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The Second Charter of Virginia
May 23, 1609


 

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The Virginia Company of London was a joint-stock company set up by a group of merchants and wealthy gentry for the purpose of financing and establishing a colony in America, with the aim of making a profit. They petitioned England's King James I to grant them a charter, which he did more than a year later in 1606, and then again in 1609 and 1612. These charters gave the Virginia Company the authority to establish and govern a colony on the coast of America. The Second Charter was given exclusively to the Virginia Company of London.



JAMES, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all, to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. WHEREAS, at the humble Suit and Request of sundry our loving and well-disposed Subjects, intending to deduce a Colony, and to make Habitation and Plantation of sundry our People in that Part of America, commonly called VIRGINIA, and other Parts and Territories in America, either appertaining unto Us, or which are not actually possessed of any Christian Prince or People, within certain Bounds and Regions, We have formerly, by our Letters-patents, bearing Date the tenth Day of April, in the fourth Year of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the nine and thirtieth, GRANTED to Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, and others, for the more speedy Accomplishment of the said Plantation and Habitation that they should divide themselves into two Colonies (the one consisting of divers Knights, Gentlemen, Merchants, and others, of our City of London, called the FIRST COLONY; And the other consisting of divers Knights, Gentlemen, and others, of our Cities of Bristol, Exeter, and Town of Plimouth, and other Places, called the SECOND COLONY). And have yielded and granted in any and sundry Privileges and Liberties to each Colony, for their quiet settling and good Government therein, as by the said Letters patents more at large appeareth:

Now, forasmuch as divers and sundry of our loving Subjects, as well Adventurers, as Planters, of the said first Colony, which have already engaged themselves in furthering the Business of the said Colony and Plantation, and do further intend, by the Assistance of Almighty God, to prosecute the same to a happy End, have of late been humble Suitors unto Us, that (in Respect of their great Charges and the Adventure of many of their Lives, which they have hazarded in the said Discovery and Plantation of the said Country) We should be pleased to grant them a further Enlargement and Explanation of the said Grant, Privileges, and Liberties, and that such Counsellors, and other Officers, may be appointed amongst them, to manage and direct their Affairs, as are willing and ready to adventure with them, as also whose Dwellings are not so far remote from the City of London, but they may, at convenient Times, be ready at Hand, to give their Advice and Assistance, upon all Occasions requisite.

We greatly affecting the effectual Prosecution and happy success of the said Plantation, and commending their good desires therein, for their further Encouragement in accomplishing so excellent a Work, much pleasing to God, and profitable to our Kingdom, do of our especial Grace, and certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, GIVE, GRANT, and CONFIRM, to our trusty and well beloved Subjects, Robert, Earl of Salisbury, Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, Henry, Earl of Southampton, William, Earl of Pembroke, Henry, Earl of Lincoln, Earl of Dorset, Thomas, Earl of Exeter, Philip, Earl of