Richard BALL (1645-1677) & Elizabeth LINTON (1645-1672)

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Richard BALL (1645-1677) & Elizabeth LINTON (1645-1672)

(9th cousin Annie Lucretia CRONK (1888-1956) 

(9th cousin once removed of Kirk Louis LINTON (1914-1987)



Terry Louis Linton © 1978

Linton Research Fund Inc., Publication © 1995

The Virginia Lintons (Brief Historical Sketch) (Terry L. Linton, © 1995) (Linton Research Fund, Inc., Publication © 1995) (printed in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. USA.)

LINTON & BIRD Chronicles, Volume VIII, Issue 4 Winter © 2013, ISSN 1941-3521




In 1978, while doing the requirements to be certified by the National Association of Certified Genealogists, I ran across the Reportory Of The Wracke William Strachey A True Reportory of the Wracke in the Library of Congress. I spent well over six months researching and hand coping parts of it. This is a letter writen by William Strackey (1572-1621) in 1610. William Strachey was an english writer whose works are among the primary sources for the early history of the english colonization of North America. William  was a member of the Virginia Council, served as secretary and recorder for the Virginia colony from 1610 until 1611, and was one of the first historians of the Jamestown settlement.


Elizabeth LINTON (1645-1672)


Elizabeth LINTON Ball (1645-1672) was the 9th cousin once removed of Kirk Louis LINTON (1914-1987), Kirk was the 6th cousin five times removed of President George WASHINGTON (1731-1799). George’s mother, Mary BALL (1708-1789) was the granddaughter of Elizabeth LINTON (1645-1672) and Richard BALL (1645-1677) of Hunting Creek Plantation, of ode King George, County (now Fairfax), Virginia. Elizabeth was born, at Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland and married Richard there in 1668. Richard BALL was born at Barkham Manor, in Parish Barkham, County Berkshire, England. Richard was the son of William BALL (1614-1680) & Hannah ATHEROLD (1619-1695) 1


Elizabeth LINTON & Richard BALL had nine known children:

i. William BALL (1660-?) Hunting Creek Plantation, of ode King George County, Virginia.

ii. Francis BALL (1662-?) Hunting Creek Plantation, of ode King George County, Virginia.

iii. Hannah BALL (1664-?) Hunting Creek Plantation, of ode King George County, Virginia.

iv. John BALL (1670-?) Hunting Creek Plantation, of ode King George County, Virginia.

v. Alling BALL (1670-?) Hunting Creek Plantation, of ode King George, County, Virginia.

vi. Richard BALL (1672-?) Hunting Creek Plantation, of ode King George County, Virginia.

vii. Samuel BALL (1674-?) Hunting Creek Plantation, of ode King George County, Virginia.

viii Edward BALL (1678-?) Middlesex County, Virginia.



Elizabeth LINTON (1645-1672) was the daughter of Moses LINTON (1613-1693) & Elizabeth. Moses was born in 1613 in Kecoughtan, Elizabeth Cittie, ode Princes Ann County, Virginia. According to historian, William Strachey (1572-1621) 2 , Kecoughtan was the name of the Algonquian Native Americans village living there when the English explorers and colonists arrived and received their first welcome in America in 1607, in the present day Hampton Roads area, Virginia. The tribe remained generally friendly to them until the summer of 1609, when President John Smith (1580-1631) sent Captaine Martin to forcibly take over the island inhabited by the Nansemonds, across the mouth of the James River. A company of 17 men mutinied from Martin and absconded to Kecoughtan to buy corn, where they were all killed. Martin abandoned the Nansemond’s island and returned to Jamestown.


In 1608, Elizabeth’s grandfather and brothers had been ship wicked on the Somers Isles, now Saint Charles, Bermuda, with Master William Strachey (1572-1621). Esquire, William LINTON 1590-?) later left the Kecoughtan, Elizabeth Cittie Colony and his brothers and resettled on Somers Isles. William became a sugarcane plantation owner there and left many Linton descendants including an island named after him, Linton Island. 3


The "Sea Venture" was the flagship of Admiral Sir George Somers’ relief fleet dispatched from England in June, 1609 to re-supply and revive the starving Jamestown colony in Virginia. In late July the fleet sailed into a hurricane and Admiral Sir George Somers’ flagship was separated from the other vessels. "For three days and four nights, all hands — crew and passengers, noblemen and commoners — pumped, bailed, cast trunks and barrels overboard, and jettisoned much of the ship’s rigging, while sailors, lighting their way with candles, stuffed the leaking hull with whatever came to hand, even beef from the ship’s larder," Columbia University historian Alden T. Vaughan has said. "Many distraught souls, resigned to a watery death, bid their friends farewell or took refuge in drink. But ‘it pleased God’, [a] survivor gratefully recalled, to push the ‘Sea Venture’ within three-quarters of a mile of Bermuda, where it ‘fast lodged and locked’ between coral boulders. "All 150 passengers and crew rode the ship’s boats to solid land." The castaways spent 10 months in Bermuda, constructing two new vessels — "Deliverance" and "Patience" — out of local cedar and parts which were salvaged from the "Sea Venture." 4 5 They eventually reached Virginia in May, 1610 but when reports of their time in Bermuda reached England plans were set in motion which resulted in the permanent settlement of the island in 1612.


Carpenter Moses and family set sail on June 2, 1609, and departed London harbor. Their intended destination was Jamestown, Virginia. The Sea Venture wrecked between two reefs off the shores of Bermuda, on July 28, 1609. All of approximately 150 passengers safely made land. Two pinnaces, were built during the following nine months, the "Deliverance" and the "Patience". These vessels sailed on to Virginia on May 10, 1610, leaving two men behind. 6     Carpenter Moeses Lynton & family were listed as being on board the pinnaces Deliverance. 7


According to William Strachey (1572-1621) 8in 1610, the colonists including Captain Radcliffe and Elizabeth’s grandfather, carpenter, William LINTON Esquire (1590-?) and his bothers, Moses, John and Joseph Linton then built Fort Algernon at Old Point Comfort beside the main Kecoughtan village. 9 After the arrival of Lord Delaware, the English seized the natives' land on July 9, 1610 by luring them out of their village with a tambourine player, then attacking them. The surviving Kecoughtans fled to merge with other Powhatan groups. On the same date in 1610, the Elizabeth City Parish was founded. The area and the parish has since been continuously occupied. Renamed St. John's Episcopal Church in 1830, the parish is the oldest English-speaking parish in the United States today. Kecoughtan became part of Elizabeth River Shire in 1634, and Elizabeth City County in 1637. 10 In the 1690s, Kecoughtan became part of the newly incorporated Town of Hampton, which later became an independent city. Elizabeth City County and its only incorporated town, Phoebus, both agreed to a consolidation with Hampton in 1952, forming the current City of Hampton. 11


Elizabeth LINTON Ball was the 5th great-granddaughter of John LINTON (1450-?) of Ode Wynkill, Parish, Wynkill, County Staffordshire, England.


Please Note: Kirk Louis LINTON’s (1914-1987) mother, Annie Lucretia CRONK (1888-1956) was the 13th great-granddaughter of this same John LINTON of Ode Wynkill. Kirk’s father, Charles Edward LINTON (1890-1958) Linton ancestors were Quakers who had settled Bucks County, Pennsylvanica and originally from Linton Parish in Northumbria, Scotland.




1.  The Virginia Lintons (Brief Historical Sketch) (book, Terry L. Linton, © 1995) (Linton Research Fund, Inc., Publication © 1995) (printed in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. USA.)

2.  Smith, John (1907) [1624]. The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles, Together with The True Travels, Adventures and Observations, and A Sea Grammar. Edited by J. MacLehose.

3.  Jourdain, Sylvester (1610). A Discovery of the Bermudas. London: John Windet.

4.  Strachey, William (1625). "True Reportory of the Wrack, and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates Knight" (msdoc). In Purchas, Samuel. Haklvytvs posthumus, or, Pvrchas his Pilgrimes 4. London: William Stansby.

5. Wright, P.M. (1962) The Sea Venture Story. Bermuda Press.

6.  Masden, RG (December 1905). "Ships in the Reign of James 1st". Transactions of the Royal Historical Society (New Series) (Royal Historical Society) 19: 309–342. doi:10.2307/3678236.

7.  Lefroy, John Henry (1879). Memorials of the Discovery and Early Settlement of The Bermudas or Somers Isles, 1515–1685 I. London: Published 1877 Longmans, Green, and Company. Memorials of the discovery and early settlement of the Bermudas or Somers Islands, 1515-1685. Comp. from the colonial records and other original sources, by Major-General J. H. Lefroy. Published 1879 by Longmans, Green, and co. in London.

8.  Strachey, William (1625). "True Reportory of the Wrack, and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates Knight" (msdoc). In Purchas, Samuel. Haklvytvs posthumus, or, Pvrchas his Pilgrimes 4. London: William Stansby.

9.   The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 14, page 39-44

10.  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Elizabeth City County Virginia, Encyclopedia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press

11.  Hampton History and Facts. ( 1978) Published by City of Hampton, Virginia.


Above: Historic Voyage Sea Venture and Consorts at Sea 1609 a 1984 oil painting by Deryck Foster

In 1978, while doing the requirements to be certified by the National Association of Certified Genealogists, I ran across the Reportory Of The Wracke William Strachey A True Reportory of the Wracke in the Library of Congress. I spent well over six months researching and hand coping parts of it. This is a letter writen by William Strackey (1572-1621) in 1610. William Strachey was an english writer whose works are among the primary sources for the early history of the english colonization of North America. William 1621) was a member of the Virginia Council, served as secretary and recorder for the Virginia colony from 1610 until 1611, and was one of the first historians of the Jamestown settlement.


Historic Voyage Sea Venture and Consorts at Sea 1609 a 1980's oil painting by Deryck Foster



KNOW THAT upon Friday late in the evening [1 June 1609], we brake ground out of the sound of Plymouth, our whole fleet then consisting of seven good ships and two pinnaces, all which from the said second of June unto the twenty-three of July kept in friendly consort together, not a whole watch at any time losing the sight each of other. Our course when we came about the height of between 26 and 27 degrees we declined to the northward, and according to our governor’s instructions altered the trade and ordinary way used heretofore by Dominico and Mevis (Nevis) in the West Indies, and found the wind to this course indeed as friendly as, in the judgment of all seamen, it is upon a more direct line, and by Sir George Summers, our admiral, had been likewise in former time sailed-being a gentleman of ap-proved assuredness and ready knowledge in seafaring actions, having often carried command and chief charge in many ships royal of Her Majesty’s, and in sundry voyages made many defeats and attempts in the time of the Spaniard’s quarreling with us upon the islands and Indies, etc.


We had followed this course so long as now we were within seven or eight days at the most, by Captain Newport’s reckoning, of making Cape Henry upon the coast of Virginia, when on Saint James his day, July 24, being Monday, preparing for no less all the black night before–the clouds gathering thick upon us, and the winds singing and whistling most unusually, which made us to cast off our pinnace, towing the same until then astern--a dreadful storm and hideous began to blow from out the northeast, which swelling and roaring, as it were, by fits, some hours with more violence than others, at length did beat all light from heaven, which like an hell of darkness turned black upon us, so much the more fuller of horror, as in such cases horror and fear use to overrun the troubled and overmastered senses of all, which, taken up with amazement, the ears- lay so sensible to the terrible cries and murmurs of the winds and distraction of our company, as who was most armed and best prepared was not a little shaken. For surely (noble lady) as death comes not so sudden nor apparent, so he comes not so elvish and painful to men, especially even then in health and perfect habitudes of body, as at sea; who comes at no time so welcome but our frailty (so weak is the hold of hope in miserable demonstrations of danger) it makes guilty of many contrary changes and conflicts. For indeed death is accompanied at no time nor place with circumstances every way so unactable of particularities of goodness and inward comforts as at sea. For it is most true there arishth commonly no such unmerciful tempest, compound of so many contrary and diverse nations, but that it worketh upon the whole frame of the body, and most loathsomely affecteth all the powers thereof. And the manner of the sickness it lays upon the body, being so unsufferable, gives not the mind any free and quiet time to use her judgment and empire. Which made the poet say,


Hostium uxores puerique caecos


sentiant motus orientis Haedi &


aequoris nigri fiemitum & trementes


verbere ripas.


["May our enemies' wives and children feel the blind motions of rising (Haedus), and the roaring of the black sea and the shore quaking with the blow."]


For four and twenty hours the storm in a restless tumult had blown so exceedingly as we could not apprehend in our imaginations any possibility of greater violence. Yet did we still find it not only more terrible but more constant, fury added to fury, and one storm urging a second more outrageous than the former, whether it so wrought upon our fears or indeed met with new forces.


Sometimes strikes in our ship amongst women and passengers not used to such hurly and discomforts made us look one upon the other with troubled hearts and panting bosoms, our clamors drown’d in the winds, and the winds in thunder. Prayers might well be in the heart and lips, but drowned in the outcries of the officers, nothing heard that could give comfort, nothing seen that might encourage hope. It is impossible for me, had I the voice of Stentor, and expression of as many tongues as his throat of voices, to express the outcries and miseries, not languishing but wasting his spirits and art, constant to his own principles, but not prevailing.


Our sails, wound up, lay without their use. And if at any time we bore but a hullock, or half forecourse [storm sail], to guide her before the sea, six and sometimes eight men were not enough to hold the whipstaff in the steerage and the tiller below in the gunner room, by which may be imagined the strength of the storm in which the sea swelled above the clouds and gave battle unto heaven.


