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Encyclopedia > London Company
Virginia Company of London Seal

The London Company (also called the Charter of the Virginia Company of London) was an English joint stock company established by royal charter by James I on April 10, 1606 with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America. It was one of two such companies, along with the Plymouth Company, that was granted an identical charter as part of the Virginia Company. The London Company was responsible for establishing the Jamestown Settlement, the first permanent English settlement in the present United States in 1607, and in the process of sending additional supplies, inadvertently settled the Somers Isles, alias Bermuda, the oldest-remaining English (since 1707, British) colony, in 1609. Virginia Company of London Seal Source: http://www. ... Virginia Company of London Seal Source: http://www. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification  -  by Athelstan 967  Area... A joint stock company is a type of business partnership in which the capital is formed by the individual contributions of a group of shareholders. ... James Stuart (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scots as James VI, and King of England and King of Ireland as James I. He ruled in Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567, when he was only one year old. ... April 10 is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 27 - The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins ending in their execution on January 31 May 17 - Supporters of Vasili Shusky invade the Kremlin and kill Premier Dmitri December 26 - Shakespeares King Lear performed in court Storm buries a village of St Ismails near... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... The 1606 grants by James I to the London and Plymouth companies. ... The 1606 grants by James I to the London and Plymouth companies. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


The territory granted to the London Company included the coast of North America from 34th parallel (Cape Fear) north to the 41st parallel (in Long Island Sound), but being part of the Virginia Company and Colony, The London Company owned a large portion of Atlantic and Inland Canada. The company was permitted by its charter to establish a 100 mile square (26,000 km²) settlement within this area. The portion of the company's territory north of the 38th parallel was shared with the Plymouth Company, with the stipulation that neither company found a colony within 100 miles (160 km) of each other. This article is about the geographical feature on the coast of North Carolina. ... The 41st parallel of north latitude forms the northern border of the U.S. states of Colorado and part of Utah, and the southern border of Wyoming and the panhandle of Nebraska. ... New York City waterways: 1. ...


On May 14, 1607, the London Company established the Jamestown Settlement on the James River about 40 miles upstream from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at Cape Henry. Later in 1607, the Plymouth Company established its Popham Colony in present day Maine, but it was abandoned after about a year. By 1609, the Plymouth Company had dissolved. As a result, the charter for the London Company was adjusted with a new grant that extended from "sea to sea" of the previously-shared area between the 34th and 40th parallel. It was amended in 1612 to include the new territory of Bermuda. May 14 is the 134th day of the year (135th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 20 - Tidal wave swept along the Bristol Channel, killing 2000 people. ... The James River at Cartersville The James River in the U.S. state of Virginia is 547. ... The Chesapeake Bay - Landsat photo The Chesapeake Bay where the Susquehanna River empties into it. ... Cape Henry is a cape on the Atlantic shore of Virginia. ... The site of the 1607 Popham Colony in present-day Maine is shown by Po on the map. ... Official language(s) None (English de facto; French is also an administrative language) Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 39th  - Total 33,414 sq mi (86,542 km²)  - Width 210 miles (338 km)  - Length 320 miles (515 km)  - % water 13. ...


The London Company struggled financially for a number of years, with results improving after sweeter strains of tobacco than the native variety were cultivated and successfully exported from Virginia as a cash crop beginning in 1612. In 1624, the company lost its charter, and Virginia became a royal colony. This article is about the product manufactured from Tobacco plants (Nicotiana spp. ... In agriculture, a cash crop is a crop which is grown for money. ...

Contents

History

"The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles", by Capt. John Smith
The 1606 grants by James I to the London and Plymouth companies. The overlapping area (yellow) was granted to both companies on the stipulation that neither found a settlement within 100 miles of each other. The location of the Jamestown Settlement is shown by "J"
The 1606 grants by James I to the London and Plymouth companies. The overlapping area (yellow) was granted to both companies on the stipulation that neither found a settlement within 100 miles of each other. The location of the Jamestown Settlement is shown by "J"
The 1609 grant to the Virginia Company of London "from sea to sea" is shown demarcated in red. The later grant to the Plymouth Council of New England is shown in green.