Montgomery, Robert, Lord Viscount Lisle, Theophilus, Lord Howard of Walden, James Montague, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, Edward, Lord Zouche, Thomas, Lord Lawarr, William, Lord Mounteagle, Ralph, Lord Ewre, Edmond, Lord Sheffield, Grey, Lord Chandois, Lord Compton, John, Lord Petre, John, Lord Stanhope, George, Lord Carew, Sir Humphry Weld, Lord Mayor of London, George Piercy, Esq. Sir Edward Cecil, Knt. Sir George Wharton, Knt. Francis West, Esq. Sir William Wade, Knt. Sir Henry Nevil, Knt. Sir Thomas Smith, Knt. Sir Oliver Cromwell, Knt. Sir Peter Manwood, Knt. Sir Drue Drury, Knt. Sir Peter Scott, Knt. Sir Thomas Challoner, Knt. Sir Robert Drury, Knt. Sir Anthony Cope, Knt. Sir Horatio Vere, Knt. Sir Edward Conway, Knt. Sir William Brown, Knt. Sir Maurice Berkeley, Knt. Sir Robert Maunsel, Knt. Sir Amias Preston, Knt. Sir Thomas Gates, Knt. Sir Anthony Ashley, Knt. Sir Michael Sandys, Knt. Sir Henry Carey, Knt. Sir Stephen Soame, Knt. Sir Callisthenes Brooke, Knt. Sir Edward Michelborn, Knt. Sir John Ratcliffe, Knt. Sir Wilmot, Knt. Sir George Moore, Knt. Sir Hugh Wiral, Knt. Sir Thomas Dennis, Knt. Sir John Holles, Knt. Sir William Godolphin, Knt. Sir Thomas Monson, Knt. Sir Thomas Ridgwine, Knt. Sir John Brooke, Knt. Sir Robert Killigrew, Knt. Sir Henry Peyton, Knt. Sir Richard Williamson, Knt. Sir Ferdinando Weyoman, Knt. Sir William St. John, Knt. Sir Thomas Holcroft, Knt. Sir John Mallory, Knt. Sir Roger Ashton, Knt. Sir Walter Cope, Knt. Sir Richard Wigmore, Knt. Sir William Cocke, Knt. Sir Herbert Crofte, Knt. Sir Henry Fanshaw, Knt. Sir John Smith, Knt. Sir Francis Wolley, Knt. Sir Edward Waterhouse, Knt. Sir Henry Seckford Knt. Sir Edwin Sandys, Knt. Sir Thomas Waynam, Knt. Sir John Trevor, Knt. Sir Warwick Heele, Knt. Sir Robert Worth, Knt. Sir John Townshend, Knt. Sir Christopher Perkins, Knt. Sir Daniel Dun, Knt. Sir Henry Hobert, Knt. Sir Francis Bacon, Knt. Sir Henry Montague, Knt. Sir George Coppin, Knt. Sir Samuel Sandys, Knt. Sir Thomas Roe, Knt. Sir George Somers, Knt. Sir Thomas Freake, Knt. Sir Thomas Harwell, Knt. Sir Charles Kelke, Knt. Sir Baptist Hicks, Knt. Sir John Watts, Knt. Sir Robert Carey, Knt. Sir William Romney, Knt. Sir Thomas Middleton, Knt. Sir Hatton Cheeke, Knt. Sir John Ogle, Knt. Sir Cavellero Meycot, Knt. Sir Stephen Riddleson, Knt. Sir Thomas Bludder, Knt. Sir Anthony Aucher, Knt. Sir Robert Johnson, Knt. Sir Thomas Panton, Knt. Sir Charles Morgan, Knt. Sir Stephen Pole, Knt. Sir John Burlacie, Knt. Sir Christopher Cleave, Knt. Sir George Hayward, Knt. Sir Thomas Davis, Knt. Sir Thomas Sutton, Knt. Sir Anthony Forrest, Knt. Sir Robert Payne, Knt. Sir John Digby, Knt. Sir Dudley Digges, Knt. Sir Fowland Cotton, Knt. Dr. Matthew Sutclide, Dr. Meadows, Dr. Turner, Dr. Poe, Captain Pagnam, Captain Jeffrey Holcrofte, Captain Romney, Captain Henry Spry, Captain Shelton, Captain Sparks, Captain Thomas Wyat, Captain Brinsley, Captain William Courtney, Captain Herbert, Captain Clarke, Captain Dewhurst, Captain John Blundell, Captain Fryer, Captain Lewis Orwell, Captain Edward Lloyd, Captain Slingsby, Captain Hawley, Captain Acme, Captain Cookhouse, Captain Mason, Captain Thomas Holcroft, Captain John Coke, Captain Holles, Captain William Proud, Captain Henry Woodhouse, Captain Richard Lindesey, Captain Dexter, Captain William Winter, Captain Pearse, Captain John Gingham, Captain Burray, Captain Thomas Conway, Captain Rockwood, Captain William Lovelace, Captain John Ashley, Captain Thomas Wynne, Captain Thomas Mewtis, Captain Edward Harwood, Captain Michael Everard, Captain Comock, Captain Mills, Captain Pigot, Captain Edward-Maria Wingfield, Captain Christopher Newport, Captain John