America and West Indies: Addenda 1612

Pages 42-47

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 1612

Feb. 2.
58. Sir John Dighye to Lord Treasurer Salisbury. Departure of 800 men out of Portugal, and the transporting of 3,200 more, so that the whole number of men to be sent is 4,000, "all which, though I conceive are to be carried into Flanders, yet I am advertized from one that I appointed to be amongst them that divers of the masters of the ships are discontented and that they suspect they shall be forced to a far longer journey. The which, if it be so, I can only suspect some enterprize of theirs against Virginia, the which I do not think likely, but in regard that divers write unto me, though uncertainly, that there is something now in hand against it, I omit not to advertize it unto your Lordship." [Extract, Correspondence, Spain.] Similar news in his letter to Sir Dudley Carleton of this date.
March 12.
59. Grant by Letters Patent to the Treasurer, Company, and Adventurers of Virginia. Recites Letters Patent of 23 May 1609, [ante No.49] granted at the suit of divers adventurers and planters of the first Colony in Virginia. Now, forasmuch as his Majesty understands that without the compass of said two hundred miles, and yet not far distant from said Colony, there are divers islands uninhabited, some discovered by the industry of said Company, which it may import said Colony to plant, in regard whereof they are suitors to his Majesty to grant an enlargement of said patent, as well for an extent of limits as for other matters concerning the better Government of said Company and Colony. His Majesty, tendering the good success of said plantation and Company, &c., grants to said Treasurer, &c., for ever, all the islands within three hundred leagues of the parts granted to said Treasurer, &c., in said Letters Patent, and being within 41 and 30 deg. N.L. with all lands, waters, minerals, commodities, privileges, &c., whatsoever Provided always that said islands be not possessed by any other Christian Prince or State, or within the bounds of the Northern Colony of Virginia, to enjoy said islands for ever, to be holden of his Majesty, &c. in free and common soccage, yielding the fifth part of gold and silver. And further, his Majesty grants ("that posterity may hereafter know who have adventured, and not been sparing of their purses in such a noble and generous action for the genera good of their country,") that George, Archbishop of Canterbury Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury, Mary Countess of Shrewsbury (here follows a list of earls, countesses, bishops, lords, knights, and others, occupyingmembranes) who since said last Letters Patents have joined with the former adventurers of said Company, shall henceforth be free members of the Company, and shall, according to the proportion of their adventure, enjoy all rights, privileges, profits, &c., in as ample manner as any other adventurers nominated in any former Letters Patents. And his Majesty further grants that Philip Earl of Montgomery, William Lord Paget, Sir John Harrington, Sir Willm. Cavendish, Sir John Sammes (sic), Sir Samuel Sandys, Sir Thomas Freke, Sir William St. John, Sir Richard Grobham, Sir Thomas Dale, Sir Cavalliero Maycott, Richard Martin, John Bingley, Thomas Watson, and Arthure Ingram, whom said Treasurer and Company have nominated, shall be of his Majesty's Council for said first Colony. And his Majesty grants that said Treasurer, &c., shall, once every week or oftener, hold a Court for ordering said plantation, and that any five of said Council (of which the Treasurer or his deputy to be one), and fifteen at least of the generality, shall be a sufficient Court for dispatching casual matters of less weight touching said plantation, and that for the handling of affairs of great importance, as the manner of government, disposing of said possessions, and establishing of trade, there shall be held upon the last Wednesday save one of Hilary, Easter, Trinity, and Michaelmas terms for ever, a General and Solemn Assembly or Court; and the greater number so assembled shall have power to elect persons to be of "Our Council" for said Colony, nominate officers, make laws for the good of said plantation not contrary to the laws of England, and disfranchise from their Company all such as shall refuse or neglect to put in their adventure within six months after same shall be due. And whereas the non-payment of such monies promised in adventure has been found much to have hindered the progress of said plantation, and it seems reasonable that persons neglecting their promise should be compellable to make good the same, his Majesty's pleasure is that in any suits commenced by said Treasurer, &c., against such persons, the Judges both in the Courts of Chancery and Common Law further such suits, so far forth as law and equity will permit. And his Majesty farther grants to said Treasurer, Company, &c. that the greater part of them in General Court assembled, may elect into their Company as well aliens (born in any parts in amity with his Majesty) as natural subjects, who shall enjoy all privileges, profits, &c., to the Company belonging, as amply as any other adventurer; that it shall be lawful for them to transport to said Colony all such of his Majesty's subjects, or strangers that will become his Majesty's subjects, as shall willingly accompany them, with shipping, munition, victuals, merchandize, furniture, beasts, and all other things necessary for plantation, defence, and trade, without yielding any custom or duty for seven years; and that said Treasurer or his deputy or any two others of said Council shall have power to minister the oaths of supremacy and allegiance to all who shall pass to said Colony, and to minister such a formal cath as by them shall be devised to all persons employed touching said plantation, for faithful discharge of their service, also to such persons as they shall think meet for examination in any cause concerning said plantation. And whereas his Majesty has been certified that divers lewd persons having received entertainment from said Company or having contracted to be employed in said plantation, have withdrawn or refused to go thither, and that divers persons employed in said plantations have misbehaved themselves by mutinies, &c., or having been sent abroad by the Governor of Virginia for some discovery or other business, have most treacherously returned to England by stealth, or have been sent hither as misdoers, and having been questioned by Council, have by their insolent carriage shown little respect to the authority to which his Majesty has appointed them, and by most vile and slanderous reports, as well of the country of Virginia as of the government, have done as much as in them lay to bring said plantation into contempt, by means whereof not only the adventurers have been exceedingly