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Title: Virginia under the Stuarts 1607-1688
Author: Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson, 1879-1966
Language: English
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Virginia Under the Stuarts


Virginia Under the Stuarts




_New York_





to my mother_


It was in May, 1910, that the author came to Princeton for an interview
with President Woodrow Wilson concerning an appointment as Instructor in
the Department of History, Politics, and Economics. He was elated when
President Wilson engaged him, though not happy over the $1,000 salary.
Yet with this sum to fall back on he borrowed $200, and took a trip to

In London he went treasure hunting, the treasure of old documents
relating to the history of colonial Virginia. He sought out the British
Public Record Office, off Chauncery Lane, and was soon immersed in the
mass of letters, official reports, journal of the Assembly, and other

The author was prepared to find valuable historical materials in London,
for he had spent the summer of 1908 studying the William Noel Sainsbury
and the McDonald abstracts and transcripts of the documents in the
Record Office deposited in the Virginia State Library. But he was
staggered at the extent of the manuscript collection on Virginia history
alone. Among the scores of volumes are thirty-two devoted to the
correspondence of the Board of Trade, seventeen to the correspondence of
the Secretary of State, twenty-two to entry books, letters, commissions,
warrants, etc.

When the summer waned he left for America taking with him many pages of
closely written notes. But what he had learned served to whet his
appetite for more, so that in 1912 and again in 1914 he was back, going
over volume after volume, searching eagerly for fear some important
point would escape him. The mass of abstracts and notes which he
accumulated formed the basis of this volume.

In fact, any political history of Virginia in the colonial period must
be based on the documents in the Public Record Office, since most of
the copies left in Virginia have been lost or destroyed. Today, however,
colonial historians no longer have to visit London to consult them,
since transcripts have been made and deposited in the Library of

In recent years the American Council of Learned Societies has made
available other collections of manuscripts which have thrown new light
on early Virginia history. The most important of these are the Coventry
Papers at Longleat, the residence of the Marquess of Bath. Many of the
letters deal with Bacon's Rebellion, and include the correspondence
between Berkeley and Bacon, accounts of the Indian war, complaints of
the misgovernment of Berkeley, the account of the evacuation of
Jamestown written by Berkeley, accounts of Bacon's death and the
collapse of the rebellion.

This new material adds new weight to the conclusions reached in this
book--that the causes of Bacon's Rebellion were deep-seated, that it
grew out of the discontent caused by the Navigation Acts, the heavy
taxes, the corrupting of the Assembly by Berkeley, and the misuse of the
courts. It in no way shakes the conviction expressed by Thomas Mathews,
who himself was involved in the rebellion, that the Indian war was the
excuse for it rather than the cause.

Yet certain recent historians have contended that this violent uprising
was not a protest against injustice and misgovernment. One has gone so
far as to call it merely a quarrel between a rash young man and an old
fool. We could with equal justice call the American Revolution just a
quarrel between George Washington and George III. Mathews tells us that
it was the general opinion in Virginia at the time that it was not Bacon
who was chiefly responsible for the uprising, but Thomas Lawrence. Bacon
"was too young, too much a stranger there, and of a disposition too
precipitate to manage things to that length they were carried," he
pointed out, "had not thoughtful Mr. Lawrence been at the bottom."

But neither Lawrence's hatred of Berkeley, nor Bacon's rashness, nor
Berkeley's folly, nor the Indian war suffice to explain the rebellion.
When the news of the uprising reached Charles II, he thought it past
belief that "so considerable body of men, without the least grievance
or oppression, should rise up in arms and overthrow the government." He
was quite right. Had there been no grievances and oppression there would
have been no uprising.

That Bacon's Rebellion is explained in part by poverty and suffering is
clear. Philip Ludwell said that the rebel army was composed of men
"whose condition ... was such that a change could not make worse." The
men who fought so valiantly against the Indians and Berkeley's forces,
braved the King's anger, faced death on the gallows were called in
contempt "the bases of the people," "the rabble," the "scum of the
people," "idle and poor people," "rag, tag, and bobtail." The Council
reported that there were "hardly two amongst them" who owned estates, or
were persons of reputation. Berkeley complained that his was a miserable
task to govern a people "where six parts of seven at least are poor,
indebted, discontented, and armed."

So when Bacon sent out his agents to every part of Virginia to denounce
the governor for not permitting an election for a new Assembly, accusing
him of misgovernment, and complaining of the heavy and unequal taxes,
they "infested the whole country." Berkeley stated that the contaigion
spread "like a train of powder." Never before was there "so great a
madness as this base people are generally seized with." When, in panic,
he dissolved the Long Assembly and called for a new election, all except
eight of those chosen were pro-Bacon men.

One cannot but ask why. Surely the voters would not have sided with this
young man who had been in Virginia but a few months had he not taken the
lead in protesting against the many wrongs to which they had been
subjected. And had those who rushed to arms, risking their property, if
not their necks, done so merely because of a quarrel between Bacon and
Berkeley, they would have been more than base, they would have been

What these wrongs were Bacon and his followers tell us in what they
called the Declaration of the People. Berkeley and his favorites they
denounced "for having upon specious pretences of public works raised
great unjust taxes upon the commonalty for the advancement of private
favorites and other sinister ends...; for having abused and rendered
contemptible the magistrates of justice, by advancing to places of
judicature scandalous and ignorant favorites...."

In a burning manifesto, denouncing the injustice and corruption of the
ruling group, Bacon said: "We appeal to the country itself what and of
what nature their oppressions have been, and by what cabal and mystery
the design of many of those whom we call great men have been transacted
and carried on.... See what sponges have sucked up the public wealth and
whether it hath not been privately contrived away by unworthy favorites,
by vile juggling parasites, whose tottering fortunes have been repaired
and supported by the charge." The constant breach of laws, unjust
prosecutions, excuses, and evasions, proved that the men in power were
conducting public affairs "as if it were but to play a booty, game, or
divide a spoil."

In view of these statements recent attempts to prove that Bacon was no
true patriot and not interested in righting the people's wrongs seem
strange indeed. It is hardly credible that he was merely pretending when
he wrote these fiery words, that he posed as the champion of the people
to further his personal ambitions, that he trumped up charges against
Berkeley because of the disagreement over the Indian war.

But, it has been said, Bacon showed no interest in the passage of the
reform laws enacted by the Assembly of June 1676, refused to have them
read before his army, and complained that the Burgesses had not lived up
to his expectations. Had he been really interested in reform, would he
not have gloried in these laws and have praised the Assembly for passing

Any such conclusion falls flat when we consider the conditions under
which this session was held. The Burgesses had hardly taken their seats
when Bacon, who had been elected as one of the members to represent
Henrico County, was captured. Though Berkeley pardoned him and restored
him to his seat in the Council, he was a virtual prisoner during the
first few days of the session. So he looked on with growing resentment
as the governor overawed the Burgesses and reform measures were set

Then, suddenly, the entire situation changed. Bacon got permission to
return to Henrico because his wife was ill. Once there he placed himself
at the head of his army of enraged frontiersmen and marched rapidly on
Jamestown. When this news reached the little capital, the governor, his
Council, and the Burgesses were panic stricken. Since resistance was
useless, every thought was of appeasement. A series of reform laws,
which struck at the very roots of Berkeley's system of rule through
placemen, was introduced in the Assembly, rushed through, and signed by
the governor.

Not knowing what had happened during his absence, on his arrival Bacon
mounted the steps to the Long Room of the State House where the Assembly
met, to urge them to right the people's wrongs. Thomas Mathews, who was
present, says that "he pressed hard, nigh an hour's harangue on
preserving our lives from the Indians, inspecting the revenues, the
exorbitant taxes, and redressing the grievances and calamities of that
deplorable country." It was only when he had finished that someone spoke
up to tell him that "they had already redressed their grievances." To
contend that Bacon was not interested in laws which he himself had so
passionately urged and which had obviously been passed to conciliate him
and his followers is merely to attempt to disprove the obvious.

Philip A. Bruce, in a statement published in 1893, in the _Virginia
Magazine of History and Biography_, points out that Bacon's Rebellion
"preceded the American Revolution by a century, an event which it
resembled in its spirit, if not in its causes and results. Bacon is
known in history as the Rebel, but the fuller information which we have
now as to the motives of his conduct shows that he can with more justice
be described as Bacon the Patriot. He headed a powerful popular movement
in which the sovereignty of the people was for the first time relied
upon on American soil by a great leader as the justification of his
acts. The spirit breathing through the Declaration of the People is the
spirit of the Declaration of Independence." Nothing which has been
brought out in the sixty-four years since Dr. Bruce wrote these words
has shaken or can shake their truth. Bacon was the torchbearer of the

Attempts to defend Sir John Harvey are as unconvincing as those to
belittle Bacon. Certainly the Sackville Papers, recently made available
to historians, contain nothing to warrant any change in the conclusion,
long accepted by Virginia historians, that Harvey's expulsion was richly

Charles Campbell, in his _History of the Colony and Ancient Dominion of
Virginia_, thus describes Harvey's administration: "He was extortionate,
proud, unjust, and arbitrary; he issued proclamations in derogation of
the legislative powers of the Assembly; assessed, levied, held, and
disbursed the colonial revenue without check or responsibility;
transplanted into Virginia exotic English statutes; multiplied penalties
and exactions and appropriated fines to his own use; he added the
decrees of the court of high commission of England to the ecclesiastical
constitutions of Virginia." Could we have a more perfect description of
a despot?

It remains to point out a few errors which crept into the original
manuscript. On page 21 "the falls of the Appomattox" should be "the
first bend of the Appomattox"; on page 75 "John Pott" should be "Francis
Pott"; on page 82 "Matthew Kemp" should be "Richard Kemp".

_Princeton, New Jersey_         Thomas J. Wertenbaker
_August, 1957_


ABBREVIATIONS USED IN NOTES                                           xi

CHAPTER I--The Founding of Virginia                                    1

CHAPTER II--The Establishment of Representative Government            29

CHAPTER III--The Expulsion of Sir John Harvey                         60

CHAPTER IV--Governor Berkeley and the Commonwealth                    85

CHAPTER V--The Causes of Bacon's Rebellion                           115

CHAPTER VI--Bacon's Rebellion                                        146

CHAPTER VII--The Period of Confusion                                 195

CHAPTER VIII--The Critical Period                                    225

INDEX                                                                261


Arb. Smith, _Works of Captain John Smith_, Edward Arber.
Scobell, _Scobell's Collection of Acts and Ordinances of General Use_.
F. R., _The First Republic in America_, Alexander Brown.
Gen., _The Genesis of the United States_, Alexander Brown.
Force, _Tracts and Other Papers Relating to the Colonies in North
  America_, Peter Force.
Nar. of Va., _Narratives of Early Virginia_, Lyon G. Tyler.
Va. Car., _Virginia Carolorum_, E. D. Neill.
Hen., _The Statutes at Large_, W. W. Hening.
Proceedings of Va. Co., _Proceedings of the Virginia Company of London_.
Cradle of Rep., _The Cradle of the Republic_, Lyon G. Tyler.
Bruce, Inst. Hist., _Institutional History of Virginia in the Seventeenth
  Century_, P. A. Bruce.
Bruce, EC. Hist., _Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth
  Century_, P. A. Bruce.
Miller, _The Legislature of the Province of Virginia_, E. I. Miller.
P. R. O., British Public Record Office.
Stith, _History of Virginia_, William Stith.
Osg., _American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century_, H. L. Osgood.
Neill, Va. Co., _History of the Virginia Company of London_, E. D. Neill.
Fiske, Old Va., _Old Virginia and her Neighbors_, John Fiske.
Burk, _History of Virginia_, John Burk.
Va. Hist. Reg., _Virginia Historical Register_.
Beverley, _History of Virginia_, Robert Beverley.
Va. Mag., _Virginia Magazine of History and Biography_.
Wise, _The Early History of the Eastern Shore of Virginia_, J. C. Wise.
Southern Lit. Mess., _Southern Literary Messenger_.
Campbell, _History of Virginia_, Charles Campbell.
McD., _McDonald Papers_, Virginia State Library.
Jour. H. of B., _Journals of the House of Burgesses_. Manuscript copies
  in the Virginia State Library.
Justice in Virginia, _Justice in Colonial Virginia_, O. P. Chitwood.
Sains., _Sainsbury Papers_, Virginia State Library.
Mass. S. IV., _Massachusetts Historical Collections, Series IV._
T. M., _The Beginning, Progress and Conclusion of Bacon's Rebellion_.
W. & M. Q., _William and Mary Quarterly_.
Inds' Pros., _Indians' Proceedings_.
Bac's Pros., _Bacon's Proceedings_.
Ing's Pros., _Ingram's Proceedings_.
Cotton, _Our Late Troubles in Virginia_, Mrs. A. Cotton.
Va. Vet., _Virginia Vetusta_, E. D. Neill.



In December, 1606, three little vessels--the _Sarah Constant_, the
_Discovery_ and the _Goodspeed_--set sail from England under Captain
Christopher Newport, for the distant shores of Virginia.[1] After a long
and dangerous voyage across the Atlantic the fleet, on the sixth of May,
1607, entered the Chesapeake Bay.[2] The adventurers spent several days
exploring this great body of water, landing parties to investigate the
nature of the shores, and to visit the Indian tribes that inhabited
them. They were delighted with the "faire meddowes, ... full of flowers
of divers kinds and colours", and with the "goodly tall trees" of the
forests with "Fresh-waters running" between, but they had instructions
not to settle near the coast, lest they should fall victims to the
Spaniards.[3] So they entered the broad mouth of a river which they
called the James, and made their way cautiously up into the country. On
the twenty-third of May they found a peninsula in the river, which
afforded a convenient landing place and was easy to defend, both from
the Indians and the Spaniards. This place they called Jamestown. Landing
their men, they set immediately to work building houses and erecting
fortifications. Thus did the English begin their first permanent
settlement in the New World.

The bold band of adventurers that came thus hopefully into this
beautiful and smiling country little realized that before them lay only
dangers and misfortunes. Could they have foreseen the terrible obstacles
to founding a colony in this land, they would have hesitated before
entering upon the enterprise.

Four things conspired to bring misfortune and disaster upon Virginia.
The form of government prescribed by the King and the Company was
unsuited to the infant settlement, and its defects kept the colonists
for many months in turmoil and disorder. The Indians proved a constant
source of danger, for they were tireless in cutting off stragglers,
ambushing small parties and in destroying the crops of the white men.
Famines came at frequent intervals to weaken the colonists and add to
their misfortunes. But by far the most terrible scourge was the
"sicknesse" that swept over Virginia year after year, leaving in its
wake horrible suffering and devastation.

The charter that James I granted to the London Company served as a
constitution for Virginia, for it prescribed the form of government and
made regulations that none could disregard. It provided for a Council,
resident in England, to which was assigned the management of the colony
and the supervision of its government.[4] This body was appointed by the
King and was strictly answerable to him through the Privy Council for
its every act.[5] The immediate government of the colony was entrusted
to a local Council, selected by the Council in England, and responsible
to it. The Virginia Council exercised extraordinary powers, assuming all
administrative, legislative and judicial functions, and being in no way
restrained by the wishes or demands of their fellow colonists.[6]
Although they were restricted by the charter and by the instructions of
the Council in England, the isolation of the settlement and the
turbulent spirit of the adventurers made them reckless in enforcing
their own will upon the colonists. More than once they were guilty of
unpardonable harshness and cruelty.

The charter did not provide for the appointment of a Governor. The
nominal leadership of the colony was entrusted to a President, chosen by
the local Council from among its members. This officer had no duty
distinct from that of the Councillors, other than to preside at their
meetings and to cast a double or deciding vote in case of deadlock.[7]
He was to serve but one year and if at any time his administration
proved unsatisfactory to his colleagues, they could, by a majority vote,
depose him. In like manner, any Councillor that had become obnoxious
could be expelled without specific charges and without trial.[8] These
unwise provisions led naturally to disorder and strife, and added much
to the misfortunes of the infant colony.[9]

The selections for the Council were made some days before the fleet
sailed, but the Company, fearing a conflict of authority during the
voyage, thought it best that they should be kept secret until the
colonists had reached Virginia. The names of the appointees were
embodied in "several instruments" which were entrusted to the commanders
of the vessels, with instructions that they should be opened within
twenty-four hours after they had arrived off the coast of America.[10]
Upon entering the Chesapeake Bay the adventurers read the papers, and
found that Christopher Newport, the commander of the fleet, Edward
Wingfield, Bartholomew Gosnold, George Kendall, John Ratcliffe, John
Martin and John Smith were those that had been chosen.[11]

After the landing the Council met, were sworn to office, and then
elected Wingfield President.[12] Captain John Smith, who had been
accused of mutiny during the voyage, was not allowed to take his seat,
and was kept under restraint until the twentieth of June.[13]

Hardly had the founding of Jamestown been effected when the weakness of
the constitution became apparent. The meetings of the Council were
discordant and stormy. The members were utterly unable to act with
vigor and determination, or to agree upon any settled course of action
in establishing the little colony. The President, because of the
limitation of his powers, could do nothing to restore harmony or to
enforce his own wishes and policies. Confusion and mismanagement
resulted. In less than a month after the first landing the inefficiency
of the government had created such discontent that the colonists
petitioned the Council for redress.[14] It was only the tact and
moderation of Captain Newport that appeased the anger of the settlers
and persuaded them to submit to the decrees of the governing body.[15]

On the second of July, Newport, with his little fleet, sailed for
England, leaving the ill-fated colonists to their own resources.[16] No
sooner had he gone than the spirit of discord reappeared. The quarrels
within the Council became more violent than ever, and soon resulted in
the complete disruption of that body. Captain Kendall, who seems to have
been active in fomenting ill feeling among his colleagues, was the first
to be expelled. Upon the charge of exciting discord he was deprived of
his seat and committed to prison.[17]

As Captain John Smith had, before the departure of Newport, been allowed
to take his place in the Council, there were now five members of that
body. The number was soon reduced to four by the death of Captain
Gosnold, who fell a victim to the sickness.[18] One would imagine that
the Council, thus depleted, would have succeeded in governing the colony
in peace, but the settlers were given no respite from their wrangling
and disputes. In September, Ratcliffe, Smith and Martin entered into an
agreement to depose President Wingfield and to oust him from the
Council. Before they proceeded against him, however, they pledged each
other that the expulsions should then stop, and that no one of the three
should be attacked by the other two.

The Councillors then appeared before Wingfield's tent with a warrant,
"subscribed under their handes, to depose the President; sayeing they
thought him very unworthy to be eyther President or of the Councell, and
therefore discharged him of both".[19] They accused him of
misappropriating funds, of improper division of the public stores, of
being an atheist, of plotting to desert Virginia in the pinnace left at
Jamestown by Captain Newport, of combining with the Spaniards for the
destruction of the colony. Wingfield, when he returned to England, made
a vigorous defense of his conduct, but it is now impossible to determine
whether or not he was justly accused. After his expulsion from office,
he was summoned before the court by the remnant of the Council to answer
these numerous charges. It might have gone hard with him, had he not
demanded a hearing before the King. As his enemies feared to deny him
this privilege, they closed the court, and committed him to prison on
board the pinnace, where he was kept until means were at hand to send
him to England.[20]

The removal of the President did not bring peace to the colony. If we
may believe the testimony of Wingfield, the triumvirate that now held
sway ruled the settlers with a harsh and odious tyranny. "Wear," he
says, "this whipping, lawing, beating, and hanging, in Virginia, known
in England, I fear it would drive many well affected myndes from this
honourable action."[21] One day Ratcliffe, who had been chosen to
succeed Wingfield, became embroiled with James Read, the smith. Read
forgot the respect due his superior, and struck the new President. So
heinous a crime was this affront to the dignity of the chief officer of
the infant colony, that the smith was brought to trial, convicted and
sentenced to be hanged. But he saved his life, upon the very eve of his
execution, by revealing to Ratcliffe a plot against the government,
headed, he declared, by Captain Kendall.[22] Immediately Kendall, who
had long been an object of suspicion, was tried for mutiny, found guilty
and executed.[23]

In December, 1607, when the colony was suffering severely for the want
of food, Captain Smith led an expedition into the territory of the
Chickahominies in quest of corn.[24] During his absence the President,
despite the protests of Martin, admitted Captain Gabriel Archer to the
Council.[25] Archer, who seems to have been a bitter enemy of Smith, had
no sooner attained this place of power, than he set to work to ruin the
adventurous captain. "Being settled in his authority", he "sought to
call Master Smythes lief in question, and ... indicted him upon a
Chapter in Leviticus for the death" of two men under his charge, that
had been murdered by the Indians. He was to have had his trial upon the
very day of his return from his thrilling adventures with the savages.
His conviction and immediate execution would doubtless have resulted,
had not the proceedings against him been interrupted by the arrival of
the First Supply from England.[26] Captain Newport, whose influence
seems always to have been exerted in favor of moderation and harmony,
persuaded the Council to drop the charges against Smith, to release him
from restraint, and to restore him to his seat in the Council.

Of extraordinary interest is the assertion of Wingfield that the arrival
of the fleet "prevented a Parliament, which ye newe Counsailour (Archer)
intended thear to summon".[27] It is not surprising that the settlers,
disgusted as they were with the violence and harshness of their rulers,
should have wished to share in the government. But we cannot but wonder
at their boldness in attempting to set aside the constitution given them
by the King and the Company. Had they succeeded in establishing direct
government by the people, it could not be supposed that James would have
permitted it to continue. But the attempt is very significant, as
indicating that they were desirous, even at this early date, of having a
voice in the management of affairs.

Archer and the unfortunate Wingfield sailed with the fleet when Captain
Newport returned to England, and a few months later Martin followed
them.[28] Since, with the First Supply had come a new Councillor,
Matthew Scrivener, the governing body once more numbered three.

During the summer of 1608 Smith was frequently away, chasing the phantom
of the passage to the South Sea, but this did not prevent the usual
quarrels. If we may believe the account in Smith's history, Ratcliffe
was deposed from the Presidency because of "pride and unreasonable
needlesse cruelty" and for wasting the public stores.[29] It is probable
that for some weeks Scrivener conducted the government, while Ratcliffe
was kept a prisoner.[30] In September, Captain Smith, returning from a
voyage in the Chesapeake Bay, "received the letters patents, and took
upon him the place of president".[31]

Smith was now supreme in the government, for the Council was reduced to
two, and his casting vote made his will superior to that of Scrivener.
But he was not long to enjoy this power. In October, 1608, Captain
Newport, arriving with the Second Supply, brought with him two "antient
souldiers and valient gentlemen"--Richard Waldo and Peter Wynne--both
bearing commissions as Councillors.[32] Soon afterward Ratcliffe was
restored to his seat. The Council, thus recruited, resumed its control
over the colony, "so that although Smith was President yet the Council
had the authority, and ruled it as they listed".[33]

Two months later, when Newport sailed again, Ratcliffe returned to
England. Smith wrote the English Council, "Captaine Ratcliffe is ... a
poore counterfeited Imposture. I have sent you him home, least the
company should cut his throat."[34] The next spring Waldo and Scrivener,
with nine others, were caught in a small boat upon the James by a
violent gale, and were drowned.[35] As Captain Wynne soon succumbed to
the sickness, Smith became the sole surviving Councillor.[36] During the
summer of 1609 the colony was governed, not, as the King and Company had
designed, by a Council, but by the will of this one man.

In the meanwhile the London Company was becoming aware that a mistake
had been made in entrusting the government of the colony to a body of
Councillors. The reports of Wingfield, Archer, Newport and Ratcliffe
made it evident that the lack of harmony in the Council had been a
serious hindrance to the success of the enterprise.[37] Feeling,
therefore, that this "error in the equality of the governors ... had a
little shaken so tender a body", the managers held an especial meeting
to effect a change.[38] A new charter was drawn up by Sir Edwin Sandys,
approved by the Company and assented to by the King.

In this document James relinquished into the hands of the Company not
only the direct management of the colony, but the power of drawing up a
new and more satisfactory system of government. Acting under this
authority, Sandys and his associates abolished the Council and entrusted
the entire control of the colony to an all-powerful Governor. The
disorder that had so impeded the success of the enterprise was to be
crushed under the iron hand of a despot. Doubtless Sandys would have
attempted to establish representative government at once in Virginia,
had conditions favored so radical a change. But the colony was too young
and feeble, and James could hardly be expected to give his consent. Yet
the many liberal members of the Company were deeply interested in
Virginia and were determined, should a favorable opportunity occur, to
establish there an Assembly similar in character to the English

The granting of the new charter aroused extraordinary interest in the
fortunes of the colony throughout England and stimulated the Company to
renewed efforts.[39] Thousands of pounds were contributed to defray the
expenses of another expedition, and hundreds of persons responded to the
appeals for settlers. The first Governor was a man of ability and
distinction--Thomas Lord De la Warr. Sir Thomas Gates was made
Lieutenant-Governor, George Summers, Admiral, and Captain Newport,
Vice-Admiral.[40] De la Warr found it impossible to leave at once to
assume control of his government, but the other officers, with nine
vessels and no less than five hundred colonists, sailed in June,
1609.[41] Unfortunately, in crossing the Gulf of Bahama, the fleet
encountered a terrific storm, which scattered the vessels in all
directions. When the tempest abated, several of the ships reunited and
continued on their way to Jamestown, but the _Sea Adventure_, which
carried Gates, Summers and Newport, was wrecked upon an island in the
Bermudas.[42] As a result of this misfortune none of the leaders of the
expedition reached Virginia until May, 1610, ten months later.

The other vessels, with most of the settlers, arrived at Jamestown in
August, 1609. The newcomers told Captain Smith of the Company's new plan
of government, and requested him to relinquish the old commission. This
the President refused to do. All the official papers relating to the
change had been aboard the _Sea Adventure_, and he would not resign
until he had seen them.[43] A long and heated controversy followed, but
in the end Smith gained his point.[44] It was agreed that until the
arrival of the _Sea Adventure_ the colony should remain under the old
charter, and that Smith should continue to act as President until the
twentieth of September, when he was to relinquish the government to
Captain Francis West.[45]

This arrangement did not restore harmony. West felt aggrieved that
Captain Smith should insist upon continuing the old order of affairs
despite the known wishes of the Company, and took occasion to ignore and
slight his authority. This so angered the President that he is said to
have plotted with the Indians to surprise and cut off a party of men
that his rival was leading up the James. Before this could be
accomplished, however, Smith met with a serious accident, which led to
his immediate overthrow. "Sleeping in his Boate ... accidentallie, one
fired his powder-bag, which tore the flesh ... in a most pittifull
manner; but to quench the tormenting fire ... he leaped over-board into
the deepe river, where ever they could recover him he was neere
drowned."[46] Three former Councillors--Ratcliffe, Archer and
Martin--who had come over with the new fleet, availed themselves of the
helplessness of their old foe to rid the colony of his presence.
Claiming, with some justice, that if Smith could retain his office under
the old charter, they were by the same power still members of the
Council, they held a meeting, deposed him from the Presidency and sent
him back to England.[47] Having thus disposed of the troublesome
Captain, they looked about them for some man suitable to head the colony
until the arrival of Gates. Neglecting the claims of West, whom they
probably considered too inexperienced for the place, they selected
Captain George Percy.[48]

In the meanwhile, the crew and passengers of the _Sea Adventure_ were
stranded in the Bermudas, upon what was called Devil's Island. Some of
their number were daring enough to venture out into the ocean in the
longboat, in an attempt to reach the colony, but they must have
perished, for they were never heard from again.[49] The rest of the
company, seeing no other way of escape, built two pinnaces and, in May,
1610, sailed away in them for Jamestown. A few days later, upon their
arrival in Virginia, Gates received the old patent and the seal from the
President and the period of the first royal government in Virginia came
to an end.[50]

But the "faction breeding" government by the Council was by no means the
only cause of trouble. Far more disastrous was the "sicknesse". When the
first expedition sailed for Virginia, the Council in England, solicitous
for the welfare of the emigrants, commanded them to avoid, in the choice
of a site for their town, all "low and moist places".[51] Well would it
have been for the colonists had they obeyed these instructions. Captain
Smith says there was in fact opposition on the part of some of the
leaders to the selection of the Jamestown peninsula, and it was amply
justified by the event. The place was low and marshy and extremely
unhealthful.[52] In the summer months great swarms of mosquitoes arose
from the stagnant pools of water to attack the immigrants with a sting
more deadly than that of the Indian arrow or the Spanish musket ball.

Scarcely three months had elapsed from the first landing when sickness
and death made their appearance. The settlers, ignorant of the use of
Peruvian bark and other remedies, were powerless to resist the progress
of the epidemic. Captain George Percy describes in vivid colors the
sufferings of the first terrible summer. "There were never Englishmen,"
he says, "left in a forreign country in such miserie as wee were in this
new discouvered Virginia. Wee watched every three nights, lying on the
bare-ground, what weather soever came;... which brought our men to bee
most feeble wretches.... If there were any conscience in men, it would
make their harts to bleed to heare the pitifull murmurings and outcries
of our sick men without reliefe, every night and day for the space of
sixe weekes; in the morning their bodies being trailed out of their
cabines like Dogges, to be buried."[53] So deadly was the epidemic that
when Captain Newport brought relief in January, 1608, he found but
thirty-eight of the colonists alive.[54]

Nor did the men that followed in the wake of the _Sarah Constant_, the
_Discovery_ and the _Goodspeed_ fare better. In the summer of 1608, the
sickness reappeared and once more wrought havoc among the unhappy
settlers. Captain Smith, who probably saved his own life by his frequent
exploring expeditions, on his return to Jamestown in July, "found the
Last Supply al sicke".[55] In 1609, when the fleet of Summers and
Newport reached Virginia, the newcomers, many of whom were already in
ill health, fell easy victims to malaria and dysentery. Smith declared
that before the end of 1610 "not past sixtie men, women and children"
were left of several hundred that but a few months before had sailed
away from Plymouth.[56] During the short stay of Governor De la Warr one
hundred and fifty, or more than half the settlers lost their lives.[57]

Various visitors to Virginia during the early years of the seventeenth
century bear testimony to the ravages of this scourge. A Spaniard named
Molina, writing in 1613, declared that one hundred and fifty out of
every three hundred colonists died before being in Virginia twelve
months.[58] DeVries, a Dutch trader to the colony, wrote, "During the
months of June, July and August it is very unhealthy, then people that
have lately arrived from England, die, during these months, like cats
and dogs, whence they call it the sickly season."[59] This testimony is
corroborated by Governor William Berkeley, who reported in 1671, "There
is not now oft seasoned hands (as we term them) that die now, whereas
heretofore not one of five escaped the first year."[60]

In 1623 a certain Nathaniel Butler, in an attack upon the London
Company, called "The Unmasked Face of our Colony in Virginia", drew a
vivid, though perhaps an exaggerated picture of the unhealthfulness of
the climate. "I found the plantations," he said, "generally seated upon
meer salt marshes, full of infectious bogs and muddy creeks and lakes,
and thereby subjected to all those inconveniences and diseases which are
so commonly found in the most unsound and most unhealthy parts of
England, whereof every country and climate hath some." It was by no
means uncommon, he declared, to see immigrants from England "Dying under
hedges and in the woods", and unless something were done at once to
arrest the frightful mortality Virginia would shortly get the name of a
slaughter house.[61]

The climate of eastern Virginia, unhealthful as it undoubtedly was in
the places where the first settlements were made, cannot be blamed for
all the epidemics that swept the colony. Much of the ill health of the
immigrants was due to unwholesome conditions on board the ships which
brought them from England. The vessels were usually crowded far beyond
their real capacity with wretched men, women and children, and were foul
beyond description.[62] Not infrequently great numbers died at sea. One
vessel is reported to have lost a hundred and thirty persons out of a
hundred and eighty-five. On the ships that left England in June, 1609,
both yellow fever and the London plague appeared, doing fearful havoc,
and making it necessary to throw overboard from two of the vessels alone
thirty-two unfortunate wretches.[63] The diseases, thus started, often
spread after the settlers had reached their new homes, and under
favoring conditions, developed into terrible epidemics.[64]

Less deadly than the "sicknesse", but still greatly to be dreaded, was
the hostility of the Indians.[65] The natives, resentful at the attempt
of the white men to establish themselves in their midst, proved a
constant menace to the colony. Their superstitious awe of the strange
newcomers, and their lack of effective weapons alone prevented untiring
and open war. Jamestown was but a few days old when it was subjected to
a violent assault by the savages. On the twentieth day of May, 1607, the
colonists, while at work without their arms in the fields, were attacked
by several hundred Indians. In wild dismay they rushed into the fort,
while the savages followed at their heels. "They came up allmost into
the ffort, shot through the tents, appeared in this Skirmishe (which
lasted hott about an hower) a very valient people." The guns of the
ships came to the aid of the English and their thunders struck dismay
into the hearts of the savages. Yet they retired without panic, taking
with them their dead and wounded. Four of the Council, standing in the
front ranks, were wounded by the natives, and President Wingfield, while
fighting valiently, had an arrow shot through his beard, "yet scaped

A few days after this event a gentleman named Clovell came running into
the fort with six arrows sticking in him, crying, "Arm, arm". He had
wandered too far from the town, and the Indians, who were still prowling
near, shot him from ambush. Eight days later he died.[67] Thus at the
very outset, the English learned the nature of the conflict which they
must wage against the Indians. In open fight the savages, with their
primitive weapons, were no match for them, but woe to any of their
number that strayed far from the fort, or ventured into the long grass
of the mainland. So frequently were small parties cut off, that it
became unsafe for the English to leave their settlements except in
bodies large enough to repel any attack.[68]

The epidemics and the wars with the Indians conspired to bring upon the
colony still another horrible scourge. The constant dread of attack in
the fields and the almost universal sickness made it impossible for the
settlers to raise crops sufficient for their needs. During the summer of
1607 there were at one time scarce five able men at Jamestown, and these
found it beyond their power even to nurse the sick and bury the dead.
And in later years, when corn was planted in abundance, the stealthy
savages often succeeded in cutting it down before it could be harvested.
There can be no surprise then that famines came at frequent intervals to
add to the misery of the ill-fated colonists. The most terrible of these
visited Virginia in the winter of 1609-10. Smith's Historie gives a
graphic account of the suffering during those fearful months. Those that
escaped starvation were preserved, it says, "for the most part, by
roots, herbes, acornes, walnuts, berries, now and then a fish: they that
had starch in these extremities, made no small use of it; yea, even the
very skinnes of our horses. Nay, so great was our famine, that a Salvage
we slew and buried, the poorer sort took him up againe and eat him; and
so did divers one another boyled and stewed with roots and herbs: And
one amongst the rest did kill his wife, powdered her, and had eaten part
of her before it was knowne; for which hee was executed, as hee well
deserved.... This was the time, which to this day we call the starving
time; it were too vile to say, and scarce to be believed, what we

The misery of the wretched settlers in time of famine is vividly
described in a letter written in 1623 by a servant to his parents. The
people, he said, cried out day and night, "Oh that they were in England
without their limbs ... though they begged from door to door". He
declared that he had eaten more at home in a day than was now allowed
him in a week, and that his parents had often given more than his
present day's allowance to a beggar at the door. Unless the ship _Sea
Flower_ came soon, with supplies, his master's men would have but half a
penny loaf each a day for food, and might be turned away to eat bark off
the trees, or moulds off the ground. "Oh," he said, "that you did see my
daily and hourly sighs, groans, tears and thumps that I afford mine own
breast, and rue and curse the time of my birth and with holy Job I
thought no head had been able to hold so much water as hath and doth
daily flow from mine eyes."[70]

Thus was the immigrant to Virginia beset on all sides with deadly
perils. If he escaped the plague, the yellow fever and the scurvy during
his voyage across the Atlantic, he was more than apt to fall a victim to
malaria or dysentery after he reached his new home. Even if he survived
all these dangers, he might perish miserably of hunger, or be butchered
by the savage Indians. No wonder he cursed the country, calling it "a
miserie, a ruine, a death, a hell".[71]

It is remarkable that the enterprise, in the face of these stupendous
difficulties, should ever have succeeded. The explanation lies in the
great enthusiasm of all England for this attempt to extend the British
domains to the shores of the New World, and in the devotion of a few
brave spirits of the London Company, who would not be daunted by
repeated failures. It mattered not to them that thousands of pounds were
lost in the undertaking, that many hundreds of men perished, the
English flag and the English religion must gain a foothold upon the
American continent.

Sir Thomas Gates found the colony in a pitiable condition. The tomahawk
of the Indians, famine and pestilence had wrought terrible havoc with
the settlers. A mere handful of poor wretched men were left to welcome
the newcomers and to beg eagerly to be taken away from the ill-fated
country. The town "appeared rather as the ruins of some auntient
fortification, then that any people living might now in habit it: the
pallisadoes he found tourne downe, the portes open, the gates from the
hinges, the church ruined and unfrequented.... Only the block house ...
was the safetie of the remainder that lived: which yet could not have
preserved them now many days longer from the watching, subtile, and
offended Indians."[72]

Nor was it in the power of Gates to remedy these conditions, for he had
brought with him from Devil's Island but a limited supply of provisions.
So, with great reluctance, the Lieutenant-Governor decided to abandon
Virginia rather than sacrifice his people. As the colonists climbed
aboard the vessels which were to take them from the scene of their
sufferings, they would have set fire to the town had not Gates prevented
with his soldiers. He, himself, "was the last of them, when, about noon,
giving a farewell with a peale of small shott, he set sayle, and that
night, with the tide, fell down ... the river."[73]

But it was not destined that this enterprise, which was of such
importance to the English nation, should be thus abandoned. In April,
1610, De la Warr, the Lord Governor, had sailed for Virginia with three
vessels, about a hundred and fifty immigrants and supplies for the
relief of the colony.[74] Reaching Cape Comfort June the sixteenth, he
learned from a small party there of the intended desertion of Jamestown.
Immediately he sent a pinnace up the river to meet Gates, advise him of
his arrival and to order his return to the abandoned town. Upon
receiving these welcome tidings, Gates bore "up the helm" for Jamestown,
and the same night landed all his men.[75] Soon after, the Governor
reached the town and took formal possession of the government.

