America and West Indies
April 1623


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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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'America and West Indies: April 1623', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 1: 1574-1660 (1860), pp. 41-45. URL: Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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April 1623

April 3.
James City,
22. The Governor and Council of Virginia to the Earl of Southampton, and the rest of the Council for Virginia. Two Indians had been sent to them, one with a message from the Great King, to the effect that blood enough had been shed on both sides, and that if they were suffered to plant at Pamunkey and their former seats, they would send home about 20 prisoners saved from the massacre at Martin's Hundred. He who had saved many lives on the day of the massacre, was sent back with a favourable answer; the other a great man, an actor in the massacre, was put in chains. Mrs. Boys, the chief of the prisoners, arrived home within a week, apparelled like an Indian Queen; the rest have not yet come, through the fault of Robert Poole, the interpreter. If the savages send home the English prisoners, and grow secure upon this treaty, the colony will have the better advantage to surprise them and cut down their corn. Have conformed with their instructions concerning the sending home of sassafras. Desire to send the fairest sort of silk grass. Captain Nuce lately dead; an account will be taken of the state of his affairs. Have allowed as many as desired to return to their plantations. Wish their commands had concurred with their own opinion of planting nearer together. Great loss of men through the infection, chiefly brought in by the ships. Request that strict orders may be given for the provisions of the ships to be well conditioned. Dupper's beer had been the death of a great number. Capt. Each died so suddenly, his project could not be understood. Capt. Roger Smyth was sent down to try the ground, but they thought it best that the charter party should return to England. Have taken steps to build a fort that will fully command the Channel. How unable they are to sustain such burdens, their great troubles and this year's poverty too sufficiently testify. Signed by Sir Francis Wyatt, Sir Geo. Yeardley, Geo. Sandys, Chris. Davison, John Pott, Ralph Hamor, and Jo. Puntis. [Copy.]
April 7.
23. Grant to Sir Geo. Calvert, his heirs and assigns for ever, of "all that entire portion of land situate within our country of Newfoundland," and all islands within ten leagues of the eastern shore thereof, to be incorporated into a province called Avalon. [Copy "examined." See ante, 31 Dec. 1622, and 30 March1623.]
April 7.
Another copy of the preceding. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. LXV., pp. 1–10.]
April 7.24. Extracts from the above. Power to Sir Geo. Calvert to make laws with the consent of the freeholders, or without, in case they cannot be called together. [Copy.]
April 7.
June 20.
25. Mem. that King James I. granted letters patent to Lord Baltimore of a certain region in Newfoundland, called the province of Avalon, and that King Charles I. granted him a certain region joining upon Virginia, called the province of Maryland.
April 7.
26. Sir Francis Wyatt, Gov. of Virginia, to John Ferrar. Understands that Capt. Whitaker charges eight of the Company's tenants to his account. Describes how they have been employed. Two carpenters were at work before the massacre upon the intended inn, the palisades, and the court of guard, &c. Wil. Smith allowed for his guard out of the 30 assigned to him by the country; others hired to Capts. Norton and Powell. They have been at great trouble and cost in planting and guarding their tobacco. It was his ill fortune to come when mischief was breeding covered over with a treacherous peace. The Margaret and John lately come in; she was despaired of, and fell in with a Dutch ship, the commander of which said he would come to the colony. The people so careless that he advises some commission should be thought of for a Marshal Court, at least ad terrorem, it may do much good. Some lately cut off while trading; they must have been surprised; not a piece was discharged. "Without doubt either we must drive them [the Indians] or they us out of the country." A ship has lately arrived with 40 men for Mr. Gookin, besides 30 passengers. The Margaret and John in great distress for provisions, which is likely to be burdensome to the country. Prays that God will send them some ships with provisions. They are cast behindhand for corn, and "our men stand so ill to health." Hopes one day he will view the country which he bestows such pains upon. Advices from the colony are ill believed and received. Endorsed, "By the Abigail."
April 8.
Newport News.
27. George Sandys to John Ferrar. Collection of his debts. Has divers under arrest, and has distrained on the goods of others; but the country is so empty of tobacco that no present satisfaction will be given. Went to Kiccowtan about his affairs. Capt. Nuce died very poor. The Company's tenants are planted on the most barren places in the country; no crop of tobacco this year, and hardly a grain of corn to sustain them. Capt. Whitaker is at Kiccowtan. Ac-count of his management of Ferrar's tenants; allowance to Capt. Nuce's widow and child. The Seaflower not yet arrived. Sends the names of all his tenants living [wanting]. His pinnace lies like a wreck at Elizabeth City; has taken measures to have her repaired. The "Vinerouns" placed together at Elizabeth City employed about silkworms; hopes to send silk next year. The planters busy rebuilding and preparing their grounds, and unable to attend them, so has set four to do nothing else, and prepared his own chamber at Lieut. Peirce's, the fairest in Virginia, for that purpose The Frenchmen's time out next year; advises him to send more of their quality. Has sent his shallop almost as far as the falls for sand for the glassmen, begs him to send two or three hogsbeads from England. All his servants dead; must send more, the charges of hire intolerable, and all lies upon him who is not able to feed his own family. Capt. Spilman, with 26 well-armed men, sent forth to trade with the Indians in Mr. Puntis' pinnace, have been cut off and taken prisoners. If the Seaflower does not quickly come in, they will hardly be preserved against famine. A ship has been set forth, at great expense, to the Somers Islands. The place where they are going to build a fort has been decided upon; ordnance required. Unable to send many things by reason of their troubles and want of means. The country will be pleased to hear that revenge has been taken of Dupper for his stinking beer, which has been the death of 200 persons. Mr. Tuck deserves thanks and commendations. Great likelihoods of the vicinity of the South Sea by general report of the Indians; would willingly venture his life in that discovery. They are retained in a languishing state by slow supplies, and thus curbed from undertaking any enterprise of moment. So goodly a territory as Martin's Hundred should be better followed. It grieves him much that Ferrar's zeal for the good of Virginia should encounter such disheartenings. Hopes ere long all will be removed. Endorsed, "By the Abigail."