It could not be said to rain. The waters like whole rivers did flood in the air. And this I did still observe that whereas upon the land when a storm hath poured itself forth once in drifts of rain, the wind, as beaten down and vanquished therewith, not long after endureth. Here the glut of water, as if throttling the wind erewhile, was no sooner a little emptied and qualified but instantly the winds, as having gotten their mouths now free and at liberty, spake more loud, and grew more tumultuous and malignant. What shall I say?- — Winds and seas were as mad as fury and rage could make them. For mine own part, I had been in some storms before, as well upon the coast of Barbary and Algier in the Levant, and once more distressful in the Adriatic Gulf, in a bottom of Candy [a ship of Crete], so as I may well say, Ego quid sit ater Adriae novi sinus & quid albus peccet Iapex. ["I know what the black gulf of the Adriatic is like, and the mischief of the white west-nor'wester."] Yet all that I had ever suffered gathered together might not hold comparison with this. There was not a moment in which the sudden splitting or instant oversetting of the ship was not expected.


Howbeit this was not all. It pleased God to bring a greater affliction yet upon us, for in the beginning of the storm we had received likewise a mighty leak, and the ship in every joint almost having spewed out her oakum before we were aware (a casualty more desperate than any other that a voyage by sea draweth with it) was grown five foot suddenly deep with water above her ballast, and we almost drowned within whilest we sat looking when to perish from above. This imparting no less terror than danger ran through the whole ship with much fright and amazement, startled and turned the blood, and took down the braves of the most hardy mariner of them all, insomuch as he that before happily felt not the sorrow of others now began to sorrow for himself when he saw such a pond of water so suddenly broken in, and which he knew could not without present avoiding but instantly sink him, so as joining only for his own sake, not yet worth the saving in the public safety.


There might be seen master, master’s mate, boatswain, quarter-master, coopers, carpenters, and who not with candles in their hands, creeping along the ribs viewing the sides, searching every corner, and listening in every place, if they could hear the water run. Many a weeping leak was this way found and hastily stop’d, and at length one in the gunner room made up with I know not how many pieces of beef. But all was to no purpose: The leak (if it were but one) which drunk in our greatest seas and took in our destruction fastest could not then be found, nor ever was, by any labor, counsel, or search. The waters still increasing, and the pumps going, which at length choked with bringing up whole and continual biscuit-and indeed all we had, ten thousand weight it was conceived as most likely that the leak might be sprung in the bread room, whereupon the carpenter went down and rip’d up all the room, but could not find it so.


I am not able to give unto Your Ladyship every man’s thought in this perplexity to which we were now brought; but to me this leakage appeared as a wound given to men that were before dead. The Lord knoweth I had as little hope as desire of life in the storm, and in this it went beyond my will because beyond my reason why we should labor to preserve life. Yet we did, either because so dear are a few ling’ring hours of life in all mankind or that our Christian know-ledges taught us how much we owed to the rites of nature, as bound not to be false to ourselves, or to neglect the means of our own preservation, the most despairful things amongst men being matters of no wonder nor moment with Him who is the rich fountain and admirable essence of all mercy.


Our governor, upon the Tuesday morning (at what time by such who had been below in the hold the leak was first discovered) had caused the whole company-about one hundred and forty, besides women-to be equally divided into three parts, and opening the ship in three places: under the forecastle, in the waist, and hard by the bittake’-appointed each man where to attend; and thereunto every man came duly upon his watch, took the bucket or pump for one hour, and rested another. Then men might be seen to labor (I may well say) for life, and the better sort, even our governor and admiral themselves, not refusing their turn, and to spell each the other to give example to other. The common sort stripped naked as men in galleys the easier both to hold out, and to shrink from under the salt water, which continually leapt in among them, kept their eyes waking and their thoughts and hands working, with tired bodies and wasted spirits, three days and four nights destitute of outward com-fort and desperate of any deliverance, testifying how mutually willing they were yet by labor to keep each other from drowning, albeit each one drowned whilest he labored.


Once, so huge a sea brake upon the poop and quarter upon us as it covered our ship from stern to stem. Like a garment or a vast cloud, it filled her brim full for a while within from the hatches up to the spar deck. This source or confluence of water was so violent as it rush’d and carried the helm-man from the helm, and wrested the whipstaff out of his hand, which so flew from side to side that when he would have seized the same again, it so tossed him from starboard to larboard as it was God’s mercy it had not split him. It so beat him from his hold, and so bruised him, as a fresh man, hazarding in by chance, fell fair with it, and by main strength bearing somewhat up, made good his place, and with much clamor encouraged and called upon others, who gave her now up rent in pieces and absolutely lost.


Our governor was at this time below at the capstan, both by his speech and authority heartening every man unto his labor. It struck him from the place where he sat and groveled him, and all us about him on our faces, beating together with our breaths all thoughts from our bosoms else than that we were now sinking. For my part, I thought her already in the bottom of the sea; and I have heard him say, wading out of the flood thereof, all his ambition was but to climb up above hatches to die in aperto coelo ["Under the open sky."] and in the company of his old friends. It so stun’d the ship in her full pace that she stirred no more than if she had been caught in a net or than as if the fabulous remora had stuck to her forecastle.2 Yet, without bearing one inch of sail, even then she was making her way nine or ten leagues in a watch. One thing, it is not without his wonder whether it were the fear of death in so great a storm or that it,pleased God to be gracious unto us: There was not a passenger, gentleman or other, after he began to stir and labor but was able to relieve his fellow and make good his course. And it is most true such as in all their lifetimes had never done hours’ work before (their minds now helping their bodies) were able twice forty-eight hours together to toil with the best.


During all this time, the heavens look’d so black upon us that it was not possible the elevation of the Pole might be observed, nor a star by night, not sunbeam by day was to be seen. Only upon the Thursday night, Sir George Summers, being upon the watch, had an apparition of a little round light like a faint star, trembling and streaming along with a sparkling blaze half the height upon the mainmast, and shooting sometimes from shroud to shroud, tempting to settle as it were upon any of the four shrouds. And for three or four hours together, or rather more, half the night it kept with us, running sometimes along the main yard to the very end, and then returning; at which Sir George Summers called divers about him and showed them the same, who observed it with much wonder and carefulness. But upon a sudden, towards the morning watch, they lost the sight of it and knew not what way it made.


The superstitious seamen make many constructions of this sea fire, which nevertheless is usual in storms. The same it may be which the Grecians were wont in the Mediterranean to call "Castor and Pollux," of which, if one only appeared without the other, they took it for an evil sign of great tempest. The Italians, and such who lie open to the Adriatic and Tyrrhene Sea, call it a "sacred body" (corpo aancto). The Spaniards call it Saint Elmo, and have an authentic and miraculous legend for it. Be it what it will, we laid other foundations of safety or ruin than in the rising or falling of it. Could it have served us now miraculously to have taken our height by, it might have strucken amazement and a reverence in our devotions, according to the due of a miracle. But it did not light us any whit the more to our known way, who ran now as do hoodwinked men at all adventures, sometimes north and northeast, then north and by west, and in an instant again varying two or three points, and sometimes half the compass.


East and by south we steered away, as much as we could to bear upright, which was no small carefulness nor pain to do, albeit we much unrigged our ship, threw overboard much luggage, many a trunk and chest (in which I suffered no mean loss), and staved many a butt of beer, hogsheads of oil, cider, wine, and vinegar, and heaved away all our ordnance on the starboard side, and had now purposed to have cut down the mainmast the more to lighten her, for we were much spent, and our men so weary as their strengths together failed them with their hearts, having travailed now from Tuesday till Friday morning, day and night, without either sleep or food. For the leakage taking up all the hold, we could neither come by beer nor fresh water; fire we could keep none in the cloakroom to dress any meat, and carefulness, grief, and our turn at the pump or bucket were sufficient to hold sleep from our eyes.


And surely, madam, it is most true there was not any hour (a matter of admiration) all these days in which we freed not twelve hundred barrios of water, the least whereof contained six gallons, and some eight, besides three deep pumps continually going, two beneath at the capstan and the other above in the half deck, and at each pump four thousand strokes at the least in a watch, so as I may well say every four hours we quitted one hundred tons of water. And from Tuesday noon till Friday noon, we bailed and pumped two thousand ton, and yet, do what we could, when our ship held least in her (after Tuesday night second watch) she bore ten foot deep, at which stay our extreme working kept her one [for] eight glasses, forbearance whereof had instantly sunk us. And it being now Friday, the fourth morning, it wanted little but that there had been a general determination to have shut up hatches, and commending our sinful souls to God, committed the ship to the mercy of the sea. Surely that night we must have done it, and that night had we then perished.


But see the goodness and sweet introduction of better hope by our merciful God given unto us: Sir George Summers, when no man dreamed of such happiness, had discovered and cried LAND! Indeed the morning, now three quarters spent, had won a little clearness from the days before, and it being better surveyed, the very trees were seen to move with the wind upon the shore side. Whereupon our governor commanded the helm-man to bear up. The boatswain sounding at the first found it thirteen fathom, and when we stood a little in, seven fathom; and presently heaving his lead the third time had ground at four fathom. And by this we had got her within a mile under the southeast point of the land, where we had somewhat smooth water. But having no hope to save her by coming to an anchor in the same, we were enforced to run her ashore as near the land as we could, which brought us within three quarters of a mile offshore; and by the mercy of God unto us, making out our boats, we had ere night brought all our men, women, and children, about the number of one hundred and fifty, safe into the island.


We found it to be the dangerous and dreaded island, or rather islands, of the Bermuda, whereof let me give Your Ladyship a brief description before I proceed to my narration; and that the rather, because they be so terrible to all that ever touched on them, and such tempests, thunders, and other fearful objects are seen and heard about them that they be called commonly "the Devil’s Islands," and are feared and avoided of all sea travelers alive above any other place in the world. Yet it pleased our merciful God to make even this hideous and hated place both the place of our safety and means of our deliverance.


And hereby also I hope to deliver the world from a foul and general error: it being counted of most that they can be no habitation for men, but rather given over to devils and wicked spirits; whereas indeed we find them now by ‘experience to be as habitable and commodious as most countries of the same climate and situation, insomuch as if the entrance into them were as easy as the place itself is contenting, it had long ere this been inhabited as well as other islands. Thus shall we make it appear that truth is the daughter of time, and that men ought not to deny everything which is not subject to their own sense.


The Bermudas be broken islands, five hundred of them in manner of an archipelagos (at least if you may call them all "islands" that lie how little soever into the sea and by themselves) of small compass, some larger yet than other, as time and the sea hath won from them and eaten his passage through, and all now lying in the figure of a croissant, within the circuit of six or seven leagues at the most, albeit at first it is said of them that they were thirteen or fourteen leagues and more in longitude, as I have heard. For no greater distance is it from the northwest point to Gates his Bay as by this map Your Ladyship may see, in which Sir George Summers, who coasted in his boat about them all, took great care to express the same exactly and full, and made his draft perfect for all good occasions, and the benefit of such who either in distress might be brought upon them or make sail this way.


It should seem by the testimony of Gonzales Ferdinand us Aviates, in his book entitle The Summary or Abridgment of his General History of the West Indies, written to the Emperor Charles the Fifed, that they have been indeed of greater compass (and I easily believe it) than they are now, who thus saith, "In the year 1515, when I came first to inform Your Majesty of the state of the things in India, and was the year following in Flanders, in the time of your most fortunate success in these your kingdoms of Aragon and Castile; whereas at that voyage I sailed above the Island Bermudas, otherwise called Gearset, being the farthest of all the islands that are yet found at this day in the world, and arriving there at the depth of eight yards of water, and distant from the land as far as the shot of a piece of ordnance, I determined to send some of the ship to land, as well to make search of such things as were there as also to leave in the island certain hogs for increase. But the time not serving my purpose by reason of contrary wind, I could bring my ships no nearer-the island being twelve leagues in length and sixteen in breadth, and about thirty in circuit, lying in the thirty-three degrees of the north side." Thus far he.


True it is the main island, or greatest of them now, may be some sixteen miles in length east-northeast and west-southwest, the longest part of it, standing in thirty-two degrees and twenty minutes, in which is a great bay on the north side in the northwest end, and many broken islands in that sound, or bay, and a little round island at the southwest end. As occasions were offered, so we gave titles and names to certain places.


These islands are often afflicted and rent with tempests-great strokes of thunder, lightning, and rain in the extremity of violence which (and it may well be) hath so sundered and torn down the rocks, and wherries whole quarters of islands into the main sea some six, some seven leagues, and is like in time to swallow them all, so as even in that distance from the shore there is no small danger of them and with them, of the storms continually raging from them, which once in the full and change commonly of every moon (winter or summer) keep their unchangeable round, and rather thunder than blow from every corner about them, sometimes forty-eight hours together; especially if the circle which the philosophers call "halo" were (in our being there) seen about the moon at any season, which bow indeed appeared there often and would be of a mighty compass and breadth. I have not observed it anywhere one quarter so great. Especially about the twentieth of March, I saw the greatest, when followed upon the eve’s eve of the Annunciation of Our Lady the mightiest blast of lightning and` most terrible rap of thunder that ever astonied mortal men, I think. In August, September, and until the end of October, we had very hot and pleasant weather, only (as I say) thunder, lightning, and many scattering showers of rain, which would pass swiftly over, and yet fall with such force and darkness for the time as if it would never be clear again. We wanted not any; and of rain more in summer than in winter.


And in the beginning of December we had great store of hail, the sharp winds blowing northerly, but it continued not. And to say truth, it is wintry or summer weather there according as those north and northwest winds blow. Much taste of this kind of winter we had, for those cold winds would suddenly alter the air. But when there was no breath of wind to bring the moist air out of the seas from the north and northwest, we were rather weary of the heat than pinched with extremity of cold. Yet the three winter months-December, January, and February-the winds kept in those cold corners, and indeed then it was heavy and melancholy being there. Nor were the winds more rough in March than in the forehand months, and yet even then would the birds breed. I think they bred there most months in the year. In September and at Christmas I saw young birds, and in February, at which time the mornings are there, as in May in England, fresh and sharp.


