel Byrd's volumes and passed to Theodorick Bland of the family of Cawson, the grandfather of John Randolph of Roanoke, to whom they finally came. He adds that the Byrd volumes went to Mr. Jefferson with the Bland collection, which he bought about 1776, instead of the copies therefrom. a

See an account of "Two manuscript volumes now in the Library of Congress, at Washington, D.C.," in The Magazine of American History, New York, Vol. 29, April, 1893.

Mr. Jameson suggests that John Randolph of Roanoke may have inherited these transcripts from his great uncle, Sir John Randolph. In this case also they would have been made from Mr. Byrd's volumes, and perhaps should have gone to Mr. Jefferson with the Peyton Randolph library, but this would not account for the name "Cawson" in the second volume. Furthermore, according to Mr. Stanard, John Randolph of Roanoke was not an heir to Sir John Randolph, and the families were not even on friendly terms. Mr. Brown's supposition seems the more plausible, since Theodorick Bland, jr., of Cawson may have received the volumes from the son of Richard Bland by gift or purchase, though not by inheritance, and, as Theo- dorick Bland, jr., died without heirs in 1790, the books may have become the property of his sister's son, John Randolph of Roanoke.

The location of these volumes since the time of the death of John Randolph of Roanoke is known. According to Mr. Brown, John Randolph b

Not to be confused with Sir John Randolph, father of the Peyton Randolph whose library Jefferson says he purchased in 1778.

in a codicil to his will in 1826 left his library to the master and fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, but in 1831 so altered the will as to bequeath it to his niece, E. T. Bryan. Certain it is, however, that for ten years after his death on May 4, 1833, the volumes remained in his library in Roanoke, for Hon. Hugh Blair Grigsby examined them at that place on January 11, 1843. The library was sold in 1845, but it is evident from the statement of Judge William Leigh, the executor of the estate, that the Randolph copy of the court book remained in his hands.

The later history of this copy is told by Mr. Leigh Robinson, of Washington, D.C., as follows:

"A complete transcript of the Records of the Virginia Company had been in the possession of John Randolph of Roanoke, and by Mr. Randolph's executor, Judge William Leigh, was placed in the hands of my father, shortly after the termination of the war between the States. The Virginia Historical Society, having then no shelter of safety for such a work, my father placed it in the Vaults of one of the banks of Richmond, with a view to transferring it to the Society, as soon as it could be done with Safety. His death occurred before (in his opinion) this could be done. After his death, his family transferred to the Society the copy made by him- self. It was some time before they were able to discover the place of deposit of the Randolph Copy. But they finally recovered it, and transferred this also to the Vir- ginia Historical Society, where it now is." a

See a manuscript letter to Mr. Worthington C. Ford, Chief of the Division of Manuscripts in the Library of Congress, December 15, 1902. These volumes, and the third described by Mr. Robinson's father are now in the Virginia Historical Society collection in Richmond.

Mr. Conway Robinson, the father of Mr. Leigh Robinson, prepared for the press two volumes of abstracts from the court book, which were edited later by R. A. Brock for the Virginia Historical Society and entitled Virginia Company, 1619–1624. Robinson states that in the preparation of the volumes he had many transcripts made through Mr. Mehan from the copy in the Library of Congress, and also from the Randolph volumes which Judge Leigh had loaned to him. b

A letter of Mr. Robinson to Mr. Deane, July 1, 1868. For the use of this letter, as also one from Mr. Deane to Mr. Robinson of July 6, 1868, the Editor is indebted to Mr. J. Franklin Jameson, professor of history in Chicago University. In a memorandum Mr. Deane states that he inspected these volumes in April, 1872, at which time they were at the house of Mr. S. A. Myers, the law partner of Mr. Con- way Robinson.

The third volume of this Randolph series, which is cited both by Burk and by Hening c

For the extracts from the "Ancient Records," Vol. III, so called, by Hening, see Statutes at Large, I, 76–113 (collated readings given), 113–120, 145, 146, 209, 223.

as "Ancient Records, Volume III," was copied from the transcript attested by R. Hickman. This volume of Miscellaneous Records, 1606–1692, is the only volume which contains the substance found in the Randolph copy, and is of an earlier date, and, like the original rolls, is less chronological in arrangement. That the Randolph copy was not made from the original records is evidenced by the fact that the abstracts are identical with those of the Hickman or "Bland" copy.

That both Hening and Burk used the Randolph copies of the court book and also the third volume of that series is proved by their descriptions of the volumes, while the page references to "Ancient Records" cited by Hening coincide in each case with these three volumes. Mr. Hening speaks of three large folio volumes not in the orthography of the age of the events, and compiled without much regard to method for the purpose of forming material for a history of Virginia, and states that the first two volumes are minutes of the proceedings of the London Company, and the third an epitome of the legislative and judicial acts of authorities in Vir- ginia, so far as then extant, which were regularly transmitted to England. These, he continues, were used by John Burk, who got them from John Randolph, and also by Skelton Jones, 1809, to complete Burk's History of Virginia. a

Hening, Statutes at Large, I, 76 n. (a).

Mr. Burk himself declares that there are two large volumes, instead of three, as stated by Hening, "containing the minutes of the London Company together with the pro- ceedings of the Virginia Councils and Assembly, with little interruption to the middle of the reign of George II." b

Burk, History of Virginia, I, ch. V; II. 7. 42. 67.


The three volumes containing transcripts of the Virginia Records which came from the Jefferson Library in 1815 are unique, containing copies of records since destroyed. Two of them are attested by R. Hickman, the deputy clerk of the general court in 1722, and the third is the only seventeenth century transcript in our possession. Unlike the Randolph copies, the two large volumes include copies of records since destroyed.

Of this group the "First laws made by the assembly in Va. Anno 1623" bears on the back of the last page the following indorsement in Mr. Jefferson's hand: "This was found among the manuscript papers of Sr John Randolph and by the Hoñble. Peyton Randolph, esq. his son was given to Tho. Jefferson," and is attested as follows: "Copia Test R. Hickman D C G C." This early eighteenth century transcript was made by the same copyist as were the Miscellaneous Records, 1606–1692, and is the volume used by Hening and referred to in his first volume, pages 121–129. It must also be the subject of a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Hening, April 8, 1815, in which he states that the manuscript marked "A" contains laws of 1623–24, thirty-five acts, which was given him by Peyton Randolph from the materials used by Sir John Randolph, and which Mr. Jefferson declares to be the "Only copy extant of those laws!" a

Jefferson Letters, in the Library of Congress. This is an error, since a contemporary copy has been found among the "fragile papers" in Jefferson's own possession at the time.

In 1803 Mr. Jefferson had declined to lend to Mr. John D. Burk some of the printed laws of Virginia in his possession, since they were unique and could not be replaced. b

Thomas Jefferson to John D. Burk, Monticello, February 21, 1803.

The internal evidence points to the fact that Hening also used the other volumes of this set, a fact corroborated by the following statement of Mr. Jefferson in a letter to Mr. George Watterson, May 7, 1815: "I gave to Mr. Milligan a note of those folio volumes of the Laws of Virginia belonging to the Library which being in known hands, will be recovered. One is a MS. volume from which a printed copy is now preparing for publica- tion." c

W. D. Johnston, History of the Library of Congress, I, 178.

Mr. Hening was doubtless using them in the preparation of his later volumes. Certain it is that these documents form the basis for a part of his first volume, in which he cites the Journal of the Council and Assembly, 1626–1634, as belonging to Thomas Jefferson, and as having been "purchased by him with the library of Peyton Randolph, from his executors." The third, the Miscellaneous Records, 1606–1692, he states was bought by Mr. Jefferson "from the executor of Richard Bland, dec'd." d

Hening, Statutes at Large, I, 147, 152, 224. The first four volumes of this work were published in 1809. By an act of the assembly in 1819 the work was completed. In 1823 the first four volumes were reprinted.

The seventeenth century volume, entitled Instructions, Commic̃ons letters of Advice and admonitions and Publique Speeches, Proclamations &c: Collected, transcribed and diligently examined by the Originall Records, now extant, belonging to the Assemblie, is a vellum-covered book, with an embossed figure on the back cover, and with the following: "E / 1621 / Publiq̢ Letters / and Orders." On the outside of the front cover upside down is: "E / John Bland / Richard Blan [d]/ Alexander Morrison," / while on the half that remains of the first fly leaf is the name "Nelson." On the fly leaf in the book in pencil is the statement: "date of MSS 1650–1695;" and on the front cover similarly is: "17" Century copie Bland." This presence of Richard Bland's name in the book shows that Mr. Jefferson secured it with the Bland Library. The writing of the volume is similar to the early seven- teenth century system in many of the abbreviations, the use of the double f, and the formation of some of the letters. Evidently this is a collection of correspondence of the colony, transcribed from the court books and from the miscellaneous papers of the three volumes of the manuscript records of the company. e

For the contents of this volume as late as 1624 see the List of Records.

The second volume of documents from 1606 to 1692 is in an eighteenth century hand, many of the documents bearing the attestation of R. Hickman. The binding is in calf and bears on the back the red label, "Vir/. Records." Bound into the back of this volume is a small quarto of twenty-five pages, containing outlines of documents in the Manuscript Records of the Company, which serves to identify the loose pages of the original records as Roll A. 42, and an abstract of Captain Argall's register during his government. a

The documents there referred to by page are noted in the "List of Records." The original register of Captain Argall has not been found.

The documents in the folio volume are charters, instructions, commissions, letters from the Privy Council, and other documents emanating from the Crown, together with one or two from the company and from the council in Virginia. b

For the contents of this volume see the List of Records.

That this volume is the one used by Hening in his Statutes and referred to as the "Bland copy," c

Hening, Statutes, I, 223, 224–238.

is indicated by the contents as well as by the fact that it includes the quarto volume. His reason for citing it as the "Bland copy" can only be surmised, namely, that he had Mr. Jefferson's statement that it had been secured with the Bland library, an erroneous designation as is proved by Stith's statement in his preface, that R. Hickman made a copy of the Records for Sir John Randolph. d

Stith, History of Virginia, Preface, which is dated December 10, 1746.

But the volume has been known for the past century as the "Bland copy," although its title as a "Hickman" or a "Randolph" volume would be more appropriate.

The conclusions which have been formed with regard to these original and contemporary manuscripts and the later transcripts disclose little concerning the circumstances under which they were made, or the original owners of the volumes. But the important facts to discover, in order to determine their authenticity, are the period of the transcript and the documents from which the copies were made, and these facts in each case have been ascertained. e

For published statements and discussions of the history and identity of the volumes in the Library of Congress which concern the Virginia Company, as also of the Randolph copy, see:

Robert C. Howison, History of Virginia, I, 212 (footnote). 1843.

Fordyce M. Hubbard, Life of Sir Francis Wyatt in Belknap's American Biography (footnote). 1843.

Hugh Blair Grigsby in the Southern Literary Messenger, February, 1854.

J[ohn] W[ingate] T[hornton], in the Historical Magazine, February, 1858.

Charles Campbell, History of Virginia, p. 174. 1860.

William Green, in the Southern Literary Messenger, September, 1863.

Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of America, III, 158. 1885.

E. D. Neill, Virginia Company of London, 1889.

J. Franklin Jameson, "The Records of the Virginia Company." An address delivered before the Rhode Island Historical Society, November 27, 1888. (The manuscript used by the Editor) Reviewed in the Magazine of American History with Notes and Queries, Vol. XXI, January-June, 1889. p. 82.

Alexander Brown, in the Magazine of American History, April, 1893.

Lyon G. Tyler, in the Report of the American Historical Association, 1901, I, 545–550.

The Library of Congress has recently acquired a large number of transcripts of those manuscripts now in the libraries of Great Britain pertaining to the Virginia Company or to the colony under the authority of the company. It thus possesses reproductions of all of the Virginia material in the British Museum, the Privy Council office, the Bodleian Library, and the Magdalene College Library, Cambridge. In the Public Record Office all docquet notices on Virginia, all records of suits in chancery and the admiralty pertaining to Virginia, and the quo warranto in the King's Bench, by which the company was dissolved, as well as the most important documents and correspondence, have been transcribed or photographed for the Library of Congress, but the correspondence of the planters, the less important correspondence of the company, and mere memoranda are yet to be transcribed. The latter material is fairly outlined in the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, 1574 to 1660, and in the Appendix of the eighth report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, or is printed elsewhere in full. a

All of these papers are included in the List of Records.

The collection of publications by the company belonging to the Library of Congress is fairly good. It contains twelve of those which were issued before 1616, but of the later books it has only three. The Declaration of 1620, the Declaration by Waterhouse in 1622, and John Donne's Sermon of the same year, in addition to Smith's General History, are the only ones of the eighteen now extant which are in the Library.


The colonial records in Richmond, Virginia, relating to the period of the company are extremely few in number. Fortunately the original documents, which are in the Library of Congress, were borrowed or abstracted from the state house in time to save them from destruction during the Revolution or by fire in 1865. b

William G. Stanard, "The Virginia Archives" in the Report of the American Historical Associa- tion, 1903, I, 645–664.

There are, however, two volumes of original records in the Virginia State land office containing grants of land in 1623 and 1624, which were evidently entered by William Claybourne, at that time surveyor for the colony. The his- tory of contemporary documents before 1625, which are located in the district of the old settlement, may thus be briefly told.

The valuable collections of the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond embrace the John Randolph of Roanoke transcripts described above, while the State library has three sets of transcripts and one set of abstracts from the British Public Record Office. Of the latter the De Jarnette papers, 1606–1691, include only a few of the documents of interest; in the Macdonald and Winder papers are full and careful copies of several of the long and important documents, following generally the orthography of the originals; while the Sainsbury abstracts contain comparatively full outlines of those documents included in the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series.


The New York Public Library is next in importance to the Library of Congress in manuscript material on the Virginia Company and second only to the John Carter Brown Library of Providence, Rhode Island, in publications. In the Lenox branch of the New York Library is to be found a unique set of documents relating to the settlement of Berkeley Hundred in 1619, known as the Smyth of Nibley papers which "are from the collection of Virginia manuscripts originally brought together by John Smyth (or Smith) of Nibley, the historian of the Berkeleys, who was born in 1567 and died in 1641. The collection comprises over sixty papers, original and contemporary transcripts, relating to the settlement of Virginia between 1613 and 1634. After passing into the hands of John Smyth the younger, and more recently into the Cholmondeley collection at Condover Hall, Shropshire, the manuscripts were offered for sale in January, 1888, by Mr. Bernard Quaritch, from whom they were lately bought and given to the New York Public Library by Mr. Alex- ander Maitland." a

Quoted from the New York Public Library Bulletin (1897), I, 68, and (1899), III, 160.

With the exception of the manuscripts in the Ferrar collection relating to Smythe's Hundred, these form the only extant records of the important movement for private plantations in Virginia under the régime of the company. Two other valuable documents are now in the possession of the Lenox Library, b

List of Records, Nos. 133 and 640.

the holographic letter of John Pory, secretary of the colony, dated September 30, 1619, and Commissioner John Harvey's declaration of the State of Virginia in 1624.


The manuscripts in the Library of Congress, the Smyth of Nibley papers in the New York Public Library, and the patent books in Virginia are the only original records of the company or of the colony previous to 1625 now in America. But there are two public collections of Americana which are extremely valuable for this period: The John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island, which contains only books on America published before the year 1800, and the New York Public Library.

In the John Carter Brown Library are two royal proclamations, which are the only documents of the character for the period in America; while a declaration of a division of land in 1616, which is a supplementary pamphlet in the Declaration by the Company of June 22, 1620, has no duplicate in existence, although there is an imperfect copy of the latter in the British Museum. The copy of the 1620 declara- tion in the Lenox Library is also unique, since it contains a different supplementary pamphlet of which there is but one other to be found, neither of which has hereto- fore been noted. a

The other copy is in a private collection in New York. This library has also the first editions of the declaration of 1620; the treatise by Banoeil, reprinted in 1622, containing the letters of the King and of the council; Patrick Copland's Virginia's God be Thanked, and his Declaration how the monies were disposed, published in 1622; Edward Waterhouse's Declaration of the State of the Colony, 1622; John Donne's Sermon, 1622.

It is a declaration of November 15, 1620, concerning the dispatch of supplies, and proves by its date that this is a later edition of the declaration of June 22. The John Carter Brown Library also contains a unique treatise by John Brinsley, bearing the date 1622, the only other copy of which is in the Lenox Library. It has also two sermons, one by Patrick Copland, entitled Virginia's God be Thanked, b

There is a manuscript copy of this sermon in the Library of Congress.

with duplicates in the possession of Edward E. Ayer, and of the Pequot Library, Southport, Connecticut, and one by John Donne, of which there are copies in the Lenox, the Ayer, and the Congressional libraries. In addition to these rare books, the Declaration of Edward Waterhouse of 1622, containing "The Inconveniences that have happened, 1622," and Observations to be followed for making of fit roomes for silk worms, 1620, including "A valuation of the commodi- ties growing and to be had in Virginia; rated as they are worth," are to be found in the Providence collection, while the latter is also in the Harvard and the Lenox libraries. c

"The Inconveniences" was published separately as a broadside, and copies are to be found in the Lenox Library and in the collections of the Society of Antiquaries, London. A copy was in the Cholmondeley collection, which is probably the one mentioned in the Quaritch catalogue of May, 1887. This, as also a copy of the Observations, was sold to Mr. Kalbfleisch. The supposition that it was originally published as a part of the Declaration of Edward Waterhouse does not seem valid, since the John Carter Brown copy is the only one containing the broadside, and the page in that case has evidently been trimmed and inserted.

In the same year a Treatise on the art of making silk was published by John Banoeil, containing a royal letter of encouragement to the Earl of Southampton, now to be found both in the Brown and the Lenox libraries.

The New York Public Library is second only in value to the John Carter Brown Library for this subject. In addition to the books noted above it contains two unique publications of the company, the first is a broadside of May 17, 1620, which is the only copy known to the Editor. A catalogue of Bernard Quaritch, in May, 1887, describes such a broadside, which is known to have been purchased by Mr. Kalbfleisch. The second is A Note of the Shipping, etc., sent to Virginia in 1621. The Cholmondeley copy of this also was sold by Mr. Quaritch to Mr. Kalbfleisch. a

In the catalogue of Bernard Quaritch for May, 1887, the broadside of May 17, 1620, and the Note of the Shipping, 1621, are both noted as being unique since each contains the final clause: "Who- soever transports himself or any other at his own charge unto Virginia, shall for each person so trans- ported before mid-summer, 1625, have to him and his heirs forever 50 acres of land upon a first and 50 acres upon a second division." A copy of the Note of the Shipping, 1621, in the Cholmondeley collection is similarly described in the fifth report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission, page 341. The Quaritch copies were sold to Mr. Kalbfleisch, whose collection went to Mr. Lefferts, and finally through the dealers, Geo. H. Richmond or Dodd, Mead & Co., either to a private collection or to the Lenox Library. But the Lenox copies either do not correspond to these descriptions or were not purchased from Mr. Lefferts. The volumes of the Lefferts collection, which were not sold in America, were sent to Sotheby, England, but Mr. Eames of the New York Public Library states that no early Virginia material was allowed to return to England.

A third copy of the same is in the collection of printed broadsides of the Society of Antiquaries in London.

The volumes of printed material relating to the Virginia Company, which are in the Harvard Library, have been mentioned above.

Two private collections deserve mention for their comparatively large number of important publications of the company, the private collection in New York and that of Mr. Edward Ayer, in Chicago, Illinois. b

The collection of Americana belonging to Mr. Ayer is open to the public through the Newberry Library. For the early Virginia material of the library see Index under "Ayer, Edward."

In addition to twenty other rare publications of the company Mr. Ayer has a unique book entitled "Greevovs Grones for the Poore," 1621. It refers to the Virginia Company in its address only, and in the statement of the number of poor that had been sent to Virginia, but is of value for an understanding of that movement. The other private collection is of about the same size. It contains the duplicate of the 1620 declaration in the Lenox and the only known copy of a four-page tract entitled "Declaration how the monies were disposed (being) collections for the Grammar Schooles," by Patrick Copland. c

This tract is described in the Appendix of the Fifth Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission, as follows: "A Declaration how the monies, viz., 70, 8s. 6d., were disposed, which was gathered (by Mr. Patrick Copland, preacher in the Royal James) at the Cape of Good Hope (toward the building of a free schoole in Virginia) of the gentlemen and mariners in the said ship; a list of whose names are under specified, &c. 4to 7 pp. Imprinted at London by F. K. 1622."


Other attempts have been made to secure resources for research in America. Not only is there the aggregation of excerpts from the English documents in Richmond, as described above, and the acquisition of transcripts in the Library of Congress within recent years, but half a century ago a similar interest was displayed by collectors and historians in New York City, forming three collec- tions which are to-day in the Lenox Library.

William H. Aspinwall, a merchant, secured among other papers the Chalmers collection of letters and documents relating to Virginia from 1606 to 1775. They were in turn sold to Samuel Latham Mitchell Barlow, a lawyer and notable collector of New York City, from whom a part were purchased by the library, while others came to the Lenox with the Bancroft transcripts in 1893. Chalmers had been a clerk in the State paper office and seems to have taken these extracts, outlines, and sometimes full copies from the Plantation office papers, since he continually refers to them in his Political Annals. a

See a statement by Victor H. Paltsits, April 14, 1896, inserted in the first volume of these papers now in the Lenox.

They are modern- ized transcripts, failing to follow the early orthography, abbreviations, and capitalization. The writing is cramped and often almost illegible, while the table of contents is incomplete and useless. They comprise (1) a series of brief outlines of Privy Council orders; (2) extracts from the Dudley-Carleton papers; (3) outlines of additional Council orders; (4) a calendar of certain of the colonial State papers; (5) outlines of council orders dealing with other trading companies. All of the original documents are at present in the Public Record Office and are noted in the Bibliographical List of Records following.

The Bancroft papers relating to Virginia and the Simancas Archives are well bound, clear, and apparently careful, correct, and full copies of the documents included. The first two volumes of the Bancroft collection bearing on the Virginia Company are transcripts of many of the documents in the State paper office, probably made in 1852 by Noel Sainsbury, but the list is not complete. While the peculiar and characteristic signs of abbreviation are not followed, the orthog- raphy seems to be accurate throughout. Furthermore, the collection includes the document entire, unless otherwise indicated. The table of contents is careful and correct. b

The documents transcribed in both the Chalmers-Barlow and the Bancroft volumes are noted in the List of Records under "Remarks."

The "Simancas Archives" is a volume of transcripts of "Papers in the Simancas Archives relating to the History of Virginia and other portions of America between 1608 and 1624, made for Alexander Brown and many of them used by him in his book, The Genesis of the U. S." The only document relating to Virginia which is not reproduced in that collection is a repetition of the proclamation of the King of England concerning tobacco, bearing the date November 12, 1624.


The most unique collection in England for the study of the Virginia Company is that in the possession of Magdelene College, Cambridge. As the property of Nicholas and John Ferrar, who were second only to Sir Edwin Sandys in their activity in the company, it would be invaluable; but its importance is further enhanced by the fact that it contains the correspondence and papers of Sir Edwin Sandys himself. These seventy-eight papers, which are either records of the company or vitally concern it, cover the period of the Sandys-Southampton influence from 1617 to the summer of 1623. They were the property of Dr. Peckard, master of Magdalene College in 1790, and were bequeathed to the college upon his death. It is probable that the greater part of the collection came from the Ferrar family through Dr. Peckard's wife, Martha Ferrar, the great granddaugher of John Ferrar, since the Virginia papers form but one-third of the group. The remain- ing papers concern family affairs only, and date from 1601 to the middle of the eighteenth century. Some of them are doubtless those received from the Earl of Dorset by Dr. Peckard, when he was preparing his Memoirs of Nicholas Ferrar. a

In this work Dr. Peckard states that the Earl of Dorset had had his library searched and had sent him a few loose papers belonging to the Virginia Company.

The first knowledge of the Ferrar papers in later years was communicated to the Virginia Magazine of History by Michael Lloyd Ferrar, Little Gidding. Ealing, England. He sent a number of transcripts and photographs of letters to the maga- zine for publication, among which were some half dozen bearing on the affairs of the company, but the number which he was permitted to reproduce was limited by the college. While Mr. Ferrar was completing a history of the Ferrar family the entire collection was deposited at his home, and it was therefore in Ealing in the fall of 1903 that the Editor was first permitted by the authorities of the college to "see and note the contents" of the papers. Before the following summer Mr. Ferrar had died and the collection had been returned to Cambridge, where complete trans- cripts of all letters and photographs of all documents relating to the Virginia Company were made for the Library of Congress under the supervision of the Editor.

These papers are loose, many of them being much damaged, and it is apparent that they are a part of a larger collection which must have been neglected while in the possession of the family. There are some envelopes without letters, many rough memoranda by both Nicholas and John Ferrar, some account books, and some rough drafts of petitions to the House of Commons and of discussions on the silkworm. The autographs which they furnish of both Nicholas and John Ferrar have been of no little interest, as well as value, for the identification of other papers in the Public Record Office, and in the Library of Congress. Furthermore, the proof that Nicholas Ferrar himself supervised the transcript of the court book is thus gained.

In this collection are twenty-three papers which are veritable records of the company. a

List of Records, Nos. 76, 138, 164, 258, 259, 303, 304, 394, 421, 423, 470, 479, 539, 541, 543, and the quo warranto.

Two documents give our only knowledge of the financial affairs of Smythe's Hundred, slight indeed, but from them comes additional information concerning the system of organization of the societies for private adventure. Sundry other unique though scattered documents are among these papers, such as receipts for money expended, showing the method of business, reports of committees, and of proceedings of the commissioners, revealing the bitterness of the factions, drafts or original records of certain courts, forming the only proof of the accuracy of the copies of the court books, and three new proceedings of the courts of the Somers Islands Company. One of the latter is evidently a blotter and reveals the methods used in keeping the court book. The quo warranto in English, which was served upon the treasurer and company, would have been of the greatest value had not the original record of the suit in the King's Bench just been discovered. Another document of great value is the receipt referred to above, which proves that a court book was regularly kept by the company from its very beginning. It reveals how much has been lost.

