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“as heretofore have beene or hereafter shall be given “by the Governor and Councell bee duly executed and “observed. HerEby alsoe chardging all persons re“siding and beeng, or which hereafter shall reside or “bee within the same to yeild due respecte and obedi“ence unto him the same Edward Waters, and to bee “ayding and assisting unto him in all things which unto “him or them respectively do belong or appertayne. “IN WITNEss whereof l have hereunto sett my hand “ and the seale of the colony the twentieth day of “March 1628–9, and in the fourth yeare of the reigne “of our sovereign Lord Charles, by the Grace of God “of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, king de“fender of the faith, &c. and in the two and twentieth “(b) year of this plantation.”
(b) In all the public papers of this period, the first settlement of the colony is computed from the year 1607; from the arrival of the expedition in the Chesapeake, on the 26th of April in that year, under the command of Newport, &c.
“Br THE Governor AND CAPTAINE GENERALL or
“TO all to whome these presents shall come, I John “Pott, Esq. Governor and Captain Generall of Vir“ginia, send greeting, in our lord God everlasting. “Whereas for the greater ease of the inhabitants “of dyverse parts of this colony, and for the better “conservation of the peace, and due execution of “such laws and orders as are or shall bee established “for the government of the people and inhabitants “in the same, the Governor and Councell have thought “fitt, and accordingly appoynted by an order of “cort made the 7th daie of Marche last past, that “there shall be monthly corts held and kepte in “some of the more remote plantations thereof; Now
KNow E YE that according to the said order, these persons whose names are here inserted, are for the tyme being assigned and appoynted to be the present commissioners of and for the holding and keeping of monthly corts within the corporation of Elizabeth Citty and the partes near adioyning, viz. Capt. Thomas Purfury, Capt. Edward Waters, Lieut. Thomas Willoughby, Lieut. George Thompson, Mr. Adam Thoroughgood, Mr. Lyonell Coulston, Mr. William Kempe and Mr. John Downman; which sayd comissioners, or any three of them whereof, Capt. Thomas Pursury or Lieut. Edward Waters to be alwaies one, shall have power and authority to heere and determine all such suits and controversies between party and party as exceede not the value of one hundred pounds of tobacco, especially that they take into theire care the conservation of the peace, the quiet government and safety of the people there residing or being, and that all orders and proclamations bee kepte and observed and according to the same to inflicte a punishment upon all delinquents either by fine or otherwise (such offences only excepted as concerne the taking away of life or member.) Provided alwaies, that it shall be lawful for the plaintiff or defendant in any suit before the said commissioners depending, to appeal to the cort at James Citty there holden by the Governor and Councill. And they are hereby required from tyme to tyme to keepe recordes of all judgments, orders and other matters of moment as by them shall bee concluded and agreed on. Given at James Citty, the 20th day of March, anno. Dom. 1628-9 and in the fourth yeare of the reigne of our soveraigne lord Charles by the grace of God of England,Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. and in the two and twentieth year of this plantation.”
A like commission was issued, on the same day, te
sundry other commissioners for holding monthly courts in the “upper partes.”
The remaining public papers of this period, consist
of proclamations, authorising individuals to trade in
Commissions. Monthly courts.
Right of appeal.
Records to be be kept.
certain parts of the colony, of letters to the privy coun. cil, and instructions to commissioners sent to Eugland on the affairs of the colony.
The answer of the General Assembly to the king's ietter above noticed, is headed thus:
“MARCH, 26th, 1628.” “THE GENERALL ASSEMBLY.”
“THE humble answere of the Governor and “Councell, togeather with the Burgesses of the seve“ rail plantations assembled in Virginia, unto his ma“jestics letter concerning our tobacco and other com“ modities.”
The introductory part of this letter, details in a firm, but respectful manner, the injuries to which the planters in Virginia had been subjected by the mere report that their tobacco was to be monopolised in England; that it had so discouraged the adventurers, that they were afraid to turn their attention to any other sub
jects, having no assurance of enjoying the fruits of
their labour; and seeing that all contracts had heretofore been concluded in England without their consent. That as to the other staple commodities recommended by the king, it was too great a work for their poor abilities. They then propose to contract with the king, for all their tobacco, at three shillings and six pence per pound. delivered here, and clear of freight or customs; or four shillings, if delivered in London, taking on themselves the dangers of the seas, and payment of freights, but not to pay any customs. And to insure the tobacco to be of good quality, they inform the king that it is all to be examined by men sworn for that purpose, before it is shipped. They request the king to take at least 500,000 weight, at the above price; and if he should not be disposed to take the jo. if any, that they may be permitted to ship it to the Low Countries, Ireland, Turkey or elsewhere. They offer the eontract for seven years, and request that if the consumption of England should exceed the supply from the Somer Islands, with the quantity above stipulated
that that quantity may be proportionably increased. In the event of the king's acceding to their terms, they request that the importation of Spanish tobacco may be prohibited ; and again repeat that they have taken special care to insure their tobacco to be of the best quality, and have appointed sworn triers to examine it after being cured and before it shall be shipped; that they had also ordered a proclamation to be made, requiring the planters to set their plants four feet and a half apart, and to gather 12 leaves only from a plant, instead of 25 or 30 as heretofore. That they had reduced the quantity to be planted as low as they well could, considering the population of the colony, and having a due regard to the culture of a sufficiency of corn.
As to pitch and tar, the country abounded in pine trees, from which it could be produced; but, owing to the want of horses and carriages, and the danger of sending the people into the woods, on account of the Indians, it was deemed inexpedient at that time, to attempt to make those articles for exportation.
Pot-ashes had formerly been made, but the planters were not acquainted with the process.
Pipe-staves, barrel-boards, and clapp-boards, could be had in great abundance, but the freight was too dear to render it an object to export them.
The iron ore at Falling Creek was esteemed of good quality, and considerable progress had been made in erecting a furnace, when the settlement and most of the workmen were cut off by the Indians, at the massacre, and the tools thrown into the river; and that the work could not be resumed without a fresh supply of workmen, money, tools, &c.
As to mines of gold, silver, copper, &c. they have great hopes that the mountains are very rich, from the discovery of a silver mine made nineteen years ago, at a place about four days’ journey from the falls of James river; but they have not the means of transporting the ore.
With respect to the planting of vines, they have great hope, that it will prove a beneficial commodity ; but the vignerors sent here either did not understand the business, or concealed their skill; for they spent their time to little purpose.