Well may the Spaniards and these Biscay pilots, with all their traders into the Indies, pass by these islands as afraid (either bound out or homewards) of their very meridian, and leave the fishing for the pearl (which some say, and I believe well, is as good there as in any of their other Indian islands, and whereof we had some trial) to such as will adventure for them. The seas about them are so full of breaches as with those dangers they may well be said to be the strongest situate in the world. I have often heard Sir George Summers and Captain Newport say how they have not been by any chance or discovery upon their like. It is impossible without great and perfect knowledge and search first made of them to bring in a bauble boat so much as of ten ton without apparent ruin, albeit within there are many fair harbors for the greatest English ship. Yea, the argosies of Venice may ride there with water enough, and safe landlocked. There is one only side that admits so much as hope of safety by many a league, on which (as before described) it pleased God to bring us. We had not come one man of us else ashore, as the weather was. They have been ever therefore left desolate and not inhabited.


The soil of the whole island is one and the same, the could dark, red, sandy, dry, and unactable, I believe, of any of our commodities or fruits. Sir George Summers, in the beginning of August, squared out a garden by the quarter-the quarter being set down before a goodly bay upon which our governor did first leap ashore, and therefore called it (as aforesaid) Gates his Bay, which opened into the east, and into which the sea did ebb and flow according to their tides-and sowed muskmelons, peas, onions, radish, lettuce, and many English seeds and kitchen herbs, all which in some ten days did appear above ground. But whether by the small birds, of which there be many kinds, or by flies-worms I never saw any, nor any venomous thing as toad or snake, or any creeping beast hurtful, only some spiders which, as many affirm, are signs of great store of gold. But they were long and slender-leg spiders, and whether venomous or no I know not. I believe not since we should still find them amongst our linen in our chests and drinking cans; but we never received any danger from them. A kind of melolontha, or black beetle, there was which bruised gave a savor like many sweet and strong gums punned together — whether, I say, hundred by these or by the condition or vice of the soil, they came to no proof nor thrived.


It is like enough that the commodities of the other western islands would prosper there, as vines, lemons, oranges, and sugar canes. Our governor made trial of the latter, and buried some two or three in the garden could, which were reserved in the wrack amongst many which we carried to plant here in Virginia; and they began to grow, but the hogs breaking in both rooted them up and ate them.


There is not through the whole islands either champion ground, valleys, or fresh rivers.


They are full of shows (copses) of goodly cedar, fairer than ours here of Virginia, the berries whereof our men seething, straining, and letting stand some three or four days made a kind of pleasant drink. These berries are of the same bigness and color of Corinth [currants, full of little stones, and very restringent or hard building. Peter Martin saith that at Alexandria in Egypt there is a kind of cedar which the Jews dwelling there affirm to be the cedars of Libanus, which bear old fruit and new all the year, being a kind of apple which taste like prunes. But then neither those there in the Bermudas nor ours here in Virginia are of that happy kind.


Likewise there grow great store of palm trees, not the right Indian palms, such as in Saint John Port-Rico are called cocos, and are there full of small fruits like almonds of the bigness of the grains in pomegranates, nor of those kind of palms which bears dates, but a kind of simerons, or wild palms, in growth, fashion, leaves, and branches resembling those true palms. For the tree is high and straight, sappy and spongeous, unfirm for any use, no branches but in the uppermost part thereof, and in the top grow leaves about the head of it, the most inmost part whereof they call palmetto, and it is the heart and pith of the same trunk, so white and thin as it will peel off into pleats as smooth and delicate as white satin into twenty folds, in which a man may write as in paper, where they spread and fall downward about the tree like an overblown rose or saffron flower not early gathered. So broad are the leaves as an Italian umbrello. A man may well defend his whole body under one of them from the greatest storm rain that falls. For they being stiff and smooth, as if so many flags were knit together, the rain easily slideth off. We oftentimes found growing to these leaves many silkworms, involved therein like those small worms which Acosta writeth of, which grew in the leaves of the tunal tree, of which being dried the Indians make their cochineal, so precious and merchantable. With these leaves we thatched our cabins, and roasting the palmetto, or soft top thereof, they had a taste like fried melons. And being sod they ate like cabbages, but not so offensively thankful to the stomach. Many an ancient burgher was therefore heaved at, and fell not for his place but for his head. For our common people, whose bellies never had ears, made it no breach of charity in their hot bloods and tall stomachs to murder thousands of them. They bear a kind of berry black and round, as big as a damson, which about December were ripe and luscious. Being scalded whilest they are green, they eat like bullaces. These trees shed their leaves in the winter months, as withered or burnt with the cold blasts of the north wind, especially those that grow to the seaward; and in March there burgeon new in their room fresh and tender.


Other kinds of high and sweet-smelling woods there be, and divers colors: black, yellow, and red, and one which bears a round blue berry, much eaten by our own people, of a styptic quality and rough taste on the tongue, like a sloe, to stay or bind the flux, which the often eating of the luscious palm berry would bring them into. For the nature of sweet things is to cleanse and dissolve.


A kind of peas, of the bigness and shape of a Catherine pear, we found growing upon the rocks, full of many sharp subtle pricks as a thistle, which we therefore called "the prickle pear," the outside green, but being opened, of a deep murrey, full of juice like a mulberry, and just of the same substance and taste; we both ate them raw and baked.


Sure it is that there are no rivers nor running springs of fresh water to be found upon any of them. When we came first, we digged and found certain gushings and soft bubblings, which being either in bottoms or on the side of hanging ground were only fed with rain water, which nevertheless soon sinketh into the earth and vanisheth away, or emptieth itself out of sight into the sea, without any channel above or upon the superficies of the earth. For according as their rains fell, we had our wells and pits, which we digged, either half full or absolute exhausted and dry, howbeit some low bottoms which the continual descent from the hills filled full, and in those flats could have no passage away, we found to continue as fishing ponds or standing pools, continually summer and winter full of fresh water.


The shore and bays round about, when we landed first, afforded great store of fish, and that of divers kinds and good. But it should seem that our fires, which we maintained on the shore's side, drave them from us, so as we were in some want until we had made a flat bottom gondol [a] of cedar with which we put off farther into the sea, and then daily hooked great store of many kinds, as excellent angelfish, salmon, peal, bonitos, stingray, cavally, snappers, hogfish, sharks, dogfish, pilchards, mullets, and rockfish, of which be divers kinds. And of these our governor dried and salted and, barreling them up, brought to sea five hundred. For he had procured salt to be made with some brine, which happily was preserved, and once having made a little quantity, he kept three or four pots boiling, and two or three men attending nothing else in an house some little distance from his bay, set up on purpose for the same work.


Likewise in Furbusher’s Building Bay we had a large seine, or trammel net, which our governor caused to be made of the deer toils which we were to carry to Virginia, by drawing the masts more straight and narrow with rope yarn, and which reached from one side of the dock to the other, with which, I may boldly say, we have taken five thousand of small and great fish at one hale, as pilchards, breams, mullets, rockfish, etc., and other kinds for which we have no names. We have taken also from under the broken rocks crayfishes oftentimes greater than any of our best English lobsters; and likewise abundance of crabs, oysters, and whelks. True it is for fish in every cove and creek we found snaules and schools in that abundance as, I think, no island in the world may have greater store or better fish. For they, sucking of the very water which descendeth from the high hills mingled with juice and verdor of the palms, cedars, and other sweet woods-which likewise make the herbs, roots, and weeds sweet which grow about the banks-become thereby both fat and wholesome, as must those fish needs be gross, slimy, and corrupt the blood which feed in fens, marishes, ditches, muddy pools, and near unto places where much filth is daily cast forth.


Unscaled fishes, such as Junius calleth molles Pisces, as trenche(r)s, eel, or lampreys, and such feculent and dangerous snakes, we never saw any, nor may any river be envenomed with them (I pray God) where I come.


I forbear to speak what a sort of whales we have seen hard aboard the shore, followed sometime by the swordfish and the thresher, the sport whereof was not unpleasant: the swordfish with his sharp and needle fin pricking him into the belly when he would sink and fall into the sea; and when he startled upward from his wounds, the thresher with his large fins like flails beating him above water. The examples whereof gives us (saith Aviates) to understand that in the selfsame peril and danger do men live in this mortal life wherein is no certain security, neither in high estate nor low.


Fowl there is great store, small birds, sparrows fat and plump like a bunting, bigger than ours, robins of divers colors green and yellow, ordinary and familiar in our cabins, and, other of less sort; white and gray heronshews, bitterns, teal, snites, crows, and hawks, of which in March we found divers aeries, (and] goshawks and tassels (tercels), oxenbirds, cormorants, baldcoots, moorhens, owls, and bats in great store. And upon New Year’s Day in the morning, our governor being walked forth with another gentleman, Master James Swift, each of them with their pieces killed a wild swan in a great sea water bay, or pond, in our island. A kind of web=footed fowl there is, of the bigness of an English green plover, or sea mew, which all the summer we saw not, and in the darkest nights of November and December (for in the night they only feed) they would come forth, but not fly far from home, and hovering in the air and over the sea, made a strange hollow and harsh howling. Their color is inclining to russet, with white bellies, as are likewise the long feathers of their wings russet and white. These gather themselves together and breed in those islands which are high, and so far alone into the sea that the wild hogs cannot swim over them; and there in the ground they have their burrows, like conies in a warren, and so brought in the loose could, though not so deep; which birds with a light bough in a dark night, as in our lowbelling, we caught. I have been at the taking of three hundred in an hour, and we might have laden our boats. Our men found a pretty way to take them, which was by standing on the rocks or sands by the seaside, and holloing, laughing, and making the strangest outcry that possibly they could, with the noise whereof the birds would come flocking to that place, and settle upon the very arms and head of him that so cried, and still creep nearer and nearer, answering the noise themselves; by which our men would weigh them with their hand, and which weighed heaviest they took for the best and let the others alone; and so our men would take twenty dozen in two hours of the chiefest of them; and they were a good and well-relished fowl, fat and full as a partridge. In January we had great store of their eggs, which are as great as an hen’s egg, and so fashioned and white-shelled, and have no difference in yolk nor white from an hen’s egg. There are thousands of these birds, and two or three islands full of their burrows, whither at any time in two hours’ warning we could send our cockboat and bring home as many as would serve the whole company; which birds, for their blindness (for they see weakly in the day) and for their cry and hooting, we called the "sea owl." They will bite cruelly with their crooked bills.


We had knowledge that there were wild hogs upon the island at first by our own swine preserved from the wrack and brought to shore. For they straying into the woods, an huge wild boar followed down to our quarter, which at night was watched and taken in this sort: One of Sir George Summers’ men went and lay among the swine. When the boar being come and groveled by the sows, he put over his hand and rubbed the side gently of the boar, which then lay still, by which means he fast’ned a rope with a sliding knot to the hinder leg, and so took him, and after him in this sort two or three more.


But in the end (a little business over), our people would go s-hunting with our ship dog, and sometimes bring home thirty, some-times fifty boars, sows, and pigs in a week alive. For the dog would fasten on them and hold whilest the huntsmen made in. And there be thousands of them in the islands, and at that time of the year-in August, September, October, and November-they were well fed with berries that dropped from the cedars and the palms. And in our quarter we made sties for them, and gathering of these berries served them twice a day, by which means we kept them in good plight. Aid when there was any fret of weather (for upon every increase of wind the billow would be so great as it was no putting out with our gondol, or canoe) that we could not fish nor take tortoises, then we killed our hogs. But in February, when the palm berries began to be scant or dry, and the cedar berries failed two months sooner, true it is the hogs grew poor. And being taken so, we could not raise them to be better, for besides those berries we had nothing wherewith to frank them. But even then the tortoises came in again, of which we daily both turned up great store, finding them on land as also sculling after them in our boat, struck them with an iron goad and sod, baked, and roasted them.


The tortoise is reasonable toothsome, some say wholesome meat. I am sure our company liked the meat of them very well. And one tortoise would go further amongst them than three hogs. One turtle, for so we called them, feasted well a dozen messes, appointing six to every mess. It is such a kind of meat as a man can neither absolutely call fish nor flesh, keeping most what in the water, and feeding upon sea grass like a heifer in the bottom of the coves and bays, and laying their eggs (of which we should find five hundred at a time in the opening of a she-turtle) in the sand by the shore side, and so covering them close, leave them to the hatching of the sun, like the manatee at Saint Dominique which made the Spanish friars, at their first arrival, make some scruple to eat them on a Friday because in color and taste the flesh is like to morsels of veal. Concerning the laying of their eggs and hatching of their young, Peter Martyr writeth thus in his Decades of the Ocean: At such time as the heat of nature moveth them to generation, they came forth of the sea, and making a deep pit in the sand, they lay three or four hundred eggs therein. When they have thus emptied their bag of conception, they put as much of the same again into the pit as may satisfy to cover the eggs, and so resort again unto the sea, nothing careful of their succession. At the day appointed of nature to the procreation of these creatures, there creepeth out a multitude of tortoises as it were pismires out of an anthill, and this only by the heat of the sun, without any help of their parents. Their eggs are as big as geese eggs; and themselves grown to perfection, bigger than great round targets.






Actions and occurrents whiles they continued in the


islands - Ravens sent for Virginia - Divers mutinies - Paine


executed - Two pinnaces built.


SO SOON as we were a little settled after our landing, with all the conveniency we might, and as the place and our many wants would give us leave, we made up our longboat (as Your Ladyship hath heard) in fashion of a pinnace, fitting her with a little deck made of the hatches of our ruin’d ship, so close that no water could go in her, gave her sails and oars; and entreating with our master’s mate, Henry Ravens, who was supposed a sufficient pilot, we found him easily won to make over therewith as a bark of aviso for Virginia; which being in the height of thirty-seven degrees, five degrees from the island which we were, might be some one hundred and forty


leagues from us, or thereabouts (reckoning to every degree that lies northeast and westerly twenty-eight English leagues); who, the twenty-eight of August being Monday, with six sailors and our cape merchant, Thomas Whittingham, departed from us out of Gates his Bay, but to our much wonder returned again upon the Wednesday night after, having attempted to have got clear of the island from the north-northeast to the southwest, but could not, as little water as she drew (which might not be above twenty inches), for shoals and breaches; so as he was fain to go out from Summers’ Creeks and the same way we came in on the south-southeast- of the islands; and from thence we (he?) made to sea the Friday after the first of September, promising if he lived and arrived safe there to return unto us the next new moon with the pinnace belonging to the colony there. According unto which, instructions were directed unto the new lieutenant governor and council from our governor here, for which the islands were appointed carefully to be watched, and fires prepared as beacons to have directed and wafted him in. But two moons were wasted upon the promontory before mentioned, and gave many a long and wished look round about the horizon from the northeast to the southwest, but in vain, discovering nothing all the while, which way soever we turned our eye, but air and sea.