The series, consisting of twenty letters from Sir Edwin Sandys to John Ferrar, shows more clearly than any other documents we possess b

For these letters see Ibid., Nos. 120, 131, 135, 136, 171, 181, 191, 197, 211, 219, 271, 275, 282, 307, 315, 316, 317, 364, 368.

who the real managers of the affairs were and what was the spirit of the Sandys faction. The absolute confidence which Sir Edwin Sandys had in John Ferrar and his great love for both of the brothers is significant. Moreover, the knowledge of the affairs of the company, the careful watch over every act and movement affecting the business, the deep and earnest plans for the advancement of its interests revealed in these letters prove that Sir Edwin Sandys was the keen financial manager of the undertaking. It was evidently he who determined what the policy should be; he was apparently the statesman and the politician, directing the method of address to the lords of the council or the attitude to be assumed toward the Crown, controlling the courts so that he might be present when there was danger of faction, concealing the information received from the colony when he feared it would entail criticism. Much of the personal feeling and animosity that existed is here shown, and much also which reveals actual financial conditions.

The last group of these papers comprises thirty-five letters, all but one or two of which were written by planters or adventurers, resident in the colony, to Sir Edwin Sandys. a

For these letters, see List of Records, Nos. 93, 94, 115, 119, 134, 153, 156, 158, 166, 173, 179, 180, 235, 238, 239, 241, 243–250, 252–255, 285, 343, 466.

Of these, five came from Governor Yeardley, ten from either John Pory or George Thorpe, secretaries in the colony at different times, and two from the cape merchant; of the remainder, at least ten are from colonists whose opinions and reports have not reached us in any other way. These letters are as full of complaint with regard to the insufficient supplies sent with new planters, as are the letters in the Manchester papers which Sir Nathaniel Rich and the Earl of Warwick used as a basis of accusation against the management of the company, but they differ from the other complaints in that they are kindly in spirit. Mr. Pory's letters are full of definite information concerning the affairs, needs, and hopes of the colony, while Governor Yeardley also gives some valuable statements with regard to new settlers, the council, the relations with the Indians, and the government of the colony; both complain of the scant provisioning of the new settlers. The burden of the Yeardley letters, however, is the investigation of the affairs of Captain Argall and the consequent criticism drawn upon himself from Lord Rich. Unfortunately, comparatively few additional data are afforded concerning the Argall affair either by Pory or by Yeardley. The planters themselves tell much of their condition and of the districts in which they have settled, but the theme of their letters is most likely to be a demand for promised payments or a complaint as to the scarcity of provisions and clothes. The attitude toward Yeardley is generally favorable, John Rolfe alone supporting Argall and criticizing the governor. As from all correspondence of such a character, new ideas are gained, new points of view, and often additional knowledge of relations with the Indians and with one another. Many of these letters are annotated by John Ferrar, revealing the degree of importance which he attached to their various and often conflicting statements.


A class of documents, very similar in character but of quite different spirit is the Manchester papers, now in the Public Record Office, London. Robert, Earl of Warwick, and his cousin, Sir Nathaniel Rich, were both members of the company. Sir Nathaniel was a leader in the Warwick faction, while Earl Robert, after the dissolution of the company in 1624, became a member of the council for Virginia. The third wife of the Earl was Eleanor, Countess of Sussex, daughter of Richard Wortley, and she, after the death of the Earl of Warwick, married, as her fourth husband, Edward Montague, second Earl of Manchester. Thus it is that the Kimbolton manuscripts, which are the records of the Duke of Manchester, contain a large collection of petitions, declarations, memoranda, letters, and lists which emanated from the Warwick faction of the Virginia Company. a

These Manchester papers are calendared by the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Report VIII, Part 2.

Many of these are holographs of Nathaniel Rich and Alderman Johnson, prime movers in that conflict. Henry Montague, Viscount Mandeville and later Earl of Manchester, was at one time lord president of the Privy Council. Therefore many of the Manchester papers may have belonged to him. The autographs, however, identify those which concern the Virginia Company as having belonged to Nathaniel Rich.

The Manchester and the Ferrar papers therefore present the two sides of this conflict, not in open court or even in private contest, but in the private documents and memoranda of the leaders. The collections are of about the same size, there being sixty-six papers in the Manchester series, to seventy-eight in the Ferrar group. These, also, are unbound, but since the greater part are rough notes of documents, or drafts of propositions or speeches, they are much more difficult to decipher than the Ferrar papers. Indeed many of them are almost illegible, and not a few are unintelligible, having no connecting thought.

A dozen of these papers may be considered documentary; that is, rough copies of letters, petitions, and declarations, or of acts of the company, or of its members and officers in an official capacity. A few of these only are to be found among the other records of the company. Like the rest of the set, they, almost without exception, concern the accusations against the Sandys-Southampton management. Three of them are petitions or letters concerning the extent of the tobacco trade, but the rest are petitions to the King against one faction or the other, and answers to those petitions. Of these, one of the most important is a copy of the opinion of counsel concerning the powers conferred on the Virginia Company by the several letters patent. b

List of Records, p. 140, No. 170.

Accusation and defense are set forth in these documents, but the headings of speeches, the drafts of propositions, and the notes from docu- ments on which the arguments are based proclaim the motives and methods of the accusers. No proof could be clearer than these memoranda by Alderman Johnson and Nathaniel Rich that the company was to be overthrown by fair means or foul. In two or three papers are carefully prepared lists of alleged evil deeds of Sir Edwin Sandys and catalogues of the faults and errors of the company, while the criticisms of the policy and of the management of the company are set down in order, based on letters from colonists, of which there are eleven in the collection. In these criticisms and drafts of propositions much information is afforded concerning the management, organization, and condition of the colony and com- pany. Thus, various books kept by the company during Sir Thomas Smythe's time, and not otherwise known, are mentioned. a

List of Records, No. 438.

Five or six rough drafts of propositions concerning the tobacco and salary question are also to be found here, as well as numerous statements of sums adventured, of the number of men sent to the colony, lists of members favorable to one faction or the other and candidates for office from both parties. Many of the rough notes of both Johnson and Rich furnish the only source of information concerning the directions given to the commissioners appointed by the Crown to investigate the condition of the company and of the colony and their acts and reports, but a fact of greater sig- nificance is this, that the Warwick collection contains a dozen rough drafts of directions to those commissioners, of charges against the company to be sent to that body, of preliminary reports concerning the government of Virginia, and of projects for the settlement of the government and the colony. The source of the schism is here revealed, and the accusation by Sandys that accuser and judge were one is justified. b

A letter from Sir Edwin Sandys to John Ferrar, cited in the List of Records, No. 317.


The other large group of Virginia records, consisting of over one hundred and twenty separate documents, is found among the colonial and domestic papers deposited in the Public Record Office. The source of this collection is uncertain. Much of it came from the Plantation Office, and perhaps from the Privy Council Office. The consolidation of depositories took place in 1578, but the efforts of Dr. Thomas Wilson, the first clerk of the papers, to force the previous and incumbent magistrates to hand over all documents to the State, were evidently often unavailing, and hence it was that the creation of a State Paper Office was not really accomplished until the period of the company. After Sir Thomas Wilson succeeded his uncle during the reign of James I the aid of the King was much relied upon, and, though partially successful, the recent revelation of quasi- public documents in private collections shows that not only earlier but later officials considered papers of record private property. c

Scargill-Bird, A Guide to the Documents in the Public Record Office, Introduction, p. xxxvi. See also W. N. Sainsbury, "Calendar of Documents relating to the History of the State Paper Office to the year 1800," in the Deputy Keepers Report, No. 30, Appendix, No. 7, pp. 212–293.

Thus some of the Salis- bury papers, which Wilson failed to secure, are now at Hatfield House; and others have passed with the Lansdowne collection into the British Museum, where they are known as the Burghley papers. Similarly, the Cottonian papers in the Museum originally belonged to Sir Robert Cotton in the time of James I.

Among the State Papers deposited in the Record Office are the letters to John Ferrar, dated from Virginia in April, 1623, which may have been seized by the commission appointed on May 9, 1623, to investigate the affairs of the com- pany. There, too, are found the attested copies of letters and records in the colony which concern the Harvey Commission, sent to the commission in England by Edward Sharpless. A few of these papers seem to have belonged to the company, such as the documents pertaining to the Walloons and dated 1621; Pory's report from Virginia, in the same year; and two copies of documents by Collingwood, dated the latter part of 1623. a

List of Records, pp. 145, ff., Nos. 227, 243, 444, 520, 579.

All of these facts lead to the con- clusion that a part of the records of the commissions, and a part of the confis- cated records of the company are here deposited. If so, where are the remainder of these most valuable documents? b

For a discussion of the fate of the missing records and the probability as to their existence, see ch. V, post.

The colonial papers and the domestic correspondence include about forty-eight which are records, and about nineteen which are documentary in character. The first group contains, among other papers, many of the petitions and letters addressed to the King and to the Privy Council, and many others of the council. It is thus apparent that the royal correspondence of the Privy Council and the Privy Council papers which should accompany the register are in this collection. To the second group belong those papers which contain projects presented by individuals and answers to such propositions, lists of adventures for the company, and also lists of men sent to the colony and of lands granted in Virginia. Among these papers are seven letters from colonists, in addition to about fifty which may be consid- ered subsidiary correspondence in that they refer incidentally to the affairs of the company. Such are the Mandeville-Conway, Middlesex-Conway, Chamberlain- Carleton, Conway-Calvert, and Nethersole-Carleton letters.


In the libels of the admiralty court, instance and prize, are found records of suits in which the Virginia Company is plaintiff. As a part of the controversy in which William Wye appears as defendant is the suit of Yonge vs. Roberts; while the fragment of the record of the Earl of Warwick vs. Edward Bruister concerning the trouble over the ships Neptune and Treasurer completes the list of cases in that court which in any way affect the Virginia Company. The latter is so torn and defaced that but for an occasional date or fact, it affords no information of value. Among the other formal material of the suit against Wye are two valuable documents, namely, the commission given to Wye and a letter from the treasurer and council to Sir George Yeardley, dated June 21, 1619. In the latter are valuable references to Argall, and the complaints against Wye, though torn and illegible, reveal something of the loss estimated as resulting from the failure to settle the passengers in Virginia. These records of the admiralty court have not hereto- fore been published, although they were cited by R. G. Marsden in his discussion of those documents. a

R. G. Marsden, "Records of the Admiralty Court" in the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, new series, Vol. XVI, 90–96. Many parts of these records are undecipherable, and as a result the transcripts made for the Library of Congress are incomplete.

But the chancery files, which have furnished the records of suits by the Virginia Company, have only just been indexed, and hence the documents have not heretofore been known.

The record of the quo warranto suit by which the Virginia Company was over- thrown has been erroneously declared to be not extant, a mistake due to a differ- ence in view with regard to the court out of which such a writ would be issued and as to the court in which the writ would be returnable. Hence the search for the document has hitherto been conducted in the Petty Bag of the Chancery instead of in the coram rege roll of the King's Bench. It was in the latter roll that the full record of the writ, the pleadings, and the judgment were discovered by the Editor in the fall of 1903. b

For a discussion of the content of the document, see post, p. 103.

In A Guide to the Documents in the Public Record Office Mr. Bird gives the following explanation of the placita de quo warranto: They "consist of the pleadings and judgments on writs of 'quo warranto' in nature of writs of right on behalf of the King against those who claimed or usurped any office, franchise, or liberty. The pleadings and judgments on writs of 'quo war- ranto' or of 'quo titulo clamat' took place in the King's Bench or the Exchequer and are enrolled on the 'coram rege rolls' or the 'memoranda rolls' accordingly." c

P. 166.

The statement in the court book of the company is that the "company had been served with process out of the King's Bench by virtue of a quo warranto." It was this clue and that from Mr. Scargill-Bird that led the Editor to conduct the search successfully in the coram rege roll.

In the Record Office are also the docquet books, which afford some knowledge of the grants of the King affecting the customs on tobacco, and the patent rolls, which contain the letters patent of 1606, 1609, and 1612. In the colonial entry books and among the proclamations of the King are orders of the Privy Council and of the King, all of which are recorded in the Privy Council register.


Since the Privy Council took no direct part in the affairs of the company between 1617 and the summer of 1622, its orders related to those regulations which would enable the acts of the company to advance the interests of the kingdom, leaving absolute power to the company as the proprietor. Thus fully one-half of its thirty measures during those five years were reprieves of prisoners, with the warrants nec- essary to send them to Virginia or orders enabling children to be transferred from the cities of the kingdom to the colony. During this period the Crown commenced its attempts to secure a revenue from the tobacco trade, and a series of orders finally resulted in the approval of the contract with the company in February of 1622/3. In its foreign and external relations the company was of course subject to the action of the Privy Council, and hence the orders in council concerned the contest with Spain over the attack of the Treasurer. Furthermore, the disagreement with the northern colony concerning fishing privileges had to be adjusted by the council and resulted in the renewal of the patent to the northern colony and in regulations as to rights of fishing. It was in the summer of 1622 that the first movement was made which brought the difficulties between the factions into the open board. The petition of John Bargrave against Sir Thomas Smythe, Alderman Johnson, and others, in which they were accused of mismanagement, resulted in the defeat of Bargrave six months later, as was to have been expected from the hostility of the Crown to the party in Parliament led by Sir Edwin Sandys, of which Bargrave was evidently a member at that time. But the storm broke in the following April, when the commission was appointed to inquire into the true state of the Virginia and Somers Islands companies. From that date until the dissolution of the com- pany in the summer of 1624 the council busied itself with the affairs of the company. No less than 31 orders are recorded which create commissions and empower them to investigate both the colony and the company and in the end to assume the functions of government in the name of the Crown, while seven of these documents pass directly between the council and the colony, and no other measures were con- sidered except those which enabled the Warwick faction to tear down the work of the adventurers and to take into its own hands the control of the entire business. These forms of government, planned by the Crown and the commissions here recorded, by which the authority was vested in the commissioners and later in a committee of the Privy Council, stand for the beginning of royal control. Here- tofore, with a few exceptions, these orders have been known only through the calendar of state papers, and even then not more than one-half have been included.

The Privy Council Office and its records are located in the treasury building, Whitehall, London; the registers of the council orders are kept in the clerk's office but all of the early registers are properly about to be transferred to the Public Record Office. These registers contain the orders of the council, and, after Charles I, also the petitions received and the letters issued by the council. In the earlier reigns such documents were not recorded; whether they were even preserved as public documents is not certain, although, as stated above, many of them have found their way to the Record Office and are there calendared among the colonial, domestic, or foreign papers. There is a collection of such original material, dating from the close of the seventeenth century, in the treasury building. a

The clerk's office is entered from Downing street, but the library containing the original docu- ments must be reached through the main entrance on Whitehall.


The collection of manuscripts from which the most valuable returns might be expected is in the British Museum. The documents there deposited are small in number but they are of great value, and none of them have heretofore been printed. The originals of the precedents for patents of the Virginia Company, which are now noted for the first time, evidently formed a part of the records of the company, and it may be that they are some of the copies of the records made under the supervision of Nicholas Ferrar, or they may be the drafts of patents which were filed by the company according to an order of its court. Not only is the writing similar to much of that in the contemporary transcripts of the court book, but they are unsigned copies, and the headings of a number of them seem to be in the autograph of Edward Collingwood. The caption of the series shows that the copies were made for the sake of preserving the form, and reads as follows: "Presidents of Patents, Grants & Commissioners by the Virginia Company. 1621." b

"List of Records," pp. 149 ff., Nos. 256, 257, 267, 276–278, 298, 299, 323–325. The volume is cata- logued as Additional MSS., 14285.

The company thus preserved the legal form of the various grants. Four of them are of value not only for the form but for the knowledge they furnish of the distinction made between the four classes of adventurers: those who paid money into the treasury and agreed to plant one hundred persons, those who established a private plantation, those who were private planters, and those whose "shares exceedinge 50 acr̃ are exempted from payinge any Rent to ye Company for the persons they transporte." In addition certain knowledge is afforded concerning the grants. Two out of the other nine documents are commissions granted to owners and masters of ships for voyages to Virginia, by which they are to transport passengers to Virginia. Another is a covenant by the company to pay for the victualing and transporting of passengers, while still another is for the transporting of goods only. Other forms are those used for granting rights of fishing on the coast of America, for voyages to Virginia, and free fishing along the shores, and others still for discovery, fishing, and trading in furs in Virginia. The covenant signed by William Ewens in which he agreed to fit out the ship George reveals the form of contract required of the masters of ships by the company.

These papers form the last group in a volume which contains "A Catalogue of the Nobility of England in the time of King James the first," 1626, and "A list of all the Officers belonging to Courts of Justice the Kings household & Reuenue wth their seuerall fees." There are several signs for identification, but none which indicate the original owner of the volume. It is a small quarto in leather, bearing the signature, "H Cowle A. 29," on the inner cover, and also the arms of James Bindley with the motto, "unus et idem." At the bottom of the same cover is written the following: "Purchased at the sale of W. Berwicks library at Sotheby's, 27 Apr. 1863. (Lot 427)," while on the second fly leaf in the upper right-hand corner is the inscription: "The gift of Mr Dan1 Prince, Bookseller. Oxford—July 23d. 1776." Farther than this the history of the papers is unknown.

Another set of documents in the Museum is also unique. One of these sup- plies all that is known outside of the court book and a single reference in Argall's register book regarding the controversy over the grant of land to John Martin in Virginia. The other letters from Martin to his brother-in-law, Sir Julius Cæsar, written in December, 1622, give startling suggestions with regard to an ideal policy for the colony. "The manner howe to bringe in the Indians into subiection wth out makinge an utter extirpation of them ..." is the heading of the paper in which Martin proposes to disable the main body of the enemy by cutting them off from their sources of supply at home and by destroying their trade. He would thus require two hundred soldiers "Contynuallie harrowinge and burneinge all their Townes in wynter." By this means and by gaining a store of grain for two years' supply, he plans for the recovery from the massacre. In order to secure the entire territory from the Indians, in a second letter he propounds a scheme by which the Crown or the company can make a "Royall plantation for gods glory his Matie: and Royall progenyes euer happines and the Companies exceedinge good." The responsibility and control was to be thrown upon the shires of England. The fact that the Martin letters have not heretofore been generally known may be due to an error in the catalogue. They appear under the name "Tho. Martin" instead of "Jho. Martin." a

List of Records, Nos. 378, 384, 385.

Two other projects for the advancement of the colony are in the same collection of papers; one by Captain Bargrave, brother of the Dean of Canterbury, is dated December 8, 1623, and the other a year later. The latter relates to the division of income from tobacco between the King, the planter, and the grower, with a reward to those endeavoring to preserve the plantation, but approves the Ditchfield offer. The Ditchfield offer itself is also in this collection. a

List of Records, Nos. 604 and 733.

Captain Bargrave's proposition for the government of the colony stands midway between absolute royal control and full autonomy of the planters, and holds an important place in the develop- ment of the plans from the proprietary to the royal colony. Furthermore, it is rather significant that in the collection of Sir Julius Cæsar are to be found the propo- sitions of Martin, of Bargrave, and the document by which the commission was finally appointed in 1624, to establish the government in Virginia under royal control. Sir Julius Cæsar, having been a judge of admiralty under Elizabeth and chancellor of the exchequer in the reign of James I, became master of the rolls on January 16, 1610/11, and one of the keepers of the great seal on May 3, 1621. His position evidently enabled him to secure a large collection of valuable drafts of documents. This was sold at auction in 1757. One-third of the collection was purchased by the Earl of Shelburne (Lord Lansdowne) from Webb and came to the Museum among the Lansdowne papers.

Two collections of printed material of the company are to be found in England, the British Museum and the Society of Antiquaries. While the British Museum has a large number of the earlier publications, it possesses only the declaration of June 22, 1620, and also the unique note of shipping of 1620, the only other copy of which is owned by the Society of Antiquaries. The collection of that society is rich in royal proclamations, besides possessing a copy of the Note of Shipping, 1621, and of the Inconveniences of 1622. The scattering documents to be found in private collections throughout England are often valuable, but nowhere else is to be found any considerable number of papers or any that are of great importance. b

For those documents in private collections, see the List of Records. In the concluding section of this "Introduction" will be found a discussion of the collections which have been searched in vain for material relating to the Virginia Company. Furthermore, a statement will there be found of those families in whose possession we should expect to find Virginia records, because of their connection with the men prominent in the company or in the commissions which supplanted the company. A very helpful article, entitled "The Stuart Papers," is published by Mrs. S. C. Lomas, in the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, new series, XVI, 97–132.

4. The Records of the Company under the Sandys-Southampton Administration
Organization of the Company

In order to comprehend what the records of the company were and what their value, it is necessary to gain an understanding of the system which the corporation worked out in order to further its purposes. The forms and usages of the company after 1619 were determined by the charters granted by the King and by the "Orders and Constitutions" which it adopted in 1619 and printed in June, 1620, a

List of Records, No 183.

although the latter were altered or newly interpreted from time to time by action of its courts.

The membership of the company was unlimited and was granted by the courts to anyone who had "adventured" £12 10s. for a share of stock or to whom the com- pany had awarded a share of stock for services. b

MS. Records of the Virginia Company of London, Court Book, Vol. I, Nov. 15, 1619.

The distinction between a member who was free of the company and an owner of land in Virginia was brought out in a controversy on February 19, 1622/3, in which a proposition to limit the adventurers to those approved by the generality met with opposition on the ground that land in Virginia was held in free and common socage and could not be forbidden to any man. But Sir John Brooke, the legal authority in the company, declared that such exclusion was agreeable to the law since it was a question of a vote in a court and not a ques- tion of ownership of land. The argument was based on the power to withhold the privilege of voting from Samuel Wroth, who was under censure, and similarly on the power to exclude any man who had purchased land from a member who was indebted to the company until the debts were paid. This discussion also revealed that no oath of fidelity was required in the Virginia Company as in the Muscovy and other corporations. At a later date the King proposed that no member should be free of the courts who had not sent men to the colony as planters, claiming that less than thirty of the adventurers could meet the requirement. c

Ibid., II, Feb. 19, 1622/3; I, Nov. 3, 1619.

The power to dis- franchise an unworthy member was reserved to the company.

The members met in four great or quarter courts, held on the last Wednesday except one of each law term. On the Monday preceding they assembled in a prepar- ative court and on every Wednesday fortnight thereafter in a common or ordinary court, as required by the charter of 1612; and they might also be summoned to an extraordinary court by the treasurer or deputy. The meetings were held in the private houses of various members of the company a

MS. Records of the Virginia Company of London, Court Book, Vol. II, May 24, 1623.

until the time of the tobacco contract, when a company house was established.

In the quarter court the adventurers elected all councilors and principal officers of the company and colony, made all laws and ordinances, confirmed all grants of land, settled all questions of trade, and passed all measures which should bind the company for a term of years. Their action with regard to questions of a new charter and of investment for the colony was legal only when transacted in a quarter court, but they might transfer to other courts actions which concerned correspondence with the lord treasurer or similar business. Fifteen of the generality and five of the council formed a quorum for the ordinary courts, and in those they signed warrants, ordered the payment of bills passed by the auditors, and sealed bills of adventure. In that meeting also were perfected commissions for transportation of men and provisions and for trade and barter. Special officers and committees were appointed in this court, and even actions of great importance, such as the dissolution of the magazine or the extension of freedom of the company to hon- orary members, were consummated. b

Ibid., I, Dec. 15, 1619; Dec. 3, 1619; Jan. 12, 1619/20; Feb. 16, 1619/20; Feb. 22, 1619/20.

The officers chosen by the company were a council, a treasurer, a deputy, auditors, a general committee of sixteen, a secretary, a bookkeeper, a husband, and a beadle. The adventurers looked to the treasurer or governor not only as the president and moderator, but as the manager of their business interests, and expected him to be responsible for the policy of the company in its relations with the govern- ment and to formulate and present plans for the development of the plantation and the profit of the adventurers. To him was entrusted the supervision of the treasury and the collection of moneys.

The care of the court books was given to the deputy. It was his duty to attend to the engrossing of the orders and resolutions of the courts, the registration of letters to and from the company, and the formulation of statements to be given to the public. He also kept the court of the committees and supervised the issue of warrants.

The council was a body, gradually increasing in size, elected for life, and was sworn by the lord chancellor or by the lord chamberlain. In the earlier years it was the most important committee of the generality of the company, but after 1621 its duties seem oftentimes to have been assigned to the auditors or to special committees. According to the "Orders and Constitutions" its chief care was the preparation of laws for the company and for the colony, the issue of instructions to the governor and council of the colony, and the formation of a preliminary court for the trial of the officers of the company or of the colony. But the practice in the courts was to refer to it those difficult duties for which its titled and distinguished personnel made it especially fit. To it was referred, as a final resort, the examination of the claims of John Martin, the attempts to gain a statement of accounts from the old magazine, and the settlement or arbitration of both the Bargrave and the Argall cases. a

MS. Records of the Virginia Company of London, Court Book, Vol. I, Nov. 17, 1619; Nov. 3, 1619; June 28, 1620.

A body called the "committees" was at first composed of twelve members, six being chosen annually, but later the number was increased to sixteen, four being elected anew each year. b

Ibid., I, May 2, 1621.

Its duties were chiefly to attend to the buying and selling of the commodities of the company, and to the furnishing of ships departing for Virginia.

The auditors formed the other important standing committee, composed of seven members, elected annually. The chief duty assigned to them by the "Orders and Constitutions" was that of reducing to a book the receipts and expenditures. The court book discloses the fact that the company imposed upon them the burden of examining all claims against the company, as well as all claims of the company, of investigating the accounts of the lottery and of the magazine, of determining the awards of land or of shares for service or for adventure, of perfecting all patents and grants, and even of investigating controversies, such as the Bargrave and Martin cases and the dispute as to the seal and coat of arms. c

Ibid, I, June 24, 1619; Dec. 15, 1619; Feb. 2, 1619/20; Feb. 16, 1619/20; May 23, 1620. For a discussion of the seal of the company, see Cooke, "Clayborne the Rebel," in the Magazine of American History, New York, Vol. X (1883); and also Baxter, "Great Seal of the Council for New England" in Ibid., Vol. XI (1884).

