Memorial XXXI: The Plantation in Virginia, 1609

Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London. Originally published by Harrison, London, 1875.

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'Memorial XXXI: The Plantation in Virginia, 1609', Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London, (London, 1875), pp. 143-147. British History Online [accessed 20 June 2024].

. "Memorial XXXI: The Plantation in Virginia, 1609", in Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London, (London, 1875) 143-147. British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024,

. "Memorial XXXI: The Plantation in Virginia, 1609", Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London, (London, 1875). 143-147. British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024,


March 27th, 1609.

At this Courte was redd a Precept from the Lord Maior, with the copy of a l're from the Councill and Company of the honourable Plantation in Virginia.

To the Master and Wardens of the Companie of Merchaunttailors.

These are to charge and require you, immediately upon receipt of the annexed l're, from the Councill and Company of the honourable Plantac[i]on in Virginia, that you call before you your said Companie, and acquainting them with the contents of the said tre to deale very earnestly and effectually with every of them to make some adventure in soe good and honourable an acc[i]on.


Whereas the Lords of his Majesties Councill, Comissioners for the Subsidy, desirous to ease the City and Suburbs of a swarme of unnecessary inmates, as a contynual cause of dearth and famyne, and the very originall cause of all the plagues that happen in this Kingdome, have advised yo' Lordshipp and your Brethren in a case of State, to make some voluntary contribuc[i]on for their remove into this Plantac[i]on of Virginia, which wee understand you all seemeth to like as an action pleasing to God and happy for this Comen Wealth.

Wee the Councill and Company of this honourable Plantac[i]on willing to yield unto yo' Lordpp and them all good satisfacc[i]on, have entered into consultac[i]on with ourselves what may be the charge of ev'ry private man and what of ev'ry private family which wee send herewith at large, not as a thing which wee seek to exact from you, but that you may see, as in a true glasse, the precise charge which wee wholly com[m]end to your grave wisdoms bothe for the sum and manner of levy; only give us leave thus far to enforme you that we give noe Bills of Adventure for a lesser sum than 12l. 10s., presuming it would breed an infinite trouble nowe and a confusion in the contribuc[i]on. But if yo' Lo'pp make any easement or raise any voluntary contribution from the best disposed and most able of the Companies, wee are willing to give our Bills of Adventure to the Master and Wardens to the generall use and behoofe of that Companie. If by Wards, to the Alderman and his Deputy to the perpetuall good of that Ward, or otherwise as it shall please you and your Brethren out of your better experience to direct. And if the inmats called before you and enjoined to remove, shall alleadge he hath not place to remove unto, but must lye in the streetes, and, being offred to go this journey, shall demaund what may be theire present mayntenance, what maye be theire future hopes, it maye please you to let them knowe that for the present they shall have meate, drink, and clothing, with an howse, orchard, and garden, for the meanest family, and a possession of lands to them and their posterity, one hundred acres for every man's person that hath a trade, or a body able to endure day labour as much for his wief, as much for his child, that are of yeres to doe service to the Colony, with further particular reward according to theire particular meritts and industry. And if your tpp and your Brethren shalbe pleased to put in any private adventures for yourselves in particular, you shall be sure to receave accordinge to the proporc[i]on of the adventure equall parte with us adventurers from the beginning both of the comodities returned and lands to be divided. And because you shall see, being Aldermen of soe famous a Cittie, wee give you due respect, wee are contented, having but one badge of grace and favour from his Majtie to participate with you therein, and to make as many of you as shall adventure ffifty pounds or more, fellow Counsellors from the ffirst day with us who have spent double and treble as much as is required, abiding the hazard of three severall discoveries with much care and diligence and manie daies attendance. And as your Deputies are your Assistants in your private Wards soe shall as many of them as will adventure but 25l. present money be made Partners of this Companie and Assistants of this Councell.

And thus, as an action concerning God, and the advancement of religion, the present ease, future honor, and safety of the Kingdome, the strength of our Navy, the visible hope of a greate and rich trade, and many secrett blessings not yett discovered, wee wholly com[m]end the cause to the wisdome and zeal of yourself, and your Brethren, and you, and it, and us all, to the holy protecc[i]on of the Almightie.

April 29th 1609.

This day our Master. Wardens, and Assistants did conferr with the Warden substitutes and sixteen men concerning the money proposed to be collected and advanced from the c[i]o'en stock at a Courte held on the 31st of March last, towards the honourable Plantac[i]on in Virginia, and upon full examinac[i]on of all that was collected and lately agreed upon, It is resolved that the sum of Two hundred pounds shalbe p'sently sent to Sir Thomas Smyth, Tre'sorer of the Virginia Company, which Two hundred pounds will be raised in this manner followg.

li. s. d. £
Out of the Stock of the Company c. 124
Of the free guift of diverse of the Lyvery whose names ensue xxiiij.
Of the free guift of the Bachelors' Company whose names also ensue liiij. iij. iiij. 76
Adventurers of the Bachelors' Company, whose names also ensue, expecting gaine xv. xij. vj.
Supplied by the Bachelors' Company out of theire Th'rory vj. iiij. ij.
cc. 200

Upon examinac[i]on and conference with divers of the Companie, it also appeareth that particular Bretheren of the Companie have adventured with the Virginia Company in the name of themselves and theire ffrends or children, severall somes whereof this Companie have knowledge of as much as in the whole doth amount to Five hundreth fower score and six pounds thirteene shillings and fower pence over and besides the Two hundreth pounds before menc[i]oned.

The number that follow are:—

Lyvery that meane to bestow their profitts 23
Number of the Bachelors' Company do 121
Bachelors' Compy. those who expect gaine 6
Number of the Company who have adventured for themselves, their children, or friends 22

The particulars of the foregoing statement were transmitted to the Lord Mayor on the third of May 1609, by

Humphrey Streete, Master.
Thomas Henshaw, Wardens.
Anthony Holmeade,
George Liddiott,
Francis Evington,

Copy of the Bill of Adventure, being sealed with a greate seale, having the armes of England with this writing about the same, viz., "Pro Consilio suo Virginiæ," and being subscribed with the name of Richd. Atkinson, the Clarck of the Virginia Company.

Whereas the Master and Wardens of the Merchanttailors of the Ffraternity of St. John Baptist, in the Cittie of London, have paid to Sr. Thos. Smyth, Knt., Th'ror for Virginia, the sum of Two hundreth pounds for their adventure towards the voyage to Virginia. It is agreede that for the same they, the said Master and Wardens, and their successors for the tyme being, shall have ratably, according to their adventure, theire full parte of all such lands, tenements, and hereditaments, as shall from tyme to tyme be there recovered, planted, and inhabited. And if all such mines and minerals, of gould, silver, and other metals or treasure, pearles, precious stones, or any kind of wares or marchaundizes, comodities, or profitts whatsoever, which shalbe obteyned or gotten in the said voyage according to the porc[i]on of money by them employed to that use, in as ample manner as any other adventurer therein shall receave for the like some.

Written this fourth of May 1609.

Richard Atkinson.

May 9th 1614.


A Paper Book presented by Sir Thos. Smyth, Knight, and the Virginia Company's scale, for such as shalbe disposed to make any adventure in the lottery to set their hands to such somes of money as they purpose to put into the lottery.

Also a true printed declaration of the present state of the English colony planted in Virginia.

These documents being read and considered, as well in respect of the Counsel's letters as in regard of the future good that may come thereby, it was determined that the sum of 50l. shall be put into the Lottery out of the Stock of this Howse, and what prizes or other profitt soever may be produced thereby, to be truly answered agayne to the use of the Howse.