Second Charter of Virginia (1609)

Hening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at LargeHening's Statutes at Large

On May 23, 1609, King James I of England granted the following charter to the investors of the Virginia Company of London. It transferred control from the Crown to private investors, extended Virginia‘s borders from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and installed a new, more powerful governor who, it was hoped, would introduce discipline to Jamestown.


I. 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 many 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:

II. 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

— page 81 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

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 that they may, at convenient times, be ready at hand, to give their advice and assistance, upon all occasions requisite.

III. 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 special 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 Piercie, 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 John Scot, 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 Mansel, Knt. Sir Amias Preston, Knt. Sir Thomas Gates, Knt. Sir Anthony Ashly, Knt. Sir Michael Sandys, Knt. Sir Henry Carey, Knt. Sir Stephen Soame, Knt. Sir Callisthenes Brooke, Knt. Sir Edward Michelborn, Knt. Sir John Ratclifle, Knt.

— page 82 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

Sir Charles 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 Weynman, 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 Wolly, Knt. Sir Edward Waterhouse, Knt. Sir Henry Seekford Knt. Sir Edwin Sandys, Knt. Sir Thomas Waynam, Knt. Sir John Trevor, Knt. Sir Warwick Heele, Knt. Sir Robert Worth, Knt. Sir John Townsend, 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 Rowland Cotton, Knt. Dr. Matthew Sutcliffe, 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 Loyd Cpt. Slingesby, Captain Hawley, Captain Orme, Captain Woodhouse, Captain Mason, Captain Thomas Holcroft,; Captain Sohn Coke, Captain Holles, Captain William Proud, Captain Henry Woodliouse, Captain Richard Lindesey, Captain Dexter, Captain William Winter, Captain Pearse, Captain John Bingham, Captain Burray, Captain Thomas

— page 83 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

Conway, Captain Rookwood, 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 Waldoe, 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 Bingley, Esq. Thomas Watson, Esq. Richard Percival, Esq. John Mooore, Esq. Hugh Brooker, Esq. David Woodhouse, Esq. Anthony Aucher, Esq. Robert Boyer, Esq. Ralph Ewens, 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, Mercllant, 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 Nichols, 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 Nichols, 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, Edw’d Allen Tedder, Robert Hildebrand Sprinson, Arthur Mouse, John Gardiner, James Russel, Richard Caswell, Richard Evans, John Hawkins, Richard Kerril, Richard Brooke, Matthew Scrivener, gentleman, Wil-

— page 84 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

liam Stallenge, gentleman, Arthur Venn, gentleman, Sandys Webbe, gentleman, Michael Phettiplace, gentleman, William Phettiplace, gentleman, Ambrose Prusey, gentleman, John Taverner, gentleman, George Pretty, gentleman, Peter Latham, gentleman, Thomas Montford, gentleman. William Central, gentleman, Richard Wiffing, 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, Randal Carter, Othowell Smith, Thomas Hamond, 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 Kirton, 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 Moore, 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 Wynne, 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 King, Robert Koppin, James Askew, Christopher Holt, William Bardwell, Alexander Chiles, Lewis Tate, Edward Ditchfield, James Swifte, Richard Widdowes, goldsmith, Edmond Brudenell, Edward Burwell, John Hansford, Edward Wooller, William Palmer, haberdasher,

— page 85 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

John Badger, John Hodgson, Peter Mounsel, John Carril, John Bushridge, William Dun, Thomas Johnson, Nicholas Benson, Thomas Shipton, Nathaniel Wade, Randal Wetwood, Matthew Dequester, Charles Hawkins, Hugh Hamersley, Abraham Cartwright, George Bennet, William Cater, Richard Goddart, 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, John 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 Facit, 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 Joban, Ironmonger, George Yeardley, gentleman, Henry Shelly, John Prat, Thomas Church, draper, William Powel, Gentleman, Richard Frith, gentleman, Thomas Wheeler, draper, Francis Haselrig, gentleman, Hugh Shipley, gentleman, John Andrews, the elder, doctor of Cambridge, Francis Whistler, gentleman, John Vassal, gentleman, Richard

— page 86 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

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 Low, 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, Humphrey 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 Pashall, grocer, Timothy Bathurst, grocer, Giles Parslow, grocer, Robert Milmay, grocer, Richard Johnson, grocer, William Johnson, vintner, 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, Vrian 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 Stockley, merchant-taylor, the company of mercers, the company of grocers, the company of drapers, the company of

— page 87 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

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 armorers, 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 inholders, 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 Buxon, merchant-taylor, George Hankinson, Thomas Seyer, gentleman, Matthew Cooper, George Buttler, gentleman, Thomas Lawson, gentleman, Edward Smith, haberdasher, Steven Sparrow, John Jones, merchant, Reynolds, brewer, Thomas Plummer, merchant, James 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 com-

— page 88 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

mon 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:

IV. 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.

V. 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.

VI. 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 politick or corporate, or to any adventurer or adventurers, undertaker or undertakers of any disco-

— page 89 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

veries, 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 for ever; 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.