You may please, excellent lady, to know the reason which moved our governor to dispatch this longboat was the care which he took for the estate of the colony in this his enforced absence. For by a long-practiced experience, foreseeing and fearing what innovation and tumult might happily arise amongst the younger and ambitious spirits of the new companies to arrive in Virginia, now coming with him along in this same fleet, he framed his letters to the colony, and by a particular commission confirmed Captain Peter Win his lieu-tenant governor, with an assistance of six councilors, writing withal to divers and such gentlemen of quality and knowledge of virtue and to such lovers of goodness in this cause whom he knew, entreating them by giving examples in themselves of duty and obedience to -assist likewise the said lieutenant governor against such as should attempt the innovating of the person (now named by him) or form of government, which in some articles he did likewise prescribe unto them; and had fair hopes all should go well if these his letters might arrive there, until such time as either some ship there (which he fairly believed) might be moved presently to adventure for him or that it should please the right honorable the lords and the rest of His Majesty’s council in England to address thither the right honorable the Lord Lawar (one of more eminency and worthiness), as the project was before his coming forth, whilest by their honorable favors a charitable consideration in like manner might be taken of our estates to redeem us from hence; for which purpose likewise our governor directed a particular letter to the council in England, and sent it to the forehand Captain Peter Winne, his now-to-be-chosen lieutenant governor, by him to be dispatched (which is the first) from thence into England.


In his absence, Sir George Summers coasted the islands, and drew the former plat of them, and-daily fished and hunted for our whole company until the seven and twentieth of November, when then well perceiving that we were not likely to heal from Virginia, and conceiving how the pinnace which Richard Frubbusher was a-building would not be of burthen sufficient to transport all our men from thence into Virginia, especially considering the season of the year wherein we were likely to put off, he consulted with our governor that if he might have two carpenters (for we had four, such as they were) and twenty men over with him into the main island, he would quickly frame up another little bark to second ours, for the better fitting and conveyance of our people. Our governor, with many thanks as the cause required, cherishing this so careful and religious consideration in him, and whose experience likewise was somewhat in these affairs, granted him all things suitable to his desire and to the furthering of the work; who therefore had made ready for him all such tools and instruments as our own use required not. And for him were drawn forth twenty of the ablest and stoutest of the company, and the best of our men to hew and square timber, when himself then with daily pains and labor wrought upon a small vessel which was soon ready as ours-at which we leave him awhile busied, and return to ourselves.


In the mean space did one Frubbusher, born at Gravesend, and at his coming forth now dwelling at Lime House, a painful and well-experienced shipwright and skillful workman, labor the building of a little pinnace, for the furtherance of which the governor dispensed with no travail of his body, nor forbare any care or study of mind, persuading as much and more an ill-qualified parcel of people by his own performance than by authority, thereby to hold them at their work, namely to fell, carry, and saw cedar fit for the carpenter’s purpose. For what was so mean whereto he would not himself set his hand, being therefore up early and down late? Yet nevertheless were they hardly drawn to it, as the tortoise to the enchantment, as the proverb is. But his own presence and hand being set to every mean labor and employed so readily to every office made our people at length more diligent and willing to be called thereunto where they should see him before they came-in which we may observe how much example prevails above precepts, and how readier men are to be led by eyes than ears.


And sure it was happy for us, who had now run this fortune and were fallen into the bottom of this misery, that we both had our governor with us, and one so solicitous and careful, whose both ex-ample, as I said, and authority could lay shame and command upon our people. Else, I am persuaded, we had most of us finished our days there, so willing were the major part of the common sort, especially when they found such a plenty of victuals, to settle a foundation of ever inhabiting there, as well appeared by many practices of theirs, and perhaps of some c f the better sort.


Lo, what are our affections and passions if not rightly squared? How irreligious and irregular they express us!-not perhaps so ill as we would be, but yet as we are: Some dangerous and secret dis-contents nourished amongst us had like to have been the parents of bloody issues and mischiefs. They began first in the seamen, who in time had fastened onto them, by false baits, many of our landmen likewise, and some of whom, for opinion of their religion, was carried an extraordinary and good respect. The angles wherewith chiefly they thus hooked in these disquieted pools were how that in Virginia nothing but wretchedness and labor must be expected, with many wants; and a churlish entreaty, there being [there] neither that fish, flesh, nor fowl which here -- without wasting on the one part or watching on theirs, or any threat’ning and air of authority -- at ease and pleasure might be enjoyed; and since both in the one and the other place they were, for the time, to lose the fruition both of their friends and country, as good and better were it for them to repose and seat them where they should have the least outward wants the while.


This thus preached and published each to other, though by such who never had been more onward towards Virginia than before this voyage a sculler could happily row him (and what hath a more adamantive power to draw unto it the consent and attraction of the idle, untoward, and wretched number of the many than liberty and fullness of sensuality?) begat such a murmur and such a discontent and disunion of hearts and hands from this labor and forwarding the means of redeeming us from hence as each one wrought with his mate how to divorce him from the same.


And first, and it was the first of September, a conspiracy was discovered, of which six were found principals, who had promised each unto the other not to set their hands to any travail or endeavor which might expedite or forward this pinnace. And each of these had severally, according to appointment, sought his opportunity to draw the smith and one of our carpenters, Nicholas Bennit, who made much profession of Scripture (a mutinous and dissembling impostor!), the captain and one of the chief persuaders of others who afterwards brake from the society of the colony and like outlaws retired into the woods to make a settlement and habitation there on their party, with whom they purposed to leave our quarter and possess another island by themselves. But this happily found out, they were condemned to the same punishment which they would have chosen but without smith or carpenter!-and to an island far by itself they were carried and there left. Their names were John Want-the chief of them, an Essex man of Newport by Saffron Walden, both seditious and a sectary in points of religion, in his own prayers much devout and frequent, but hardly drawn to the public, insomuch as being suspected by our minister for a Brownist, he was often compelled to the common liturgy and form of prayer- (and) the rest of the confederates were Christopher Carter, Francis Pearepoint, William Brian, William Martin, Richard Knowles.


But soon they missed comfort, who were far removed from our store. Besides, the society of their acquaintance had wrought in some of them, if not a loathsomeness of their offense, yet a sorrow that their complement was not more full, and therefore a weariness of their being thus untimely prescribed’; insomuch as many humble petitions were sent unto our governor fraught full of their seeming sorrow and repentance and earnest vows to redeem the former trespass with example of duties in them all to the common cause and general business; upon which our governor, not easy to admit any accusation, and hard to remit an offense, but at all times sorry in the punishment of him in whom may appear either shame or contrition, was easily content to reacknowledge them again.


Yet could not this be any warning to others who more subtly began to shake the foundation of our quiet safety. And therein did one Stephen Hopkins commence the first act or overture, a fellow who had much knowledge in the Scriptures and could reason well therein, whom our minister therefore chose to be his clerk to read the psalms and chapters upon Sundays at the assembly of the congregation under him; who in January the twenty-four [16101 brake with one Samuel Sharpe and Humfrey Reede-who presently dis-covered it to the governor-and alleged substantial arguments both civil and divine (the Scripture falsely quoted!) that it was no breach of honesty, conscience, nor religion to decline from the obedience of the governor, or refuse to go any further led by his authority, except it so pleased themselves, since the authority ceased when the wrack was committed, and with it they were all then freed from the government of any man; and for a matter of conscience it was not unknown to the meanest how much we were therein bound each one to provide for himself and his own family. For which were two apparent reasons to stay them even in this place: first, abundance by God's providence of all manner of good food; next, some hope in reasonable time, when they might grow weary of the place, to build a small bark with the skill and help of the aforesaid Nicholas Bennit, whom they insinuated to them -- albeit he was now absent from his quarter and working in the main island with Sir George Summers upon his pinnace-to be of the conspiracy, that so might get clear from hence at their own pleasures; (that) when in Virginia, the first would-be assuredly wanting, and they miglff-well rear to be detained in that country by the authority of the commander thereof, and their whole life to serve the turns of the adventurers with their travails and labors.


This being thus laid, and by such a one who had gotten an opinion, as I before rememb'red, of religion (when it was declared by those two accusers), not knowing what further ground it had or complices, it pleased the governor to let this his factious offense to have a public affront and contestation by these two witnesses before the whole company, who at the tolling of a bell assemble[d] before a corps du guard, where the prisoner was brought forth in manacles, and both accused and suffered to make at large to every particular his answer, which was only full of sorrow and tears, pleading simplicity and denial. But he being only found at this time both the captain and the follower of this mutiny, and generally held worthy to satisfy the punishment of his offense with the sacrifice of his life, our governor passed the sentence of a martial court upon him, such as belongs to mutiny and rebellion. But so penitent he was, and made so much moan, alleging the ruin of his wife and children in this his trespass, as it wrought in the hearts of all the better sort of the company, who therefore with humble entreaties and earnest supplications went unto our governor, whom they besought, as likewise did Captain Newport and myself, and never left him until we had got his pardon.


In these dangers and devilish disquiets, whilest the Almighty God wrought for us and sent us, miraculously delivered from the calamities of the sea, all blessings upon the shore to content and bind us to gratefulness, thus enraged amongst ourselves to the destruction each of other, into what a mischief and misery had we been given up had we not had a governor with his authority to have suppressed the same? Yet was there a worse practice, faction, and conjuration afoot, deadly and bloody, in which the life of our governor with many others were threat’ned, and could not but miscarry in his fall. But such is ever the will of God, who in the execution of His judgments breaketh the firebrands upon the head of him who first kindleth them!


There were who conceived that our governor indeed neither durst nor had authority to put in execution or pass the act of justice upon anyone, how treacherous or impious soever, their own opinions so much deceiving them for the unlawfulness of any act which they would execute, daring to justify among themselves that if they should be apprehended before the performance, they should happily suffer as martyrs. They persevered therefore not only to draw unto them such a number and associates as they could work into the abandoning of our governor and to the inhabiting of this island, they had now purposed (also) to have made a surprise of the storehouse, and to have forced from thence what was therein either of meal, cloth, cables, arms, sails, oars, or what else it pleased God that we had recovered from the wrack, and was to serve our general necessity and use, either for the relief of us while we stayed here, or for the carrying of us from this place again, when our pinnace should have been furnished.




But as all giddy and lawless attempts have always something of imperfection, and that as well by the property of the action, which holdeth of disobedience and rebellion (both full of fear), as through the ignorance of the devisers themselves; so in this, besides those defects, there were some of the association who, not strong enough fortified in their own conceits, brake from the plot itself and before the time was ripe for the execution thereof discovered the whole order and every agent and actor thereof; who nevertheless were not suddenly apprehended by reason the confederates were divided and separated in place, some with-us, and the chief with Sir George- -Summers in his island and indeed all his whole company, but good watch passed upon them, every man from thenceforth commanded to wear his weapon, without which before we freely walked from quarter to quarter and conversed among ourselves, and every man advised to stand upon his guard, his own life not being in safety whilest his next neighbor was not to be trusted.


The sentinels and nightwarders doubled, the passages of both the quarters were carefully observed, by which means nothing was further attempted until a gentleman amongst them, one Henry Paine, the thirteenth of March-full of mischief and every hour preparing something or other, stealing swords, adzes, axes, hatchets, saws, augers, planes, mallets, etc. to make good his own bad end his watch night coming about, and being called by the captain of the same to be upon the guard, did not only give his said commander evil language but struck at him, doubled his blows, and when he was not suffered to close with him, went off the guard, scoffing at the


double diligence and attendance of the watch appointed by the governor for much purpose, as he said. Upon which the watch telling him if the governor should understand of this his insolency, it might turn him to much blame, and happily be as much as his life were worth, the said Paine replied with a settled and bitter violence, and in such unreverent terms as I should offend the modest ear too much to express it in his own phrase, but the contents were how that the


governor had no authority of that quality to justify upon anyone, how mean soever in the colony, an action of that nature, and there-fore let the governor (said he) kiss, etc. Which words being with the omitted additions brought the next day unto every common and public discourse, at length they were delivered over to the governor, who examining well the fact the transgression so much the more exemplary and odious as being in a dangerous time, in a confederate, and the success of the same wish’dly listened after-with a doubtful conceit what might be the issue of so notorious a boldness and impudency, calling the said Paine before him and the whole company, where, being soon convinced both by the witness of the commander, and many which were upon the watch with him, our governor, who had now the eyes of the whole colony fixed upon him, condemned him to be instantly hanged; and the ladder beingready, after he had made many confessions, he earnestly desired, being a gentleman, that he might be shot to death; and towards the evening he had his desire, the sun and his life setting together.


But for the other which were with Sir George, upon the Sunday following, the bark being now in good forwardness and ready to launch in short time from that place, as we supposed, to meet ours at a pond of fresh water where they were both to be moored until such time as, being fully tackled, the wind should serve fair for our putting to sea together, being the eighteenth of March, hearing of Payne’s death, and fearing he had appeached them, and discovered the attempt who, poor gentleman, therein in so bad a cause was too secret and constant to his own faith engaged unto them, and as little needed as urged thereunto, though somewhat was voluntarily delivered by him-by a mutual consent forsook their labor and Sir George Summers, and like outlaws betook them to the wild woods.


