America and West Indies: March 1628

Pages 88-91

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 1628

March. 4.
James City.
41. Governor Francis West and Council of Virginia to the Privy Council. In answer to the petition of Geo. Sandys, who complains of wrongs and defraudings in that four tenants were taken from him; that in 1623 Sandys took to himself sixteen tenants without any order from the Virginia Company, but was not justified in holding the others nor in making those free in whose service he had no interest. [Signed by Fras. West and five of the Council. Endorsed, "Rec. July 1628."]
[March 19.] 42. Recital of King James' grant of New England, dated Nov. 3, 1620, to the Council established at Plymouth, and of their deed of 19th March 1628, bargaining and selling all their jurisdictions, rights, and privileges to the Massachusetts Bay, "containing the bounds of the Massachuetts patent, wherein is Boston in New England." [See 27 Feb. 1629, p. 96.]
[March 19.] 43. Another copy of the preceding.
[March 19.] Minute of the above. [Colonial Corresp., 1620, Nov. 3.]
March 22. Commission appointing John Harvey, Governor of Virginia; to execute the same as fully as any Governor resident there within the space of three years last past; Francis West, George Sandys, John Pott, Roger Smyth, Ralph Hamor, Samuel Mathews, Abraham Peirsey, Will. Claybourne, Will. Tucker, Jabez Whitacres, Edward Blany, and Will. Ferrar, the Council, and Wil. Claybourne, Secretary of State in the colony; being the renewal of a former commission, with the substitution of John Harvey in the place of Sir Geo. Yeardley deceased. [Sign Manual, Car. I., Vol. VI., No. 66.]
March 22. Docquet of the above. [DOMESTIC Car. I.]
March [22.] Minutes of the above [Colonial Corresp., 1607, Jan. 9, and DOMESTIC Corresp. Car. I., 1626, Appendix, both dated 26 March 1628.]
[March 26.] 44. Petition of the Governor, Council, and Burgesses of Virginia to the King. Have returned answer according to His Majesty's commands, that they are willing to accept for their tobacco delivered in the colony 3s. 6d., or 4s. in England. Desire that 500,000 weight may be taken yearly, and if that is too much, that they may export it into other parts, the customs being first paid. Implore the King to commiserate their poor estate, having for six years groaned under the oppression of unconscionable and cruel merchants, by the excessive rates of their commodities, and hope that through His Majesty's favour they may recover new life, and be enabled to raise those staple commodities proper for that plantation. [Certified copy.]
March 26. 45. Answer of the Governor, Council, and Burgesses of Virginia, to the King's letters, concerning tobacco and other commodities. Evil effects of former contracts; the very name a terror and discouragement to the colony, which has for six years past "laboured in the confused paths of those labyrinths." Gratitude for dissolving those contracts, and particularly for the prohibition of Spanish tobacco. A sure dependence on England is the firm foundation for the perpetual subsistence of the colony. Flourishing state of Virginia since the revocation of the patent. Consent to the King having all their tobacco at 3s. 6d. per lb. clear, so that he take yearly 500,000 weight for seven years, and they have liberty to export from England all over that quantity, after paying customs. Desire Spanish tobacco may be utterly prohibited. Regulations for planting, gathering, curing, and trying tobacco. In succeeding years the quantity planted will be moderated, tobacco being at present their only means of subsistence. As the colony numbers nearly 3,000 persons, every master of a family raising 200 lb. of tobacco, and every servant 125 lb., would amount to 412,500 lb.; a quantity not sufficient for their maintenance. Conditions of payment. Materials in plenty for making pitch and tar. No man now in the country able to make potashes. Many hundred casks of their timber now exported from all parts of the country. Iron from the mine has been sent home. Men and materials destroyed by the Indians at the massacre now required. Great hopes of gold, silver, and copper mines. Some of them, 19 years ago, received "certain assurance" of a silver mine, four days' journey above the falls of the river. Planting of vines likely to be a beneficial and profitable commodity; the vineroons formerly sent over have purposely neglected or concealed their skill; the colony would be glad to defray the charges of skilful men for that employment. Will assist [Wil.] Capps in his experiments for bay salt. Hope the fishing upon their coasts will be nearly as good as that of Canada. [Seven closely written pages. Certified copy.]
[March 26.] 46. Petition of the Governor, Council, and Burgesses of Virginia to the Privy Council. Have, by their general declarations, answered the King's letters concerning the commodity of tobacco to be to his own immediate use, and requiring them to contract for it according to the price and conditions therein mentioned, and have complained of the sinister projects of unconscionable men, through whose contracts they have so long suffered. The colony has been greatly prejudiced by a general fear and discouragement to settle their estates, or raise any staple commodities. Return thanks for the disannulling of such contracts, and conceiving that the languishing colony may at length receive new life, through the King having taken their affairs "into his more near regard and princely care," they implore the continuance of their Lordships' favour and mediation with His Majesty, that their relations may rather obtain credit than the information of men, who only respect their private ends and inordinate gain, and that the King's royal intentions towards them may be confirmed by the consummation of this great work.
March 30.
47. Governor Francis West and Council of Virginia to Lord De la Warr. The colony acknowledge his father's support, and implore his patronage in favour of their petitions and general declarations to the King, that none may contract for their goods without their own consent. [Certified copy.]
March 30.
James City.
48. Governor Francis West and Council of Virginia to Earl of Dorset. The colony is grateful for his furtherance and power, which tended to overthrow the late contracts for their tobacco, and desire his protection "against these storms," and his good offices, with the King, to put an end to their long troubles. [Certified copy.]
March 30. 49. Duke of Buckingham, Earls of Pembroke, Newcastle, Dover and Stamford, Bishop of London, Oliver St. John, Christ Neville, Sir Robt. Naunton, Sir Chas. Cavendyshe, Sir R. North, John Mounson, Sir Hen. Myldemay, Hen. King, and Ralph Whitfield, undertakers for the plantation of [New England?], to Sec. Lord Killutagh. Desire he will send to Sir H. Spilman, their treasurer, 33l. 6s. 8d., the third part of his adventure subscribed to a "public work" as honourable and profitable to the undertakers as it is meritorious to the country, so that the present voyage may not be prejudiced, nor the Company any whit damnified.
March 50. Propositions for setting up iron works in Virginia. That the King should undertake the burden of so great a charge; incorporate the undertakers by patent with fitting privileges; allow no others to set up any iron work in the colony for 14 years; and free them from paying any custom or other duty for iron made there and brought into England for a certain time. A joint stock will then be subscribed to perform the said work. Draft. Endorsed, "A discourse about Virginia."