VII. And nevertheless, our will and pleasure is, and we do, by these presents, charge, command, warrant and authorise, that the said treasurer, and company, or their successors, or the major part of them, which shall be present and assembled for that purpose, shall from time to time, under their common seal, distribute, convey, assign, and set over, such particular portions of lands, tenements, and hereditaments, by these presents formerly granted, unto such our loving subjects, naturally born, or denizens, or others, as well adventurers as planters, as by the said company (upon a commission of survey and distribution, executed and returned for that purpose) shall be nominated, appointed, and allowed; wherein our will and pleasure is, that respect be had, as well of the proportion of the adventurer, as to the special service, hazard, exploit, or merit of any person so to be recompensed, advanced, or rewarded.

VIII. And forasmuch, as the good and prosperous success of the said plantation cannot but chiefly depend, next under the blessing of God, and the support of our royal authority, upon the provident and good direction of the whole enterprize, by a careful and understanding council, and that it is not convenient, that all the adventurers shall be so often drawn to meet and assemble, as shall be requisite for them to have meetings and conference about the affairs thereof; therefore we do ordain, establish and confirm, that there shall be perpetually one

— page 90 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

council here resident, according to the tenour of our former letters patents; which council shall have a seal, for the better government and administration of the said plantation, besides the legal seal of the company or corporation, as in our former letters patents is also expressed.

IX. And further, We establish and ordain, That Henry, Earl of Southampton, William, Earl of Pembroke, Henry, Earl of Lincoln, Thomas, Earl of Exeter, Robert, Lord Viscount Lisle, Lord Theophilus Howard, James, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, Edward, Lord Zouche, Thomas, Lord Lawarr, William, Lord Mounteagle, Edmund, Lord Sheffield, Grey, Lord Chandois, John, Lord Stanhope, George, Lord Carew, Sir Humfrey Weld, Lord Mayor of London, Sir Edward Cecil, Sir William Wade, Sir Henry Nevil, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Oliver Cromwell, Sir Peter Manwood, Sir Thomas Challoner, Sir Henry Hobert, Sir Francis Bacon, Sir George Coppin, Sir John Scot, Sir Henry Carey, Sir Robert Drury, Sir Horatio Vere, Sir Edward Conway, Sir Maurice Berkeley, Sir Thomas Gates, Sir Michael Sandys, Sir Robert Mansell, Sir John Trevor, Sir Amias Preston, Sir William Godolphin, Sir Walter Cope, Sir Robert Killigrew, Sir Henry Fanshaw, Sir Edwin Sandys, Sir John Watts, Sir Henry Montague, Sir William Homney, Sir Thomas Roe, Sir Baptist Hicks, Sir Richard Williamson, Sir Stephen Poole, Sir Dudley Digges, Christopher Brooke, Esq. John Eldred, and Jolm Wolstenholme shall be our Council for the said Company of Adventurers and Planters in Virginia.

X. And the said Thomas Smith we do ordain to be treasurer of the said company; which treasurer shall have authority to give order for the warning of the council, and summoning the company, to their courts and meetings.

XI. And the said council and treasurer, or any of them, shall be from henceforth, nominated, chosen, continued, displaced, changed, altered, and supplied, as death, or other several occasions, shall require, out of the company of the said adventurers, by the voice of the greater part of the said company and adventurers, in their assembly for that purpose: provided always, that every counsellor, so newly elected, shall be presented to the lord chancellor of England, or to the lord high treasurer of Eng-

— page 91 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

land, or to the lord chamberlain of the household of us, our heirs, and successors for the time being, to take his oath of a counsellor to us, our heirs and successors, for the said company of adventurers and colony in Virginia.