Whether mere rage and greediness after some little pearl, as it was thought, wherewith they conceived they should forever enrich themselves, and saw how to obtain the same easily in this place, or whether the desire forever to inhabit here, or what other secret else moved them thereunto, true it is they sent an audacious and formal petition to our governor, subscribed with all their names and seals, not only entreating him that they might stay here but with great art importuned him that he would perform other conditions with them, and not waive nor evade from some of his own promises, as, namely, to furnish each of them with two suits of apparel and contribute meal ratably for one whole year, so much among them as they had weekly now, which was one pound and an half a week, for such had been our proportion for nine months.


Our governor answered this their petition, writing to Sir George Summers to this effect, that true it was at their first arrival upon this island, when it was feared how our means would not extend to the making of a vessel capable and large enough to transport all our countrymen at once-indeed out of his Christian consideration mourning for such his countrymen who, coming under his command, he foresaw that for a while he was like enough to leave here behind, compelled by tyranny of necessity-his purpose was not yet to forsake them so as given up like savages, but to leave them all things fitting to defend them from want and wretchedness-as much at least as lay in his power to spare from the present use and perhaps necessity of others whose fortunes should be to be transported with him-for one whole year or more, if so long by any casualty the ships which he would send unto them might be stayed before their arrival, so many hazards accompanying the sea; but withal entreated Sir George to remember unto his company, if by any means he could learn where they were, how he had vowed unto him that if either his own means, his authority in Virginia, or love with his friends in England could dispatch for them sooner, how far it was from him to let them remain abandoned and neglected without their redemption so long; and then proceeded, requesting Sir George Summers again to signify unto them, since now our own pinnace did arise to that burthen and that it would sufficiently transport them all, beside the necessity of any other bark; and yet, that since his bark was now ready too, that those consultations, howsoever charitable and most passionate in themselves, might determine as taken away thereby, and therefore that he should now be pleased to advise them well how unanswerable this grant or consent of his should be, first, to His Majesty for so many of his subjects, next, to the adventurers, and lastly, what an imputation and infamy it might be to both their own proper reputations and honors, having each of them authority in their places to compel the adversant and irregular multitude at any time to what should be obedient and honest; which, if they should not execute, the blame would not lie upon the people (at all times wavering and insolent) but upon themselves, so weak and unworthy in their command-and moreover entreated him by any secret practice to apprehend them, since that the obstinate and precipitate many were no more in such a condition and state to be favored than the murmuring and mutiny of such rebellious and turbulent humorists who had not conscience nor knowledge to draw in the yoke of goodness-and in the business for which they were sent out of England, for which likewise at the expense and charge of the adventurers they were to him committed; and that the meanest in the whole fleet stood the Company in no less than twenty pounds for his own personal transportation and things necessary to accompany him; and therefore lovingly conjured Sir George, by the worthiness of his heretofore well-maintained reputation, and by the powers of his own judgment, and by the virtue of that ancient love and friendship which had these many years been settled between them, to do his best to give this revolted company, if he could send unto them, the consideration of these particulars, and so work with them, if he might, that by fair means (the mutiny reconciled) they would at length survey their own errors, which he would be as ready upon their rend’ring and coming into pardon as he did now pity them, assuring them in general and particular that whatsoever they had sinisterly committed or practiced hitherto against the laws of duty and honesty should not in any sort be imputed against them; in which good office Sir George Summers did so nobly work and heartily labor as he brought most of them in, and indeed all but Christopher Carter and Robert Waters, who by no means would anymore come amongst Sir George’s men, hearing that Sir George had commanded his men indeed (since they would not be entreated by fair means) to surprise them, if they could, by any device or force; froze which time they grew so cautelous and wary for their own ill as at our coming away we were fain to leave them behind. That Waters was a sailor who at his first landing upon the island (as after you shall hear) killed another fellow sailor of his, the body of the murthered and murtherer so dwelling, as prescribed now, together.


During our time of abode upon these islands, we had daily every Sunday two sermons preached by our minister, besides every morning and evening at the ringing of a bell we repaired all to public prayer, at what time the names of our whole company were called by bill, and such as were wanting were duly punished.


The contents for the most part of all our preacher’s sermons were especially of thankfulness and unity, etc.


It pleased God also to give us opportunity to perform all the other offices and rites of our Christian profession in this island, as marriage, for the six and twentieth of November [1609] we had one of Sir George Summers his men, his cook named Thomas Powell, who married a maidservant of one Mistress Horton, whose name was Elizabeth Persons; and upon Christmas Eve, as also once before, the first of October.


Our minister preached a godly sermon, which being ended, he celebrated a communion, at the partaking whereof our governor was and the greatest part of our company. And the eleventh of February [1610], we had the child of one John Rofe [Rolfe] christened, a daughter, to which Captain Newport and myself were witnesses, and the aforesaid Mistress Horton, and we named it Bermuda; as also the five and twentieth of March, the wife of one Edward Eason, being delivered the week before of a boy, had him then christened, to which Captain Newport and myself and Master James Swift were godfathers, and we named it Bermudas.


Likewise we buried five of our company: Jeffery Briars, Richard Lewis, William Hitchman, and my goddaughter Bermuda Rolfe, and one untimely Edward Samuell, a sailor, being villainously killed by the forehand Robert Waters, a sailor likewise, with a shovel, who strake him therewith under the lift of the ear, for which he was apprehended and appointed to be hanged the next day, the fact being done in the twilight. But being bound fast to a tree all night with many ropes, and a guard of five or six to attend him, his fellow sailors, watching the advantage of the sentinels sleeping, in despite and disdain that justice should be showed upon a sailor and that one of their crew should be an example to others, not taking into con-sideration the unmanliness of the murther nor the horror of the sin, they cut his bands and conveyed him into the woods, where they fed him nightly and closely, who afterward, by the mediation of Sir George Summers, upon many conditions had his trial respited by our governor.


We had brought our pinnace so forward by this time as the eight and twentieth of August we having laid her keel; the six and twentieth of February we now began to caulk: Old cables we had preserved unto us which afforded oakum enough; and one barrel of pitch and another of tar we likewise saved, which served our use some little way upon the bilge. We breamed her otherwise with lime made of whelk shells, and an hard white stone which we burned in a kiln, slaked with fresh water, and tempered with tortoise’s oil. The thirtieth of March, being Friday, we towed her out in the morning spring tide from the wharf where she was built, buoying her with four cask in her run only, which opened into the northwest, and into which, when the breeze stood north and by west with any stiff gale, and upon the spring tides, the sea would increase with that violence (especially twice it did so) as at the first time before our governor had caused a solid causey of an hundred load of stone to be brought from the hills and neighbor rocks, and round about her ribs from stem to stem, where it made a pointed balk, and thereby brake the violence of the flow and billow-it endangered her overthrow and ruin, being green, as it were, upon the stocks. With much difficulty, diligence, and labor, we saved her at the first, all her bases, shores, and piles, which underset her, being almost carried from her, which was the second of January, when her knees were not set to, nor one joint firm.


We launched her unrigged to carry her to a little round island lying west-northwest, and close aboard to the backside of our island, both nearer the ponds and wells of some fresh water, as also from thence to make our way to the sea the better, the channel being there sufficient and deep enough to lead her forth when her masts, sails, and all her trim should be about her. She was forty foot by the keel and nineteen foot broad at the beam, six foot floor; her rake forward was fourteen foot; her rake aft from the top of her post, which was twelve foot long, was three foot; she was eight foot deep under her beam; between her decks she was four foot and an half, with a rising of half a foot more under her forecastle of purpose to scour the deck with small shot, if at any time we should be boarded by the enemy. She had a fall of eighteen inches aft to make her steerage and her great cabin the more large; her steerage was five foot long and six foot high, with a close-gallery aft, with a window on each side and two right aft. The most part of her timber was cedar, which we found to be bad for shipping for that it is wondrous false inward and, besides, it is so spalt or brickle that it will make no good planks. Her beams were all oak of our ruin ship, and some planks in her bow of oak, and all the rest as is aforesaid. When she began to swim upon her launching, our governor called her the Deliverance; and she might be some eighty tons of burthen.


Before we quitted our old quarter, and dislodged to the fresh water with our pinnace, our governor set up in Sir George Summers’ garden a fair mnemosynon [memorial] in figure of a cross made of some of the timber of our ruined ship, which was screwed in with strong and great trunnels to a mighty cedar, which grew in the middest of the said garden, and whose top and upper branches he caused to be lopped, that the violence of the wind and weather might have the less power over her.


In the middest of the cross, our governor fastened the picture of His Majesty in a piece of silver of twelve pence, and on each side of the cross he set an inscription graven in copper in the Latin and English to this purpose:


"In memory of our great deliverance, both from a mighty storm and leak, we have set up this to the honor of God. It is the spoil of an English ship of three hundred ton, called the Sea Venture, bound with seven ships more, from which the storm divided us, to Virginia, or Nova Britannia, in America. In it were two knights, Sir Thomas Gates, knight, governor of the English forces and colony there; and Sir George Summers, knight, admiral of the seas. Her captain was Christopher Newport; passengers and mariners she had beside (which came all safe to land) one hundred and fifty. We were forced to run her ashore, by reason of her leak, under a point that bore southeast from the northern point of the island, which we discovered first the eight and twentieth of July, 1609."


About the last of April, Sir George Summers launched his pinnace, and brought her from his building bay in the main island into the channel where ours did ride. And she was by the keel nine and twenty foot; at the beam fifteen foot and an half; at the luff fourteen; at the transom nine; and she was eight foot deep, and drew six foot water; and he called her the Patience.







Their departure from Bermuda and arrival in Virginia -


Miseries there -- Departure and return upon the Lord La Warre’s


arriving -- James Town described


FROM THIS TIME we only awaited a favorable westerly wind to carry us forth, which longer than usual now kept at the east and southeast, the way which we were to go. The tenth of May early, Sir George Summers and Captain Newport went off with their longboats, and with two canoas buoyed the channel which we were to lead it out in, and which was no broader from shoals on the one side and rocks on the other than about three times the length of our pinnace. Abut ten of the clock, that day being Thursday, we set sail an easy gale, the wind at south, and by reason no mote wind blew, we were fain to tow her with our longboat. Yet neither with the help of that were we able to fit our buoys, but even when we came just upon them we struck a rock on the starboard side, over which the buoy rid; and had it not been a soft rock, by which means she bore it before her and crushed it to pieces, God knows we might have been like enough to have returned anew and dwelt there after ten months of carefulness and great labor a longer time.


But God was more merciful unto us: When she struck upon the rock, the cockswain, one Walsingham, being in the boat, with a quick spirit, when we were all amazed, and our hearts failed [...] and so by God’s goodness we led it out at three fadom, and three fadom and a half water. The wind served us easily all that day and the next, when (God be ever praised for it) to the no little joy of us all we got clear of the islands; after which, holding a southerly course, for seven days we had the wind sometimes fair and sometimes scarce and contrary, in which time we lost Sir George Summers twice, albeit we still spared him our main topsail, and sometimes our forecourse too.


The seventeenth of May, we saw change of water, and had much rubbish swim by our ship side, whereby we knew we were not far from land. The eighteenth about midnight, we sounded with the dipsing lead and found thirty-seven fadom. The nineteenth in the morning, we sounded and had nineteen and an half fadom, stony and sandy ground. The twentieth about midnight, we had a marvel-ous sweet smell from the shore, as from the coast of Spain short of the Straits, strong and pleasant, which did not a little glad us. In the morning by daybreak, so soon as one might well see from the fore-top, one of the sailors descried land. About an hour after, I went up and might discover two hummocks to the southward, from which northward all along lay the land which we were to coast to Cape Henrie. About seven of the clock, we cast forth an anchor because the tide by reason of the freshet that set into the bay make a strong ebb there, and the wind was but easy; so as not being able to stem the tide, we purposed to lie at an anchor until the next flood. But the wind coming southwest a loom gale about eleven, we set sail again, and having got over the bar, bore in for the cape.


This is the famous Chesipiacke Bay, which we have called, in hon-or of our young prince, Cape Henrie, over against which within the bay lieth another headland which we called, in honor of our princely Duke of York, Cape Charles; and these lie northeast and by east, and southwest and by west, and they may be distant each from the other in breadth seven leagues, between which the sea runs in as broad as between Queenborough and Leigh. Indeed, it is a goodly bay and a fairer not easily to be found.


The one and twentieth. being Monday in the morning we came up within two miles of Point Comfort, when the captain of the fort discharged a warning piece at us; whereupon we came to an anchor, and sent off our longboat to the fort to certify who we were. By reason of the shoals which lie on the south side, this fort easily commands the mouth of the river, albeit it is as broad as between Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs.


True it is such who talked with our men from the shore delivered how safely all our ships the last year (excepting only the admiral and the little pinnace in which one Michael Philes commanded, of some twenty ton, which we towed astern till the storm blew) arrived; and how our people, well increased, had therefore builded this fort; only we could not learn anything of our longboat sent from the Ber-mudas but what we gathered by the Indians themselves, especially from Powhatan, who would tell our men of such a boat landed in one of his rivers, and would describe the people and make much scoffing sport thereat; by which we have gathered that it is most likely how it arrived upon our coast and, not meeting with our river, were taken at some time or other at some advantage by the savages, and so cut off.


When our skiff came up again, the good news of our ships’ and men’s arrival the last year did not a little glad our governor, who went soon ashore and as soon (contrary to all our fair hopes) had new unexpected, uncomfortable, and heavy news of a worse condi-tion of our people above at James Town.


Upon Point Comfort our men did the last year (as you have heard) raise a little fortification; which since hath been better perfected, and is likely to prove a strong fort, and is now kept by Captain James Davies with forty men, and hath to name Algernoone Fort, so called by Captain George Percy, whom we found at our arrival president of the colony, and at this time likewise in the fort.