De la Warr began his administration by listening to a sermon from the
good pastor, Mr. Buck. He then made an address to the people, "laying
some blames on them for many vanities and their idleness", and
promising, if occasion required, to draw the sword of justice.[76]

The Governor was not unrestrained in his authority over the colonists,
for he was to "rule, punish, pardone and governe according to such
directions" as were given him by the London Company. In case of
rebellion or mutiny he might put into execution martial law. In matters
not covered by his instructions he was to "rule and governe by his owne
discretion or by such lawes" as he should think fit to establish.[77]
The Council, which had formerly been all-powerful, was now but an
advisory body, appointed by the Governor and removable at his
discretion. De la Warr chose for his Council Sir Thomas Gates, Sir
George Somers, Captain George Percy, Sir Ferdinando Weinman, Captain
Christopher Newport and William Strachey, Esquire.[78]

Forgetting their former quarrels and factions, the people united in a
zealous effort to serve their noble Governor. "You might shortly behold
the idle and restie diseases of a divided multitude, by the unity and
authority of the government to be substantially cured. Those that knew
not the way to goodnes before, but cherished singularity and faction,
can now chalke out the path of all respective dutie and service."[79]

For a while peace and prosperity seemed to have come at last to the
little colony. All set to work with a good will to build comfortable
houses and to repair the fort. The chapel was restored. The Governor
furnished it with a communion table of black walnut and with pews and
pulpit of cedar. The font was "hewn hollow like a canoa". "The church
was so cast, as to be very light within and the Governor caused it to
be kept passing sweet and trimmed up with divers flowers." In the
evening, at the ringing of the bell, and at four in the afternoon, each
man addressed himself to prayer.[80] "Every Sunday, when the Lord
Governor went to Church he was accompanied with all the Councillors,
Captains, other officers, and all the gentlemen, and with a guard of
fifty Halberdiers in his Lordships Livery, fair red cloaks, on each side
and behind him. The Lord Governor sat in the choir, in a green velvet
chair, with a velvet cushion before him on which he knelt, and the
Council, captains, and officers, on each side of him."[81]

But the misfortunes of the colony were far from being at an end. The
principal causes of disaster had not yet been removed. Before many weeks
had passed the "sickly season" came on, bringing the usual accompaniment
of suffering and death. "Not less than 150 of them died of pestilent
diseases, of callentures and feavors, within a few months after" Lord De
la Warr's arrival.[82] So universal was the sickness among the newcomers
that all the work had to be done by the old settlers, "who by use weare
growen practique in a hard way of livinge".[83]

The war with the Indians continued without abatement, causing constant
alarm to the settlers and keeping them closely confined to their forts.
At one time fourteen were treacherously massacred by the Queen of
Appomattox. The English revenged themselves by attacking the savages,
burning their villages and destroying their crops, but they could not
force them into friendly relations.[84]

Lord De la Warr, himself, was assailed by a series of maladies, that
came near costing him his life. "Presently after my arrival in James
Town," he wrote, "I was welcomed by a hot and violent Ague, which held
mee a time.... That disease had not long left mee, till ... I began to
be distempered with other greevous sickness, which successively &
severally assailed me: for besides a relapse into the former disease;
... the Flux surprised me, and kept me many daies: then the cramp
assaulted my weak body, with strong paines; & afterward the Gout
afflicted me in such sort, that making my body through weaknesse unable
to stirre, ... drew upon me the disease called Scurvy ... till I was
upon the point to leave the world."[85] Realizing that it would be fatal
for him to remain longer in Virginia, the Lord Governor set sail with
Captain Argoll for the West Indies, where, he hoped, he would recover
his health.[86] As Gates had left the colony some months before, the
government fell into the experienced hands of Captain George Percy.[87]

In the meanwhile the London Company, undismayed by their former
failures, were preparing a new expedition, which they hoped would
establish the colony upon a firm footing. Three hundred immigrants,
carefully selected from the better class of working men, were assembled
under the command of Sir Thomas Dale, and, on March the twenty-seventh,
1611, embarked for Virginia. Upon the arrival of the fleet at Jamestown,
Dale received the letters patent from Captain Percy, and assumed command
of the colony as Deputy for Lord De la Warr.[88]

The new Governor seems to have perceived at once that the chief source
of disaster had been the location of the settlement upon the Jamestown
peninsula. The small area which this place afforded for the planting of
corn, and the unhealthfulness of the climate rendered it most
undesirable as the site for a colony. Former Governors had refused to
desert the peninsula because of the ease with which it could be defended
against the Indians. But Dale at once began a search for a spot which
would afford all the security of Jamestown, but be free from its many
disadvantages. This he succeeded in finding up the river, some fifty
miles from Jamestown.[89] "I have surveyed," he wrote, "a convenient
strong, healthie and sweet seate to plant the new towne in, from whence
might be no more remove of the principall Seate." This place, which he
named Henrico, was located not far from the point of juncture of the
James and the Appomattox, at what is now called Farrar's Island. Here
the river makes a sweeping curve, forming a peninsula about one square
mile in extent.


In August, 1611, Sir Thomas Gates, returning to assume the command of
the colony, pushed vigorously the work upon the new settlement.[90] Dale
was sent up the river with no less than three hundred men, with
directions to construct houses and fortifications. The settlers, working
with new life and vigor in the more wholesome air of the upper James,
soon rendered the place almost impregnable to attack from the Indians.
They cut a ditch across the narrow neck of the peninsula, and fortified
it with high palisades. To prevent a sudden raid by the savages in
canoes from the other shore, five strong block houses were built at
intervals along the river bank. Behind these defenses were erected a
number of substantial houses, with foundations of brick and frame
superstructures. Soon a town of three streets had been completed, more
commodious and far more healthful than Jamestown.[91]

When this work had been completed, Dale led a force of men across to the
south bank of the river and took possession of the entire peninsula
lying between the Appomattox and the James. An Indian settlement just
below Turkey Island bend was attacked and destroyed, and the savages
driven away. The English built a palisade over two miles long and
reinforced at intervals with forts and block houses, from the James at
Henrico to the falls of the Appomattox. These fortifications secured
from the attacks of the savages "many miles of champion and woodland",
and made it possible for the English to lay out in safety several new
plantations or hundreds. Dale named the place Bermuda, "by reason of the
strength of the situation".

Here, for the first time, something like prosperity came to the colony.
Although the "sicknesse" was not entirely eliminated even at Henrico,
the percentage of mortality was greatly reduced. Soon there were in
Virginia several hundred persons that had lived through the fatal months
of June, July and August and were thoroughly "seasoned" or immune to the
native disorders. Not until 1618, when the settlers, in their greed for
land suitable for the cultivation of tobacco, deserted their homes on
the upper James for the marshy ground of the lower country, and new,
unacclimated persons began arriving in great numbers, did the pestilence
again assume its former proportions.

Thus protected from the ravages of disease and from the assaults of the
savages, Dale's men were able to turn their attention to the cultivation
of the soil. Soon they were producing an annual crop of corn sufficient
to supply their more pressing needs. And it was well for them that they
could become, to some extent, independent of England, for the London
Company, at last discouraged by continued misfortune, was often remiss
in sending supplies. Clothing became exceedingly scarce. Not only were
the gaudy uniforms of De la Warr's time lacking, but many persons were
forced to imitate the savages by covering themselves with skins and
furs.[92] The Company, however, succeeded in obtaining for them from the
King many suits of old armor that were of great value in their wars with
the savages. Coats of mail and steel that had become useless on the
battlefields of Europe and had for years been rusting in the Tower of
London, were polished up and sent to Virginia. Thus, behind the
palisades of Henrico or in the fort at Jamestown one might have seen at
this time soldiers encased in armor that had done service in the days of
Richard III and Henry VII.[93]

The London Company, when they sent Sir Thomas Gates to Virginia with the
letters patent of 1609, gave directions that the utmost severity should
be used in putting an end to lawlessness and confusion. Gates, who had
fought against the Spaniards in the Netherlands and had the soldier's
dislike of insubordination, was well suited to carry their wishes into
effect. No sooner had he arrived from Devil's Island in 1610 than he
posted in the church at Jamestown certain laws, orders and instructions
which he warned the people they must obey strictly.[94] These laws were
exceedingly severe. It was, for instance, ordered that "every man and
woman daly twice a day upon the first towling of the Bell shall upon the
working daies repaire into the Church, to hear divine Service upon pain
of losing his or her dayes allowance for the first omission, for the
second to be whipt, and for the third to be condemned to the Gallies for
six Months". Again, it was decreed that "no man shall give any
disgracefull words, or commit any act to the disgrace of any person ...
upon paine of being tied head and feete together, upon the guard everie
night for the space of one moneth.... No man shall dare to kill, or
destroy any Bull, Cow, Calfe, Mare, Horse, Colt, Goate, Swine, Cocke,
Henne, Chicken, Dogge, Turkie, or any tame Cattel, or Poultry, of what
condition soever, ... without leave from the Generall, upon paine of
death.... There shall no man or woman ... dare to wash any unclean
linnen ... within the Pallizadoes, ... nor rench, and make clean, any
kettle, pot or pan ... within twenty foote of the olde well ... upon
pain of whipping."[95]

During the administration of Gates and De la Warr these laws seem not to
have been enforced vigorously, but were utilized chiefly _in
terrorem_.[96] Under Dale and Argoll, however, not only were they put
into merciless operation, but were reinforced with a series of martial
laws, drawn from the code in use among the armies of the Netherlands.

The Divine, Moral and Martial Laws, as they were called, undoubtedly
brought about good order in the colony, and aided in the establishment
of prosperity, but they were ill suited for the government of free-born
Englishmen. They were in open violation of the rights guaranteed to the
settlers in their charters, and caused bitter discontent and resentment.

At times they were enforced with odious harshness and injustice. Molina
declared that the Governors were most cruel in their treatment of the
people, often using them like slaves.[97] The Virginia Assembly of 1624
gives a vivid, though perhaps an exaggerated, picture of the severity of
the government. "The Colony ... remained in great want and misery under
most severe and Cruell lawes sent over in printe," they said, "and
contrary to the express Letter of the Kinge in his most gracious
Charter, and as mercylessly executed, often times without tryall or
Judgment." Many of the people fled "for reliefe to the Savage Enemy, who
being taken againe were putt to sundry deathes as by hanginge, shooting
and breaking uppon the wheele and others were forced by famine to filch
for their bellies, of whom one for steelinge of 2 or 3 pints of oatmeale
had a bodkin thrust through his tounge and was tyed with a chain to a
tree untill he starved, if a man through his sicknes had not been able
to worke, he had noe allowance at all, and soe consequently perished.
Many through these extremities, being weary of life, digged holes in the
earth and there hidd themselves till they famished."[98] In 1612,
several men attempted to steal "a barge and a shallop and therein to
adventure their lives for their native country, being discovered and
prevented, were shot to death, hanged and broken upon the wheel".[99]
There was some criticism in England of the harshness of the laws, but
Sir Thomas Smith, then the guiding spirit of the London Company,
declared that they were beneficial and necessary, "in some cases _ad
terrorum_, and in others to be truly executed".[100]

As time passed and the population of the colony increased, it became
necessary to extend beyond the confines of Jamestown and Henrico. The
cultivation of tobacco, which was rapidly becoming the leading pursuit
of the people, required more ground than was comprised within the
fortified districts. Even the expansion of the settlement upon the upper
James to other peninsulas along the "Curls of the River" could not
satisfy the demand for arable land. At one time the very streets of
Jamestown were planted with tobacco.[101] Soon the people, despite their
dread of the savages, were deserting their palisades, and spreading out
in search of fertile soil.

This recklessness brought upon the colony a renewal of the disastrous
epidemics of the earlier period, and exposed the planters to imminent
danger from the savages. Fortunately, however, at this very time the
long sought peace with the Indians was brought about by the romantic
marriage of Pocahontas, the daughter of the powerful chief Powhatan,
with Captain John Rolfe.

In the spring of 1613 Sir Samuel Argoll, while cruising in the
Rappahannock in quest of corn, learned from the natives that the
princess was visiting Japazaws, a neighboring king, at his village upon
the Potomac. Argoll at once resolved to capture the daughter of the
greatest enemy of the white men, and to hold her until all the tools and
weapons stolen by the Indians had been returned.[102] Hastening into the
country of the Potomacs, he demanded the maid of Japazaws. The king,
fearing the hostility of the English more than the anger of Powhatan,
consented, although with great reluctance, and she was placed aboard
Argoll's ship.

The news of the capture of his favorite child filled Powhatan with rage
and grief. Imploring Argoll to do Pocahontas no harm, he promised to
yield to all his demands and to become the lasting friend of the white
men.[103] He liberated seven captives and sent with them "three pieces,
one broad Axe, and a long whip-saw, and one canow of Corne".[104]
Knowing that these did not constitute all the tools in the hands of the
king, the English refused to relinquish Pocahontas, but kept her a
prisoner at Jamestown.[105]

The young princess was treated with consideration and kindness by
Governor Dale. Her gentle nature, her intelligence and her beauty won
the respect and love of the sternest of her captors. Dale himself
undertook to direct her education. "I was moved," he exclaimed, "by her
desire to be taught and instructed in the knowledge of God, her
capableness of understanding, her aptness and willingness to receive any
good impression.... I caused her to be carefully instructed in the
Christian religion, who, after she had made some good progress therein,
renounced publicly her Country's idolatry; openly confessed her
Christian faith; and was, as she desired, baptized."[106]

Before many months had passed the charm of this daughter of the American
forest had inspired a deep love in the breast of Captain John Rolfe.
This worthy gentleman, after struggling long against a passion so
strange and unusual, wrote Dale asking permission to wed the princess. I
am not ignorant, he said "of the inconvenience which may ... arise ...
to be in love with one whose education hath bin rude, her manners
barbarous, her generation accursed".[107] But I am led to take this
step, "for the good of the plantation, for the honour of our countrie,
for the glory of God, for my owne salvation, and for the converting to
the true knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, an unbeleeving creature,
like Pokahuntas. To whom my heartie and best thoughts are, and have a
long time bin so intangled, and inthralled in so intricate a laborinth,
that I was awearied to unwinde myselfe thereout."[108]

Dale, overjoyed at this opportunity to secure the friendship of the
Indians, consented readily to the marriage. Powhatan, too, when he
learned of his daughter's affection for Captain Rolfe, expressed his
approval of the union, and sent Apachisco, an uncle of the bride, and
two of her brothers to represent him at the ceremony.

Both English and Indians regarded this wedding as a bond of friendship
between the two races. Apachisco, acting as deputy for Powhatan,
concluded with Governor Dale a peace which lasted eight years and was
fairly well kept by both parties.[109] "Besides this," wrote Captain
Ralph Hamor, "we became in league with our next neighbors, the
Chicahamanias, a lustie and daring people, free of themselves. These
people, as soone as they heard of our peace with Powhatan, sent two
messengers with presents to Sir Thomas Dale and offered ... their
service."[110] Thus was one of the greatest menaces to the prosperity
of the colony removed. Now the settlers could cultivate the soil, or
hunt and fish without fear of the treacherous savage, and leave their
cattle to range in comparative safety. John Rolfe himself wrote, "The
great blessings of God have followed this peace, and it, next to him,
hath bredd our plentie--everie man sitting under his fig tree in safety,
gathering and reaping the fruits of their labors with much joy and

In 1616 Sir Thomas Dale, who had been in command of the colony since the
departure of Gates in 1614, returned to England, leaving the government
in the hands of Captain George Yeardley. Despite the harshness and
cruelty of Dale and Gates, they must be credited with obtaining the
final success of the colony. These two stern soldiers of the Dutch wars
had found the settlers dispirited, reduced in numbers, fighting a losing
battle against pestilence, starvation and the savages. By their rigid
discipline and able leadership they had brought unity and prosperity,
had taught the people how to resist the sickness, and had secured a long
peace with the Indians.[112] Dale left about three hundred and fifty
persons in Virginia, most of them thoroughly acclimated and busily
engaged in building up prosperity for the colony.

Tobacco was already becoming the staple product of Virginia. As early as
1612 Captain Rolfe had been experimenting with the native leaf, in an
effort to make it suitable for the English market.[113] In 1613 he sent
a part of his crop to London, where it was tested by experts and
pronounced to be of excellent quality.[114] The colonists were greatly
encouraged at the success of the venture, for the price of tobacco was
high, and its culture afforded opportunities for a rich return. Soon
every person that could secure a little patch of ground was devoting
himself eagerly to the cultivation of the plant. It even became
necessary for Dale to issue an order that each man should "set two acres
of ground with corn", lest the new craze should lead to the neglect of
the food supply.[115] In 1617 _The George_ sailed for England laden
with 20,000 pounds of tobacco, which found a ready market at five
shillings and three pence a pound. John Rolfe's discovery was opening
for Virginia a veritable gold mine.

Fortunately the King, in 1612, had granted the Company an exemption for
seven years from custom duties upon goods brought from the colony. So,
for a while, at least, the Crown could not appropriate to its own use
the profits from the Virginia tobacco. Since, however, the exemption had
only a few years more to run, the Company hastened to secure what
immediate returns were available. They took from the planters the entire
crop, giving them for it three pence per pound, while they themselves
were able to obtain a much larger price from the English dealers.

The profits thus secured were at once utilized in new measures for
increasing and strengthening the colony. Encouraged by the discovery in
Virginia of so profitable a commodity, the Company became convinced that
now at last success was at hand. "Broadsides" were sent out to the
British people, depicting in glowing terms the advantages of the
country, and asking for immigrants and for financial support. Once more
a wave of enthusiasm for the enterprise swept over England. Money was
contributed liberally. The clergy, interested in the spread of the
Anglican Church, and in the conversion of the savages, worked ardently
for the success of the colony. Soon vessel after vessel was being fitted
out for the voyage across the Atlantic, and hundreds of artisans and
laborers were preparing to risk their all in the New World.[116]


[1] F. R., pp. 21, 22.

[2] F. R., p. 23.

[3] Arb. Smith, lxi-lxii.

[4] Gen., p. 55.

[5] Gen., p. 56.

[6] Gen., pp. 55, 70, 73.

[7] Gen., p. 77.

[8] Gen., p. 67.

[9] Gen., pp. 342, 411.

[10] Gen., p. 77.

[11] Arb. Smith, p. 91.

[12] Arb. Smith, p. 91.

[13] Arb. Smith, p. 91; F. R., pp. 27, 32. Smith denied the justice of
these charges. "Now Captaine Smith, who all this time from their
departure from the Canaries, was restrained as a prisoner, upon the
scandalous suggestions of some of the chiefe (envying his repute); who
fained he intended to ursurpe the government, murder the Councell, and
make himself king; that his confederats were dispearsed in all the three
ships, and that divers of his confederats that revealed it, would
affirme it: for this he was committed." Arb. Smith, p. 92.

[14] Arb. Smith, liii.

[15] Arb. Smith, liv.

[16] F.R., p. 39.

[17] Arb. Smith, lxxvii.

[18] Arb. Smith, lxxvi.

[19] Arb. Smith, lxxix.

[20] Arb. Smith, lxxxi.

[21] Arb. Smith, lxxxiv.

[22] Arb. Smith, lxxxiv.

[23] Arb. Smith, lxxxv.

[24] Arb. Smith, lxxxv.

[25] F. R., p. 54.

[26] Arb. Smith, lxxxvi.

[27] Arb. Smith, lxxxvi.

[28] F. R., p. 58.

[29] Arb. Smith, pp. 114, 115.

[30] Arb. Smith, p. 119.

[31] Arb. Smith, p. 121; F. R., p. 61.

[32] F. R., p. 68; Arb. Smith, p. 122.

[33] Arb. Smith, p. 122.

[34] Arb. Smith, p. 444.

[35] F. R., 70.

[36] F. R., 71.

[37] F. R., p. 73.

[38] F. R., p. 73.

[39] F. R., p. 80.

[40] F. R., p. 84.

[41] F. R., p. 84.

[42] Gen., pp. 1329, 1330, 346, 400; Force, III; Arb. Smith, p. 635.

[43] F. R., p. 93.

[44] Gen., pp. 331, 347.

[45] Gen., pp. 331, 332; F. R., p. 98.

[46] Arb. Smith, p. 484.

[47] Ratcliffe wrote the Earl of Salisbury, "This man is sent home to
answere some misdemenors, whereof I perswade me he can scarcely clear
himselfe from great imputation of blame." Gen., p. 334.

[48] F. R., p. 108.

[49] F. R., p. 115.

[50] F. R., p. 117.

[51] Gen., p. 84.

[52] Arb. Smith, p. 5.

[53] Arb. Smith, lxxii.

[54] F. R., p. 55.

[55] Nar. of Va., p. 146.

[56] Many of these, however, died of starvation or were killed by the
Indians. Nar. of Va., p. 200.

[57] Nar. of Va., p. 212.

[58] Nar. of Va., p. 220; Gen., p. 648.

[59] Va. Car.

[60] Hen., Vol. I; Gen., p. 499.

[61] Proceedings of Va. Co., p. 171.

[62] Gen., p. 489.

[63] Gen., p. 329.

[64] F. R., p. 98.

[65] Gen., p. 503.

[66] Arb. Smith, lii.

[67] Arb. Smith, liii.

[68] Force, Vol. III, Tract I, p. 17; Gen., p. 405, 419, 456.

[69] Force, Vol. III, Tract I, p. 17; Nar. of Va., p. 295; Gen., pp.
330, 392, 401, 404, 456.

[70] Va. Vet.

[71] Nar. of Va., p. 117.

[72] Gen., p. 405.

[73] Gen., p. 406; Force, Vol. III, Tract I, p. 18.

[74] F. R., p. 127.

[75] F. R., p. 128; Force, Vol. III, Tract I, p. 19; Gen., p. 407.

[76] Gen., p. 407.

[77] Gen., p. 379.

[78] F. R., p. 131.

[79] Force, Vol. III, Tract I, p. 20.

[80] F. R., pp. 129, 130.

[81] F. R., p. 130.

[82] F. R., p. 134.

[83] F. R., p. 134.

[84] F. R., pp. 135, 136.

[85] Gen., p. 479.

[86] Gen., p. 480.

[87] F. R., p. 137.

[88] F. R., p. 137.

[89] Gen., p. 492; Arb. Smith, p. 507; F. R., p. 150.

[90] Gen., p. 474.

[91] Arb. Smith, pp. 509, 510; F. R., p. 157; Cradle of Rep., p. 136.

[92] F. R., p. 226.

[93] F. R., p. 172.

[94] F. R., p. 126; Gen., pp. 342, 345, 528, 529; Force, Vol. III, Tract
II, pp. 9-19.

[95] Force, Vol. III, Tract II, pp. 9-19.

[96] Bruce, Inst. Hist., Vol. I, p. 474.

[97] Gen., p. 648.

[98] Nar. of Va., pp. 422, 423.

[99] F. R., pp. 148, 172.

[100] Gen., pp. 529, 530.

[101] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 222.

[102] Gen., p. 642.

[103] Gen., p. 643.

[104] Gen., pp. 643, 644.

[105] Nar. of Va., p. 308.

[106] Arb. Smith, p. 512.

[107] Nar. of Va., p. 241.

[108] Nar. of Va., pp. 240, 241.

[109] F. R., p. 205; Arb. Smith, p. 514.

[110] Arb. Smith, p. 515.

[111] F. R., p. 226.

[112] F. R., pp. 230, 236.

[113] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 211.

[114] F. R., p. 197; Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 217.

[115] F. R., p. 228; Gen., p. 782.

[116] F. R., p. 209.



King James I, from the beginning of his reign, was deeply desirous of
planting the English nation upon the shores of the New World. It was
with envy and alarm that he witnessed the extension of the power of
Spain and of the Roman Catholic church across the Atlantic, while his
own subjects were excluded from a share in the splendid prize. He must
have perceived clearly that if the English wished to maintain their
position as a great naval and mercantile people, the establishing of
colonies in America was imperative. Peru, Mexico and the West Indies
added greatly to the wealth and power of the Spanish King; why should
England not attempt to gain a foothold near these countries, before it
became too late?

But James had no desire to arouse the hostility of Philip III. Despite
religious differences, despite the hatred of the English for the
Spaniards, he had reversed the policy of Elizabeth by cultivating the
friendship of these hereditary enemies. And so wedded was he to this
design, that later, when his son-in-law, Frederick of the Palatinate,
was being overwhelmed by a coalition of Catholic nations, he refused to
affront Spain by coming to his rescue. Yet he knew that Philip
considered America his own, and would resent any attempt of the English
to establish colonies on its shores. So the crafty James resolved to
disguise the founding of a royal colony under the guise of a private
venture.[117] If the Spaniards complained of the occupation of their
territory, he could free himself from blame by placing the
responsibility upon the London Company. "If it take not success," his
advisors told the King, "it is done by their owne heddes. It is but the
attempt of private gentlemen, the State suffers noe losse, noe
disreputation. If it takes success, they are your subjects, they doe it
for your service, they will lay all at your Majesty's feet and interess
your Majesty therein."[118]

James was quite liberal in granting charters to those that had
undertaken the settlement, and he encouraged them as much as was
consistent with his friendship for Spain. It was truly written of him
after his death, "Amongst the ... workes of the late Kinge, there was
none more eminent, than his gracious inclination ... to advance and sett
forward a New Plantation in the New World."[119] That he was deeply
interested in the undertaking is shown most strikingly by his consent to
the establishment of the Puritans in America. James hated the tenets of
Calvin from the depths of his soul, and could have no desire to see them
infect the English settlements in America, yet his solicitude for the
welfare of the colony induced him to yield to the request of the
Pilgrims for permission to settle there. How much greater was his
foresight than that of Louis XIV, who, by refusing to allow the
persecuted Huguenots to settle in any part of his domains, deprived the
French colonies of what might have been their most numerous and valuable
recruits! When some of the leading men of the London Company pleaded
with James for the Puritans, the King lent a ready ear. He was asked to
allow them "liberty of conscience under his ... protection in America;
where they would endeavour the advancement of his Majesty's dominions,
and the enlargement of the interests of the Gospel". James replied that
it was "a good and honest motion". He refused to tolerate them by public
authority and would not confirm under the broad seal their petition for
leave to worship as they chose, but he let it be understood that they
were not to be molested in their new homes in any way.[120] And in this
promise they finally decided to put their trust, feeling that "if
afterwards there should be a purpose or desire to wrong them, though
they had a seale as broad as ye house flore, it would not serve ye turn;
for ther would be means a new found to recall or reverse it".[121]

But the chief glory of the establishment of the English in America must
be given to the patriotic and persevering men of the Virginia Company.
It is erroneous and unjust to accuse them of mean and mercenary motives
in founding and maintaining the colony at Jamestown. Some of them,
perhaps, were dazzled with visions of a rich harvest of gold and silver,
but most must have realized that there was small chance of remuneration.
Many were merchants and business men of great foresight and ability, and
it is quite evident that they were fully aware of the risks of the
undertaking in which they ventured their money. What they did hope to
gain from the colony was the propagation of the English Church, the
extension of the English nation and its institutions, and the increase
of British trade.

Over and over again it was asserted that the first object of the
enterprise was to spread the Christian religion. In 1610 the London
Company declared it their especial purpose "to preach and baptize ...
and by propagation of the Gospell, to recover out of the armes of the
Divell, a number of poore and miserable soules, wrapt up unto death, in
almost invincible ignorance".[122] The first draft of the Virginia
charter of 1606 declared that the leading motive of this "noble work",
was "the planting of Christianity amongst heathens".[123] The charter of
1609 asserted that the "principle effect, which we can desire or expect
of this action, is the conversion and reduction of the people in those
parts unto the true worship of God".[124]

That they were also actuated by a desire to extend the British
possessions and trade is attested by numerous documents and letters. The
Company declared it their purpose to promote the "honor and safety of
the Kingdome, the strength of our Navy, the visible hope of a great and
rich trade".[125] One of the leading shareholders wrote that the colony
should be upheld for "ye Honor and profitt to our Nation, to make
provinciall to us a land ready to supply us with all necessary
commodytyes wanting to us: In which alone we suffer ye Spanish
reputation and power to swell over us."[126] The colonists themselves
declared that one of the objects of the settlement of America was the
extension of British territory and the enriching of the kingdom, "for
which respects many noble and well minded persons were induced to
adventure great sums of money to the advancement of so pious and noble a

The Company, in fact, did no more than take the lead in the work. It was
really the English nation that had decided to second their King in
gaining a foothold in America, and it was they that insisted that this
foothold should not be relinquished. Again and again the London Company
appealed to the people for support, and never without success, for all
classes of Englishmen felt that they were interested in this new
venture. The spirit of the nation is reflected in the statement of the
Council for Virginia in 1610, that the Company "are so farre from
yielding or giving way to any hindrance or impeachment ... that many ...
have given their hands and subscribed to contribute againe and againe to
new supplies if need require".[128]

But although James I and his people were agreed as to the necessity of
extending the English nation to America, they were not in accord in
regard to the form of government which should be established there. The
King, who was always restive under the restraint placed upon him by the
English Parliament, had no desire to see the liberal institutions of the
mother country transplanted to Virginia. He wished, beyond doubt, to
build a colonial empire which should be dependent upon himself for its
government and which should add to the royal revenues. In this way he
would augment the power of the Crown and render it less subject to the
restraint of Parliament. But to found colonies that would set up little
assemblies of their own to resist and thwart him, was not at all his

On the other hand, many of the leading spirits of the London Company
hoped "to establish a more free government in Virginia".[129] Some,
perhaps, feared that the liberties of the English people might be
suppressed by the King, and they looked hopefully to this new land as a
haven for the oppressed. "Many worthy Patriots, Lords, Knights,
gentlemen, Merchants and others ... laid hold on ... Virginia as a
providence cast before them."[130] In the meetings of the Company were
gathered so many that were "most distasted with the proceedings of the
Court, and stood best affected to Religion and Liberty", that James
began to look upon the body as a "Seminary for a seditious

The leader of these liberals was Sir Edwin Sandys. This man, who was
widely known as an uncompromising enemy of despotism, was heartily
detested by the King.[132] In his youth he had gone to Geneva to study
the reformed religion and while there had become most favorably
impressed with the republican institutions of the little Swiss state. He
was afterwards heard to say that "he thought that if God from heaven did
constitute and direct a forme of government on Earth it was that of
Geneva".[133] Returning to England, he had entered Parliament, where he
had become known as an eminent advocate of liberal principles. He had
contended for the abolition of commercial monopolies; had demanded that
all accused persons be given the assistance of counsel; had denounced
many of the unjust impositions of the Crown; had raised "his voice for
the toleration of those with whom he did not wholly agree"; and had
aided in drawing up the remonstrance against the conduct of James
towards his first Parliament.[134]

But Sandys and his friends were not without opposition in the London
Company. Many of the "adventurers", as the stockholders were called,
were by no means willing to permit the liberal party to utilize the
Company as an instrument for propagating their political tenets. The
great struggle between the forces of progress and reaction that was
convulsing Parliament and the nation, was fought over again in the
Quarter Courts. At times the meetings resounded with the quarrels of the
contending factions. Eventually, however, Sandys was victorious, and
representative government in America was assured.

Sandys seems to have planned to secure from the King successive charters
each more liberal than its predecessor, and each entrusting more fully
the control of the colony to the Company. This could be done without
arousing the suspicions of James under the pretext that they were
necessary for the success of the enterprise. When at length sufficient
power had been delegated, Sandys designed to establish in Virginia a
representative assembly, modelled upon the British Parliament.

Under the provisions of the charter of 1606 Virginia had been, in all
but form, a royal colony. The King had drawn up the constitution, had
appointed the Council in England, and had controlled their policies.
This charter had granted no semblance of self-government to the
settlers. But it was declared "They shall have and enjoy all the
liberties, franchises, and immunities ... to all intents and purposes,
as if they had been abiding and born, within ... this realm of
England".[135] This promise was not kept by the Kings of England.
Several of the provisions of the charter itself were not consistent with
it. In later years it was disregarded again and again by the royal
commissions and instructions. Yet it was of the utmost importance, for
it set a goal which the colonists were determined to attain. Throughout
the entire colonial period they contended for all the rights of native
Englishmen, and it was the denial of their claim that caused them to
revolt from the mother country and make good their independence.
Provision had also been made for trial by jury. James had decreed that
in all cases the Council should sit as a court, but in matters of
"tumults, rebellion, conspiracies, mutiny, and seditions ... murther,
manslaughter", and other crimes punishable with death, guilt or
innocence was to be determined by a jury of twelve. To what extent the
Council made use of the jury system it is impossible to say, but
Wingfield states that on one occasion he was tried before a jury for
slander, and fined £300.[136]

The second charter had been granted in 1609. This document is of great
importance because through it the King resigned the actual control of
the colony into the hands of the Virginia Company. And although this did
not result immediately in the establishment of representative
government, it strengthened the hands of Sandys and made it possible for
him to carry out his designs at a future date. Under this charter the
Company might have set up liberal institutions at once in Virginia, but
conditions were not ripe, either in England or in America, for so
radical a change.

In 1612 the third charter had been granted. This had still further
strengthened the Company and made them more independent of the King. It
gave them the important privilege of holding great quarterly meetings or
assemblies, where all matters relating to the government of the colony
could be openly discussed. Still Virginia remained under the autocratic
rule of Dale and Gates.

In 1617 or 1618, however, when the liberals were in full control of the
Company, it was decided to grant the colonists the privilege of a
parliament.[137] In April, 1618, Lord De la Warr sailed for Virginia to
reassume active control of affairs there, bringing with him instructions
to establish a new form of government. What this government was to have
been is not known, but it was designed by Sir Edwin Sandys, and beyond
doubt, was liberal in form.[138] Possibly it was a duplicate of that
established the next year by Governor Yeardley. Most unfortunately, Lord
De la Warr, whose health had been shattered by his first visit to
Virginia, died during the voyage across the Atlantic, and it became
necessary to continue the old constitution until the Company could
appoint a successor.[139]

In November, 1618, George Yeardley was chosen Governor-General of
Virginia, and was intrusted with several documents by whose authority he
was to establish representative government in the colony.[140] These
papers, which became known as the Virginia Magna Charta, were the very
corner-stone of liberty in the colony and in all America. Their
importance can hardly be exaggerated, for they instituted the first
representative assembly of the New World, and established a government
which proved a bulwark against royal prerogative for a century and a

Governor Yeardley sailed from England January, 1619, and reached
Virginia on the 29th of April. After some weeks of preparation, he
issued a general proclamation setting in operation the Company's orders.
It was decreed, "that all those who were resident here before the
departure of Sir Thomas Dale should be freed and acquitted from such
publique services and labors which formerly they suffered, and that
those cruel laws by which we had so long been governed were now
abrogated, and that now we were to be governed by those free laws which
his Majesty's subjects live under in Englande.... And that they might
have a hand in the governing of themselves, it was granted that a
General Assembly should be held yearly once, whereat were to be present
the Governor and Counsell, with two Burgesses from each plantation
freely to be elected by the inhabitants thereof; this Assembly to have
power to make and ordaine whatsoever lawes and orders should by them be
thought good and proffittable for our subsistence."[141]

The exact date of the election for Burgesses is not known.[142] The
statement that the representatives were to be "chosen by the
inhabitants" seems to indicate that the franchise was at once given to
all male adults, or at least to all freemen. "All principall officers in
Virginia were to be chosen by ye balloting box." From the very first
there were parties, and it is possible that the factions of the London
Company were reflected at the polls in the early elections. The Magna
Charta made provision for the establishment of boroughs, which were to
serve both as units for local government and as electoral districts. No
attempt was made to secure absolute uniformity of population in the
boroughs, but there were no glaring inequalities. With the regard for
the practical which has always been characteristic of Englishmen, the
Company seized upon the existing units, such as towns, plantations and
hundreds, as the basis of their boroughs. In some cases several of these
units were merged to form one borough, in others, a plantation or a town
or a hundred as it stood constituted a borough. As there were eleven of
these districts and as each district chose two Burgesses, the first
General Assembly was to contain twenty-two representatives.[143]

The Assembly convened at Jamestown, August 9th, 1619. "The most
convenient place we could finde to sitt in," says the minutes, "was the
Quire of the Churche Where Sir George Yeardley, the Governor, being sett
down in his accustomed place, those of the Counsel of Estate sate nexte
him on both hands excepte onely the Secretary then appointed Speaker,
who sate right before him, John Twine, the clerk of the General
Assembly, being placed nexte the Speaker, and Thomas Pierse, the
Sergeant, standing at the barre, to be ready for any service the
Assembly shoulde comand him. But forasmuche as men's affaires doe little
prosper where God's service is neglected, all the Burgesses tooke their
places in the Quire till a prayer was said by Mr. Bucke, the
Minister.... Prayer being ended,... all the Burgesses were intreatted to
retyre themselves into the body of the Churche, which being done, before
they were fully admitted, they were called in order and by name, and so
every man tooke the oathe of Supremacy and entered the Assembly."[144]

The body at once claimed and made good its right to exclude Burgesses
who they thought were not entitled to seats. The Speaker himself raised
an objection to admitting the representatives of Warde's plantation,
because that settlement had been made without a commission from the
London Company. But Captain Warde promised to secure a patent as soon as
possible, and the objection was waived. The Assembly refused absolutely,
however, to seat the Burgesses from Martin's Hundred. Captain Martin had
been one of the first Council for Virginia, and as a reward for his long
services had been granted privileges that rendered him almost
independent of the government at Jamestown. He was summoned before the
Assembly and requested to relinquish these extraordinary rights, but he
refused to do so. "I hold my patent," he said, "for my service don,
which noe newe or late comer can meritt or challenge."[145] So the
Assembly, feeling that it would be mockery to permit the Burgesses from
Martin's Hundred to assist in the making of laws which their own
constituents, because of their especial charter, might with impunity
disobey, refused to admit them.[146]

The legislative powers granted the Virginia Assembly in the Magna
Charta, and continued with slight alterations after the revocation of
the charter of the London Company, were very extensive. The Assembly
could pass laws dealing with a vast variety of matters appertaining to
the safety and welfare of the colony. Statutes were enacted in the
session of 1619 touching upon Indian affairs, the Church, land patents,
the relations of servants and landlords, the planting of crops, general
morality in Virginia, the price of tobacco, foreign trade, etc. The
collected laws of the entire colonial period fill many volumes, and
cover a vast variety of subjects. But there were three things which
limited strictly the Assembly's field of action. They must pass no
statutes contravening first, the laws of England; secondly, the
charters; thirdly, the instructions sent them by the London Company.
When the colony passed into the hands of the King, all statutes were
forbidden that conflicted with the charters, or with the instructions of
the Crown. These restrictions lasted during the entire colonial period,
but they were not always carefully regarded. The Company, and later the
King, retained two ways of nullifying legislation which was
unauthorized, or was distasteful to them. First, there was the veto of
the Governor. As the guardian of the interests of England and his
monarch, this officer could block all legislation. Secondly, the
Company, and later the King, could veto laws even though the Governor
had consented to them.

But the most important power exercised by the Assembly was its control
over taxation in Virginia. In the very first session it made use of this
privilege by ordering, "That every man and manservant of above 16 years
of age shall pay into the handes and Custody of the Burgesses of every
Incorporation and plantation one pound of the best Tobacco".[147] The
funds thus raised were utilized for the payment of the officers of the

The levy by the poll, here used, was continued for many years, and
became the chief support of the government. As the colony grew, however,
and the need for greater revenues was felt, customs duties and other
forms of taxation were resorted to. Large sums were raised by an export
duty upon tobacco. At times tariffs were placed upon the importation of
liquors, slaves and other articles. But these duties had to be used with
great care, for the carrying of the colony was done chiefly by English
merchants, and Parliament would permit nothing detrimental to their

The Assembly claimed the exclusive right to levy general taxes. The
Governor and Council time and again tried to wrest this privilege from
them, but never with success.[148] The Burgesses, realizing that their
hold upon the exchequer was the chief source of their power, were most
careful never to relinquish it. From time to time the Governors sought
to evade this restraint by levying taxes under the guise of fees. But
this expedient invariably excited intense irritation, and yielded a
revenue so small that most Governors thought it best to avoid it
entirely. Of more importance were the quit-rents, a tax on land, paid to
the King by all freeholders. But this was frequently avoided, and,
except at rare intervals, the funds raised by it were left in Virginia
to be expended for local purposes. The greatest blow to the power of the
Burgesses was struck by the King in 1680, when he forced through the
Assembly a law granting to the government a perpetual income from the
export duty on tobacco. This revenue, although not large, was usually
sufficient to pay the Governor's salary, and thus to render him less
dependent upon the Assembly. Finally, it must not be forgotten that the
English government, although it refrained from taxing the colony
directly, imposed an enormous indirect tax by means of a tariff upon
tobacco brought into England. These duties were collected in England,
but there can be no doubt that the incidence of the tax rested partly
upon the Virginia planters. Despite these various duties, all levied
without its consent, the Assembly exercised a very real control over
taxation in Virginia, and used it as an effective weapon against the
encroachments of the Governors.

From the very first the General Assembly showed itself an energetic and
determined champion of the rights of the people. Time and again it
braved the anger of the Governor and of the King himself, rather than
yield the slightest part of its privileges. During the decade preceding
the English Revolution only the heroic resistance of this body saved the
liberal institutions of the colony from destruction at the hands of
Charles II and James II.