Sicklemore, alias Ratcliffe, Captain John Smith, Captain John Martin, Captain Peter Wynne, Captain Waldo, Captain Thomas Wood, Captain Thomas Button, George Bolls, Esq. Sheriff of London, William Crashaw, Clerk, Batchelor of Divinity, William Seabright, Esq., Christopher Brooke, Esq., John Birigley, Esq., Thomas Watson, Esq., Richard Percival, Esq., John Moore, Esq., Hugh Broker, Esq., David Woodhouse, Esq., Anthony Aucher, Esq., Robert Boyer, Esq., Ralph Owens, Esq., Zachary Jones Esq., George Calvert, Esq., William Dobson, Esq., Henry Reynolds, Esq., Thomas Walker, Esq., Anthony Barnars, Esq., Thomas Sandys, Esq., Henry Sandys, Esq., Richard Sandys, Esq., Son of Sir Edwin Sandys, William Oxenbridge, Esq., John Moore, Esq., Thomas Wilson Esq., John Bullock, Esq., John Waller, Esq., Thomas Webb, Jehu Robinson, William Brewster, Robert Evelyn, Henry Danby, Richard Hackluit, Minister, John Eldrid, Merchant, William Russel, Merchant, John Merrick, Merchant, Richard Banister, Merchant, Charles Anthony, Goldsmith, John Banks, William Evans, Richard Humble, Richard Chamberlayne, Merchant, Thomas Barber, Merchant, Richard Pomet, Merchant, John Fletcher, Merchant, Thomas Nicholls, Merchant, John Stoke, Merchant, Gabriel Archer, Francis Covel, William Bonham, Edward Harrison, John Wostenholme, Nicholas Salter, Hugh Evans, William Barnes, Otho Mawdet, Richard Staper, Merchant, John Elkin, Merchant, William Coyse, Thomas Perkin, Cooper, Humphrey James, Cooper, Henry Jackson, Robert Singleton, Christopher Nicholls, John Harper, Abraham Chamberlayne, Thomas Shipton, Thomas Carpenter, Anthony Crew, George Holman, Robert Hill, Cleophas Smith, Ralph Harrison, John Farmer, James Brearly, William Crosby, Richard Cox, John Gearing, Richard Strongarm, Ironmongers, Thomas Langton, Griffith Hinton, Richard Ironside, Richard Dean, Richard Turner, William Lawson, Mercer, James Chatfield, Edward Allen Tedder, Robert Hildebrand Sprinson, Arthur Mouse, John Gardiner, James Russell, Richard Caswell, Richard Evans, John Hawkins, Richard Kerril, Richard Brooke, Matthew Screvener, Gentleman, William Stallenge, Gentleman, Arthur Venn, Gentleman, Sandys Webbe, Gentleman, Michael Phetiplace, Gentleman, William Phetiplace, Gentleman, Ambrose Prusey, Gentleman, John Taverner, Gentleman, George Pretty, Gentleman, Peter Latham, Gentleman, Thomas Montford, Gentleman, William Central, Gentleman, Richard Wiffin, Gentleman, Ralph Moreton, Gentleman, John Cornelius, Martin Freeman, Ralph Freeman, Andrew Moore, Thomas White, Edward Perkin, Robert Offley, Thomas Whitley, George Pit, Robert Parkhurst, Thomas Morris, Peter Harloe, Jeffry Duppa, John Gilbert, William Hancock, Matthew Brown, Francis Tyrrel, Randolph Carter, Othowell Smith, Thomas Hammond, Martin Bond, Haberdasher, John Moulsoe, Robert Johnson, Wiliam Young, John Woodal, William Felgate, Humfrey Westwood, Richard Champion, Henry Robinson, Francis Mapes, William Sambach, Ralegh Crashaw, Daniel Tucker, Thomas Grave, Hugh Willeston, Thomas Culpepper, of Wigsel, Esq., John Culpepper, Gentleman, Henry Lee, Josias Kerton, Gentleman, John Pory, Gentleman, Henry Collins, George Burton, William Atkinson, Thomas Forest, John Russel, John Holt, Harman Harrison, Gabriel Beedel, John Beedel, Henry Dawkes, George Scot, Edward Fleetwood, Gentleman, Richard Rogers, Gentleman, Arthur Robinson, Robert Robinson, John Huntley, John Gray, William Payne, William Field, William Wattey, William Webster, John Dingley, Thomas Draper, Richard Glanvil, Arnold Hulls, Henry Roe, William More, Nicholas Gryce, James Monger, Nicholas Andrews, Jeremy Haydon, Ironmonger, Philip Durette, John Quarles, John West, Matthew Springham, John Johnson, Christopher Hore, Thomas