When we got into the point, which was the one and twentieth of May, being Monday about noon, where riding before an Indian town called Kecoughton, a mighty storm of thunder, lightning, and rain gave us a shrewd and fearful welcome.


From hence in two days-only by the help of tides, no wind stir-ring-we plied it sadly up the river, and the three and twentieth of May, we cast anchor before James Town, where we landed, and our much grieved governor, first visiting the church, caused the bell to be rung, at which all such as were able to come forth of their houses repaired to church, where our minister, Master Bucke, made a zealous and sorrowful prayer, finding all things so contrary to our expectations, so full of misery and misgovernment. After service, our governor caused me to read his commission, and Captain Percie, then president, delivered up unto him his commission, the old patent, and the council seal.


Viewing the fort, we found the palisadoes torn down, the ports open, the gates from off the hinges, and empty houses, which (the) owners’ death had taken from them, rent up and burnt, rather than the dwellers would step into the woods a stone’s cast off from them to fetch other firewood. And it is true the Indian killed as fast without, if our men stirred but beyond the bounds of their block-house, as famine and pestilence did within, with many more particu-larities of their sufferances brought upon them by their own disor-ders the last year than I have heart to express.


In this desolation and misery our governor found the condition and state of the colony and, which added more to his grief, no hope how to amend it or save his own company and those yet remaining alive from falling into the like necessities. For we had brought from the Bermudas no greater store of provision (fearing no such accidents possible to befall the colony here) than might well serve one hun-dred and fifty for a sea voyage; and it was not possible at this time of the year to amend it by any help from the Indian. For besides that they at their best have little more than from hand to mouth, it was now likewise but their seed time and all their corn scarce put into the ground. Nor was there at the fort, as they whom we found related unto us, any means to take fish, neither sufficient seine nor other convenient net; and yet, if there had, there was not one eye of sturgeon yet come into the river.


All which considered, it pleased our governor to make a speech unto the company, giving them to understand that what provision he had they should equally share with him, and if he should find it not possible and easy to supply them with something from the country by the endeavors of his able men, he would make ready and transport them all into their native country, accommodating them the best that he could, at which there was a general acclamation and shout of joy on both sides, for even our own men began to be disheartened and faint when they saw this misery amongst the others, and no less threat’ned unto themselves. In the meanwhile, our governor published certain orders and instructions, which he enjoined them strictly to observe, the time that he should stay amongst them, which being written out fair were set up upon a post in the church for everyone to take notice of.


If I should be examined from whence and by what occasion all these disasters and afflictions descended upon our people, I can only refer you (honored lady) to the book which the adventurers have sent hither entituled Advertisements unto the Colony in Virginia, wherein the ground and causes are favorably abridged from whence these miserable effects have been produced, not excusing likewise the form of government of some error, which was not powerful enough among so heady a multitude, especially as those who arrived here in the supply sent the last year with us, with whom the better authority and government, now changed into an absolute command, came along, and had been as happily established, had it pleased God that we with them had reached our wished harbor.


Unto such calamity can sloth, riot, and vanity bring the most settled and plentiful estate. Indeed (right noble lady), no story can remember unto us more woes and anguishes than these people thus governed have both suffered and pull’d upon their own heads. And yet true it is some of them whose voices and command might not be heard may easily be absolved from the guilt hereof, as standing un-touched and upright in their innocencies, whilest the privy faction-aries shall never find time nor darkness to wipe away or cover their ignoble and irreligious practices, who, it may be, lay all the discredits and imputations the while upon the country.


But under pardon let me speak freely to them: Let them remem-ber that if riot and sloth should both meet in anyone of their best families in a country most stored with abundance and plenty in England--continual wasting, no husbandry, the old store still spent on, no order for new provisions-what better could befall unto the inhabitants, landlords, and tenants of that corner than necessarily following cleanness of teeth, famine, and death? Is it not the sen-tence and doom of the wise man? "Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, and a little folding of the hands to sleep: So thy poverty cometh as one that traveleth by the way, and thy necessity like an armed man." And with this idleness, when something was in store, all wasteful courses exercised to the heighth, and the headless multi-tude, some neither of quality nor religion, not employed to the end for which they were sent hither, no, not compelled, since in them-selves unwilling to sow corn for their own bellies, nor to put a root, herb, etc. for their own particular good in their gardens or elsewhere -- I say in this neglect and sensual surfeit, all things suffered to run on, to lie sick and languish, must it be expected that health, plenty, and all the goodness of a well-ordered state of necessity for all this to flow in this country?


You have a right and noble heart, worthy lady; be judge of the truth herein. Then suffer it not be concluded unto you, nor believe, I beseech you, that the wants and wretchedness which they have en-dured ascend out of the poverty and vileness of the country, whether be respected the land or rivers, the one and the other, having not only promised but poured enough in their veins to convince them in such calumnies, and to quit those common calamities which, as the shadow accompanies the body, the precedent neglects touched at, if truly followed, and wrought upon. What England may boast of, having the fair hand of husbandry to manure and dress it, God and nature have favorably bestowed upon this country; and as it hath given unto it, both by situation, height, and soil, all those (past hopes) assurances which follow our well-planted native country and others lying under the same influence. If as ours the country and soil might be improved and drawn forth, so hath it endowed it, as is most certain, with many more which England fetcheth far unto her from elsewhere. For first we have experience and even our eyes’ witness, how young soever we are to the country, that no country yieldeth goodlier corn nor more manifold increase. Large fields we have as prospects of the same, and not far from our palisado. Besides, we have thousands of goodly vines in every hedge and bosk running along the ground, which yield a plentiful grape in their kind. Let me appeal then to knowledge, if these natural vines were planted, dressed, and ordered by skillful vignerons, whether we might not make a perfect grape and fruitful vintage in short time.


And we have made trial of our own English seeds, kitchen herbs, and roots, and find them to prosper as speedily as in England.


Only let me truly acknowledge they are not [but?] an hundred or two of deboist hands, drop’d forth by year after year, with penury and leisure, ill provided for before they come and worse to be governed when they are here, men of such distempered bodies and infected minds, whom no examples daily before their eyes, either of goodness or punishment, can deter from their habitual impieties, or terrify from a shameful death-that must be the carpenters and workmen in this so glorious a-building!


Then let no rumor of the poverty of the country-as if in the womb thereof there lay not those elemental seeds which could pro-duce as many fair births of plenty and increase and better hopes than any land under the heaven to which the sun is no nearer a neighbor -- I say, let no imposture rumor nor any fame of some one or a few more changeable actions, interposing by the way or at home, wave [off] any man’s fair purposes hitherward or wrest them to a declining and falling off from the business.


I will acknowledge, dear lady, I have seen much propenseness already towards the unity and general endeavors. How contentedly do such as labor with us go forth when men of rank and quality assist and set on their labors! I have seen it, and I protest it; I have heard the inferior people with alacrity of spirit profess that they should never refuse to do their best in the practice of their sciences and knowledges when such worthy and noble gentlemen go in and out before them, and not only so but, as the occasion shall be offered, no less help them with their hand than defend them with their sword.


And it is to be understood that such as labor are not yet so taxed but that easily they perform the same, and ever by ten of the clock have done their morning’s work. At what time they have their allow-ances set out ready for them, and until it be three of the clock again, they take their own pleasure. And afterwards with the sun set, their day’s labor is finished. In all which courses, if the business be con-tinued, I doubt nothing with God’s favor towards us but to see it in time a country, an haven, and a staple, fitted for such a trade as shall advance assureder increase both to the adventurers and free burghers thereof than any trade in Christendom or than that-even in her early days when Michael Cavacco the Greek did first discover it to our English factor in Poland-which extends itself now from Calpe and Avila to the bottom of Sidon, and so wide as Alexandria and all the ports and havens north and south through the Arches to Chio, Smyrna, Troy, the Hellespont, and up to Pompey’s Pillar, which as a Pharos, or watchtower, stands upon the wondrous open-ing into the Euxine Sea.


From the three and twentieth of May unto the seventh of June, our governor attempted and made trial of all the ways that both his own judgment could prompt him in and the advice of Captain George Percy and those gentlemen whom he found of the council when he came in, as of others whom he caused to deliver their knowledges concerning the state and condition of the country. But after much debating, it could not appear how possibly they might preserve themselves -- reserving that little which we brought from the Bermudas in our ships, and was upon all occasions to stand good by us-ten days from starving.


For besides that the Indians were of themselves poor, they were forbidden likewise by their subtle King Powhatan at all to trade with us; and not only so but to endanger and assault any boat upon the river or straggler out of the fort by land, by which not long before our arrival our people had a large boat cut off and divers of our men killed, even within command of our blockhouse, as likewise they shot two of our people to death after we had been four and five days come in. And yet would they dare then to enter our ports and truck with us, as they counterfeited underhand, when indeed they came but as spies to discover our strength, trucking with us upon such hard conditions that our governor might very well see their subtlety, and therefore neither could well endure nor would continue it. And I may truly say beside, so had our men abased, and to such a con-tempt had they brought, the value of our copper that a piece which would have bought a bushel of their corn in former time would not now buy a little cade, or basket, of a pottle.


And for this misgovernment chiefly our colony is much bound to the mariners, who never yet in any voyage hither but have made a prey of our poor people in want, insomuch as unless they might ad-vance four or five for one, how assured soever of the payments of their bills of exchange, they would not spare them a dust of corn nor a pint of beer to give unto them the least comfort or relief, although that beer purloined and stol’n perhaps either from some particular supply or from the general store, so uncharitable a parcel of people they be and ill conditioned. I myself have heard the master of a ship say even upon the arrival of this fleet with the lord governor and captain general, when the said master was treated with for such commodities as he brought to sell, that unless he might have an East Indian increase, four for one, all charges cleared, he would not part with a can of beer! Besides, to do us more villainy and mischief, they would send off their longboats full by night, and well guarded make out to the neighbor villages and towns and there, contrary to the articles of the fort, which now pronounce death for a trespass of that quality, truck with the Indians giving for their trifles otter skins, beavers, rokoone furs, bears skins, etc., so large a quantity and measure of copper as when the truck master for the colony in the daytime offered trade, the Indians would laugh and scorn the same, telling what bargains they met withal by night from our mangot quintons, so calling our great ships, by which means the market with them forestalled thus by these dishonest men, I may boldly say they have been a consequent cause this last year to the death and starving of many a worthy spirit.


But I hope to see a true amendment and reformation as well of those as of divers other intolerable abuses thrust upon the colony by these shameless people, as also for the transportation of such provi-sions and supplies as are sent hither and come under the charge of pursers-a parcel, fragment, and odd ends of fellows, dependencies to the others-a better course thought upon; of which supplies, never yet came into the store or to the parties unto whom such supplies were sent, by relation hitherto, a moiety or third part.


For the speedy redress of this, being so sovereign a point, I understand how the lord governor and captain general hath advised unto the council that there may be no more provisions at all deliv-ered unto pursers but hath entreated to have the provision thus ordered. He would have a commissary general of the victuals to be appointed who, receiving the store for the colony by indenture from the treasurer, and victualers in England, may keep a just account what the gross amounteth unto, and what is transported every voy-age, in several kinds, as of bread, meat, beer, wine, etc., which said commissary shall deliver over the same to the master of every ship, and take an indenture from the said master of what he hath in charge and what he is to deliver to the treasurer of the store in Virginia; of which, if any be wanting, he the said master shall make it good out of his own entertainment. Otherwise the pursers, stewards, coopers, and quartermasters will be sure still not only to give themselves and their friends double allowances, but think it all well gotten that they can purloin and steal away.


Besides that the Indian thus evil entreated us, the river, which were wont before this time of the year to be plentiful of sturgeon, had not now a fish to be seen in it. And albeit we labored and haul’d our net twenty times day and night, yet we took not so much as would content half the fishermen. Our governor therefore sent away his longboat to coast the river downward as far as Point Comfort, and from thence to Cape Henry and Cape Charles and all within the bay, which after a seven nights’ trial and travail returned without any fruits of their labors, scarce getting so much fish as served their own company.


And to take anything from the Indian by force we never used nor willingly ever will. And though they had well deserved it, yet it was not now time, for they did, as I said before, but then set their corn, and at their best they had but from hand to mouth; so as what now remained-such as we found in the fort-had we stay’d but four days, had doubtless been the most part of them starved. For their best relief was only mushrooms and some herbs, which sod together made but a thin and unsavory broth, and swelled them much.


The pity hereof moved our governor to draw forth such provision as he had brought, proportioning a measure equally to everyone alike. But then our governor began to examine how long this his store would hold out and found it, husbanded to the best advantage, not possible to serve longer than sixteen days, after which nothing was to be possibly supposed out of the country, as before remem-b’red, nor remained there then any means to transport him else-where. Whereupon he then ent’red into the consultation with Sir George Summers and Captain Newport, calling unto the same the gentlemen and council of the former government, entreating both the one and the other to advise with him what was best to be done. The provision which they both had aboard, himself and Sir George Summers, was examined and delivered, how it, being rack’d to the uttermost, extended not above as I said sixteen days, after two cakes a day. The gentlemen of the town, who knew better of the country, could not give him any hope or ways how to improve it from the Indian. It soon then appeared most fit, by a general approbation, that to preserve and save all from starving, there could be no readier course thought on than to abandon the country, and accommodating themselves the best that they might in the present pinnaces then in the road, namely in the Discovery and the Virginia, and in the two brought from and builded at the Bermudas, the Deliverance and the Patience, with all speed convenient to make for the New found Land, where, being the fishing time, they might meet with many English ships into which happily they might disperse most of the company.


