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and Raleigh Gilbert,* William Parker and George sect. Popham, and all others of the town of Plimouth, in the county of Devon, or elsewhere, which are, or 1606. shall be joined unto them of that colony, shall be called the second colony; and that they shall and may begin their plantation, &c. at any place between eight-and-thirty and five-and-forty degrees of the same latitude, &c.” (with the like limitations as be. fore to the first colony.)

“ Provided always, that the plantation and habitation of such of the said colonies, as shall last plant themselves, as aforesaid, shall not be made within one hundred like English miles of the other of them, that first began to make their plantation, as afore. said."

« And we do also ordain, establish, and agree, that each of the said colonies shall have a council, which shall govern and order all matters and causes which shall arise within the same several colonies, according to such laws, ordinances, and instructions, as shall be, in that behalf, given and signed with our hand or sign manual, and pass under the privy seal of our realm of England: each of which councils shall consist of thirteen persons, to be ordained, made, and removed, from time to time, according as shall be directed and comprised in the same instructions."

“And that also there shall be a council established here in England, which shall, in like manner, consist of thirteen persons, to be, for that purpose, ,


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* Son of the famous navigator before-mentioned, Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. 39, p. 270.



Sect. appointed by us, our heirs, and successors, which

shall be called our council of Virginia ; which shall, 1606. from time to time, have the superior direction of all

matters concerning the government of the said colonies."*

He moreover granted license to the several councils of the said colonies, to cause search to be made for mines of gold, silver, and copper, yielding to him the fifth part of the gold and silver,t and the fifteenth of the copper, that should be got there. from; and to cause money to be coined.

He likewise authorised each of the aforesaid companies, to take to the said plantations and colonies, ás many of his subjects 'as would willingly accompany them. Provided that none of the said should be such, as should thereafter be specially restrained by him, his heirs, or successors.

He moreover granted license to the said colonies, for their several defences, to encounter, expulse, re


* The reader cannot but observe here, a considerable simi. litude, if there was not an intended imitation, of the Spanish mode of governing their colonies, adopted shortly after their conquests of Mexico and Peru, early in the sixteenth century, about the year 1511. Their colonies in America were divided into two viceroy-ships, north and south, of which Mexico and Peru were the principal provinces. Over these, the royal council of the Indies, (permanently held in the mother country, in the place where the monarch resides, and in which council he is supposed to be always present), has the supreme government of all the Spanish dominions in America. Sce Robertson's Hist. of America, (book 8, Vol. 4, p. 19.

+ This was the proportion reserved by the king of Spain, from the Spanish mines of gold and silver in America. Harris's Voyages, Vol. 2, p. 164. Robertson's Hist. of America, Vol. 4, p. 366, note 34.


pel, and resist all such persons, as, without their SECT. special license, should attempt either to inhabit within their several precincts, or annoy them.

· 1606. He authorised also, each of the said colonies, to take all persons, with their vessels and goods, who should be found trafficking in any harbour, creek, or place within their respective limits, not being of the same colony, until they should agree to pay into the hands of the treasurer of that colony, within whose precincts they should so traffick; if the king's subjects, two and a half per cent. upon the wares and merchandises so trafficked ; if strangers, five per cent. : which sums of money, for one-and-twenty years next ensuing the date of the letters patent, should be appropriated to the use of the plantation, where such traffick should be made ; at the end of which period, to be to the use of the king. *

Also, that the said colonies might import out of any of the king's dominions into their respective plantations, all goods whatever, without paying any duty thereon, for the space of seven years next ensuing the date of the said letters patent.

He also declared, that all persons who should dwell and inhabit within either of the said colonies, and their children born therein, should have and en

* Robertson (in his Hist. of America, book 9, Vol. 1, p. 181,) has construed this clause as giving to these colonies, “the unlimited permission of trade with foreigners," and mentions it as one of the articles in it “unfavourable to the interest of the parent state, as it deprived the parent state of that exclusive commerce, which has been deemed the chief advantage resulting from the establishment of colonies.” It demonstrates, however, that James was, at this time, sincere in his encouragement of these colonies,


SECT. joy all liberties, franchises, and immunities, as if

they had been abiding, or born within the realm of 1606. England.

And finally, that all lands in each of the said colonies should be held of the king, his heirs and successors, as of his manor of East-Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in free and common soccage only, and not in capite. *

The most remarkable clauses in these letters pa. tent, are those which prescribe the mode of government for these colonies, to wit: that the councils in each colony should govern according to such laws, ordinances, and instructions, as should be given and signed by the king; and that he should have the power of appointment and removal of all such persons as should compose the two councils in the colonies, as well as those at home forming the council of Virginia. It must be acknowledged, that these clauses do not explicitly invest the king with the power of making the laws, ordinances, and instructions, since the latter of them particularly provides that the council of Virginia should have the superior management and direction of all matters that shall, or may concern the government of the said colonies; which seems to imply, that the council of Virginia at home, should have the power of making such laws, ordinances, and instructions, to be approved of and signed by the king. This construction seems to be warranted by what is called the second charter, of Virginia, (in 1609,) wherein it is expressly so

• See the letters patent at large in Hazard's Collections, Vol. 1,.p. 50.

provided, But the power of appointment and re- SECT. moval, as before-mentioned, certainly vested a great preponderating influence with the king ; and he 1606. might, without doubt, propound to the council at home, what laws, ordinances, and instructions he pleased, or might reject any proposed by them. These clauses, indeed, are not to be reconciled to the present ideas of political liberty entertained in either America or England. The principles of an elective and representative government, were deve. loped by the English revolutionists, in 1690, with such wisdom and moderation, and have been cherished by their descendants in America with so much ardour, that there are few readers among us at this day, who would approve of a mode of government so repugnant to those principles. But it ought to be remembered, as the best historian of England has clearly demonstrated,* that the two first English princes of the house of Stuart, were not tyrants in their natural disposition. There is strong presumption, that James the first sincerely believed, that his prerogative was, by the English constitution, paramount to the laws; or, at least, that where parliament had made no provision, his proclamations, in virtue of his sovereign authority, were the substitutes of laws. And although his son Charles, instigated by the unprincipled Buckingham, manifested at the first of his reign, a strong inclination to render himself despotic, yet much allowance is to be made for him, on account of his education under his father, from whom he would naturally imbibe all that monarch's metaphysic no


* Hume.

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