The other officers performed such duties as usually pertain to those who hold the corresponding titles. d

A report of the committee appointed to describe the "particular duties" of the several officers is among the Manchester papers. It is incorporated in the published "Laws and Orders." List of Records, No. 105.

As the business of the company increased additional officers were chosen, as those for the control and execution of the lotteries and of the tobacco contract; while the custom of referring important matters to special committees grew rapidly, until in the later years many duties were transferred to them from the council, and even from the auditors. In this way such affairs as the securing of men to send to the colony, the provisioning of ships, the hearing of petitions, the investigating of claims, the sending of maids to the colony, the planning for new settlements and industries, the representing of the interests of the company in Parliament, the defending of the company in the suit of the quo warranto were intrusted to special committees. a

Court Book, July 13, December 15, 1619; March 2, 1619/20; June 26, July 7, 12, November 15, December 13, 1620; July 3, October 7, November 6, 1622.


In order to secure legality of action, the "Orders and Constitutions" were read at one quarter court each year, since in those meetings the measures of great importance were determined. b

Ibid., I, Jan. 31, 1619/20.

That the forms and usages followed in other com- mercial companies, in other corporate bodies, and in Parliament greatly influenced the decisions of the company is seen in the following illustrations: The question as to the entry in the minutes of the names of dissenters or of reasons disallowed by the court except by special order was thus settled according to the practice in Parliament; to prove that individual adventurers would not be liable for the debts of the company in the management of the tobacco magazine, decisions were cited both in a case involving the corporation of Norwich, and in the insolvency of the Muscovy Company; when the question arose as to salaries in the tobacco business involving £100,000, the precedent furnished by all joint stocks of no greater capital than £7,000 was brought forward; the custom of private corporations as well as of judicial bodies of imposing a fine upon any man who spoke against the judge or the court was urged by Lord Brooke as a proper action to be taken against Samuel Wroth. c

Ibid., II, Dec. 11, 1622; Jan. 14, 1623; Feb. 4, 1622/23; Dec. 11, 1622.

Elections were conducted by ballot, except for the council, in which case, as in all other matters, the will of the court was determined by an "erection of hands."

The reward for services rendered by the officers was determined by the court and set down in the Orders and Constitutions. The annual payment to the secre- tary was £20, to the beadle £40, to the husband £50, and to the bookkeeper £50. Although the chief officials and committees received no salary, at the expira- tion of the year's term of office it was customary to award 20 acres of land in Virginia to each individual, with the provision that such land should not be sold. The company similarly rewarded individuals who had rendered great service, but sometimes it granted shares of stock instead, or agreed to transport for the indi- vidual a certain number of men free of charge. Shares thus given could not be sold below par value of £12 10s. d

Ibid., I, June 28, 1620; November 15, 1620; May 2, 1621.

Each share carried with it the privilege of a vote in the courts and the receipt of 100 acres of land in Virginia on the first division, with a similar amount on the second division providing the first section had been peopled. In addition, the sending of a man to the plantation before midsummer of 1625 entitled the adventurer to 50 acres of land on each division. If a planter had adventured his person only, after three years' residence in the colony the company gave him one share of stock; or if a resident in England had sent a man to the colony who had remained there three years, the one who bore the charge was simi- larly rewarded. Through reward or by purchase an individual might thus own land and not possess stock, but he might secure the latter within three years by "plant- ing" or peopling his land. The result was that there were five classes of individuals connected with the company.

It will thus be seen that ownership of land and possession of freedom of the company were not always coexistent, but that each involved the possibility of the other. a

"Orders and Constitutions:" List of Records, No. 183. Court Book, I, May 2, 1621; June 28, 1620; Nov. 15, 1620.

No assessments were ever levied upon the shareholders, the first sugges- tion of such a course coming from the Privy Council in July, 1623. b

Ibid., II, July 9, 1623.


The company was thus a body of adventurers, who had gained the freedom of the company by payment of money, by rendering a service, or by settlement of land in Virginia. It was presided over by a treasurer chosen by itself at will, and conducted all of its business through its regularly elected officers or committees, or by special committees. According to the "Orders and Constitutions" it kept a complete record of its actions in the courts and compelled its officers and committees to do the same. Provision was thus made for six books which were to contain the following records:

All of these books were in the custody of the Secretary, and were to be kept in the company's chest, together with the originals of the letters patents and all other papers. In his custody also were the husband's books of accounts of every voyage to Virginia, all accounts approved by the auditors, the canceled and uncanceled charter parties, and all bonds issued to the company.

The proof of the care with which the company kept its records is found in the contemporary copy of the court book, and in a few scattering originals and copies of originals which are preserved among the Ferrar and Manchester papers and in the British Museum. That all of the books required by the orders and constitutions were really kept can not be proved, since not a page nor a copy of a page of many of them is known to be extant; but the copy of the court book serves as an evidence that the laws were as carefully obeyed in this respect as in others. The references in the minutes to many of these records, the inser- tion of many of them in the copy of the court book, and the continual provision for supplementary records all go to show that the "Orders and Constitutions" furnish a reliable outline of the records kept by the company.

The books which the courts added to the list of records from time to time reveal an increasing effort to conduct the business in an orderly manner. Imme- diately upon assuming his duties as treasurer, Sir Edwin Sandys instituted an investigation of the accounts of Sir Thomas Smythe. In this connection four books and four rolls were prepared containing the subscriptions, which had been made for carrying on the business, and a list of the adventurers with the sums invested during the previous years. The treasurer made a similar request of the deputy, John Ferrar, on September 18, 1620, in which he asked that the secretary and Mr. Carter should make three catalogues of the adventurers indebted to the company in order that they might be given to a solicitor for collection. He throws light upon the customary carelessness by urging that the lists should be made "from the company's books and not from memory," lest many a £12 10s should be lost. a

List of Records, No. 211.

On May 17, 1620, three books of the deputy were audited. The first contained an account of the money disbursed for provisions, b

Two warrants are preserved among the Ferrar papers, one addressed to the Earl of Southamp- ton and one to Deputy John Ferrar. List of Records, p. 149, Nos. 258, 259.

the second, a catalogue of the provisions sent to the colony, and the third, a list of the names of the persons dispatched to the plantation with the trade of each. Because of the erection of private plantations in later years it was necessary that these records should be supplemented. Hence an order of court provided that the names of all persons transported to Virginia should be reported to the company and that a bookkeeper should be appointed to be at the house of the court to register the names before the departure of every ship. This record was to consist of the name, age, country, profession, and kindred of each individual and was to state at whose charge the transportation was effected. Contrary to custom each person was required to pay a fee for registration. A duplicate of the register was to be sent to the Governor of Virginia, but the names of those departing were not to be made public until after the ship had sailed. c

Court Book, II, Nov. 18, 1622.

Provision was made in 1620 for keeping duplicates of all patents issued. A part of this series is now deposited in the British Museum, from which the various kinds of patents and the terms for each may be discovered. d

Ante, p. 67. "Order of Court," I, June 26, 1620.

A registra- tion of all shares passed from one member of the company to another was ordered on November 19, 1621, and such a book was to be used as evidence of the right to be admitted to courts. Other records added from time to time were a book containing the rates of commodities, e

Court Book, I, Dec. 13, 1620; Jan. 31, 1620/21.

a register of all petitions to the court, with the action thereupon, a

Court Book, II, Oct. 23, 1622.

and a record of all covenants between adventurers and indentured servants, a copy of which was to be sent to the governor of Virginia. b

Ibid., II, Nov. 18, 1622; Nov. 20, 1622.

The rolls signed by adventurers must have been numerous. Nine are mentioned in the court book on July 24, 1621, in addition to others cited at various times. c

Ibid., I, May 8, 1622; II, July 4, 1623.

With the increase in trade and the establishment of the company magazines new measures were adopted for controlling the business. These often consisted of separate documents rather than books. A statement was thus required of the deputy certifying that the freight had been paid before any goods should be delivered, and invoices were also demanded of the cape merchant. d

Ibid., I, Apr. 3, 1620.

Copies of such certificates, as also of the accounts of the treasurer of the various joint stock investments for the glass works and for the fur trade, were kept in the company's chest. e

Ibid., I, Jan. 16, 1621–22; Feb. 27, 1621–22.


The paucity of the actual extant documents of the company has made the circumstances of the transcription of the court book the more interesting and its authenticity the more important.

As the growing controversy between the two factions of the company resulted in serious accusations of mismanagement by sundry adventurers and planters, the Crown soon appointed a commission to investigate the affairs of the company, with a consequent sequestering of all of the company's court books in May, 1623. f

Court Book, II, May 14, 1623.

The clear mind of Nicholas Ferrar immediately foresaw the danger of a seizure of the documents of the company, and appreciating full well the value of the "court books, registers and writings, instructions, letters, etc.," as political papers and also as evidences of the possession of land and investment of capital, upon their return by the Privy Council, he "did fairly copy out all the court books, etc. (which cost 50li) and carried them to the noble Earle of Southampton." g

"Some directions for the collecting materiall for the writing the life of Nich: Ferrar," a manu- script in the Cambridge University Library, Mm. 1.46 (Baker 35), pp. 389–432, especially p. 392.

During the following year the activities of Nicholas Ferrar, as well as the attention of other members of the company, must have been under great strain. The time not taken in attendance "twice or thrice a week" a

Peckard, Memoirs of the Life of Mr. Nicholas Ferrar, pp. 89–167.

upon the Privy Council, and in the attempts to defend the company against the charges of "abuse of its privileges," was evidently devoted to supervising the transcript of the com- pany's records. The attestation at the end of each volume shows that the first was completed January 28, 1623/4, and the second June 19, 1624. b

According to the attestation two full courts were omitted, May 30, 1620, and June 1, 1622, and also a part of May 20, 1620. The Robinson abstracts comprise a little more than about one-half of the original records and are much more complete for the later years when the controversy with the King over the tobacco contract and the abuses of the company was being carried on. The part of the court book which reveals most with regard to internal organization, commercial activity, and inner life of the company is not included in these abstracts. Thus such data as that which concerns the trouble with Spain over the Treasurer, the suit with William Wye, the accusations against Samuel Argall, the old magazine, the Pierce patent, and many other private grants are not included. More- over, a comparison of the publication with the original manuscript shows that the John Randolph of Roanoke copy was used almost exclusively, and many inaccuracies have resulted.

This was none too soon, for just a week later the Privy Council ordered Deputy Ferrar to bring to the council chamber all patents, books of accounts, invoices of the company, and lists of settlers in the colony, to be retained by the Privy Council chest until further notice. c

Order of the Privy Council, June 26, 1624: List of Records, No. 689.

A commission had been appointed two days before to take into their hands all "charters, letters patent, grantes and instructions, bookes, orders, letters, advices and other writings concerning the company." d

The commission was sealed July 15, 1624: Ibid., No. 701.

The com- pany urged in these words that the council should permit the books to remain invio- late: "So by this meanes [that is, by the transcripts] have the Original Court bookes yet escaped purging: And wth all duety wee humbly beseech yor Lops that they may hereafter be protected from it: And that howsover yor Lops shall please for the future to dispose of the Companie, that the records of their past Actions may not be corrupted & falsified." Further, when the council demanded that the Earl of Southampton should surrender to the commissioners his copies of the records, before he sailed for the Netherlands in August, he sent them word, "that he would as soon part wth the evidences of his Land, as wth the said copies, being the evidence of his honour in that Service." e

For these quotations see Discourse of the Old Company of Virginia addressed to the Lords of the Privy Council, April, 1625. List of Records, No. 759.

How these transcripts were made, and especially what became of them at that time, and where they remained for the following half century can be a matter of conjecture only, based on the divers statements of contemporary authorities. These are three in number:

The Discourse of the Old Company gives much the same history of the records as does Dr. Peckard. The facts set forth by the latter were taken from the "Memoirs of Nicholas Ferrar" by his brother John, about 1654, and therefore this work may be considered as based on contemporary authority. According to Dr. Peckard, Nicholas Ferrar, knowing that malice was at work, procured a clerk to copy out all the court books and other writings and caused them to be carefully collated with the original. It cost him the sum of £50, which he thought was the best service he could render the company. After the seizure of all the muniments of the company, and after Lord Treasurer Middlesex had procured sentence against the company, Mr. Ferrar informed Sir Edward Sandys and others of what he had done. These men were greatly rejoiced and advised that the copies be taken to the Earl of Southampton, who was so overcome that he is said to have embraced Mr. Ferrar and to have declared that he valued them as an evidence of his honor more than as evidences of his land. John Ferrar is quoted as having stated that the Earl of Southampton was advised not to keep these records in his house and so delivered them to Sir Robert Killigrew, who left them on his death to Sir Edward Sackville, the Earl of Dorset. Mr. Ferrar continues that the Earl of Dor- set died in 1652, but he hopes the records are still in the possession of the Earl's family. b

Peckard, pp. 155–156.

Certain it is that Dr. Peckard had a large collection of manuscripts which concerned the Virginia Company, some of which must be considered a part of the records of the company, for such were the Ferrar papers described above which Dr. Peckard bequeathed to Magdalene College, Cambridge. That some of them, at least, came from the Earl of Dorset's family is to be concluded from the statement of Dr. Peckard that the "Duke had had his library searched and found a few loose papers, which he sent to him." c

See discussion of the Ferrar papers, pp. 59 ff., ante.

Some of them doubtless belonged to Dr. Peckard's wife, Martha Ferrar. But the story of the purchase of the two volumes from the estate of the Duke of Southampton by Colonel William Byrd in 1673 or 1688 for 60 guineas has firm credence through statements of Mr. Byrd himself; and there is no evidence that they came from the Earl of Dorset's family. That they were sent to Tichfield by the Earl of Southampton before he sailed for the Netherlands and there remained until his son's library was sold after his death in 1667 seems probable. Perhaps some of the other records went to Sir Robert Killigrew, as stated by John Ferrar, and even some from which these copies were made.

The statement by Woodnoth, who was a nephew of Nicholas Ferrar, that Sir John Danvers had the transcripts of the records made in order to keep out of the way an indigent man who had been employed by the company as a copyist and who might be persuaded to say something ill of Sandys and of Southampton, does not bear the stamp of truth or even of probability. There may have been a copy made by Danvers, but the internal evidence reveals that the existing volumes in the Library of Congress were not transcribed by any one man, and that the work was accomplished under the personal direction of Nicholas Ferrar. a

A Short Collection of the Most Remarkable Passages from the originall to the dissolution of the Virginia Company, pp. 17–18. The description here given of Southampton's attitude on receiving the books is similar to that given by Dr. Peckard.


The contemporary copies of the court books, which are now in the Library of Congress and which may well be called the Ferrar copies, consist of two volumes of large quarto size well bound in rough calf. About 1898 the books were boxed, that is, repaired with new backs without disturbing the sewing. The old labels were pasted on the new backs and bear the title in gold letters on red leather: Record / of the Virgin: / Compan:/, while gold letters on black leather indicate the volume: Vol. / I. / and Vol. / II. / . In the first volume manila strips are pasted from the inner cover to the first and to the last fly leaf in order to strengthen the binding. The paper is of the seventeenth century type, hand-made and uneven in texture. In the first volume there are three hundred and fifty-four pages, with five fly leaves in the front and seven in the back, while the second contains three hundred and eighty-seven pages preceded by three fly leaves and followed by four, with two extra manila pages in both the front and back. The pencil entries on the first leaf of the first volume are as follows: "Records of the / Virginia Company / of London./ Vol I. April 28, 1619 to May 8, 1622. / Vol 2. May 20, 1622 to June 7, 1627./ The above title in hand of / Mr. A. R. Spofford / Sig.: H. F[rieden wald] b

Mr. Spofford was the Librarian of Congress from 1864 to 1897. Mr. Friedenwald was in charge of the Division of Manuscripts from 1897 to 1900.

Oct. 11 / 97./". On the inside of the front cover of the second volume in an unknown modern autograph is: "p. 366 cf with p. 71 v 3," a

The letter on page 366 is identical with that on page 71 of the fragile seventeenth century papers referred to above as Vol. III, pt. ii, of the Records of the Virginia Company.

and on the first manila leaf: "May 20, 1622 / to / June 7, 1624."

The discovery of the Ferrar papers has made it possible to make a final state- ment both as to the method of the transcription of the documents and as to its accuracy, for the autographs there found of Nicholas Ferrar and also of his clerk or business agent in his private accounts prove indisputably that these two men supervised and carried on the copying of the volumes. b

For examples of the autograph of Nicholas Ferrar and of that of his assistant, Thomas Collett(?), see the plates in this volume.

Particularly in the second volume, where there are many entries of reports of committees, projects, objections, letters, petitions, declarations, and relations by the company or by individuals, the headings, the initial words, even the first line of each document, and sometimes entire documents are in the autograph of Nicholas Ferrar. The rest of the insertion is usually by his assistant, who was perhaps Thomas Collett, his nephew. All of the insertions in the first volume and about twenty in the second are entirely in the so-called Collett autograph, numbering about the same as those superintended by the deputy himself. The way in which these insertions are often crowded in, is evidence that they were copied from the original documents in spaces left for the purpose by the hired copyist. c

For the documents thus inserted in the Court Book see List of Records under "References." For an illustration of the insertion of the documents see the plates in this volume.

As to the identity of the other three or four distinct autographs, in which the remaining part of the volumes appear, nothing has been determined. The first and third copyists are distinctly different in style, while what appears as the writing of a fourth and a sixth clerk may possibly be identical with that of the first. With the exception of the autograph of Nicholas Ferrar, the whole is clearly, carefully, and legibly written in the characteristic running hand of the period, resembling the chancery hand. The spelling, capitalization, and abbrevia- tions are distinctive and characteristic of each copyist. The use of curved lines to complete blank spaces at the end of the line, and often at the bottom and top of the page, shows the labor expended to make the transcript accurate and complete. The memoranda at the end of the volumes declare that the transcript had been carefully collated with the original "courte booke" and with the authentic docu- ments by the secretaries, Edward Waterhouse and Edward Collingwood, in the first volume, and by Thomas Collett and Edward Collingwood in the second. That the insertions were copied from the original documents is shown by the statement in the memorandum of volume II that in two instances the letters had been missing for purpose of collation. Many pages reveal the corrections of errors or omissions of the copyist. In most instances this was done by Edward Collingwood himself, though sometimes by Thomas Collett. a

For the evidence that the corrections are by Edward Collingwood, compare the autographs as shown in the plates of Vol. II, post.

At the bottom of each page is the signature "Conc Collingwood," the abbreviation standing for concordat, as is shown by the word appearing as "Concord:" on page three hundred and fifteen of the first volume. b

Signatures of Edward Collingwood may also be found in the Public Record Office among the State Papers Colonial, II, Nos. 10–11, 13, 19 (II, III). His signature is reproduced from the first Plymouth Patent, June 1, 1621, in the Massachusetts Historical Collections, Series 4, Vol. II, p. 163.

In addition to this internal evidence of accuracy, further proof of the care with which the books were transcribed is found among the Ferrar papers. The records of four courts were there discovered, which are almost identical with those of the same date in the Library of Congress volumes. c

Compare the plates in Vol. II, post. These courts are dated March 7, 1622/3, July 4, 1623, July 9, 1623, January 25, 1623/4.

The only differences, and these are not numerous, are those which would naturally result from the fallibility of the copyist, and the apparent custom of the time to ignore the orthography of the original. One is led to believe that these loose pages of courts form a part of the book from which the copy was made. This is shown by the use of larger letters to emphasize certain words, and by Edward Collingwood's corrections of the Library of Congress copy to make it conform to these drafts. Even the omission of one or two lines in the Ferrar copy, later corrected, can be accounted for by reference to these sheets, since in each case it has resulted from the same word occurring in the same place on two successive lines. Furthermore, the directions in the margin of these courts as to where certain documents were to be entered were followed in the transcript and seem to point to these as a part of the original minutes. The autograph of the court held on June 25 is identical with that of the first copyist of the transcript, while the courts of July 4 and July 9 were apparently written by the sixth copyist of the transcript. Among the Ferrar papers are two drafts of a resolution concerning the "Lo Tr̃er speach touching Mr Alderm. Johnson," which was entered in the court book. One is a rough draft written, altered, and corrected by Edward Collingwood, and bearing the above indorsement by the writer and a similar indorsement by John Ferrar. The other draft is in the autograph of the sixth copyist of the court book, following the above, and is attested by Edward Collingwood. The transcript in the court book is identical with the latter, but the vote is omitted; the substance, however, is given after the discussion follow- ing the presentation of the resolution. Thus they seem rather to have been drafts of a resolution which had been presented than of one prepared to be offered. Comparison between these records of courts and a draft of a Somers Islands court, in the same collection, leads to the conclusion that they do not form a part of the blotter or blurred book from which the original book was made, since the latter are much corrected and altered and then canceled diagonally from corner to corner; a

Post, Plates in Vol. II.

but are rather a part of the original book itself. The reliability of the Library of Congress transcripts is also confirmed by collating them with the original documents, or with other copies of the documents, which are inserted in the court book, and these careful comparisons have shown how accurately Edward Collingwood and his assistants conducted the work for Nicholas Ferrar. b

For any variations of importance, see footnotes to documents in the "Court Book," post, I, II.


The system by which the minutes of the courts were kept is thus outlined in the minutes; the court book was first drawn up by the secretary, was approved by the deputy, and later accepted or corrected by the court. c

Court Book, I, Dec. 11, 1622.

That there must have existed a "Blurr booke" in addition to the various reports or other documents offered in any court is proved by an extract from a memorandum by Sir Nathaniel Rich, which is a warrant requiring all records of the court to be brought to the commissioners on Virginia, and includes the "Court Bookes wch should warrant the s̃d Records, and the Blurr bookes wch should warrant the Court Booke and is the first ground of the Records; that it may [be] discouered whether there be any difference betweene them." d

List of Records, No. 465.

The entries in the court book are the minutes of all the various courts, of several meetings of the Somers Islands Company, and of one meeting of the committees.

Introducing each court is a list of the adventurers in attendance. A comparison of the number with the number of votes cast as recorded shows that these are quite complete for the quarter courts, but in the ordinary courts either the attendance was very small or the entry was incomplete, since the list is often terminated with the expression "and divers others." It was sometimes entered later than the transcript of the body of the text, as though from a book of attendance, but no mention of a roll book is found among the records. This part of the book alone furnishes a valuable comment upon the social classes interested in the undertaking and from it may be gained a knowledge of the faithfulness of the members and especially of the factions which developed toward the close of its history.

The order of business does not seem to have been regular. The approval of the previous court is usually recorded first, although many times this is deferred until the quarter court; then follows the report of the treasurer, through which the important matters to be determined are presented to the court, and the hearing of petitions, passing of shares, and grants of land appear at the end of the session.

In the ordinary courts were propounded all of those matters which did not require action in the general court and often many measures for preliminary dis- cussion which were postponed for final action to the fuller court. Thus the records of the common courts and also of the preparative courts usually contain the full reports and discussions of the various subjects, while the statements in the quarter courts are brief and perfunctory, embodying the decisions reached in the lesser courts. The reports of officers, from which so much concerning the financial status is to be learned, are entered in the minutes of the general court. To trace the course of any question necessitates a search through all of the courts, but in the quarter courts will be found the elections and the final action on all laws and ordinances, on the patents for private plantations or monopolies, or, in short, on all measures by which the company would be bound for a term of years.


The business recorded during the first two years of the Sandys administration concerned the establishment of laws and orders in the company and in the colony, the systematizing of methods, the formation of joint stock companies for the erection of new industries in Virginia, and the opening up of new adventures. But after the massacre early in the year 1622, the whole tone of the book changes. Personal feuds and quarrels, complaints, and accusations fill the pages. Whether the friction was due to the extreme distress brought about by the attack of the Indians or whether it was but the excuse for open opposition by the party of the Crown, which had been rapidly developing, is difficult to determine. From the spring of 1622 until February, 1622/3, the burden of the record concerns the tobacco contract with the Crown. It resulted in the discussion of salaries for the officers and the quarrel with Samuel Wroth, which occupied the attention of the company for three months. Then followed the Butler and Johnson accusations, the investigation by the Crown, and the dissolution of the company. It is literally true that, after June, 1622, no new measures for trade, for industry, or for commerce are entered in the court book. There was the usual transferring of shares and hearing of petitions and claims, but the business activity was evidently destroyed. That the colony could survive the massacre and continue its development with so little encouragement from the pro- prietor is evidence of the strong foundation laid during the governorship of Sir George Yeardley.

From the court book it would be possible to reconstruct a part or the whole of some of the other records. A list of all of the ships departing or arriving with the names of the masters could thus be drawn up, but the terms of the charter party could not be determined. a

The terms in general are given in the Presidents for Patents in the British Museum. List of Records, Nos. 256, 257, 266, 267, 268, 276, 277, and 278.

A full statement of the shares of stock granted or transferred, of the land assigned for adventure or for service, and of the private plantations erected could be given. Even a partial financial account could be rendered, though not an itemized statement. The larger sums invested or received from the various sources are usually given in the treasurer's plans and the officers' reports, although unfortunately only those of the treasurer and deputy are entered in full. But from scattered statements in plans, reports, and discussions, from grants, patents, suits, letters, petitions, and claims will come much that will illuminate the financial situation when these are gathered together.