This consultation taking effect, our governor having caused to be carried aboard all the arms and all the best things in the store which might to the adventurers make some commodity upon the sale thereof at home, and burying our ordnances before the fort gate, which looked into the river, the seventh of June, having appointed to every pinnace likewise his complement and number, also delivered thereunto a proportionable rate of provision, he commanded every man at the beating of the drum to repair aboard. And because he would preserve the town (albeit now to be quitted) unburned, which some intemperate and malicious people threat’ned, his own com-pany he caused to be last ashore, and was himself the last of them, when about noon giving a farewell, with a peal of small shot, we set sail, and that night with the tide fell down to an island in the river, which our people have called Hog Island; and the morning tide brought us to another island, which we have called Mulberry Island, where lying at an anchor in the afternoon stemming the tide, we discovered a longboat making towards us from Point Comfort. Much descant’ we made thereof; about an hour it came up, by which, to our no little joys we had intelligence of the honorable my Lord La Warr his arrival before Algarnoone Fort, the sixt of June, at what time, true it is, His Lordship, having understood of our governor’s resolution to depart the country, with all expedition caused his skiff to be manned and in it dispatched his letters by Captain Edward Bruster (who commandeth His Lordship’s company) to our gover-nor, which preventing us before the aforesaid Mulberry Island, the eight of June aforesaid. Upon the receipt of His Honor’s letters, our governor bore up the helm with the wind coming easterly, and that night, the wind so favorable, relanded all his men at the fort again, before which, the tenth of June, being Sunday, His Lordship had likewise brought his ships, and in the afternoon came ashore with Sir Ferdinando Weinman, and all His Lordship’s followers.


Here (worthy lady) let me have a little your pardon. For having now a better heart than when I first landed, I will briefly describe unto you the situation and form of our fort. When Captain Newport in his first voyage did not like to inhabit upon so open a road as Cape Henry nor Point Comfort, he plied it up to the river, still look-ing out for the most apt and securest place, as well for his company to sit down in as which might give the least cause of offense or distaste, in his judgment, to the inhabitants.


At length, after much and weary search, with their barge coasting still before-as Virgil writeth Aeneas did, arriving in the region of Italy called Latium, upon the banks of the River Tiber-in the coun-try of a werowance talled [called] Wowinchapuncke, a ditionary to Powhatan, within this fair river of Paspiheigh, which we have called the Kings River, a country least inhabited by the Indian, as they all the way observed, and threescore miles and better up the fresh channel from Cape Henry, they had sight of an extended plain and spot of earth which thrust out into the depth and middest of the channel, making a kind of Chersonesus, or peninsula, for it was fastened only to the land with a slender neck no broader than a man may well quait a tile shard, and no inhabitants by seven or six miles near it. The trumpets sounding, the admiral struck sail, and before the same the rest of the fleet came to an anchor and here, as the best yet offered unto their view-supposed so much the more convenient by how much with their small company they were like enough the better to assure it to lose no further time, the colony disembarked, and every man brought his particular store and furniture together with the general provision ashore; for the safety of which, as likewise for their own security, ease, and better accommodating, a certain canton and quantity of that little half island of ground was measured, which they began to fortify, and thereon in the name of God to raise a fortress with the ablest and speediest means they could; which fort, growing since to more perfection, is now at this present in this manner:


A low level of ground about half an acre -- or so much as Queen Dido might buy of King Hyarbas [Iarbus], which she compassed about with the thongs cut out of one bull hide, and therein built her, castle of Byrza-on the north side of the river, is cast almost into the form of a triangle, and so palisadoed. The south side next the river, howbeit extended in a line, or curtain, sixscore foot more in length than the other two by reason the advantage of the ground doth so require, contains one hundred and forty yards, the west and east sides a hundred only. At every angle, or corner, where the lines meet, a bulwark, or watchtower, is raised, and in each bulwark a piece of ordnance or two well mounted. To every side, a propor-tioned distance from the palisado, is a settled street of houses that runs along so as each line of the angle hath his street. In the middest is a marketplace, a storehouse, and a corps du guard, as likewise a pretty chapel, though at this time when we came in as ruined and unfrequented; but the lord governor and captain general hath given order for the repairing of it, and at this instant many hands are about it. It is in length threescore foot, in breadth twenty-four, and shall have a chancel in it of cedar and a communion table of the black walnut, and all the pews of cedar with fair broad windows to shut and open, as the weather shall occasion, of the same wood, a pulpit of the same with a font hewn hollow like a canoa, with two bells at the west end. It is so cast as it be very light within and the lord governor and captain general doth cause it to be kept passing sweet and trimmed up with divers flowers, with a sexton belonging to it; and in it every Sunday we have sermons twice a day, and every Thursday a sermon, having true preachers, which take their weekly turns; and every morning at the ringing of a bell, about ten of the clock, each man addresseth himself to prayers, and so at four of the clock before supper. Every Sunday, when the lord governor and captain general goeth to church, he is accompanied with all the councilors, captains, other officers, and all the gentlemen, and with a guard of halberdiers in His Lordship’s livery (fair red cloaks) to the number of fifty, both on each side and behind him; and being in the church, His Lordship hath his seat in the choir in a green velvet chair with a cloth, with a velvet cushion spread on a table before him, on which he kneeleth; and on each side sit the council, captains, and officers, each in their place; and when he returneth home again, he is waited on to his house in the same manner.


And thus enclosed, as I said, round with a palisado of planks and strong posts, four foot deep in the ground, of young oaks, walnuts, etc., the fort is called, in honor of His Majesty’s name, James Town. The principal gate from the town through the palisado opens to the river, as at each bulwark there is a gate likewise to go forth, and at every gate a demi-culverin, and so in the marketplace. The houses first raised were all burnt by a casualty of fire the beginning of the second year of their seat, and in the second voyage of Captain Newport-which since have been better rebuilded, though as yet in no great uniformity, either for the fashion or beauty of the street.


A delicate-wrought fine kind of mat the Indians make, with which, as they can be trucked for or snatched up, our people do dress their chambers and inward rooms, which make their houses so much the more handsome. The houses have wide and large country chimneys in the which is to be supposed, in such plenty of wood, what fires are maintained. And they have found the way to cover their houses now as the Indians, with barks of trees as durable and as good proof against storms and winter weather as the best tile, defending likewise the piercing sunbeams of summer, and keeping the inner lodgings cool enough, which before in sultry weather would be like stoves whilest they were, as at first, pargeted and plastered with bitumen or tough clay.


And thus armed for the injury of changing times and seasons of the year, we hold ourselves well apaid, though wanting arras hangings, tapestry, and gilded Venetian cordovan, or more spruce household garniture, and wanton city ornaments, rememb’ring the old epigraph:


We dwell not here to build us bowers,


And halls for pleasure and good cheer,


But halls we build for us and ours,


To dwell in them whilst we live here.


True it is, I may not excuse this our fort, or James Town, as yet seated in somewhat an unwholesome and sickly air, by reason it is in a marish ground, low, flat to the river, and hath no fresh water springs serving the town but what we drew from a well six or seven fathom deep, fed by the brackish river oozing into it; from whence I verily believe the chief causes have proceeded of many diseases and sicknesses which have happened to our people, who are indeed strangely afflicted with fluxes and agues; and every particular season, by the relation of the old inhabitants, hath his particular infirmity too; all which, if it had been our fortunes to have seated upon some hill accommodated with fresh springs and clear air, as do the natives of the country, we might have, I believe, well escaped.


And some experience we have to persuade ourselves that it may be so. For of four hundred and odd men which were seated at the Falls the last year when the fleet came in with fresh and young able spirits, under the government of Captain Francis West, and of one hundred to the seawards on the south side of our river in the country of the Nansamundes, under the charge of Captain John Martin, there did not so much as one man miscarry, and but very few or none fall sick; whereas at James Town, the same time and the same months, one hundred sick’ned and half the number died. Howbeit, as we condemn not Kent in England for a small town called Plumsted continually assaulting the dwellers there, especially newcomers, with agues and fevers, no more let us lay scandal and imputation upon the country of Virginia because the little quarter wherein we are set down, unadvisedly so chosed, appears to be unwholesome and subject to many ill airs, which accompany the like marish places.







The Lord La Warre’s beginnings and proceedings in James


Town - Sir Thomas Gates sent into England - His and the


Company’s testimony of Virginia and cause of the late miseries.


UPON His Lordship’s landing at the south gate of the palisado, which looks into the river, our governor caused his company in arms to stand in order an make a guard. It pleased him that I should bear his colors for that ‘me. His Lordship landing fell upon his knees and before us all ma e a long and silent prayer to himself, and after marched up into the town, where at the gate I bowed with the colors, and let them fall at His Lordship’s feet, who passed on into the chapel, where he heard a sermon by Master Bucke, our governor’s preacher; and after that, caused a gentleman, one of his own follow-ers, Master Anthony Scot, his ancient, to read his commission, which entituled him lord governor and captain general, during his life, of the colony and plantation in Virginia (Sir Thomas Gates, our gover-nor hitherto, being now styled therein lieutenant general).


After the reading of His Lordship’s commission, Sir Thomas Gates rend’red up unto His Lordship his own commission, both patents and the council seal. After which, the lord governor and captain general delivered some few words unto the company, laying many blames upon them for many vanities and their idleness, earnestly wishing that he might no more find it so, lest he should be com-pelled to draw the sword of justice to cut off such delinquents, which he had much rather, he protested, draw in their defense to protect them from injuries; heartening them with the knowledge of what store of provisions he had brought for them, viz., sufficient to serve four hundred men for one whole year.


The twelfth of June, being Tuesday, the lord governor and captain general did constitute and give places of office and charge to divers captains and gentlemen, and elected unto him a council, unto whom he did administer an oath mixed with the oath of allegiance and supremacy to His Majesty; which oath likewise he caused to be administ’red the next day after to every particular member of the colony-of faith, assistance, and secrecy. The council which he elec-ted were Sir Thomas Gates, knight, lieutenant general; Sir George Summers, knight, admiral; Captain George Percy, esquire, and in the fort captain of fifty; Sir Ferdinando Weinman, knight, master of the ordnance; Captain Christopher Newport, vice-admiral; William Strachey, esquire, secretary and recorder.


As likewise the lord governor and captain general nominated Cap-tain John Martin master of the battery works for steel and iron, and Captain George Webb sergeant major of the fort; and especial captains over companies were these appointed: Captain Edward Bruster, who hath the command of His Honor’s own company; Captain Thomas Lawson, Captain Thomas Holecroft, Captain Sam-uell Argoll, Captain George Yardley, who commandeth the lieuten-ant general’s company. Divers other officers were likewise made, as Master Ralph Hamor and Master Browne clerks of the council, and Master Daniell Tucker and Master Robert Wilde clerks of the store, etc.


The first business which the lord governor and captain general (after the settling of these officers) thought upon was to advise with his council for the obtaining of such provisions of victuals for store and quality as the country afforded. It did not appear that any kind of flesh, deer, or what else of that kind could be recovered from the Indian, or to be sought in the country by the travail or search of his people; and the old dwellers in the fort, together with the Indians not to friend, who had the last winter destroyed and killed up all the hogs, insomuch as of five or six hundred (as it is supposed) there was not one left alive; nor an hen nor chick in the fort; and our horses and mares they had eaten with the first; and the provision which the lord governor and captain general had brought, concerning any kind of flesh, was little or nothing, in respect it was not dreamt of by the adventurers in England that the swine were destroyed.


In council therefore the thirteenth of June, it pleased Sir George Summers, knight, admiral, to propose a voyage which for the better relief and good of the colony he would perform into the Bermudas, from whence he would fetch six months’ provision of flesh and fish and some live hogs to store our colony again; and had a commission given unto him the fifteenth of June, 1610, who in his own Bermuda pinnace, the Patience, consorted with Captain Samuell Argoll in the Discovery, whom the lord governor and captain general made of the council before his departure, the nineteenth of June, fell with the tide from before our town and, the twenty-two, left the bay, or Cape Henry, astern.


And likewise, because at the lord governor and captain general’s first coming there was found in our own river no store of fish, after many trials the lord governor and captain general dispatched in the Virginia with instructions, the seventeenth of June, 1610, Robert Tyndall, master of the De la Warre, to fish unto, all along, and between Cape Henry and Cape Charles, within the bay; who the last of the said month returned unto us again, but as ill speeding as the former, whom our governor (now lieutenant general) had addressed thither before for the same purpose. Nor was the lord governor and captain general in the meanwhile idle at the fort, but every day and night he caused the nets to be hauled, sometimes a dozen times one after another. But it pleased not God so to bless our labors that we did at any time take one quarter so much as would give unto our people one pound at a meal apiece, by which we might have better husbanded our peas and oatmeal, notwithstanding the great store we now saw daily in our river. But let the blame of this lie where it is, both upon our nets and the unskillfulness of our men to lay them.


The sixth of July, Sir Thomas Gates, lieutenant general, coming down to Point Comfort, the north wind blowing rough he found had forced the longboat belonging to Algernoone Fort to the other shore upon Nansamund side, somewhat short of Weroscoick, which to recover again, one of the lieutenant general’s men, Humfrey Blunt, in an’ old canoe made over. But the wind driving him upon the strand, certain Indians watching the occasion seized the poor fellow and led him up into the woods and sacrificed him. It did not a little trouble the lieutenant governor, who since his first landing in the country, how justly soever provoked, would not by any means be wrought to a, violent proceeding against them, for all the practices of villainy with which they daily endangered our men, thinking it possible by a more tractable course to win them to a better condi-tion. But now, being startled by this, he well perceived how little a fair and noble entreaty works upon a barbarous disposition, and therefore in some measure purposed to be revenged.


The ninth of July, he prepared his forces, and early in the morning set upon a town of theirs, some four miles from Algernoone Fort, called Kecoughtan, and had soon taken it without loss or hurt of any of his men. The governor [werowance] and his women fled (the young King Powhatan’s son not being there), but left his poor baggage and treasure to the spoil of our soldiers, which was only a few baskets of old wheat and some other of peas and beans, a little tobacco, and some few women’s girdles of silk of the grass silk, not without art and much neatness finely wrought, of which I have sent divers into England (being at the taking of the town), and would have sent Your Ladyship some of them, had they been a present so worthy.