XII. And we do by these presents, of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, for us, our heirs and successors, grant unto the said treasurer and company, and their successors, that if it happen, at any time or times, the treasurer for the time being to be sick, or to have any such cause of absence from the city of London, as shall be allowed by the said council, or the greater part of them, assembled, so as he cannot attend the affairs of that company, in every such case, it shall and may be lawful for such treasurer for the time being, to assign, constitute, and appoint, one of the council or company, to be likewise allowed by the council, or the greater part of them, assembled, to be the deputy treasurer of the said company; which deputy shall have power to do and execute all things, which belong to the said treasurer, during such time, as such treasurer shall be either sick, or otherwise absent, upon cause allowed of by the said council, or the major part of them, as aforesaid, so fully and wholly, and in as large and ample manner and form, to all intents and purposes, as the said treasurer, if he were present, himself might or could do and execute the same.

XIII. And further, of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, for us, our heirs, and successors, we do, by these presents, give and grant full power and authority to our said council here resident, as well at this present time, as hereafter from time to time, to nominate, make, constitute, ordain, and confirm, by such name or names, stile or stiles, as to them shall seem good, and likewise to revoke, discharge, change, and alter, as well all and singular governors, officers, and ministers, which already have been made, as also which hereafter shall be by them thought fit and needful to be made or used for the government of the said colony and plantation;

XIV. And also to make, ordain, and establish all manner of orders, laws, directions, instructions, forms and ceremonies of government and magistracy, fit and necessary for and concerning the government of the said colony and plantation; and the same at all times hereafter, to

— page 92 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

abrogate, revoke, or change, not only within the precincts of the said colony, but also upon the seas in going and coming, to and from the said colony, as they, in their good discretion, shall think to be fittest for the good of the adventurers and inhabitants there.

XV. And we do also declare, that, for divers reasons and considerations us thereunto especially moving, our will and pleasure is, and we do hereby ordain, that immediately from and after such time, as any such governor or principal officer, so to be nominated and appointed, by our said council, for the government of the said colony, as aforesaid, shall arrive in Virginia, and give notice unto the colony there resident of our pleasure in this behalf, the government, power, and authority of the president and council, heretofore by our former letters patents there established, and all laws and constitutions, by them formerly made, shall utterly cease and be determined, and all officers, governors, and ministers formerly constituted or appointed, shall be discharged, any thing, in our former letters patents concerning the said plantation contained, in any wise to the contrary notwithstanding; straightly charging and commanding the president and council now resident in the said colony upon their allegiance, after knowledge given unto them of our will and pleasure by these presents signified and declared, that they forthwith be obedient to such governor or governors as by our said council here resident shall be named and appointed as aforesaid, and to all directions, orders and commandments, which they shall receive from them, as well in the present resigning and giving up of their authority, offices, charge and places, as in all other attendance as shall be by them, from time to time, required.

XVI. And we do further, by these presents ordain and establish, that the said treasurer and council here resident, and their successors, or any four of them, being assembled (the treasurer being one) shall, from time to time, have full power and authority to admit and receive any other person into their company, corporation, and freedom; and further, in a general assembly of the adventurers, with the consent of the greater part, upon good cause, to disfranchise and put out any person or persons, out of the said freedom or company.

XVII. And we do also grant and confirm for us, our heirs and successors, that it shall be lawful for the said

— page 93 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

treasurer and company, and their successors, by direction of the governors there, to dig and to search for all manner of mines of gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, tin, and all sorts of minerals, as well within the precinct aforesaid, as within any part of the main land, not formerly granted to any other; and to have and enjoy the gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin, and all other minerals to be gotten thereby, to the use and behoof of the said company of planters and adventurers; yielding thereof, and paying yearly, unto us, our heirs and successors, as aforesaid.

XVIII. And we do further, of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, for us, our heirs, and successors, grant by these presents, to and with the said treasurer and company, and their successors, that it shall be lawful and free for them, and their assigns, at all and every time and times hereafter, out of our realm of England, and out of all other our dominions, to take and lead into the said voyages, and for and towards the said plantation, and to travel thitherwards, and to abide and inhabit there in the said colony and plantation, all such and so many of our loving subjects, or any other strangers, that will become our loving subjects and live under our obedience, as shall willingly accompany them in the said voyage and plantation; with sufficient shipping, armour, weapons, ordinance, munition, powder, shot, victuals, and such merchandises or wares as are esteemed by the wild people in those parts, cloathing, implements, furniture, cattle, horses, and mares, and all other things necessary for the said plantation, and for their use, and defence, and trade with the people there; and passing and returning to and fro; without yielding or paying subsidy, custom, imposition, or any other tax or duty, to us, our heirs, or successors, for the space of seven years from the date of these presents: provided that none of the said persons be such, as shall be hereafter, by especial name, restrained by us, our heirs, and successors.

