America and West Indies: March 1626

Pages 77-79

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 1, 1574-1660. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1860.

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March 1626

March 4.
Commission appointing Sir George Yeardley Governor of Virginia, to execute the same as fully as any Governor resident there within the space of five years last past; Francis West, John Harvey, George Sandys, John Pott, Roger Smith, Ralph Hamor, Sam. Mathews, Abrah. Piersey, Wil. Claybourne, Wil. Tucker, Job Whitaker, Edw. Blandy, and Wil. Ferrar the Council; and Wil. Claybourne, Secretary of State in the Colony. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. LXXIX., pp. 248–256.]
[March 4.] Minute of the above. [Colonial Corresp., 1607, Jan. 9.]
March? 3. Summary relation by Capt. [Roger] North; concerning the patent for the River Amazon and the country and coast adjoining. Informed King James, by petition, some five years since of His Majesty's right to those parts, who after full deliberation granted a patent with great immunities to such as should engage therein, and several orders were issued by the Privy Council for the King's special service. The nobility and gentry went into the business with great affection, a ship and pinnace were got ready, but the Spanish agents procured a command from the King that Capt. North should suspend his voyage till further order. Gondomar spared no efforts to put a stop to the undertaking, affirming at the Council table that his master had actual possession of those countries; but through the Duke of Richmond's assurances, and receiving letters "that the world expected he should go without bidding," the Company at Plymouth being ready to disperse, North put to sea. Gondomar, hearing that he had sailed, would not be pacified until a proclamation was issued for his return [see ante, 15 May 1620, p. 23], but could not obtain possession of the goods by any law. The business was not discalaimed but only suspended. [Capt. North returned in Dec. 1620, "well fraught" having heard nothing of the proclamation against him, but was committed to the Tower, 1621, Jan.7, though he had great partners in his adventure and declared he had done nothing to offend the Spaniards. He was liberated in July 1621, and the following month obtained restoration of his goods, sequestered by the Spanish Ambassador's means. See DOMESTIC Corresp. Jac. I., Vols. CXVIII., No. 54, CIX., No. 10, CXXII., Nos. 31, 88.]
March 16. 4. Brief notes of the business of the Amazon [by Capt. Roger North?] for the Duke of Buckingham. The river judged to be the fairest in the world, the greater part never passed by any Christian, nor the continent adjoining discovered. Conveniently situated. Commonly seven weeks passage from Plymouth. Climate of the country already discovered excellent; inhabited by many nations of different languages, who would rather admit any Christians than Spaniards or Portuguese. Produce and profits from commodities. "I left there" 100 gentlemen and others six years ago; many still remain dispersed among the Indians, although supplies from England have been stopped. They are without government, speak the languages of several nations and may make use of thousands of Indians, who are rewarded with glass beads, iron-work, "or such like contemptible stuff" for housing and working for them. The Indians supplied by the Dutch. The English with-stood a great attempt of the Portuguese, wrought by Gondomar, to supplant them, about four years since. The course at present intended is, by the King's favour, to have the patent, formerly suspended, renewed, whereby the adventurers will be incorporated into a company, which, when effected, "this great business" will be perpetuated without any charge to His Majesty.
March? 5. Brief Notes of the River Amazon and of the Coast of Guiana, contained in the new grant from the King unto a corporation. Similar in substance to the preceding, with the exception of the concluding paragraph. That the surest means of interesting the King and his subjects in the West Indies is to settle in those and such like parts. Advantages of so doing. Printed.
March? 6, 7. Two copies of the preceding. Printed.
March? 8. [The King to Attorney General Heath.] Roger North and Robert Harcourt having discovered means to take journies into the River Amazon, the Attorney General is to prepare a bill for the King's signature, containing a grant of incorporation to them and others to be joined with them, with all customary privileges for sending ships, men, ammunition, armour, and other things thither. The limits within which they are to have their plantation and traffic are set forth.