The full record of all documents for which record was not provided elsewhere was made in the court book. Plans, reports of committees, and reports of chief officers seem to have been entered in full, but letters to and from the colony, and to and from the privy council, petitions with the action thereupon, charter parties, grants for monopolies, lists of departing planters, expenditures and receipts of the magazines, and rolls of adventure, were all recorded in the other books provided by the "Orders and Constitutions" or in the books created later. A single illustration will suffice. Of the twenty-seven letters sent to the colony and received from the colony, copies of many of which have been found among the papers in Virginia, but fifteen are mentioned in the court book, and only a few are spread in full upon the minutes. A great many more documents are entered in the court book during the later years, due evidently to the desire to keep a record of the controversy which might serve as a defense against the accusations of the malcontents. That many of these were not entered in the original court book is revealed by the marginal notes in the extant court minutes of the Ferrar papers, which read as follows: "Enter the quietus est," "Enter the resolution," and other similar directions.

The court book is not only a source of information, but it also serves as a guide to the other records of the company. That all of the twenty-one documents men- tioned but not entered in the court book have been found in other collections is most important and interesting. These include some of the publications of the company, most of the correspondence of the company with the King and with the colony, many of the orders of the Privy Council, the Admiralty suits of the com- pany, the laws passed in the colony, the charter granted to the colony, and the forms for patents used by the company. There are thirteen documents entered in the court book which are on record elsewhere, consisting of declarations or reports which were published by the company, petitions and letters to the King, and orders of the King's council. But thirty most valuable documents are spread upon the minutes which have not yet been discovered among other papers. These include a few peti- tions to the King, many petitions received by the company, a number of letters from and to the colony, the propositions brought forward in the attempt to form a tobacco contract with the King, the plans propounded by the treasurer for the advancement of the enterprise, and the declarations of the state of the affairs of the company and of the colony by the same officer. a

All of these documents, whether entered in the court book or not, are cited in the List of Records, and are also referred to by foot notes in this edition of the court book.


The organization and the method of procedure of the company have been outlined, in order to enable the reader to comprehend the nature of the records, and through them the machinery by which it conducted its internal affairs; but there is a wider and more important field to consider. The real interest in the company comes from its activity in carrying on trade and in developing the resources and government of the colony. Again, the starting point must be the court book, not only as a guide to the records which it kept in executing its purposes, but in discovering what activities are to be traced. Two kinds of documents afford the clearest outline of the subject; in one are the reports which the treasurer offered to the company and which are spread upon the minutes; in the other are the printed declarations and broadsides which the company issued for the purpose of securing interest, confidence, and investment in the undertaking. With the same motive it reprinted treatises and published sermons which had been delivered before the company.

The first report of Sir Edwin Sandys after he became treasurer was offered on November 3, 1619, in which he thus defined his policy: The resources of the company were to be augmented by settling and developing the company's land and by increasing the number of industries to be established, an action which must advance the plantation from a colony for exploitation into a colony for settlement. The report begins with a statement of the number of men which had been transported by the company for the college land and for the public land during the summer and continues with propositions to the same effect, by which 300 additional persons should be sent to the colony, 100 of whom were to be maids for wives and 100 to be apprentices or servants from the city. The other measures discussed are indicative of the development which rapidly took place. First of these was the effort to establish other commodities in Virginia and restrain the excessive production of tobacco; the second was the encouragement of a spirit of local patriotism in the colony. The treasurer urges that men should be sent from the low countries to raise fortifications for the colony, stating that the colonists were willing to bear the charges of the work since they had recently been encouraged by the charters and grants of liberties. The dependence of the company upon the lotteries for an income and the care to arrange for an economical transportation of the men are indications of the financial policy and status of the colony. The income of the lottery is estimated at £3,500, and the total expense of perfecting the plan submitted is placed at £4,000 or £5,000.

Six months later the treasurer made his annual report, which revealed to what extent his plans had been executed. It was issued as a broadside under the date of the court in which it was delivered and describes the state of the colony from April, 1618, to April, 1619, taken from a general letter to the company, and then proceeds to outline the successful activity of the colony during the succeeding year. It empha- sizes the erection of private plantations, the number of men sent to the company's land, the commodities provided for—there being ten instead of two as in the former year—the interest in the care of religion and education in the colony, and the stable financial condition of the company. The general receipts amounted to £9,831 14s 11d and the disbursements were £10,431 14s 07d, but the surplus in the college fund more than exceeded this deficiency, the receipts from that source being £2,043 02s 11½d and the expenditures £1,477 15s 5d. The lottery was reported to have an increase in stock over the previous year of £1,200. Although not re-elected treasurer, the financial management remained in the hands of Sir Edwin Sandys, as is proved by the entries of his plans in the court book and by his private letters to John Ferrar. A scheme outlined in the court of July 7, 1620, is practically the measure put forth in the printed declaration of June 22, 1620, and proposes a continuation of the policy stated above.

The printed documents of 1619 and 1620 add but little to the plans revealed in the treasurer's reports concerning the activity of the company, although the measures taken to advance the comfort of the planters and of the tenants upon arrival in Virginia, the establishment of many private plantations, and the encouragement given to the self-government of the colony are brought out more clearly. After the note of the shipping in 1621, so far as is known, there were no propositions issued by the company. This was due to the massacre which paralyzed the efforts of the company for a time and forced upon it publications of defense and excuse or directions of warning. While the company was torn by dissension, after 1622 the colony slowly but steadily advanced. The proprietor was no longer active, and the center of interest is therefore transferred from the courts in London in which the plans had been conceived to the settlement in which they were maturing.

The various publications of the company afford not only an understanding of the measures proposed, but also of their execution. They were in themselves a means of carrying out its schemes. Before 1622 five of these advertisements were issued by the company. The broadside bearing the date May 17, 1620, is a full statement of the prosperous condition in the colony, setting forth the ability of the colony to receive newcomers in its guest houses, newly built in each of the four ancient boroughs and in the other plantations, and describing the measures provided to sus- tain ministers in each borough. It states the number of men who had been sent to the public land, with the provisions allowed, and describes fully the efforts which had been made to establish six industries in the colony. a

List of Records, No. 174.

A book of great importance was issued by the company in June of the same year containing a series of declarations. b

Ibid., No. 183.

There were at least two editions in the year 1620, having variations in the title page; in the first edition the pages are numbered according to each pamphlet and the imprint is "T. S.," while in the second the pagination is consecutive from 1 to 92 and the imprint is that of Thomas Snodham. The latter varies also in the orthography of the word "colony" in the title. The former was probably the first edition and was composed of pamphlets, each of which may have been issued separately, and seems to have been reissued, with an additional pamphlet concerning a division of land in Virginia, c

The pamphlet must have been printed in 1616. An imperfect copy is in the British Museum.

in which the signature is consecutive. Copies of the first issue of the first edition of the "Decla- rations" are in the Harvard Library and in the New York Public Library ("No. 1"), but the only copy of the second issue is in the John Carter Brown Library (copy "A"). The copies in the British Museum, the Cambridge University Library, d

This copy is evidently imperfect, since it lacks pages 91 and 92.

the Library of Congress, the John Carter Brown Library (copy "B"), and the New York Public Library (Thomas Addison Emmet Collection, "No. 2") are identical and are evidently the first issue of the second edition. The copies in the New York Public Library and in a private collection in New York are probably a second issue of the second edition, having four additional pages and containing a declaration, "By his Maiesties Councell for Virginia," dated November 15, 1620. a

This is copy No. 3 in the New York Public Library. The copy in the private library is evidently the Smyth of Nibley volume, secured from the Cholmondely papers through Bernard Quaritch.

The pagination and the signature are consecutive but the style of type is changed.

The pamphlets included in all editions are as follows:

Some light is thrown upon these publications by the court book, in which provision for four similar pamphlets was made between November, 1619, and June, 1620, as follows:

The conclusion seems valid that these pamphlets are the ones included in the book and that they first appeared at various times, but that finally in June, 1620, they were collected, the fourth one added, and the volume published under the date of the latter.

The publication of this declaration in four different issues during the year 1620 indicates the interest which Sir Edwin Sandys had aroused in the measure, as well as the virility of the company, while reference to the book in much of the corre- spondence of the day reveals the same attitude toward the venture. In order to promote the silk industry a pamphlet entitled "Observations to be followed for making of fit roomes for silk wormes," written by Banoeil, was translated under the patronage of the company toward the end of the year 1620. a

This translation was ordered in an ordinary court on November 15, 1620, and was reported ready for the press on December 13. In the same courts there is a discussion of the prices of commodities produced in Virginia. List of Records, p. 138, Nos. 150, 151.

It contains a pamphlet called "A Valuation of the Commodities growing and to be had in Virginia: rated as they are worth," in which is presented the astonishing list of 49 articles. The natural commodities which did not require especial cultivation, such as various kinds of fish, furs, woods, shrubs and berries, were of course included. But this proof of rapid development in the industrial habits and occupations of the colonists is most important, and the note of the shipping of the same year and the one in 1621 are confirmatory. In the former is the statement of the number of men sent for each of four industries, and in the latter a similar declaration. The rapid transportation of settlers and the development of private plantations in these two years is as sur- prising. Thus in 1620 six ships with 600 persons were sent to the colony, and 400 more settlers were to be sent at once, of whom 500 were destined for the com- pany's land. The next year the number of ships dispatched increased to twenty-one and the number of persons to 1,300, while the number of patents for private plantations grew from six to twenty-six.

During the year 1622 the books printed by the company were much less valuable, although more numerous, there being seven in all. The Declaration of the state of the Colony of Virginia with the Relation of the Massacre of the English, by the Natiue Infidells with the names of those that were Massacred, by Edward Waterhouse, was more concerned with the disaster than with the previous development of the plantation. b

List of Records, p. 152, No. 293.

A broadside is inserted in the copy of this declaration in the John Carter Brown Library, entitled "Virginia Inconveniences," c

Ibid., No. 292.

which was published separately and was a set of directions with regard to the provisions which each person should have before sailing for the colony. This included apparel, victuals, household implements, arms, sugar, spice, and fruit for consumption at sea, and nets, hooks, lines, and a tent for large numbers. The declaration was made that for its own tenants the Virginia Company followed the proportionate provision as set forth in this broadside. It is at once an advertisement for new tenants and a warning against the dangers which had wrought dissatisfaction and brought complaints to the com- pany. Two sermons and two treatises were published in the same year; one of the latter was a reprint of Banoeil's book on silk worms, including a letter of encourage- ment from the King and one of advice from the treasurer, which were intended to promote the industry of silk as opposed to that of tobacco; a

The first suggestion of a reprint of this book came in a court of October 31, 1621, but it was not until September 5 of the year following that the book was ordered to be printed, including the two letters. List of Records, No. 347. The sermons were Virginia's God be Thanked, by Patrick Copland, 1622, and one by John Donne. See List of Records, Nos. 312, 375.

the other treatise was by John Brinsley and was an encouragement for the advancement of learning and the foundation of schools. b

An order of court, December 19, 1621, provided for an expression of gratitude to John Brinsley and an appointment of a committee to peruse and report upon his work. On January 16 the com- mittee was granted additional time, and Patrick Copland was asked to review the book and report to the company. List of Records, No. 291.

Of the same character was a four-page pamphlet, which was published in the same year, declaring the sums which had been coll͠ected "towards the building of a free schoole in Virginia." c

List of Records, No. 289.

A number of general works were approved by the company in the courts or were accepted and rewarded. Thus the proposition by Smith to write a history of Vir- ginia on April 12, 1621, seems to have been acceptable to the adventurers, while George Rugh, who had rendered service to the Virginia council by writing a treatise on government, was publicly eulogized upon his bequeathing £100 to the company for the education of infidels' children. d

Court Book, II, November 20, 1622.

Edward Bennett was admitted to the com- pany as a reward for a treatise against the importation of tobacco from Spain, and the chronicler, Howes, was granted 12 pounds of tobacco as a yearly payment for his references to Virginia. e

Ibid., I, April 12, 1621.

A number of works were suggested in the courts of which we have no trace or which can not be identified as appearing under other titles. To what the company referred when it petitioned the Archbishop of Canterbury for permission to publish the book which he had prohibited is unknown. f

Ibid., I, July 18, 1620.

The printed book proposed by Sir Edwin Sandys on November 4, 1620, in which he wished to defend the lotteries and to hasten the dispatch of persons to Virginia, may have been the declaration of the shipping in 1620, but it is not mentioned again in the court book. In 1621 three other proposed publications failed to be executed, so far as is known, the first of which was a treatise on the government of Virginia by Thomas Bargrave. g

Ibid., I, February 22, 1620/21.

The second was a defense of the company, and concerned the health, trade, and manners of the colony, and the third considered the defects and remedies of Virginia and discussed the food, health, fortifications, wealth, and religion of the colony. a

Court Book, I, April 12, June 11, 13, 1621.

In the following year an attempt was made to collect the "binding laws which had been ratified in courts" and to add them to the printed books, but it seems to have failed, since no trace of such a publication has been found, and no final action is recorded in the court book. b

Ibid., I, November 19, 21, 1621; March 13, 1621/22.


The printed advertisements between 1619 and 1621 were successful in securing the capital with which to carry on the enterprise. It now remains to discover how the trade was conducted and controlled, how the plantation was developed and governed, and how the business was finally destroyed.

The income which enabled the company to provide for new industries in 1619 and 1620 was derived from the £12 10s. paid by each new adventurer for each new share of stock, and from the lotteries. Special collections and particular gifts for the advancement of religion and of education in the colony were frequent, and thus the account and management of the college land became important. Before the intro- duction of freedom of trade into the colony, and the dissolution of the old magazine on January 12, 1619/20, the company had some profit from that monopoly, c

Ibid., I, July 7, 1619.

but the ease with which returns came from the lotteries had doubtless led the company to abolish the monopoly of trade which had become so difficult to maintain. That the company depended on the lotteries is indicated by the following statements in the court book: On December 1, 1619, the lotteries were continued until summer because there was no other means of securing money, and the plan put forth for the devel- opment of the colony on July 7, 1620, provided that the estimated expense of £17,800 should be met by the income from the lotteries, which would amount to £18,000. Information concerning the organization for conducting the lottery is wanting. Books and rolls and catalogues of prizes are referred to but have not been found. d

Ibid., I, June 24, 1619; January 12, 1619/20.

Thus the only documents which throw light on the system outside of the court book are the records of the suit of the Virginia Company against William Leveson, an agent for the lottery in 1613, which discloses that books and rolls had been kept, and that a house for the lottery had been erected and furnished "at the west end of St. Paules Church;" a proclamation by the King for the overthrow of the lottery on March 8, 1620/21; and a few letters solicting investments. e

List of Records, Nos. 28, 29, 71, 78.

The investments by the company during the period of the lotteries followed three lines—the old magazine, the planting of the public and the college lands in Virginia, and the erection of industries for the production of certain commodities. The court book is the only source of information with regard to the old magazine, in which the company through its general stock of the company had invested more than twice as much as any other adventurer. Hence, during the last half of the year 1619, it made every effort to gain an account and secure a settlement of that adventure. The discussion, which resulted in the adoption of free trade to the colony, reveals the system used for the control of the magazine, indicates to a slight degree the income which the company had had from that joint stock, and incidentally shows that it had some returns from the public lands in Virginia. a

Court Book, I, June 24, 28, July 7, 13, November 3, December 15, 1619.

The numbers of men sent to the company's land and their equipment are given in the printed declarations, in the reports of the treasurer spread on the minutes, and in the discussions recorded in the court book, and although the sums invested for the purpose are not recorded, the statement was made by Sir Edwin Sandys that 800 men were sent through the income from the lottery. The transportation of dissolute persons in the year 1619 to meet the command of the King, and the settlement of boys and girls on the company's land previous to 1622, were other means used to people the public and college lands. b

Ibid., December 23, 1619; January 12, February 2, 1619/20; July 3, 1622.

Five commodities enumerated in the broadside of May 17, 1620, were established by action of the court. No record is extant of the exact nature of the investment, but it appears from the court book to have been chiefly an investment from the general stock. The movement for monopoly of certain industries rather than a monopoly of all trade began during the latter part of the year 1620, and as a result the records deal extensively with plans for the sole importation of tobacco, by which a joint stock of £15,000 was to be raised to carry out what is known as the "Somerscales plan."

The overthrow of the lotteries carried consternation to the company. An income was essential with which to send out settlers to develop the soil or to create new industries, but the general stock was so low that the company could not even carry out its plans for glassworks. Finally, after several months of discussion, recourse was had to special adventure or new joint stock companies for special undertakings, controlled by a treasurer who should be elected by the adventurers in the scheme. Thus followed the creation of a series of magazines for the erection of a glass furnace, for the establishment of a fur trade, for sending maids for wives, and for supplying a magazine for apparel. The records of these ventures are to be found only in the court book, and the data there given is very insufficient. This, of course, meant no advantage to the general stock, and the company was forced to discover means for securing returns from the general investment and an income with which to develop the company's land. Hence, private plantations were organized, and private patents and monopolies for the industry of pitch and tar, for ironworks, for new discoveries were granted, while special commissions for trade along the coast and for fishing added to the revenue. With the exception of the movement for private plantations and for the sole importation of tobacco, but few records exist outside of the court book to reveal these vigorous endeavors to reap the results of the great investments in the earlier years. a

The discussions in the Court Book with regard to the magazine, the development of commodities, and private plantations will be found through the Index under those headings.

The grants for private plantations to individuals or groups of individuals, called hundreds, commenced as early as 1616, but increased rapidly during and after 1621, there being entries in the court book of over fifty patents granted in four years, which provide for the transportation of at least 100 men each and often for four times as many. The system by which each hundred in Virginia and the adventurers for the hundred in England was organized is to be found in the court book and in the extant records of the companies. The minutes of one meeting for Martin's Hundred and one for Smythe's Hundred, and the forms for patents deposited in the British Museum, in addition to about seventy papers of Berkeley Hundred, afford a very satisfactory reconstruction of the terms of agreement, the expenses, the provisioning, the form of government, the instructions issued to the captain or governor of the hundred, and the terms of settlement with tenants and servants. The adventures of Lord Zouch and Lord La Warr in 1617 and 1618, and of the Walloons and French in 1621, complete the series of which any record exists. b

For the documents on Berkeley Hundred see the Smyth of Nibley Papers in the New York Public Library, which are cited in the List of Records. See also Nos. 71, 72, 76, 77, 82, 227, 264, 735. These are really records of the private companies and fall under class VI in the List of Records. Among the forms for patents in the British Museum is that granted to Martin's Hundred: List of Records, No. 323.

But the private grants did not promise sufficient income to meet the great demands for supplies from the general stock which the massacre of 1622 brought about. As a result the company turned to the income from tobacco, regardless of its high purposes and its endeavors to enforce the production of other com- modities. This feeling of the importance of a contract for the sole importation of tobacco took such a strong hold upon the company that from May, 1622, until its dissolution, just a year later, nothing else worth mentioning is recorded in the court book, while the quarrel concerning the salaries to be paid for the manage- ment of the £100,000 to be invested in this project monopolized the attention of several courts. In addition to the record of an entire year in the court book, numerous memoranda of various estimates of the value of the tobacco monopoly to the Crown and to the company are deposited among the Manchester papers in the Public Record Office. The communications with the Privy Council on the subject are spread on the company's minutes, and are also to be found among the Colonial State papers. This series includes the proclamations of the King in 1624, and the new propositions and measures for tobacco importation of the same year. The economic condition of the planter, the necessity of a revenue to the company, the amount of the importation and of the customs value to the King, the relations with Spain, and the economic values in England are all brought out in the estimates, discussions, and arguments. a

List of Records, 60, 102, 147, 184, 185, 59, 263, 287, 448, 392, 396, 410, 413, 411, 414, 424, 425, 431, 482, 676, 678, 680, 681, 682, 691, 692, 693, 695, 696, 703, 705, 712, 724, 729, 733, 737, 744, 747, 756. See also the index of the Court Book, post, Vol. II, under "Tobacco."


The study of the relations of the company to the colony and the development within the colony may be based on a greater variety of documents than any other phase of the subject, especially with regard to the political conditions. The court book furnishes an understanding of the attitude and motives of the company and often serves to connect the data gathered from letters, instructions, commissions, patents, and grants. Thus the emphasis on the custom of martial law in the colony and the severity of penalty imposed is revealed both in the court book and in the extracts from Governor Argall's register. b

List of Records, No. 40, ff.

The additional forms of government required by the development of the colony are recorded in the court book, by which the company created the offices of deputies to the governor for the college and for the public land, secretary, treasurer, chancellor, and surveyor, and provided for the compensation of officers by grants of land, by transportation of tenants, by the income of the company's land, and by allowance of fees. c

Court Book, I, April 3, May 15, 17, 1620. See also Bruce, Economic History of Virginia.

The requests for the appointment of a council of State and for laws and orders, urgently repeated by Governor Yeardley, as recorded in the court book in 1619, give evidence that the source of such development was in the colony. But the fundamental law for the government of the colony is recorded in three documents, the instructions to Gov- ernor Yeardley, November 8, 1618, which created the land system, the instructions to Governor Wyatt, July 24, 1621, which emphasized the industrial development, and "An Ordinance and Constitution * * * for a Councill of State and Generall Assembly" in Virginia, which confirmed the political forms.

These documents provided for the creation of two councils. The council of state, composed of the governor and council, was to form an executive and judicial body, and the assembly, composed of the council and two burgesses from each town or borough, was to be purely a legislative body. a

List of Records, Nos. 72, 260, 261.

The approval of a quarter court of the company, which was necessary for legalizing the acts of the assembly, is referred to in the court book in three places only. b

Court Book, I, April 3, May 15, 1620.

The constitution and the provisions for division of the country into cities and boroughs, recorded both in the instructions and in the patents by which the government of the private plantations was delegated to a private body, form the basis for a study of the local systems. The records of Smythe's, Martin's, and Berkeley Hundred referred to above, the correspondence of Samuel Argall with Bermuda Hundred, and the commissions for government issued by Governor Argall and later by the council of state complete the sources on this subject. c

The patents, the Argall correspondence, and the records of the Hundreds are new material and will aid much in an understanding of the local conditions and government.

The precedents for patents are valuable in the information which they afford with regard to the position of the following classes of colonists: The old adventurer not subject to rent; the adventurer paying money for his shares and agreeing to transport 100 persons; the adventurer settling a private plantation; the individual planter. d

List of Records, Nos. 299, 323, 324, 325.

These documents also throw light on the liberty of the individual, his exemption from taxation without his consent by the colony or by the private plantation, and his submission to a government almost military in character.

The strict supervision which the company exercised over the economic, indus- trial, and social conditions of the colony is to be seen in the measures enacted in the courts and in the correspondence between the company and the colony, sup- plemented by a large number of private letters to the officers of the company. Four letters to the colony are mentioned in the court book, of which two have not been found, but eight others not mentioned are extant. It is more difficult to determine what letters came from the colony, due to the usually brief reports of the letters in the court book, to the omission of the date from the copies of the letters, and from the uncertainty of the date of the receipt of the letters as noted in the court book. Seven letters seem to have been received by the company of which no trace has been found, while only four of the ten extant are mentioned in the court book. It is apparent therefore that only a part of the official corre- spondence is in existence. The directions to the colony disclose the care and earnestness of the company, and emphasize the endeavors to establish the various commodities, while the descriptions given by the colonists are extremely valuable in the picture they present of their efforts, ambitions, and attainments. The pri- vate correspondence proves that the official letters were likely to give but one phase of the conditions.

About thirty-five letters addressed to Sir Edwin Sandys during the years 1619 to 1621 have been found among the Ferrar papers, which are full of complaint because of the scarcity of provisions. Apparently Sir Edwin's policy to develop the plantation, and especially the company's land as a source of revenue, was overdone, and he was not as wise in carrying out his plan as he had been in forming it, since the colony was unable to provide for the large numbers sent out. These complaints are casually mentioned in the court book, but the Sandys-Ferrar correspondence shows that it was the desire of the administration to conceal the difficulties and distress of the colony not only from the public but also from the hostile faction. The Man- chester papers preserve letters, or copies of them, which came to the company or to individuals in 1622 and 1623 complaining of similar deprivations in the colony. a

For a citation of these letters in the List of Records, see the Index under "Letters."

The company was not only interested in the economic and industrial develop- ment and the necessary political forms of the colony, but, as Sir Edwin Sandys declared, it had a higher purpose than the Muscovy or the other commercial corpo- rations. This high ideal is proved by the attention which is devoted to plans for the college, by the appointment of ministers, by the collections in the churches, and by the gifts received, b

Post, Vol. II, Index under "College," "Education," "Ministers."

but the theory that the chief motive of the enterprise was religious is not supported either by the spirit or by the data of the records.


The acts of the administration in Virginia are recorded in the volume of contemporary records of the company kept by the colony which are described above. They consist of a series of nine orders and proclamations by the governor and council and of twenty-one orders, proclamations, commissions, and warrants issued by the governor as the executive officer of the council for the regulation of affairs in the colony. They cover the years 1621, 1622, and 1623, and concern the collection of taxes, the designation of laborers for public works, the regu- lation of prices of commodities, the restraint of relations with the Indians, and the control of the morals of the citizens. In addition to these documents issued by the governor is a series of twenty-four commissions and warrants issued to individuals to act as commanders of cities and hundreds, to carry on trade with the Indians, to make discoveries, to wage war upon the Indians, and to collect moneys. Another group of documents in the same collection consists of thirty- six petitions to the governor and council between 1622 and 1624. They are claims for wages and for moneys due, demands for fulfillment of contracts, requests for pardon and for justification in personal quarrels, demands for lands, and petitions to be allowed to return to deserted plantations and to England. a

For citation of these documents in the List of Records, see the Index under "Warrants," "Commissions," "Proclamations," "Orders."

The only extant record of the council for 1619 is an account of the "putting out of the Tenants that came over in the B[ona] N[ova] wth other orders of the Councell," found among the Ferrar papers. b

List of Records, Nos. 138, 139.

