America and West Indies: Addenda 1609

Pages 34-36

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 9, 1675-1676 and Addenda 1574-1674. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1893.

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Addenda 1609

May 23.
49. Letters Patent for colonizing lands in Virginia. Whereas at the suit of divers his Majesty's subjects intending to deduce a Colony and make plantation in Virginia and other parts of America not possessed by any Christian prince or people, his Majesty has, by Letters Patent of April 10, 1606 [see ante, No. 48], granted to Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, and others to divide themselves into two Colonies, as therein set forth. Now forasmuch as divers Adventurers and Planters of said First Colony have been suitors to his Majesty to grant them an enlargement of said privileges, &c., and that such Councillors and other officers may be appointed to manage their affairs as are ready to adventure with them and whose dwellings are not far from London, his Majesty greatly affecting the success of said plantation, grants to Robert Earl of Salisbury, Thomas Earl of Suffolk, Henry Earl of Southampton, &c. (here follows a list of Earls, Lords, Knights, Doctors, Captains, City Companies, and others, occupying 3 membranes), and to such as they shall hereafter admit to be joined with them in form hereafter expressed (whether they go in person or adventure their monies and goods), that they shall have one common seal, be 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 be enabled by that name to purchase, plead, and be impleaded. And his Majesty grants to said Treasurer, &c., under the limitations hereafter expressed, all those lands in Virginia, from Cape or Point Comfort along the coast to the northward 200 miles, and southward 200 miles, and into the land from sea to sea, also all the islands within the 100 miles along the coasts of both seas of the precinct aforesaid, with all the soils, havens, minerals, waters, privileges, &c., whatsoever, is as ample manner as his Majesty has granted to any Company or Adventurer into foreign parts, to the sole use of them and their successors, yielding the fifth part only of gold and silver. And said Treasurer, &c., shall distribute portions of land, &c., to Adventurers and Planters, wherein respect shall be had as well of the proportion of the adventure as of the merit of any person. And his Majesty ordains that there shall be perpetually a Council here resident, with a seal for government of said plantation, besides the legal seal of the Company as in former Letters Patents expressed; that Henry Earl of Southampton, &c. (here follows a list of Earls, Lords, Knights, and others, including Sir Thomas Smith, occupying 19 lines), shall be his Majesty's Council for said Company; and Sir Thomas Smith, Treasurer. And said Treasurer and Council shall be henceforth nominated, chosen and altered out of said Company by the major part of said Council and Adventurers; provided that every Councillor so elected, shall be presented to the Lord Chancellor, Lord High Treasurer, or Lord Chamberlain to take his oath. And if said Treasurer be sick or absent, he may appoint one of the Council (allowed by said Council) to be Deputy Treasurer, and execute all things belonging to said Treasurer. And further his Majesty grants to said Council power to constitute and discharge governors and officers, and to make and revoke all manner of laws and ceremonies necessary for the government of said Colony, and upon the seas going and coming to and from said Colony. And his Majesty declares that from the time that the Governor appointed by said Council shall arrive in said Colony the authority of the President and Council by former Letters Patent there established, and all laws by them made shall utterly cease; straitly charging the President and Council now resident in said Colony to be obedient to such Governor. And said Treasurer and Council shall have power to admit any person into their Company, and in a general assembly of the Adventurers, with the consent of the major part upon good cause, to put any person out of said Company; also to search for and enjoy all manner of mines and minerals in any part of the mainland not formerly granted to any other, yielding as aforesaid; and to take to said plantation such of his Majesty's subjects, and strangers who will become his Majesty's subjects, as shall willingly accompany them, with sufficient shipping, weapons, victuals, ware, cattle, and all things necessary for use, defence, and trade, without paying any custom or tax for the space of seven years; provided that none of said persons be by name restrained by his Majesty, his heirs or successors. And said Company shall be free of all customs in Virginia for one and twenty years, and from all taxes for ever upon importation and exportation from or into any of his Majesty's dominions, except 5 per cent. custom on goods imported; and such custom being paid it shall be lawful for them to export said goods into foreign parts, without any other duty, within thirteen months after landing. And said Treasurer, Company, and their officers, may resist by force of arms all that shall attempt to inhabit within the precincts of said Colony, without their special license or enterprise any annoyance to the same; and may take all persons with their ships and goods trafficking within said precincts, until they shall pay to said Treasurer, &c., above such custom as the Company shall pay, if of any persons of his Majesty's dominions five pounds, and if strangers ten pounds per cent. on all góods carried in and out, said sums for 21 years to be wholly employed to the benefit of said Colony, and afterwards to the use of his Majesty. And all his Majesty's subjects which shall go to said plantation and their posterity, shall enjoy all liberties, &c., as if abiding and born in England. And his Majesty grants to said Treasurer and Company and their officers power to punish and govern all that shall adventure in any voyage thither or inhabit said Colony, according to such order as shall be established by said Council agreeable to the laws of England; and to exercise martial law in cases of rebellion or mutiny. If any person shall transport monies or goods out of his Majesty's kingdoms. with a pretence to dispose of them within said Colony, and afterwards shall carry the same to sell in any foreign countries, said goods and the ship shall be forfeited to his Majesty. These presents to be interpreted in the most beneficial manner for said Treasurer and Company; and his Majesty confirms all privileges, &c., granted in his former Letters Patents [of 10 April 1606] and not in these revoked or altered. Finally, all persons admitted by said Council and Company as adventurers of said Colony and enrolled in the book of Adventurers, shall enjoy all the privileges, profits, &c., as amply as if they had been named in these Letters Patents; and lastly, because the principal effect his Majesty can desire of this action is the conversion of the people in those parts to the true worship of God, in which respect his Majesty would be loath that any should pass that affect the superstitions of the Church of Rome, none shall be permitted to pass in any voyage to said country, but such as first shall have taken the Oath of Supremacy, which the Treasurer and any three of the Council may tender to all such as shall be sent on said voyage. [8 Membranes, Patent Roll, 7 Jas. I., Part 8. Printed in Hazard.]