Snead, George Berkeley, Arthur Pet, Thomas Careles, William Berkley, Thomas Johnson, Alexander Bents, Captain William King, George Sandys, Gentleman, James White, Gentleman, Edmond Anne, Charles Towlar, Richard Reynold, Edward Webb, Richard Maplesden, Thomas Lever, David Bourne, Thomas Wood, Ralph Hamer, Edward Barnes, Mercer, John Wright, Mercer, Robert Middleton, Edward Littlefield, Katharine West, Thomas Web, Ralph Lying, Robert Coppin, James Askew, Christopher Holt, William Bardwell, Alexander Chiles, Lewis Tate, Edward Ditchfield, James Swifte, Richard Widdowes, goldsmith, Redmond Brudenell, Edward Purcell, John Hansford, Edward Wooller, William Palmer, haberdasher, John Badger, John Hodgson, Peter Mounsel, John Carril, John Bushride, Lillian Dun, Thomas Johnson, Nicholas Benson, Thomas Shipton, Nathaniel Wade, Randal Wetwood, Matthew Dequester, Charles Hawkins, Hugh Hammersley, Abraham Cartwright, George Bennet, William Cater, Richard Goddard, Henry Cromwell, Phineas Pet, Robert Cooper, John Cooper, Henry Newce, Edward Wilkes, Robert Bateman, Nicholas Farrar, John Hewhouse, John Cason, Thomas Harris, Gentleman, George Etheridge, Gentleman, Thomas Mayle, Gentleman, Richard Stafford, Thomas Richard Cooper, John Wrestrow, Edward Welch, Thomas Britain, Thomas Knowles, Octavian Thorne, Edmond Smith, John March, Edward Carew, Thomas Pleydall, Richard Let, Miles Palmer, Henry Price, John Joshua, Gentleman, William Clauday, Jeremy Pearsye, John Bree, Gentleman, William Hampson, Christopher Pickford, Thomas Hunt, Thomas Truston, Christopher Salmon, Jolm Howard, clerk, Richard Partridge, Allen Cassen, Felix Wilson, Thomas Bathurst, George Wilmer, Andrew Wilmer, Maurice Lewellin, Thomas Godwin, Peter Burgoyne, Thomas Burgoyne, Robert Burgoyne, Robert Smith, Merchant Taylor, Edward Cage, grocer, Thomas Cannon, Gentleman, William Welby, stationer, Clement Wilmer, Gentleman, John Clapham, Gentleman, Giles Francis, Gentleman, George Walker, Sadler, John Swinhow, stationer, Edward Bishop, stationer, Leonard White, Gentleman, Christopher Baron, Peter Benson, Richard Smith, George Proctor, minister, Millicent Ramsdent, widow Joseph Soane, Thomas Hinshaw, John Baker, Robert Thornton, John Davis, Edward Facet, George Newce, Gentleman, John Robinson, Captain Thomas Wood, William Brown, shoemaker, Robert Barker, shoemaker, Robert Pennington, Francis Burley, minister, William Quick, grocer, Edward Lewis, grocer, Laurence Campe, draper, Aden Perkins, grocer, Richard Shepherd, preacher, William Sherley, haberdasher, William Taylor, haberdasher, Edwin Lukin, Gentleman, John Franklyn, haberdasher, John Southwick, Peter Peate, George Johan, ironmonger, George Yeardley, Gentleman, Henry Shelly, John Prat, Thomas Church, draper, William Powel, Gentleman, Richard Frith, Gentleman, Thomas Wheeler, draper, Francis Easlerig, Gentleman, Hugh Shipley, Gentleman, John Andrews, the Elder, Doctor of Cambridge, Francis Whistler, Gentleman, John Vassal, Gentleman, Richard Howle, Edward Berkeley, Gentleman, Richard Keneridgburg, Gentleman, Nicholas Exton, draper, William Bennet, fishmonger, James Haywood, Merchant, Nicholas Isaac, Merchant, William Gibbs, Merchant, Bishop, Bernard Mitchel, Isaac Mitchel, John Streate, Edward Gall, John Martin, Gentleman, Thomas Fox, Luke Lodge, John Woodliffe, Gentleman, Richard Webb, Vincent Long, Samuel Burnham, Edmund Pears, haberdasher, John Googe, John St. John, Edward Vaughan, William Dunn, Thomas Alcocke, John Andrews, the younger, of Cambridge, Samuel Smith, Thomas Gerrard, Thomas Whittingham, William Canning, Paul Canning, George Chandler, Henry Vincent, Thomas Ketley, James Skelton, James Mountaine, George Webb, gentleman, Joseph Newbridge, smith, Josiah