The "courte booke," or original record of the meetings of the governor and council, in which these petitions were heard and orders issued, is extant from 1624 to 1632, with a record of one court in 1622 and of one in 1623. These are mostly the actions of the council sitting in a judicial capacity and concern controversies over property, probate matters, and criminal charges. The punishment seem extreme. Two actions of the court are particularly interesting, one affecting Edward Sharpless for sending copies of the colonial records to England, and the other consisting of accusations against Captain John Martin of slanderous and false utterances. A few additional orders and warrants are preserved among the Colonial State papers, c

Ibid., Nos. 240, 521, 645.

together with a report of the proceedings of the assembly in 1619, written by John Pory and sent to England, the only other account of which was sent to Sir Edwin Sandys by John Rolfe, and is among the Ferrar papers. d

Ibid., Nos. 116, 154.

The acts of the assembly for March 5, 1623/24 are the only measures of that body during the life of the company which are extant, with the exception of the letters and petitions addressed to the company and to the King, and of a few orders.


A series of documents remains which does not bear directly on the organization of the company or the expression of its activity in trade and in colonial enterprise, but is invaluable for a study of the history of the company, since it concerns the relations of the individual members to one another, reveals the inner life and motive of the company as a whole and of the various groups, and explains the conditions which resulted from the interference of the King and the overthrow of the corpora- tion. The entire movement centers about the growth of factions in the company. The movement begins in the years just preceding the accession of Sir Edwin Sandys to the position of treasurer, and seems to have had its origin in the trouble over Sir Samuel Argall and the appointment of Sir George Yeardley as governor of the colony. It finally involved many of the personal complaints and difficulties which presented themselves to the company, and therefore requires a study of those problems before it can be understood.

The measures which thus arose with regard to individuals are to be found chiefly in the court book. They supply much information which can not be obtained elsewhere with regard to the methods of procedure of the company, and afford scattered data of great importance in addition to the light they throw on the disputes of the factions. The subjects discussed include such problems as the relations with the northern colony, the conflict with Spain concerning the ship Treasurer, the suit against William Wye for failing to land settlers in Vir- ginia, and various accusations against Governor Yeardley and Captain Argall for misgovernment in the colony. The accounts of Sir Thomas Smythe, the settle- ment of Alderman Robert Johnson's accounts for the magazine, and the illegality of Captain John Martin's patent for a plantation, were also questions which were of vital importance to the financial affairs of the company and took the atten- tion of numerous courts; but neither the accounts of Sir Thomas Smythe nor of the magazine were ever adjusted.

The claims against the company presented by William Tracey, by William Weldon, the deputy of the college land who was superseded by George Thorpe, and by the heirs of Sir George Somers for a compensation for the Somers Islands are but illustrations of the many demands made upon the company. The court sat as a judiciary body to settle numerous personal quarrels, including the Brewster-Argall, the Argall-Smythe, the Bargrave-Smythe, and the Johnson- Southampton cases. Disputes which arose within the courts and resulted in slander and counter accusations took much of the time and attention of the company, the trouble between the council and Samuel Wroth over the question of salaries thus consuming the entire time of the courts for three months, from December to February, 1622/3. In the various collections in London are about a dozen papers which give additional information on the Argall-Rich troubles, the censure of Alderman Johnson, the Martin patent, the accounts of Sir Thomas Smythe, and the suits against William Wye. a

For the history of these cases as given in the court book, see the citations in the Index, Post, Vol. II, under the names suggested. References to the documents in the List of Records, may also be found in the Index.

The documents which bear directly on the factional differences in the company are among the Manchester and the Ferrar papers. From them comes the insight into the very motives and thoughts of the opposing parties, and the proof that the accusations of the Warwick party are well founded, in so far as they relate to concealment of the sufferings and dissatisfactions in the colony, comes as a surprise. a

Citation of these documents in the List of Records may be found by reference to the Index under the Sandys-Ferrar letters, the Rich and Johnson memoranda, and the letters in the Man- chester papers.

For a history of the factions the student must first review the reports of the personal conflicts referred to above and then turn to the numerous documents which include the accusations against the company, the defense of the colony and of the company, and the memoranda and letters upon the charges.

When the quarrels had finally been carried to the Privy Council, the matter was taken up officially by the company, and the second volume of the court book after the spring of 1623 is composed entirely of documents spread upon the minutes which concern the action of the company. In fact, all of the papers after that time are of the same character except the records of the governor and council in Virginis. Since they number upward of two hundred, it will be impossible to discuss them separately, but it must be remembered that in them is to be found an outline of the history of the company reaching back into the time of Sir Thomas Smythe, presented first by one faction and then by the other. The most important of these reviews are the charges of Captain Butler, of Alderman Johnson, and of Captain Bargrave, with replies to each; the complaints of the adventurers and of the planters against the Sandys administration, and a declaration by the "ancient planters" comparing the two administrations in the colony. Finally, the "Discourse of the Old Company" is the last review of the whole situation. Another most important group of papers is a series of projects for readjusting the government of the colony and the adminis- tration of the company. The projects of Martin, Bargrave, Ditchfield, and Rich thus afford an opportunity to study the beginnings of royal control.

The relations between the Crown and the company assume three different phases during the Sandys-Southampton administration—the first before the dis- cussion over the tobacco contract in 1622, the second concerning that contract, and the third relating to the abuses in the company and the dissolution of the corpora- tion. The court book shows a readiness and a desire on the part of the company before 1622 to refer to the Privy Council such matters as the magazine accounts which seemed beyond their control, but it also contains declarations to the effect that an interference with the patent rights is not to be tolerated. The questions arising in those years concern the transportation of dissolute persons to the col- ony, the right of the King to nominate men from whom the treasurer should be chosen, the restriction on trade to other countries, the refusal of a new charter to the company, and the dissolution of the lotteries. Supplementary to these records in the court book are the orders of the Privy Council affecting all of these problems. One of the most important documents, however, has not been found, since the efforts for a new patent can not be traced beyond the statement in the court book. It was first proposed November 15, 1620, and was ordered to be continued and to be confirmed by Parliament on January 31, 1620/21. On the 22d of the following month the Lords were appointed to secure the seal, and on April 12 the objections of the attorney-general, to whom the King had referred the patent, were discussed. That it never went into effect is certain, since no record is to be found among the sign manual warrants in the record office or in the signet docquet book. Furthermore, it is not enrolled in the chancery files, and it is not entered on the patent rolls, while in the suit of the quo warranto the only letters patent cited are those already known of 1606, 1609, and 1612. a

The Editor searched the following documents in the Public Record Office for a record or citation of this charter:

The suggestion that a charter was reissued at a later date led to a similar fruitless search in the Chancery of the Privy Seal as Follows:

Unless the documents have been lost or the date of the entry has been mis- taken the conclusion must be reached that after the surrender of the draft of the new charter to the solicitor-general it disappeared from sight. During the year 1622 the communications between the King and the company concerned the tobacco con- tract and its final acceptance at the command of the King, and revealed the maturity of the policy of interference which had been developing during the previous years. The number of accusations against the company increased during the year, and the records of the early part of 1623 abound in letters of complaint and charges of mismanagement from the colony. The memoranda of the Warwick party, found among the Manchester papers, are also essential to the understanding of the movements toward the overthrow of the company. Many of the forty communi- cations between the King and the company are spread on the court book, while all of them are found in the Privy Council register. These include the commis- sions to the board chosen to investigate the affairs of the company, b

A record of the grand committee appointed to defend the company before the commissioners and a record of a meeting of the commissioners are among the Ferrar papers. List of Records, Nos. 394, 543.

and the directions to the commissioners sent to Virginis. The correspondence between the King and the colony during those months of struggle concerned the latter commission and established the royal authority, but the letters from the colony were addressed to the company as late as the close of the year, six months after the judgment was rendered in the quo warranto suit.

The record of this suit is found in the coram rege roll of the Kings Bench. In the entry the usual writ served upon the company is followed by the information read by Edward Offley, the attorney for the company, citing the letters patent of 1606 and especially of 1609. It enumerates the rights granted to the corporation, and claims that other privileges were never used. The third document is the reply of Attorney-General Coventry in which he prays for the conviction of the accused on account of the usurpation of privileges, and cites those mentioned in the infor- mation, claiming that there had not been sufficient answer in any point. The answer of Nicholas Ferrar and others states that the company is ready to verify its rights as quoted. The judgment was rendered on the morrow of Holy Trinity, and declares that Nicholas Ferrar and the others are convicted of the usurpation of privileges and that the "said privileges are taken and seized into the hand of the King and the said Nicholas Ferrar and the others shall not intermeddle but shall be excluded from the usurpation of liberties, privileges, and franchises of the same so taken from the King, and that they are to satisfy to the King his fine for the usurpa- tion of said privileges." The writ of quo warranto was issued out of the Kings Bench on the Tuesday next after the morrow of All Souls (November 4, 1623). The suit was opened on the Friday after the quindecim of St. Martin's (November 28), and was then postponed until the eight of Hillary (January 20). It was postponed a second time to the quindecim of Easter (April 11), and judgment was finally rendered on the morrow of Trinity (May 24, 1624).


It has been the purpose of this paper to give to the reader a knowledge of what records the Virginia Company kept and to afford a guide to the extant records, as well as to indicate the character and importance of the various col- lections of records and of the various classes of documents. The value of this series of papers is threefold—it discloses the organization and activity of the company; it aids in an understanding of the various problems, policies, and con- ditions of the State under the early Stuarts; and it is of great importance in a study of the entire movement of the earlier and of the later century for exploration, for trade, and especially for colonization.

The object of the previous discussion has been to show that an intimate knowledge of the mechanism of the company, of the methods of other corporations and business houses, of the policies of the company toward the plantation, of the growth of the colony, and of the change in the attitude of the Crown may be gained from the various documents. Thus the value of the records in revealing the methods employed by the company in conducting its courts, in keeping its books, in securing capital, and in finding investment which would result in immediate returns and enable the com- pany to transport men to the colony, has been pointed out. The evidence of the change of the plantation from a colony for exploitation to a colony for settlement, and the consequent effort of the company to stimulate exploration, settlement, and the development of resources, as well as the proof of the liberality of the proprietors in advancing self-government, has been outlined.

The indication in the records of the colony that the control changed from absolute authority centralized in the governor to local management and government through a representative legislative assembly, and that the social conditions developed from life in a few compact settlements to plantation life has been suggested. Moreover, the documents which show the efforts of the joint-stock companies to gain protection and become privileged monopolies, on the one hand, and the tendency of the Crown, on the other, to utilize the company to relieve the country of its undesirable popu- lation, to secure a share in the revenue, and finally to assume the full proprietorship of the colony has been cited.

The court book and other records of the company have another value in that they incidentally aid in an understanding of many problems of the government. Thus the attitude of the King toward the company was much influenced by his desire for marriage relations with Spanish royalty. Various questions of policy were often discussed in the meetings of the company, such as the freedom of trade and of fishing, monopolies, customs, and shipping, while the financial aid given to colo- nization by Spain is cited in contrast to the action of England, and the favor to the Spanish colonies by the State in allowing the sole importation of certain products was dwelt upon. The desire to cement the colony to the State and the necessity of avoiding separation was much emphasized, but the wisdom of allowing self-government to the colony was never once forgotten. In fact, the argument that democracy was unavoidable, since the planter had the privilege of the adventurer, was urged in opposition to the accusations of the King that the company favored democratic forms. This spirit in the company is also seen in the tendency to address Parliament whenever possible, as illustrated in the movement for a new patent and in the settlement of the tobacco question.

The economic and industrial situation in England is perhaps better revealed than any other phase of affairs. Thus the commodities which were in demand and not produced in England, the rates of such commodities, the prices of necessities, and the system of vending goods were all matters of great importance to the company, and appear again and again in the various documents. The poverty of skilled labor is shown in the necessity the company was under to go to the Continent for men to superintend and carry on every industry which it attempted to establish in the col- ony. Dutchmen, Swedes, Poles, and Frenchmen were thus imported for conducting sawmills, cultivating silkworms, and making potash, clapboards, salt, wines, and glass. When engineers for constructing fortifications were desired, General Cecil declared that he had not men for the purpose, but hoped he might be able to recom- mend some Frenchmen of ability. The papers which concern the transportation of vagabonds and of boys and girls furnish a comment on a special phase of social life, while the spirit of the entire records reveals the demand for an outlet for activity and an opportunity for investment.

Throughout, the minutes of the courts and the correspondence and references to the other trading companies emphasize the strong similarity between their organization and that of the Virginia corporation. Illustrations of this fact are seen in the citation of the precedent from other joint-stock companies of employing a deputy and a director, of the salaries paid in the East India Company, and of the liberty of trade enjoyed by the Muscovy Company; while among the Ferrar papers are drafts of petitions from the Commons to the King in the writing of Nicholas Ferrar on behalf of the Turkey merchants and of the "Ginny and Binny" company, showing the intimate relations between the different movements.

Perhaps the most important result of a study of the Virginia Company comes from the knowledge which may be gained of the whole movement which had as its object exploration, trade, and settlement before and since the time of the company in all of the colonies. In its records are to be found one of the earliest sources of information concerning colonial experience from the English standpoint, and hence through them may be gained an understanding of the way in which proprietary colonies were established; of the development of the plantation into a colony of settlement; and of the consequent relation between the settlers and the proprietor. These steps as well as those by which the Crown was led to resume the authority and to establish a royal proprietorship in place of that of a company or of an indivi- dual, and the consequent development of the freedom of the settler were repeated in the history of all of the proprietary colonies of America.

5. The Fate of the Original Records a

That the Virginia Company had a large number of records which are not now extant has been reveled by a study of the existing documents. In addition to the original court books and the five other records provided for by the "Orders and Constitutions" there were the books created at a later date, the duplicates of patents and grants, the petitions, and all of the account books of the various magazines and joint stock companies. If the papers of the private plantations and hundreds which are represented by the Smyth of Nibley papers, were added to these, the volume of missing records would become very great. A discussion therefore of what resources have been searched, though in vain, seems desirable, in order to aid further investigation.

It was in July, 1622, that the controversy between the factions in the company was first brought before the Privy Council, and, strangely enough, the plaintiff was John Bargrave, who later championed those whom he now accused. The complain- ant declared that he had lost 6,600 pounds through the "unjust practices and miscarriage of government" on the part of Sir Thomas Smythe and Alderman Robert Johnson. The matter was referred to a committee composed of Lord Viscount Grandison, Lord Brook, the master of the rolls, Lord Keeper Coventry, and Secretary Conway, but the affair dragged on in the council until it was finally settled on January 22, 1622/3, by its ordering Bargrave to forbear troubling Sir Thomas Smythe. b

List of Records, Nos. 351, 401.

From that time the battle between the factions in the company had begun. The tobacco contract between the lord treasurer as representative of the King on the one hand and the company on the other, which had occupied so much of the time of the courts, was allowed by the Privy Council on the 2d of February. c

Ibid., No. 401.

But the spirit of conflict was seen in the entire correspondence, and during the few succeeding months bitter complaints concerning the mismanagement of affairs in the colony were made by Nathaniel Butler in his Unmasking of the Colony of Virginia and by Alderman Johnson in his Declaration. d

Ibid., Nos. 388, 395.

That both of these originated in the Warwick faction has been revealed by the Manchester papers.

On April 17 a committee headed by Lord Cavendish was summoned before the Privy Council to defend the Virginia Company against the "grievances of Planters and Adventurers." As a result, the first blow was struck at the liberty of the company when the Privy Council announced that it was the King's intention that a commission should be appointed to inquire into the state of the Virginia and Somers Islands plantations. a

List of Records, No. 467. Printed in full in Le Froy, I, 289–290.

From that time the affairs of the company were under surveillance, and the correspondence, the trade, and even the personal liberty of its officers were subject to restraint. The company was immediately forbidden to receive any private letters except on its own business, while on the 28th of the same month its letters were disallowed by the Privy Council because they failed to "certify the King's grace to the Colonies." Already the court books and other writings had been required of the secretary of the company, as is shown by a receipt for the same, dated April 21, among the Ferrar papers. This receipt was given to Edward Collingwood by the clerk of the council. As a concomitant the council dissolved the tobacco contract and reduced the former customs on tobacco from twelve to nine pence per pound. It allowed the companies the sole importation of tobacco, but it required that the whole crop should be brought into England. b

List of Records, Nos. 476 and 478.

There were other acts which partook of the same spirit as the interference with the correspondence and business of the company. On May 13 the Privy Council ordered that Lord Cavendish, Sir Edwin Sandys, and Nicholas and John Ferrar should be confined to their house, a punishment inflicted for a contempt of an order of the council table against the use of bitter invectives, and brought about by the complaint of the Earl of Warwick. Lord Cavendish was in restraint five days and the others eight days. The release came as a result of their "acknowledgment of offence and expression of sorrow." c

See Orders in Council, cited in Ibid., Nos. 506 and 510.

The threat of the King was carried out, and the declaration of war was made on May 9 by the appointment of a commission to investigate the disputes in the Virginia Company and to report upon their method of procedure.

The danger of confiscation of the company's records was fully realized for the the first time on May 22, 1623, when the Privy Council enforced a previous order to surrender "all Charters Books, (and by name the blurred Book or Books), Letters, Petitions, Lists of Names and Provisions, Invoyces of Goods, and all other writing whatsoever, and Transcripts of them, belonging to them." The new order declared that the "Blurred Book or Books" had been kept back. The documents were to be surrendered to the clerk of the council, but the custody of the records was given to the commissioners. Each party was to have free use of them "in such sort as to ye Commissioners shall seem good." Furthermore "all Boxes & Packages of Letters which hereafter shall be brought over from Virginia or ye Summer Islands during this Commission" were to be "immediately delivered to ye Commissioners by them to be broken open, perused or otherwise disposed [of] as they shall find cause." a

List of Records, No. 513.

The records were in the possession of the clerk of the council from the date of this order, or earlier, until November 7, 1623, as is shown by a warrant bearing the latter date, in which the commissioners of May 9 required of the council a "trunk of writings" locked up under the custody of the Privy Council to be delivered to the "bearer." b

Ibid., No. 580.

A careful search for the missing papers must commence at this point. Although the records, or at least the court books, were later returned to the company, some of them may have been retained by the commissioners or by individuals thereof. Therefore, hidden away in the collections of the heirs of these men, it might be supposed, would be found the much sought-for documents. The members of this commission, created April 17, were Sir William Jones, Sir Nicholas Fortescue, Sir Francis Gofton, Sir Richard Sutton, Sir William Pitt, Sir Henry Bouchier, and Sir Henry Spiller. c

For the order in council creating this commission, see Ibid., No. 499.

But, as far as can be determined from personal investigation, from the report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, from conversa- tion with Sir Henry Maxwell Lyte, of that body, or from other men conversant with the private and public depositories in England, none of the papers did remain in the possession of those commissioners.

A committee of the Privy Council may have had access to these papers, for on July 22 Lords Grandison, Carew, and Chichester were appointed to take into con- sideration the reports on the colony and to present to the council orders most fit for the regulation of the government of Virginia. d

Ibid., No. 547.

Another group of men intrusted with the investigation of affairs at that time, and into whose hands and private possession might have come papers belonging to the company, were John Harvey, John Pory, Abraham Percy, Samuell Matthews, and John Jefferson. This commis- sion was sent to Virginia for the purpose of investigating conditions, and many of the documents bearing on their relations with the colony are among the colonial State papers.

The documents remained in the custody of the commission until November 21, and were then returned to the secretary of the company. An order in council declared that all the "Books and writings, whether remayneing in the hands of the Comrs or elswher, shalbe fwthwth deliuered by Inventorie vnto the said Company." The complaint had been made by the treasurer that they could not make answer to the quo warranto which had been issued out of the King's Bench against the company without the use of their records. e

Ibid., No. 593.

Therefore, from November, 1623, until June, 1624, the company was in possession of its documents, and it was during that period that Nicholas Ferrar was busily engaged in having them transcribed.

The last order which concerned these records from December 30, 1623, until the company was finally overthrown, in June of the following year—when the organi- zation, according to Nethersole, became a company for trade and not for government— was a letter of the council to "Nicholas Ferrar, Deputie," to bring to them unopened all letters which had come in a ship lately arrived from Virginia. a

For the order in council creating this commission, see List of Records, No. 608.

That the King in the meantime was concerned in the preservation of all papers relating to Virginia is seen in a letter from Secretary Conway to Sir Thomas Merry, in which he was requested to preserve all papers in the possession of "his late cousin," John Puntis, vice-admiral of Virginia, and any others which concerned the business. b

List of Records, No. 683.

Following up the recall of the charter, the Privy Council declared that it was the King's intention to renew the charter of the company without the imperfections of the former grant. A committee was therefore appointed on June 24 to resolve on the well settling of the colony, to give the orders therefor, and to report to the King for further directions. This body consisted of Lord President Mandeville, Lord Paget, Lord Chichester, the lord treasurer, the comptroller, the principal secretaries of state, the chancellor of the exchequer, the chancellor of the duchy, the attorney- general, the solicitor-general, Sir Robert Killigrew, Sir Thomas Smythe, Francis Gofton, John Wolstenholme, and Alderman Johnson. c

Ibid., No. 687.

Two days later an order in council was issued instructing Mr. Ferrar, deputy of the company, to bring to the council chamber all patents, books of accounts, and invoices of the late corporation and all lists of people in the colony, to be retained by the keeper of the council chest till further order. d

Ibid., No. 689.

Thus was ended the control of the government by the old organization, if not of the affairs of the company and its colony, and thus the records passed into the charge of the clerk of the Privy Council.

A commission to establish a government in Virginia is to be found in the chan- cery privy seals under July of the twenty-second year of James I, countersigned to pass by immediate warrant. The patent roll of the period records this commission, dated July 15, 1624, by which the Virginia Company was to be supplanted and the first royal province in America was to be established. e

Ibid., No. 701.

The records of the old com- pany, however, are not lost to sight till three days later. On July 15 the commis- sioners met at Sir Thomas Smythe's house and determined that the charters, seals, and writings of the company were to be brought to Sir Thomas Smythe's house and kept in charge of the clerk of the commissioners, H. Fotherby, to be used by the commissioners at pleasure. a

List of Records, No. 702.

In the Privy Council register, under date of June 26, 1624, there is an order for Mr. Ferrar to deposit in the council chamber the papers of the late corporation, and in the margin is a note which gives the last glimpse of those records. It reads as follows: "Nd: All theis Patents bookes of accounts &c were delivered to Henry Fotherby clarke to the Commissioners, by order from the Lords the 19 of July 1624." b

Ibid., No. 689.

That these members of the Privy Council and others of the commissioners for Virginia had all of the original records of the company in their possession at that date is thus proved. What became of them later can be a matter only of specu- lation. That they had been so carefully preserved and were deposited "for use by the members of the commissioners," seems to indicate that the theory of their destruction by the Crown is not tenable. There are two theories which seem much more likely. it may be that they passed finally into the possession of the Privy Council, which evidently soon assumed the burden of the control of the affairs of the province; for, on May 13, 1625, a royal proclamation arranged for a council which was to the subordinate to the Privy Council. c

A letter to the Earl of Warwick dated November 16, 1624, bears the signatures of the council for Virginia as follows: Sir Thomas Smith, Ferdinando Gorges, John Wolstenholme, Samuel Argall, Thomas Gibbs, Samuel Wrot, and John Pory. There had been some question concerning the addition of names to the commission, but whether this is a portion only of the council of July 15 or a new organization is uncertain. Ibid., No. 738.

The papers may thus have remained with the King's Council until the creation of the commission for Virginia in 1631, which in turn was supplanted by the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Plantations in 1634. d

The members of the commission for Virginia appointed June 17, 1631, were: Edward Earl of Dorset, Henry Earl of Danby, Dudley Viscount Dorchester, Secretary Sir John Coke, Sir John Danvers, Sir Robert Killigrew, Sir Thomas Rowe, Sir Robert Heath, Mr. Recorder [Heneage Finch], Sir Dudley Diggs, Sir John Wolstenholme, Sir Francis Wiatt, Sir John Brooke, Sir Kenelm Digby, Sir John Zouch, John Bankes, Thos. Gibb, Nath. Rott [Wrote?}, Mr. Sands, John Wolstenholme, Nicholas Ferrar, Mr. Barber, and John Ferrar. See Colonial Papers, Vol. VI, No. 14. The commissioners for plantations appointed April 28, 1634, were: William Land, Archbishop of Canterbury; Thomas Lord Coventry, lord Keeper; Richard Neile, Archbishop of York; Richard Earl of Portland, lord high treasurer; Henry Earl of Manchester; and seven other officers of state.

The commission created in July of 1624 was composed of the lords of the council and "certain others," and the council register seems to indicate that it was usually the council sitting as a commission. After 1624 the papers, letters, and instructions were all issued by the council, the commissions to the councillors and to governors of the colony passed the privy seal and were engrossed on the patent roll, and the letters or papers from the colony were addressed to the council.

Another theory as to the fate of the records is that they were at first in charge of Henry Fotherby, clerk of the commissioners, but that they were gradually scattered among the members of the commission most interested in the career of the company as the authority of the commission became purely that of government. The members of the commission, created July 15, 1624, in whose families such papers might be found, are as follows: Henry Viscount Mandeville, Lord President of the Council, Wm. Lord Paget, Anthony Lord Chichester, Sir Thomas Edmonds, Sir John Suckling, Sir Geo. Calvert, Sir Edward Conway, Sir Richard Western, Sir Julius Caesar, Sir Humphrey May, Sir Saville Hicks, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Henry Mildmay, Sir Thomas Coventry, Sir Robert Heath, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Sir Robert Killigrew, Sir Charles Montague, Sir Philip Carew, Sir Francis Goston [Gofton], Sir Thomas Wroth, Sir John Wolstenholme, Sir Nathaniel Rich, Sir Samuel Argall, Sir Humphrey Handford, Mathew Sutcliff, Dean of Exeter, Francis White, Dean of Carlisle, Thomas Tamshaw, Alderman Robert Johnson, James Cambell, Ralph Freeman, Morris Abbott, Nathaniel Butler, George Wilmore, William Hackwell, John Mildmay, Philip Germayne, Edward Johnson, Thomas Gibbes, Samuel Wrote, John Porey (?), Michael Hawes, Edward Palavacine, Robert Bateman, Martin Bond, Thomas Styles, Nicholas Leate, Robert Butt, Abraham Cartwright, Richard Edwards, John Dyke, Anthony Aldy, William Palmer, Edward Ditchfield, George Mole, and Richard Morer. a

Virginia Magazine of History, VII, 40.