The General Assembly was not only a legislative body, it was also a
court of justice, and for many years served as the highest tribunal of
the colony. The judicial function was entrusted to a joint committee
from the two houses, whose recommendations were usually accepted without
question. Since this committee invariably contained more Burgesses than
Councillors, the supreme court was practically controlled by the
representatives of the people. During the reign of Charles II, however,
the Assembly was deprived of this function by royal proclamation, and
the judiciary fell almost entirely into the hands of the Governor and

The General Assembly consisted of two chambers--the House of Burgesses
and the Council. In the early sessions the houses sat together and
probably voted as one body.[149] Later, however, they were divided and
voted separately. The Burgesses, as time went on, gradually increased in
numbers until they became a large body, but the Council was always

The Councillors were royal appointees. But since the King could not
always know personally the prominent men of the colony, he habitually
confirmed without question the nominations of the Governor. The members
of the Council were usually persons of wealth, influence and ability. As
they were subject to removal by the King and invariably held one or more
lucrative governmental offices, it was customary for them to display
great servility to the wishes of his Majesty or of the Governor. It was
very unusual for them to oppose in the Assembly any measure recommended
by the King, or in accord with his expressed wishes. Although the
Councillors were, with rare exceptions, natives of Virginia, they were
in no sense representative of the people of the colony.

As the upper house of the Assembly, the Council exercised a powerful
influence upon legislation. After the separation of the chambers their
consent became necessary for the passage of all bills, even money bills.
Their legislative influence declined during the eighteenth century,
however, because of the growing spirit of liberalism in Virginia, and
the increasing size of the House of Burgesses.

The executive powers entrusted to the Council were also of very great
importance. The Governor was compelled by his instructions to secure its
assistance and consent in the most important matters. And since the
chief executive was always a native of England, and often entirely
ignorant of conditions in the colony, he was constantly forced to rely
upon the advice of his Council. This tendency was made more pronounced
by the frequent changes of Governors that marked the last quarter of the
seventeenth century. So habitually did the Council exercise certain
functions, not legally within their jurisdiction, that they began to
claim them as theirs by right. And the Governor was compelled to respect
these claims as scrupulously as the King of England respects the
conventions that hedge in and limit his authority.

Before the end of the seventeenth century the Council had acquired
extraordinary influence in the government. With the right to initiate
and to block legislation, with almost complete control over the
judiciary, with great influence in administrative matters, it
threatened to become an oligarchy of almost unlimited power.

But it must not be supposed that the influence of the Council rendered
impotent the King's Governor. Great powers were lodged in the hands of
this officer by his various instructions and commissions. He was
commander of the militia, was the head of the colonial church, he
appointed most of the officers, attended to foreign affairs, and put the
laws into execution. His influence, however, resulted chiefly from the
fact that he was the representative of the King. In the days of Charles
I, in the Restoration Period and under James II, when the Stuarts were
combating liberal institutions, both in England and in the colonies, the
Governor exercised a powerful and dangerous control over affairs in
Virginia. But after the English Revolution his power declined. As the
people of England no longer dreaded a monarch whose authority now rested
solely upon acts of Parliament, so the Virginians ceased to fear his

The powers officially vested in the Governor were by no means solely
executive. He frequently made recommendations to the Assembly, either in
his own name or the name of the King, and these recommendations at times
assumed the nature of commands. If the Burgesses were reluctant to obey,
he had numerous weapons at hand with which to intimidate them and whip
them into line. Unscrupulous use of the patronage and threats of the
King's dire displeasure were frequently resorted to. The Governor
presided over the upper house, and voted there as any other member.
Moreover, he could veto all bills, even those upon which he had voted in
the affirmative in the Council. Thus he had a large influence in shaping
the laws of the colony, and an absolute power to block all legislation.

Such, in outline, was the government originated for Virginia by the
liberal leaders of the London Company, and put into operation by Sir
George Yeardley. It lasted, with the short intermission of the
Commonwealth Period, for more than one hundred and fifty years, and
under it Virginia became the most populous and wealthy of the English
colonies in America.

The successful cultivation of tobacco in Virginia, as we have seen, put
new life into the discouraged London Company. The shareholders, feeling
that now at last the colony would grow and prosper, exerted themselves
to the utmost to secure desirable settlers and to equip them properly.
Soon fleets of considerable size were leaving the English ports for
America, their decks and cabins crowded with emigrants and their holds
laden with clothing, arms and farming implements.[150] During the months
from March 1620 to March 1621 ten ships sailed, carrying no less than
1051 persons.[151] In the year ending March, 1622, seventeen ships
reached Virginia, bringing over fifteen hundred new settlers.[152] And
this stream continued without abatement until 1624, when disasters in
Virginia, quarrels among the shareholders and the hostility of the King
brought discouragement to the Company. In all, there reached the colony
from November, 1619, to February, 1625, nearly five thousand men, women
and children.[153]

Although tobacco culture was the only enterprise of the colony which had
yielded a profit, it was not the design of Sandys and his friends that
that plant should monopolize the energies of the settlers. They hoped to
make Virginia an industrial community, capable of furnishing the mother
country with various manufactured articles, then imported from foreign
countries. Especially anxious were they to render England independent in
their supply of pig iron. Ore having been discovered a few miles above
Henrico on the James, a furnace was erected there and more than a
hundred skilled workmen brought over from England to put it into
operation. Before the works could be completed, however, they were
utterly demolished by the savages, the machinery thrown into the river,
all the workmen slaughtered,[154] and the only return the Company
obtained for an outlay of thousands of pounds was a shovel, a pair of
tongs and one bar of iron.[155] Efforts were made later to repair the
havoc wrought by the Indians and to reëstablish the works, but they came
to nothing. Not until the time of Governor Spotswood were iron furnaces
operated in Virginia, and even then the industry met with a scant
measure of success.

The Company also made an earnest effort to promote the manufacture of
glass in Virginia. This industry was threatened with extinction in
England as a result of the great inroads that had been made upon the
timber available for fuel, and it was thought that Virginia, with its
inexhaustible forests, offered an excellent opportunity for its
rehabilitation. But here too they were disappointed. The sand of
Virginia proved unsuitable for the manufacture of glass. The skilled
Italian artisans sent over to put the works into operation were
intractable and mutinous. After trying in various ways to discourage the
enterprise, so that they could return to Europe, these men brought
matters to a close by cracking the furnace with a crowbar. George
Sandys, in anger, declared "that a more damned crew hell never

In order to show that they were sincere in their professions of interest
in the spiritual welfare of the Indians, the Company determined to erect
a college at Henrico "for the training up of the children of those
Infidels in true Religion, moral virtue and civility".[157] The clergy
of England were enthusiastic in their support of this good design, and
their efforts resulted in liberal contributions from various parts of
the kingdom.[158] Unfortunately, however, the money thus secured was
expended in sending to the college lands a number of "tenants" the
income from whose labor was to be utilized in establishing and
supporting the institution.[159] As some of these settlers fell victims
to disease and many others were destroyed in the massacre of 1622, the
undertaking had to be abandoned, and of course all thought of converting
and civilizing the savages was given up during the long and relentless
war that ensued.

Even more discouraging than these failures was the hostility of the King
to the cultivation of tobacco in Virginia, and his restrictions upon its
importation into England. Appeals were made to him to prohibit the sale
of Spanish tobacco, in order that the Virginia planters might dispose of
their product at a greater profit. This, it was argued, would be the
most effective way of rendering the colony prosperous and self
sustaining. But James, who was still bent upon maintaining his Spanish
policy, would not offend Philip by excluding his tobacco from England.
Moreover, in 1621, he issued a proclamation restricting the importation
of the leaf from Virginia and the Somers Isles to fifty-five thousand
pounds annually.[160] This measure created consternation in Virginia and
in the London Company. The great damage it would cause to the colony and
the diminution in the royal revenue that would result were pointed out
to James, but for the time he was obdurate.[161] Indeed, he caused
additional distress by granting the customs upon tobacco to a small
association of farmers of the revenue, who greatly damaged the interests
of the colony. In 1622, James, realizing that his policy in regard to
tobacco was injuring the exchequer, made a compromise with the Company.
The King agreed to restrict the importation of Spanish tobacco to 60,000
pounds a year, and after two years to exclude it entirely. All the
Virginia leaf was to be admitted, but the Crown was to receive one third
of the crop, while the other two thirds was subjected to a duty of six
pence a pound.[162] This agreement proved most injurious to the Company,
and it was soon abandoned, but the heavy exactions of the King
continued. Undoubtedly this unwise policy was most detrimental to
Virginia. Not only did it diminish the returns of the Company and make
it impossible for Sandys to perfect all his wise plans for the colony,
but it put a decided check upon immigration. Many that would have gone
to Virginia to share in the profits of the planters, remained at home
when they saw that these profits were being confiscated by the

Yet the strenuous efforts of the London Company would surely have
brought something like prosperity to the colony had not an old enemy
returned to cause the destruction of hundreds of the settlers. This was
the sickness. For some years the mortality had been very low, because
the old planters were acclimated, and few new immigrants were coming to
Virginia. But with the stream of laborers and artisans that the Sandys
régime now sent over, the scourge appeared again with redoubled fury. As
early as January, 1620, Governor Yeardley wrote "of the great
mortallitie which hath been in Virginia, about 300 of ye inhabitants
having dyed this year".[164] The sickness was most deadly in the newly
settled parts of the colony, "to the consumption of divers Hundreds, and
almost the utter destruction of some particular Plantations".[165] The
London Company, distressed at the loss of so many men, saw in their
misfortunes the hand of God, and wrote urging "the more carefull
observations of his holy laws to work a reconciliation".[166] They also
sent directions for the construction, in different parts of the colony,
of four guest houses, or hospitals, for the lodging and entertaining of
fifty persons each, upon their first arrival.[167] But all efforts to
check the scourge proved fruitless. In the year ending March, 1621 over
a thousand persons died upon the immigrant vessels and in Virginia.[168]
Despite the fact that hundreds of settlers came to the colony during
this year, the population actually declined. In 1621 the percentage of
mortality was not so large, but the actual number of deaths increased.
During the months from March, 1621, to March, 1622, nearly twelve
hundred persons perished. It was like condemning a man to death to send
him to the colony. Seventy-five or eighty per cent. of the laborers that
left England in search of new homes across the Atlantic died before the
expiration of their first year. The exact number of deaths in 1622 is
not known, but there is reason to believe that it approximated thirteen
hundred.[169] Mr. George Sandys, brother of the Secretary of the London
Company, wrote, "Such a pestilent fever rageth this winter amongst us:
never knowne before in Virginia, by the infected people that came over
in ye _Abigall_, who were poisoned with ... beer and all falling sick &
many dying, every where dispersed the contagion, and the forerunning
Summer hath been also deadly upon us."[170] Not until 1624 did the
mortality decline. Then it was that the Governor wrote, "This summer,
God be thanked, the Colony hath very well stood to health".[171] The
dread sickness had spent itself for lack of new victims, for the
immigration had declined and the old planters had become "seasoned".

History does not record an epidemic more deadly than that which swept
over Virginia during these years. It is estimated that the number of
those that lost their lives from the diseases native to the colony and
to those brought in from the infected ships amounts to no less than four
thousand.[172] When the tide of immigration was started by Sir Edwin
Sandys in 1619, there were living in Virginia about nine hundred
persons; when it slackened in 1624 the population was but eleven
hundred. The sending of nearly five thousand settlers to Virginia had
resulted in a gain of but two hundred. It is true that the tomahawk and
starvation accounts for a part of this mortality, but by far the larger
number of deaths was due to disease.

Yet hardly less horrible than the sickness was the Indian massacre of
1622. This disaster, which cost the lives of several hundred persons,
struck terror into the hearts of every Englishman in Virginia. The
colonists had not the least intimation that the savages meditated harm
to them, for peace had existed between the races ever since the marriage
of Rolfe and Pocahontas. Considering the protection of their palisades
no longer necessary after that event, they had spread out over the
colony in search of the most fertile lands. Their plantations extended
at intervals for many miles along both banks of the James, and in the
case of a sudden attack by the Indians it would obviously be difficult
for the settlers to defend themselves or to offer assistance to their

The apparent friendship of the Indians had created such great intimacy
between the two races, that the savages were received into the homes of
the white men and at times were fed at their tables.[173] At the command
of the London Company itself some of the Indian youths had been adopted
by the settlers and were being educated in the Christian faith. So
unsuspecting were the people that they loaned the savages their boats,
as they passed backward and forward, to formulate their plans for the

The plot seems to have originated in the cunning brain of
Opechancanough. This chief, always hostile to the white men, must have
viewed with apprehension their encroachment upon the lands of his
people. He could but realize that some day the swarms of foreigners that
were arriving each year would exclude the Indians from the country of
their forefathers. Perceiving his opportunity in the foolish security of
the English and in their exposed situation, he determined to annihilate
them in one general butchery.

His plans were laid with great cunning. Although thousands of natives
knew of the design, no warning reached the white men until the very eve
of the massacre. While Opechancanough was preparing this tremendous
blow, he protested in the strongest terms his perpetual good will and
love, declaring that the sky would fall before he would bring an end to
the peace.[175] In order to lull the suspicions of the planters, "even
but two daies before the massacre", he guided some of them "with much
kindnesse through the woods, and one Browne that lived among them to
learne the language", he sent home to his master. The evening before the
attack the Indians came as usual to the plantations with deer, turkeys,
fish, fruits and other provisions to sell.[176]

That night, however, a warning was received, which although too late to
save the most remote settlements, preserved many hundreds from the
tomahawk. Chanco, an Indian boy who had been adopted by an Englishman
named Race, revealed the entire plot to his master. The man secured his
house, and rowed away before dawn in desperate haste to Jamestown, to
give warning to the Governor. "Whereby they were prevented, and at such
other plantations as possibly intelligence could be given."[177]

The assault of the savages was swift and deadly. In all parts of the
colony they fell upon the settlers, and those that had received no
warning were, in most cases, butchered before they could suspect that
harm was intended. Sometimes the Indians sat down to breakfast with
their victims, "whom immediately with their owne tooles they slew most
barbarously, not sparing either age or sex, man woman or childe".[178]
Many were slain while working in the fields; others were trapped in
their houses and butchered before they could seize their weapons. The
savages, "not being content with their lives,... fell againe upon the
dead bodies, making as well as they could a fresh murder, defacing,
dragging, and mangling their dead carkases into many peeces".[179]

That the plot was so successful was due to the completeness of the
surprise, for where the English made the least resistance the savages
were usually beaten off. A planter named Causie, when attacked and
wounded and surrounded by the Indians, "with an axe did cleave one of
their heads, whereby the rest fled and he escaped; for they hurt not any
that did either fight or stand upon their guard. In one place where they
had warning of it, (they) defended the house against sixty or more that
assaulted it."[180]

At the plantation of a Mr. Harrison, where there were gathered seven men
and eighteen or nineteen women and children, the savages set fire to a
tobacco house and then came in to tell the men to quench it. Six of the
English, not suspecting treachery, rushed out, and were shot full of
arrows. Mr. Thomas Hamor, the seventh man, "having finished a letter he
was writing, followed after to see what was the matter, but quickly they
shot an arrow in his back, which caused him to returne and barricade up
the dores, whereupon the Salvages set fire to the house. But a boy,
seizing a gun which he found loaded, discharged it at random. At the
bare report the enemy fled and Mr. Hamor with the women and children
escaped."[181] In a nearby house, a party of English under Mr. Hamor's
brother, were caught by the Indians without arms, but they defended
themselves successfully with spades, axes and brickbats.[182]

One of the first to fall was Reverend George Thorpe, a member of the
Virginia Council, and a man of prominence in England.[183] Leaving a
life of honor and ease, he had come to Virginia to work for the
conversion of the Indians. He had apparently won the favor of
Opechancanough, with whom he often discoursed upon the Christian
religion. At the moment of his murder, his servant, perceiving the
deadly intent of the savages, gave him warning, but his gentle nature
would not permit him to believe harm of those whom he had always
befriended, and he was cut down without resistance.[184]

The barbarous king failed in his design to destroy the English race in
Virginia, but the massacre was a deadly blow to the colony. No less than
three hundred and fifty-seven persons were slaughtered, including six
Councillors. The news of the disaster brought dismay to the London
Company. For a while they attempted to keep the matter a secret, but in
a few weeks it was known all over England. Although the massacre could
not have been foreseen or prevented, it served as a pretext for numerous
attacks upon Sandys and the party which supported him. It discouraged
many shareholders and made it harder to secure settlers for the colony.
Even worse was the effect in Virginia. The system of farming in
unprotected plantations, which had prevailed for some years, had now to
be abandoned and many settlements that were exposed to the Indians were
deserted. "We have not," wrote the Assembly, "the safe range of the
Country for the increase of Cattle, Swyne, etc; nor for the game and
fowle which the country affords in great plentye; besides our duties to
watch and warde to secure ourselves and labor are as hard and chargeable
as if the enemy were at all times present."[185]

The massacre was followed by a venomous war with the Indians, which
lasted many years. The English, feeling that their families and their
homes would never be safe so long as the savages shared the country with
them, deliberately planned the extermination of all hostile tribes in
Virginia. Their conversion was given no further consideration. "The
terms betwixt us and them," they declared, "are irreconcilable."[186]
Governor Wyatt wrote, "All trade with them must be forbidden, and
without doubt either we must cleere them or they us out of the

But it soon became apparent that neither people would be able to win an
immediate or decisive victory. The Indians could not hope to destroy the
English, now that their deeply laid plot had failed. In open battle
their light arrows made no impression upon the coats of plate and of
mail in which the white men were incased, while their own bodies were
without protection against the superior weapons of their foes. On the
other hand, it was very difficult for the colonists to strike the
savages, because of the "advantages of the wood and the nimbleness of
their heels".[188] Even though they "chased them to and fro", following
them to their villages and burning their huts, they found it very
difficult to do them serious harm.

Finally the English hit upon the plan of bringing distress upon the
savages by destroying their corn. Although the Virginia tribes subsisted
partly upon game, their chief support was from their fields of maize,
and the entire failure of their crop would have reduced hundreds of them
to the verge of starvation.[189] Each year the white men, in small
companies, in various parts of the country, brought ruin to the corn
fields. Sometimes the savages, in despair at the prospect of famine,
made valiant efforts to defend their fields, but were invariably beaten
off until the work of destruction was done.

The natives retaliated with many sudden raids upon the more exposed
parts of the colony, where they burned, pillaged and murdered. The
planter at work in his fields might expect to find them lurking in the
high grass, while their ambushes in the woods made communication from
plantation to plantation very dangerous. "The harmes that they do us,"
wrote the Assembly, "is by ambushes and sudden incursions, where they
see their advantages."[190] In 1625 Captain John Harvey declared that
the two races were "ingaged in a mortall warre and fleshed in each
others bloud, of which the Causes have been the late massacre on the
Salvages parte.... I conceive that by the dispersion of the Plantations
the Salvages hath the advantage in this warre, and that by their
suddaine assaults they do us more harme than we do them by our set

When the English had recovered from the first shock of the massacre,
they planned four expeditions against the tribes living on the river
above Jamestown. Mr. George Sandys attacked the Tappahatomaks, Sir
George Yeardley the Wyanokes, Captain William Powell the Chickahominies
and the Appomatocks, and Captain John West the Tanx-Powhatans. The
savages, without attempting to make a stand, deserted their villages and
their crops and fled at the approach of the English. Few were killed,
for they were "so light and swift" that the white men, laden with their
heavy armor, could not overtake them.[192] In the fall Sir George
Yeardley led three hundred men down the river against the Nansemonds and
against Opechancanough. The natives "set fire to their own houses, and
spoiled what they could, and then fled with what they could carry; so
that the English did make no slaughter amongst them for revenge. Their
Corne fields being newly gathered, they surprised all they found, burnt
the houses (that) remained unburnt, and so departed."[193]

It is remarkable that the colonists could continue this war while the
sickness was raging among them. At the very time that Yeardley was
fighting Opechancanough, hundreds of his comrades were dying "like cats
and dogs". "With our small and sicklie forces," wrote Mr. George Sandys,
"we have discomforted the Indians round about us, burnt their houses,
gathered their corn and slain not a few; though they are as swift as
Roebucks, like the violent lightening they are gone as soon as
perceived, and not to be destroyed but by surprise or famine."[194]

How bitter was the war is shown by an act of treachery by the English
that would have shamed the savages themselves. In 1623, the Indians,
discouraged by the destruction of their crops, sent messengers to
Jamestown, asking for peace. The colonists determined to take advantage
of this overture to recover their prisoners and at the same time to
strike a sudden blow at their enemy. Early in June, Captain William
Tucker with twelve well armed men was sent "in a shalope under colour to
make peace with them". On the arrival of this party at the chief town of
Opechancanough, the savages thronged down to the riverside to parley
with them, but the English refused to consider any terms until all
prisoners had been restored. Assenting to this, the savages brought
forth seven whites and they were placed aboard the vessel. Having thus
accomplished their purpose, the soldiers, at a given signal, let fly a
volley into the midst of the crowd, killing "some 40 Indians including 3
of the chiefest".[195]

In 1624 the English won a great victory over the most troublesome of the
Indian tribes, the Pamunkeys. Governor Wyatt, in leading an expedition
against this people had evidently expected little resistance, for he
brought with him but sixty fighting men. The Pamunkeys, however, had
planted that year a very large crop of corn, which they needed for the
support of themselves and their confederates, and they determined to
protect it at all hazards. So Wyatt and his little band were surprised,
on approaching their village to find before them more than eight hundred
warriors prepared for battle. The English did not falter in the face of
this army, and a fierce contest ensued. "Fightinge not only for
safeguards of their houses and such a huge quantity of corn", but for
their reputation with the other nations, the Pamunkeys displayed unusual
bravery. For two days the battle went on. Whenever the young warriors
wavered before the volleys of musketry, they were driven back into the
fight by the older men. Twenty-four of the English were detached from
the firing line and were employed in destroying the maize. In this they
were so successful that enough corn was cut down "as by Estimation of
men of good judgment was sufficient to have sustained fower thousand men
for a twelvemonth". At last the savages in despair gave up the fight and
stood nearby "rufully lookinge on whilst their Corne was cutt down". "In
this Expedition," wrote the colonists, "sixteene of the English were
hurte our first and seconde day, whereby nyne of the best shott were
made unserviceable for that tyme, yett never a man slayne, nor none
miscarried of those hurtes, Since when they have not greatly troubled
us, nor interrupted our labours."[196]

The series of misfortunes which befel the London Company during the
administration of Sir Edwin Sandys culminated in the loss of their
charter. For some time King James had been growing more and more hostile
to the party that had assumed control of the colony. It is highly
probable that he had had no intimation, when the charter of 1612 was
granted, that popular institutions would be established in Virginia, and
the extension of the English parliamentary system to America must have
been distasteful to him. The enemies of Sandys had been whispering to
the King that he "aymed at nothing more than to make a free popular
state there, and himselfe and his assured friends to be the leaders of
them".[197] James knew that Sandys was not friendly to the prerogative
of the Crown. It had been stated "that there was not any man in the
world that carried a more malitious heart to the Government of a

In 1621 the controlling party in the London Company was preparing a new
charter for Virginia. The contents of this document are not known, but
it is exceedingly probable that it was intended as the preface to the
establishment of a government in the colony far more liberal than that
of England itself. It was proposed to have the charter confirmed by act
of Parliament, and to this James had consented, provided it proved
satisfactory to the Privy Council.[199] But it is evident that when the
Councillors had examined it, they advised the King not to assent to it
or to allow it to appear in Parliament. Indeed the document must have
stirred James' anger, for not only did he end all hopes of its passage,
but he "struck some terrour into most undertakers for Virginia", by
imprisoning Sir Edwin Sandys.[200]

Even more distasteful to the King than the establishment of popular
institutions in the little colony was the spreading of liberal doctrines
throughout England by the Sandys faction of the Company. James could no
longer tolerate their meetings, if once he began to look upon them as
the nursery of discontent and sedition. The party that was so determined
in its purpose to plant a republican government in Virginia might stop
at nothing to accomplish the same end in England. James knew that
national politics were often discussed in the assemblies of the Company
and that the parties there were sometimes as "animated one against the
other" as had been the "Guelfs and Gebillines" of Italy.[201] He decided
that the best way to end these controversies and frustrate the designs
of his enemies was to annul the charter of the Company and make Virginia
a royal colony.

The first unmistakable sign of his hostility came in June 1622, when he
interfered with the election of their treasurer. It was not, he told
them, his intention "to infringe their liberty of free election", but he
sent a list of names that would be acceptable to him, and asked them to
put one of these in nomination. To this the Company assented readily
enough, even nominating two from the list, but when the election was
held, the King's candidates were overwhelmingly defeated.[202] When
James heard this, he "flung himself away in a furious passion", being
"not well satisfied that out of so large a number by him recommended
they had not made any choice".[203] The incident meant that James had
given the Company an unmistakable intimation that it would be well for
them to place the management of affairs in the hands of men more in
harmony with himself, and that they had scornfully refused.

The Company was now doomed, for the King decided that the charter must
be revoked. He could not, of course, annul a grant that had passed under
the Great Seal, without some presence of legal proceedings, but when
once he had determined on the ruin of the Company, means to accomplish
his end were not lacking. John Ferrar wrote, "The King, notwithstanding
his royal word and honor pledged to the contrary ... was now determined
with all his force to make the last assault, and give the death blow to
this ... Company."[204]

James began by hunting evidence of mismanagement and incapacity by the
Sandys party. He gave orders to Captain Nathaniel Butler, who had spent
some months in Virginia, to write a pamphlet describing the condition of
the colony. _The Unmasking of Virginia_, as Butler's work is called was
nothing less than a bitter assault upon the conduct of affairs since the
beginning of the Sandys administration. Unfortunately, it was not
necessary for the author to exaggerate much in his description of the
frightful conditions in the colony; but it was unfair to place the blame
upon the Company. The misfortunes of the settlers were due to disease
and the Indians and did not result from incapacity or negligence on the
part of Sandys. The Company drew up "A True answer to a writing of
Information presented to his Majesty by Captain Nathaniel Butler",
denying most of the charges and explaining others, but they could not
efface the bad impression caused by the _Unmasking_.[205]

In April, 1623, James appointed a commission to make enquiry into the
"true estate of ... Virginia".[206] This body was directed to
investigate "all abuses and grievances ... all wrongs and injuryes done
to any adventurers or planters and the grounds and causes thereof, and
to propound after what sort the same may be better managed".[207] It
seems quite clear that the commissioners understood that they were
expected to give the King "some true ground to work upon", in his attack
on the Company's charter.[208] In a few weeks they were busy receiving
testimony from both sides, examining records and searching for evidence.
They commanded the Company to deliver to them all "Charters, Books,
Letters, Petitions, Lists of names, of Provisions, Invoyces of Goods,
and all other writing whatsoever". They examined the clerk of the
Company, the messenger and the keeper of the house in which they held
their meetings.[209] They intercepted private letters from Virginia,
telling of the horrible suffering there, and made the King aware of
their contents.[210]

In July the commission made its report. It found that "the people sent
to inhabit there ... were most of them by God's visitation, sicknes of
body, famine, and by massacres ... dead and deceased, and those that
were living of them lived in miserable and lamentable necessity and
want.... That this neglect they conceived, must fall on the Governors
and Company here, who had power to direct the Plantations there.... That
if his Majesty's first Grant of April 10 1606, and his Majesty's most
prudent and princely Instructions given in the beginning ... had been
pursued, much better effects had been produced, than had been by the
alteration thereof, into so popular a course."[211] James was much
pleased with the report, and it confirmed his determination to "resume
the government, and to reduce that popular form so as to make it agree
with the monarchial form".[212]

Before taking the matter to the courts, the King resolved to offer the
Company a compromise. If they would give up the old charter, he said, a
new one would be granted them, preserving all private interests, but
restoring the active control of the colony to the Crown. The government
was to be modelled upon the old plan of 1606, which had already given so
much trouble. "His Majesty," the Company was told, "hath ... resolved by
a new Charter to appoint a Governor and twelve assistants, resident here
in England, unto whom shall be committed the government.... And his
Majesty is pleased that there shall be resident in Virginia a Governor
and twelve assistants, to be nominated by the Governor and assistants
here ... whereby all matters of importance may be directed by his
Majesty."[213] The Company was commanded to send its reply immediately,
"his Majesty being determined, in default of such submission, to proceed
for the recalling of the said former charters".[214]

A special meeting of the stockholders was called, October 30th, 1623, to
consider the King's proposal. Every man present must have known that the
rejection of the compromise would mean the loss of all the money he had
invested in the colony, and that if the King's wishes were acceded to
his interests would be preserved. But the Company was fighting for
something higher than personal gain--for the maintenance of liberal
institutions in America, for the defence of the rights of English
citizens. After a "hot debate" they put the question to the vote, and
the offer was rejected, there being "only nine hands for the delivering
up of the Charters, and all the rest (being about three score more) were
of a contrary opinion".[215]

As a last hope the Company resolved to seek the assistance of
Parliament. A petition was drawn up to be presented to the Commons, and
the shareholders that were members of that body were requested to give
it their strenuous support when it came up for consideration. The
petition referred to Virginia as a "child of the Kingdom, exposed as in
the wilderness to extreme danger and as it were fainting and labouring
for life", and it prayed the House to hear "the grievances of the Colony
and Company, and grant them redress".[216] The matter was brought before
the Commons in May, 1624, but before it could be considered, a message
was received from the King warning them "not to trouble themselves with
this petition as their doing so could produce nothing but a further
increase Schisme and factions in the Company". "Ourself," he announced,
"will make it our own work to settle the quiet, and wellfare of the
plantations."[217] This was received with some "soft mutterings" by the
Commons, but they thought it best to comply, and the Company was left to
its fate.[218]

In the meanwhile the King had placed his case in the hands of
Attorney-General Coventry, who had prepared a _quo warranto_ against the
Company.[219] Although all hope of retaining the charter was gone, the
Sandys party were determined to fight to the end. They voted to employ
attorneys and to plead their case before the King's Bench. The _quo
warranto_ came up June 26th, 1624, and "the Virginia Patent was
overthrown", on a mistake in pleading.[220] With this judgment the
London Company practically ceased to exist, and Virginia became a royal


[117] F. R., p. 6.

[118] F. R., p. 76.

[119] Gen., p. 1027.

[120] F. R., p. 265.

[121] F. R., p. 271.

[122] Gen., p. 339.

[123] F. R., p. 6.

[124] Gen. p. 236. Compare F. R., pp. 262, 263, 264, 31, 248, 80; Gen.,
pp. 49, 146.

[125] F. R., p. 80.

[126] F. R., p. 49.

[127] Gen., p. 50.

[128] Gen., p. 355.

[129] F. R., p. 558.

[130] F. R., p. 85.

[131] F. R., p. 237.

[132] F. R., vi.

[133] F. R., p. 251.

[134] F. R., p. 75.

[135] Gen., pp. 60, 61.

[136] Arb. Smith, lxxxiii.

[137] F. R., p. 266.

[138] F. R., p. 266.

[139] F. R., pp. 281, 282.

[140] F. R., p. 293.

[141] F. R., p. 312.

[142] F. R., p. 315.

[143] Nar. of Va., pp. 249, 250.

[144] Nar. of Va., p. 251.

[145] F. R., p. 317.

[146] Nar. of Va., pp. 252, 253, 254, 255, 260, 261.

[147] Nar. of Va., p. 276.

[148] In 1662 the Assembly granted power to the Governor and Council for
three years to levy a small tax by the poll. The county taxes for
defraying local expenses, were assessed and collected by the justices of
the peace. The vestries controlled the raising of the parish dues.

[149] Miller, p. 41.

[150] F. R., p. 376.

[151] F. R., p. 415.

[152] F. R., p. 464.

[153] F. R., p. 612.

[154] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. II, pp. 448, 449.

[155] _Ibid._

[156] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. II, pp. 442, 443.

[157] F. R., p. 322.

[158] F. R., p. 335.

[159] F. R., p. 336.

[160] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 264.

[161] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 265.

[162] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 269.

[163] P. R. O., CO1-3.

[164] F. R., p. 372.

[165] F. R., p. 377.

[166] F. R., p. 377.

[167] F. R., p. 377.

[168] F. R., p. 415.

[169] F. R., p. 506.

[170] F. R., p. 506.

[171] F. R., p. 608.

[172] P. R. O., CO1-36-37.

[173] Stith, p. 210.

[174] Stith, p. 210.

[175] Arb. Smith, p. 573.

[176] Arb. Smith, p. 573.

[177] Arb. Smith, p. 578.

[178] Arb. Smith, p. 573.

[179] Arb. Smith, p. 574.

[180] Arb. Smith, p. 575.

[181] Arb. Smith, p. 576.

[182] Arb. Smith, p. 576.

[183] Stith, p. 211.

[184] Stith, pp. 211, 212.

[185] F. R., pp. 576, 577.

[186] F. R., p. 576.

[187] F. R., p. 508.

[188] F. R., p. 576.

[189] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, pp. 155 to 159.

[190] F. R., p. 576.

[191] F. R., p. 611.

[192] Arb. Smith, p. 594.

[193] Arb. Smith, p. 559; F. R., pp. 475, 495.

[194] F. R., p. 510.

[195] F. R., pp. 514, 515.

[196] P. R. O., CO1-3.

[197] F. R., p. 530.

[198] F. R., p. 529.

[199] F. R., p. 393.

[200] F. R., pp. 436, 437.

[201] F. R., p. 542.

[202] F. R., p. 477.

[203] F. R., p. 478.

[204] F. R., pp. 531, 532.

[205] F. R., p. 524.

[206] F. R., p. 520.

[207] F. R., p. 520.

[208] F. R., p. 521.

[209] F. R., p. 541.

[210] F. R., p. 535.

[211] F. R., pp. 519, 520.

[212] F. R., p. 542.

[213] F. R., p. 551.

[214] F. R., p. 542.

[215] F. R., p. 554.

[216] F. R, pp. 595, 596.

[217] F. R., pp. 597, 598.

[218] F. R., p. 598.

[219] F. R., p. 587.

[220] F. R., pp. 601, 602.



The people of Virginia sympathized deeply with the London Company in its
efforts to prevent the revocation of the charter. The Governor, the
Council and the Burgesses gave active assistance to Sandys and his
friends by testifying to the wisdom of the management and contradicting
the calumnies of their enemies. In the midst of the controversy the
Privy Council had appointed a commission which they sent to Virginia to
investigate conditions there and to gather evidence against the Company.
This board consisted of John Harvey, John Pory, Abraham Piersey and
Samuel Matthews, men destined to play prominent rôles in Virginia
history, but then described as "certayne obscure persons".[221] When the
commissioners reached the colony they made known to the Assembly the
King's desire to revoke the charter and to take upon himself the
direction of the government. They then asked the members to subscribe to
a statement expressing their gratitude for the care of the King, and
willingness to consent to the contemplated change. The Assembly returned
the paper unsigned. "When our consent," they said, "to the surrender of
the Pattents, shalbe required, will be the most proper time
to make reply: in the mean time wee conceive his Majesties intention of
changing the government hath proceeded from much misinformation."[222]

After this they ignored the commissioners, and addressed themselves in
direct letters and petitions to the King and the Privy Council.[223]
They apprehended, they wrote, no danger from the present government,
which had converted into freedom the slavery they had endured in former
times.[224] They prayed that their liberal institutions might not be
destroyed or the old Smith faction of the Company placed over them
again.[225] These papers they sent to England by one of their number,
John Pountis, even refusing to let the commissioners see them. But Pory
succeeded in securing copies from the acting secretary, Edward
Sharpless.[226] The Council, upon learning of this betrayal, were so
incensed against the secretary that they sentenced him to "stand in the
Pillory and there to have his Ears nailed to it, and cut off".[227] His
punishment was modified, however, so that when he was "sett in the
Pillorie", he "lost but a part of one of his eares".[228] The King, upon
learning of this incident, which was represented to him "as a bloody and
barbarous act", became highly incensed against the Council.[229]

In the meanwhile James had appointed a large commission, with Viscount
Mandeville at its head, "to confer, consult, resolve and expedite all
affaires ... of Virginia, and to take care and give order for the
directing and government thereof".[230] This body met weekly at the
house of Sir Thomas Smith, and immediately assumed control of the
colony.[231] Their first act was to decide upon a form of government to
replace the Virginia Magna Charta. In conformance with the wishes of the
King they resolved to return to the plan of 1606. In their
recommendations no mention was made of an Assembly. It seemed for a
while that the work of Sandys was to be undone, and the seeds of liberty
in Virginia destroyed almost before they had taken root. Fortunately,
however, this was not to be. The commission, perhaps wishing to allay
the fears of the colonists, reappointed Sir Francis Wyatt Governor, and
retained most of the old Council. This made it certain that for a while
at least the government was to be in the hands of men of lofty character
and liberal views.[232] More fortunate still for Virginia was the death
of James I. This event removed the most determined enemy of their
Assembly, and placed upon the throne a man less hostile to the Sandys
faction, less determined to suppress the liberal institutions of the

Soon after his accession Charles I abolished the Mandeville commission
and appointed in its place a committee of the Privy Council.[233] For a
while he seemed inclined to restore the Company, for he consulted with
Sandys and requested him to give his opinion "touching the best form of
Government".[234] But he finally rejected his proposals, declaring that
he had come to the same determination that his father had held. He was
resolved, he said, that the government should be immediately dependent
upon himself and not be committed to any company or corporation.[235]
But, like his father, he was "pleased to authorise Sir Francis Wyatt
knight to be governor there, and such as are now employed for his
Majesties Councell there to have authoritie to continue the same
employment". No provision was made for a representative body, the power
of issuing decrees, ordinances and public orders being assigned to the

But the Assembly was saved by the unselfish conduct of Wyatt and
Yeardley and their Councils.[236] Had these men sought their own gain at
the expense of the liberty of their fellow colonists, they would have
welcomed a change that relieved them from the restraint of the
representatives of the people. The elimination of the Burgesses would
have left them as absolute as had been Wingfield and the first Council.
But they were most anxious to preserve for Virginia the right of
representative government, and wrote to England again and again pleading
for the reëstablishment of the Assembly.[237] "Above all," they said,
"we humbly intreat your Lordships that we may retaine the Libertie of
our Generall Assemblie, than which nothing can more conduce to our
satisfaction or the publique utilitie."[238] In 1625 Yeardley himself
crossed the ocean to present a new petition. He pleaded with Charles "to
avoid the oppression of Governors there, that their liberty of Generall
Assemblyes may be continued and confirmed, and that they may have a
voice in the election of officers, as in other Corporations".[239] After
the overthrow of the Company charter, there could be no legal election
of Burgesses and no legislation save by proclamation of the Governor and
Council. Yet Wyatt, in order to preserve as far as possible some form of
representative government, held conventions or informal meetings of
leading citizens, to confer with the Council on important matters. They
issued papers under the title of "Governor, Councell and Collony of
Virginia assembled together",[240] and it is possible that the people
elected their delegates just as they had formerly chosen Burgesses.
Since, however, acts passed by these assemblages could not be enforced
in the courts, all legislation for the time being took the form of

Finally Charles yielded to the wishes of the people, and, in the fall of
1627, sent written instructions to the officials in Virginia to hold an
election of Burgesses and to summon a General Assembly.[242] The King's
immediate motive for this important step was his desire to gain the
planters' acceptance through their representatives of an offer which he
made to buy all their tobacco. In the spring of 1628 the Council wrote,
"In obedience to his Majesties Commands wee have given order that all
the Burgesses of Particular Plantations should shortly be assembled at
James Citty that by the general and unanimous voice of the whole Colony
his Majesty may receave a full answere."[243] Although the Assembly must
have realized that its very existence might depend upon its compliance
with the King's wishes, it refused to accept his proposition. The
planters were willing to sell their tobacco to his Majesty, but only
upon more liberal terms than those offered them. Charles rejected the
counter-proposals of the Virginians, with some show of anger, but he did
not abolish the Assembly, and in ensuing years sessions were held with
great regularity.[244]

The apprehensions of the colonists during this trying period were made
more acute by the resignation of Sir Francis Wyatt. In the winter of
1625-26 the Council wrote the Virginia commissioners, "The Governor hath
long expected a Successor, and the necessity of his private estate
compelling him not to put off any longer his return for England, wee
hope it is already provided for."[245] Great must have been the relief
in the colony when it was learned that Sir George Yeardley had been
chosen to succeed Governor Wyatt. Yeardley had been the bearer of the
Virginia Magna Charta, under which the first Assembly had been
established, and his services had not been forgotten by the people. But
he was not destined to see the restoration of the Burgesses, for he died
in November, 1627.[246] We have lost, wrote the Council in great grief,
"a main pillar of this our building & thereby a support to the whole

By virtue of previous appointment, Captain Francis West, brother of the
Lord De la Warr who had lost his life in the service of Virginia, at
once assumed the reins of government. Captain West continued in office
until March 5th, 1629, when he resigned in order to return to
England.[248] John Harvey, a member of the Virginia commission of 1624,
was the King's next choice for Governor, but pending his arrival, the
office fell to one of the Council--Dr. John Pott. This man had long been
a resident of Virginia, and had acted as Physician-General during the
years when the sickness was at the worst. He is described as "a Master
of Arts ... well practiced in chirurgery and physic, and expert also in
the distilling of waters, (besides) many other ingenious devices".[249]
He had made use of these accomplishments to poison large numbers of
Indians after the massacre of 1622.[250] This exploit caused the
temporary loss of his place in the Council, for when James I settled the
government after the fall of the Company, Pott was left out at the
request of the Earl of Warwick, because "he was the poysoner of the
salvages thear".[251] In 1626 his seat was restored to him. He seems to
have been both democratic and convival, and is described as fond of the
company of his inferiors, "who hung upon him while his good liquor

In the spring of 1630 Sir John Harvey arrived in Virginia.[253] This man
proved to be one of the worst of the many bad colonial governors.
Concerned only for his own dignity and for the prerogative of the King,
he trampled without scruple upon the liberties of the people, and his
administration was marked throughout by injustice and oppression.