April 14.
James City,
28. Christopher Davison to John Ferrar. Hopes he will put a favourable construction upon his proceedings, because of his long sickness and absence from most business since his arrival. Will send by the next ship a perfect catalogue of names of all people that died or were slain by the Indians since the massacre, and of all living. [See p. 57, No. 2.] Cannot yet pay Mr. Bland his 30 Ib. of tobacco, because he has not yet received so much from his five tenants, all that are alive, nor one grain of corn to help them. Davison's brother, Thos. Finch, died soon after his arrival. Trusts the Company will consider his great loss by the want of 14 or 15 tenants, and certain cows promised two years ago. The Margaret and John, accounted a lost ship, arrived about 7th or 8th of April in great distress. About the 10th, the ship sent by Mr. Gookin, called (he thinks) the Providence, came to Newport News. The Seaflower, though long expected, has not yet arrived, her supply of corn and other provisions extraordinarily desired. Sends answers to as many of the petitions as have been ordered. [Wanting. Endorsed, "By the Abigail."In DOMESTIC Corresp. Jac. I., Vol. CXX., No. 29, Cal. p. 236 there is "an Account of an attack on the Margaret and John of London, bound for Virginia, in a West Indian Harbour, by two Spanish men-of-war."]
April 17.
Order of the Privy Council. Lord Cavendish and others, representing the Virginia Company, having been heard respecting the grievances of divers adventurers and planters, it is the King's pleasure that a commission be appointed to enquire into the true state of the Virginia and Somers Islands plantations; the monies that have been collected, how procured and expended, the abuses and grievances, and how they may be prevented hereafter. No private letters to be sent thither by any man about other than his own business. General letters to be written by the Companies to Virginia to exhort and admonish the inhabitants to live together in concord and amity. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. LXXIX., pp. 203, 204.]
April 18.
Lord Treasurer Middlesex to Sec. Conway. Sends an account of proceedings yesterday in the Council for the King's information, respecting the differences of the two Companies of Virginia and the Somers Islands. Commission awarded to Sir. Wil. Jones, Sir Nicholas Fortescue, Sir Hen. Bourchier, Sir Hen. Spiller, Sir Fras. Gofton, Sir Rich. Sutton, and Sir Wil. Pytt to examine into the whole business, from the beginning of Sir Thos. Smythe's government. Both Companies appointed to meet, to agree to a general letter, to be approved by the Privy Council, and sent over at once; no private letter to go differing in any point from it. Resolved also that the Privy Council write to both plantations, acquainting them with the King's pious and princely care of them, and the course in hand to provide better for them. [DOMESTIC Corresp. Jac. I., Addenda, Vol. CCXVII.]
April 19.
Chamberlain to Carleton. A great faction fallen out in the Virginia Company. Earl of Southampton, Lord Cavendish, Sir Ed. Sackville, Sir John Ogle, Sir Edwin Sandys, being the heads on one side; on the other are the Earl of Warwick, Sir Thos. Smythe, Sir Nath. Rich, Sir Henry Mildmay, and Alderman Johnson. On Monday [14 April] they were before the King with their accusations and allegations, when Sackville carried himself so insolently that the King "was fain to take him down soundly and roundly," but hears he made his peace the next day by means of the Lord Treasurer. [Extract. DOMESTIC Corresp. Jac. I., Vol. CXLIII., No. 22, Cal. p. 561.]
April 28.
Order of the Privy Council upon a petition of planters from the Somers Islands, praying that certain tobacco brought by them to England, and seized by the Company for payment of an imposition of 4d. per lb., may be restored to them. The prayer of the petitioners is granted, and the Commissioners appointed to examine into the state of the Virginia and Somers Islands plantations are directed to take into consideration the impositions fit to be levied upon tobacco until the debt of the Company be fully discharged. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. LXXIX., p. 204.]
April 28.
Order of the Privy Council. The letters of the Virginia and Somers Islands Companies to the plantations are disallowed, because they omitted to certify the King's grace and favour to those plantations; and the contract is dissolved, wherebythe King was to receive one third part of all tobacco coming from thence, and 6d. per lb. upon the other two parts. An abatement is directed from twelve-pence to ninepence per lb. upon tobacco for all charges belonging to the King, and the Companies are granted the sole importation into the King's dominions. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. LXXIX., p. 204.]
April 28.
The Privy Council to the Governor of Virginia. The King has taken into consideration the present state of the plantations in Virginia and the Somers Islands, and extended his care for the redress of that which is amiss, and the prevention of all misunderstandings in future, for the benefit of every honest person interested therein. That no discouragement be apprehended by loose advertisements proceeding from factious humours or private ends, it has been thought good to inform him thereof, and he is therefore required strictly to charge the inhabitants to live together in unity, and to be more careful of the good of the plantation, the fortifications, houses of habitation, and provisions, not being in such a state as they ought to be, which is very displeasing to His Majesty to hear. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. LXXIX., p. 205.]
May 5.Minutes of the Council for New England. Touching the differences between Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Peirce about the transportation of the former and two other persons to New England. Upon Mr. Peddock's petition for allowance towards the charge of his last voyage thither. A bill of adventure to the Earl of Warwick to be sealed. Christopher Levett to be a principal patentee, and to have a grant of 6,000 acres of land. Licence to be given to Melch. Bennett, of Barnstaple, for setting forth the Eagle, John Wetheridge, master, on a fishing voyage. [Colonial Corresp., 1622, May 31, pp. 41–43.]