We purposed to set a Frenchman here a-work to plant vines, which grew naturally in great plenty. Some few cornfields it hath, and the corn in good forwardness, and we despair not but to be able, if our men stand in health, to make it good against the Indian.


The continual practices of the subtle King Powhata’n doth not meanly awaken all the powers and workings of virtue and know-ledge in our lord governor and captain general, how to prevent not only his mischiefs but to draw him upon some better terms and acknowledgment of our forces and spirits, both able and daring to quit him in any valiant and martial course whatsoever he shall dare to run with us, which he doth yet scarcely believe. For this there-fore-since first and that so lately he hath set on his people to attempt us with private conspiracies and actual violence, into the one drawing his neighbor confederates and under-princes, and by the other working the loss and death of divers of our men, and by such their loss seizing their arms, swords, pieces, etc., of which he hath


gathered into his store a great quantity and number, by intelligence above two hundred swords, besides axes and poleaxes, chisels, hoes to pare and cleanse their ground, with an infinite treasure of copper -- our lord governor and captain general sent two gentlemen with an embassy unto him, letting him to understand of his practices and outrage hitherto used toward our people, not only abroad but at our fort also; yet flattering him withal how the lord governor and captain general did not suppose that these mischiefs were contrived by him or with his knowledge, but conceived them rather to be the acts of his worst and unruly people; His Lordship therefore now complain-ing unto him required that he, being so great and wise a king, would give an universal order to his subjects that it might be no more so, lest the lord governor and captain general should be compelled by defending him and his to offend him, which he would be loath to do. Withal he willed the messengers to demand of him, the said Pow-hatan, that he would either punish or send unto His Lordship such of his people whom Powhatan knew well not long before had assaulted our men at the blockhouse and but newly killed four of them; as also to demand of Powhatan, willing him to return unto the English fort both such men as he detained of ours, and such arms as he had of theirs in his possession, and those conditions performed, he willed them to assure unto Powhatan that then their great werowance, the lord governor and captain general, would hold fair quarter and enter friendship with him as a friend to King James and his subjects. But refusing to submit to these demands, the lord governor and captain general gave in charge to the messengers so sent to signify unto Powhatan that His Lordship would by all means public and private seek to recover from him such of the English as he had, being subjects to his king and master, unto whom even Powhatan himself had formerly vowed not only friendship but homage, receiving from His Majesty therefore many gifts, and upon his knees a crown and scepter, with other ornaments, the symbols of civil state and Chris-tian sovereignty, thereby obliging himself to offices of duty to His Majesty; unto all which Powhatan returned no other answer but that either we should depart his country or confine ourselves to James Town only, without searching further up into his land or rivers, or otherwise he would give in command to his people to kill us, and do unto us all the mischief which they at their pleasure could and we feared, withal forewarning the said messengers not to return any-more unto him unless they brought him a coach and three horses, for he had understood by the Indians which were in England how such was the state of great werowances and lords in England to ride and visit other great men.


After this, divers times and daily he sent sometimes two, some-times three, unto our fort to understand our strength, and to observe our watch and guard, and how our people stood in health, and what numbers were arrived with this new werowance, which being soon perceived, our lord governor and captain general forewarned such his spies upon their own peril to resort no more unto our fort. Howbeit, they would daily press into our blockhouse and come up to our palisado gates, supposing the government as well now as fantastical and negligent in the former times, the whilest some quarter of a mile short of the blockhouse the greatest number of them would make assault and lie in ambush about our glass house, whither divers times indeed our men would make out either to gather strawberries or to fetch fresh water; anyone of which so straggled, if they could with conveniency they would assault and charge with their bows and arrows, in which manner they killed many of our men. Two of which being Paspaheans (who were ever our deadliest enemies) and not to be reconciled, at length being apprehended, and one of them a notable villain who had attempted upon many in our fort, the lord governor caused them to be manacled and convented before him and his council, where it was determined that he that had done so much mischief should have his right hand struck off, sending him away withal with a message to Powhatan that unless he would yet return such Englishmen as he detained, together with all such their arms, as before spoken of, that not only the other now prisoner should die, but all such of his savages as the lord governor and captain general could by any means surprise should run the same course. As likewise the lord governor and captain general would fire all his neighbor cornfields, towns, and villages, and that suddenly, if Powhatan sent not to contract with him the sooner.


What this will work with him we know not as yet, for this was but the day before our ships were now falling to Point Comfort, and so to set sail for England; which ships, riding before Weroscoick to take in their freight of cedar, clapboard, black walnut, and iron ore, took prisoners likewise the chief king of Weroscoick, called Sasenticum, with his son Kainta, and one of his chief men. And the fifteenth day of July, in the Blessing, Captain Adams brought them to Point Com-fort, where at that time, as well to take his leave of the -Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Gates, now bound for England as to dispatch the ships, the lord governor and captain general had pitched his tent in Algernoone Fort.


The king’s son, Kainta, the lord governor and captain general hath sent now into England until the ships arrive here again the next spring, dismissing the old werowance and the other with all terms of kindness and friendship, promising further designs to be effected by him, to which he hath bound himself, by divers savage ceremonies and admirations.


And thus (right noble lady) once more this famous business, as recreated and dipped anew into life and spirit, hath raised it (I hope) from infamy, and shall redeem the stains and losses under which she hath suffered since her first conception. Your Graces still accom-pany the least appearance of her, and vouchsafe her to be limned out with the beauty which we will beg and borrow from the fair lips. Nor fear you that she will return blushes to your cheeks for praising her, since (more than most excellent lady) like yourself (were all tongues dumb and envious} she will praise herself in her most silence. May she once be but seen, or but her shadow lively by a skillful workman set out indeed, which here (bungerly as I am) I have presumed (though defacing it) in these papers to present unto Your Ladyship.


After Sir Thomas Gates his arrival, a book called A True Declaration of Virginia was published by the Company, out of which I have here inserted this their public testimony of the causes of the former evils, and Sir Thomas Gates his report upon oath of Virginia.


THE GROUND OF ALL THOSE MISERIES was the permissive provi-dence of God, who in the forementioned violent storm separated the head from the body, all the vital powers of regiment being exiled with Sir Thomas Gates in those infortunate yet fortunate islands. The broken remainder of those supplies made a greater shipwrack in the continent of Virginia by the tempest of dissension: Every man; over-valuing his own worth, would be a commander; every man, under-prizing another’s value, denied to be commanded.


The next fountain of woes was secure negligence and improvi-dence, when every man sharked for his present booty, but was alto-gether careless of succeeding penury. Now I demand whether Sicilia or Sardinia (sometimes the barns of Rome) could hope for increase without manuring? A colony is therefore denominated because they should be coloni, "the tillers of the earth," and stewards of fertility. Our mutinous loiterers would not sow with providence, and there-fore they reaped the fruits of too-dear bought repentance.


An incredible example of their idleness is the report of Sir Thomas Gates, who affirmeth that after his first coming thither he hat’h seen some of them eat their fish raw rather than they would go a stone’s cast to fetch wood and dress it. Dei laboribus omnia vendunt, "God sells us all things for our labor," when Adam himself might not live in Paradise without dressing the garden.


Unto idleness you many join treasons wrought by those unhal-lowed creatures that forsook the colony, and exposed their desolate brethren to extreme misery. You shall know that eight and twenty or thirty of the company were appointed in the ship called the Swallow to truck for corn with the Indians. And having obtained a great quantity by trading, the most seditious of them conspired together, persuaded some, and enforced others to this barbarous project: They stole away the ship, they made a league amongst themselves to be professed pirates, with dreams of mountains of gold and happy robberies. Thus, at one instant, they wronged the hopes and sub-verted the cares of the colony who, depending upon their return, forslowed to look out for further provision; they created the Indians our implacable enemies by some violence they had offered; they carried away the best ship, which should have been a refuge in extremities; they weakened our forces by subtraction of their arms and succors.


These are that scum of men that sailing in their piracy, that being pinched with famine and penury after their wild roving upon the sea, when all their lawless hopes failed, some remained with other pirates they met upon the sea, the others resolved to return for England, [and] bound themselves by mutual oath to agree all in one report to discredit the land, to deplore the famine, and to protest that this their coming away proceeded from desperate necessity! These are they that roared out the tragical history of the man eating of his dead wife in Virginia, when the master of this ship willingly confessed before forty witnesses that at their coming away they left three months’ victuals and all the cattle living in the fort! Sometimes they reported that they saw this horrible action, sometimes that Captain Davies said so, sometimes that one Beadle, the lieutenant of Captain Davies, did relate it, varying this report into diversity of false colors which hold no likeness and proportion. But to clear all doubts, Sir Thomas Gates thus relateth the tragedy: "There was one of the company who mortally hated his wife, and therefore secretly killed her, then cut her in pieces, and hid her in divers parts of his house; when the woman was missing, the man suspected, his house searched, and parts of her mangled body were discovered. To excuse himself he said that his wife died, that he hid her to satisfy his hunger, and that he fed daily upon her. Upon this, his house was again searched, where they found a good quantity of meal, oatmeal, beans, and peas. He there-upon was arraigned, confessed the murder, and was burned for his horrible villainy."


Now shall the scandalous reports of a viperous generation prepon-derate the testimonies of so worthy leaders.? Shall their venomous tongues blast the reputation of an ancient and worthy peer [Lord La Warr] who, upon the ocular certainty of future blessings, hath protested in his letters that he will sacrifice himself for his country in this service, if he may be seconded; and if the Company do give it over, he will yet lay all his fortunes upon the prosecution of the plantation?


Unto treasons you may join covetousness in the mariners, who for their private lucre partly embezzled the provisions, partly prevented our trade with the Indians, making the matches in the night, and forestalling our market in the day; whereby the Virginians were glutted with our trifles and enhanced the prices of their corn and victual, that copper, which before would have provided a bushel, would not now obtain so much as a pottle.


I join unto these another evil: There is great store of fish in the river, especially of sturgeon, but our men provided no more of them than for present necessity, not barreling up any store against that season the sturgeon returned to the sea. And not to. dissemble their folly, they suffered fourteen nets (which was all they had) to rot and spoil which by orderly drying and mending might have been preserved. But being lost, all help of fishing perished.


The state of the colony by these accidents began to find a sensible declining; which Powhatan as a greedy vulture observing, and boil-ing with desire of revenge, he invited Captain Ratcliffe and about thirty others to trade for corn. And under the color of fairest friend-ship, he brought them within the compass of his ambush whereby they were cruelly murthered and massacred. For upon confidence of his fidelity, they went one and one into several houses, which caused their several destructions, when if but any six had remained together, they would have been a bulwark for the general preservation.


After this, Powhatan in the night cut off some of our boats; he drave away all the deer into the farther part of the country; he and his people destroyed our hogs to the number of about six hundred; he sent one of his Indians to trade with us, but laid secret ambushes in the woods, that if one or two dropped out of the fort alone, they were endangered.


Cast up the reckoning together: want of government, store of idle-ness, their expectations frustrated by the traito[rJs, their market spoiled by the mariners, our nets broken, the deer chased, our boats lost, our hogs killed, our trade with the Indians forbidden, some of our men fled, some murthered, and most by drinking of the brackish water of James Fort weakened and endangered, famine and sickness by all these means increased here at home the movies came in so slowly, that the Lord Laware could not be dispatched till the colony was worn and spent with difficulties. Above all, having neither ruler nor preacher, they neither feared God nor man, which provoked the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, and pulled down His judgments upon them. Discite justitiam moniti. ["Having been warned, learn justice!"]



The Council of Virginia, finding the smallness of that return which they hoped should have defrayed the charge of a new supply, ent’red into a deep consultation, and propounded amongst themselves whether it were fit to enter into a new contribution or in time to send for home the Lord La-ware and to abandon the action. They resolved to send for Sir Thomas Gates, who being come, they adjured him to deal plainly with them, and to make a true relation of those things which were presently to be had, or hereafter to be hoped for, in Virginia.



Sir Thomas Gates, with a solemn and sacred oath, replied that all things before reported were true-that the country yielded abundance of wood, as oak, wainscot, walnut trees, bay trees, ash, sarsafrase, liveoak green all the year, cedar and fir, which are the materials of soap-ashes and potashes, of oils of walnuts, and bays, of pitch and tar, of clapboards, pipe-staves, masts, and excellent boards of forty, fifty, and sixty length and three foot breath, when one fir tree is able to make the mainmast of the greatest ship in England. He avouched that there are incredible variety of sweet woods, especially of the balsamum tree which distilleth a precious gum; that there are innumerable white mulberry trees which in so warm a climate may cherish and feed millions of silkworms, and return us in a very short time as great a plenty of silk as is vented into the whole world from all the parts of Italy; that there are divers sorts of minerals, especially of iron ore lying upon the ground for ten miles circuit, of which we have made a trial at home that it maketh as good iron as any is in Europe; that a kind of hemp, or flax, and silk grass do grow there naturally, which will afford stuff for all manner of excellent cordage; that the river swarmeth with all manner of sturgeon, the land a-boundeth with vines, the woods do harbor exceeding store of beavers, foxes, and squirrels, the waters do nourish a great increase of otters, all which are covered with precious furs; that there are in present discovered dyes and drugs of sundry qualities; that the oranges which have been planted did prosper in the winter, which is an infallible argument that lemons, sugar canes, almonds, rice, anise seed, and all other commodities which we have from the Straits may be supplied to us in our own country and by our own industry; that the corn yieldeth a terrible increase more than ours; and lastly that it is one of the goodliest countries under the sun, interveined with five main rivers, and promising as rich entrails as any kingdom of the earth to whom the sun is no nearer a neighbor.

To see a new readable version see William Strackey’s version © 2011 All Rights by William Strachey a direct descent.

LINTON & BIRD Chronicles, Volume VIII, Issue 4 Winter © 2013, ISSN 1941-3521



Copyright Stephanie Fitzwater Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Outreach Education Instructor