His first efforts as Governor were to attempt to win the friendship and
support of one of the Council and to bring humiliation and ruin upon
another. He had been in Virginia but a few weeks when he wrote the King
asking especial favors for Captain Samuel Matthews. "This gentleman," he
said, "I found most readie to set forward all services propounded for
his Majesties honor, ... and without his faithful assistance perhaps I
should not soe soon have brought the busines of this Country to so good
effect." It would be a just reward for these services, he thought, to
allow him for a year or two to ship the tobacco of his plantation into
England free of customs.[254] At the same time Harvey seemed bent upon
the utter undoing of Dr. Pott. Claiming that the pleasure loving
physician while Governor had been guilty of "pardoninge wilfull Murther,
markinge other mens Cattell for his owne, and killing up their hoggs",
Harvey suspended him from the Council and, pending the day of his trial,
confined him to his plantation.[255]

It seems quite certain that this treatment of the two Councillors was
designed to impress upon the people a just appreciation of the
Governor's power. Harvey felt keenly the restriction of the Council. It
had been the intention of James and after his death Charles to restore
the government of the colony to its original form, in which all matters
were determined by the Council. "His Majesties ... pleasure," wrote the
Privy Council in 1625, "is that all judgements, decrees, and all
important actions be given, determined and undertaken by the advice and
voices of the greater part."[256] If these instructions were adhered to,
the Governor would become no more than the presiding officer of the
Council. To this position Harvey was determined never to be reduced. He
would, at the very outset, show that he was master in Virginia, able to
reward his friends, or to punish those that incurred his displeasure.

Dr. Pott could not believe that the proceedings against him were
intended seriously, and, in defiance of the Governor's commands, left
his plantation to come to Elizabeth City. "Upon which contempt," wrote
Harvey, "I committed him close prisoner, attended with a guard." At the
earnest request of several gentlemen, the Governor finally consented
that he might return to his plantation, but only under bond. Pott,
however, refused to avail himself of the kindness of his friends, and so
was kept in confinement.[257] On the 9th of July he was brought to
trial, found guilty upon two indictments, and his entire estate

That Pott was convicted by a jury of thirteen men, three of them
Councillors, is by no means conclusive evidence of his guilt. The close
connection between the executive and the courts at this time made it
quite possible for the Governor to obtain from a jury whatever verdict
he desired. In fact it became the custom for a new administration, as
soon as it was installed in power, to take revenge upon its enemies by
means of the courts.

Pott's guilt is made still more doubtful by the fact that execution of
the sentence was suspended "untill his Majesties pleasure might be
signified concerning him", while the Council united in giving their
security for his safe keeping.[259] Harvey himself wrote asking the
King's clemency. "For as much," he said, "as he is the only Physician in
the Colonie, and skilled in the Epidemicall diseases of the planters,
... I am bound to entreat" your Majesty to pardon him.[260] It would
seem quite inexplicable that Harvey should go to so much trouble to
convict Dr. Pott, and then write immediately to England for a pardon,
did not he himself give the clue to his conduct. "It will be," he said,
"a means to bring the people to ... hold a better respect to the
Governor than hitherto they have done."[261] Having shown the colonists
that he could humble the strongest of them, he now sought to teach them
that his intercession with the King could restore even the criminal to
his former position.

When Dr. Pott was at Elizabeth City his wife was reported to be ill, but
this did not deter her from making the long and dangerous voyage to
England to appeal to the King "touching the wrong" done her
husband.[262] Charles referred the matter to the Virginia commissioners,
who gave her a hearing in the presence of Harvey's agent. Finding no
justification for the proceedings against him, they wrote Harvey that
for aught they could tell Pott had demeaned himself well and that there
seemed to have been "some hard usage against him".[263] The sentence of
confiscation seems never to have been carried out, but Pott was not
restored to his seat in the Council.[264]

This arbitrary conduct did not succeed in intimidating the other
Councillors. These men must have felt that the attack upon Dr. Pott was
aimed partly at the dignity and power of the Council itself. If Harvey
could thus ruin those that incurred his displeasure, the Councillors
would lose all independence in their relations with him. Soon they were
in open hostility to the Governor. Claiming that Harvey could do nothing
without their consent, and that all important matters had to be
determined "by the greater number of voyces at the Councell Table", they
entered upon a policy of obstruction. It was in vain that the Governor
declared that he was the King's substitute, that they were but his
assistants, and that they were impeding his Majesty's business; they
would yield to him only the position of first among equals. Early in
1631 Harvey was filling his letters to England with complaints of the
"waywardness and oppositions of those of the Councell". "For instead of
giving me assistance," he declared, "they stand Contesting and disputing
my authoritie, avering that I can doe nothinge but what they shall
advise me, and that my power extendeth noe further than a bare casting
voice."[265] He had received, he claimed, a letter from the King,
strengthening his commission and empowering him to "doe justice to all
men, not sparinge those of the Councell", which he had often shown them,
but this they would not heed. "I hope," he wrote, "you never held me to
be ambitious or vainglorious, as that I should desire to live here as
Governor to predominate, or prefer mine owne particular before the
generall good." My position in Virginia is most miserable, "chiefly
through the aversions of those from whom I expected assistance". He had
often tried to bring peace and amity between them, but all to no
purpose, for he was scorned for his efforts. He would be humbly thankful
if his Majesty would be pleased to strengthen his commission, "that the
place of Governor and the duty of Councellors may be knowne and

It is probable that the Councillors also wrote to England, to place
before the King their grievances against Harvey, for before the end of
the year letters came from the Privy Council, warning both sides to end
the dispute and to proceed peacefully with the government of the colony.
In compliance with these commands they drew up and signed a document
promising "to swallow up & bury all forepart Complainte and accusations
in a generall Reconciliation". They thanked their Lordships for advice
that had persuaded their "alienated & distempered" minds to thoughts of
love and peace and to the execution of public justice. The Council
promised to give the Governor "all the service, honor & due Respect
which belongs unto him as his Majesties Substitute".[267] It is quite
evident, however, that this reconciliation, inspired by fear of the
anger of the Privy Council, could not be permanent. Soon the Council,
under the leadership of Captain Matthews, who had long since forfeited
Harvey's favor, was as refractory as ever.

A new cause for complaint against the Governor arose with the founding
of Maryland. In 1623 George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, had
received a grant of the great southeastern promontory in Newfoundland,
and had planted there a colony as an asylum for English Catholics.
Baltimore himself had been detained in England for some years, but in
1627 came with his wife and children to take personal control of his
little settlement. His experience with the severe Newfoundland winter
persuaded him that it would be wise to transfer his colony to a more
congenial clime. "From the middle of October," he wrote Charles I, "to
the middle of May there is a sad face of winter upon all the land; both
sea and land so frozen for the greater part of the time as they are not
penetrable ... besides the air so intolerable cold as it is hardly to be
endured.... I am determined to commit this place to fishermen that are
able to encounter stormes and hard weather, and to remove myself with
some forty persons to your Majesties dominion of Virginia; where, if
your Majesty will please to grant me a precinct of land, with such
privileges as the King your father ... was pleased to grant me here, I
shall endeavour to the utmost of my power, to deserve it."[268]

In 1629 he sailed for Virginia, with his wife and children, and arrived
at Jamestown the first day of October. His reception by Governor Pott
and the Council was by no means cordial. The Virginians were loath
either to receive a band of Catholics into their midst, or to concede to
them a portion of the land that they held under the royal charters.
Desiring to be rid of Baltimore as speedily as possible, they tendered
him the oath of supremacy. This, of course, as a good Catholic he could
not take, for it recognized the English sovereign as the supreme
authority in all ecclesiastical matters. Baltimore proposed an
alternative oath of allegiance, but the Governor and Council refused to
accept it, and requested him to leave at once. Knowing that it was his
intention to apply for a tract of land within their borders, the
Virginians sent William Claiborne after him to London, to watch him and
to thwart his designs.

Despite Claiborne's efforts a patent was granted Baltimore, making him
lord proprietor of a province north of the Potomac river, which received
the name of Maryland. Baltimore, with his own hand, drew up the charter,
but in April, 1632, before it had passed under the Great Seal, he died.
A few weeks later the patent was issued to his eldest son, Cecilius
Calvert. The Virginians protested against this grant "within the Limits
of the Colony", claiming that it would interfere with their Indian trade
in the Chesapeake, and that the establishment of the Catholics so near
their settlements would "give a generall disheartening of the
Planters".[269] But their complaints availed nothing. Not only did
Charles refuse to revoke the charter, but he wrote the Governor and
Council commanding them to give Lord Baltimore every possible assistance
in making his settlement. You must, he said, "suffer his servants and
Planters to buy and transport such cattle and comodities to their
Colonie, as you may conveniently spare ... and give them ... such lawful
assistance as may conduce to both your safetyes".[270]

The second Lord Baltimore appointed his brother, Leonard Calvert,
Governor of Maryland, and sent him with two vessels and over three
hundred men to plant the new colony. In February, 1634, the expedition
reached Point Comfort, where it stopped to secure from the Virginians
the assistance that the King had promised should be given them.

They met with scant courtesy. The planters thought it a hard matter that
they should be ordered to aid in the establishment of this new colony.
They resented the encroachment upon their territories, they hated the
newcomers because most of them were Catholics, they feared the loss of a
part of their Indian trade, and they foresaw the growth of a dangerous
rival in the culture of tobacco. Despite the King's letter they refused
to help Calvert and his men. "Many are so averse," wrote Harvey, "that
they crye and make it their familiar talke that they would rather knock
their Cattell on the heades than sell them to Maryland."[271] The
Governor, however, not daring to disobey his sovereign's commands, gave
the visitors all the assistance in his power. "For their present
accomodation," he said, "I sent unto them some Cowes of myne owne, and
will do my best to procure more, or any thinge else they stand in need
of."[272] This action secured for Harvey the praise of the Privy
Council, but it made him more unpopular with his Council and the people
of Virginia.

After a stay of several weeks at Point Comfort, Calvert sailed up the
Chesapeake into the Potomac, and founded the town of Saint Mary's. This,
however, was not the first settlement in Maryland. In 1631, William
Claiborne, returning from England after his unsuccessful attempt to
block the issuing of Baltimore's charter, had established a settlement
upon Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay. Here he had built dwellings and
mills and store houses, and had laid out orchards and gardens. In thus
founding a colony within Baltimore's territory he was sustained by the
Council. When Calvert arrived in 1634 he sent word to Claiborne that he
would not molest his settlement, but since Kent Island was a part of
Maryland, he must hold it as a tenant of Lord Baltimore. Upon receipt of
this message Claiborne laid the matter before his colleagues of the
Virginia Council, and asked their commands. The answer of the
Councillors shows that they considered the new patent an infringement
upon their prior rights and therefore of no effect. They could see no
reason, they told Claiborne, why they should render up the Isle of Kent
any more than the other lands held under their patents. As it was their
duty to maintain the rights and privileges of the colony, his settlement
must continue under the government and laws of Virginia.

Despite the defiant attitude of the Virginians, it is probable that
Calvert would have permitted the Kent Islanders to remain unmolested,
had not a report spread abroad that Claiborne was endeavoring to
persuade the Indians to attack Saint Mary's. A joint commission of
Virginians and Marylanders declared the charge false, but suspicion and
ill will had been aroused, and a conflict could not be avoided. In
April, 1635, Governor Calvert, alleging that Claiborne was indulging in
illicit trade, fell upon and captured one of his merchantmen. In great
indignation the islanders fitted out a vessel, the _Cockatrice_, to
scour the Chesapeake and make reprisals. She was attacked, however, by
two pinnaces from Saint Mary's and, after a severe conflict in which
several men were killed, was forced to surrender. A few weeks later
Claiborne gained revenge by defeating the Marylanders in a fight at the
mouth of the Potomac.

In these encounters the Kent Islanders had the sympathy of the Virginia
planters. Excitement ran high in the colony, and there was danger that
an expedition might be sent to Saint Mary's to overpower the intruders
and banish them from the country. Resentment against Harvey, who still
gave aid and encouragement to Maryland, became more bitter than ever.
His espousal of the cause of the enemies of Virginia made the planters
regard him as a traitor. In 1635 Samuel Matthews wrote to Sir John
Wolstenholme, "The Inhabitants also understood with indignation that the
Marylanders had taken Capt. Claibournes Pinnaces and men ... which
action of theirs Sir John Harvey upheld contrary to his Majesties
express commands."[273] The Councillors held many "meetings and
consultations" to devise plans for the overthrow of the new colony, and
an active correspondence was carried on with Baltimore's enemies in
England in the vain hope that the charter might yet be revoked.[274]

Matters were now moving rapidly to a crisis. Harvey's administration
became more and more unpopular. Sir John Wolstenholme, who kept in close
touch with the colony, declared that the Governor's misconduct in his
government was notorious at Court and in the city of London.[275] When,
in the spring of 1635, he was rudely thrust out of his office, the
complaints against him were so numerous that it became necessary to
convene the Assembly to consider them.[276]

To what extent Harvey usurped the powers of the General Assembly is not
clear, but it seems very probable that he frequently made use of
proclamations to enforce his will upon the people.[277] It was quite
proper and necessary for the Governor, when the houses were not in
session, to issue ordinances of a temporary character, but this was a
power susceptible of great abuse. And for the Governor to repeal
statutes by proclamation would be fatal to the liberties of the people.
That Harvey was guilty of this usurpation seems probable from the fact
that a law was enacted declaring it the duty of the people to disregard
all proclamations that conflicted with any act of Assembly.[278]

Also there is reason to believe that Harvey found ways of imposing
illegal taxes upon the people. John Burk, in his _History of Virginia_,
declares unreservedly that it was Harvey's purpose "to feed his avarice
and rapacity, by assessing, levying, and holding the public revenue,
without check or responsibility".[279]

In 1634 an event occurred which aroused the anger of the people, widened
the breach between the Governor and the Council, and made it evident to
all that Harvey would not hesitate upon occasion to disregard property
rights and to break the laws of the colony. A certain Captain Young came
to Virginia upon a commission for the King. Wishing to build two
shallops while in the colony and having need of a ship's carpenter,
Young, with the consent of Harvey, seized a skilled servant of one of
the planters. This arbitrary procedure was in direct defiance of a
statute of Assembly of March, 1624, that declared that "the Governor
shall not withdraw the inhabitants from their private labors to any
service of his own upon any colour whatsoever".[280]

Upon hearing of the incident Captain Samuel Matthews and other members
of the Council came to Harvey to demand an explanation. The Governor
replied that the man had been taken because Young had need of him "to
prosecute with speed the King's service", and "that his Majesty had
given him authority to make use of any persons he found there".[281]
This answer did not satisfy the Councillors. Matthews declared "that if
things were done on this fashion it would breed ill bloude in Virginia",
and in anger "turning his back, with his truncheon lashed off the heads
of certain high weeds that were growing there".[282] Harvey, wishing to
appease the Councillors, said, "Come gentlemen, let us goe to supper &
for the night leave this discourse", but their resentment was too great
to be smoothed over, and with one accord rejecting his invitation,
"they departed from the Governour in a very irreverent manner".[283]

Harvey, in his letters to the English government tried to convey the
impression that he was uniformly patient with the Council, and courteous
in all the disputes that were constantly arising. That he was not always
so self restrained is shown by the fact that on one occasion, he became
embroiled with one of the Councillors, Captain Stevens, and knocked out
some of his teeth with a cudgel.[284] Samuel Matthews wrote that he had
heard the Governor "in open court revile all the Councell and tell them
they were to give their attendance as assistants only to advise with
him". The Governor attempted, he declared, to usurp the whole power of
the courts, without regard to the rights of the Councillors, "whereby
justice was now done but soe farr as suited with his will, to the great
losse of many mens estates and a generall feare in all".[285]

In 1634 the King once more made a proposal to the colonists for the
purchase of their tobacco, and demanded their assent through the General
Assembly. The Burgesses, who dreaded all contracts, drew up an answer
which was "in effect a deniall of his Majesties proposition", and, in
order to give the paper the character of a petition, they all signed it.
This answer the Governor detained, fearing, he said, that the King
"would not take well the matter thereof, and that they should make it a
popular business, by subscribing a multitude of hands thereto, as
thinking thereby to give it countenance".[286] The Governor's arbitrary
action aroused great anger throughout the colony. Matthews wrote Sir
John Wolstenholme, "The Consideration of the wrong done by the Governor
to the whole Colony in detayning the foresaid letters to his Majesty did
exceedingly perplex them whereby they were made sensible of the
condition of the present Government."[287]

The crisis had now come. During the winter of 1634-35 the Councillors
and other leading citizens were holding secret meetings to discuss the
conduct of the Governor. Soon Dr. John Pott, whose private wrongs made
him a leader in the popular discontent, was going from plantation to
plantation, denouncing the Governor's conduct and inciting the people to
resistance. Everywhere the angry planters gathered around him, and
willingly subscribed to a petition for a redress of grievances. In
April, 1635, Pott was holding one of these meetings in York, at the
house of one William Warrens, when several friends of the Governor
presented themselves for admission. "A servant meeting them told them
they must not goe in ... whereupon they desisted and bended themselves
to hearken to the discourse among them." In the confusion of sounds that
came out of the house they could distinguish many angry speeches against
Harvey and cries against his unjust and arbitrary government. When Pott
read his petition, and told the assemblage that it had the support of
some of the Councillors, they all rushed forward to sign their names.

When Harvey heard of these proceedings he was greatly enraged. Summoning
the Council to meet without delay, he issued warrants for Dr. Pott and
several others that had aided in circulating the petition. "After a few
days Potts was brought up prisoner, having before his apprehending bin
in the lower parts of the Country there also mustering his names at a
meeting called for that purpose."[288] He does not seem to have feared
the angry threats of the Governor, for when put in irons and brought
before the Council, he readily consented to surrender the offending
petition. At the same time he asserted "that if he had offended he did
appeal to the King, for he was sure of noe justice from Sir John
Harvey". When some of the other prisoners, in their hearing before the
Council, asked the cause of their arrest, the Governor told them they
should be informed at the gallows.

Shortly after this the Council was summoned to deliberate on the fate of
the accused. The Governor, fearing that he might not secure conviction
from a jury, "declared it necessary that Marshall law should be executed
upon" them. When the Councillors refused to consent to any other than a
legal trial, Harvey flew into a furious passion. For a while he paced
back and forth in the room hardly able to contain himself. At length he
sat down in his chair, and with a dark countenance commanded his
colleagues to be seated. A long pause ensued, and then he announced that
he had a question that they must answer each in his turn, without
deliberation or consultation. "What," he enquired, "doe you think they
deserve that have gone about to persuade the people from their obedience
to his Majesties substitute?" "And I begin with you," he said, turning
to Mr. Minifie. "I am but a young lawyer," Minifie replied, "and dare
not uppon the suddain deliver my opinion." At this point Mr. Farrar
began to complain of these strange proceedings, but Harvey commanded him
to be silent. Captain Matthews also protested, and the other Councillors
soon joined him in refusing to answer the Governor's question. "Then
followed many bitter Languages from him till the sitting ended."

At the next meeting Harvey asked what the Council thought were the
reasons that the petition had been circulated against him, and demanded
to know whether they had any knowledge of the matter. Mr. Minifie
replied that the chief grievance of the people was the detaining of the
letter of the Assembly to the King. This answer seems to have aroused
the Governor's fury, for, arising from his seat, and striking Mr.
Minifie a resounding blow upon the shoulder, he cried, "Doe you say soe?
I arrest you upon suspicion of treason to his Majesty." But Harvey found
that he could not deal thus arbitrarily with the Councillors. Utie and
Matthews rushed up and seizing him cried, "And we you upon suspicion of
treason to his Majestie". Dr. Pott, who was present and had probably
been waiting for this crisis, held up his hand as a signal to
confederates without, "when straight about 40 musketiers ... which
before that time lay hid, came ... running with their peeces presented"
towards the house. "Stay here," commanded Pott, "until there be use of

In the meanwhile the Councillors crowded around Harvey. "Sir," said
Matthews, "there is no harm intended you save only to acquaint you with
the grievances of the Inhabitants and to that end I desire you to sit
downe in your Chayre."

And there, with the enraged Governor seated before him, he poured out
the recital of the people's wrongs. When he had finished there came an
ominous pause. Finally Matthews spoke again. "Sir," he said, "the
peoples fury is up against you and to appease it, is beyond our power,
unlesse you please to goe for England, there to answer their
complaints." But this Harvey refused to do. He had been made Governor of
Virginia by the King, he said, and without his command he would not
leave his charge.

But before many days the Governor changed his mind. He found himself
deserted by all and entirely in the power of the Councillors. As
sentinals were placed "in all wayes & passages so that noe man could
travell or come from place to place", he could make no effort to raise
troops. Dr. Pott and the other prisoners were set at liberty. A guard
was placed around Harvey, ostensibly to protect him, but really with the
purpose of restraining him. A letter came from Captain Purifee, a
Councillor then in the "lower parts" of the colony, which spoke of
designs of the people to bring Harvey to account for his many wrongs. In
alarm the Governor consented to take the first ship for England. He
endeavored, however, to name his successor, to induce Matthews, Pierce,
and Minifie to go with him to England, and to secure a promise from the
Council not to molest Maryland. But they would consent to none of these

In the meantime an Assembly had been called to consider the innumerable
grievances against the Governor. When they met at Jamestown, Harvey sent
them a letter, declaring the session illegal and ordering them to
disperse to their homes. "Notwithstanding his threats ... the assembly
proceeded according to their former intentions." Harvey then dispatched
a letter to the Council, ordering them to send him his royal commission
and instructions, but these documents had been intrusted to the keeping
of Mr. Minifie with directions not to surrender them. The Council then
turned themselves to the task of selecting a successor to Harvey. Their
unanimous vote was given to Captain Francis West, the senior member of
the board and formerly Governor. Feeling that since the expulsion of
Harvey had been primarily a movement to protect the rights of the
people, the Burgesses should have some voice in the election of the new
Governor, they appealed to the Assembly for the ratification of their
choice. West was popular in the colony, and "the people's suffrages"
were cast for him as willingly as had been those of the Council. The
Assembly then drew up resolutions setting forth the misconduct of Harvey
and justifying their course in sending him back to England. These
documents were entrusted to one Thomas Harwood, who was to deliver them
to the King. Of what happened after Harvey's departure we have little
record, but it is probable that the colonists revenged themselves upon
the deposed Governor by confiscating all his ill gotten possessions.

It was decided that Dr. Pott should go to England to stand trial as his
appeal to the King had taken the case beyond the jurisdiction of the
Virginia courts. He and Harwood sailed upon the same vessel with Sir
John. It is not hard to imagine with what dark looks or angry words Pott
and Harvey greeted each other during their long voyage across the
Atlantic. Doubtless Harwood and Pott held many a consultation upon what
steps should be taken when they reached England to secure a favorable
hearing for the colony, and to frustrate Harvey's plans for revenge. It
was Harwood's intention to hasten to London, in order to forestall the
Governor and "to make friends and the case good against him, before he
could come".[289] But Sir John was too quick for him. Hardly had the
ship touched the dock at Plymouth, than he was off to see the mayor of
the city. This officer, upon hearing of the "late mutiny and rebellion"
in Virginia, put Pott under arrest, "as a principal author and agent
thereof", and seized all the papers and letters that had been entrusted
to Harwood. Having thus gotten his hands upon the important documents,
Harvey proceeded to London to complain of the indignities shown him and
to ask for the punishment of his enemies.

When Charles I learned that the Virginians had deposed his Governor and
sent him back to England, he was surprised and angered. It was, he
said, an assumption of regal power to oust thus unceremoniously one of
his officers, and he was resolved to send Harvey back, if for one day
only. And should the Governor acquit himself of the charges against him,
he was to be inflicted upon the colony even longer than had at first
been intended. The case came before the Privy Council in December
1635.[290] In the charges that were made against Harvey nothing was said
of the illegal and arbitrary measures that had caused the people to
depose him. All reference was omitted to the detaining of the Assembly's
letter, to the support given Maryland, to the abuse of the courts, to
illegal taxes and proclamations. Possibly the agents of the Virginians
felt that such accusations as these would have no weight with the
ministers of a monarch so little in sympathy with liberal government, so
they trumped up other charges to sustain their cause. Despite the
assertion of Harwood that Harvey "had so carryed himself in Virginia,
that if ever hee retourned back thither hee would be pistolled or
Shott", he was acquitted and restored to his office. West, Utie,
Matthews, Minifie and Pierce, whom Harvey designated as the "chief
actors in the munity", were ordered to come to England, there to answer
before the Star Chamber the charge of treason.[291]

As the time approached for him to return to Virginia, Harvey began to
show symptoms of nervousness. Feeling possibly that the threats of
"pistolling" were not to be taken lightly, he requested the King to
furnish him a royal vessel in which to make the journey. The appearance
of one of the King's own ships in the James, he thought, would "much
abate the bouldness of the offenders". This request was granted, and,
after some months of delay, Harvey set forth proudly in the _Black
George_. But Charles had not cared to send a really serviceable vessel
to Virginia, and for a while it seemed that the _Black George_ would
relieve the colonists of their troubles by taking Sir John to the
bottom. The vessel, it would appear, sprang a leak
before it had been many hours at sea, and was forced to return to port.
The Governor then decided that a merchant vessel would suffice for his
purposes, and set sail again, upon a ship of the Isle of Wight.

He reached Point Comfort in January, 1637. Not wishing to wait until his
ship reached Jamestown before asserting his authority, he landed at once
and established a temporary capital at Elizabeth City. He had received
instructions to remove from the Council all the members that had taken
part in the "thrusting out", and he brought with him commissions for
several new members. Orders were issued immediately for this
reconstructed Council to convene in the church at Elizabeth City. There,
after the oath had been administered, he published a proclamation of
pardon to all persons implicated in the "mutiny", from which, however,
West, Matthews, and the other leaders were excluded. The Governor then
proceeded to displace all officials whom he considered hostile to his
administration. "Before I removed from Elizabeth City," he wrote, "I
appointed Commissioners and sheriffs for the lower counties, and for the
plantation of Accomack, on the other side of the Bay."

The "thrusting out" did not cause Harvey to become more prudent in the
administration of the government. His restoration, which Charles had
meant as a vindication of the royal authority, the Governor seems to
have interpreted as a license for greater tyranny. If the accusations of
his enemies may be credited, he went to the greatest extremes in
oppressing the people and in defying their laws. With the Council now
completely under his control, he was master of the courts, and inflicted
many great wrongs by means of "arbitrary and illegal proceedings in
judgment". Confiscations and other "most cruel oppressions", it was
declared, were used to punish all that showed themselves hostile to his
government. He and his officers did not scruple to impose many unjust
fines, which they converted "to their own private use", nor to strike
terror into the people with whippings and "cutting of ears".[292]

Nor did Sir John neglect to take revenge upon those old enemies that had
so defied and humiliated him. West, Utie, Matthews and Pierce were sent
at once to England, and their goods, cattle and servants seized. Beyond
doubt it was against Samuel Matthews that Harvey bore the most bitter
animosity, and it was his estate that suffered most. The Governor had
been heard to say that if one "stood, tother should fall, and if hee
swomme, the other should sinke". Matthews was one of the wealthiest men
of the colony, his property consisting largely of cattle, but Sir John
now swore that he would not leave him "worth a cow taile". At the next
session of the Quarter Court, suit was entered against Matthews by one
John Woodall, for the recovery of certain cattle. The learned judges,
upon investigation, found that in the year 1622 Matthews held two cows
rightfully belonging to Woodall. It was their opinion that the increase
of these cows "unto the year 1628 ... might amount unto the number of
fifteen". "Computing the increase of the said fifteen head from the year
1628 to the time of their inquiry, they did return the number of fiftye
head to the said Woodall."[293]

When Matthews heard that his estate had been seized and "havoc made
thereof", he entered complaint with the Privy Council and secured an
order requiring Harvey to restore all to his agents in Virginia. But the
Governor was most reluctant to give up his revenge upon his old enemy.
For seven months he put off the agents and at last told them that he had
received new orders from the Privy Council, expressing satisfaction with
what had been done and bidding him proceed.[294] Thereupon Secretary
Kemp and other friends of the Governor entered Matthews' house, broke
open the doors of several chambers, ransacked all his trunks and chests,
examined his papers, and carried away a part of his goods and eight of
his servants.[295] Soon after, however, Harvey received positive
commands from the Privy Council to make an immediate restoration of all
that had been taken. In January, 1639, he wrote that he had obeyed their
Lordships exactly, by calling a court and turning over to Matthews'
agents many of his belongings.[296] But Harvey denied that he had ever
appropriated the estate to his own use, and claimed that he had been
misrepresented by "the Cunning texture of Captain Mathews, his

Among those that felt most keenly the Governor's resentment was a
certain clergyman, Anthony Panton. This man had quarrelled with Harvey's
best friend and chief advisor in the stormy days of the expulsion,
Secretary Matthew Kemp. Panton had incurred Kemp's undying resentment by
calling him a "jackanapes", "unfit for the place of secretary", and
declaring that "his hair-lock was tied up with ribbon as old as St.
Paul's".[298] The belligerent parson was now brought to trial, charged
with "mutinous speeches and disobedience to Sir John Harvey", and with
disrespect to the Archbishop of Canterbury. His judges pronounced him
guilty and inflicted a sentence of extreme rigor. A fine of £500 was
imposed, he was forced to make public submission in all the parishes of
the colony, and was banished "with paynes of death if he returned, and
authority to any man whatsoever to execute him."[299]

In the meanwhile the Governor's enemies in England had not been idle.
Matthews, Utie, West and Pierce, upon landing in 1637, had secured their
liberty under bail, and had joined with Dr. Pott in an attempt to
undermine Harvey's influence at Court. Had Sir John sent witnesses to
England at once to press the charges against them before the Star
Chamber, while the matter was still fresh in the memory of the King, he
might have brought about their conviction and checked their plots. But
he neglected the case, and Charles probably forgot about it, so the
whole matter was referred to the Lord Keeper and the Attorney-General
where it seems to have rested.[300] The exiles had no difficulty in
finding prominent men willing to join in an attack upon Harvey. Before
many months had passed they had gained the active support of the
"sub-committee" of the Privy Council to which Virginia affairs were
usually referred.[301] Harvey afterwards complained that members of this
committee were interested in a plan to establish a new Virginia Company
and for that reason were anxious to bring discredit upon his
government.[302] It was not difficult to find cause enough for removing
Sir John. Reports of his misconduct were brought to England by every
vessel from the colony. Numerous persons, if we may believe the
Governor, were "imployed in all parts of London to be spyes", and to
"invite the meanest of the planters newly come for England into
Taverns", where they made them talkative with wine and invited them to
state their grievances.[303]

The English merchants trading to Virginia also entered complaint before
the Privy Council against Harvey's administration. They sought relief
from a duty of two pence per hogshead on all tobacco exported from the
colony, from a fee of six pence a head on immigrants, and a requisition
of powder and shot laid upon vessels entering the James.[304] The Privy
Council, always careful of the welfare of British trade, wrote the
Governor and the Council, demanding an explanation of these duties and
requiring an account of the powder and shot. Harvey replied at great
length, justifying the duties and begging their Lordships not to credit
"the malitious untruths of such who by all means do goe about and studie
to traduce us".

But the Privy Council, not waiting to receive all of Harvey's defense,
decided to remove him and to appoint in his place Sir Francis
Wyatt.[305] The new Governor was directed to retain the old Council and
to confirm Kemp as Secretary.[306] But he was authorized to restore to
Matthews any part of his estate yet withheld from him, and to reopen in
the Virginia courts the case against Anthony Panton.[307] The day of
reckoning had now arrived. When Wyatt reached Virginia, he lost no time
in bringing Harvey to account for his misdeeds. He was arraigned before
the courts, where he was forced to answer countless complaints of
injustice and oppression, and to restore to their owners his ill gotten
gains. Kemp wrote, in March, 1640, that Sir John was being persecuted
with great rigor, that most of his estate had been confiscated, and at
the next court would assuredly be swept away.[308] A few weeks later
Harvey wrote to Secretary Windebank, to relate his misfortunes. "I am so
narrowly watched," he complained, "that I have scarce time of priviledge
for these few lines, which doe humbly crave of you to acquaint his
Majesty how much I groan under the oppressions of my prevayling enemies,
by whom the King's honor hath soe much suffered and who are now advanced
to be my judges, and have soe farr already proceeded against me as to
teare from me my estate by an unusuall way of inviting my creditors to
clamour." He wished to return to England, there to repair his fortunes
and seek revenge upon his enemies, but for some time he was detained in
Virginia. The new Governor thought best to keep him in the colony where
it would be difficult for him to plot against the administration. Harvey
wrote, "I am denyed my passage for England notwithstanding my many
infirmities and weaknesses of body doe crave advice and help beyond the
skill and judgment which this place can give."[309]

"Sir John being ... layed flatt," the Governor next turned his attention
to Kemp.[310] Sir Francis, who had strong reasons for hating the
Secretary, summoned him into court to explain his offenses against
Anthony Panton. Realizing that he had little hope of clearing himself,
Kemp sought to leave for England, but his enemies restrained him. "I am
extremely injured," he wrote in April, 1640, "and shall suffer without
guilt, unless my friends now assist me, ... the Governor and Council
here ... aim at my ruin."[311]

But Wyatt feared to retain Harvey and Kemp permanently in Virginia. Both
had powerful friends who might take the matter before the King or the
Privy Council. So, in the end, both made their way to England, taking
with them the charter and many important letters and records.[312] It
was now their turn to plot and intrigue to overthrow the party in
power.[313] And so quickly did their efforts meet success that before
Wyatt had been in office two years he was recalled and Sir William
Berkeley made Governor in his place.


[221] F. R., p. 556; Osg., Vol. III, p. 47.

[222] F. R., p. 574.

[223] F. R., p. 572.

[224] Osg., Vol. III, p. 50.

[225] Osg., Vol. III, p. 50.

[226] F. R., p. 584.

[227] F. R., p. 584.

[228] P. R. O., CO1-3.

[229] F. R., p. 584.

[230] F. R, p. 634.

[231] Osg., Vol. III, p. 74.

[232] F. R., p. 639.

[233] F. R., p. 640.

[234] F. R., p. 641.

[235] F. R., pp. 641, 642.

[236] F. R., p. 647.

[237] F. R., p. 648.

[238] F. R., p. 573.

[239] P. R. O., CO1-3-7.

[240] P. R. O., CO1-3-5.

[241] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 129, 130.

[242] F. R., p. 648; P. R. O., CO1-4.

[243] P. R. O., CO1-20.

[244] Bruce, Ec. Hist, Vol. I, p. 287.

[245] P. R. O, CO1-4.

[246] F. R., p. 647.

[247] P. R. O., CO1-4-18.

[248] Gen., p. 1047.

[249] Neill, Va. Co., p. 221.

[250] F. R., p. 568.

[251] F. R., p. 639.

[252] Fiske, Old Va., Vol. I, p. 252.

[253] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 130.

[254] P. R. O., CO1-5-29.

[255] P. R. O., CO1-5.

[256] F. R., p. 644.

[257] P. R. O., CO1-5-31.

[258] P. R. O., CO1-5-32; Hen., Vol. I., p. 145.

[259] P. R. O., CO1-5; Hen., Vol. I, p. 146.

[260] P. R. O., CO1-5.

[261] P. R. O., CO1-5-32.

[262] P. R. O., CO1-5-33.

[263] P. R. O., CO1-5-33.

[264] P. R. O., CO1-6.

[265] P. R. O., CO1-6-34.

[266] P. R. O., CO1-6-35, 57.

[267] P. R. O., CO1-6-37.

[268] Fiske, Old Va., Vol. I, pp. 262, 263.

[269] P. R. O., CO1-6-39.

[270] P. R. O., CO1-6-39.

[271] P. R. O., CO1-6-46.

[272] P. R. O., CO1-6-46.

[273] P. R. O., CO1-6-52.

[274] P. R. O., CO1-6-46.

[275] P. R. O., CO1-8-60.

[276] Hen., Vol. I, p. 223.

[277] Bruce, Inst. Hist., Vol. II, p. 324.

[278] Hen., Vol. I, p. 264.

[279] Burk, Vol. II, pp. 28, 29.

[280] Hen., Vol. I, p. 124.

[281] P. R. O., CO1-8.

[282] P. R. O., CO1-8.

[283] P. R. O., CO1-8.

[284] P. R. O., CO1-8-63.

[285] P. R. O., CO1-8.

[286] P. R. O., CO1-8.

[287] P. R. O., CO1-8.

[288] P. R. O., CO1-8-48.

[289] P. R. O., CO1-8-61.

[290] P. R. O., CO1-8-62.

[291] P. R. O., CO1-8-61.

[292] Report of Com. on Hist. Mans. 3.

[293] P. R. O., CO1-10-14.

[294] P. R. O., CO1-9-121.

[295] P. R. O., CO1-9-121.

[296] P. R. O., CO1-10-6.

[297] P. R. O., CO1-10-6.

[298] Fiske, Old Va., Vol. I, p. 295.

[299] P. R. O., CO1-10-32.

[300] P. R. O., CO1-10-73.

[301] P. R. O., CO1-10-10.

[302] P. R. O., CO1-10-10.

[303] P. R. O., CO1-10-15.

[304] P. R. O., CO1-10-5.

[305] P. R. O., CO1-10-3.

[306] P. R. O., CO1-10-43.

[307] P. R. O., CO1-10-26, 32.

[308] P. R. O., CO1-10-61.

[309] P. R. O., CO1-10-67.

[310] P. R. O., CO1-10-64. 1.

[311] P. R. O., CO1-10-64.

[312] Report of Com. on Hist. Man., 3.

[313] Report of Com. on Hist. Man., 3.



Sir William Berkeley, who succeeded Governor Wyatt in 1642, is one of
the striking figures of American colonial history. Impulsive, brave,
dogmatic, unrelenting, his every action is full of interest. He early
displayed a passionate devotion to the house of Stuart, which remained
unshaken amid the overthrow of the monarchy and the triumph of its
enemies. When the British Commons had brought the unhappy King to the
block, Berkeley denounced them as lawless tyrants and pledged his
allegiance to Charles II. And when the Commonwealth sent ships and men
to subdue the stubborn Governor, they found him ready, with his raw
colonial militia, to fight for the prince that England had repudiated.
Throughout his life his chief wish was to win the approbation of the
King, his greatest dread to incur his censure.