Mand, Captain Ralph Hamer, the younger, Edward Brewster, the son of William Brewster, Leonard Harwood, mercer, Philip Druerdent, William Carpenter, Tristian Hill, Robert Cock, grocer, Laurence Grecie, grocer, Samuel Winch, grocer, Humphry Stile, grocer, Avern Dransfield, grocer, Edward Hodges, grocer, Edward Beale, grocer, Thomas Culler, grocer, Ralph Busby, grocer, John Whittingham, grocer, John Hide, grocer, Matthew Shepherd, grocer, Thomas Allen, grocer, Richard Hooker grocer, Lawrence Munks, grocer, John Tanner, grocer, Peter Gate, grocer, John Blunt, grocer, Robert Phipps, grocer, Robert Berrisford, grocer, Thomas Wells, grocer, John Ellis, grocer, Henry Colthurst, grocer, John Cavady, grocer, Thomas Jennings, grocer, Edmond Baschall, grocer, Timothy Bathurst, grocer, Giles Parslow, grocer, Robert Milmay, grocer, Richard Johnson, grocer, William Johnson, vinetner, Ezekiel Smith, Richard Martin, William Sharpe, Robert Rich, William Stannard, innholder, John Stocken, William Strachey, gentleman, George Farmer, gentleman, Thomas Gypes, cloth-worker, Abraham Davies, gentleman, Thomas Brocket, gentleman, George Bache, fishmonger, John Dike, fishmonger, Henry Spranger, Richard Farrington, Christopher Vertue, vintner, Thomas Bayley, vintner, George Robins, vintner, Tobias Hinson, grocer, Urian Spencer, Clement Chickeley, John Scarpe, gentleman, James Campbell, ironmonger, Christian Clitheroe, ironmonger, Philip Jacobson, Peter Jacobson, of Antwerp, William Berkeley, Miles Banks, cutler, Peter Higgons, grocer, Henry John, gentleman, John Stokley, merchant taylor, the Company of Mercers, the Company of Grocers, the Company of Drapers, the Company of Fishmongers, the Company of Goldsmiths, the Company of Skinners, the Company of Merchant Taylors, the Company of Haberdashers, the Company of Salters, the Company of Ironmongers, the Company of Vintners, the Company of Clothworkers, the Company of Dyers, the Company of Brewers, the Company of Leathersellers, the Company of Pewterers, the Company of Cutlers, the Company of Whitebakers, the Company of Wax-Chandlers, the Company of Tallow-Chandlers, the Company of Armourers, the Company of Girdlers, the Company of Butchers, the Company of Sadlers, the Company of Carpenters, the Company of Cordwaynes, the Company of Barber-Chirurgeons, the Company of Paintstainers, the Company of Curriers, the Company of Masons, the Company of Plumbers, the Company of Innholders, the Company of Founders, the Company of Poulterers, the Company of Cooks, the Company of Coopers, the Company of Tylers and Bricklayers, the Company of Boyers, the Company of Fletchers, the Company of Blacksmiths, the Company of Joiners, the Company of Weavers, the Company of Woolmen, the Company of Woodmongers, the Company of Scriveners, the Company of Fruiterers, the Company of Plasterers, the Company of Brownbakers, the Company of Stationers, the Company of Imbroiderers, the Company of Upholsterers, the Company of Musicians, the Company of Turners, the Company of Gardners, the Company of Basketmakers, the Company of Glaziers, John Levet, Merchant, Thomas Nornicot, clothworker, Richard Venn, haberdasher, Thomas Scott, gentleman, Thomas Juxon, merchant-taylor, George Hankinson, Thomas Seyer, gentleman, Matthew Cooper, George Buttler, gentleman, Thomas Lawson, gentleman, Edward Smith, haberdasher, Stephen Sparrow, John Jones, merchant, Reynolds, Brewer, Thomas Plummer, merchant, Jame Duppa, brewer, Rowland Coitmore, William Southerne, George Whitmore, haberdasher, Anthony Gosnold, the younger, John Allen, fishmonger, Simon Yeomans, fishmonger, Lancelot Davis, gentleman, John Hopkins, alderman of Bristol, John Kettleby, gentleman, Richard