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Heirs and Assigns, as the Council of that Colony, or the most Part of them, shall for that Purpose nominate and assign, all the Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, which shall be within the Precincts limited for that Col. ony, as is aforesaid, To BE HOLDEN of Us, our Heirs, and Successors, as of our Manor of East-Greenwich, in the County of Kent, in free and common Soccage only, and not in Capite:

All which Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, so to be passed by the said several Letters-Patent, shall be sufficient Assurance from the said Patentees, so distributed and divided amongst the Undertakers for the Plantation of the said several Colonies, and such as shall make their Plantations in either of the said several Colonies, in such Manner and Form, and for such Estates, as shall be ordered and set down by the Council of the said Colony, or the most part of them, respectively, within which the same Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments shall lye or be; Although express Mention of the true yearly Value or Certainty of the Premisses, or any of them, or of any other Gifts or Grants, by Us or any of our Progenitors or Predecessors, to the aforesaid Sir Thomas Gates, Knt. Sir George Somers, Knt. Richard Hackluit, Edward-Maria Wing field, Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, or any of them, heretofore made, in these Presents, is not made; Or any Statute, Act, Ordinance, or Provision, Proclamation, or Restraint, to the contrary hereof had, made, ordained, or any other Thing, Cause, or Matter whatsoever, in any wise notwithstanding. IN WITNESS whereof, we have caused these our Letters to be made Patents; Witness Ourself at Westminster,' the tenth Day of April, in the fourth Year of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the nine and thirtieth.

Per breve de privato Sigillo.


In the hope of improving the wretched state of affairs the Virginia Company, in 1609, obtained a more specific charter, extending their authority and transferring to the company powers previously reserved to the king. The government now vested in “The Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters of the City of London, for the first Colony in Virginia." The company left no means untried, and the general interest in the adventure is shown by the long list of patentees, numbering over 650 names, together with 59 of the London companies. The social standing of the patentees ranged from the great lords of the realm to the fishmongers. The Lord Mayor is said to have urged upon the great livery companies the necessity of aiding the enterprise, and the indefatigable Hakluyt published “ Virginia Newly Valued,” to excite interest in the undertaking. The charter was sealed May 23, 1609.

Only the more important provisions of this charter are here inserted.


JAMES, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all, to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. WHEREAS, at the humble Suit and Request of sundry


our loving and well-disposed Subjects, intending to deduce a Colony, and to make Habitation and Plantation of sundry our People in that Part of America commonly called VIRGINIA, and other Parts and Territories in America, either appertaining unto Us, or which are not actually possessed of any Christian Prince or People, within certain Bounds and Regions, We have formerly, by our Letters patents, bearing Date the tenth Day of April, in the fourth Year of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the nine and thirti. eth, GRANTED to Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, and others, for the more speedy Accomplishment of the said Plantation and Habitation, that they should divide themselves into two Colonies (the one consisting of divers Knights, Gentlemen, Merchants, and others, of our City of London, called the FIRST COLONY; And the other consisting of divers Knights, Gentlemen, and others, of our Cities of Bristol, Exeter, and Town of Plimouth, and other Places, called the SECOND COLONY). And have yielded and granted many and sundry Privileges and Liberties to each Colony, for their quiet settling and good Government therein, as by the said Letters-patents more at large appeareth.

Now, forasmuch as divers and sundry of our loving Subjects, as well Adventurers, as Planters, of the said first Colony, which have already engaged themselves in furthering the Business of the said Colony and Plantation, and do further intend, by the Assistance of Almighty God, to prosecute the same to a happy End, have of late been humble Suitors unto Us, that (in Respect of their great Charges and the Adventure of many of their Lives, which they have hazarded in the said Discovery and Plantation of the said Country) We would be pleased to grant them a further Enlargement and Explanation of the said Grant, Privileges, and Liberties, and that such Counsellors, and other Officers, may be appointed amongst them, to manage and direct their

affairs, as are willing and ready to adventure with them, as also whose Dwellings are not so far remote from the City of London, but they may, at convenient Times, be ready at Hand, to give their Advice and Assistance, upon all Occasions requisite.

We greatly affecting the effectual Prosecution and happy success of the said Plantation, and commending their good desires therein, for their further Encour. agement in accomplishing so excellent a Work, much pleasing to God, and profitable to our Kingdom, do of our especial Grace, and certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, GIVE, GRANT, and CONFIRM, to our trusty and well-beloved Subjects, Robert, Earl of Salisbury, (and others) . . . . and to such and so many as they do, or shall hereafter admit to be joined with them, in the form hereafter in these presents expressed, whether they go in their Persons to be Planters there in the said Plantation, or whether they go pot, but adventure their monies, goods, or Chattles, that they shall be one Body or Commonalty perpetual, and shall have perpetual Succession and one common Seal to serve for the said Body or Commonalty, and that they and their Successors shall be known, called, and incorporated by the Name of The Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters of the City of London, for the first Colony in Virginia. And that they and their Successors shall be from henceforth forever enabled to take, acquire, and purchase by the Name aforesaid (Licence for the same from Us, our Heirs, and Successors, first had and obtained) any Manner of Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, Goods and Chattles, within our Realm of Eng. land, and Dominion of Wales. And that they, and their Successors, shall likewise be enabled by the Name aforesaid, to plead and be impleaded, before any of our Judges or Justices in any of our Courts, and in any Actions or Suits whatsoever. And we do also of our special Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, give, grant

and confirm, unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, under the Reservations, Limitations, and Declarations hereafter expressed, all those Lands, Countries, and Territories, situate, lying, and being in that Part of America, called Virginia, from the Point of Land, called Cape or Point Comfort, all along the Sea Coast to the Northward, two hundred miles, and from the said Point of Cape Comfort, all along the Sea Coast to the Southward, two hundred Miles, and all that Space and Circuit of Land, lying from the Sea Coast of the Precinct aforesaid, up into the Land throughout from Sea to Sea, West and Northwest; And also all the Islands lying within one hundred Miles along the Coast of both Seas of the Precinct aforesaid.

And forasmuch as the good and prosperous Success of the said Plantation, cannot but chiefly depend next under the Blessing of God, and the Support of our Royal Authority, upon the provident and good Direction of the whole Enterprise, by a careful and understanding Council, and that it is not convenient, that all the Adventurers shall be so often drawn to meet and assemble, as shall be requisite for them to have Meetings and Conference about the Affairs thereof; Therefore we DO ORDAIN, establish and confirm, that there shall be perpetually one COUNCIL here resident, according to the Tenour of our former Letters-Patents; Which Council shall have a Seal for the better Government and Administration of the said Plantation, besides the legal Seal of the Company or Corporation, as in our former Letters-Patents is also expressed.



AND the said Thomas Smith, We DO ORDAIN to be Treasurer of the said Company; which Treasurer shall have Authority to give Order for the Warning of the Council, and summoning the Company to their Courts and Meetings. And the said Council and Treasurer, or any of them shall be from henceforth nominated, chosen,

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