The business of the company was the settlement of the Virginia colony using, as the labour force, voluntary transportees under the customary indenture system whereby in exchange for seven years of labour for the company, the company provided passage, food, protection and land ownership. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (651x992, 580 KB) Summary Cover of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New=England, and the Summer Isles (The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Somers Isles), by Captain John Smith, 1624. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (651x992, 580 KB) Summary Cover of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New=England, and the Summer Isles (The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Somers Isles), by Captain John Smith, 1624. ... John Smith (1580 – June 21, 1631), was an English soldier, sailor, and author. ... The grants by James I of England to the London Company and Plymouth Company in 1606. ... The grants by James I of England to the London Company and Plymouth Company in 1606. ... Image File history File links Wpdms_virginia_company_plymouth_council. ... Image File history File links Wpdms_virginia_company_plymouth_council. ... An Indentured Servant (or in the U.S. bonded labourer) is a labourer under contract to work for an employer for a specific amount of time, usually seven to eight years, to pay off a passage to a new country or home. ...


In December 1606, the Virginia Company's three ships, containing 144 men and boys (40 died during the voyage), set sail. After an unusually long voyage of 144 days, they made landfall on April 26, 1607 at the southern edge of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, which they named Cape Henry. Under orders to select a site further inland, on May 14, 1607, these first settlers selected the site of Jamestown Island as the place to build their fort. April 26 is the 116th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (117th in leap years). ... Events January 20 - Tidal wave swept along the Bristol Channel, killing 2000 people. ... The Chesapeake Bay - Landsat photo The Chesapeake Bay where the Susquehanna River empties into it. ... Cape Henry is a cape on the Atlantic shore of Virginia. ... May 14 is the 134th day of the year (135th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 20 - Tidal wave swept along the Bristol Channel, killing 2000 people. ... Jamestown was a village on an island in the James River in Virginia, about 45 miles southeast of where Richmond, Virginia, is now. ...


In addition to survival, the early colonists had another pressing mission: to make a profit for the stockholders of the Virginia Company. Although the settlers were disappointed that gold did not wash up on the beach and gems did not grow in the trees, they realized there was great potential for wealth of other kinds in their new home. Early industries, such as glass manufacture, pitch and tar production and beer and wine making took advantage of natural resources and the land's fertility. From the outset it was thought that the abundance of timber would be the primary leg of the economy, as Britain's forests had long been felled. The seemingly inexhaustible supply of cheap American timber was to be the primary enabler of England's (and then Britain's) rise to maritime (merchant and naval) supremacy. However, the settlers could not devote as much time as the Virginia Company would have liked to their financial responsibilities. They were too busy trying to survive.


Within the three-sided fort erected on the banks of the James, the settlers quickly discovered that they were, first and foremost, employees of the Virginia Company of London, following instructions of the men appointed by the Company to rule them. In exchange, the laborers were armed and received clothes and food from the common store. After seven years, they were to receive land of their own. The gentlemen, who provided their own armor and weapons, were to be paid in land, dividends or additional shares of stock.


Initially, the colonists were governed by a president and seven-member council selected by the King. Leadership problems quickly erupted and Jamestown's first two leaders coped with varying degrees of success with sickness, Indian assaults, poor food and water supplies and class strife.


When Captain John Smith became Virginia's third president, he proved the strong leader that the colony needed. Industry flourished and relations with Chief Powhatan's people improved. In 1609, the Virginia Company received its Second Charter, which allowed the Company to choose its new governor from amongst its shareholders. Investment boomed as the Company launched an intensive recruitment campaign. Over 600 colonists set sail for Virginia between March 1608 and March 1609. John Smith (1580 – June 21, 1631), was an English soldier, sailor, and author. ... Chief Powhatan (detail of map published by John Smith (1612) Chief Powhatan ( 1547— 1618) , whose proper name was Wahunsenacawh or (in seventeenth century English spelling) Wahunsunacock, was the leader of the Powhatan (also spelled Powatan and Powhaten), a powerful tribe of Native Americans, speaking an Algonquian language, who lived in...


Unfortunately for these new settlers, Thomas Gates, Virginia's deputy governor, bound for the colony, was shipwrecked in Bermuda and did not assume his new post until 1610. When he arrived, he found only a fraction of the colonists had survived the infamous "Starving Time" of 1609-1610. All too soon, the Mother Country learned of Virginia's woeful state. The result was predictable: financial catastrophe for the Company. Many new subscribers reneged payment on their shares, and the Company became entangled in dozens of court cases. On top of these losses, the Company was forced to incur further debt when it sent hundreds more colonists to Virginia.