XIX. And for their further encouragement, of our special grace and favour, we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs, and successors, yield and grant, to and with the said treasurer and company, and their successors, and every of them, their factors and assigns, that they and every of them, shall be free of all subsidies and customs in Virginia, for the space of one and twenty years, and from all taxes and impositions, for ever, upon any goods or

— page 94 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

merchandises at any time or times hereafter, either upon importation thither, or exportation from thence, into our realms of England, or into any other of our realms or dominions, by the said treasurer and company, and their successors, and their deputies, factors, or assigns, or any of them: except only the five pounds per cent. due for custom, upon all such goods and merchandizes as shall be brought or imported into our realm of England, or any other of these our dominions, according to the antient trade of Merchants; which five pounds per cent. only being paid, it shall be thenceforth lawful and free for the said adventurers, the same goods and merchandizes to export, and carry out of our said dominions, into foreign parts, without any custom, tax, or other duty, to be paid to us, our heirs, or successors, or to any other our officers or deputies: provided, that the said goods and merchandizes be shipped out, within thirteen months, after their first landing within any part of those dominions.

XX. And we do also grant and confirm to the said treasurer and company, and their successors, as also to all and every such governor, or other officers and ministers, as by our said council shall be appointed to have power, authority of government and command, in and over the said colony or plantation; that they, and every of them, shall and lawfully may, from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, for their several defence and safety, encounter, expulse, repel, and resist, by force and arms, as well by sea as by land, and all ways and means whatsoever, all and every such person and persons whatsoever, as (without the special licence of the said treasurer and company, and their successors) shall attempt to inhabit, within the said several precincts and limits of the said colony and plantation; and also, all and every such person and persons whatsoever, as shall enterprise or attempt, at any time hereafter, destruction, invasion, hurt, detriment, or annoyance, to the said colony and plantation, as is likewise specified in the said former grant.

XXI. And that it shall be lawful for the said treasurer and company, and their successors, and every of them, from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, and they shall have full power and authority, to take and surprise, by all ways and means whatsoever, all and every person and persons whatsoever, with their ships, goods, and other furniture, trafficking in any harbour, creek, or

— page 95 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

place within the limits or precincts of the said colony and plantation, not being allowed by the said company to be adventurers or planters of the said colony, until such time, as they, being of any realigns and dominions under our obedience, shall pay, or agree to pay, to the hands of the treasurer, or of some other officer deputed by the said governor of Virginia (over and above such subsidy or custom as the said company, is or hereafter shall be, to pay) five pounds per cent. upon all goods and merchandises so brought in thither, and also five per cent. upon all goods by them shipped out from thence; and being strangers, and not under our obedience, until they have paid (over and above such subsidy and custom, as the said treasurer and company, or their successors, is, or hereafter shall be, to pay) ten pounds per cent. upon all such goods, likewise, carried in and out, any thing in the said former letters patents to the contrary notwithstanding; and the same sums of money and benefit, as aforesaid, for and during the space of one and twenty years, shall be wholly employed to the benefit, use, and behoof of the said colony and plantation; and after the said one and twenty years ended, the same shall be taken to the use of us, our heirs and successors, by such officers and ministers, as by us, our heirs, or successors, shall be thereunto assigned and appointed, as is specified in the said former letters patents.

XXII. Also, we do, for us, our heirs, and successors, declare by these presents, that all and every the persons, being our subjects, which shall go and inhabit within the said colony and plantation, and every their children and posterity, which shall happen to be born within any of the limits thereof, shall have and enjoy all liberties, franchizes, and immunities of free denizens and natural subjects, within any of our other dominions to all intents and purposes, as if they had been abiding and born, within this our realm of England, or in any other of our dominions.

XXIII. And forasmuch as it shall be necessary for all such our loving subjects, as shall inhabit within the said precincts of Virginia, aforesaid, to determine to live together, in the fear and true worship of Almighty God, Christian peace and civil quietness, each with other, whereby every one may, with more safety, pleasure and profit, enjoy that, whereunto they shall attain with great pain, and peril; we for us, our heirs, and successors, are

— page 96 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

likewise pleased and contented, and by these presents, do give and grant unto the said treasurer and company, and their successors, and to such governors, officers, and ministers, as shall be, by our said council, constituted and appointed, according to the natures and limits of their offices and places respectively, that they shall and may, from time to time, forever hereafter, within the said precincts, of Virginia, or in the way by sea thither and from thence, have full and absolute power and authority to correct, punish, pardon, govern, and rule all such the subjects of us, our heires, and successors as shall from time to time adventure themselves in any voyage thither, or that shall at any time hereafter, inhabit in the precincts and territories of the said colony as aforesaid, according to such orders, ordinances, constitutions, directions, and instructions, as by our said council as aforesaid, shall be established; and in defect thereof in case of necessity, according to the good discretions of the said governor and officers respectively, as well in cases capital and criminal, as civil, both marine and other; so always as the said statutes, ordinances and proceedings as near as conveniently may be, be agreeable to the laws, statutes, government, and policy of this our realm of England.