Berkeley did not know fear. When, in 1644, the savages came murdering
through the colony, it was he that led the planters into the forests to
seek revenge. In 1666, when a Dutch fleet sailed into the James and
captured a number of English vessels, the Governor wished to sally out
in person with a few merchantmen to punish their temerity.

He possessed many of the graces of the courtier, and seems to have
charmed, when he so desired, those with whom he came in contact. His
friends are most extravagant in his praises, and their letters refer to
him as the model soldier, statesman and gentleman.

The overthrow of Sir Francis Wyatt was a severe blow to the enemies of
the old Harvey faction. Anthony Panton entered a protest against the
change of administration, claiming that it had been brought about by
surreptitious means and that no just complaint could be made against
Governor Wyatt.[314] At his petition Berkeley was ordered to postpone
his departure for Virginia until the matter could be investigated
further. Upon signing an agreement, however, to protect the interests of
Wyatt and his friends, he was allowed to sail and reached the colony in

The new Governor soon showed that he had no intention of persecuting
Harvey's enemies, or of continuing the bitter quarrels of the preceding
administrations. In his first Council we find Samuel Matthews, William
Pierce and George Minifie, all of whom had been implicated in the
"thrusting out".[315] Whether proceeding under directions from the
English government, or actuated by a desire to rule legally and justly,
he conferred a priceless blessing upon the colony by refusing to use the
judiciary for political persecution. So far as we can tell there was no
case, during his first administration, in which the courts were
prostituted to personal or party ends. Thomas Ludwell afterwards
declared that it was a convincing evidence of Berkeley's prudence and
justice that after the surrender to the Commonwealth, when his enemies
might easily have hounded him to his ruin, "there was not one man that
either publickly or privately charged him with injustice".[316] In
March, 1643, he affixed his signature to a law allowing appeals from the
Quarter Courts to the Assembly. This right, which seems not to have been
acknowledged by Sir John Harvey, was of the very highest importance. It
gave to the middle class a share in the administration of justice and
afforded an effectual check upon the abuse of the courts by the Governor
and Council.

Berkeley greatly endeared himself to the poor planters by securing the
abolition of a poll tax that contributed to the payment of his own
salary.[317] "This," the Assembly declared, "is a benefit descending
unto us and our posterity which we acknowledge contributed to us by our
present Governor."[318] Berkeley also made an earnest effort to relieve
the burden of the poor by substituting for the levy upon tithables
"assessments proportioning in some measure payments according to mens
abilities and estates" But the colonial legislators soon found a just
distribution of the taxes a matter of great difficulty, and we are told
that the new measures, "through the strangeness thereof could not but
require much time of controverting and debating".[319] In 1648 the
experiment was abandoned and the old oppressive tax upon tithables

During the first administration of Berkeley numerous other measures were
adopted tending to augment the liberty and prosperity of the people. In
1643 a law was passed prohibiting the Governor and Council from imposing
taxes without the consent of the Assembly.[321] At the same session
Berkeley assented to a statute exempting the Burgesses from arrest
during sessions of Assembly and for ten days after dissolution.[322] The
fees of the Secretary of State were limited and fixed in order to
prevent excessive and unjust charges by that officer.[323]

That the colonists were not insensible of the Governor's liberal conduct
is shown by their generosity to him on more than one occasion. In 1642
they presented him with an "orchard with two houses belonging to the
collony ... as a free and voluntary gift in consideration of many worthy
favours manifested towards the collony".[324] In 1643, when the war in
England caused the suspension of Berkeley's pensions and allowances from
the King, the Assembly voted a tax of two shillings per poll on all
tithable persons as a temporary relief.[325]

When Sir William assumed the government in 1642 he was conscious that an
effort was being made in England to restore the old London Company of
Virginia, and it became his first care to thwart this design. In 1639
George Sandys had been sent to England as the agent of the Assembly and
had presented a petition in the name of the Virginia planters, to the
House of Commons, for the restoration of the old corporation.[326] The
Assembly of April, 1642, called together by Berkeley, repudiated
entirely the action of their agent, declaring that he had misunderstood
his instructions. The renewal of the Company, they said, was never
"desired, sought after or endeavoured to be sought for either directly
or indirectly by the consent of any Grand Assembly or the common consent
of the people". They drew up a petition to the King, expressing their
desire to remain under his immediate care and protection, citing the
many blessings of the present order of government, and drawing the most
melancholy picture of their sufferings before the revocation of the
charter. "The present happiness," they said, "is exemplified to us by
the freedom of yearly assemblies warranted unto us by his majesties
gratious instructions, and the legal trial per juries in all criminal
and civil causes where it shall be demanded."[327]

This declaration of loyalty and contentment, reaching Charles at a time
when so many of his subjects were rising in rebellion against his
authority, was most pleasing to the unfortunate monarch. "Your
acknowledgement," he replied to the Governor and the Assembly, "of our
grace, bounty, and favour, towards you, and your so earnest desire to
continue under our immediate protection, is very acceptable to us."
"And," he continued, "as we had not before the least intention to
consent to the introduction of any company over that our Colony, we are
by it much confirmed in our resolution, as thinking it unfit to change a
form of government wherein our subjects there ... receive much
contentment and satisfaction".[328]

In the early years of Berkeley's administration the colony experienced
another horrible Indian massacre. As in 1622 the blow came without
warning. The cruel and barbarous war that followed the first massacre
had long since come to an end and for many years there had been peace
between the two races. It is true that the friendly relations that
resulted from the marriage of Rolfe and Pocahontas had not been
restored, that the Indians were not allowed to frequent the English
settlements, that no weapons were sold them, but the peace was fairly
well observed and there was no reason to suspect the savages of

The plot originated in the brain of Opechancanough. This remarkable
savage was long supposed to have been the brother of Powhatan, but newly
discovered evidence tends to show that this was not the case. It is
known that he belonged to a foreign tribe that came from the far
southwest. Having, it is supposed, been defeated in a battle with the
Spaniards, he had led his people to Virginia and united them with the
tribes under the command of Powhatan. This tremendous march must have
consumed many months, and have been beset with countless dangers, but
Opechancanough overcame them, and "conquered all along from Mexico" to
Virginia.[329] He was now an extremely aged man. Being unable to walk he
was carried from place to place upon a litter. His eyelids were so heavy
that he could not of his own volition move them, and attendants stood
always ready to raise them whenever it became necessary for him to
see.[330] But his mind was clear, his force of will unshaken, and the
Indians paid him the reverent obedience that his able leadership

Opechancanough planned the massacre for April 18th, 1644, and it was
carried out upon that date with the utmost ferocity.[331] The slaughter
was even greater than in 1622, and no less than five hundred Christians
are said to have been destroyed.[332] But this calamity fell almost
entirely upon the frontier counties at the heads of the great rivers,
and upon the plantations on the south side of the James. The savages
could not penetrate to the older and more populous communities of the
lower peninsula. For this reason the disaster, horrible as it was, did
not overwhelm the entire colony and threaten its destruction as had the
massacre of 1622.

Another deadly war with the savages ensued immediately. Sir William
Berkeley several times placed himself at the head of large expeditions
and carried fire and destruction to many Indian villages.[333] As in the
former war, the naked and poorly armed natives could not withstand the
English, and, deserting their homes, they usually fled into the woods at
their approach. And again the white men brought famine upon them by
going out each year in the months of July and August to cut down their
growing maize.[334] In order to protect the isolated frontier
plantations the Governor ordered the people to draw together in
fortified camps, strong enough to resist the assaults of a large body of
the savages.[335] "He strengthened the weak Families," it was said, "by
joining two or three ... together and Palizaded the houses about."[336]

Despite these wise measures the savages would probably have continued
the war many years had not Opechancanough fallen into the hands of the
English. The old king was surprised by Sir William Berkeley, and,
because of his decrepitude, was easily captured.[337] He was taken in
triumph to Jamestown, where the Governor intended to keep him until he
could be sent to England and brought before Charles I. But a few days
after the capture, a common soldier, in revenge for the harm done the
colony by Opechancanough, shot the aged and helpless prisoner in the

Soon after this event the Indians sued for peace. Discouraged and
starving, they promised to become the friends and allies of the whites
forever, if they would cease their hostility and grant them their
protection. A treaty was drawn up and ratified by the Assembly and by
the new Indian king Necotowance.[339] It provided that the savages
should acknowledge the King of England as their sovereign and overlord;
that Necotowance and his successors should pay as tribute "the number of
twenty beaver skins at the goeing of the Geese yearly"; that all the
land between the York and the James from the falls of both rivers to
Kecoughtan should be ceded to the English; that all white prisoners and
escaped negroes should be returned. In compensation the English agreed
to protect the savages from the attacks of their enemies and to resign
to them as their hunting ground the territory north of the York
River.[340] This peace, which was most beneficial to the colony, was not
broken until 1676, when the incursions of the wild Susquehannocks
involved the native Virginia tribes in a new conflict with the white

During the civil war that was at this time convulsing England most of
the influential Virginia planters adhered to the party of the King. They
were, with rare exceptions, members of the established church, and could
have little sympathy with a movement that was identified with
dissenters. If the triumph of Parliament was to bring about the
disestablishment of the Church, or even the toleration of Presbyterians
and Independents, they could not give them their support. Moreover,
loyalty to the House of Stuart was strong in Virginia. The very
remoteness of the planters from the King increased their reverence and
love. They could not be present at court to see the monarch in all his
human weakness, so there was nothing to check their loyal imaginations
from depicting him as the embodiment of princely perfection. Nor had the
wealthy families of the colony aught to anticipate of economic or
political gain in the triumph of Parliament. Possessed of large estates,
monopolizing the chief governmental offices, wielding a great influence
over the Assembly and the courts, and looking forward to a future of
prosperity and power, they could not risk their all upon the uncertain
waters of revolution. Some, no doubt, sympathized with the efforts that
were being made in England to limit the King's power of taxing the
people, for the colony had always contained its quota of liberals, but
the dictates of self-interest must have lulled them into quiescence. And
the Governor, in this hour of need, proved a veritable rock of loyalty
for the King. None that showed leanings towards the cause of Parliament
could expect favors of any kind from Sir William Berkeley. Moreover, if
they spoke too loudly of the rights of the people and of the tyranny of
monarchs, they might find themselves under arrest and charged with

But there was another faction in Virginia, composed largely of small
planters and freedmen, which sympathized with the aims of their fellow
commons of the mother country. Prominent among these must have been a
small number of Virginia Puritans, who had for some years been subjected
to mild persecution. The overwhelming sentiment of the colony had long
been for strict uniformity in the Church "as neere as may be to the
canons in England", and several statutes had been passed by the Assembly
to suppress the Quakers and Puritans.[342] In 1642, Richard Bennett and
others of strong Calvinistic leanings, sent letters to Boston requesting
that Puritan ministers be sent to Virginia, to minister to their
non-conformist congregations.[343] The New Englanders responded readily,
despatching to their southern friends three ministers of
distinction--William Thompson, John Knowles and Thomas James. Despite
the laws against non-conformity these men anticipated little
interference with their work and even brought letters of introduction
from Governor Winthrop to Sir William Berkeley.[344] Little did they
know the temper of the new Virginia Governor. So far from welcoming this
Puritan invasion Berkeley determined to meet it with measures of stern
repression. A bill was put through the Assembly requiring all ministers
within the colony to conform to the "orders and constitutions of the
church of England", both in public and in private worship, and directing
the Governor and Council to expel all dissenters from the country.[345]
Disheartened at this unfriendly reception, James and Knowles soon
returned to New England, leaving Thompson to carry on the work. This
minister, in defiance of the law, lingered long in Virginia, preaching
often and making many converts.

Among those that embraced the Calvinistic tenets at this time was Thomas
Harrison, formerly Berkeley's chaplain. Harrison seems to have regarded
the massacre of 1644 as a judgment of God upon the colonists for their
persecution of the Puritans. His desertion of the established Church
aroused both the anger and the alarm of the Governor and in 1648 he was
expelled from his parish for refusing to use the Book of Common Prayer.
Later he left the colony for New England.

This persecution, although not severe enough to stamp out dissent in
Virginia, could but arouse among the Puritans a profound dissatisfaction
with the existing government, and a desire to coöperate with their
brethren of England in the great contest with the King. Although not
strong enough to raise the Parliamentary standard in the colony and to
seek religious freedom at the sword's point, the Puritans formed a
strong nucleus for a party of opposition to the King and his Governor.

Moreover, in addition to the comparatively small class of Puritans,
there must have been in the colony hundreds of men, loyal to the
established church, who yet desired a more liberal government both in
England and in Virginia. A strong middle class was developing which must
have looked with sympathy upon the cause of the English Commons and with
jealousy upon the power of the Virginia Governor and his Council. There
is positive evidence that many poor men had been coming to Virginia from
very early times, paying their own passage and establishing themselves
as peasant proprietors. Wills still preserved show the existence at this
period of many little farms of five or six hundred acres, scattered
among the great plantations of the wealthy. They were tilled, not by
servants or by slaves, but by the freemen that owned them. Depending for
food upon their own cattle, hogs, corn, fruit and vegetables, and for
the other necessities of life upon their little tobacco crops, the poor
farmers of Virginia were developing into intelligent and useful
citizens. They constituted the backbone of a distinct and powerful
middle class, which even at this early period, had to be reckoned with
by aristocracy and Governor and King.

This section of the population was constantly being recruited from the
ranks of the indentured servants. The plantations of the rich were
tilled chiefly by bonded laborers, brought from the mother country. So
long as land was plentiful in Virginia the chief need of the wealthy was
for labor. Wage earners could not supply this need, for the poor man
would not till the fields of others when he could have land of his own
almost for the asking. So the planters surmounted this difficulty by
bringing workmen to the colony under indenture, to work upon their farms
for a certain number of years. Many a poor Englishman, finding the
struggle for existence too severe at home, thus surrendered for a while
his liberty, that in the end he might acquire a share in the good things
of the New World. After serving his master five or six years the servant
usually was given his liberty and with it fifty acres of land and a few
farm implements. Thus equipped, he could, with industry and frugality,
acquire property and render himself a useful citizen in his adopted
country. There can be no doubt that many hundreds of former servants,
become prosperous, did unite with the free immigrants of humble means to
form a vigorous middle class.

Nothing could be more natural than that the small farmers should regard
Parliament as the champion of the poor Englishman at home and in the
colony. They knew full well that if Charles should triumph over the
Commons, his victory would mean greater power for their Governor,
greater privilege for the wealthy planters. On the other hand, the
King's defeat might bring increased influence to the middle class and to
the Burgesses.

It is not possible to determine how numerous was the Parliamentary party
in Virginia, but the faction was powerful enough to cause serious
apprehension to the loyalists. So bitter was the feeling that fears of
assassination were entertained for Sir William Berkeley, and a guard of
ten men was granted him. We are "sensible", declared the Assembly, in
1648, "of the many disaffections to the government from a schismaticall
party, of whose intentions our native country of England hath had and
yet hath too sad experience".[346]

But the commons of Virginia were not prepared to raise the standard of
revolt. They must have lacked organization and leaders. Most of the
aristocracy and wealth of Virginia was arrayed against them, while the
government was in the hands of a man noted for his passionate attachment
to the Throne. The Parliamentary party must have felt it best to await
the event of the struggle in England, pinning their hopes upon the
success of their comrades there. But even after Parliament had won the
victory, after the King had been executed, they were not strong enough
to overthrow Berkeley's government and force Virginia into obedience to
the Commonwealth.

The news of the death of Charles I filled the royalists of Virginia with
grief and anger. It seemed to them that the cause of law and order and
religion in the unhappy kingdom had fallen with their monarch. Moreover,
they could but expect the victorious party, after settling all at home,
to extend their arms to the little colony and force upon them a
reluctant obedience to the new government. But the intrepid Berkeley was
determined never to submit until compelled to do so by force of arms.
Charles II was proclaimed King. The Assembly was called together and a
law enacted declaring it high treason to question, even by insinuation,
the "undoubted & inherent right of his Majesty ... to the Collony of
Virginia, and all other his majesties dominions".[347] The Assembly
referred to Charles I in terms of reverence and affection, as their late
blessed and sainted King, and, unmindful of consequences, denounced his
executioners as lawless tyrants. For any person to cast dishonor or
censure upon the fallen monarch, or to uphold in any way the proceedings
against him, or to assert the legality of his dethronement, was declared
by the Assembly high treason. "And it is also enacted," they continued,
"that what person soever, by false reports and malicious rumors shall
spread abroad, among the people, any thing tending to change of
government, ... such persons, not only the authors of ... but the
reporters and divulgers thereof, shall be adjudged guilty."[348]

Even before the news of these events reached England, Sir William had
aroused the anger of Parliament by his persecution of the Puritans. Some
of the people of Nansemond county had written, complaining of the
banishment of Mr. Harrison, whom they described as an able minister and
a man of splendid character. The English Council wrote Berkeley
commanding him to restore Mr. Harrison to his parish. "Wee know," they
said, "you cannot be ignorant that the use of the common prayer book is
prohibited by the parliament of England."[349] And when they learned
that the colony had refused to acknowledge the Commonwealth, and still
adhered to the House of Stuart, they were determined to punish the
Virginians for their temerity. Since it would be exceedingly
inconvenient at this time of uncertainty and change to send an
expedition across the Atlantic, it was decided to bring the colonists to
their senses by cutting off their foreign trade. An act was passed by
Parliament in October, 1650, declaring that since the colony had been
settled by the English at great cost to the nation, it should rightly be
under the authority of the present government; that divers persons in
Virginia had committed open treason, "traytorously by force and
Subtilty" usurping the government and defying the Commonwealth; and in
order to repress speedily the rebellious colonists and to inflict upon
them a merited punishment, they were to be forbidden all "Commerce or
Traffique with any people Whatsoever". The full force of the English
navy was to be used in carrying out this act, and all commanders were
directed to seize and bring in foreign vessels found trading with the
colony. No English ships were to sail for Virginia without special
license from the Council of State.[350]

This was a dire threat indeed. To cut off all commerce with England and
foreign countries would bring utter ruin upon the planters, for their
tobacco crop would then be without a market. Even now, however, the
Governor did not falter in his loyalty. He felt, no doubt, that
Parliament would have difficulty in enforcing this act, and he looked to
the Dutch merchantmen to take off the tobacco.

Before an Assembly called together in March, 1651, Berkeley delivered an
address ringing with defiance of Parliament "Gentlemen," he said, "you
perceave by the Declaration that the men of Westminster have set out,
... how they meane to deale with you hereafter.... Indeed me thinks they
might have proposed something to us which might have strengthened us to
beare those heavy chaines they are making ready for us, though it were
but an assurance that we shall eat the bread for which our owne Oxen
plow, and with our owne sweat we reape; but this assurance (it seems)
were a franchise beyond the Condition they have resolv'd on the Question
we ought to be in: For the reason why they talk so Magisterially to us
is this, we are forsooth their worships slaves, bought with their money
and by consequence ought not to buy, or sell but with those they shall
Authorize with a few trifles to Coszen us of all for which we toile and
labour.... The strength of their argument runs onely thus: we have laid
violent hands on your Land-lord, possessed his Manner house where you
used to pay your rents, therefore now tender your respects to the same
house you once reverenced.... They talke indeed of money laid out in
this country in its infancy. I will not say how little, nor how Centuply
repaid, but will onely aske, was it theirs? They who in the beginning of
this warr were so poore, & indigent, that the wealth and rapines of
three Kingdomes & their Churches too cannot yet make rich."

The Governor then began an impassioned appeal to the Assembly to remain
firm in their loyalty to the Crown. "Surely Gentlemen," he cried, "we
are more slaves by nature, than their power can make us if we suffer
ourselves to be shaken with these paper bulletts, & those on my life are
the heaviest they either can or will send us.... You have heard under
what heavy burthens the afflicted English Nation now groans, and calls
to heaven for relief: how new and formerly unheard of impositions make
the wifes pray for barrenness and their husbands deafnes to exclude the
cryes of their succourles, starving children.... Consider your selves
how happy you are and have been, how the Gates of wealth and Honour are
shut to no man, and that there is not here an Arbitrary hand that dares
to touch the substance of either poore or rich: But that which I woud
have you chiefly consider with thankfullnes is: That God hath separated
you from the guilt of the crying bloud of our Pious Souveraigne of ever
blessed memory: But mistake not Gentlemen part of it will yet stain your
garments if you willingly submit to those murtherers hands that shed it;
I tremble to thinke how the oathes they will impose will make those
guilty of it, that have long abhor'd the traiterousnesse of the act....
Gentlemen by the Grace of God we will not so tamely part with our King,
and all these blessings we enjoy under him; and if they oppose us, do
but follow me, I will either lead you to victory, or lose a life which I
cannot more gloriously sacrifice then for my loyalty, and your

When the Governor had completed his appeal the obnoxious act of
Parliament was read aloud. The Assembly then passed a series of
resolutions, reiterating their loyalty to the Crown, denouncing the
Commons as usurpers and regicides, and defending themselves against the
charge of treachery and rebellion. They had, they declared, adhered
always to the "Lawes of England", which enjoined upon them the oaths of
allegiance and supremacy, and they refused now, at the bidding of
Parliament, to break their word by renouncing their King. They could not
be expected to give passive obedience to every party that possessed
themselves of Westminster Hall, where the heads of divers factions had
followed each other in quick succession. They had been accused of
usurping the government of the colony, but their records would show that
they had never swerved from their allegiance. And it ill became the
Parliament that had overthrown the English constitution to bring such
accusations. Finally, they declared, "we are resolv'd to Continue our
Allegeance to our most Gratious King, yea as long as his gratious favour
permits us, we will peaceably trade with the Londoners, and all other
nations in amity with our Soveraigne: Protect all forraigne Merchants
with our utmost force in our Capes: Allwaies pray for the happy
restoration of our King, and repentance in them, who to the hazard of
their soules have opposed him."[352]

As Berkeley had foreseen, the English found it impossible to enforce a
strict blockade. The government could not spare war vessels enough to
close the Virginia capes, and foreign merchantmen continued to sail
unmolested into the James and the York, bringing goods to the planters
and taking off their tobacco. Indeed the Dutch took advantage of this
quarrel between colony and mother country to extend their American
trade at the expense of the English merchants. The Council of State was
soon made to realize by the complaints that poured in from the London
shippers, that the "Blockade Act" was injuring England more than the
refractory colony.

At this moment, several leaders of the Virginia Parliamentary party came
to the Council at Westminster and represented to it the necessity of
fitting out an expedition to overthrow the Berkeley government. They
could plead that the blockade had proved ineffective, that the honor of
the Commonwealth demanded the prompt subjection of the impudent
Governor, that the coöperation of the Virginia commons would make the
task easy. Nor could they omit to remind the Councillors that it was
their duty to bring relief to their fellow Puritans of Virginia.

At all events the Council, seeing the necessity of prompt action, sent
forth a well armed expedition under the command of Captain Robert Denis
to subdue both the Barbadoes and Virginia. But wishing to avoid, if
possible, open hostilities, at the same time they sent commissioners to
treat with the colonists and persuade them to submit peaceably to the
Commonwealth. The Council of State evidently expected active assistance
from the Parliamentary party in the colony in these efforts to establish
the new political order, for they gave directions to the commissioners
to raise troops in the plantations, to appoint captains and other
officers, and to guarantee freedom to all servants that volunteered to
fight with the Commonwealth forces. They were given power to grant
pardon to all that submitted, making such exceptions as they thought
proper, and were directed to establish a new government in accord with
the present constitution of England.

When, in the spring of 1652, the British fleet sailed up the James
river, Captain Denis found the intrepid Berkeley prepared for a
strenuous resistance. With the guns of the warships approaching his
capital, with English soldiers ready for a landing, with a strong party
in the colony in sympathy with the invaders, he might well have
despaired. Resistance would certainly entail enormous misfortunes upon
the colony--bloodshed, devastation, civil strife--and success could be
but temporary. Should he beat off the present expedition, others too
powerful to be resisted would undoubtedly follow, and the punishment of
the colony would be but the more severe.

Yet the Governor did not falter. He called around him the full strength
of the colonial militia, posted them to good advantage, and himself took
active command. Several Dutch vessels that had been trading in the James
were pressed into service, filled with men and moored in close to
Jamestown, with their guns trained upon the approaching enemy. Behind
them were several land batteries. The whole made an imposing appearance,
and might well have given apprehension to the invaders.

Fortunately, however, the threatened conflict was averted by the
persuasion of the Parliamentary commissioners. These men, anxious to
avoid civil war, availed themselves of the authority given them by the
Council of State, to offer very lenient terms of surrender. Some of them
seem to have preceded the fleet to Virginia, to consult with their
friends and to formulate plans to render the Governor's resistance
ineffectual. It is not improbable that these efforts were seconded by
some of the most prominent men of the colony. Two members of the Council
itself, it is said, who possessed goods of great value upon vessels in
the fleet, received warning that their property would be at once
confiscated, if they gave their support to the Governor. They therefore
were constrained to advocate submission. With division in the ranks of
the colonists and with the invaders ready for action, even Berkeley was
at last forced to give way and consent to a capitulation.

The terms of surrender were drawn up at Jamestown and agreed to by the
commissioners on the one hand, and by the Governor, Council and
Burgesses on the other. It was agreed first, that Virginia should
acknowledge its due allegiance to the Commonwealth of England, and "to
the lawes there established". This submission, it was declared, was "a
voluntary act, not forced nor constrained by a conquest upon the
country".[353] It was also stipulated "that the people of Virginia have
free trade as the people of England do enjoy to all places and with all
nations according to the lawes of that commonwealth". Even more
interesting was the agreement "that Virginia shall be free from all
taxes, customs and impositions whatsoever, and none to be imposed on
them without consent of the Grand Assembly, and soe that neither fforts
nor castles bee erected or garrisons maintained without their consent".
When these terms of surrender were reported to the English government,
Parliament thought that the commissioners had been too liberal in their
concessions, and some of the articles were not ratified.

The commissioners granted full pardon and indemnity for all "acts, words
or writeings done or spoken against the parliament" and any persons
refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the new government were given
"a yeares time ... to remove themselves and their estates out of
Virginia". The use of the Book of Common Prayer was permitted for one
year in the parishes that so desired, and no ministers were deprived of
their charges or their livings.[354]

Separate articles were drawn up between the commissioners and the
Governor and Council. Neither Berkeley nor the Councillors were to be
compelled, during the ensuing twelve months, to take the oath of
allegiance. They were not to be censured for speaking well in private of
the King. They were given leave to sell all their property and to quit
the country without molestation. They were permitted to send a message
to Charles II, giving an account of the surrender.[355]

The commissioners were now confronted with the all-important task of
establishing a new government. They had been given power by the Council
of State to hold an election of Burgesses granting the franchise to all
who had taken the oath of allegiance. Feeling, doubtless, a reluctance
to assume the entire responsibility of moulding a new constitution, they
resolved to wait until the Burgesses assembled and to consult with them
in all their measures. The election was held without delay, and the
members were sworn in on April 26th, 1652.

The Burgesses and the commissioners then entered upon a long and serious
debate concerning "the settling and governing of Virginia".[356] The
English Council had not, it would seem, given specific directions in
regard to this work, so the members of the little constitutional
convention were practically at liberty to do what they chose. Realizing,
however, that all might be changed if it proved unsatisfactory to
Parliament, they proceeded cautiously. Their chief concern was to
establish a tentative government that would prevent present confusion
and could later be perfected by the Council of State. It so happened,
however, that the English, amid the confusion of the times, neglected to
attend to this matter, and the work of the convention remained
essentially unaltered throughout the Commonwealth period.

The House of Burgesses, since it had been officially recognized by the
Council of State, was made the chief governing body of the colony.
Except for the veto of the English government its power was to be
unlimited. It was to elect the Governor and to specify his duties. If
his administration proved unsatisfactory it might remove him from
office. The Burgesses were also to elect the Council, to prescribe its
functions and limit its power. This proud body, which had formerly been
so powerful, was now to exist only on the suffrage of the House. It was
even debated whether Councillors should be admitted to membership in the
General Assembly. The appointment of all officials was also to
"appertain to the Burgesses, the representatives of the people", but it
was agreed that for the present most of the first nominations should be
left to the Governor and the commissioners.[357]

Thus did Virginia become in all but name a republic. In England, the
long cherished hope of the patriots for liberty was to be disappointed
by the usurpation of Oliver Cromwell, and the victory of Parliament over
the stubborn Charles was to result only in the substitution of one
despot for another. But the commons of Virginia, although they had
played an insignificant role in the great drama of the times, were to
reap the reward which was denied their cousins of England. Their
government for the next eight years was to be truly representative of
the people. Nor did the English government often interfere with their
affairs. Busy with his numerous wars and with the cares of
administration, the Protector never found time to acquaint himself
thoroughly with what was happening in Virginia. In 1653, and again in
1658, Cromwell promised to make some definite regulations for the
government of the colony, but he was interrupted on each occasion before
he could put his resolutions into effect. That it was his intention,
however, to keep the appointment of the Governor in his own hands seems
certain. In 1654 the Assembly received word that his Highness had
decided then to continue Colonel Bennett, of whose good character he had
heard, in the execution of his office, until he could further signify
his pleasure. In 1657, the Council of State requested Cromwell to
appoint some person to go to Virginia as its Governor, but this he
failed to do.[358] With the exception of such spasmodic interruptions as
these, and the partial enforcement of the Navigation Acts, the colony
was left almost to its own devices throughout the Commonwealth period.

By the unanimous vote of the commissioners and the Burgesses Mr. Richard
Bennett was made Governor. This choice must have been satisfactory both
to the English government and the Parliamentary party in the colony. Mr.
Bennett had been one of the few prominent Virginia Puritans and had left
the colony during the persecution of dissenters by Sir William Berkeley.
As a member of the commission he had been instrumental in bringing about
the surrender and saving the colony from civil war. It was agreed that
he should serve for one year, "or untill the next meeting of the
Assembly", but as his administration proved most satisfactory he was
continued in office by Cromwell until March 31st, 1655.[359]

The new government, however, was not to be established entirely without
disorder and strife. In the interval between the surrender and the
assembling of the Burgesses affairs on the Eastern Shore assumed a
threatening aspect. The people of Northampton, many of whom seem
formerly to have been favorable to the Commonwealth, became ill affected
to the new régime, even before it was well begun. A number of things
conspired to bring about this change. Among the inhabitants of
Northampton were a number of Dutch who had settled there during the
preceding decade. When war broke out between Holland and England in 1652
it was rumored that these people were conspiring with the Indians to
bring about another massacre in Virginia. Groundless as these suspicions
were, they infuriated the English and caused grave fears for the safety
of the Dutch planters. When the justices of the peace took precautions
to protect the unfortunate foreigners their action caused discontent and
bitterness against the new government. Moreover, the Navigation Acts,
recently passed by Parliament, restricting foreign trade would, if
enforced, prove especially damaging to the people of the Eastern Shore.
Finally, Northampton had not been represented in the Assembly since
1647, except for one Burgess in 1651, and the belief had sprung up that
the county was to become independent of the government at Jamestown. For
various reasons, therefore, Northampton was hostile to the government.
And when the Parliamentary commissioners imposed upon them a tax of
forty-six pounds of tobacco per poll, the people of the county voiced
their anger in no uncertain terms, and selected a committee of six to
draw up a statement of their grievances and present it to the new

"Wee," they protested, "the Inhabitants of Northampton Countie doe
complanye that from tyme to tyme wee have been submitted & bine obedient
unto the paymt of publeq taxacons. Butt after ye yeare 1647, since yt
tyme wee Conceive & have found that ye taxes were very weightie. But in
a more espetiall manner ... the taxacon of fforty sixe pounds of tobacco
p. poll (this present yeare). And desire yt ye same bee taken off ye
charge of ye Countie; furthermore wee alledge that after 1647, wee did
understand & suppose or Countie or Northampton to be disioynted &
sequestered from ye rest of Virginia. Therefore that Llawe wch requireth
& inioyneth Taxacons from us to bee Arbitrarye & illegall; fforasmuch as
wee had neither summons for Ellecon of Burgesses nor voyce in their
Assemblye (during the time aforesd) but only the Singular Burgess in
September, Ano., 1651. Wee conceive that wee may Lawfullie ptest agt the
pceedings in the Act of Assemblie for publiq Taxacons wch have relacon
to Northmton Countie since ye year 1647."[360]

Thus early in the history of the colony was enunciated the principle
that taxation without representation is unjust and illegal. The men of
Northampton do not speak of the doctrine as something new, but as a
thing understood and recognized. Certain it is that the people of
Virginia, in all periods of their colonial history, realized the vast
importance of confining the power of taxation to their own Assembly.

But the leaders of the new government did not receive the petition with
favor. They were willing to give Northampton her due quota of Burgesses,
but they were angered at the suggestion of separation. Moreover, the
disorders on the Eastern Shore became more pronounced and the justices
were compelled to seek aid from the Council in protecting the Dutch. In
June, 1653, the turbulent people met and, amid scenes of disorder,
denounced the action of the authorities. When a voice from the crowd
cried out that the justices were a "company of asses and villyanes", the
people roared out their approval. The Assembly, at its meeting in June,
1653, was forced to take active steps to suppress the agitation and to
restore order upon the peninsula. Mr. Bennett with several members of
the Assembly, was sent to Northampton, "for the settlement of the peace
of that countie, and punishinge delinquents". In this he seems to have
been entirely successful, for we hear no more of disorders upon the
Eastern Shore during this period.[361]

When the commissioners and the Burgesses, in 1652, established anew the
gubernatorial office, they were somewhat vague in defining the duties
belonging to it. They first declared that Mr. Bennett was to exercise
"all the just powers and authorities that may belong to that place
lawfully".[362] But that it was not their intention to give the new
officer the prerogatives enjoyed by the royal Governor is shown by their
further statement that he was to have such power only as should be
granted him from time to time by the Assembly.[363] This lack of
clearness led, quite naturally, to several clashes between the
legislative and executive branches of the government.

At the session of Assembly of July, 1653, the Burgesses showed that they
would brook no interference from the Governor with their affairs. On the
eve of the election of the Speaker, they received a message from Mr.
Bennett and the Council advising them not to choose a certain
Lieutenant-Colonel Chiles. Although it was clearly shown that this
gentleman could not serve with propriety, the Burgesses gave him the
election, merely, it would seem, as a rebuke to the presumption of the

Edward Digges, who succeeded Mr. Bennett, seems to have had no clash
with the Assembly, but during the next administration, when Samuel
Matthews was Governor, the executive made a determined effort to break
the power of the Burgesses. At the session of 1658, the Governor and the
Council sent a message to the Assembly declaring that body
dissolved.[365] This move startled the Burgesses. The royal Governors
had always possessed the right of dissolving the House, but no such
authority had been delegated to the new executive. Moreover, it was
inconsistent with the theory, upon which everyone had acted since the
surrender in 1652, that all power resided in the representatives of the
people. "The said disolution," replied the House, "as the case standeth
is not presidentall neither legall according to the lawes, now in force,
Therefore wee humbly desire a revocation of the said declaration."[366]

Although the Burgesses replied thus courteously they were deeply
angered. Rightly judging this to be a challenge to their power, they
resolved to show once more that they were supreme in the government.
They voted, therefore, to ignore the dissolution. And it was ordered
that if any member left his seat he was to be censured "as a person
betraying the trust reposed in him by his country".[367] An oath of
secrecy was administered to all present, while the Speaker was directed
to "sign nothing without the consent of the major part of the house".

Staggered by the determined attitude of the Burgesses, the Governor and
Council at once showed signs of weakening. They were willing, they said,
to allow the Assembly to continue its deliberations, provided the work
were brought to a speedy conclusion. The "dispute of the power of
disolving and the legality thereof" they wished to refer to the Lord
Protector. But the House resolved unanimously that this answer was
unsatisfactory. The withdrawal of the dissolution was not enough, the
Governor and Council must acknowledge that their act was illegal and
therefore had never taken effect. "The House, unsatisfied with these
answers, appointed a committee to draw up a report for the manifestation
and vindication of the Assembly's power which after presentation to the
House to be sent to the Governour and Councell."[368] This committee
recommended the immediate dismissal of the Council, and proposed
resolutions declaring the "power of government to reside in such persons
as shall be impowered by the Burgesses (the representatives of the
people) who are not dissolvable by any power now extant in Virginia, but
the House of Burgesses". Upon receiving this report the House proceeded
to annul "all former election of Governour and Councill". Since the
executive had presumed to abuse its authority by defying the body that
had appointed it to office, it must be removed to evince to all the
supremacy of the House. The Burgesses seem not to have laid the blame
for this crisis upon the Governor, but upon some of the Councillors, who
were endeavoring to make their own power supreme in the government.
Colonel Matthews was, therefore, reëlected, and invested with "all just
rights and privileges belonging to the Governour and Captain Generall of

Fearing that the Council might offer resistance to their decrees, the
Burgesses commanded the serjeant-at-arms of the Assembly and the
sheriffs of James City county not to execute any warrant, precept or
command from any other person than the Speaker of the House. The
Secretary of State, Colonel William Claiborne, was directed to deliver
up the public records. But the Governor and Council seem not to have
thought of resistance, and submitted to the recall and to a new election
by the Assembly. Although they had just resolved that "for the future
none bee admitted a councellor but such who shall be nominated,
appointed and confirmed by the house", the Burgesses now allowed the
Governor to propose to them a list of names for the new Council. It
would seem that Nathaniel Bacon and Francis Willis were regarded as the
instigators of the dissolution, for they were the only members of the
Council which had signed the offensive order who were not now

When the Assembly met again, in March, 1659, it found that its supremacy
was once more threatened. A letter had been received from Henry
Lawrence, President of the Council of State in the home government,
which seemed to imply that the Governor and his Council and not the
Burgesses, were to hold the chief power in Virginia. Lawrence declared
that the "looseness" of affairs in the colony had induced Cromwell to
take active steps for the settlement of its constitution, but that these
measures had been brought to a sudden halt by the Lord Protector's
death. The matter was, however, still before the Council of State, and
the colony might soon expect some definite orders from its
deliberations. In the meanwhile, he wrote, "their Lordships do will and
require you the present Governour and Councill there to apply yourselves
... to the peaceable and orderly management of the affairs of that
collony, according to such good lawes and customes as have been
heretofore used and exercised among you".[371]

The Burgesses were deeply agitated by this letter. They at once passed
resolutions promising to obey the commands of the Council of State, but
they determined to write the new Lord Protector, Richard Cromwell,
asking that the privileges of the Burgesses be confirmed. In this crisis
the Governor gave striking evidence of his liberal inclinations by
coming before the House to promise them his support. "He acknowledged
the supream power of electing officers to be by the present lawes
resident in the Grand Assembly", and offered to "joyne his best
assistance with the countrey in makeing an addresse to his Highnesse for
confirmation of their present priviledges".[372]

In the meanwhile an act was prepared making some important changes in
the constitution, but confirming the power of the Burgesses. It was
proposed, first, that Colonel Matthews "bee the Governour and Captain
Gennerall of Virginia for two yeares ensueing, and then the Grand
Assembly to elect a Governour as they think fitt, the person elect being
then one of the Councell". The personnel of the Council was to remain
unchanged and for the future its members were to serve for life, "except
in case of high misdemanors". Lastly the Governor was to have the
privilege of nominating the Councillors, but the Burgesses could confirm
or reject at their discretion.[373] The Council at first assented to
these proposals, "till the pleasure of his Highness be further
signified", but later, it seems, they "expressly declined the said act",
and declared the Assembly dissolved.[374] Whether or not the Burgesses
submitted to this dissolution and left the Governor and Council to
govern the colony as they chose, does not appear. It is quite probable
that the executive, in the interval between the sessions of Assembly of
March 1659 and March 1660, based its right to rule, not upon the
commission of the Burgesses, but upon the authority given it in
Lawrence's letter.