There was little to counter this crushing debt. No gold had been found in Virginia; trading commodities produced by exploitation of the raw materials found in the New World were minimal. Attempts at producing glass, pitch, tar and potash had been barely profitable and, regrettably, such commodities could be had far more cheaply on the other side of the Atlantic. The pitch drop experiment. ... Tar is a viscous black liquid derived from the destructive distillation of organic matter. ... Potash Potash (or carbonate of potash) is an impure form of potassium carbonate (K2CO3) mixed with other potassium salts. ...


Increasingly bad publicity, political infighting and financial woes led the Virginia Company to organize a massive advertising campaign. The Company plastered street corners with tempting broadsheets, published persuasive articles, and even convinced the clergy to preach of the virtues of supporting colonization. Before the Company was dissolved, it would publish 27 books and pamphlets promoting the Virginia venture.


To make shares more marketable, the Virginia Company changed its sales pitch. Instead of promising instant returns and vast profits for investors, the Company exploited patriotic sentiment and national pride. A stockholder was assured that his purchase of shares would help build the might of England, to make her the superpower she deserved to be. The heathen natives would be converted to the proper form of Christianity, the Church of England. People out of work could find employment in the New World. The standard of living would increase across the nation. How could any good, patriotic Englander resist?


The English rose to the bait. The gentry wished to win favor by proving its loyalty to the crown. The growing middle class also saw stock purchasing as a way to better itself. But the news was not all good. Although the population of Jamestown rose, high settler mortality kept profits unstable. By 1612, the Company's debts had soared to over £1000.


A third charter provided a short-term resolution to the Virginia Company's problems. The Company was permitted to run a lottery as a fundraising venture. Other attractive features of the charter allowed Virginia's assembly to act as the colony's legislature and also added 300 leagues of ocean to the colony's holdings, which would include Bermuda (sometimes known as Virgineola) as part of Virginia. But the colony was still on shaky ground until John Rolfe's successful experiment with tobacco as a cash crop provided a way to recoup financially. This article is about the Virginia colonist. ...


Unfortunately, by 1616, the Virginia Company suffered further adversity. The original settlers were owed their land and stock shares; initial investors at home were owed their dividends. The Company was forced to renege on its cash promises, instead distributing 50 acre (200,000 m²) lots in payment. The next year, the Company instituted the headright system, a way to bring more settlers to Virginia. Investors and residents were able to acquire land in paying the passage of new settlers. In most cases, these newcomers spent a period of time in servitude on the investor's land. Edwin Sandys, a leading force in the Virginia Company, strongly supported the headright system, for his goal was a permanent colony which would enlarge British territory, relieve the nation's overpopulation, and expand the market for English goods. Sir Thomas Smith, as the Company's Treasurer, had a different dream: the Virginia Company's mission was to trade and to make a profit. The headright system was used in Jamestown as an attempt to solve labor shortages due to the advent of the tobacco economy, which required large plots of land with many workers. ...

Saint George's town, in the Islands of Bermuda, or The Somers Isles, was founded by the Virginia Company in 1612, following the wrecking of the Company's flagship, the Sea Venture, in Bermuda in 1609 during the Third Supply to Jamestown. A second company, the Somers Isles Company, was formed by the same shareholders, and managed Bermuda independently from 1615 'til 1684.

In the end, it was Sandys' vision which prevailed. When he became Treasurer of the Company in 1619, he moved forward to populate the colony and earn a protective status for the tobacco crop which had become the cash crop of Virginia. At the same time, he urged colonists to diversify their plantings and thus become less reliant on only one staple. The colonists ignored this advice, to their later dismay. Image File history File links Bermuda-Harbour_and_Town_of_St_George. ... Image File history File links Bermuda-Harbour_and_Town_of_St_George. ... St. ... The coat of arms of Bermuda features a representation of the wreck of the Sea Venture The Sea Venture was a 17th-century English sailing ship, the wrecking of which in Bermuda is widely thought to have been the inspiration for Shakespeares The Tempest. ... The Third Supply was the first truly successful wave of colonization, in the first British settlement in the Americas; Jamestown, Virginia. ... The Somers Isles Company was formed in 1615 to operate the English colony of the Somers Isles, alias the Islands of Bermuda, as a commercial venture. ... This article is about the product manufactured from Tobacco plants (Nicotiana spp. ... In agriculture, a cash crop is a crop which is grown for money. ...