Had not the receipt from the Privy Council to the secretary of the company revealed the existence of the early records in 1623, and had not the memoranda of Sir Nathaniel Rich confirmed the fact, b

Ante, pp. 25, 63.

the theory might be put forth that the papers of the early period were burned in the destruction of Sir Thomas Smythe's house at Deptford on February 6, 1618/19. The fire at Whitehall on the 16th of January, 1618/19, at which the privy seal, signet, and council records are supposed to have been destroyed, is sometimes suggested as the cause of the disappearance of the Virginia records. But the facts given above, in addition to the statement of Sir Thomas Wilson to the King that there had been but little loss of papers since they had been transferred to the new office refutes that theory. c

Documents relating to the History of the Public Record Office, in the Record Office.

It remains for the future enquirer to examine the collections which are known to contain papers belonging to the families indicated by the names of the various com- missioners and of the Privy Councillors for that period. Such investigations are made difficult by the transfer of papers from one branch of a family to another, necessitating a knowledge of the genealogy of the various families represented. Having found the heirs of the families in question, the search may then be conducted through the reports of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. But this is not sufficient. Since trace of the family is often lost, or no evidence can be found of collections of docu- ments, it becomes necessary to search through every section of those reports of the commission for stray sets of papers. The greatest confusion also results from the sale of libraries, and while the catalogues of Quaritch or Sotheby may afford a clue to the offer of such material for sale, often in small lots, the name of the purchaser is not usually to be discovered. The result is that the student must wait in patience until the papers have drifted into some great depository—such as the British Museum and the Bodleian Library—or until they have been made known to the public through the Manuscripts Commission or by private enterprise. a

The search for the records has not only been conducted along these lines, but the collections belonging to the families of the officers of State under James I, and Charles I, have been investigated.

Another difficulty, which can not be overcome by the individual student, is the insufficiency of the catalogues of early date. This is gradually being met by the re-issue of catalogues and calendars in the British Museum, and the Bodleian, although the new catalogue of the latter is only "summary." The Ashmolean and Rawlinson papers in the Bodleian may afford many surprises. Furthermore, the early reports of the Manuscripts Commission were often incomplete and too general in character. However, the more recent volumes are full calendars, and the older volumes may be republished in time.

In the great collections of the British Museum are brought together the papers or portions of the papers of a few of the men with whom we are concerned. In the Lansdowne collection are about one-third of the papers of Sir Julius Caesar, master of the rolls, which were sold at auction in 1757. Among these have been found the valuable letters of John Martin and the draft of the commission of 1624. In the Harleian collection, brought together by Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, at the close of the seventeenth century, and among the papers of Sir John Cotton, who was a noted antiquarian of the time of James I, are a few important documents.

The valuable collection of the Marquis of Bath, containing the Cecil papers, has been recatalogued and found to contain nothing which concerns the company after 1616, and nothing of the earlier period not known to Alexander Brown.

Two other collections, imperfectly calendared by the Manuscripts Commission, are those of Lord Sackville, of Knole, Seven Oaks, Kent, and of the Earl of Coventry, Croome Court, Severn Stoke, Worcestershire. Since the statement was made by John Ferrar, in the later years of his life, that Sir Robert Killigrew had left the Virginia papers to Sir Edward Sackville, the Earl of Dorset, our interest in this collection is intensified. Both Sir Robert Killigrew and Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset, are seen to have been vitally connected with the company and the settle- ment of its affairs. Two other connections of this family may have brought together collections which might contain Virginia papers. Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset, married Frances, the daughter of Lionel Cranfield, the first Earl of Middlesex, and he himself became heir to the Cranfield house and title as third earl. The first Earl of Middlesex was the lord treasurer during the régime of the company and figures prominently as the individual who conducted the quo warranto suit against the Virginia Company. Furthermore, Lionel Sackville West is the direct descendant of Lord De La Warr, of Virginia fame. The combination of the four houses of Killigrew, Sackville, Middlesex, and De La Warr, which were of so great importance in Virginia affairs, leads to the hope of a valuable collection of manuscripts. Four documents are mentioned in the report of the commission, and these refer to the tobacco trade, but an inquiry of Lord Sackville as to other material in his posses- sion elicited the reply from Lionel Sackville West that Lord Sackville knew of "no other papers at Knole relating to the colony of Virginia than those mentioned in the report of the commissioners." It may be, however, that a more careful calendar of this collection will disclose papers of great importance.

From March 14, 1616, to January 11, 1620, Thomas Coventry was solicitor- general; later, during the Sandys-Southampton administration of the Virginia Company, he held the position of attorney-general. On November 1, 1625, he became lord keeper, and remained in that office during the period coinciding with the organization of the colonial administration. Hence it was that, when it was found from the report of the Manuscripts Commission that many of Lord Keeper Coventry's papers had not been investigated, the Editor addressed a letter to the Earl of Coventry, Croome Court. This resulted in a confirmation of the statement, and a promise to search the papers which are now in the "strong room here." In a letter to Ambassador Choate, July 27, 1904, the Earl of Cov- entry made the following statement: "In company with a son I went through the boxes containing papers of the Lord Keeper Coventry in which I thought it likely I might find the documents referring to the Virginia Company of London, some time ago, but I could discover nothing relating to the company." The letter goes on to say that the "papers are in bad condition and very difficult to decipher." Hence the conclusion may be reached that this most likely hiding place for Virginia records is not to reveal new material.

The collections at Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham, and at Hatfield House, are extremely valuable, but T. Fitzroy Fenwick, esq., the present owner of the former, states that there is no material in that collection relating to the early history of Virginia, and a manuscript catalogue, kindly loaned to the writer by Lord Salisbury, indicates that the papers at Hatfield House, now being calendared, have no bearing on the subject in hand.

By tracing the family connections of the descendants of Sir Thomas Smythe and the Earl of Southampton intermarriages are found which might result in the location of valuable papers in many of the large depositories. All of these have been investigated by the Manuscripts Commission. Thus, from Sir Thomas Smythe the documents might have been inherited by the first or the second Earl of Leicester; by Sir Sydney Stafford Smythe, baron of the exchequer in 1772 and last of the descendants of the male line; by the eighth Viscount Strangford, vice-president of the Royal Geographical Society, with whose death in 1869 the senior branch of the family was terminated; and by the present Duke of Marlborough through the second marriage of Lady Dorothy Sydney Smythe, daughter of Robert, second Earl of Leicester. The Wriothesley family is to-day represented in the houses of the Duke of Bedford and of the Duke of Portland, the former having inherited the London property of Robert, third Earl of Southampton, and the latter the Tichfield estate.

The large number of documents among the Smyth of Nibley papers a

Ante, p. 55.

suggests that in private collections may be many records which concern the private enterprises or companies formed within the corporation for setting out plantations and carrying on trade. Other groups of manuscripts and early books have seemed to offer opportunities for the discovery of the missing records. But the Lambeth Palace Library, the college libraries both of Oxford and of Cambridge have proved value- less, with the exception of that most important group in Magdelene College, Cambridge. Every one of the college libraries, has been searched or investigated, but to no avail. All Souls College, Oxford, contains a collection of manuscripts which may afford a few papers on the subject when it has been more carefully catalogued.

The fact that the original records of the company before 1619, and a compara- tively small portion after that date have not been discovered has led generally to the conclusion that the party of the Crown destroyed the evidences of the misman- agement during the first decade and of the comparatively prosperous condition in the second. That they failed to take into account the records in the colony and the Ferrar transcripts of the court book is the good fortune of posterity. But the destruction of the records can not properly be considered as proved until the public collections have been more carefully calendared and the private collections have been more thoroughly investigated. The absolute lack of evidence that the Crown and its supporters held such an attitude and the knowledge that the commissioners took the records into their charge "for use" encourages the hope that a faithful endeavor to discover their location may yet be rewarded by success.

List of Records

This list includes all documents, letters, publications, or other records of the Virginia Company, or relating to the company between 1616 and 1625, which the Editor has been able to discover, and also those previous to 1616 which are not published or cited by Alexander Brown in the Genesis of the United States. The object in compiling the list has been to give to the student of history the necessary information concerning each document in as convenient form as possible in order to aid him in finding or in identifying the papers. The documents have been arranged in chronological order, but with the provision that whenever the day of the month is uncertain the document has been placed at the beginning of the month, and when the month is not known it has been placed at the beginning of the year. Thus, at the first of each year and of each month will be found the undated papers, or those to which it has been impossible to assign dates. The subject-matter, as well as the title and the name of the author has been given rather for identification than to serve as a calendar, since it is the aim of this series to publish all material except that which is purely supplementary. The documents which it is intended to publish in this series, if the privilege can be secured, have been indicated by an asterisk. The title has been quoted wherever possible, and the orthography of proper names has been made to conform to that of the document. The location, indicated by abbreviated forms, and the reference, following the abbreviation, Ref., of every edition, contemporary copy, or later transcript has been given, but the description of the document is either in the introduction or will be found in connection with its publication in the succeeding volumes. Wherever the paper has been published or calendared the reference has been cited after the abbreviation, Pub. The material has been classi- fied with regard to source or authorship and the classes have been indicated by Roman numerals, placed to the left of the "reference." The bibliographies have been included in the index in the second volume of the series. It has been found necessary either to abbreviate or to use symbols for the names of the libraries or collections in which documents are found, and those abbreviations have been placed at the extreme right hand of the page.

Symbols Indicating Location of Documents
ANT. Society of Antiquaries, London.
BEL. Collection of the Earl of Rutland, Belvoir Castle.
BM. British Museum, England.
BOD. Bodleian Library, Oxford.
CAMB. Cambridge University Library, Eng- land.
CHILD. Collection of J. Eliot Hodgkin, Child- well, Richmond, Surrey.
DOV. Borough of Dover, England.
DROP. Collection of Hon. G. M. Fortescue, Dropmore, Maidenhead, England.
HARV. Harvard Library, Cambridge, Massa- chusetts.
HL. Repository of the House of Lords, London.
IPS. Ipswich, England.
JCB. John Carter Brown Library, Provi- dence, R. I.
KP. Collection of Lord Sackville, Knole Park, County Kent.
LAMB. Lambeth Palace Library, London.
LEI. Leicester, England.
LC. Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
[LC] Transcript in Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
MC. Magdalene College, Cambridge, Eng- land.
MONT. Montague House, London.
NEWB. Library of Ed. E. Ayer in the New- berry Library, Chicago.
NY. New York Public Library.
[NY] Transcript in New York Public Li- brary.
P. Imperial Library, Paris.
PC. Privy Council, London.
PEQ. Pequot Library, Connecticut.
PET. Collection of Lord Leconfield, Petworth House, County Sussex.
PRIV. Private library in New York City.
PRO. Public Record Office, London.
Q. Queens College, Oxford.
R. Archives of Jesus, Rome.
READ. Borough of Reading, England
SHER. Sherbourne Castle, County Dorset.
SUF. Collection of W. W. Molyneux, Suf- folk County, England.
SYON. Collection of Duke of Northumber- land, Syon House, England.
VHS. Virginia Historical Society, Rich- mond, Virginia.
WELB. Collection of Duke of Portland, Wel- beck Abbey.
WOD. Collection of Edmund R. Wodehouse, esq., England.
WYC. Borough of Wycombe, England.
YAR. Yarmouth, England.
A. L. S. Autograph letter signed.
Bull. Bulletin.
Col. Collections.
Com. Commission.
Co. Company.
D. S. Document signed.
Hist. Historical, History.
Lib. Library.
L. S. Letter signed.
Mag. Magazine.
MS. Manuscript.
Misc. Miscellaneous.
Pub. Public.
Rec. Records.
Rept. Report.
Soc. Society.

*Document will be published in this series.

Addenda et Corrigenda
Table of Explanations

~ over a word indicates a contraction or an omission of letters.

* * * * * indicate an unintelligible word or part of a word in the manuscript, there being approximately as many asterisks as letters in the word.

[  ] inclose words or letters which are doubtful in the manu- script; also, in a few instances, inclose words or letters reduplicated in the manuscript.

[  ] inclosing words in italics indicate explanations by the editor; also, in a few instances, italics indicate letters supplied by the editor to complete a word.

A line drawn through a word or a part of a word indicates a word or letters canceled in the manuscript.

∥  ∥ inclose words interlined in the manuscript by the reviewer.

§  § inclose words interlined in the manuscript by the copyist.

——— indicates words underlined in the manuscript.


VOLUME 1, 1619–1622

Records of the Virginia Company of London
28 APRILL 1619 A Quarter Court held for Virginia at Sr Thomas Smiths howse in Philpott Lane 28 of Apr9 1619 Present Right hono:ble͠

Sr Thomas Smith knt Thr̃er.
Sr Edwin Sandis. Sr Nath. Rich. mr Wm Bell.
Sr Iohn Dãuers. Sr Io: Wolstenholme. mr Humfry Handford.
Sr Iohn Merrick. Sr Wm Russell. mr Rich: Rogers.
Sr Dudley Diggs. Sr Tho: Wilford. mr Iohn fferrar.
Sr Nicholas Tufton. mr Aldr̃an Iohnson. mr Clitheroe.
Sr Samuell Sandis. mr Morrice Abott. mr Caning.
Sr Henry Rainsford. mr Thomas Gibbs. mr Ditchfeild. Cr.
Sr Robt Wayneman. mr Thomas Stiles.
Sr Tho: Cheeke. mr Wm Greenwell.

The last Court referring the duty appertayning to every perticuler Office to be considered and prepared against the Quarter Court by a select Comittee, they haue therein taken extraordinary paines: And according as they were desired haue attended the ll͠s and receaued their approbac̃on of the orders by them conceiued: Wch orders were now presented to the Court; where after they were twice read, (being putt to the question) they were confirmed by a Generall erecc̃on of handℯ 1

For a draft of this report see List of Records, No. 105, page 133 ante.


This Quarter Court according to the Lr̃es Pattents being chiefly ordayned for the elecc̃on of Officers: Mr Tr̃er desired the Court that before he left his place, he might acquaynt them wth two messages Lately rec̃ from the King: The one was, that he receaued a ɫre from mr Secretarie Caluert that his Matie had sent a man vp suspected for Deere stealing, to be transported for Virginia; and vnderstanding that Mr Iohn fferrar had a shipp shortly to goe thither, ∥ desired ∥ that his Mats resoluc̃on might be fulfilled therein. The other was, that this morning there came a messenger of the Chamber to vnder- stand of the welfare of the Plantation, his Maty hauing heard that a Shipp was come from thence: And so desired the Court to proceed to the choice of their Officers, signifying that for these Twelue yeares he hath willingly spent his Labors and endeauors for the support thereof: and being now appointed by the Kinge a Comissioner of his Nauie he could not giue such good attend- ance as he therein desired. Requesting the Court to shewe him so much fauor as now ∥ to ∥ dispence with him, and to elect [2] some worthy man in his place, for he had resolued to relinquish it, and therefore desired that two requests might be graunted him for all his service done vnto them. ffirst that he may ∥ might ∥ haue their good report according as he hath deserued: And secondly that his account might be wth all speed audited, that before he dyes, he might see the same cleered, and receiue his Quietus est vnder the Companies seale. Wch the Cort finding his resoluc̃on to be settled, and that he would not stand in elecc̃on; they proceeded according to the Last Standing order now read, to make choice of their Treasuror Sr Edwin Sandis, Sr Iohn Wolstenholme and mr Aldr̃an Iohnson being nomi- nated and accordingly ballated, the Lott fell to Sr Edwin Sandis to be Tr̃er, he hauing 59 balls, Sir Io: Wolstenholme: 23: and Aldr̃an Iohnson: 18: wherevpon his oath was administred. 2

For documents relating to this election see List of Records, Nos. 108 and 170, pages 133 and 140, ante.

Proceeding to the elecc̃on of the Deputy, there was nominated mr Alder̃ Iohnson, mr Xofer Cletheroe, and mr Iohn fferrar, who being bal- loted mr Iohn fferrar was elected Deputy for the ensuing yeare by hauing 52 balls, mr Aldr̃an Iohnson 29, and mr Christopher Cle- theroe ten; vpon wch the said mr Iohn fferrar had his Oath giuen.

Next the Court proceeded to the elecc̃on of the Comittees, wch was performed according to the Standing order now read, one fourth part being nowe elected, and the rest by erecc̃on of hands confirmed, Their names be these,

mr Raphe Gore. mr Edw: Ditchfield. mr Caswell.
mr Wm Caninge mr Geo: Smith. mr Paulson.
mr Palmer. mr Dan: Darnelly. mr Keightley.
mr Wm Essington. mr Ri: Morer. mr Chambers.
mr Tho. Wheatley. mr Berblock. mr Wiseman.
mr Barnard

In like sort for Auditors the Court now haue made choice for the suc- ceeding yeare of Sr Io: Dãuers, mr Io: Wroth, mr Essington, mr Io: fferrar, mr Briggs, mr Wiseman and mr Chambers, who taking their Oaths, all saue mr Iohn Wroth who was absent, they or any three of them were desired to bestowe some extraordinary paines in the expe- diting of the Acco wch they haue promised to performe.

Valentine Markham Bookeeper
William Webb Husband Was confirmed in their former places and tooke each of them the same Oath.
ffrancis Carter the Officer Cr
Henry ffotherby Secretary

Vpon the absence of Sr Tho: Smith the Court was moued by Sr Edwin Sandis now Treasuror, that in considerac̃on of the greate trouble [3] mixed often with much sorrowe wch Sr Thomas Smith had endured, during the terme of Twelue yeares past from the very infancy of the Plantac̃on vnto this present, and had now surrendred vp his place at such time as (by the blessing of God) there was hope that the Action might proceed and prosper if it were followed wth care and industry requisite for soe greate a busines; That therefore in some sort according to their abillities, it were fitting to express their thank- fullnes for his good endeauours in conferring Twenty shares vpon him: wch being put to the question, it was agreed he should haue Twenty greate shares and was confirmed vnto him by a Generall erecc̃on of handes.

This Court was acquaynted, that the Lord of Salisbury desired the admittance of Captaine 1

A blank space in the manuscript.

Brett into this ffellowshipp, and to that end his Lõp hath giuen him Two of his shares in Virginia, requesting that he might be suffered to sitt in the Courtℯ, and as occasion serueth to sollicite his busines. Wch the Court hath willingly graunted vnto him, so as the same be donne according to the orders of the Company.

Vpon the request of Captaine Daniell Tucker for this Court to con- ferr 20 shares vpon him for his fiue yeares service spent in Virginia, aswell for his personall Adventure, as for the severall Offices and eminent places wch there he held and executed, as namely, Capemer- chant, Prouant Mr, one of the Counsell, Truck Mr and Viceadmirall, wherein by reason of shortnes of time, was now referred to the Gen- erall Comittee to giue him reward as they shall thinke fitt.

MAY THE 12th1619 A Court held for Virginia at Mr. Ferrars Howse in St. Sithes Lane, Being Present

The Right hoble͠ The Earle of Southampton.
The Earle of Warwick.
Sr Edwin Sandis Knt Tr̃er.
Sr Dudley Diggs. mr Io: fferrar Dp̃ty. mr Wheatly.
Sr Io: Dauers. mr Thorpe. mr Swinhowe
Sr Hen: Rainsford. mr Tomlins. mr Chambers.
Sr Edward Harwood. mr Dr Gulston. mr Hen. Briggs.
Sr Nath: Rich. mr Oxenbrigg. mr Berblock.
Sr Io:Wolstenholme. mr Tho Gibbs. mr Geo: Smith
Sr Tho: Wroth. mr Rogers. mr Meuerell, etc.
Sr Tho: Wilford. mr Nicho fferrar.
mr Iohn Wroth. mr Gabriell Barbor.

It was propounded by mr. Tr̃er that for as much as there hath beene heretofore two seuerall Comittees appointed by the Court; The first for making of Orders for the Company, & for matter of Graunts and Pattents of Land; And [4] the other for the setting downe the duty of euery perticuler Office, that therefore whither they thought it not expedient, that there should be a third Comittee appointed to take the labors of both the former Comittees into considerac̃on, who by adding them together, and supplying what may seeme defectiue, may reduce them into one entire body to be presented to the next Quarter Court for confirmac̃on if they shall see cause. Wch Proposic̃on the Court haue condiscended vnto, and to that end haue desired

Sr Dudley Diggs. Sr Iohn Wolstenholme.
Sr Edward Harwood. mr Alder̃ Iohnson &
Sr Nath: Rich. mr Iohn Wroth.
to meete vpon ffriday seavenight being the 21th of this instant at Sr Edwin Sandis howse at seauen of the Clock in the morning.

Mr. Treasurors second Proposic̃on was, that there might be another Comittee for the constituting of Lawes and setling of a forme of Gov- ernemt ouer all Virginia, appointing Magistrates and Officers there- vnto, and expressing their seuerall dueties: wch the Court generally did very well approue of and haue nominated the former Comittee, and licenced any of the Counsell to repair vnto them, and to haue their voice, and haue added of the Company to be assisting Sr Thomas Wroth, mr Thomas Gibbs, mr Dr Gulson, Captaine Bingham, mr Wm Essington, mr Edward Ditchfield, mr Thomas Kightley, mr Wm Caninge, mr Henry Briggs and mr. Thomas Wheatley to meet at the same time and place vpon ffriday ffourtenight being the 28th of this instant.

Mr. Thr̃er intimated to the Court, that whereas Sr Thomas Smith at the resigning vp his place should report that there was —4000li for the new Treasuror to enter vpon, he now signified that it was true if the Lotteries were dissolued and the account giuen vp: but in the interim there resteth but One thousand poundes in Cash the rest in Stock remayning in the hands of him that hath the managing of the busines, and out of this there is debts to pay, and wch shortly wilbe due to pay the some of—3700li—vĩztt old poun debts of Ten yeares old 1800li— and att the returne of the Shipps Sr Geo: Yeardley went in, and the other wherein the Children was transported will amount to—1148li— as also 700li—wch is owing to the Collecc̃on mony, wch by warrant hath beene yssued out for the vse of the Company; And therefore it was putt to the question whither the Stock remayning should goe or not to the payment of the Companies debts, wch was by erecc̃on of handℯ allowed that it should. And further agreed that the remaynder should be employed either in sending men to the Publique Land to rayse benefitt that wayes or in transporting of Cattle, wch hereafter may seeme fittest.

And forasmuch as there is now remayning in the hands of Gabriell Barbor much old plate wch if the Lottaries were finished, the Com- pany thereby should sustayne great Losse: It was therefore now ordered (vnlesse some can giue iust informac̃on of any perticu- ler abuse) that the same shall continue to be drawne out till the last of Nouember next ensuing & then to cease and determine. [5] And forasmuch as Sr Thos. Smith is very importunate for the speedy auditing of his Acco and to that end hath desired some others to be associated vnto the Auditors namely, mr Morris Abbott, mr Humph: Handford, and mr Anthony Abdy: It is therefore ordered, that if he so please these three shalbe annexed vnto them, either as Auditors or as assistants to see the passage of the busines, that Sr Thomas Smith haue noe wrong: but if it be his pleasure to allowe of them to be Auditors, then the next Quarter Court they to take their Oaths for the preventing of all partiallity, and mr Thomas Keightly is also chosen to be associated to the Auditors and to take his oath. And in asmuch as the great paines allready spent by the Auditors hath gayned to them selues a more perfect vnderstanding than those wch shall newly enter cann be capable of. Therefore it was moued that Three of the old Auditors might be of the Coram, and that nothing should be concluded wthout two at least of their consents; Wch Proposic̃on was well allowed, and mr. Thr̃er, Sr Io: Dãuers and mr. Wroth being thereto nominated, and put to the question, it was by erecc̃on of handℯ confirmed.

Captaine Brewster hauing formerly by way of appeale deliuered vnto the Court a certaine writing touching the proceedings of Captaine Samuell Argoll against him at the arriual of the Neptune in Virginia, and the manner of his tryall, and being at this Court ready to mayn- tayne the same, and to obiect other grievances against him, he was wished rather to forbeare till the said Captaine Argoll were prsent: and in the interim haue thought it convenient to deliuer vnto the said Captaine Argoll a coppy of the said writing of Appeale to make answere vnto the same, and haue appointed him to put in his other Articles vpon ffriday morning next to mr Thr̃er and mr Deputy to be by them pervsed and deliuered into the next Cort, and the next Quarter Court to heare the Appeale.

Lieftenant Stokes made request vnto the Court, that they would please in reguard of the Adventure of his person and his Long time spent in Virginia to bestowe some Land vpon him there for the same; wch they found to be now noe convenient time for that purpose; but if at ye next Qr Court he procure it to be moued for him, that Court will take thereof due considerac̃on.

MAY THE 11619

Sr Edwin Sandis Knt Thr̃er.
Sr Edward Harwood. mr Nich: fferrar. mr Geo: Smith.
Sr Io: Dãuers. mr Berblock. mr Bland.
mr Io: fferrar Dpt. mr Hen: Briggs. mr Caswell.
mr Geo: Thorpe. mr Wiseman. mr Sparrowe.

A Comission was now sealed to Iohn Iohnson Mr of the Bona Noua for to take his passage from hence in that shipp to Virginia. [6]

Letters procured from the Lordes of the Counsell to the Company of Grocers and signed by Pembrooke, Southampton, Exeter, Zouch, Carey and Digby was now sealed and referred to mr. Deputy fferrar to deliuer it to the said Company.

Notice being giuen of a new Pattent which one 1

A blank space in the manuscript.

Sumerscales was about to take about Tobacco: the Cort desired mr Thr̃er to speake wth mr Atturney generall, and to learne whither the same be any way preiudiciall to the Company or not.