XXIV. And we do further, of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, grant, declare, and ordain, that such principal governor, as from time to time, shall duly and lawfully be authorized and appointed, in manner and form in these presents heretofore expressed, shall have full power and authority, to use and exercise martial law, in cases of rebellion or mutiny, in as large and ample manner, as our lieutenants in our counties, within this our realm of England, have or ought to have, by force of their commissions of lieutenancy.

XXV. And furthermore, if any person or persons, adventurers or planters of the said colony, or any other, at any time or times hereafter, shall transport any monies, goods, or merchandises, out of any of our kingdoms with a pretence or purpose, to land, sell, or otherwise dispose of the same, within the limits or bounds of the said colony, and yet nevertheless, being at sea, or after he hath landed within any part of the said colony, shall carry the same

— page 97 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

into any other foreign country, with a purpose there to sell and dispose thereof; that then all the goods and chattels of the said person, or persons, so offending and transported, together with the ship or vessel wherein such transportation was made, shall be forfeited to us, our heirs and successors.

XXVI. And further, our will and pleasure is, that in all questions and doubts, that shall arise, upon any difficulty of construction or interpretation of any thing, contained either in this, or in our said former letters patents, the same shall be taken and interpreted, in most ample and beneficial manner for the said treasurer and company, and their successors, and every member thereof.

XXVII. And further, we do, by these presents, ratify and confirm unto the said treasurer and company, and their successors, all the privileges, franchises, liberties, and immunities, granted in our said former letters patents, and not in these our letters patents, revoked, altered, changed, or abridged.

XXVIII. And finally, our will and pleasure is, and we do further hereby, for us, our heirs, and successors, grant and agree, to and with the said treasurer and company, and their successors, that all and singular person and persons, which shall at any time or times hereafter adventure any sum or sums of money, in and towards the said plantation of the said colony in Virginia, and shall be admitted by the said council and company, as adventurers of the said colony, in form aforesaid, and shall be enrolled in the book or records of the adventurers of the said company, shall and may be accounted, accepted, taken, held, and reputed adventurers of the said colony, and shall, and may enjoy all and singular grants, privileges, liberties, benefits, profits, commodities and immunities, advantages, and emoluments, whatsoever, as fully, largely, amply, and absolutely, as if they, and every of them, had been precisely, plainly, singularly, and distinctly, named and inserted in these our letters patents.

XXIX. And lastly, because the principal effect, which we can desire or expect of this action, is the conversion and reduction of the people in those parts unto the true worship of God and Christian religion, in which respect we should be loath that any person should be permitted

— page 98 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

to pass, that we suspected to affect the superstitions of the church of Rome; we do hereby declare, that it is our will and pleasure, that none be permitted to pass in any voyage, from time to time to be made into the said country, but such as first shall have taken the oath of supremacy; for which purpose, we do, by these presents, give full power and authority, to the treasurer for the time being, and any three of the council, to tender and exhibit the said oath, to all such persons, as shall, at any time be sent and employed in the said voyage. Although express mention of true yearly value or certainty of the premisses, or any of them), or of any other gifts or grants by us, or any of our progenitors or predecessors to the aforesaid treasurer and company heretofore made in these presents, is not made; or any act, statute, ordinance, provision, proclamation, or restraint, to the contrary hereof had, made, ordained, or provided, or any other thing, cause, or matter, whatsoever, in any wise notwithstanding. In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness ourself at Westminster, the 23d day of May, in the seventh year of our reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the ****

Per ipsum Regem.


Sir Edwin Sandys, a member of the Council of the Virginia Company and an outspoken opponent of James I, likely helps draw up the company's second charter, transferring control of the colony from the king to a governor appointed by the council.
APA Citation:
The English Crown. Second Charter of Virginia (1609). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
The English Crown. "Second Charter of Virginia (1609)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 12 Apr. 2024
Last updated: 2023, August 24
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.