In May, 1659, Richard Cromwell resigned the reigns of government, and
England was left a prey to confusion and uncertainty. The Virginians did
not know to what government to give their allegiance. None could tell
whether military despotism would be established in England, or another
Cromwell would arise, or the House of Stuart be restored. To add to
their troubles, in January, 1660, Colonel Matthews died, leaving them
without a Governor. March 13th, the Assembly convened.

The Burgesses at once took steps to reëstablish their questioned
prerogatives. An act was passed declaring that "whereas by reason of
the late frequent distractions there being in England noe resident
absolute and gen'll confessed power; Be it enacted and confirmed, That
the supreame power of the government of this country should be resident
in the Assembly, And that all writts issue in the name of the Grand
Assembly of Virginia, until such a comand and comission come out of
England as shall be by the Assembly adjudged lawfull".[375]

Their next care was to elect a new Governor. Strangely enough their
choice fell upon that staunch advocate of royalty, Sir William Berkeley.
When the surrender had been made to the parliamentary commissioners in
1652, the Governor had secured for himself the right to quit the colony
any time within the ensuing year. But circumstances had prevented his
sailing during this period, and later he resolved to remain in Virginia.
During the eight years of the Commonwealth period he had lived in
retirement, obedient to the new government, but longing for the
restoration of the Stuarts. Why he was now called forth by the Assembly
to take once more the most important office in Virginia, cannot be
certainly determined. It seems strange that the Burgesses in one act
should assert their own sovereignty in the most emphatic terms, and in
the next elect as their Governor this ardent servant of the Crown. If it
had been their only aim to choose a leader of executive ability, they
did not lack men of power and experience whose love of popular
government was unquestioned. Berkeley had in his first administration
ruled justly and well, but there is no reason to think that Virginia had
been more prosperous and happy under him than under the Commonwealth
Governors. It seems then most probable that the Assembly was actuated in
its choice by an apprehension that the monarchy might be restored. If
the English should invite Charles to reclaim his lost inheritance, it
would be of much advantage to the colony to have at its head the former
royal Governor. It would make the restoration in Virginia easy and
peaceful, for the staunchest republican would not dare resist, with
Charles II on his throne and Sir William Berkeley ruling at Jamestown.
Moreover, it could but please the King and recommend the colony to his
favor. On the other hand, the Assembly was careful to reserve all real
authority to itself. Sir William was to be its servant, not its master.
If, out of the confusion in England, should emerge a real republic, they
could force the Governor either to acknowledge the new power or to
resign his commission. In fact the office was at first proffered him
only upon condition that he would submit to any power, whatever it might
be, that succeeded in fixing itself over the English people.[376]

But to this requirement Berkeley would by no means consent. He was
willing, during the present interregnum, to hold office from the people
of Virginia, but never from any English power save that of the Crown. In
an address to the Assembly, outlining his conduct during the troubles of
the past eleven years, he made it quite clear that his sympathies had
undergone no change. "When I came first into this Countrie," he said, "I
had the Commicon and Commands of my most gracious master King Charles of
ever blessed memory.... When God's wrath lay heavie upon us for the sins
of our nation, my ever honoured Master was put to a violent death, and
immeadiately after his Royall Sonne ... sent me a Commicon to governe
here under him.... But the Parliament, after the defeat at Worcester,
(by the instigation of some other intent) sent a small power to force my
submission to them, which finding me defenceless, was quietly (God
pardon me) effected. But this parliament continued not long after this,
but another supream power outed them, whoe remained not long neither,
nor his sonne after him.... And now my intelligence is not enough to
tell me what incorporate, mixt, or individuall power there is.... Under
all these mutable governments of divers natures and constitutions, I
have lived most resigningly submissive: But, Mr. Speaker, it is one duty
to live obedient to a government, and another of a very different nature
to Command under it.... You have, Mr. Speaker, with great wisdome and
providence taken care of my obedient prostrating to the Supreame power
the authoritie you would entrust me with, for which I give you my
humble thanks; for this wisdome of yours hath animated my caution of
assumeing this burden, which is so volatile, slippery and heavy, that I
may justly feare it will breake my Limbs." It might be thought by some,
he said, that the emergency would excuse his accepting this authority,
but the King would judge him, and if his information were prejudiced,
his punishment might be severe. He did not fear death, he was too old
for that, but an imprudent, criminal death he abhorred. In conclusion he
declared that these and other considerations must dissuade him from
accepting the proffered office.

But the Assembly persisted in its determination to make him Governor. If
he scrupled to promise to serve under the enemies of the Crown, that
promise would not be required of him. Let him be Governor of Virginia,
by their authority only, and only so long as the confusion in England
continued. If a new Protector, or a new Commonwealth gained the
ascendency, and demanded Virginia's submission, he might resign. If
England returned to its obedience to the Throne, he could petition the
King for a new commission. To this Berkeley assented. "Wee have all," he
said, in another short address, "had great and pressing feares of
offending a Supreame power which neither by present possession is soe,
nor has a publiquely confessed politique capacity to be a Supream power.
I alsoe, Mr. Speaker, have my pressing feares too, and I am seriously
afraid to offend him, who by all Englishmen is confessed to be in a
naturall politique capacity of being a Supreame power." He therefore, he
said, made this declaration in the presence of God, that if any
government became fixed in London, he would immediately lay down his
commission. When this was recorded and they were still of the same mind,
he was ready most thankfully to serve them.[377]

Thus did Sir William Berkeley a second time become Governor of Virginia.
It must have been with trepidation that this man, who had so often
denied the right of any officer to serve save by the King's commands,
accepted now this commission from the hands of the people. The stern
hater of republicanism was becoming the head of an independent little
republic. For such Virginia was and must continue to be until there
should appear in England some fixed government to which it could submit.
"I am," Berkeley wrote Governor Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam, "but a
servant of the assembly's; neither do they arrogate any power to
themselves, further than the miserable distractions of England force
them to. For when God shall be pleased in his mercy to take away and
dissipate the unnatural diversions of their native country, they will
immediately return to their own professed obedience."[378]

The restoration of the monarchy took place May 29th, 1660. When the news
reached Virginia some weeks later, the people accepted the change
without opposition, and probably with relief, for they were weary of
uncertainty and confusion. Berkeley's unaffected joy was mingled with a
deep apprehension that the King might be angered at his accepting office
without his consent. But Charles was not so unmindful of his staunch
support at a time when the fortunes of the monarchy were at their lowest
ebb as to reproach him for this act, which might, and probably did,
redound to his advantage. He soon relieved the Governor's fears by
sending a new commission. In a passion of joy and gratitude Berkeley
wrote his thanks. "I ... doe most humbly throwe myselfe at your Ma'ties
feet," he said, "in a dutifull thankfullness to your Majestie, that you
yett think me worthy of your Royall Commands. It is true, ... I did
something, which if misrepresented to your Majestie, may cause your
Majestie to think me guilty of a weakness I should ever abhor myself
for. But it was noe more ... than to leape over the fold to save your
Majesties flock, when your Majesties enemies of that fold had barred up
the lawfull entrance into it, and enclosed the Wolves of Scisme and
rebellion ready to devour all within it. Nor did I adventure on this,
without the advice and impulsion of your Majesties best Subjects in
these parts.... I always in all conditions had more fear of your
Majesties ffrownes than the Swords or Tortures of your Enemies."[379]

And so the Commonwealth period in Virginia came to an end. The colony
had benefited greatly by the eight years of semi-independence and
self-government. The population had increased rapidly. In 1649, there
had been about 15,000 people in Virginia, while six years after the
Restoration, the Governor estimated their number at 40,000. This great
gain was due chiefly to accelerated immigration from England. The
overthrow and execution of the King had sent many of his followers to
seek shelter with Sir William Berkeley, others had come to escape the
confusion and horrors of civil war, while the numerous prisoners taken
in battle had furnished abundant material for the never-ending stream of
indentured servants. Gentleman and tradesman and laborer alike were
welcome, for land was abundant and the colony's only need was men. Nor
was prosperity yet strangled by the strict enforcement of the Navigation
Acts. Dutch vessels continued to sail through the capes in defiance of
England and to carry off the planters' tobacco. Not until the closing
years of the Commonwealth period did the increasing freight rates and
the decreasing price of tobacco indicate that the "Hollanders" were
being more strictly excluded.[380]

Equally important was the training received by the people in
self-government. For eight years they had been their own masters,
enacting such laws as they chose, and free from the restraining hand of
the King. There had been no royal Governor to veto their bills, or
threaten the Burgesses, or intimidate the voters, or overawe the
Council, or sway the courts of justice. And the experience was
priceless. It schooled them in governmental affairs and taught them
self-reliance, patience and stubbornness to oppose oppression. Having
tasted the sweets of freedom, they were ill prepared ever again to
tolerate injustice and misgovernment. If there had been no Commonwealth
period in Virginia, possibly there had never been a Bacon's Rebellion.


[314] Report of Commission on Hist. Manuscripts. 3.

[315] Hen., Vol. I, p. 235.

[316] P. R. O., CO1-20.

[317] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 236, 237.

[318] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 236, 237.

[319] Hen., Vol. I, p. 237.

[320] Hen., Vol. I, p. 356.

[321] Hen., Vol. I, p. 244.

[322] Hen., Vol. I, p. 263.

[323] Hen., Vol. I, p. 265.

[324] Hen., Vol. I, p. 267.

[325] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 280, 281.

[326] Hen., Vol. I, p. 230.

[327] Hen., Vol. I, p. 231.

[328] Va. Hist. Reg., Vol. I, p. 160.

[329] P. R. O., CO5-1371-6 to 16.

[330] Beverley.

[331] The Assembly, in 1645, ordered that the 18th of April be
celebrated ever afterwards for the deliverance of the colony from the
savages. Hen., Vol. I, p. 290. The year is fairly well determined by the
fact that mention of an Indian war occurs for the first time, during
this period, in the statutes of the session of Assembly of October,
1644. Hen., Vol. I, p. 285.

[332] Beverley.

[333] P. R. O., CO1-30-71; CO1-41-111.

[334] P. R. O., CO5-1371-6 to 16.

[335] CO5-1371-6 to 16.

[336] CO5-1371-6 to 16.

[337] P. R. O., CO1-41-111.

[338] Beverley.

[339] Hen., Vol. I, p. 323.

[340] Hen., Vol. I, p. 323.

[341] P. R. O., CO1-30-71.

[342] Hen., Vol. I, p. 123, 149, 277.

[343] Bruce, Inst. Hist., Vol. I, p. 254.

[344] Bruce, Inst. Hist., Vol. I, p. 254.

[345] Hen., Vol. I, p. 277.

[346] Hen., Vol. I, p. 355.

[347] Hen., Vol. I, p. 360.

[348] Hen., Vol. I, p. 361.

[349] Sp. Dom. Inter., 1-94.

[350] Scobell, Vol. II, p. 132.

[351] Va. Mag., Vol. I., p. 77.

[352] Va. Mag., Vol. I, pp. 75 to 81.

[353] Hen., Vol. I, p. 363.

[354] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 363-365.

[355] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 365-367.

[356] Hen., Vol. I, p. 371.

[357] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 371, 373.

[358] Sp. Dom. Int., 1-75; Hen., Vol. I, p. 510; Bruce, Inst. Hist.,
Vol. II, p. 302.

[359] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 371, 408.

[360] Wise, p. 139.

[361] Hen., Vol. I, p. 371.

[362] Wise, pp. 114, 115; Hen., Vol. I, p. 380.

[363] Hen., Vol. I, p. 372.

[364] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 377, 378.

[365] Hen., Vol. I, p. 499.

[366] Hen., Vol. I, p. 499.

[367] Hen., Vol. I, p. 500.

[368] Hen., Vol. I, p. 501.

[369] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 502, 503.

[370] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 499, 505.

[371] Hen., Vol. I, p. 510.

[372] Hen., Vol. I, p. 512.

[373] Hen., Vol. I, p. 517.

[374] Hen., Vol. I, p. 537.

[375] Hen., Vol. I, p. 530.

[376] Southern Lit. Mess., Jan. 1845.

[377] Southern Lit. Mess., Jan. 1845.

[378] Campbell, p. 74.

[379] Southern Lit. Mess., Jan., 1845.

[380] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, pp. 357-360.



There were many who hailed the restoration of the monarchy as the dawn
of an era of prosperity and happiness for Virginia. The colony, despite
the efforts of some of its people, had remained loyal to the Crown until
overpowered by force of arms. It might well expect especial favor and
care from its prince, now that he was firmly established upon his
throne.[381] Of the ability and justice of the Governor Virginia had had
ample experience during the ten years of his first administration.

Never was a people doomed to more bitter disappointment. The years which
followed the Restoration were crowded with misfortunes greater than any
that had befallen the colony since the ghastly days of the Great
Sickness. Charles II, far from showing gratitude to his Old Dominion,
overwhelmed it with injustice and oppression. The Virginians were
crushed with tremendous duties on their tobacco and with ruinous
restrictions upon their trade. The titles to their plantations were
threatened by a grant of the entire colony to two unworthy favorites of
the King. Governor Berkeley, embittered by the humiliation of the
Commonwealth period, and growing avaricious and crabbed with advancing
years, soon forfeited that respect and love which his former good
conduct had gained him. His second administration was marred by
partiality, oppression and inefficiency. The people were deprived of
their right of suffrage by continued prorogation of the Assembly. Local
government fell into the hands of small aristocratic cliques, while the
poor were ground down with unequal and excessive taxes. Two wars with
Holland added to the misfortunes of the colonists. Even the Heavens
seemed to join with their enemies, for the country was visited by a
terrific hurricane which swept over the plantations, destroying crops
and wrecking houses. These accumulated misfortunes brought such deep
suffering upon the colony that hundreds of families were reduced to
poverty and many were forced into debt and ruin. No wonder that the
commons, finally driven to desperation, should have risen in
insurrection against the Governor and the King.

First among the causes of distress during this unhappy period must be
placed the Navigation Acts. England, in the middle of the 17th century,
was engaged in an unsuccessful contest with Holland for the carrying
trade of the world. The merchantmen of Amsterdam and Flushing found
their way even to Maryland and Virginia, where their low freight rates
and the liberal prices they gave for tobacco, assured them a hearty
welcome. The exports of the colonies to England itself were not
infrequently carried in Dutch bottoms. This was a source of much anxiety
and annoyance to the British government. It seemed unjust that the
American colonies, which had been founded at such tremendous cost,
should now prove as great a source of wealth to Holland as to the mother
country. And it could not but anger the English shippers to find
themselves elbowed by these foreigners in the ports of the Bermudas or
the rivers of Virginia.

In 1651, the British Parliament, thinking it necessary to give their
merchants some protection from this lively competition, passed the first
of the Navigation Acts. Under its provisions no goods of the growth or
manufacture of Asia, America or Africa should be introduced into England
in any but English ships, of which the owner, master and three-fourths
of the sailors were English subjects; and all foreign commodities
imported to England should be conveyed directly thither from the place
of growth or manufacture.[382] This law injured the Virginians by
excluding the Dutch carriers from the tobacco trade with England and
thus causing a sharp rise in freight rates. During the early years of
the Commonwealth period it was frequently avoided, but before 1660 the
English government began to enforce it more strictly.

Nor did the people get relief with the restoration of the monarchy.
Charles II proved more solicitous that Parliament for the welfare of the
English merchants; even more indifferent to the complaints of the
colonists. A new Navigation Act was passed in 1660 which struck a deadly
blow at the prosperity of Virginia. Under its provisions all goods sent
to the colonies, even though of foreign growth or manufacture, were to
be exported from England, and all tobacco, sugar, wool, etc., produced
in the colonies, must be shipped only to England or to her

Thus were the colonies sacrificed upon the altar of greed. The new act
injured the Virginia planters in several ways. Since all their tobacco
must now be brought to English ports, they could no longer seek the most
advantageous markets. Had the demand for the commodity in England been
more elastic, the consequences of this provision might not have been
disastrous. Declining prices would have so stimulated the demand that
the English could have consumed the entire crop. But the King's customs
kept up the price to the consumer, and made it impossible for the
merchants to dispose of the vast quantities of the leaf that had
formerly gone to Holland and other countries.[384] Moreover, the
varieties sold to the Dutch were not popular in England, and could not
be disposed of at any price. Soon the market became so glutted that the
merchants refused to take more than half the crop, leaving the remainder
to rot upon the hands of the planters.

There followed in Virginia a sharp decline in prices. The Dutch had
given the colonists three pence a pound for their tobacco.[385] A few
years after the Restoration the planters considered themselves fortunate
if they could dispose of their crops at a half penny a pound. Much was
sold at a farthing.[386] Now since tobacco was the staple product of
Virginia and the main support of the people, this rapid decline in its
value was disastrous. Frequent complaints were sent to England that the
colonists could not maintain themselves and their families upon the
meagre returns from their tobacco. "Twelve hundred pounds is the medium
of men's yearly crops," wrote Secretary Ludwell in 1667, "and a half
penny per pound is certainly the full medium of the price given for it."
This made an average income for each planter of but fifty shillings.
When the poor man had paid his taxes for the necessary support of the
government, very little remained to him to clothe his wife and children.
"So much too little," he adds, "that I can attribute it to nothing but
the mercy of God, that he has not fallen into mutiny and
confusion."[387] In 1673 the Governor and the Council declared that the
colony was full of indigent persons, who could barely support themselves
with their utmost exertions.[388]

Not only did the act of 1660 depress the price of tobacco, but it
increased the already excessive freight rates. Since the bulk of the
colonial exports had now to be brought directly to England, in English
ships, the masters of Plymouth or London could double or triple their
charges. Simultaneously there occurred a pronounced rise in the cost of
manufactured goods. The far-famed skill of the Dutch workmen had made it
possible for them to produce many articles more cheaply than the
English, and to underbid them in their own colonies. But now that all
foreign goods were excluded, the planters were forced to purchase the
more expensive product of the English workshops.

Thus were the Virginians cut with a two-edged sword. At the very time
that their incomes were being diminished, they were confronted by an
increase in the cost of living. Nor could they, as Lord Baltimore
declared they might, alleviate these evils by industry and thrift. For
the more strenuous were their efforts to increase the tobacco crop, the
greater would be the glut in the English market and the more disastrous
the drop in prices.

The poor colonists found an able, but an unsuccessful advocate, in a
London merchant named John Bland. "If the Hollanders," he wrote in a
paper addressed to the King, "must not trade to Virginia how shall the
Planters dispose of their Tobacco? The English will not buy it, for what
the Hollander carried thence was a sort of Tobacco, not desired by any
other people, ... the Tobacco will not vend in England, the Hollanders
will not fetch it from England; what must become thereof?" But Charles
II, who knew little of economic matters, and cared nothing for the
welfare of the colonists, ignored Bland's convincing appeal. No
alleviation was given Virginia, and she was allowed to drift on through
poverty and desperation to rebellion.

In a vain attempt to make the colony independent of the English
manufacturers and to turn the people from the excessive planting of
tobacco, the Assembly passed a series of acts designed to encourage
local industrial establishments. It was especially desired that Virginia
should make her own cloth, for the cost of the English fabrics was
excessive.[389] To stimulate the art of spinning and weaving the
Assembly offered rewards for the best pieces of linen and woollen goods
produced in the country. A bounty was placed on the manufacture of
silk.[390] In 1666, the establishment of cloth works in each county was
made compulsory by act of Assembly.[391] "Whereas," it was declared,
"the present obstruction of trade and the nakedness of the country doe
suffitiently evidence the necessity of provideing supply of our wants by
improveing all meanes of raysing and promoteing manufactures amonge
ourselves, ... Be it enacted ... that within two yeares at furthest ...
the commissioners of each county court shall provide and sett up a loome
and weaver in each of the respective counties."[392] Nor were other
industries neglected. Tan-houses were erected in various places "to
tanne, curry and make the hides of the country into leather and
shoes".[393] Bounties were offered for the construction of vessels, in
the hope that Virginia might rival the prosperous ship-builders of New

These experiments added a heavy burden to the poor taxpayer, while they
accomplished little for the relief of the colony. Virginia, with its
scattered plantations and its lack of skilled artisans, could not hope
to compete with the workshops of England. The commissioners, whether
from corruption or from lack of ability, proved poor business managers,
and their ill success occasioned loud and bitter complaints.

In May, 1661, Governor Berkeley sailed for England to combat a new
design to revive the Virginia Company. It is quite probable that he took
occasion during his stay at court to protest against the Navigation
Acts.[395] But he found it impossible to turn the King and Parliament
from what had become their settled colonial policy. Ten years later,
when the Lords of Trade and Plantations asked him what impediments there
were to the improvement of trade in the colony, the Governor blurted out
the truth with his accustomed vigor. "Mighty and destructive by that
severe act of Parliament which excludes us from haveing any Commerce
with any Nacon in Europe but our owne, Soe that wee cannot add to our
plantacon any Comodity that growes out of itt ... ffor it is not lawfull
for us to carry a pipe-staff or a Bushel of Corne to any place in Europe
out of the King's dominions. If this were for his Majesty's Service or
the good of his Subjects wee should not repine what ever our Sufferings
are for it. But on my Soule it is the Contrary for both."[396]

In seeking relief from the evil consequences of the Navigation Acts the
Virginians turned to their cousins of New England.[397] And the hardy
sailors of Massachusetts and Connecticut, tempted by the high prices of
manufactured goods in the southern colonies, brought their wares into
the James, the York and the Potomac, where they entered into lively
competition with the English merchants. Nor did they hesitate, when
occasion offered, to defy the law by transporting the Virginia tobacco
to foreign markets.[398] But England was unwilling to leave the
colonists even this small loophole. Parliament decided, in 1672, to
place a duty of one penny a pound upon tobacco shipped from one colony
to another, and the payment of this duty did not give liberty to the
owners to transport it to a foreign country. This act completely
crippled the intercolonial trade. A few years later, after Bacon's
Rebellion, when the Virginia counties were presenting their grievances
to the King's commissioners, the people of Lower Norfolk requested that
the act of 1672 might be repealed. The only notice taken of their
petition was the contemptuous comment of the commissioners that it was
wholly mutinous for them "to desire a thing contrary to his Majesty's
Royall pleasure & benefitt and also against an Act of Parliament".[399]

It had been suggested, when the price of tobacco began to fall, that the
evil might be remedied by governmental restraint upon the annual crop.
The diminution of the demand for the leaf, brought about by the loss of
the foreign market, was to be met by a corresponding limitation upon the
supply. Prices would thus be restored and the planter would receive a
greater return for a much smaller output. But for this remedy to be
effective, it would be necessary to secure the coöperation of Maryland
and perhaps North Carolina, as a cessation in Virginia would accomplish
little, if no restraint were put upon the planters of the other
colonies. Moreover, since the proposed step might diminish the revenue
from the customs, it would be necessary to obtain the consent of the

In 1662 many of the planters and merchants petitioned Charles II to
forbid the planting of tobacco in Maryland and Virginia for one
year.[400] At first this appeal was rejected and the colonists were
commanded to refrain from presenting similar petitions in the future.
Later, however, the Privy Council secured a reversal of this decision
and an order was issued authorizing the Assembly to appoint
commissioners to confer with the Marylanders upon the best means of
lessening the excessive crops.[401] Accordingly a meeting was held at
Wiccocomico, May 12, 1664, which recommended that the planting of
tobacco after the twentieth of June each year should be prohibited. The
report met with the approval of the Virginians and was promptly ratified
by the Assembly, but the Marylanders believed that a partial cessation
would be detrimental to their interests and their legislature refused to
give its consent.

But as prices sank lower and lower, and poverty became more general, the
Virginians once more appealed to Maryland, this time for a total
cessation for one year. Numerous letters were exchanged upon the
subject, but at first nothing was accomplished. After many months had
been consumed in useless negotiations Governor Berkeley, in the dead of
winter, himself journeyed to Maryland and at last succeeded in
convincing the leading men of that colony of the necessity of the
measure. As a result, the Maryland Assembly passed an act prohibiting
all tobacco planting in their province from February 1666 to February
1667, provided Virginia and North Carolina should do likewise.[402] The
Assembly at Jamestown promptly passed a similar law, but the North
Carolinians, owing to Indian troubles, delayed their action so long that
the Marylanders repudiated the entire agreement.

Somewhat discouraged the colonists again sent commissioners, this time
to Saint Mary's, to resume the broken thread of negotiations. Here at
last success seemed to crown their efforts, for all differences were
adjusted, and the cessation was agreed upon by the three colonies.[403]
But the joy of Virginia at this happy outcome was soon turned to grief
and indignation, for the Marylanders received a letter from Lord
Baltimore, "in absolute and princely terms prohibiting the execution of
the ... articles of cessation".

"This overtook us," wrote Governor Berkeley, "like a storm and enforced
us like distressed marriners to throw our dear bought commodities into
the sea, when we were in sight of our harbour, & with them so drown'd
not only our present reliefs but all future hopes of being able to do
ourselves good, whilst we are thus divided and enforced to steere by
anothers compasse, whose needle is too often touched with particular
interest. This unlimited and independent power ... of the Lord Baltimore
doth like an impetuous wind blow from us all those seasonable showers of
your Majesty's Royall cares and favours, and leaves us, and his own
province withering and decaying in distress and poverty.... This
unreasonable and unfortunate prohibition ... hath not only increased the
discontent of many of the inhabitants of his province, but hath raised
the grief and anger of allmost all your ... subjects of this colony to
such a height as required great care to prevent those disturbances which
were like to arise from their eluded hopes and vain expences."[404]

Can there be any doubt that the Navigation Acts and the futility of all
attempts to escape their baleful effects, were largely instrumental in
bringing on Bacon's Rebellion? As prosperity and contentment are the
greatest safeguards of the public peace, so poverty, nakedness and
distress are breeders of sedition. Philip Ludwell spoke of Bacon's army
as "a Rabble of the basest sort of People; whose Condicion was such as
by a chaunge could not admitt of worse".[405] Had England been less
selfish in her treatment of Virginia, there would not have been so many
indigent men in the colony eager to join in this wild uprising against
the government. Berkeley himself admitted, in 1673, that at least one
third of the freemen had been rendered so desperate by poverty and debt
that in times of foreign war their loyalty to England could not be
relied upon.[406]

But Charles II was indifferent to the welfare of these distant subjects
and blind to their growing dissatisfaction. Just when the situation was
most critical, he aroused their anger and grief to the highest pitch, by
making a gift of the entire colony to Lord Culpeper and the Earl of
Arlington. Previously he had granted that portion of Virginia which
lies between the Potomac and the Rappahannock rivers, known as the
Northern Neck, to Lord Hopton and several other noblemen. These
patentees were to receive fees, remainders, reversions and escheats, and
were given power to grant patents for all land that had not been taken
up. This had caused the people of Virginia, and especially those
residing in the Northern Neck, great uneasiness, and had proved a
serious hindrance to the settling of that region. The Assembly, dreading
the clash of jurisdiction which this grant made almost inevitable, had
sent agents to England to persuade the King to annul the patent, or
permit the purchase of the tract by the colony. While they were working
to this end, there came the unexpected news that Arlington and Culpeper
had received a grant of the entire colony. Without consulting in the
least the desires of the people, Charles had given them over to two
unscrupulous favorites, with the indifference he might have shown in
presenting a necklace to his mistress. The colonists, "to their
unspeakable griefe and Astonishment", felt now that they were "reduced
to a far worse condition than that wherein they had adventured their
lives and fortunes for the planting that Country under the

The privileges and powers granted in this patent, had they ever been
exercised by Arlington and Culpeper, would have rendered the government
at Jamestown almost a nullity. The two lords were to receive all
escheats, quit-rents, duties and reservations belonging to the Crown;
they were given power to divide the territory into counties, hundreds
and parishes; to erect churches and present ministers to them; to make
manors, fairs, and markets; to appoint sheriffs, surveyors, and other
important officers; to issue patents for land; to appropriate to their
own use all arrears of "rents and other profits", accruing since the
year 1669.

In great alarm the Virginia Assembly directed the agents in England to
use their utmost endeavors to have this grant recalled. At the same time
they drew up a statement of their objections to the patent, showing how
unjust and ruinous were its provisions. It was in direct conflict with
numerous royal concessions and patents, given them from time to time
under the Great Seal. There was good reason to fear that the lords, by
their deputies, might impose upon them new rents and services. They
might demand new surveys and new patents for land which had long been
occupied. They might, in fact, completely devastate the government of
all its "just powers and authorities".

The agents, upon receiving these instructions, went to the Lords
Patentees to request them to resign the most obnoxious of their new
powers.[408] In case they refused, the agents threatened to appeal at
once to the King. Arlington and Culpeper received them courteously, and,
after numerous delays, consented to relinquish the patent, provided
Virginia would offer no objection to the passing of a new grant,
assuring them the quit-rents and escheated property. The agents were
well satisfied with this settlement, for it would relieve the colony of
its fear of proprietary government, while the grant of the rents and
escheats would impose little additional burden.[409]

In order, however, to prevent the giving away of such disturbing powers
in the future, they petitioned the King to grant "Letters Pattents for
the incorporacon" of the colony.[410] In this new charter they desired
first that permission be given Virginia to purchase the Northern Neck.
They next requested the King to promise that Virginia should have no
other dependence than upon the Crown of England, "nor in the future be
cantonized into parcells by grants made to particular persons". "And for
the prevention of surreptitious grants" they desired his Majesty to
promise in the charter that nothing should again pass concerning
Virginia until a hearing had been given to some person impowered by the
colony to represent their interests. Of even greater importance was
their desire, "That there shall bee no Taxe or Imposition layd on the
people of Virginia, but by their owne Consente, and that Express'd by
the Representatives in Assembly."[411]

The whole matter came before the King in Council, June 23, 1675, and was
referred to the judgment of Attorney-General William Jones and
Solicitor-General Francis Winnington.[412] In October these officers
reported that in their opinion the patent of incorporation would be
beneficial both to the colony and the King's service, and ought to be
granted. Charles thereupon gave directions that the papers be drawn up
for his signature. But here, for some unknown reason, the matter came to
a halt. Several months passed and the patent had not been issued.[413]
At last, April 19, 1676, at the urgent request of the agents, his
Majesty directed that the Lord Chancellor cause the papers to pass the
Great Seal at once. But before this could be done, news came to England
of Bacon's Rebellion, and the King immediately reversed his order.
Later, other Letters Patent were granted, but they were very different
from those sought by the agents, and contained little more than a bare
declaration of the colony's direct dependence upon the Crown of

This unsatisfactory business caused great irritation among the
colonists. The heavy expense of carrying on the negotiations in England
"made them desperately uneasie, especially when, after a whole Year's
Patience ... they had no Encouragement from their Agents".[415] A tax of
fifty pounds of tobacco per poll, imposed for the purchase of the
Northern Neck, aroused widespread dissatisfaction. In April, 1676,
Governor Berkeley, fully conscious of the mutterings of revolution, was
awaiting with anxiety the arrival of favorable news from the agents.
"There are divers," he wrote, "that would fain persuade the people that
al their high taxes will bring them no benefit, so that if the most
advantageous terms had been proposed to us it would have been impossible
to have persuaded the people to have parted with more tobacco til a
more certain demonstration had been given them of what is already done.
I appeased two mutinies this last year raysed by some secret villaines
that whispered amongst the people that there was nothing intended by the
fifty pounds levy but the enriching of some few people."[416] In 1677,
after Bacon's Rebellion, the King's commissioners heard from all sides
that the imposition of this tax was one of the main causes of

The wars of 1664 and 1672 with Holland added much to the distress in
Virginia. The bold Dutch mariners, angered at the injury done them by
the Navigation Acts, preyed upon the English merchantmen in every sea.
Woe to the tobacco ship that encountered a hostile privateer, in its
journey across the Atlantic! The English vessels were not safe even in
the Virginia rivers, under the guns of their forts. Twice the daring
Dutch came through the capes and into the James River itself, where they
wrought great damage to the shipping.

It was the custom, during these times of danger, for the merchant
vessels of Virginia and Maryland to cross the Atlantic in large fleets,
under the protection of English men-of-war. In May 1667, some twenty
vessels were anchored in the mouth of James River, near Newport News,
awaiting the remainder of their fleet before sailing. Three leagues
above them lay the _Elizabeth_, a frigate of forty-six guns, sent by the
King for the protection of the colony. She was undergoing repairs,
however, having become "soe disabled in her Maste and Leaky in her Hull
as that she could not keep at sea", and for the moment afforded little
proctection to the merchantmen riding below.[418]

At this juncture, a fleet of five Dutch warships, under the command of
Abraham Crimson, appeared off the coast, bent on mischief to the English
shipping. The Hollanders, learning of the exposed position of the
tobacco fleet from the crew of a shallop which fell into their hands,
determined upon a bold attack. On their way to the capes they
encountered a ship of London bound from Tangier to Virginia. The
English master, Captain Conway, "fought them very well for two hours,
but at last being wounded himself and over powered with men, was taken
by them".[419]

The Dutchmen came into Chesapeake Bay June 4, and anchored there over
night. The next morning, taking advantage of a fair easterly breeze,
they sailed boldly into the mouth of the James. In order to take their
prey entirely by surprise they flew the English colors, and as they
passed the merchantmen, hailed them in English and sang out their
soundings in English. Proceeding directly up to the unsuspecting
frigate, they threw aside their disguise with the roar of three volleys.
The captain of the _Elizabeth_ had gone ashore, to attend a wedding it
was said, and had left but thirty men on board.[420] Without officers,
and surprised by superior numbers, the sailors could make no effective
resistance. Several rushed to their guns, but they fired only one piece
of ordnance before they were forced to surrender. While some of the
Dutchmen were securing the _Elizabeth_, the others turned upon the
helpless merchantmen and succeeded in capturing the entire fleet.
Several of the ships might have saved themselves by running into the
Elizabeth River, where the enemy would not have dared to follow them,
but they seemed paralyzed with surprise and fell an unresisting

Great was the grief and rage of Sir William Berkeley when news of this
disaster reached him. How could he answer to the King for the loss of
the royal frigate and twenty English merchantmen? With great promptness
and resolution he decided to fit out all available vessels in the colony
for a sally upon the enemy. In the upper James were three merchantmen
and in the York nine. If these could be supplied quickly with guns and
men, there might yet be time to defeat the Dutch and rescue the captured
ships. The Governor, who was ever reckless in exposing his person,
resolved to direct the attack himself in the good ship _Admirall_. But
some of the masters by no means relished the thought of risking their
vessels and their cargoes in a battle with the Dutch. When the Governor
impressed them into the King's service by putting the broad arrow upon
their masts, they pretended obedience, but used such delays that the
fleet could not be prepared in time. Captain Lightfoot, of the
_Elizabeth_, grieved by the loss of his ship, "very passionately
resolved to hazard himself in the _Admirall_", while several members of
the Council and forty other gentlemen volunteered their services. Upon
the shore were assembled four regiments of militia, ready to embark
should they be needed. Yet the masters continued their procrastination
day after day until the Dutch escaped.

Nor had Admiral Crimson shown any haste to be off. Soon after the battle
he had burned five or six of the merchantmen, "for want of men to man
them". It had also been necessary for him to destroy the frigate, which
was still out of repair and far from seaworthy. He had sent parties
ashore several times to secure water, which he greatly needed, but they
had been driven back with ease. After a stay of five or six days in
James River, he sailed away with his prizes, leaving the Governor to
dismiss his militia and write home his accusations against the

Warned by this experience, the English government, upon the outbreak of
the war of 1672, sent two men-of-war to Virginia. These vessels, in July
1673, were stationed at the mouth of the James guarding a large fleet of
merchantmen, when news came that nine Dutch warships were approaching
the capes. Instantly preparations were made to fight them. Several of
the tobacco ships were forced into service and fitted with guns. Sailors
were taken from the smaller vessels to help man the larger. But before
all could be put in readiness the enemy came through the capes and
anchored at Lynhaven Bay.[423]

The English had as yet little apprehension for the safety of their
merchantmen, for they could at any time run under the guns of a fort at
Nansemond, or could retreat up the James while their men-of-war held
back the enemy. At this moment, however, there appeared across the
waters of the Chesapeake eight sail of the Maryland fleet, unconscious
of their danger and bearing down upon the Dutch. The English commanders
realized that only instant action could save them. Taking with them six
of the tobacco ships they sailed out to give battle.

"But before they came within reach of gun shot 4 of the merchant ships
came on ground." One turned back to the James. But the other three ships
went on, and unaided fought six of the largest Dutchmen. For three hours
the battle continued with great fury. At last Captain Gardner, one of
the English commanders, "judging that the enemy (if he checkt them not)
would be in with (the) merchant ships riding in James river ... tacked
alone upon them with Extra ordinary courage, and for at least one houre
fought them all.... But, having all his greate maste and his fore
topmast desperately wounded, and most of his rigging shot", he was at
last forced to retire. "With as much courage as conduct (and beyond the
hopes or expectation of those who saw that brave action) (he) disengaged
himselfe ... and brought off all the Marylanders but one." The Virginia
fleet, "which were neere 40 sail", secured "almost a tides way before
the enemy, which undoubtedly saved many which otherwise would have bin
lost". Some of the merchantmen took refuge at Fort Nansemond, where the
enemy dared not attack them, others retreated up the river towards
Jamestown. Unfortunately five of them, in the confusion of the flight,
ran aground and were afterwards captured. The four ships which had
grounded before the battle also fell into the hands of the Dutch. Thus,
despite the gallant conduct of the English, the enemy succeeded in
capturing a large part of the tobacco fleet.[424]

Great as was the distress caused by the depredations of the Dutch, the
planters suffered even more during these wars by the stagnation of
trade. The great risk incurred in crossing the ocean necessarily brought
an increase both in freight rates and in the cost of manufactured
goods. In 1667 the Governor and Council declared that the planters were
"inforced to pay 12 pounds to £17 per ton freight" on their tobacco,
"which usually was but at seven pounds".[425] Conditions were even worse
during the second war. In 1673 Berkeley complained that the number of
vessels that dared come to Virginia was so small, that they had "not
brought goods and tools enough for one part of five of the people to go
on with their necessary labor". "And those few goods that are brought,"
he added "have Soe few (and these hard Dealing) Sellers and Soe many
Indigent and necessitous buyors that the Poore Planter gets not the
fourth part ... for his tobacco which he usually has had in other

In this period, so full of suffering and misfortune, the year 1667 was
especially noteworthy for its long series of disasters. In November
Secretary Thomas Ludwell wrote Lord Berkeley, "This poore Country ... is
now reduced to a very miserable Condicon by a continuall course of
misfortune. In Aprill ... we had a most prodigeous Storme of haile, many
of them as bigg as Turkey Eggs, which destroyed most of our younge Mast
and Cattell. On the fifth of June following came the Dutch upon us, and
did soe much mischiefe that we shall never recover our reputations....
They were not gone before it fell to raineing and continued for 40 dayes
together, which Spoiled much of what the haile had left of our English
Graine. But on the 27th of August followed the most Dreadful Hurry Cane
that ever the colony groaned under. It lasted 24 hours, began at North
East and went round northerly till it came to west and soe on till it
came to South East where it ceased. It was accompanied with a most
violent raine, but no Thunder. The night of it was the most Dismall tyme
that ever I knew or heard off, for the wind and rain raised soe Confused
a noise, mixt with the continuall Cracks of falling houses.... The waves
(were) impetuously beaten against the Shoares and by that violence
forced and as it were crowded up into all Creeks, Rivers and bayes to
that prodigeous height that it hazarded the drownding many people who
lived not in sight of the Rivers, yet were then forced to climbe to the
topp of their houses to keep them selves above water. (The waves)
carryed all the foundation of the fort at point Comfort into the River
and most of our Timber which was very chargably brought thither to
perfect it. Had it been finished and a garison in it, they had been
Stormed by such an enemy as noe power but Gods can restraine.... Had the
Lightning accompanied it we could have beleeved nothing else from such a
confusion but that all the elements were at Strife, which of them should
doe most towards the reduction of the creation into a Second Chaos. It
was wonderful to consider the contrary effects of that Storme, for it
blew some shipps from their Anchors and carryed them safe over shelves
of Sand where a wherry could Difficultly passe, and yet knockt out the
bottome of a ship ... in eight foot water more than she drew. But when
the morning came and the Sun risen it would have comforted us after such
a night, had it not lighted us to ye Ruines of our plantations, of which
I thinke not one escaped. The nearest computation is at least 10,000
houses blowne downe, all the Indian Graine laid flatt upon the ground,
all the Tobacco in the fields torne to pieces and most of that which was
in the houses perished with them. The fences about the Corne fields
(were) either blown down or beaten to the ground by trees which fell
upon them & before the owners could repaire them the hoggs & Cattell
gott in and in most places devoured much of what the Storme had

In the midst of the second Dutch war came another scourge no less
distressing than the great hurricane. Throughout the 17th century cattle
raising was one of the most important industries of the small Virginia
proprietors. No planter, however insignificant his holdings, was without
his cow and his calf.[428] They constituted a most important portion of
his wealth, and an indispensable source of support. In the winter of
1672-3 occurred an epidemic which destroyed more than half the cattle
of Virginia. The mortality was increased by the cold, which was
unusually severe. Many men, in an effort to preserve the poor beasts,
gave them all their corn and thus brought hunger upon themselves. Before
relief came with the spring, fifty thousand cattle had perished.[429]

Perhaps the people of Virginia might have borne patiently all these
misfortunes, had their Governor ruled them with wisdom and justice.
Certain it is they would never have turned in wild anger to strike down
his government, had that government not done much to make their
condition intolerable. Sir William Berkeley was accused of destroying
the representative character of the Assembly, of initiating a notorious
spoils system, of intimidating Burgesses, of winking at embezzlement of
public funds. And, although most of these charges were brought by the
Governor's bitter enemies, some of them were undoubtedly true.