In 1621, the Company was in trouble; unpaid dividends and increased use of lotteries had made future investors wary. The Company debt was now over £9000. Worried Virginians were hardly reassured by the advice of pragmatic Treasurer Sandys, who warned that the Company "cannot wish you to rely on anything but yourselves." In March 1622, the Company's and the colony's situation went from dire to disastrous when the Powhatan Indians staged an uprising which wiped out a quarter of the European population of Virginia. When a fourth charter, severely reducing the Company's ability to make decisions in the governing of Virginia, was proposed by the Crown, subscribers rejected it. King James I forthwith changed the status of Virginia in 1624. Virginia was now a royal colony to be administered by a governor appointed by the King. The Virginia Assembly finally received royal approval, in 1627, and this form of government, with governor and assembly, would oversee the colony of Virginia until 1776, excepting only the years of the English Commonwealth. Chief Powhatan in a longhouse at Werowocomoco (detail of John Smith map, 1612) The Powhatan (also spelled Powatan and Powhaten), or Powhatan Renape (literally, the Powhatan Human Beings), is the name of a Native American tribe, and also the name of a powerful confederacy of tribes that they dominated. ... A royal colony is one that is under direct control of the king. ... The Commonwealth was the republican government which ruled first England and then the whole of Britain, Ireland, the colonies and other Crown possessions during the periods from 1649 (the monarch Charles I being beheaded on January 30 and An Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth being passed by the...


Bermuda had been separated, in 1614, when the Crown briefly took over its administration. In 1615, the shareholders of the Virginia Company created a new company, the Somers Isles Company, which continued to operate Bermuda, subsequently, also known officially as The Somers Isles (for the Admiral of the Virginia Company, Sir George Somers) until it, too, was dissolved in 1684. The Somers Isles Company was formed in 1615 to operate the English colony of the Somers Isles, alias the Islands of Bermuda, as a commercial venture. ... Admiral Sir George Somers (1554-1610) was a British naval hero. ...


Indian relationships

The instructions issued to Sir Thomas Gates, on November 20, called for a forcible conversion of Native Americans to Anglicanism and subordination to the colonial administration. The records of the company record a discussion during one of their first meetings about publishing a justification of their business enterprise and methods to "give adventurers, a clearness and satisfaction, for the justice of the action, and so encourage them". Others opposed this, arguing that "there is much a confession in every apology" and called for "quietness and no doubting" not wanting to create a public debate where Catholics and neutrals might attack them. Whereas Catholic arguments would be in support of Spanish legal claims to the New World under the Treaty of Tordesillas, it was feared that the neutral "pen-adversaries" might "cast scruples into our conscience" by criticising the lawfulness of the plantation. It was decided to forego such a publication of a justification. Sir Thomas Gates (fl. ... November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Olmec script These glyphs written in Epi-Olmec script, the earliest examples of writing in the Americas, give a calendar date of 7. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Anglicanism is the term used to encapsulate... Frontispiece of Peter Martyr dAnghieras De orbe novo (On the New World). Carte dAmérique, Guillaume Delisle, 1722. ... The Treaty of Tordesillas (Portuguese: Tratado de Tordesilhas, Spanish: Tratado de Tordesillas), signed at Tordesillas (now in Valladolid province, Spain), June 7, 1494, divided the world outside of Europe into an exclusive duopoly between the Spanish and the Portuguese along a north-south meridian 370 leagues (1550 km) west of...


However, in 1608, Sir Edward Coke, in his capacity as Lord Chief Justice, offered a ruling in Calvin's Case which went beyond the issue at hand: whether a Scotsman could seek justice at an English Court. Coke distinguished between aliens from nations at war with England and friendly aliens, those from nations in league with England. Friendly aliens could have recourse to English courts. But he also ruled that with "all infidels" (i.e. those from non-Christian nations) there could be no peace, and a state of perpetual hostility would exist between them and Christians. Sir Edward Coke Sir Edward Coke (pronounced cook) (1 February 1552 – 3 September 1634), was an early English colonial entrepreneur and jurist whose writings on the English common law were the definitive legal texts for some 300 years. ... The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales was, historically, the second-highest judge of the Courts of England and Wales, after the Lord Chancellor. ...