MAY THE 26th 1619

Generall Cæsill. mr Tho: Gibbs. mr Wm Palmer.
Sr Edw: Sandis. Capt. N: Butler. mr Swinhowe.
Sr Io: Wolstenholme. mr Oxenbrigg. mr Berblock.
Sr Tho: Wroth. mr Rogers. mr Conell.
mr Alder Iohnson. mr Tho: Cañon. mr Meuerell.
mr Io: Wroth. mr Essington. mr Caswell.
mr Io: fferrar Dp̃t. mr H: Briggs. mr Roberts etc.

It was made knowne by mr Treasuror, that the two Comittees appointed by the last Court for the reducing of the Standing orders into one entire body, and for setling a forme of governement, and magistracy in Virginia: The first haue mett as they were desired, and at the next meeting hope to make an end, & present them to the Quarter Court ensuing: ffor performance thereof haue desired further reference of the second Comittee till ffriday after this Quarter Court, because being a busines very waighty, it can not so soone be well digested; but they will prepare and make them ready for the approbac̃on of a Quarter Court in Michaelmas terme.

The busines formerly putt to arbitrement, and referred by the Com- pany and the Lady Lawarre vnto mr. Thomas Simonds and mr Thomas Westrowe touching the fraight of the Neptune, and the Acco of Rich: Beomonnt mr and Part-Owner being concluded by the Arbi- trators, and the perticulers now read, receiued the confirmac̃on of the Court: Vpon wch mr Thr̃er paid the mony, and tooke in the Charter party.

Captaine Brewster hauing deliuered Articles obiected against Captaine Samuell Argoll touching his governement in Virginia, to mr Treasuror and mr Deputy, as the Last Court required, the same was now pre- sented: Vnto wch order is giuen that Captaine Argoll haue a coppie of them, as also of the writing of Appeale formerly deliuered in that he make answere therevnto: And also that the said Captaine Samuell Argoll (against the next Quarter Court) be warned to bring in his writt of discharge.

The Last Court wherein mr Thr̃er was desired to repaire to mr Atturny Generall to learne the Contents of a Pattent wch should be graunted [7] to one Sumerscales about Tobacco. He now acquaynted them that he had performed that trust, and findeth it to be very preiudiciall to this Company, if the same should passe therefore advised that there might forthwth be a course taken for to prevent and stopp the proceeding of it: wch being taken into considerac̃on, the Court haue desired mr Tr̃er to goe againe to mr Atturney Generall and to take some more paines for to hinder the going forward of the same, and haue associated to goe along wth him Generall Cecill, Sr Io: Wolstenholme, mr Alder̃ Iohnson and mr Iohn Wroth to morrowe morning at seauen of the Clock, and if they faile of doing good therein, it is agreed, that the Counsell shalbe assembled to take such further course therein as shall seeme requisite mr Wm Palmer was desired to write to mr Sumerscales to meete them at that hower at mr Atturnies.

It was also by mr Tr̃er propounded to the Cort as a thing most worthy to be taken into considerac̃on both for the glory of God, and honor of the Company, that forasmuch as the King in his most gracious fauor hath graunted his L̃res to the seuerall Bishops of this Kingdome for the collecting of monies to erect and build a Colledge in Virginia for the trayning and bringing vp of Infidells children to the true knowl- edge of God & vnderstanding of righteousnes. And considering what publique notice may be taken in foreslowing to sett forward the acc̃on, especially of all those wch hath contributed to the same, that therefore to begin that pious worke, there is allready towards it —1500li,—or thereabouts, whereof remayning in cash 800li, the rest is to be answered out of the Stock of the Generall Company for so much wch they borrowed, besides the likelihood of more to come in; ffor mr Treasuror hauing some conference wth the Bishop of Lichfield, he hath not heard of any Collecc̃on that hath beene for that busines in his Diocese; but promiseth when he hath a warrt therevnto he will wth all dilligence further the enterprize; Wherevpon he conceaued it the best fittest; that as yet they should not build the Colledge, but rather forbeare a while; and begin first with the meanes they haue to provide and settle an Annuall revennue, and out of that to begin the erecc̃on of the said Colledge: And for the performance hereof also moued, that a certaine peece of Land be Laid out at Henrico being the place formerly resolued of wch should be called the Colledge Land, and for the planting of the same send presently ffifty good persons to be seated thereon and to occupy the same according to order, and to ∥haue∥ halfe the benefitt of their Labor and the other halfe to goe in setting forward the worke, and for mayntenance of the Tutors & Schollers. He therefore propounded that a Shipp might be prouided against the begining of August, to carry those ffifty men wth their prouisions, as also to send ffiftie persons more to the Com̃on Land wch may raise a Stock for the paying of dueties there and defraying the Companies charge here, and to send provision of victualls wth them for a yeare: And for the defraying the charge hereof did also propound the meanes; first for the Colledge there was mony in Cash, and besides it may saue the Ioint stock the sending out a Shipp this yeare, wch for 4d a pound they will bring from thence all their Tobacco wch may arise to ffive hundreth poundℯ besides mony that may come in otherwise to [8] helpe to beare the charge of the voyage; Wch Proposic̃on was well liked but the time and season not allowed of all; and by some obiected, that the Generall Plantac̃on should receaue much mony if more men were sent ouer soe sodaynly before those that are allready gone haue procured wherewthall to subsist; as also being a matter of greate consequence it did more propperly belong to the deciding of a Quarter Cort: but the former reasons being answered; and being further alleaged if it were till then prolonged the time would be past for their provisions of beefe, beere, and meate. Wherevpon after Long arguing and disputing thereof it was agreed to be putt to the question; Wch being propounded whether a shipp should be sett out to carry men for these two good vses and be sett out at the publique charge—(vizt) wth 50 Passengers for the Colledge Land, and 50 for the Com̃on Land, it was by generall consent, and erecc̃on of handℯ allowed and confirmed.

One mr Weyncop comended to the Company by the Earle of Lincolne intending to goe in person to Virginia, and there to plant himselfe and his Associats presented his Pattent now to the Cort; wch was referred to the Comittee that meeteth vpon ffriday morning at mr Treasurors howse to consider and if need be to correct the same.

IUNE THE VIJth, 1619. A Preparatiue Court held for the Virginia Company at Mr. fferrars Howse in St Sithes Lane.

Sr Edwin Sandis Knt Thr̃er.
Sr Iohn Dãuers. mr Ri: Tomlins. mr Hen: Briggs.
Sr Nath. Rich. mr Hen: Reignoldℯ. mr fferrar iunior.
mr Io: Wroth. Capt Io: Bingham. mr Bamford.
mr fferrar Dpt̃. Capt Io: Bargraue. mr Berblock.
mr Dr Anthony. mr Robt: Smith. mr Caswell.
mr Tho: Gibbs. mr Edw: Ditchfield. mr Iadwine etc.

The standing lawes and orders formerly allowed and confirmed by diuers Quarter Courts touching the graunts and Pattents of Land, and the duty appertayning to euery perticuler Office, being reduced by a Comittie into one entire body; vnto wch the Counsell being assembled, haue allowed thereof, and being now presented to this Court, was red for the preparing them for the confirmac̃on of the Quarter Court ensuing.

Whereas the writt of Appeale put in by Captaine Brewster against Capt. Samuell Argoll is to be answered at the next Quarter Court, wch depends more vpon matter of Lawe then fact: and being a [9] question whither Marshall lawe be a iustifiable proceeding in such a Crime, Order was giuen that the L̃res Pattentℯ might be ready at that time to collect what Light they can touching the same.

And forasmuch as about the time of the Graunt of the first L̃res Pattents, there were also Instrucc̃ons giuen by his Maty vnder the Priuy seale to the Treasuror and Company of Virginia, for the gov- erning of the Plantac̃on, A coppie of wch mr Treasuror hauing now founde in the Ancient Court Rowles wch before he neuer heard of; And inasmuch as they are to be proceeded in wth greate care and advise, Sr Tho: Smith is desired (if it may be) to send in the Originall.

A petic̃on was preferred by Capt Bargraue touching his suite com- enced in the Chauncery against the Adventurers of the Ioint stock, was referred to a Comittee, viz to mr Tomlins, mr Rogers, mr Bamford, mr Briggs mr fferrar Iunior, mr Berblock or any three of them to meete at this place to morrow at two of the Clock in the Afternoone.

By order of Court, vnder the Seale of the Company mr Lott Peere receiued his Quietus est for his imployment in the ffiue shillings Lot- tery, by two seuerall Accountℯ, and had paid Sr Edwin Sandis Thr̃er for the foote of one Acco—116—9—11—and for the foote of his other Account—34—15—8—.

That mr Thr̃er moue the Quarter Court to take order for the paying of prizes in the Lottery.

The Auditors made allowance of Twelue single shares of Twelue poundℯ ten shillings apeece belonging to sundry Adventurers, all of them being passed ouer to the parties herevnder named

to Richard Boothbie merchant.
to Dr Thomas Winstone.
Dr Lawrence Böhun fiue shares of 12:10:a peece. to Hugh Windham Mercht.
to Iohn Tucker Merchant.
to Iohn Strange.

IUNE IXth 1619 A Quarter Court held for Virginia at Mr Ferrars howse in St Sithes Lane Present

The Right honoble͠ Henry Earle of Southampton.
Robert Earle of Warwick.
The Lo: Cauendish. mr Alder. Iohnson. Capt: Na: Butler.
The Lo: Pagett. mr Io: Wroth. mr Hum: Handford.
Generall Cecill. mr Geo: Sandis. mr Wm Bell.
mr Treasuror. mr Morrice Abbott. mr Rich: Rogers.
Sr Tho: Smith. mr Io: Ferrar Dept̃. mr Antho: Abdy.
Sr Io: Merrick. mr Tho: Gibbs. mr Wm Essington.
Sr Dudley Digges. mr Hen: Reignolds. mr Wm Caninge.
Sr Io: Dãuers. mr Rich: Tomlins. mr George Swinhowe.
Sr Tho: Gates. mr George Thorpe. mr Steward.
Sr Wm Thrickmorton. mr ∥Wm∥ Oxenbrigg. mr fferrar iunior.
Sr Nath: Rich. Dr ffran: Anthony. mr Ditchfield.
Sr Antho: Auger. Dr Gulstone. mr Hen: Briggs.
Sr Tho: Cheeke. Dr ∥Fr Thomas∥ Win- stone. mr Wiseman.
Sr Io: Sams. mr George Chambers.
Sr Io: Wolstenholme. Capt Samuell Argoll. mr Wheatly.
Sr Wm Russell. Capt Bargraue. mr Shepherd.
Sr Tho: Wilford. Capt Tucker. mr Cranmer.
Capt Io: Bingham. mr Boothby.
Capt Brewster. mr Buckeridge.
Capt Whitner. mr Berblock.
mr Wm Palmer etc.

The standing lawes and orders for the Company being reduced by the Comittee into an entire body, and by them presented to the Counsell, who approuing of them, and hauing beene afterward read to the Pre- paratiue Cort, and now to this greate and generall Cort, not any Lawe was contradicted saue one, the Chapter of Auditors concerning the old Acco depending in Audite, wch Sr Tho: Smith tooke some excepc̃ons, that three or fower should now contradict that account, whereof 16 worthy and sufficient men allowed, and the party in Court that writt the same, who would be deposed vpon his Oath that it was the same then made and written: And therefore made two requestℯ; first, that this Account may stand, and the Auditors to proceed from thence, if noe iust excepc̃ons can be taken against it. And secondly that by reason of his extraordinary busines, dishabillity in body, and he because he would be ready to answere to any difficulty, requested, that the Audite might be kept at his howse, and to goe forward wth the Acco of the Cashe, wch he onely is ingaged for and noe other; And what damage appeareth hath beene done to the Company by such Officers as he trusted he will satisfy to the vttmost: But vpon profes- sion that the said lawe was not to preiudice or debarr Sr Thomas Smith from the benefitt of the said old Accompte, they were agreed to be putt to the question: Wch being done, they were generally con- firmed by erecc̃on of handℯ.

Afterward vpon the exhibiting of a writing signed by ffower of the Auditors in answere of Sr Thomas Smiths moc̃on touching the sayd Account; Sir Thomas Smith vpon pervsall of the said writing and to giue all men satisfacc̃on, gaue his consent that the present Auditors should pro- ceed wth his Account from the beginning: And touching the keeping of [11] the Audite at Sir Thomas Smiths howse being disliked by the Auditors, and obiected by some of them, that howsoeuer they might haue vse of Sr Thomas Smith, yet they should 1

Written over "would" in the manuscript.

have more vse of Sr Edwin Sandis by reason of his experience therein, whose busines would not permitt him to come so farr. Wch was answered by Sr Thomas Smith, that others might be found to haue as much experience in Accounts, as he, and be more fitter in reguard of his greate busines: Yet notwthstanding to determine this Controuersy, he would referr him- selfe to the most voicℯ of the Auditors, whither they would be willing to meete at his house or not. The moc̃on being well liked, it was ordered, that the seauen Auditors chosen by the Quarter Court of elecc̃on, and fower others by a former Court annexed vnto them, and allowed at this (so that they take their Oaths) namely, mr Morris Abbott, mr Humphrey Handford, mr Antho: Abdie and mr Thomas Kightley doe assemble vpon Munday morning at Sr Edwin Sandis about the Accomptℯ, and there to appointe the time and place of meeting, and to adiourne it from time to time as they shall see cause.

A former Act of Court made 26to die Maij, touching the setting out a shipp wth one hundred men for the Colledge and publiq̢ Land, was now agayne propounded by mr Thr̃er: Wch being putt to the question, receiued the confirmac̃on of the Court; and agreed that the said shipp should be ready to sett out soone after the middest of July at the fur- thest, that by the blessing of God they may ariue there by the end of October, wch is the fittest and seasonablest time for men to doe some busines.

Captayne Brewsters appeale against Captaine Samuell Argoll touch- ing his condempnac̃on in Virginia being referred to the hearing of this Court; and now questioned by the said Captaine Brewster whither he were Gouernor or noe, imagining that at their Landing he had receaued his writt of discharge; and if it were so whether he dealt iustly, proceeding as he did against him in Marshall Lawe, being onely in case of muteny and rebellion that the same should be executed. Touching the point whither he were Gouernor or noe, it plainly appeared by a L̃re sent vnto him (wch the said Captaine Argoll now produced) signed by some of the Counsell and Company, that at the Landing of the Lo: Lawarr in Virginia, he should surrender vp his place; Wch seeing it pleased god to take his L̃ops Life from his mortall body before he Landed there, this point stood cleere that he remayned Gouernor, in statu quo prius. ffor the other point whether iustice were executed in performing his tryall by Marshall Lawe, because the Court found it more convenient for the busines to be more priuately handled, it was ordered, that the Counsell should be summoned to meete to morrow morning at my Lo: of Warwickes house at eight of the Clock there to decide the business and report to the Court.

This Court taking into considerac̃on the worthynes of some Noblemen and others now present by giuing their dilligent attendance from time to time to the benefitt and furtherance of the Plantac̃on, as namely the Right honoble Robt Earle of Warwick, Sr Tho: Cheeke, Sr Nath: Rich, mr John fferrar deputy and Captaine Nath: Butler haue now [12] made choice of them to be of his Mats Counsell for Virginia, and each of them being putt to the question was generally ratified by erecc̃on of handℯ, and are appointed to ∥attend∥ my Lo: Chamberlaine for the taking of their Oaths.

The request of diuers of the Generallity to the Tr̃er, Counsell and Company of Virginia being presented at this Court, touching the reforming and rectifying of the Magazine busines, was vpon pervsall allowed of, and being putt to the question ratified by erecc̃on of handℯ; Wch points are these that followe,

fforasmuch as it appeared, that there was more busines to be per- formed then this Afternoone could well determine; It was moued that if mr Thr̃er hereafter shall finde the like, that then he may please to giue order for the Company to meete both fforenoone & After- noone, wch was referred to be considered of by the Comittee for the Standing orders.

By reason it grewe late, and the Court ready to breake vp, and as yet mr Iohn Whincops Pattent for him and his Asso- ciats being to be read, it was ordered that the seale should be annexed vnto it, and haue referred the trust thereof vnto the Auditors to examine that it agree wth the Originall; wch if it doth not, they haue promised to bring it into the Court & cancell it. [13]

A former Comittee appointed concerning Captaine Bargraues busi- nes, the matter being found difficult, and the time short, The Court vpon another petic̃on preferred by Capt Bargraue haue adioyned vnto them Generall Cæsill, Sr Dudley Diggs, Sr Tho: Cheeke, Sr Iohn Dãuers, Sr Nath: Rich to meete at Generall Cæsills howse to morrowe Afternoone at two of the Clock; And that Mr Aldr̃an Iohnson, mr Essington & mr Ditchfield be warned to be there at that time.

IUNE THE 14th 1619

Sr Edwin Sandis Knt Thr̃er.
Sr Dudley Diggs. Capt. Bingham. mr Chambers.
Sr Io: Dãuers. Capt. Bargraue. mr Wheatley.
Sr Tho: Gates. Capt. Butler. mr Shepherd.
Sr Nath: Rich. Capt. Brewster. mr Kightley.
Sr Io: Samms. mr Dr Anthony. mr Berblock.
mr Iohn Wroth. mr Dr Gulson. mr Caswell.
mr fferrar Dpty. mr Canñon. mr Geo: Smith.
mr Hen: Reignoldℯ. mr Hen: Briggs. mr Sparrowe.
Capt. S. Argoll. mr Wiseman. mr El: Roberts etc.

At this Court mr Iohn Wroth, mr Morris Abbott, mr Humphrey Hand- ford mr Anthony Abdie mr Wm Essington and mr Thomas Keightley were now sworne Auditors for the Virginia Company.

The Guift being now returned from Virginia and hauing brought ɫres from Sr George Yeardley directed to Sr Edw: Sandis intimating the sore voyage they had; being going thither from the 19th of Ianuary to the 19th of Aprill following, In wch time there dyed 14 Landmen and three seamen as also that two children was borne at sea, & dyed, and at his there ariuall finding the Plantac̃on to be in great scarsity for want of Corne, desired the Company to beare wth him, if ∥for∥ this yeare he some thing neglected the planting of Tobacco, and followe the sowing of Corne, where by the next yeare he hopes by the blessing of God to raise such a Cropp thereof, that the said Plantac̃on shall haue noe greate cause to complaine in hast of want. Other priuate busines mr Thr̃er acquaynted the Court was specified in his L̃res, wch is first to receaue the advise of the Counsell, and by their direcc̃ons to reveale it to the Court. 1

This is probably the letter given in List of Records, No. 93, page 131, ante.

It was moued by mr Thr̃er, that the Generall Comittees should forth- with meete for the setting out this shipp, and furnishing of her wth good people to be sent to the Colledge and publique Land, wch hitherto by defect thereof, the Plantac̃on hath beene much wronged: wch [14] if the Court would put them in trust for the prouiding of such, they would intreate the Gentlemen both of Country and Citty to helpe them therewith. Wch moc̃on the Court comended and haue desired mr Thr̃ers assistance therein.

The Counsell hauing mett according to order from the Last Court; touching the appeal of Captaine Brewster against Captaine Samuell Argoll, the Court hauing cleered one point concerning his Gouernor- shipp, and the Counsell now approuing of the other for his tryall by Marshall Lawe, holding Captaine Argoll not faulty therein, by reason he proceeded and followed the example of his Predecessors, and the Custome altogether vsed hetherto in that Plantac̃on, wch is likely to continue till the standing orders for Virginia be made and enacted; and he being tryed by a Marshall Court, the Counsell held it to be the Noblest tryall being iudged by Souldiers and men of worth. But forasmuch as it is obiected that the said Captaine Argoll proceeded vnduely, Capt Brewster comitting noe crime worthy of death, and being also alleaged that he was first condempned and afterward called vnto his Answere, wch the Counsell and Court here cann not iudge of, but is to be tryed there, where the euidence may be giuen; It was therefore now ordered, that the said Appeale and Captaine Argolls answere therevnto shalbe sent inclozed wthin a ɫre of the Companies to Sr George Yeardley and the Counsell of State, and they to make examinac̃on of the cause and returne Certificate thereof. An oath was also exhibited by Captaine Brewster, wch was administred vnto him in Virginia, wch is also agreed to be sent for informac̃on of the truth thereof.

The Comittee by the Court appointed vpon the petic̃on of Captaine Bargraue, touching the suite depending in Chauncery betwixt him and some Adventurers of the Magazine, the same Comittee meeting at the time and place appointed, and considering thereof hauing both bill and answere, and the booke of the Orders of Courts, who pervsing the same, and finding that Capt. Bargraue had 14 dayes respite for giuing security to the Adventurers, and wth in six dayes the bargaine was taken of his handes, for wch he was to allowe vnto the Adventurers, —150li wth a promise that if it were sold for aboue ffiue shillings a pound, he should haue the Ouerplus: but being all sold by some of the Ad- venturers of the Magazine amongst themselues wth in two dayes after at— iiijs ixd it was conceaued by the said Comittee, that the said Capt Bargraue had much wrong offered therein: and therefore did see noe reason why the Company should countenance this busines, but leaue the Defendts to followe it; or to take the matter vp amongst themselues. Wherevpon after some debating, being putt to the question whither the Virginia Company should ioyne or noe in suite against Capt Bar- graue wth the Defendants, It was agreed by erecc̃on of handℯ that not- wthstanding any order to the contrary, the said Company should neither ioyne nor assist the said Defendants herein. And that vpon Wedens- day sevenight, when the said Adventurers of the Magazine doe meete, it be putt vnto them to see likewise if they will vndertake the same.

[15] It was agreed that Mr Aldr̃an Iohnson, and the rest of the Adventurers and Officers of the Magazine should be warned agaynst Wedensday sevenight to meete at mr fferrars howse. and to haue the Acco ready to be deliuered in vpon their Oath.

It was moued by mr. Thr̃er that the Court would take into considera- c̃on to appoint a Comittie of choice Gentlemen, and other of his Mats Counsell for Virginia concerning the Colledge; being a waighty busi- nes, and so greate, that an Account of their proceedings therein must be giuen to the State. Vpon §wch§ the Cort vpon deliberate considerac̃on haue recom̃ended the care thereof vnto the Right wor Sr Dudley Diggs, Sr Iohn Dãuers, Sr Nath: Rich, Sr Io: Wolstenholme, mr Deputy fferrar, mr Dr Anthony, and mr Dr Gulson to meete at such time as mr Treasuror shall giue order therevnto.

fforasmuch as the standing Lawes and orders concerning the governe- ment of Virginia being finished by the Comittee to whome they were recomended, and passed the seuerall Ceremonies according to the orders of the Company, It was moued that the second Comittee for the setling of Lawes & Magistracie might be summoned by the Officer to meete at Sr Edwin Sandis his howse vpon ffriday morning next at eight of the Clock, and there to devide the busines amongst themselues as they shall see cause: Wch the Court thought very con- venient, and haue allowed thereof.

Also vpon a moc̃on of the Susans voyage to be audited, and the com- plaint of the Generallity in some abuse offred by the Ioint stock to be rectified; The ordinary Auditors are warned to meete therevpon vpon Munday morning at eight of the Clock at mr Treasurors howse.

It was agreed vpon the moc̃on of Sr Dudley Diggs and Sr Thomas Gates vnto the Court about a Pattent to be graunted vnto sundry Kentishmen, who would seate and plant themselues in Virginia, that they should haue as Large priuiledges and imunities as is graunted to any other in that kinde.

Vpon the petic̃on of Iohn Woodliefe gentleman (who disbursed 62—10—00 eleauen yeares since, and the like time spent in the Planta- c̃on in the place of Ensigne[) ] to haue a Pattent graunted him and his Associats whereon to plant the nomber of 200 persons to be trans- ported into Virginia before the end of Six yeares next Coming, and to haue the like priviledges to him and his Associats, in lieu aswell of his said Adventure and personall allowance, as for other his Associats who haue adventured of old: Wch the Court hath now graunted vnto him. [16]

Whereas vpon a former order, it was agreed to pay interest for a some of mony in the Companies handℯ during the minority of one Katha- rine Bath to whome the mony doth belong. The Court vpon better considerac̃on now finding it not convenient to pay Interest haue agreed to reverse the said order & to ∥pay∥ the mony where it is due.

The Court being acquaynted of one mr Robert Browne who adven- tured wth the Lo: Lawarr 25li and went himselfe in person to Virginia, and there dyed, haue now agreed wth the consent and liking of the Lady Lawarr that the [said 25li] 1

The manuscript is blotted so as to make this and the two following doubtful passages almost illegible.

shalbe deducted out of the 500li adven- ture of my Lordℯ, and so [that * * * * r] 2

Probably power or order.

be giuen to the Bookeeper for the defaulking of it out of the said 500li adventure, & passing it to the said Robert Browne by a bill [of A]dventure in his owne name. And moreouer haue agreed that for his personall Adventure he shall (according to the orders of the Company) haue 100 Acres of Land.

IUNE THE 24th 1619

Present The Right honoble The Ea. of Warwicke.
Sr Edwin Sandis Knt Thr̃er.
Sr Io: Dãuers. mr Rich: Tomlins. mr Rich: Morer.
Sr Stephen Dowle. mr Anthony Abdy. mr Geo: Smith.
mr Io: Wroth. mr Wm Caninge. mr Geo: Chambers.
mr Ferrar Dpt. mr Edw: Ditchfield. mr Rich: Berblock.
mr Tho: Gibbs. mr Robt Smith. mr: Conell.
mr Ferrar Iunior. mr Iadwin. mr Meuerell.
mr Wm Essington. mr Rich: Bull.

The order in the Last Court touching the generall Company not any way to ioyne or countenance the Defendantℯ against Capt Bargraue, here being some wch were absent at the Last Cort, and alleadging some reason why the said Company should not altogether relinquish the said Defendants, because the Generallity hauing a stock there, is therein interessed as a perticuler Adventurer of the Magazine; Wch point is referred vntill the Adventurers meete; At wch time it may be cleered whither the Adventurers shall ioyne in mayntaining that suite; [17] The Comittee by the Last Cort appoynted for the Colledge hauing mett as they were desired, deliuered now their proceedings, wch the Cort allowed of being this that followeth,

A note of what kinde of men are most fitt to be sent to Virginia in the next intended voyage of transporting One hundreth men.