In Virginia, during this period, the commons could guard their interests
only by means of the House of Burgesses. All other organs of government
were controlled by Berkeley and his friends. The people had no voice in
the selection of vestrymen, or sheriffs, or justices of the peace, and
no control over their actions. The Council was entirely submissive to
the Governor's will. Its members not only held their seats at Sir
William's pleasure, but were the recipients of numerous other favors
that bound them closely to his interest. Thus in the executive, in all
branches of the judiciary, and in the upper house of Assembly the
Governor was all-powerful.

If then he could control the Burgesses and make them subservient to his
desires, he would remove the only obstacle to almost complete despotism.
Nor was it a matter of very great difficulty for him to gain a mastery
of the House. In every county he could nominate government candidates,
and exert tremendous pressure to secure their election. If necessary,
they might be seated by fraud at the polls or false returns by the
sheriff.[430] "It is true," Bacon declared, "that the people's hopes of
redemption did ly in the Assembly, as their Trusts, and Sanctuary to fly
to, but I would have all men consider first how poore people are
debarred of their fair election, the great men in many places haveing
the Country in their debte and consequently in their aw. Secondly how
meanly we are provided of men of Learning, ability and courage, nay
indeed of honesty, to stand up in the people's behalf and oppose the
oppressing party."[431]

And if ever, despite these difficulties, the candidates of the people
were elected, the Governor might still win their support in the House,
by a judicious use of the patronage. He controlled enough offices of
honor and profit to reward richly his friends in the Assembly. If the
Burgess was careful never to thwart the wishes of the Governor, or to
vote against his measures, he might reasonably expect a collectorship, a
sheriff's place, a commission in the militia, or possibly a seat in the
Council. A large percentage of the members of the House were

If half the charges brought against Berkeley are to be believed, he was
guilty of instituting a system of political corruption as effective as
that maintained in France by Guizot during the reign of Louis Philippe.
He has assumed to himself, it was declared, "the sole nominating,
appointing and commissionating of all ... officers both civil and
military amongst us ... (they) being ... (the better to increase ... his
party) multiplied to a greate number.... All which offices he bestowed
on such persons (how unfitt or unskillfull soever) as he conceived would
be most for his designs. And that the more firmely to binde and oblige
them thereunto and allure others to his party, he ... permitted or
connived at the persons soe commissionated by him ... unwarrantably ...
to lay and impose what levies and imposicons upon us they should or did
please, which they would often extort from us by force and violence, and
which for the most part they converted to their owne private lucre and
gaine. And ... Sir William Berkeley, haveing by these wayes and meanes,
and by takeing upon him contrary to law the granting collectors places,
sherifs, and other offices of profitt to whome he best pleased, he soe
gained uppon and obliged all the greatest number of the men of parts
and estates in the whole country (out of which it was necessary our
representatives and Burgesses should be elected) hath there by soe
fortifyed his power over us, as of himselfe without respect to our laws,
to doe what soever he best pleased, and from time to time ... to gaine
and procure great quantities of Tobacco and mony from us to his proper
use over and besides the Thousand pounds yearly salary ... and over and
besides the fees, profitts and per quisites to the place of Governour

Bacon himself declared, in justification of his rebellion, that
oppression and injustice were rife in the colony, and that it was
useless to appeal to the Assembly for redress. "The poverty of the
Country is such," he said, "that all the power and sway is got into the
hands of the rich, who by extortious advantages, having the common
people in their debt, have always curbed and oppressed them in all
manner of wayes." The poor, he declared, were kept in such perpetual
bondage that it was not possible for labor or industry to extricate
them. The great men of the colony had brought misery and ruin upon the
common people by perverting all equity and right. The perpetual breach
of laws, remiss prosecutions, excuses and evasions, but too plainly
attested that things were carried by the men at the helm, "as if it were
but to play a booty, game or divide a spoile". "Now consider," he adds,
"what hope there is of redress in appealing to the very persons our
complaints do accuse."[434]

And when once the Governor had obtained a House that was subservient to
his will, he might, by his power of prorogation, continue it
indefinitely. During the years from the Restoration to Bacon's
Rebellion, there were not more than two general elections, and probably
only one--that of 1661.[435] Under these circumstances the Assembly
could no longer be said to represent the voters of the colony. The
Burgesses might defy or betray the people as they chose, they could not
be made to answer at the polls for their misconduct. And their is ample
proof that this Long Assembly attended more to the commands of the
Governor than to the wishes of electors that could no longer elect. Even
Sir William's best friends admitted that his authority in Virginia was
almost despotic. Secretary Thomas Ludwell, writing in 1666, declared
that the Governor was "the sole author of the most substantial part" of
the government, "either for Lawes or other inferior institutions".[436]
"Our representatives," complained the Charles City commons eleven years
later "(of which for this county in nine yeares time last past there
hath been a verry doubtful election as we conceive) have been overswayed
by the power and prevalency of ... Sir Wm. Berkeley and his councell,
divers instances of which wee conceive might be given, and have
neglected our grievances made knowne to them."[437]

That this overthrow of representative government in the colony and the
substitution of the Governor's despotic sway contributed greatly to the
anger and desperation of the people, there can be no doubt. The evidence
comes not only from the rebels and from the county grievances, but from
disinterested persons, and even Berkeley's friends. "Whatever
palliations," wrote Governor Thomas Notley, of Maryland, in 1677, "the
grate men of Virginia may use at the Councell board in England, ... yett
you may be sure ... much ... if not every tittle" of the accusations
against them are true. "If the ould Course be taken and Coll: Jeoffreys
build his proceedings upon the ould ffoundation, its neither him nor all
his Majesties Souldiers in Virginia, will either satisfye or Rule those
people. They have been strangely dealt with by their former
Magistracy."[438] William Sherwood, if we may believe his own statement,
forfeited Sir William's favor by reporting in England that "the general
cry of the country was against ye Governour". And "it is most true", he
added, "that the great oppressions & abuse of ye people by ye Governours
arbitrary will hath been ye cause of the late troubles here".[439]

The illegitimate influence of Berkeley over the Assembly was the more
galling to the people inasmuch as they had no voice in local government.
The justices of the peace, who exercised the most important powers in
the counties, received their commissions, not by popular election, but
by executive appointment. And the Governor, although often influenced in
his selections by the advice of the Council, gave little heed to the
wishes of the commons. His appointees were invariably men of means and
influence, and could be relied upon to uphold the interests of the
aristocracy and the Governor.

The justices were members of the county courts, and as such exercised
judicial, executive and legislative functions in local affairs. The
courts met every second month, and were empowered to settle cases
involving not more than ten pounds sterling.[440] Individual justices
could "try and determine any cause to the value of twenty shillings or
two hundred pounds of tobacco".[441] Far more important was the power of
the courts to impose direct taxes. The county levy was usually very
heavy. In fact, during the Restoration period, it often exceeded the
public levy voted by the Assembly. In Lower Norfolk county, during the
years from 1666 to 1683, the local assessment amounted to 188,809 pounds
of tobacco.[442] This sum seems to us now almost insignificant, but it
proved a very real burden to the indigent freemen of that unhappy
period. Yet perhaps the people would not have complained had the
assessments been voted by a body elected by themselves or representative
of their interests. They were bitterly angered, however, that they
should be taxed without their own consent and against their wishes, by
appointees of the Governor; and the sense of wrong was aggravated by the
fact that the taxes were often voted by the courts in secret session,
not without grave suspicions of abuses and fraud.[443] "It has been the
custome," it was declared in the Surry grievances, "of the County Courts
att the laying of the levy to withdraw into a private Roome by which the
poor people not knowing for what they paid their levy did allways admire
how their taxes could be so high."[444] "Wee desire," declared the
people of the Isle of Wight, "to know for what wee doe pay our Leavies
everie year and that it may noe more be layd in private."[445] From
Charles City came the most startling charges of fraud and oppression.
"The Commisoners or Justices of peace of this county," it was declared,
"heretofore have illegally and unwarrantably taken upon them without our
consent from time to time to impose, rayse, assess and levy what taxes,
levies and imposicons upon us they have at any time thought good or best
liked, great part of which they have converted to theire own use, as in
bearing their expense at the ordinary, allowing themselves wages for
severall businesses which ex officio they ought to do, and other wayes,
as by account of the same on the booke for levies may appeare."[446] The
people were even deprived, during Berkeley's second administration, of
the right of electing the vestries. These bodies had always been
composed of the foremost men in each parish. At this period they
succeeded in shaking off entirely the control of the commons by
themselves filling all vacancies in their ranks.[447] Since they
exercised the power of imposing a tax to pay the ministers' salaries and
meet other obligations of the parishes, this attempt to make themselves
self-perpetuating was a matter of no little importance.[448] The people
expressed their disapproval in the most emphatic terms, and after
Bacon's Rebellion requests came from many counties that the vestrymen
might be chosen, as formerly, by the whole body of parishioners.[449]

The unjust poll-tax, which was then used in the public, county and
parish levies, was an unending source of discontent. There can be no
doubt that it bore with too great weight upon the poor people. "They
complain," wrote Gyles Bland, on the eve of the Rebellion, "that great
Taxes are imposed upon them every yeare, by wayes very unequall, Laying
them very heavily, by the Poll, whereby the Poorer sort are in the
hardest Condition."[450] It must be remembered, however, that many of
the servants and slaves were listed as tithables, or persons subject to
the poll tax. This of course tended to increase the share of the
wealthy. Yet the inequality was very real and the burden upon the poor
very heavy. The number of tithables assessed of a man was by no means an
accurate gage of his wealth. Later in the century, with the great influx
of negro slaves, the burden upon the rich planters increased and became
more nearly proportionate to their ability to pay.

Bland suggested that all inequality might be eliminated by adopting a
land-tax. "Which," he said, "seems to be the most equal imposition and
will generally take off the complaint of the people, although perhaps
some of the richest sort will not like it, who hold greater proportions
of land than they actually plant."[451] The King's commissioners also
thought the land tax just, but considered it "impracticable there".
When the people of Warwick county asked, "That all persons may be rated
and taxed according to their Estates", the commissioners reported that
this was "a thing to be wish'd but never to be granted them". If the
King should command it, they knew not how it would be relished by the
landed men, since the common usage had been always taxing by poll.[452]

The universal discontent was still further increased by the wasteful and
lax use of public funds. The money which was wrung from the poor people
by these unequal taxes, was seldom wisely or economically expended. Much
was squandered upon foolish projects, costly in the extreme, and
impossible of accomplishment. Such was the attempt to build a city at
Jamestown. For many years it had been a matter of regret to the English
government that Virginia should remain so entirely a rural country. Not
realizing that this was but the result of exceptional economic
conditions and not a sign of weakness or decay, they sought more than
once to force the building of towns by legislative enactments. Thus, in
1662, in accordance with the King's wishes, the Assembly passed an act
providing for the erection of thirty-two brick houses at Jamestown.[453]
Each county was required to build one of these houses, a levy of thirty
pounds of tobacco per poll being laid for that purpose. This attempt was
foredoomed to failure, for if economic conditions could not develop
cities in the colony, the mere erection of houses upon the unhealthful
Jamestown peninsula could accomplish nothing. We learn from Bacon's
Proceedings that the town at the time of the Rebellion consisted of "som
16 or 18 howses, ... and in them about a dozen families (for all the
howses are not inhabited) getting their liveings by keeping ordnaries,
at extraordnary rates". That there was corruption or inefficiency in
carrying out the orders of the Assembly seems certain. The people of
Isle of Wight county complained of "the great Quantities of Tobacco
levyed for Building Houses of publick use and reception at Jamestown,
which were not habitable, but fell downe before the Finishing of

There were also accusations of laxness and fraud in the erecting and
management of the public industrial plants. Very grievous taxes have
been laid on the poor people, it was claimed, "for building work houses
and stoare houses and other houses for the propogating & encouragem't of
handicraft and manufactury, which were by our Burgesses to our great
charge and burthen by their long and frequent sitting invented and
proposed. Yet for want of due care the said houses were never finished
or made useful, and the propagating & manufactury wholy in a short time
neglected, and noe good ever effected ... save the particular profitt of
the Undertakers, who (as is usually in such cases) were largely rewarded
for thus defrauding us."[455]

Even more frequent and bitter complaints originated with the
construction of forts upon the various rivers to protect the colony and
the merchant ships from foreign foes. At the outbreak of the war of 1664
it was resolved to build a fortress at Jamestown. The ships' masters
were not satisfied with the selection of this site, for obviously it
afforded no protection to vessels trading upon the Potomac, York or
Rappahannock, and very little to those upon the lower James. After one
hundred pounds sterling had been expended at Jamestown, the structure
partly completed and fourteen guns brought up, the merchants procured
orders from the English government that the fort be transferred to Old
Point. The Governor and Council were most reluctant to make this change,
but the commands were so positive they dared not disobey. So the guns
were conveyed back down the river and the work begun again. But many
serious difficulties were encountered. "We have been at 70,000lb tobacco
charge," wrote Thomas Ludwell in 1667, "and have lost several men in the
worke and many of the materials by storms breaking our rafts whereon we
float the timber to that place.... After all (we) were forced to quit
the work as of impossible manage, for great were the difficulties, and
so insupportable would the charge have been."[456] A few months after,
when the Dutch captured the tobacco fleet in the mouth of the James,
this fort seems to have been deserted. It was utterly destroyed by the
great hurricane of the following August.

Thereupon it was decided to build five new forts, two on the James and
one upon each of the other great rivers. The charges for these
structures were to be borne entirely by the counties upon the rivers
they were to defend. Whether from mismanagement or dishonesty large sums
of money were expended in this undertaking with but little good effect.
Berkeley wrote that the colony lacked the skill either to construct or
maintain the forts, "We are at continuall charge," he declared, "to
repaire unskilfull & inartificall buildings." The King's commissioners
in 1677, testified that the forts were made of "mudd and dirt", and
could be of little service against the enemy.[457] At the beginning of
the Dutch war of 1672 the Assembly found them in poor condition and
incapable of offering resistance to the enemy. "For as much," it was
declared, "as the materials ... were not substantial or lasting, some
have suffered an utter demolition, some very ruinous and some capable of
repair." It was thereupon ordered that the forts be at once restored and
authority was given for new taxes to cover the cost.[458]

One at least of the reconstructed forts proved of service in the hour of
need, for it was under the guns of Nansemond that many of the
merchantmen ran in July 1673, from the pursuing Dutch men-of-war. But
the people could see in them only a pretext for increasing their taxes.
And it was quite impossible to make them believe that such sums could be
expended to so little purpose save by fraud or embezzlement. The Charles
City commons declared that great quantities of tobacco had been raised
for building forts "which were never finished but suffered to goe to
ruine, the artillery buried in sand and spoyled with rust for want of
care".[459] From James City county came the complaint that although
heavy taxes had been paid for fortifications, there was in 1677 "noe
Place of defence in ye Country sufficient to secure his Majestys
Subjects against any Forreign Invasion". The King's commissioners
substantiated this statement. "We are well assured," they said, "of the
Truth of this Complaint, and doe know that the Forts erected could be of
noe use, Endurance or defence.... Yet were they of great Expence to the
People who paid Excessively for Building them."[460]

The Assembly had from time to time sought to make the merchants trading
to Virginia aid in the defense of the colony, by imposing upon them
Castle Duties, in the form of a toll of powder and shot. The masters had
more than once complained of this duty, but as it was not very
burdensome it was allowed to remain. Had all the ammunition thus
received been used as intended by law, the people would have been saved
great expense, and the forts made more serviceable. But the
contributions, if we may believe the complaints of the people, were
often stolen by the collectors. "Notwithstanding," said the Isle of
Wight commons, "the great quantities of ammunition payd by ships for
fort duties for the countries service ... wee are forced to provide
powder and shott at our proper charges."[461] The Nansemond grievances
were more explicit in their accusations of fraud. "They Complayne that
the Castle duties, accustomed to be paid by the Masters of Shipps in
Powder & Shott for the service and security of the Country, is now
converted into Shoes and stockings &c as best liketh the Collectors of
it and disposed to their own private advantage."[462]

It would not be just to give credence to all the accusations made
against Berkeley. The King's commissioners who conducted the
investigation into his conduct, were his enemies; while many of the
charges were brought by those who had taken part in the Rebellion. Thus
the testimony against him is in most cases distinctly partisan. Moreover
those that were closely associated with Sir William often expressed
extravagant admiration for his ability and energy, and love for his
character.[463] "He hath," wrote the Council in 1673, "for neare 30
years governed this colony with that prudence and justice which hath
gained him both love and reverence from all the Inhabitants here."[464]

Singularly enough Berkeley seems to have prided himself upon his ability
as a ruler. He never forgot the compliment paid him by the people in
1660, when they insisted, even against his will, upon making him their
Governor. And long after he had forfeited their confidence and esteem he
imagined himself as popular as in his first administration. It was a
bitter blow to his pride when the commons rose against his government in
1676. His proclamations bear testimony to his pain that the youthful
Bacon should have usurped his place in the affections of the
people.[465] His letter to the King asking to be recalled from his
government was undoubtedly dictated by wounded pride. Upon the eve of
his final departure for England he did not scruple to write Colonel
Jeffreys, "I will confesse to you that I beleeve that the Inhabitants of
this Colony wil quickly find a difference betweene your management and

It would be difficult to reconcile this attitude of mind with Berkeley's
oppressive administration, did we not know his views upon governmental
matters. He had never been in sympathy with republican institutions. It
was the height of folly, he thought, to allow the people to participate
either in administrative or legislative affairs. The King alone should
rule; the people's duty was to obey. It was but five years before the
Rebellion that he wrote to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, "I thanke
God there is noe ffree schooles nor printing (in Virginia)[467] and I
hope wee shall not have these hundred yeares, for learning has brought
disobedience & heresaye and sects into the world and printing has
divulged them, and libells against the best Government: God keepe us
from both."[468] A man that could utter such sentiments as these would
not scruple to throttle, if he could, all representative institutions in
his government. If he intimidated voters and corrupted the Burgesses, it
was perhaps because he thought himself justified in any measures that
would render the Governor, the King's substitute, supreme in the

But whatever is the verdict of posterity upon the conduct and motives of
Sir William Berkeley, the causes of the Rebellion stand out with great
clearness:--England's selfish commercial policy, the Culpeper-Arlington
grant, the Dutch wars, storms and pestilence, inefficient if not corrupt
government, excessive taxes. The only wonder is that the insurrection
did not occur earlier. In fact two mutinies did break out in 1674, when
the excessively heavy taxes of that year were announced, but the rebels
lacked leaders and were suppressed without great difficulty.[469] As
early as 1673 the defection of the planters was so great that it was
feared many might attempt to deliver the colony into the hands of the
Dutch. Berkeley wrote that a large part of the people were so
desperately poor that they might reasonably be expected upon any small
advantage of the enemy to "revolt to them in hopes of bettering their
Condition by Shareing the Plunder of the Country with them".[470] A
certain John Knight reported "that the planters there doe generally
desire a trade with the Dutch and all other nations and would not be
singly bound to the trade of England, and speake openly there that they
are in the nature of slaves, soe that the hearts of the greatest part of
them are taken away from his Majesty".[471] Thus the downtrodden
planters, alienated from England, angered at the Governor, even
distrusting their own Assembly, waited but an occasion and a leader to
rise in open rebellion. A new Indian war offered the occasion, and they
found their leader in young Nathaniel Bacon.


[381] P. R. O., CO1-34-95.

[382] Scobell, Vol. II, p. 132.

[383] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 357.

[384] Governor Berkeley wrote in 1666 that the King's customs from the
Virginia and Maryland tobacco would amount "unto about £100,000".

[385] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 354.

[386] P. R. O., CO1-21.

[387] P. R. O., CO1-21.

[388] P. R. O., CO1-30-51. Compare Petition of Governor Berkeley, Aug.
22, 1662, CO1-16.

[389] Hen., Vol. II, pp. 120, 121.

[390] P. R. O., CO1-19; Hen., Vol. II, p. 272.

[391] Hen., Vol. II, p. 238.

[392] Ibid.

[393] Hen., Vol. II, p. 123.

[394] P. R. O., CO1-19; Hen., Vol. II, p. 178.

[395] P. R. O., CO1-16; Hen., Vol. II, p. 17.

[396] P. R. O., CO1-26-77; Hen., Vol. II, p. 315.

[397] P. R. O., CO1-24.

[398] P. R, O., CO1-30; Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 357.

[399] P. R. O., CO5-1371-328; Va. Mag., Vol. III, p. 38.

[400] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 389.

[401] Bruce, Ec. Hist., Vol. I, p. 390.

[402] P. R. O., CO1-20.

[403] P. R. O., CO1-20. Ludwell to Arlington.

[404] P. R. O., CO1-21. Governor and Council to the King.

[405] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[406] P. R. O., CO1-80-51.

[407] P. R. O., CO1-34-101.

[408] P. R. O., CO1-28-20; Burk, Vol. II, Appendix XXXVI.

[409] Hen., Vol. II, pp. 518-543; Burk, Vol. II, Appendix XXXIII-LXII.

[410] P. R. O., CO1-34-95.

[411] P. R. O., CO1-34-96; CO1-34-100; CO1-33-108; CO1-34-95; Hen., Vol.
II, p. 529.

[412] P. R. O., CO1-34-100.

[413] P. R. O., CO1-36-48; Hen. Vol. II, p. 534.

[414] P. R. O., CO389.6-133 to 137; Burk, Vol. II, Appendix LXI.

[415] Beverley.

[416] P. R. O., CO1-36-37.

[417] P. R. O., CO5-1371-292, 331.

[418] P. R. O., CO1-21-61.

[419] P. R. O., CO1-21-61.

[420] P. R. O., CO1-21-63.

[421] P. R. O., CO1-21-61, 62.

[422] P. R. O., CO1-21-61, 62, 63.

[423] P. R. O., CO1-30-51, 53, 71.

[424] P. R. O., CO1-30-51, 53.

[425] P. R. O., CO1-21-61.

[426] P. R. O., CO1-30-17.

[427] P. R. O., CO1-21.

[428] This is shown by the wills of this period, many of which have been
published in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.

[429] P. R. O., CO1-30-17; CO1-30-51.

[430] Hen., II, p. 356.

[431] P. R. O., CO5-1371-241, 246.

[432] Bruce, Inst. Hist., Vol. I, p. 489.

[433] Va. Mag., Vol. III, pp. 135, 136.

[434] P. R. O., CO5-1371-241.

[435] P. R. O., CO5-1371-316, 319. The Assembly which met in March,
1661, was continued by successive prorogations until October, 1665. This
fact is placed beyond question by the copies of the Acts of Assembly now
preserved in the British Public Record Office. But there is no statement
in these copies that the session of June 5, 1666, had been prorogued
from an earlier date. Nor is there any indication given in Hening's
Statutes that this was not a new Assembly. (Hen., Vol. II, p. 224.)
These two omissions, then, might lead us to infer that there was a
general election in 1666. But there is other evidence tending to show
that the Assembly of 1661 was not dissolved until 1676. Thus William
Sherwood wrote during Bacon's Rebellion that the rabble had risen
against the Assembly and seemed weary of it, "in that itt was of 14
years continuance". (P. R. O., CO1-37-17; Va. Mag., Vol. I, p. 170.) The
account of the Rebellion given in the Collections of the Massachusetts
Historical Society also declares that the session had "continued
fowerteene yeares". (Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 169.) The Isle of Wight
grievances state that the people of that county had not had an election
of Burgesses for twelve years. (Va. Mag., Vol. II, p. 380.) Lists of the
members at the sessions of September, 1663, and of October, 1666, have
been preserved by Hening. Nineteen Burgesses of the Assembly of 1663
appear also in 1666; eleven have lost their seats and in their places
are fifteen new members. But this settles nothing, for it is quite
possible that if an election was held in 1666, the Governor's influence
might have secured the return of many old Burgesses. There was no
election from June 1666 to June 1676. It must remain, then, undetermined
whether the Long Assembly continued for ten or for fifteen years.

[436] P. R. O., CO1-20.

[437] Va. Mag., Vol. III, pp. 141, 142.

[438] P. R. O., CO1-40-88.

[439] P. R. O., CO1-40-43.

[440] Bruce, Inst. Hist., Vol. I, p. 542.

[441] P. R. O., CO1-20.

[442] Bruce, Inst. Hist., Vol. II, 566.

[443] Hen., Vol. II, 357.

[444] Va. Mag., Vol. II, p. 172.

[445] Va. Mag., Vol. II, p. 389.

[446] Va. Mag., Vol. III, p. 142.

[447] Bruce, Inst. Hist., Vol. I, p. 67.

[448] Bruce, Inst. Hist., Vol. I, p. 77; Hen. Vol. II, p. 356.

[449] Va. Mag., Vol. II, pp. 172, 289, 388.

[450] P. R. O., CO1-36-54.

[451] P. R. O., CO1-36-54.

[452] P. R. O., CO5-1371-315.

[453] Hen., Vol. II, p. 172.

[454] P. R. O., CO5-1371-316-19, 304-5.

[455] Va. Mag., Vol. III, p. 142; P. R. O., CO1-37-41.

[456] P. R. O., CO1-21.

[457] P. R. O., CO5-1371-292, 7.

[458] P. R. O., CO1-29-31.

[459] Va. Mag., Vol. III, p. 142.

[460] P. R. O., CO5-1371-292, 7; CO1-21.

[461] Va. Mag., Vol. II, p. 387.

[462] P. R. O., CO5-1371-330, 331.

[463] P. R. O., CO1-20, 21.

[464] P. R. O., CO1-30-71.

[465] P. R. O., CO1-37-1.

[466] P. R. O., CO1-40-54.

[467] Mr. P. A. Bruce, in his Institutional History of Virginia in the
Seventeenth Century, has shown that this statement is incorrect.

[468] P. R. O., CO1-26-77.

[469] P. R. O., CO1-36-37; CO1-36-54.

[470] P. R. O., CO1-30-51.

[471] P. R. O., CO1-30-78.



For many years Virginia had been at peace with the neighboring
Indians.[472] The long series of wars which had filled most of the first
half of the seventeenth century had broken the spirit and power of the
Pamunkeys, the Nansemonds and the Nottoways.[473] The remnants of these
nations had become dependent upon the English, paying them tribute and
looking to them for protection from their enemies.[474] In 1675,
however, these friendly relations were disturbed by a southward movement
of some of the northern Indians. Large bodies of the warlike Senecas,
pressing upon the Susquehannocks at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, were
driving them down into Maryland and Virginia. Here their indigence and
their restlessness became a menace to the whites and an element of
disturbance to their relations with the other tribes.[475]

In the summer of 1675 a party of savages rowed across the Potomac river,
committed several murders and made good their escape into Maryland.[476]
In anger and alarm the planters of Stafford county seized their arms to
protect their homes and to avenge their neighbors. A band of thirty or
more, led by Colonel Mason and Captain Brent, pursued the savages up the
Potomac into the Maryland woods.[477] Coming in the early dawn upon two
diverging trails, "each leader with his party took a separate path". "In
less than a furlong either found a cabin", one crowded with Doeg
Indians, the other with Susquehannocks. The king of the Doegs, when he
saw his hut surrounded by Brent's men, "came trembling forth, and wou'd
have fled". But Captain Brent, "catching hold of his twisted lock, which
was all the hair he wore", commanded him to deliver up the men guilty of
the recent murders. "The king pleaded ignorance and slipt loos",
whereupon Brent shot him dead. At this the savages in the cabin opened
fire, and the Virginians answered with a deadly volley. "Th' Indians
throng'd out at the door and fled." "The English shot as many as they
cou'd, so that they killed ten ... and brought away the kings son." "The
noise of this shooting awaken'd th' Indians in the cabin which Coll.
Mason had encompassed, who likewise rush'd out and fled, of whom his
company shot ffourteen."[478]

This unfortunate affair was the beginning of a deadly war between the
English and the Indians, which brought untold suffering upon the people
of Maryland and Virginia. The Susquehannocks, enraged at the slaughter
of their warriors, became the most implacable enemies of the white men.
Joining with the other tribes in a league against the English, they
began a series of outrages and murders which continued many months, and
cost the lives of hundreds of men, women and children. During the year
1676 alone, more people were butchered in Virginia by the savages than
fell in the massacre of 1644.[479] This fearful mortality was due to the
fact that the Indians were now supplied with firearms. Governor Berkeley
and his friends, in their greed to secure the valuable beaver and otter
skins, had not hesitated to purchase them with powder, shot and
guns.[480] The savages had now almost entirely discarded the bow and
arrow, and were so skilful with their new weapons that the English often
hired them "to kill Deare".[481] So that when the war cry was once more
heard upon the frontier, the savages, although less numerous than in the
days of Powhatan or Opechancanough, were far more to be feared.

It was Maryland that first felt the resentment of the savages.

[Illustration: MAP OF



The people of this province had taken no part in the attack of Mason and
Brent, but the Susquehannocks were not in the humor to make nice
distinctions. In seeking revenge for the murder of their braves they
held all whites equally guilty, and fell immediately upon the nearest
plantations. Thus were the Marylanders made to suffer for the rashness
of the Virginia frontiersmen.

Feeling that it was his duty to aid the neighboring province in this war
brought on by the hasty action of two of his own officers, and fearing
that depredations upon the Virginia frontiers could not long be
prevented, Sir William Berkeley decided to join Governor Calvert in a
vigorous attack upon the savages. Colonel John Washington,
great-grandfather of George Washington, at the head of several hundred
men, was despatched across the Potomac to effect a junction with the
Maryland troops.[482] The combined forces of the two colonies are said
to have numbered "neer a thousand men".[483]

Unable to withstand this army in the open field, the Indians fell back
upon a fort which they had erected upon the north bank of the Potomac,
and here awaited the approach of the English. Their fortress had been
constructed with such care and skill that the white men were unable to
carry it by storm. The outer works consisted of lines of tree trunks,
from five to eight inches in diameter, "watled 6 inches apart to shoot
through", their tops firmly twisted together. Behind this was a ditch,
and within all a square citadel, with high walls and "fflankers having
many loop-holes". The fire of the red-skins from behind these works
proved so deadly that hopes of a successful assault had to be abandoned.
Nor could breaches be effected, for the allies were not provided with
heavy guns. The moist and swampy ground surrounding the fort made it
impossible to approach by means of trenches.[484]

So the English cast their camp before the fort hoping to starve out the
enemy. Lines were drawn about the place, as closely as the nature of the
ground would permit, while boats patrolled the river to cut off escape
to the Virginia shore. Fearing, no doubt, that lack of provisions would
soon make it necessary for them to come to terms with the besiegers, the
Indians sent out several of their leaders to treat for peace. But so
deep was the animosity aroused by the recent murders, that the white men
violated the flag of truce by detaining these envoys, and finally
beating out their brains.[485] This flagrant act aroused the Indians to
a desperate defense. In numerous sallies they inflicted severe loss upon
the besiegers, and captured enough horses to supply themselves with
food. At last, after six or seven weeks of fighting, they resolved to
effect their escape. On a dark night, when the English were least
expecting it, they sallied forth, bringing with them their women and
children. Awakening the white men with their savage yells, they burst in
among them, killing and wounding many, and before resistance could be
made, were through the lines and gone.[486]

And now the Virginians were made to pay dearly for their part in this
ill-managed affair. Early in January, 1676, the Susquehannocks crossed
the Potomac and came plundering and murdering through the frontier
counties.[487] Separating into small bands, the Indians fell upon the
more isolated plantations, and in a few days had killed no less than
thirty-six persons. Those whose wretched fate it was to be captured,
were put to death with all the tortures that devilish ingenuity could
devise. Some were roasted, others flayed alive. The sufferings of the
victims were long and protracted, while the savages knocked out their
teeth or tore off their nails or stuck feathers and lighted wood into
their flesh.[488]

In terror the people of the frontier began to desert their homes,
seeking shelter in the more populous settlements.[489] In a few weeks
one parish, upon the upper waters of the Rappahannock, was reduced from
seventy-one plantations to eleven.[490] Those that remained were
concentrated upon the largest farms, which they fortified with palisades
and redoubts.[491]

When the news of these atrocities reached Sir William Berkeley, hasty
preparations were made for an expedition against the invaders. Sir Henry
Chicheley was put at the head of forces of horse and foot, with orders
to give immediate pursuit to the savages. But just as all was in
readiness and the command to march hourly expected, the Governor decided
that the expedition should be abandoned. Chicheley's commission was
annulled, his forces disbanded and the soldiers sent to their

What induced Berkeley to take this strange step none could tell. The
murders of the savages were continuing. The frontier was defenseless.
Messages were coming from the exposed plantations imploring aid. Why
should he desert the people and expose them to the fury of the Indians?
It is possible that he detected symptoms of mutiny among the troops and
thought it better to abandon the expedition than to run the risk of a
rebellion. He was well aware of the discontent of the people, and his
letters to England show that he dreaded an insurrection.[493] The
unhappy planters ascribed the Governor's strange conduct to avarice. He
and his friends had a monopoly of the Indian trade, and it was hinted
that he preferred to allow the atrocities to continue rather than
destroy his source of revenue. He was determined, was the cry, "that no
bullits would pierce beaver skins".[494] More probable seems the
explanation that Berkeley hoped to prevent further depredations by the
help of the Pamunkeys and other friendly tribes, and feared that an
invasion of the Indian lands might defeat this purpose.[495]

But an Assembly was summoned in March and instructed by the Governor to
take immediate measures to secure the frontier.[496] Acting, no doubt,
under Berkeley's influence, the Assembly resolved not to carry the
conflict into the enemy's territory, but to wage a defensive war. Forts
were to be erected upon the upper waters of the great rivers, and manned
with regular troops as a protection to the outer plantations. To defray
the cost, new and heavy taxes were put upon the people.[497]

This last act of the Long Assembly caused bitter dissatisfaction. The
border counties had hoped that provision would be made for an expedition
against the Indians. No headway could be made unless the whites took the
offensive and hunted down the savages in their own villages. The
erection of forts was useless.[498] The Indians would experience no
difficulty in avoiding them in their murderous raids. They could
approach the remote plantations, or even those far within the frontiers,
without fear of detection by the soldiers, for the numerous swamps and
dense woods afforded them ample covert. It was not intended that the
forts should be used as bases for expeditions into the enemy's country;
nor could the soldiers leave them to pursue and punish the plundering
savages. What then, it was asked, could be the value of fortresses, if
they were to defend only the ground upon which they stood?[499]

The event proved the people right. The forts, when built, were but
slight obstacles to the invasions of the Indians. The murders became
more frequent than before. The impotency of the defenses of the colony
seems to have inspired them to more terrible and vigorous attacks. The
cry against the forts became more bitter. "It was a design," the people
thought, "of the grandees to engross all their tobacco into their own
hands".[500] As the cries of their women and children grew more piteous
and distressing, the men of the frontier spoke openly of disobedience.
Rather than pay the taxes for the accursed forts they would plant no
more tobacco. If the Governor would not send an expedition against the
Indians, they themselves would march out to avenge their wrongs. The
forts must be dismantled, the garrisons dismissed.[501]

From all parts of the colony came the insistent demand that the
Assembly, which had so long been but a mockery of representative
government, should be dissolved and the people given a free
election.[502] But Berkeley was not the man to yield readily to this
clamor. Never, in all the long years that he had ruled over Virginia,
had he allowed the rabble to dictate his policies. He would not do so
now. When petitions came from the frontiersmen, asking leave to go out
against the Indians, he returned a brusk and angry refusal.[503] A
delegation from Charles City county met with a typical reception from
the irritable old man. As they stood humbly before him, presenting their
request for a commission, they spoke of themselves as the Governor's
subjects. Upon this Berkeley blurted out that they were all "fools and
loggerheads". They were subjects of the King, and so was he. He would
grant them no commission, and bade them be gone, and a pox take
them.[504] Later he issued a proclamation forbidding under heavy
penalties all such petitions.[505]

Unfortunately, at this juncture came news that large bodies of Indians
were descending upon the upper waters of the James, and that another
bloody assault might soon be expected.[506] In terror and anger the
people of Charles City county seized their arms, determined to repel
this threatened storm, with or without the Governor's permission.
Parties went about from place to place beating up volunteers with the
drum. The magistrates were either in sympathy with the movement, or were
unable to prevent it.[507] Soon a considerable body of rough, determined
men were assembled, awaiting only a leader to march out against the

This leader they found in one of the most interesting and picturesque
characters in Virginia history. Nathaniel Bacon is depicted as
twenty-nine years of age, black-haired, of medium height and slender,
melancholy, pensive, and taciturn. In conversation he was logical and
convincing; in oratory magnetic and masterful.[508] His successful
expeditions against the Indians and the swift blows he directed against
the loyal forces mark him as a military commander of no mean

Bacon was almost a stranger in Virginia, for he had left England less
than two years before.[510] He was fortunate, however, in having a
cousin, also named Nathaniel Bacon, high in the favor of Sir William
Berkeley.[511] It was doubtless through the influence of this relative
that the young man attained a position of great influence, and was
appointed to the Council itself.[512] But submission to the will of the
imperious Governor was the price paid by all that wished to remain long
in favor in Virginia. Bacon did not approve of Berkeley's arbitrary
government; he disliked the long continuation of the Assembly, the
unjust discriminations, the unusual taxes, the incapacity of officials;
and it was not in his fiery temper to conceal his opinions. Soon, it
would seem, the frowns of the Governor began to fall upon him, and he
grew weary of coming to Council.[513]

Bacon had made his home in Henrico, at that time one of the extreme
frontier counties. His marked ability, his liberal education, his place
in the Council soon gave him a position of great influence among his
rough but hardy neighbors. None could be better suited to assume command
over the desperate volunteers that had gathered in Charles City county.

