America and West Indies
April 1622

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Institute of Historical Research

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Author

W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

Year published

1860

Pages

28-29

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'America and West Indies: April 1622', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 1: 1574-1660 (1860), pp. 28-29. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68983 Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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Contents

April 1622

April 12.4. Petition of John Bargrave to the Privy Council. Has spent 8,000l. or 10,000l. in the wars and public service of his country, and four years ago was the first planter of a private colony in Virginia. Obtained a patent of free trade from the Virginia Company, and accordingly sent servants and shipping thither. The best part of his estate has been violently taken from him by the Company. Prays that his business may be taken to heart, and that certain articles which he has drawn up for the examination of abuses, and for a new form of government for that colony, may be forthwith read and answered. This petition and the articles annexed, are referred and ordered to be sent to the Governor and Council of the Plantation in Virginia for their answer in writing. Annexed,
4. I. Articles drawn out of the information of John Bargrave, showing, as he has done both in Parliament and in Chancery, the abuses of the former government of Virginia. Sir Thos. Smythe is charged with having, contrary to the patent and royal instructions, caused a certain book to be printed of tyrannical government in Virginia, whereby many lost their lives, and were brought into slavery, and Bargrave has been damnified to his great loss. Smythe, Alderman Johnson, and others, have made a monopoly of the plantation, and of the labour of all the planters there, by debarring them of free trade. By encouraging only tobacco and sassafras, other commodities have been neglected, and8or 10 ships going to Virginia in one year have all returned empty. By seizing Bargrave's ships, detaining goods, and fraudulently selling them, he and hispartners have been prejudiced 6,600l. These abuses have been proved before the Lord Keeper, and referred by him to the Privy Council. The plantation consists only of public servants, planted by the lotteries, and divers private colonies. Power is in the Company to dispose of the whole plantation, or of any private man's estate. Although now in good hands, nothing but altering the form of government will prevent these evils. Bargrave's proceedings for redress. His propositions to Smythe four years since to erect a magazine for the public, and make it the farmer to the King of the sole importation of tobacco. Smythe refuses; his reasons. No way left to make a public stock but by searching into the old debts, and Smythe's unexaminable accounts, and the abuses of the government. Bargrave begs a commission from the King may be appointed to examine, rectify, and order the government so that it may be fixed in a dependency on the Crown of England. Suggests that a learned treatise upon the government of Virginia by Ignotus, "to which the Court hath given good allowance," may be consulted, that no help may be wanting to give furtherance to this noble business, and hold the plantation to England.
4. II. State of the case between John Bargrave, plaintiff, and Sir Thos. Smythe, Sir John Wolstenholme, Alderman Robert Johnson, Will. Canning, and Will. Essington, defendants, with reference to the losses Bargrave has sustained by being prohibited free trade in Virginia according to his patent. 9 Feb.