Clene, goldsmith, George Hooker, gentleman, Robert Chening, yeoman, and to such and so many as they do, or shall hereafter admit to be joined with them, in the form hereafter in these presents expressed, whether they go in their Persons to be Planters there in the said Plantation, or whether they do not, but adventure their monies, goods, or Chattles, that they shall be one Body or Commonalty perpetual, and shall have perpetual Succession and one common Seal to serve for the said Body or Commonalty, and that they and their Successors shall be known, called, and 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 that they and their Successors shall be from henceforth forever enabled to take, acquire, and purchase by the Name aforesaid (Licence for the same from Us, our Heirs, and Successors, first had and obtained) any Manner of Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, Goods and Chattles, within our Realm of England, and Dominion of Wales.

And that they, and their Successors, shall likewise be enabled by the Name aforesaid, to plead and be impleaded, before any of our Judges or Justices in any of our Courts, and in any Actions or Suits whatsoever.

And we do also of our special Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, give, grant and confirm, unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, under the Reservations, Limitations, and. Declarations hereafter expressed, all those Lands, Countries, and Territories, situate, lying, and being in that Part of America, called Virginia, from the Point of Land, called Cape or Point Comfort, all along the Sea Coast to the Northward, two hundred miles, and from the said Point of Cape Comfort, all along the Sea Coast to the Southward, two hundred Miles, and all that Space and Circuit of Land, lying from the Sea Coast of the Precinct aforesaid, up into the Land throughout from Sea to Sea, West and Northwest; And also all the Islands lying within one hundred Miles along the Coast of both Seas of the Precinct aforesaid; Together with all the Soils, Grounds, Havens, and Ports, Mines, as well Royal Mines of Gold and Silver, as other Minerals, Pearls, and precious Stones, Quarries, Woods, Rivers, Waters, Fishings, Commodities, Jurisdictions, Royalties, Privileges, Franchises, and Preheminences within the said Territories, and the Precincts thereof, whatsoever, and thereto, and thereabouts both by Sea and Land, being, or in any sort belonging or appertaining, and which We, by our Letters Patents, may or can grant, in as ample Manner and Sort, as We, or any our noble Progenitors, have heretofore granted to any Company, Body Politic or Corporate, or to any Adventurer or Adventurers, Undertaker or Undertakers of any Discoveries, Plantations, or Traffic, of, in, or into any Foreign Parts whatsoever, and in as large and ample Manner, as if the same were herein particularly mentioned and expressed; To HAVE AND TO HOLD, possess and enjoy, all and singular the said Lands, Countries and Territories, with all and singular other the Premises heretofore by these Presents granted, or mentioned to be granted to them, the said Treasurer and Company, their Successors and Assigns forever To the sole and proper Use of them, the said Treasurer and Company, their Successors and Assigns forever; To BE HOLDEN of Us, our Heirs and Successors, as of our Manor of East-Greenwich, in free and common Soccage, and not in Capite; YIELDING and PAYING therefore, to Us, our Heirs and Successors, the fifth Part only of all Ore of Gold and Silver, that from Time to Time, and at all Times hereafter, shall be there gotten, had, or obtained, for all Manner of Services.


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