In 1609, the company issued instructions to kidnap Native American children so as to indoctrinate them with English values and religion. These instructions also sanctioned attacking the Iniocasoockes, the cultural leaders of the local Powhatans. However, it was only when Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, arrived, in 1610, that the Company was able to commence a war against the Powhatan with the First Anglo-Powhatan War. De La Warr was replaced by Sir Thomas Dale, who continued the war. It was during this period that Pocahontas married John Rolfe. The Powhatan (also spelled Powatan and Powhaten) were a very powerful tribe of Native Americans, speaking an Algonquian language, who lived in what is now Virginia at the time of the first European-Native encounters. ... Thomas West, 3rd (or 12th) Baron De La Warr (July 9, 1577 - June 7, 1618), was the Englishman for whom the state, river, and American Indian tribe called Delaware (in the United States) were named. ... The War between 1609 - 1613 the English and Indians in Jamestown was called the First Anglo-Powhatan War. ... Sir Thomas Dale was a British naval commander and colonial deputy-governor of Virginia. ... A 1616 engraving of Pocahontas by Simon van de Passe. ... This article is about the Virginia colonist. ...


The military offensive was accompanied by a propaganda war: Alderman Robert Johnson published Nova Britannia, in 1609, which compared Native Americans to wild animals--"heardes of deere in a forest". While it portrayed the Powhatans as peace loving, it nevertheless threatened to deal with any who resisted conversion to Anglicanism as enemies of 'their' country. (Johnson was the son-in-law of Sir Thomas Smith, leader of one of the court factions within the Company in London.) Sir Thomas Smith (December 23, 1513 - August 12, 1577), was an English scholar and diplomat. ...


In 1622, the Second Anglo-Powhatan War erupted. Its origins are disputed. English apologists for the company say that Opchanacanough initiated the war. Robert Williams, a contemporary Native American Law Professor, argues that Opchanacanough had secured concessions from Governor Yeardley which the company would not accept. Thus, Opchanacanough's attack, on March 22, 1622, may have been an attempt to defeat the colony before reinforcements arrived. 350 out of 1,240 colonists were killed. The Virginia Company quickly published an account of this attack which was steeped in Calvinist theology--the massacre was the work of providence in that it gave an excuse for the complete genocide of the Powhatan, and the building of settlements on their former towns. New orders called for a "perpetual war without peace or truce" "to root out from being any longer a people, so cursed a nation, ungrateful to all benefitte, and incapable of all goodnesses." The Second Anglo-Powhatan War began in 1644 as a last effort by the Indians to dislodge the Virginian settlers. ... Opchanacanough Opechancanough or Opchanacanough (1554?-1644)was a chief of the Powhatan Confederacy of what is now Virginia in the United States. ... March 22 is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 1 - In the Gregorian calendar, January 1 is declared as the first day of the year, instead of March 25. ... In an unadorned church, the 17th century congregation stands to hear the sermon. ...


Conversion to royal colony

In 1624, the Virginia Company lost its charter, and Virginia became a royal colony.


See also

This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

Further reading

  • The Three Charters of the Virginia Company of London edited and introduction by Samuel M. Bemiss, published by Virginia's 350th Anniversary Celebration Corp, 1957, Williamsburg, Virginia. ISBN 0-8063-5088-1
  • Dissolution of the Virginia Company: The Failure of a Colonial Experiment by Wesley Frank Craven, published by Oxford University Press, 1932, New York
  • The Virginia Company of London, 1606-1624, by Wesley Frank Craven, published by University Press of Virginia, 1957, Charlottesville, Virginia. ISBN 0-8063-4555-1
  • The First Seventeen Years: Virginia, 1607-1624, by Charles E. Hatch, Jr. ISBN 0-8063-4739-2
  • History of the Virginia Company of London with Letters to and from the First Colony Never Before Printed, by Edward D. Neill, originally published by Joel Munsell, 1869, Albany, New York, reprinted by Brookhaven Press ISBN 1-58103-401-6
  • Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Heart of A New Nation, by David A. Price, published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2003, New York

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Virginia Company (139 words)
The Virginia Company was formed with a charter from King James I in 1606.
The Company was a joint stock corporation charged with the settlement of Virginia.
The initial reaction to the Company was favorable but as the mortality rate rose and the prospect for profit grew dim, the support for it waned.
London Company: Information from Answers.com (2842 words)
The London Company (also called the Virginia Company of London) was an English joint stock company established by royal charter by James I on April 10 1606 with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.
As a result, the charter for the London Company was adjusted with a new grant that extended from "sea to sea" of the previously-shared area between the 34th and 40th parallel.
The business of the company was the settlement of the Virginia colony using as the labour force volunteer adventurers under the customary indenture system whereby in exchange for seven years of labour for the company, the company provided passage, food, protection and land ownership.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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