A minister to be entertayned at the yearely allowance of fforty poundℯ and to §have§ 50 Acres of Land for him and his heires for euer.

To be allowed his transportac̃on & his mans at the Companies charge, and ten poundℯ imprest to furnish himselfe wthall.

A Captaine thought fitt to be considered of to take the charge of such people as are to be planted vpon the Colledge Land.

All the people at this first sending except some few to be sent aswell for planting the Colledge as publiq̢ Land to be single men vnmarryed. A warrant to be made and directed to Sr Thomas Smith for the paymt of the Collecc̃on mony to Sr Edwin Sandis Thr̃er. And that Dr Gul- stone should be entreated to present vnto my Lords Grace of Canter- bury such Letters to be signed for the speedy paying of the monies from every Diocesse, wch yet remaynes vnpayd.

The seuerall sortes of Tradesmen and others for the Colledge Land.

Smithes. Potters.
Carpenters. Husbandmen.
Bricklayers. Brickmakers.

And whereas according to the standing order seauen were chosen by the Last Court to be of the Comittee for the Colledge the said order allowing noe more. And inasmuch as mr Iohn Wroth is conceaued by some error to be left out, he is therefore now desired to be an Assist- ant vnto them and to giue them meeting at such time & place as is agreed of.

The Comittee for ∥the∥ setling of lawes and Magistracie in Virginia haue mett as they were desired and vpon examinac̃on haue found diuers Lawes in the L̃res Pattents and good poynts in the Instrucc̃ons giuen by his Maty vnder the Privy Seals wch wilbe a greate further- ance for the setling of the busines, purposing to take such paynes therein as to present them to the next Quarter Court and to that end (because [18] most in this Vacation time resolueth to goe into the country) haue devided it amongst them selues for the better preparing of it against their next meeting.

It was moued by mr. Thr̃er that a Comittee might be appoynted to call the officers of the Lotteries before them to sett downe a Catta- logue what prizes remayne yet due and vnpaid that they may be dis- charged and one to be authorized to pay them to such as shall bring in their Ticketts, wch the Cort hath referred vnto the Auditors.

Also he moued that in reguard of great somes wch is presently to be issued out vpon this voyage, and the extraordinary busines wch the Company from time to time imposeth vpon him, that a perticuler Thr̃er might be appointed vnder him for the issuing out thereof, wch he [should] not deliuer wthout a warrant, nor the other should pay it forth wthout the like authority of a warrant to be giuen vnto him: Wch the Court haue thought fitt, because he stands engaged for it, to referr it vnto himselfe, who therein hath made choice of mr Deputy fferrar.

Stephen Sparrowes request for the personall adventures of ffower servants wch he sent to Virginia is referred to the Auditors vpon Munday morning.

William Shackley of London Haberdasher assigned to Oliuer St Iohn Two shares in Virginia.

Also Mrs Millisent Paulsden assigned to the said Oliuer St Iohn three shares in Virginia, wch the Cort haue now allowed of: Prouided that shee come into the Cort or make her Certificate of her allowance therein within this Twelue Moneths.

A controuersy arising amongst the Adventurers of the Magazine for their place of meeting, it being made knowne that mr Aldr̃an Iohnson who is the Director thereof, desired it might be at Sr Tho: Smiths, by reason he was one of the greatest and principall Adventurers and not well able to goe to any other place: but forasmuch as there is a standing order, that so long as the generall Company hath an Adven- ture in any Ioint stock, their meetings shalbe where the Generall Corts is kept: mr Thr̃er and Deputy insisted strongly for the mayntayning of the said Order, insomuch that it was answered that it were better a little to dispense wth that said order, then a Generall ffacc̃on thereby should be raysed betwixt the Company and adventurers: wch was answered by mr Thr̃er that he sawe no reason to feare any such ffacc̃on: but for his part if the Adventurers would repay to the Generall Company their Eight hundreth poundℯ they haue paid into the Magazine, they might meete in what place they pleased, and that might be done wthout breach of order, till then he was sworne to mayntayne the orders and lawes of the Company vnlesse they shalbe disanulled by the same wayes and meanes that they are [19] confirmed. But much dispute growing herein, and the Counsell all save o[ne] hauing deliuered their opinions to mayntayne the order, It was at length agree[d] that the said Adventurers of the Magazine should be warned to meete here vpon Munday next in the Afternoone at the Generall Cort to performe such things as in the Last Quarter Cort had beene ordered, concerning the Magazine and the officers thereof.

IUNE THE 28th 1619

Present Right honorable The Earle of Southampton. The Earle of Warwick.
Sr Edwin Sandis Knt. Thr̃er.
Sr Iohn Dãuers. mr Thorpe. mr Morer.
Sr Edw: Harwood. mr Tomlins. mr Couell.
Sr Nath: Rich. Capt Argoll. mr Swinhowe.
mr Aldr̃an Iohnson. mr Essington. mr Darnelly.
mr Iohn Wroth. mr Antho: Abdy. mr Wiseman.
mr Xo Brooke. mr Cartwright. mr Berblock.
mr Morrice Abbott. mr Wheatly. mr ladwine.
mr Ferrar Dpt̃. mr Barber. With others.
mr Chambers.

Vpon reading the last order in the last Court, touching the place of meeting of the Magazine Adventurers, mr Thr̃er signified to the Cort, that by reason of such contrary desires to meete a part, they could haue noe meeting wth the Adventurers at all, and therefore shewed two reasons that might induce them not to fly from the standing order: One, that the Generall Company hath twice as greate an Adventure therein, as any of the greatest perticuler Adventurers: And the other, that hetherto from time to time, their meetings haue beene at the same time and place, where and when the generall Courtℯ hath beene kept, sauing onely twice: Wch was replyed by mr Aldr̃an Iohnson Director of the Magazine, that it could not be soe convenient to meete together as in meeting a part; because at such meeting ⅓ wilbe of the Generality, but if it be for the mayntayning of the Standing order, that their meetings should be both in one place; it was not unknowne, but that Sr Thomas Smith hath offred his howse for them at any time to sitt in, who being a great Adventurer was worthy to haue a voice [as] ∥stet∥ occasion serueth amongst them; and the rather that he and some others was engaged to the Chamber of London for one thousand poundℯ, wch if they pleased to cleare them of that bond, he would consent to meete where they pleased. Wch was answered by mr Thr̃er, that one reason why they should be vndeuided, was, that from time to time they might receaue their authority from the Gen- erall Corts: and mr Aldr̃an well said, they were not tyed to a perticuler place of meeting, therefore he would be willing (if the Court should soe like of it) that they should meet sometimes at Sr Thomas Smiths, at such time as Sr Thomas Smith should haue occasion to desire to be present. And for the 1000li wch Sr Thomas Smith, Sr Iohn Wol- stenholme, and mr Alderman Iohnson standeth bound he held it not convenient to haue any Diuident till that were paid. Wherevpon many in the Court agreeing in opinion wth him, it was desired to be [20] putt to the question; wch being propounded, whither the Thowsand poundℯ should be paid, that is at interest at seauen p̱ Cent or that the Vndertakers should remayne in bondℯ, and a Diuident be made the Adventurers, by erecc̃on of handℯ was concluded, that the said vndertakers should be released, by repaying the said some of 1000li into the Chamber of London before there should be any Divident.

Next was moued by Mr Thr̃er the prosequuting of the Proposic̃on agreed of in the Last Quarter Cort, wch was, that the Magazine should imitate the order of the Company: ffirst that Officers should be yearely chosen and sworne & that §an§ a true Acc0 should be deliuered in vpon their Oaths. And first taking into considerac̃on the choice of their Director, it was propounded whither they would haue one or two, wch was agreed to haue but one; and mr Aldr̃an Iohnson being there- vnto nominated and putt to the question, was by erecc̃on of handℯ confirmed. Likewise to be assisting to mr Director, choice is now made of fiue Comittees, viztt, mr Essington, mr Rich: Morer, mr Edward Ditchfield, mr Richard Caswell, and mr Berblock. And for Auditors mr Abraham Cartwright, Mr George Chambers, Mr Henry Briggs and mr Richard Wiseman, who are desired to be at the next Court to take their oaths: and also against that time an exact Account be giuen of the State of the Cash, & what debts is owing, that (if it may be) halfe a Capitall may be deuided amongst the Adventurers.

And it was also by mr Thr̃er desired that the 340li wch the Magazine oweth to the Generall stock may be forthwth paid, he hauing such extraordinary occasion to vse mony for the setting out the shipp agreed to be sent, and what cann be proued either by order of Cort, or otherwise to be due vnto them they shall haue it paid, and therefore when the Auditors now chosen for the Magazine shall haue seene into the Accounts, they would repaire to the Generall Auditors at his howse to conclude the differences vpon Tuesday seauennight at two of the Clock in the afternoone. And against that time did also request that they would giue themselues vnderstanding of the first Magazine sett out in the Susan, that the Generall Stock may receaue the mony due vnto them vpon that voyage, and that the Account may be cleered without further delay.

Mr George Chambers in the behalfe of Martins Hundred desired the Company to make examinac̃on of some abuses offred to their Cor- porac̃on by the Mr and Marriners of the Ship, as also to rectify some wrong done vnto them by the Capemerchant: Wherevpon the Court was pleased to call before them the Marriners, administring vnto them an Oath to answere vnto such Interrogotories as shalbe law- fully demaunded of them touching Martins Hundred: wch done the examinac̃on thereof was referred to two of the Counsell and two of the Company, viztt, to mr Aldr̃an Iohnson, mr Morrice Abbott, & mr Abdy and mr Cartwright. And for wrong donne by the Capemerchant, it being not their case alone that complaynes, It was agreed that a ɫre should be written from the Counsell to Sr George Yeardley, and that Mr Chambers and others [23] 1

Pages 21 and 22 are missing from the manuscript. The catch word at the end of page 20 is "deliuer."

findeth none soe fitt and convenient for them as mr Deputy fferrars, if it pleased him to let the Company haue her, there being Cabbins and euery thing in a readines. But inasmuch as a Publique impu- tac̃on was Laid vpon him in the disputing of men to be sent to the Colledge Land, in saying that he had some priuate endℯ in solliciting it soe hard; he therefore desired to be excused, and that they would prouide some other, Least in performing their desire he should drawe some malignity therein vpon himselfe: but being vrged therevnto by the Cort, who generally cleering him of that imputac̃on he hath (through the good he wisheth vnto the Company) condiscended to their request, and referred it to the Comittees to allowe him for ffraight what they shall thinke good.


Being Present The Right honorable The Earle of Warwick.
Sr Edwin Sandis Knt Thr̃er.
Sr Dudley Diggs. mr Dr Winstone. mr Ed: Scott.
Sr Tho: Gates. mr Dr Anthony. mr Geo: Swinhowe.
Sr Iohn: Dãuers. mr Tho: Gibbs. mr Tho: Kightley.
Sr Nath: Rich. mr Robt Offley. mr Wm Palmer.
Sr Tho: Wroth. mr Rich: Rogers. mr Wiseman.
mr Aldr̃an Iohnson. mr Wm Caninge. mr Lewson.
mr Iohn Wroth. mr fferrar Iunior. mr Iadwine.
mr Iohn fferrar Dept. mr Essington. mr Meuerell.
mr Geo: Thorpe. mr Hen: Briggs. mr Roberts.
Wth others.

The Magazine Shipp being returned from Virginia, and a Packett of wrightings receaued from Abraham Persey the Capemerchant, but not any L̃re yet receaued from Sr George Yeardley the Gouernor, the same was now presented to this Court, where in the Packett was conteyned a generall ɫre to the Adventurers, an Invoice of the goodℯ now come home, a bill of Lading, a certificate of the misdemeanor of one Showell who was sent to assist the Capemercht, a note of such goodℯ as the Country standeth in need of, an Invoice of the goodℯ Wth was Landed by the George 1617, An account of the same goods, two bills of Exch̴ to Sr Iohn Wolstenholme, and a note of mony Wch the Marriners oweth to the said Adventurers.

The Generall ɫre being now read, It was moued by mr Thr̃er, that 2 pointℯ especially therein might be taken into considerac̃on;

To wch purpose, the Court haue now appointed ffower of the Counsell, 2 of Smiths Hundred and 2 of Martins Hundred, viztt of the Counsell Sr Tho: Gates, mr Iohn Wroth, mr Deputy fferrar and Capt Argoll; ffor Smiths Hundred, mr Thomas Gibbs and mr Robt Smith; ffor Martins Hundreth, mr Geo: Chambers, and mr Wm Caninge, who together wth the Director and Comittees for the Magazine are desired to meete too morrow in the Afternoone at mr Treasurrs howse to con- sider of these Two points, & to pervse the writings, that care may be taken to redresse what is amisse.

Next according to an order made in the Last Court, mr Thr̃er required of the Officers then chosen for the Magazine, such Acco as was then comitted to their care to be perfected, and brought in as vpon this day at the furthest: but perceauing that mr Essington was gone and that noe Account could be presented, being some thing moued that from time to time they should be putt of and could haue neither paid the money wch appeareth to be due to the Company, nor that they would meete to audite the same, addressed himselfe to mr Alderman Iohnson as Director thereof, saying, he would complaine to the Lordℯ of the Counsell of it, or comence suite against him. Wherevpon mr Alderman conceauing as he afterwardℯ said he had threatned him in his owne person, replied, that he durst not, wth some other angry wordℯ he then vttered; wch some of the Counsell tooke excepc̃ons at, saying, the Court was very much wronged by it, and that if it were suffered to haue the Treasuror so vsed, there would be noe respect given vnto him, to wch the Court consented: And mr Thr̃er for his part affirmed, that he did not meane mr Alderman otherwise then as ∥he was∥ Director of the Magazine, & when he spoke of himselfe he meant the Virginia Company: Which being putt to the question, whither the Court vnderstood that he spoke perticulerly of his person, or of the Adventurers of the Magazine, it was by most voices affirmed, that they vnderstood in speaking to him, that he ment of the Maga- zine Company: And because it should not passe wthout some reproofe or acknowledgmt of his part of an error, for preventing the like here- after soe neere as may be; It was moued by mr Wm Caninge, that the Cort might presently decide it; and afterward vpon putting the ques- tion, by generall erecc̃on of handℯ agreed that the Counsell now present being the Ea: of Warwicke, Sr Thomas Gates, Sr Iohn Dãuers, Sr Nath: Riche, mr Iohn Wroth and mr Deputy fferrar should meete too morrow morning at my Lo: of Southamptons, and they together wth his Lõp to consider of mr Aldermans words and to censure him accordingly.

And because the Court could not now haue the meanes to end the differences depending betweene the Company and the Magazine Adventurers, it was desired that mr Thr̃er would please to giue order for an extraordinary Court for the determining (if it may be) [25] of the same: who hath appointed, that vpon Tuesday next in the Afternoone the Company and Officers of the Magazine be warned to meete at Sr Thomas Smithes.

Mr Alderman Iohnson being formerly chosen Director of the Maga- zine did now disclayme the same; but wthall promising that he would assist the Comittees thereof in any thing he might; but to be the Director he would not.

IULY THE 13th 1619 A Court held for Virginia at Sir Tho: Smiths howse in Philpott Lane.

Present the Right Honoble͠ The Earle of Southampton.
The Earle of Warwicke.
Sr Edwin Sandis Knt Thr̃er.
Sr Tho: Smith. mr Hen: Reignoldℯ. mr Hen: Briggs.
Sr Tho: Wainman. Capt S: Argoll. mr Wiseman.
Sr Tho: Gates. Capt N: Butler. mr Couell.
Sr Nath: Rich. mr fferrar iunior. mr Geo: Smith.
Sr Io: Wolstenholme. mr Ri: Rogers. mr Bereblocke.
Sr Tho: Wroth. mr Ro: Bateman. mr Roberts.
mr Aldr̃an Iohnson. mr Edw: Scott. mr Cranmer.
mr Iohn Wroth. mr Rich: Bull. mr Kightley.
mr Xo Brooke. mr Geo: Chambers. mr Shepherd.
mr Geo: Sandis. mr Swinhowe. mr Melling.
mr Geo: Thorpe. mr Paulson. mr Sparrowe. etc.
mr fferrar Dep̃t. mr Rich: Caswell.
mr Tho: Gibbs. mr Caninge.
mr Dr Anthony. mr Ri: Moorer.

The busines by the Last Court referred vnto the Counsell touching some vnseemely wordℯ giuen by mr Aldr̃an Iohnson vnto mr Thr̃er to be censured by them, they hauing mett as they were desired, and thereon considered, did now deliuer their conclusion into the Courte, where after a long disputac̃on and reproofe of the offence comitted by mr Alderman, & a generall cleering of mr Tr̃er by erecc̃on of [26] handℯ and euery mans testimony of the scandall imputed vnto him by mr Alder- man, that he should wrong any of the Company by vndecent language; It was agreed that for preventing the Like abuse to the Thr̃er here- after, the former Comittees, that is to say, the Lord of Southampton, the Lo: of Warwick, Sr Io: Dãuers, Sr Tho: Gates, Sr Nath: Rich, mr Io: Wroth, mr Geo: Thorpe, and mr Deputy fferrar to whome this busines was formerly referred, now adding vnto their number Sr Io: Wolstenholme, Sr Tho: Wroth, should sett downe in writing to be entred in the Court bookes the iustificac̃on wch the Court hath giuen to mr. Tr̃er; And should wth all propose to the considerac̃on of the Court the forme of some strict Lawe for the preventing of the like wrong and abuse in future tyme. 1

Some papers on this committee are given in the List of Records, Nos. 112, 113, pages 133, 134, ante.

There was also presented to the Court by the Auditors and there openly read this writing ensuing;

Whereas it hath appeared plainly that during the time, that mr Alderman Iohnson was both Deputy of the Company and Director of the Magazine diuers great somes haue beene wrongfully converted from the Cashe of the Company § to § the vse and Cashe of the Magazine, as namely the some of = 341 = 13 = 4 = of the Companies money was in May—1617—converted to the buying of goodℯ for the Magazine wch were sent in the George, and receiued by the Capemer- chant, and returned in his Acco wth the gaine of—85—8—4—And moreouer in October–1618–the Companies Tobacco growing in their Com̃on garden was sold to mr Abraham Chamberlaine for One hundreth three score and sixteene poundℯ; and that som̃e paid into the Cash of the Magazine. And whereas also there are diuers reciprocall demaunds made both by the Company and the Magazine for persons and goodes interchangeably transported by each for other: Wch Account wee the Auditors for the Company haue beene on or parts att all times desirous and ready to audite; but haue found noe corre- spondency nor disposition to the same in the Officers for the Magazine, notwth- standing or often requests and diuers orders of Courts, wch they haue neglected and broken and doe soe still persist: fforasmuch as it is very apparent vnto vs, that there is a great some of money of right due to be paid by the Magazine to the Company, wthout wch there is noe meanes for the setting out of this shipp now prepared for the transporting of One hundreth men for Generall service: And wee haue done or vtmost endeauor therein wch hath proued fruitles: Wec are inforced according to the duty of or places to present the considerac̃on hereof to yor wisdomes, that some further course may be taken for doing right to the Company, and advancing the Com̃on service thereon depending.

Subscribed: Iohn Dãuers: Io: Wroth: Iohn fferrar. Tho: Keightley. Henry Briggs and Richard Wiseman. [27]

This being deliuered by the Auditors, and wth all the Acco betweene the Company and Adventurers, which by the helpe of the Courtbooke (hauing examined it thorough) they haue finished; there onely rest- eth for the Court to decide, that if they will allowe of sundry trans- portac̃ons of men, by former orders in the said booke not menc̃oned, that then there wilbe One hundreth poundℯ lesse for the Company to receaue: But it growing late it was agreed, and that the Shipp should be noe longer stayde, that mr Thr̃er should make vse of the Three hundreth poundℯ due vnto the Magazine by the Adventurers of Smiths hundred, and that the Account betweene them shalbe forthwth audited: To wch purpose my Lord of Southampton hath promised his assistance vpon ffriday morning next at Sir Thomas Smiths howse, at wch time mr Alderman, together wth mr Essington, mr Abraham Chamberlaine, mr Richard Moorer and mr Berblock, are appointed to ioyne wth the Auditors of the Company and so to decide the Controuersy.

fforasmuch as the Collector for Tobacco refuseth to deliuer the Tobacco now come home, vnlesse the Company will pay twelue pence custome vpon euery pound weight, wch is double aboue the booke of rates, the same being but six pence, and also being freed by his Mats ɫres Pat- tents of Impost and Custome sauing 5 p̱ Cent: It is now agreed, that a Petic̃on shalbe drawne to the Lordℯ Comissioners of the Treasury, and haue desired my Lo: of Warwicke, Sr Nath: Riche, mr Aldr̃an Iohnson and mr Brooke to attend their L̃ops vpon ffriday next in the Afternoone for the cleering of the same.

It was moued by mr Tr̃er, that in reguard the time of the yeare pass- eth away, and most of the Company retireth themselues into the Country, and as yet a great deale of busines is to be performed before the departure of the Shipp, that a Comittee might be appointed to meete euery day for the dispatch of the same, and that the Generall Courts be dissolued till Michaelmas terme, vnlesse there be an extraor- dinary occasion, that mr Thr̃er or mr Deputy call an extraordinary Court; Which being approued of by the Court, there were nominated Sr Iohn Dãuers, mr Deputy, mr Alderman Iohnson, mr Iohn Wroth, mr Tho: Gibbs, mr Geo: Thorpe, mr Cranmer and mr Chambers to meete at mr Tr̃ers for dispatch of those businesses.

Mr Deputy acquaynting this Court, that the Comittees hauing mett, and devided the busines amongst themselues for the speedier sending away of this shipp; in wch as some of them are to be [28] comended by performing the charge comitted to their trust; so there are some to whome the care of buying apparrell was comitted, whoe part of them being out of Towne, the rest haue failed therein; in whose steedℯ he desires, that some other might be appointed to per- forme that trust; to wch by the Court is appointed mr Cranmer, mr Bull and Thomas Mellinge.

All such Bills of Exchange as were now sent from Abraham Persey the Capemerchant concerning the Magazine amounting to Eighte hundreth poundℯ specified in his Letters, is by the Adventurers thereof this present day accepted to be paid from this present at the deter- minac̃on of the time in the seuerall Bills specified.

The Comittees for the Magazine are intreated by this Court to vnder- take for the cleering of these goodℯ now come home in the Will͠m and Thomas; for the which it is now ordered, that they shalbe saued harmeles.

It was now ordered, vpon the request of Sr Tho: Wainman, & vpon certificate to the Court from the Lady Lawarr, that shee was content soe farr to satisfy the desire of the said Sr Tho: Wainman and Sr Iohn Tasborough, wthall desiring the allowance of the Court, that such men as shall appeare to haue beene transported by the Lo: Lawarr for the said Sir Tho: Wainman & Sr Iohn Tasbrough, & at their proper costs and charge may be free at his or their disposing to be remoued & planted according to their discrec̃ons vpon such shares as shalbe by Pattent graunted vnto them, for the wch her Lãp is content, that there shalbe a ratable deducc̃on made out of the proporc̃on of Landℯ allready graunted and allowed, or hereafter to be graunted & allowed vnto the said Lo Lawarr for his Adventures: And that the Charter p̱t wch his Lop entred into may not extend to the Losse and preiudice of them. It being noe part of his Lop or Ladsp meaning they should suffer for that his Lop stood engaged, and therefore resteth in her Ladishipp to see satisfied; Wch was also now confirmed by erecc̃on of hands. [29]

IULY THE 21th 1619 A Court held at Mr fferrars howse in St Sythes Lane, Being present

Right Honorble Henry Earle of Southampton.
Robert Earle of Warwicke.
Sr Edwin Sandis Knt Thr̃er.
Sr Tho: Smith. Capt S. Argoll. mr 1

A blank space in the manuscript.

Sr Tho: Gates. Capt D: Tucker. mr Edw: Scott.
Sr Edw: Harwood. Capt N: Butler. mr Tho: Couell.
Sr Iohn Wolstenholme. mr Ni: Leate. mr Dan: Darnelly.
mr Aldr̃an Iohnson. mr Stiles. mr Rob̴t: Smith.
mr Xõ Brooke. mr Clitherowe. mr Geo: Smith.
mr Morrice Abbott. mr An: Abdy. mr fferrar iunior
mr Io: fferrar Dep̃t. mr Rob̴t. Offley. mr Geo: Chambers.
mr Tho: Gibbs. mr Wm Palmer. mr Balmford.
mr Dor Gulstone. mr Caning. mr Paulson.
mr Hen: Briggs. mr Woodall.
mr Meuerell. etc.

There was at the sitting downe of the Court by an vnknowne person presented to mr Thr̃er the Letter following; To Sr Edwin Sandis Thr̃er of Virginia.


Good luck in the name of the Lord, who is dayly magnified by the experi- ment of your Zeale and Piety in giuinge begining to the foundac̃on of the Colledge in Virginia the sacred worke soe due to Heauen and soe "Longed for one earth, Now knowe wee assuredly that the Lord will doe you good, and blesse you in all your proceedingℯ even as he blessed the howse of Obed Edom and all that pertayned to him because of the Arke of God, Now that yee seeke the kingdome of God, all thinges shalbe ministred vnto you;" This I well see allready, and perceiue that by this your godlie determinac̃on, the Lord hath giuen you "fauour in the sight of the peo- ple, and I knowe some whose hearts are much enlarged, because of the howse of the Lord our God to procure yor wealth," whose greater [30] designes I haue presumed to outrun with this oblac̃on wch I humbly beseech you may be accepted as the pledge of my Devoc̃on and as the earnest of the Vowes "wch I haue vowed vnto the Allmighty God of Iacobb concerning this thing," Wch till I may in part performe I desire to remayne vnknowne and vnsought aft