abused, and a great number of others discouraged from joining in so noble, christian, and worthy an action, but also the ulter ruin of the same has been greatly endangered. Now, forasmuch as it appears that these abuses have grown in regard said Council have not power by said former Letters Patent to chastize such offenders, his Majesty for reformation of so enormous abuses grants to said Treasurer, &c., that it shall be lawful for any two of said Council (of which said Treasurer or Deputy to be one) to cause to be apprehended every such person as shall misbehave as before mentioned, and upon examination and proof before said Council of such misdemeanors, or upon any insolent carriage to said Council, to bind them over with good security for their good behaviour or remand them back to said Colony to be proceeded against according to the laws in use there. And for the more effectual advancing of said plantation, his Majesty, by the consent of his Privy Council, grants said Treasurer and Company license to publish lotteries, to be held for a whole year, and afterwards they shall have six months warning before his Majesty's pleasure shall be deemed altered, said lotteries to be held within this realm of England, and with such prizes, conditions, &c., as to said Treasurer, &c., shall seem convenient. And it shall be lawful for said Treasurer, &c., to elect receivers and other officers for the governing of said lotteries, and administer oaths to them for their true dealing, and to publish by proclamation said lotteries in all cities, towns, boroughs, thoroughfares, and other places within England. And his Majesty wills all mayors, justices, sheriffs, bailiffs, constables, and other his officers and subjects to be aiding and assisting said lotteries by all lawful means. And his Majesty confirms to said Treasurer, &c., all manner of privileges, &c., granted them in any his Letters Patent, and not in these presents revoked, altered or abridged. 7 membs. [Patent Roll, 9 Jas. I., Part 14.]
June 20.
60. Sir John Digbye to Sir Dudley Carleton. "They are very much displeased with our new discovery of the North-West passage, but more particularly with our Plantation of Virginia, which they stick not now to say, that if his Majesty will not cause it to be recalled, this King will be forced by a strong hand to essay the removal of it; and I hear that Don Pedro de Cunega hath commission to move his Majesty that his subjects may desist from any farther proceeding therein. If he have, I doubt not but he will receive a cold answer, and for their doing anything by the way of hostility, I conceive they will be very slow to give England (who is very apt to lay hold on any occasion) so just a pretence to be doing with them." [Extract, Correspondence, Spain.]
Aug. 21.
61. Sir John Digbye to the King. "I have formerly advertized your Majesty of a report come unto Seville that three or four of this King's galleons should be cast away upon the coast of Florida, which went forth with an intent to have attempted somewhat against the English Plantation in Virginia. But though this news be not absolutely contradicted, yet I can learn so small ground for the report thereof that I conceive it to be likelier to be untrue than otherwise." [Extract, Correspondence, Spain.]
Sept. 1.
62. Sir John Digbye to the King. Has endeavoured to inform himself of the reasons for the stay of Don Pedro de Cuñega in England being longer than his Majesty expected. When he was sent from thence he had three businesses in which he was instructed to carry himself according to the state he should find them in at his coming thither. The first was concerning the match between the Lady Elizabeth, his Majesty's daughter, and the Count Palatine. "His second business was concerning Virginia, in which he was likewise not to make any proposition unto your Majesty, but upon second directions from hence, when he should have learned and advertized what your Majesty's inclination was, and what your answer was like to be, for that in case he should perceive that your Majesty was not likely to give way to that which by this King should be propounded, he should avoid the having of a peremptory negative given unto his Master." The third business was concerning the Treaties of Marriages now in hand for the Prince his Highness, &c. [Extract, Correspondence, Spain.]
Sept. 13.
63. Sir John Digbye to the King. "It is here held for certain that this King will not permit our Plantations at Virginia and the Bermudas, in so much that it is here publicly and avowedly spoken in the Court that they will shortly attempt the removing of them, and I have letters from some in the Fleet with Don Luys de Fajardo, who is now at Cales (Cadiz) ready to put to sea, that so soon as he hath conducted home the West Indian Fleet he shall go to the Havana and winter there, and from thence in the beginning of the spring shall attempt Virginia. But thereunto I give not much credit, for that I am informed here from good part that there hath been of late a consultation and almost a resolution taken, that one Don Diego Brochero, now of the Council of War and a great Commander at Sea, shall have the conducting of this enterprise, and that he shall go from Portugal, where this King's navy is commanded to meet under colour and pretence of the King's remaining at Lisbon. But of these things I shall use all the diligence I may to attain unto the truth," &c. [Extract, Correspondence, Spain.]
Sept. 22.
64. Sir John Digbye to Sir Dudley Carleton. "There is nothing so generally spoken of in this Court as their intent to remove our Plantation in Virginia, and for mine own part I am of belief that the Spaniards will serve us as they did the Frenchmen in Florida, unless we undertake the business much more thoroughly and roundly than hitherto we have done; but hereof they have had sufficient warning in England." [Extract, Correspondence, Spain.]
Nov. 12.
65. Sir John Digbye to the King. I got a view of Don Pedro de Cuñega's despatch. The chief matters were … "That there was no cause to apprehend so much danger in Virginia as they did in Spain, there being only, as he certainly learned, five hundred men, who had of late suffered great extremity and misery, and that the first undertakers were grown so weary of supplying the charge, that they were fain to make a general kind of begging (for so he termed it.) by the way of a lottery for the furnishing out of those ships and men which were now sent. So that he judged it not fit to make any kind of mention thereof unto your Majesty, both for that he held it not unlikely that the business might sink of itself, since it was maintained but by these shifts, which could last but for a year or two, and likewise for that he was certainly informed that if he should propound the having of the Plantation revoked, it would in no kind be condescended unto." [Extract, Correspondence, Spain]