But it was a very serious step to accept the leadership of this band
which had taken arms in defiance of the Governor's commands. It would
expose him to the charge not only of disobedience, but of open
rebellion. Bacon, however, like all that dwelt upon the frontiers, was
angered at the inadequate protection given by the government. When news
came to him that depredations had been committed upon one of his own
plantations, and that his overseer had been killed, he was eager to take

Now some of Bacon's friends, as anxious as he for an Indian expedition,
and thinking him most proper to conduct it, suggested his name to the
volunteers. The men were quite willing to accept so influential a
commander, but it was not so easy to persuade Bacon to take the
dangerous place. He consented, however, to row across the river, and
visit the soldiers in their camp. Here the men gathered around him, and
with joyous shouts of, "A Bacon! A Bacon!" proclaimed him their leader.
His friends pressed him to accept. They would, they said, accompany him
on his expedition. If the Governor ordered them to disband, they would
defy him. "They drank damnation to their souls", if they should prove
untrue to him. Touched by these proofs of confidence, and fired perhaps
with ambition, the young man yielded, and Bacon's Rebellion had

From the very first the movement assumed the character of an
insurrection.[516] Amid the hearty applause of his rough followers,
Bacon spoke of the negligence, the incapacity and wickedness of the
government. Their betrayal into the hands of the savages was but one of
many grievances. The laws were unjust, the taxes oppressive. Something
must be done to redress these wrongs and to end misgovernment.[517] And
as the poor people flocked in to him, he listed their names in a huge
round-robin and bound them to him by an oath of fidelity.[518]

A message was dispatched to the Governor to request a commission
authorizing the expedition against the Indians.[519] But Bacon promised
his men that if Sir William withheld his assent, he would lead them
forth without it; and in the meanwhile, without waiting for the
Governor's reply, he crossed over into New Kent, "a county ripe for
rebellion", where he expected to strengthen his position and perhaps
attack the Pamunkeys.[520] This nation had for many years been friendly
to the English, and had more than once given them invaluable assistance
against other Indian tribes. Their present queen was the widow of
Tottopottomoi, who had been killed while fighting as the ally of the
white men against the Richahecrians.[521] They now occupied land
allotted them by the Assembly, upon the frontier of New Kent, where, it
was supposed, they would act as a protection to the colony against the
raids of hostile tribes.[522] When the Susquehannocks began their
depredations Governor Berkeley expected valuable assistance from these
allies, whom he termed his "spyes and intelligence" to search out "the
bloody enimies".[523] But the Pamunkeys not only failed to check the
invasion of the Susquehannocks, but seem to have joined with them in the
work of bloodshed and pillage. The people of the frontier believed that
almost all the Indians were leagued together for their ruin. The
Pamunkeys, they were sure, had taken part in the recent atrocities. And
as they were their close neighbors, knowing all their customs and all
their habitations, they were especially fitted for the work of
destruction. The New Kent planters were now impatient to march out
against them to take revenge for the recent horrible murders. But the
Pamunkeys, upon hearing of Bacon's approach, deserted their reservation
and took refuge in the wilderness.[524]

It is not hard to imagine the Governor's anger when he heard of these
proceedings. Despite the testimony of the frontiersmen, he had refused
to believe the Pamunkeys guilty, and he still relied upon them for
assistance against the Susquehannocks. Bacon's proceedings, in
frightening them from their lands, upset all his plans of defense. Yet
had the volunteers contented themselves with attacking the Indians, it
is conceivable that Berkeley would have yielded. But when they took up
arms without his permission, put themselves under the command of a
discontented Councillor, and demanded redress of grievances from the
government, it was necessary for him to resort to repression. The
commission was refused and a proclamation issued denouncing Bacon's
conduct as illegal and rebellious. He and his men were offered pardon,
but only on condition that they lay down their arms, and return
immediately to their obedience.[525]

But the mutineers would not obey. Are we, they complained, to return
passively to our homes, there to be slaughtered by the savage foe? The
Governor has given us no protection. The Indians are coming. Already the
blood of our butchered relatives cries aloud to Heaven. We hope we have
still enough English blood in our veins to think it more honorable to
die in fair battle with the enemy, than to be sneakingly murdered in our
beds. If we lie still, we are destroyed by the heathen; if we defend
ourselves, we are accounted rebels and traitors. But we will fight. And
if we must be hanged for killing those that will destroy us, let them
hang us, we will venture that rather than lie at the mercy of our
barbarous enemies. So, turning their backs upon the plantations, they
struck out into the dense woods.[526]

When Berkeley heard that his authority was still defied, and his pardon
rejected, he was resolved at all hazards to compel obedience. Gathering
around him a party of three hundred gentlemen, "well armed and mounted",
he set out, on the third of May, to intercept the rebels.[527] But
learning, upon his arrival at the falls of the James, that Bacon had
crossed the river and was already far away, he decided to encamp in the
frontier counties and await his return.[528]

But he sent out a party under Colonel Claiborne to pursue the Pamunkeys,
and induce them, if possible, to return to their reservation. The
savages were found entrenched in a strong; position, "encompassed with
trees which they had fallen in the branch of an Impassable swamp".[529]
Their queen refused to abandon this retreat, declaring that since the
Governor had not been able to command the obedience of Bacon, he could
not save her people from his violence. But she promised that the
Pamunkeys should remain peaceable and should take no part in the raids
of the Susquehannocks. "Of this the Governor was informed, who resolved
not to be soe answered but to reduce her and the other Indians, soe
soone as Bacon could be brought to submit."[530]

On May the tenth Berkeley issued a new proclamation. The taking of arms
by Bacon, he said, against his wishes and commands, was an act of
disloyalty and rebellion. If permitted to go unpunished, it would tend
to the ruin and overthrow of all government in the colony. It was his
duty to use all the forces at his command to suppress so dangerous a
mutiny. Should the misguided people desert their leader, and return to
their allegiance, he would grant a free and full pardon. And as
Nathaniel Bacon had shown himself by his rash proceedings utterly
unworthy of public trust, he suspended him from the Council and from all
other offices held by him. It was amazing, he said, that after he had
been Governor of Virginia so many years, and had done always equal
justice to all men, the people should be seduced and carried away by so
young and turbulent a person as Bacon.[531]

But although Berkeley was determined to suppress the rebels by force of
arms, the attitude of the commons in other parts of the colony became so
threatening that he was forced to make some concessions. To the great
joy of the people he dissolved the unpopular Long Assembly, and ordered
a new election. It was with sorrow, he declared, that he departed with
the present Burgesses, who had given frequent proof of ability and
wisdom. But the complaints of many inhabitants of the long continuance
of the old Assembly had induced him to grant a free election. And if any
man had grievances against his government, or could accuse him of
injustice or bribery, he was to present his complaint by his Burgesses
to the Assembly, where it would be examined.[532]

It was indeed time for the Governor to act, for the rebellion was
spreading to the older and more populous counties.[533] The people there
too were denouncing the forts, and demanding redress of grievances. Some
began to arm, and it seemed not improbable that the entire colony might
soon be ablaze. Hastening back to his residence at Green Spring, he
sought to appease the people by dismantling the obnoxious forts and
dismissing their garrisons.[534]

In the meanwhile Bacon was making his way through the woods southward
from the falls of the James in pursuit of the Susquehannocks that had
committed the recent murders upon the frontier.[535] These savages had
not attempted to return to their homes north of the Potomac, but had
retired to the country of the Occaneechees, where they had entrenched
themselves in two forts.[536] The Occaneechees dwelt in the southernmost
part of Virginia, near the site of Clarksville.[537] They are described
as a stout people, and the most enterprising of traders. Their chief
town, situated upon an island in the Roanoke River and defended by three
strong forts, was "the Mart for all the Indians for att least 500 miles"
around.[538] The beaver skins stored in this place at the time of
Bacon's expedition are said to have valued no less than £1,000.[539]
Persicles, their king, was reported to be an enlightened ruler, "a very
brave man & ever true to ye English".[540]

It was toward this island that Bacon led his men. But a quest for Indian
allies took him far out of his route. Everywhere he found the savages
reluctant to aid him, even those nations that had formerly been most
friendly to the English now holding aloof from them. This embarrassed
him greatly for he had relied upon receiving aid from several tribes,
and his food was not sufficient for a long march. As the little army
went further and further into the wilderness, they began to face the
possibility of starvation. When at last they approached the Occaneechee
country and received promises of aid from Persicles, their provisions
were nearly exhausted.[541]

Upon reaching the Roanoke the English crossed the north branch of the
river and encamped upon the Occaneechee island.[542] To his deep
satisfaction, Bacon found Persicles embroiled with the Susquehannocks,
and already preparing for their destruction. When these wanderers from
the north first came to him, Persicles had received them with kindness
and had relieved their needs. But they, "being exercised in warr for
many years with the Senecaes, and living on rapin, endeavoured to beat
the Ockinagees of their own Island".[543] Persicles had defeated them,
however, and forced them to take refuge in their two forts.[544]

Now the Susquehannocks, in their southward march, had subdued and
brought with them some members of the Mannakin and Annelecton
tribes.[545] These savages, although they lived with their conquerors,
had no love for them, and were quite willing to join in any plan for
their destruction. Persicles, it would seem, was plotting with them to
surprise and cut off the Susquehannocks, when Bacon appeared with his
men. Fearing, no doubt, that the participation of the English in the
attack would render secrecy impossible, Persicles left them on the
island, and went out alone against the enemy.[546] The Mannakins and
Annelectons proved true to their allies and the Susquehannocks were
easily defeated. Persicles returned in triumph, bringing with him
several prisoners. These he wished the English to execute, but they
"refused to take that office".[547] Thereupon he himself put them to
death with all the usual Indian tortures, "running fyer brands up their
bodys & the like".[548]

But now the friendship of Persicles and the English came abruptly to an
end. The Berkeley party afterwards claimed that Bacon deliberately
picked a quarrel with his allies, and attacked them without
provocation.[549] It would be unjust, however, to place too much
confidence in these charges. Bacon's men found themselves in a most
critical situation. They were many miles from the plantations,
surrounded by the savages, their provisions exhausted. Persicles, they
asserted, had failed to keep his promise to supply them with food. He
was assuming a threatening posture, manning his forts, and lining the
river bank with his warriors. For Bacon to retreat from the island under
these circumstances, would have exposed his company to destruction. To
remain passive was to starve.[550]

As the English became more insistent in their demands for food,
Persicles retired to one of his forts, and refused further conference.
Many of the savages, seeing hostilities imminent, deserted their cabins
and began to rush in through the entrances of their fortresses. But
Bacon interposed his men, and succeeded in shutting out many of
them.[551] Now from the Indians across the river came a shot, and one of
the English fell dead.[552] Instantly Bacon ordered a general attack.
The defenseless men, women and children left in the cabins were
mercilessly butchered. At the same time fire was opened upon the forts.
The soldiers rushed up to the portholes, and poured their volleys
directly in upon the wretched savages.[553] A hideous din arose. The
singing and howling of the warriors was mingled with the moans of the
dying. Fire was set to one of the forts, in which were the king's wife
and children. As the flames arose, three or four braves made a dash for
safety through the line of the English. All others in this fort,
including the king's family, perished amid the burning timbers.[554]

The next day the fight was continued from morn till night. Several times
the savages sallied forth from their remaining forts, and placing
themselves behind trees, opened fire upon the English. But Bacon's
frontiersmen were accustomed to this method of warfare. So well were
they posted and so cleverly concealed, that most of the enemy were
picked off as they stood. At last Persicles himself led forth a party of
about twenty men in a desperate attack upon his enemy. With great
bravery they rushed around the English in a wide circle, howling and
firing. But they too were unsuccessful. Persicles was killed. Several of
his men were shot on the bank of the river, and fell into the water. Of
all this party seven only were seen to escape.[555]

It now seemed hopeless for the Indians to fight further. With their king
and many of their warriors dead, and with one of their forts in ruins,
their ultimate destruction was certain if they remained upon the island.
So, with their women and children, they deserted the remaining forts and
escaped. How they managed to slip past the victorious white men and make
their way across the river is not explained. Thinking it best not to
follow, Bacon secured his plunder, and turned his face back towards the

The news of the victory over the savages was received with enthusiasm in
the frontier counties. Bacon had been popular with the people before; he
now became their idol.[557] He and his men, upon their return, found the
entire colony deeply interested in the election of a new House of
Burgesses. In various places popular candidates, men in sympathy with
Bacon, were being nominated.[558] In Henrico county the people showed
their contempt for the Governor's proclamations by electing Bacon

But it would be a matter of no little risk for him to go to Jamestown to
take his seat in the Assembly. While surrounded by his loyal
frontiersmen in his own county he might well ignore the proclamations
against him, but if he put himself in the Governor's power, that fiery
old man might not hesitate to hang him as a rebel. His friends would not
allow him to go unprotected, and insisted upon sending with him a guard
of forty or fifty armed men.[560] Embarking with this company in a
sloop, Bacon wended his way down the crooked James to the capital. He
cast anchor a short distance above the town and sent to the Governor to
know whether he would be allowed to take his seat in the Assembly
without molestation.[561] For reply Sir William opened fire upon the
sloop with the guns of the fort.[562] Whereupon Bacon sailed further up
the river out of danger.[563] But that night he landed with twenty of
his men, and unobserved by any, slipped silently into town.[564]

In the place resided Richard Lawrence and William Drummond, both deeply
impressed with the need of reform in Virginia, and both in sympathy with
Bacon's movement. Repairing to Lawrence's house, Bacon conferred with
these two friends for several hours.[565] Upon reëmbarking he was
discovered. Alarm was immediately given in the town and several boats
filled with armed men pursued him up the river. At the same time Captain
Gardner, commanding the ship _Adam and Eve_, was ordered to follow the
fugitives, and capture or sink the sloop. For some hours Bacon eluded
them all. Finally, however, about three the next afternoon, he was
driven by the small boats under the guns of the _Adam and Eve_, and
forced to surrender.[566] Coming on board he was entrusted to Captain
Gardner and Captain Hubert Farrill, and by them conducted to the

As the prisoner was led before him, the old man lifted his eyes and
arms to Heaven, exclaiming, "Now I behold the greatest Rebell that ever
was in Virginia!"[568] After some moments he added, "Mr. Bacon, doe you
continue to be a gentleman? And may I take your word? If so you are at
liberty upon your parol."[569] Later, when the rebel expressed gratitude
at this mild treatment and repentance for his disobedience, Berkeley
promised to grant him a free pardon. And should he offer a humble
submission, he was to be restored to his seat in the Council, and even
receive the long desired commission.[570]

In this unexpected leniency the Governor was probably actuated not by
magnanimity, but by policy, or perhaps necessity. When the rebel was out
upon his Indian expedition, Sir William had not scrupled to tell Mrs.
Bacon that he would most certainly hang her husband, if ever he got him
in his power.[571] But now he dared not do so. Bacon was regarded by a
large part of the people as their leader in a struggle for justice and
liberty; to treat him too harshly might set the entire colony ablaze. In
fact, many frontiersmen, when they heard of the capture of their hero,
did hasten down to Jamestown with dreadful threats of revenge should a
hair of his head be touched.[572] And throughout the colony the
mutterings of impending insurrection were too loud to be mistaken or

A few days after the capture, at a meeting of Council and Assembly, the
Governor arose from his chair, saying, "If there be joy in the presence
of the angels over one sinner that repenteth, there is joy now, for we
have a penitent sinner come before us. Call Mr. Bacon." Whereupon the
rebel entered, and dropping upon his knee, presented his submission.
"God forgive you," said the Governor, "I forgive you." "And all that
were with him?" asked one of the Council. "Yea," said Sir William, "all
that were with him."[574] That very day Bacon was restored to his seat
in the Council.[575] The soldiers that had been captured with him were
freed from their chains and permitted to return to their homes.[576]
And, to the great joy of the people, it was publicly announced by one of
the Burgesses, that Bacon had been granted a commission as general in
the Indian war.[577] Feeling that all was now well, and that their
presence in Jamestown was no longer necessary, the sturdy frontiersmen
shouldered their fusils, and returned to their plantations.[578]

But the reconciliation could be but temporary. Bacon's repentance and
submission had been forced from him while helpless in the Governor's
power. He did not consider it morally binding. And so long as the
people's grievances were not righted, and the Indian war was neglected,
he could not be content to remain inactive and submissive. On the other
hand, Sir William probably felt that his promise of a commission had
been exacted by the unlawful threats of Bacon's friends, and might be
broken without dishonor.[579]

After waiting several days for his papers, Bacon became suspicious of
the Governor's intentions, and set out for his home in Henrico.[580]
Berkeley consented to his departure, and he took "civill leave", but
immediately afterwards he repented bitterly that he had let his enemy
thus slip through his fingers. It is probable that information came to
him just too late, that Bacon was again meditating resistance. Parties
of men were sent out upon the roads and up the river to intercept his
flight. The very beds of his lodging house were searched in desperate
haste, in the hope that he had not yet left Jamestown. But all in vain.
Bacon had ridden quietly out of town, without servants or friends, and
was now far on his way towards the frontier.[581]

On his arrival at Henrico, his old comrades flocked around him, eager to
be led out against the Indians, and confident in the belief that Bacon
was authorized to command them. And when they learned that he had not
secured a commission, and was once more a fugitive, they "sett their
throats in one common key of Oathes and curses, and cried out aloud,
that they would either have a Commission ... or else they would pull
downe the Towne".[582] And as the news spread from place to place,
rough, angry men came flocking in to Bacon, promising that if he would
but lead them to the Governor, they would soon get him what he pleased.
"Thus the raging tumult came downe to Towne."[583]

Vague rumors began to reach the Assembly that Bacon was marching on
Jamestown at the head of five hundred men.[584] By June the
twenty-second, it became definitely known that the rebels were
approaching.[585] Berkeley sent out several messengers to demand their
intentions, but could get no satisfactory reply. Hasty preparations were
made to defend the town.[586] The neighboring militia was summoned. Four
guns were dragged to Sandy Bay to command the narrow neck of land that
connected the peninsula with the left bank of the river.[587] It was
proposed to construct palisades across the isthmus. Early on the morning
of the 23d, Berkeley went out himself to direct the mounting of the
guns.[588] But it was too late. On all sides the people were crying, "To
arms! To arms! Bacon is within two miles of the town." The rebels were
threatening, it was reported, that if a gun was fired against them, they
would kill and destroy all.[589] Seeing that resistance would be
useless, and might be fatal, the Governor ordered the guns to be
dismounted, withdrew his soldiers, and retired to the state house.[590]

And so the rebels streamed unresisted into the town, a motley crew of
many sorts and conditions: Rough, weather-beaten, determined
frontiersmen, bent on having the commission for their leader; poor
planters, sunk deep in debt, denouncing the government and demanding
relief from their taxes; freedmen whose release from bondage had brought
them little but hunger and nakedness. Moderation and reason were not to
be expected of such a band, and it is not strange that many of them
talked openly of overthrowing the government and sharing the property of
the rich among themselves. Sixteen years of oppression and injustice
were bearing their natural fruit--rebellion.[591]

"Now tagg, ragg & bobtayle carry a high hand."[592] Bacon leaves a force
to guard Sandy Bay, stations parties at the ferry and the fort, and
draws up his little army before the state-house.[593] Two Councillors
come out from Berkeley to demand what he wants. Bacon replies that he
has come for a commission as general of volunteers enrolled against the
Indians. And he protests that if the Assembly intends a levy for new
forces, his men will refuse to pay it. The ragged troops shout their
approval with cries of "Noe Levies! Noe Levies!"[594]

It is easy to imagine with what anger the Governor drew up and signed
the commission. But he dared not refuse it. He was in the power of the
rebels, who were already muttering threats of bloodshed and pillage. To
defy them might bring instant ruin.[595] When the commission was brought
out, and Bacon had read it to his soldiers, he refused to accept it,
declaring the powers granted insufficient. Thereupon he drew up the
heads of a new paper, in which his loyalty to the king and the legality
of his past actions were attested, and an appointment given him as
general of all the forces in Virginia used in the Indian war.[596]

These new demands throw the old Governor into an uncontrollable rage. He
rushes out to Bacon, gesticulating wildly, and declaring that rather
than sign such a paper he will have his hands cut off.[597] In his
excitement he opens his bosom, crying out, "Here, shoot me, fore God
fair mark."[598] Then he offers to measure swords with the rebel before
all his men, shouting, "Let us settle this difference singly between
ourselves."[599] But Bacon ignores these ravings. "Sir," he says, "I
come not nor intend to hurt a haire of your Honors head. And for your
sword, your Honor may please to put it up, it will rust in the scabbard
before ever I shall desire you to draw it. I come for a commission
against the Heathen who daily inhumanly murder us and spill our
bretherens blood."[600]

In the general distraction somebody takes the proposals to the
Burgesses, now sitting in an upper chamber of the state house. Bacon
struts impatiently below, muttering threats and "new coyned
oathes".[601] At a window of the Assembly room are a number of faces,
looking out on the exciting scenes below. Bacon calls up to them, "You
Burgesses, I expect your speedy result." His soldiers shout, "We will
have it, we will have it." At a command from Bacon the rebels cock their
fusils, and take aim at the crowded window. "For God's sake hold your
hands," cry the Burgesses, "forbear a little and you shall have what you
please."[602] And now there is wild excitement, confusion and hurrying
to and fro. From all sides the Governor is pressed to grant the
commission in Bacon's own terms. At last he yields, and the paper is

But new humiliation awaited him. The next morning Bacon entered the
House of Burgesses with an armed guard, demanding that certain persons
active in obeying the Governor's orders should be deprived of all
offices, and that recent letters to the King denouncing him as a rebel
should be publicly contradicted. When Berkeley heard of these demands,
he swore he would rather suffer death than submit to them. But the
Burgesses, who thought it not unlikely that they might soon have their
throats cut, advised him to grant whatever was demanded.[603] So a
letter was written to the King, and signed by the Governor, the Council
and the Burgesses, expressing confidence in Bacon's loyalty and
justifying his past actions.[604] Several of Berkeley's friends were
committed to prison. Blank commissions for officers to command under
Bacon in the Indian war were presented for signature. The Governor
granted all, "as long as they concerned not life and limb", being
"willing to be ridd of him". The Assembly finished its session, and
thinking to appease the rebels, sent their laws out to be read before
them. But they rose up like a swarm of bees, and swore they would have
no laws.[605] Yet the legislation of this session was exceedingly
liberal. The elections had been held at a time when the people were
bitterly angry with the Governor and disgusted with the old régime. In
several counties popular candidates, men bent upon reform, had been
elected over Berkeley's friends.[606] These men, aided by the menacing
attitude of the people, had initiated a series of bills designed to
restrict the Governor's power and to restore to the commons their
rightful share in local government. But it was probably the presence of
Bacon with his ragged troops at Jamestown that brought about the final
passage of the bills. The Governor and the Council would hardly have
given their consent, had they not been forced to do so at the sword's

Indeed these laws aimed a telling blow at the aristocratic cliques that
had so long controlled all local government. It was to be illegal in the
future, for any man to serve as sheriff for two consecutive terms.[607]
Surveyors, escheators, clerks of the court and sheriffs should hold only
one office at a time.[608] The self-perpetuating vestries which had long
controlled the parishes and levied church taxes, were to give place to
bodies elected tri-annually by the freemen.[609] An act was passed
restricting the power of the county courts. For the future the people
were to elect representatives, equal in number with the justices, to sit
with them, and have a voice "in laying the countie assessments, and of
making wholesome lawes".[610] Councillors were no longer to be exempt
from taxation. The act of 1670, restricting the right to vote for
Burgesses to freeholders was abolished, and the franchise extended to
all freemen.[611] And since "the frequent false returns" of elections
had "caused great disturbances", it was enacted that any sheriff found
guilty of this crime should be fined twenty thousand pounds of

Hardly had the Assembly closed its session when the news was received
that the Indians were again on the war-path, having killed eight persons
in the upper counties. This caused great alarm in the rebel army, and
Bacon found it necessary the next day to lead them back to the frontier
that they might guard their homes and families.[613]

Here active preparations were made for a new expedition against the
savages. Now that Bacon had a commission signed by the Governor and
confirmed with the public seal, men were quite eager to follow him. On
all sides volunteers flocked in to offer their services against the
brutal enemy. Even Councillors and Burgesses encouraged their neighbors
to enlist, declaring that no exception could be taken to the legality of
the commission.[614] Thus hundreds swallowed "down so fair a Bait, not
seeing Rebellion at the end of it".[615]

In the meanwhile, the Governor, angered at the great indignities put
upon him, was planning to regain his lost authority. A petition was
drawn up in Gloucester county by Sir William's friends, denouncing
Bacon, and asking that forces be raised to suppress him.[616] Although
most of the Gloucestermen, it would seem, had no part in this request,
Berkeley crossed over the York River to their county and began to enlist
volunteers.[617] But he met with little success. Even in this part of
the colony Bacon was the popular hero, and men refused to serve against
him. It seemed outrageous to many that while he was out to fight the
common enemy, the Governor should attack him in the rear. All his
desperate efforts were in vain. Sick at heart and exhausted from
exertions too great for his age, he is said to have fainted away in the

The news that Berkeley was raising forces reached Bacon at the falls of
James River, just as he was going to strike out into the woods.
"Immediately he causes the Drums to Beat and Trumpets to sound for
calling his men to-gether."[619]. "Gentlemen and Fellow Soldiers," he
says, when they are assembled, "the news just now brought me, may not a
little startle you as well as myselfe. But seeing it is not altogether
unexpected, wee may the better beare it and provide our remedies. The
Governour is now in Gloster County endeavouring to raise forces against
us, having declared us Rebells and Traytors.... It is Revenge that
hurries them on without regard to the Peoples safety. (They) had rather
wee should be Murder'd and our Ghosts sent to our slaughter'd Countrymen
by their actings, then wee live to hinder them of their Interest with
the Heathen.... Now then wee must be forced to turne our Swords to our
own Defence, or expose ourselves to their Mercyes.... Let us descend to
know the reasons why such a proceedings are used against us ... (why)
those whome they have raised for their Defence, to preserve them against
the Fury of the Heathen, they should thus seek to Destroy. (Was there)
ever such a Theachery ... heard of, such Wickednesse and inhumanity? But
they are damned Cowards, and you shall see they will not dare to meet us
in the field to try the Justnesse of our Cause."[620]

Whereupon the soldiers all cried, "Amen. Amen." They were ready to
follow him. They would rather die fighting than be hanged like rogues.
It would be better to attack the Governor at once than have him come
upon their rear while they were engaged in the woods with the
savages.[621] And so, with universal acclaim, they gathered up their
arms, and set out to give battle to the Governor.

But Berkeley had fled. Upon finding that the militia of Gloucester and
Middlesex would not support him, he had taken ship for the Eastern
Shore. Here, for the time being, he was safe from the angry rebels. It
would be difficult for Bacon to secure vessels enough to transport his
men over to Accomac; to march them hundreds of miles around the head of
Chesapeake Bay was out of the question.

The flight of the Governor left Bacon undisputed master of all the
mainland of Virginia. Everywhere he was hailed by the people as their
hero and deliverer. Those that still remained loyal to Sir William
either fled with him or rendered their submission to the rebel. For a
while, at least, he could prosecute the Indian war and redress the
public grievances without fear of interruption.[622]

But now Bacon was confronted with the question of what attitude he
should assume to the English government. Berkeley had written home
denouncing him as a rebel and traitor. The King assuredly would not
tolerate his conduct. No doubt preparations were already being made to
send British troops to the colony. Should he defy the King and resist
his soldiers in the field of battle?

Bacon made up his mind to fight. The dense woods, the many swamps and
creeks, the vast distances of the colony would all be favorable to him.
He would resort to the Indian method of fighting. His men were as brave
as the British; were better marksmen. Five hundred Virginians, he was
sure, would be a match for two thousand red coats. If England sought to
bring him to his knees, by blockading the coast and cutting off all
foreign trade, he would appeal to the Dutch or even to the French for
assistance. Assuredly these nations would not neglect so favorable an
opportunity of injuring their old rival and enemy. He even cherished a
wild dream of leading his rebels back into the woods, to establish a
colony upon an island in the Roanoke river.[623]

But Bacon knew that the people would hesitate to follow him into open
resistance to England. Ties of blood, of religion, of interest were too
strong. All the injustice done them by the King, all the oppression of
the Navigation Acts, could not make them forget that they were
Englishmen. So he found it necessary to deceive them with a pretence of
loyalty. He himself took the oath of allegiance and supremacy, and he
imposed it upon all his followers. His commands were issued in the
King's name. He even went to the absurd extremity of declaring it for
the service of the Crown to disobey the King's commands, to arrest the
King's Governor, to fight the King's troops.[624]

Realizing that resistance to his plans would come almost entirely from
the upper classes, Bacon made especial efforts to seduce the wealthy
planters. On August the third, a number of influential gentlemen
assembled upon his summons at Middle Plantation, to discuss the means of
protecting the people from the Indians, and preventing civil war. After
delivering a long harangue, justifying his own actions and denouncing
the Governor, Bacon requested the entire company to take three oaths
which he had prepared. First, they were to promise to assist him in
prosecuting the Indian war. Secondly, they must combat all attempts of
the Governor and his friends to raise troops against him. Thirdly, they
were asked to declare it consistent with their allegiance to the King to
resist the royal troops until his Majesty could be informed by letter
from Bacon of the justice of his cause.[625] This last article caused
prolonged and bitter controversy. But Bacon locked the doors, it is
said, and by persuasion and threats induced them all to sign. The three
oaths were taken by no less than sixty-nine prominent men, among them
Thomas Swann, Thomas Milner, Philip Lightfoot and Thomas Ballard.[626]

Bacon now felt himself strong enough to take active control of the
administration of the government. He did not assume, however, the title
of Governor, but styled himself "General by the consent of the
people".[627] Nor did he venture to proceed in the alteration of laws or
the redress of grievances without the advice and support of the
representatives of the people. In conjunction with four members of the
Council, he issued orders for an immediate election of a new Assembly,
to meet on the fourth of September, at Jamestown.[628]

Having settled these matters, Bacon turned his attention to two military
expeditions--one against the Indians, the other against the Governor.
The continued activity of the savages and the exposed condition of the
frontier demanded his personal attention, but he was resolved not to
leave the lower counties exposed during his absence to attack from the
Eastern Shore. Seizing an English ship, commanded by a Captain
Larrimore, which was lying in James River, he impressed her, with all
her crew, into his service against the Governor. In this vessel, with a
sloop and a bark of four guns, he embarked a force of two hundred or
more men.[629] The expedition was placed under the command of Captain
William Carver, "a valiant, stout Seaman", and Gyles Bland, both devoted
to Bacon's cause and high in his favor. They were ordered to patrol the
coast to prevent raids upon the Western Shore, and, if possible, to
attack and capture the Governor.

Bacon himself hastens to Henrico, "where he bestirs himself lustily in
order to a Speedy March against the Indians". It was his intention to
renew his attack upon the Occaneechees and the Susquehannocks, but for
some reason he gave up this design to turn against the Pamunkeys.
Hastening across from the James to the York, Bacon met Colonel Gyles
Brent, who brought with him reinforcements from the plantations upon the
upper waters of the Rappahannock and Potomac. Their united forces
marched to the extreme frontier and plunged into the wilderness.
Discovering a narrow path running through the forest, the English
followed it to a small Pamunkey village situated upon a neck of land
between two swamps. As Bacon's Indian scouts advanced upon the place
they were fired upon by the enemy. Whereupon the English came running up
to assault the village. But the Pamunkeys deserted their cabins and fled
into the adjacent swamps, where the white men found it impossible to
pursue them. All made good their escape except one woman and one little

Continuing his march, Bacon stumbled upon an old squaw, the nurse of the
Pamunkey queen, whom he ordered to act as his guide. But the woman,
unwilling to betray her people, led him far astray, many miles from the
Indian settlements. The English followed her "the remainder of that day
& almost another day" before they discovered that they were being
deceived. When sure of her treachery, "Bacon gave command to his
soldiers to knock her on the head, which they did, and left her dead on
the way".[631] The army now wandered around at random in the woods,
following first one path and then another, but could not discover the
enemy. The appointed time for the new Assembly was approaching, and it
was imperative for Bacon to be at Jamestown to open the session. He was
resolved, however, not to return to the colony until he had struck a
decisive blow at the Indians. Sending a message to the people "that he
would be with them with all possible speed", he resumed his discouraging

But the Indians still eluded him. It seemed a hopeless task to discover
their villages amid the dense woods and treacherous swamps. His men
became discouraged. "Tyred, murmuring, impatient, hunger-starv'd", many
begged him to lead them back to the plantations. But Bacon would not
abandon the expedition. He would rather die in the woods, he said, than
disappoint the confidence reposed in him by the people. Those that felt
it necessary to return home, he would permit to depart unmolested. But
for himself, he was resolved to continue the march even though it became
necessary to exist upon chincapins and horse flesh.[633] Whereupon the
army was divided, one part setting out for the colony, the other
resuming the search for the savages.

That very day Bacon runs upon the main camp of the Pamunkeys and
immediately attacks them. The savages are encamped upon a "piece of
Champion land", protected on three sides by swamps, and covered with a
dense growth of "small oke, saplings, Chinkapin-Bushes and grape vines".
As the English charge in among them they offer little resistance, but
desert their habitations and flee. Some are shot down, many are
captured. Bacon takes possession of all their goods--"Indian matts,
Basketts, Match cotes, parcells of Wampameag and Roanoke, Baggs, Skins,
ffurs", etc.

The poor queen fled for her life with one little boy, and wandered
fourteen days in the woods, separated from her people. "She was once
coming back with designe to throw herself upon the mercy of the
English", but "happened to meet with a deade Indian woman lying in the
way, ... which struck such terror in the Queen that fearing their
cruelty by that ghastly example, shee went on ... into the wild woodes".
Here she was preserved from starvation by eating part of a terrapin,
found by the little boy.[634] After this victory, Bacon secured his
plunder and his captives, and hastened back to the plantations.

In the meanwhile the expedition against Accomac had ended in disastrous
failure.[635] Carver and Bland had been given instructions to capture
the Governor, and Bacon proposed, if ever he got him in his power, to
send him to England, there to stand trial for his misgovernment and his
betrayal of the people to the barbarous Indians.[636] Even though it was
quite probable that the King would send him back, the colony would for a
time be rid of his troublesome presence.

Upon the arrival of the little fleet off the coast of Accomac, it was
decided to send Carver ashore under a flag of truce, to treat with the
Governor.[637] Leaving Bland to guard the fleet with a force not
superior in number to the English sailors, Carver set out in the sloop
"with the most trusty of his men".[638] In the meanwhile Captain
Larrimore and his sailors, who resented their enforced service with the
rebels, were plotting to betray them to the enemy. In some way Larrimore
contrived to get a message to Berkeley, requesting him to send out a
party of loyal gentlemen in boats, and promising to deliver his ship
into their hands.[639] The Governor at first was loath to venture upon
such a hazardous undertaking.[640] The whole thing might be a snare to
entrap his men. Yet his situation was desperate; he must take desperate

Placing a party of twenty-six men in two small boats, he sent them out
under the command of Colonel Philip Ludwell, to surprise the ship.[641]
Fearing that Carver might return before the capture could be effected,
Berkeley "caressed him with wine", and detained him with prolonged
negotiations. Upon reaching the ship, Ludwell and his men rowed up close
under her side, and clambered in at "the gun room ports". "One
courageous gentleman ran up to the deck, and clapt a pistoll to Bland's
breast, saying you are my prisoner."[642] The rest of the company
followed upon his heels, brandishing their pistols and swords. Captain
Larrimore and his crew caught up spikes, which they had ready at hand,
and rushed to Ludwell's assistance. The rebels, taken utterly by
surprise, many no doubt without arms, "were amazed and yielded".[643]

A short while after, Carver was seen returning in the sloop from his
interview with the Governor. "They permit the boat to come soe neere as
they might ffire directly downe upon her, and soe they alsoe commanded
Carver on Board & secured him. When hee saw this surprize he stormed,
tore his haire off, and curst, and exclaimed at the Cowardize of Bland
that had betrayed and lost all their designe."[644] Not long after he
was tried for treason by court martial, condemned, and hanged.[645]

Elated by this unexpected success, the Governor determined to make one
more effort to regain his lost authority. The rebels were now without a
navy; they could not oppose him upon the water, or prevent his landing
upon the Western Shore. With the gentlemen that had remained loyal to
him, the troops of Accomac, many runaway servants and English sailors he
was able to raise a force of several hundred men.[646] Embarking them in
Captain Larrimore's ship, in the _Adam and Eve_, and sixteen or
seventeen sloops, he set sail for Jamestown.[647]

In the meanwhile the appointed date for the convening of the Assembly
had come. It is probable that the members were arriving to take their
seats when the news of the Governor's approach reached the town.[648]
Bacon was still absent upon the Pamunkey expedition. There seems to have
been no one present capable of inspiring the rebels with confidence, or
of leading them in a vigorous defense. When the sails of the Governor's
fleet were seen, on the seventh of September, wending their way up the
river, the place was thrown into the wildest confusion. Sir William sent
a message ashore, offering a pardon to all, with the exception of
Lawrence and Drummond, that would lay down their arms and return to
their allegiance.[649] But few seem to have trusted him, "feareing to
meet with some afterclaps of revenge".[650] That night, before the place
could be fully invested, the rebels fled, "every one shifting for
himselfe with no ordnary feare".[651] "Collonell Larence ... forsooke
his owne howse with all his wealth and a faire cupbord of plate entire
standing, which fell into the Governour's hands the next morning."[652]

This was the unwelcome news which greeted Bacon upon his return from the
Indian expedition. So many of his soldiers had left for their homes
before the final defeat of the Pamunkeys, that he now had with him less
than one hundred and fifty men.[653] Yet he resolved to march at once
upon Jamestown to attack the Governor. His little band gave him
enthusiastic assurance of loyal support. He knew that he had the well
wishes and prayers of the people, while his opponents were "loaded with
their curses". Berkeley's men, although so much more numerous than his
own, he believed to be cowards that would not dare appear against him in
the field. Victory would be easy and decisive.[654]

So, after delaying a short while to gather reinforcements from New Kent
and Henrico, he marched with extraordinary swiftness down upon the
enemy.[655] Everywhere along the route he was hailed by the people as
their deliverer. The sight of the sullen Indian captives that he led
along with him "as in a Shew of Triumph", caused enthusiastic rejoicing.
Many brought forth fruit and other food to refresh his weary soldiers.
The women swore that if he had not men enough to defeat the Governor,
they themselves would take arms and follow him. All prayed for his
success and happiness, and exclaimed against the injustice of his

Before Berkeley had been in possession of Jamestown one week, Bacon was
upon him. On the evening of September the thirteenth, the little rebel
band arrived at Sandy Bay, driving before them a party of the Governor's
horse.[657] With singular bravado, Bacon himself rode up to the enemy,
fired his carbine at them, and commanded his trumpets to sound their
defiance.[658] Few thought, however, he would attempt to capture the
town, for the Governor's position was very strong. The narrow isthmus,
by which alone the place could be approached, was defended by three
heavy guns planted behind strong palisades.[659] Upon the left, "almost
close aborde the shore, lay the ships, with their broadesides to
thunder" upon any that dared to assault the works. The loyal forces had
recently been augmented to a thousand men, and now outnumbered the
rebels three to one. Yet Bacon seems to have meditated from the first an
attack upon the place, and was confident of success.[660]

Although his men had marched many miles that day he set them immediately
to work within gun-shot of the enemy, building an entrenched camp.[661]
All night long, by the light of the moon, the soldiers toiled, cutting
bushes, felling trees and throwing up earthworks. But it soon became
apparent that their utmost efforts would not suffice to complete the
trenches before dawn, when the enemy's guns would be sure to open upon
them. In this dilemma, Bacon hit upon a most unmanly expedient to
protect his men at their work. Sending out several small parties of
horse, he captured a number of ladies, the wives of some of Berkeley's
most prominent supporters. "Which the next morning he presents to the
view of there husbands and ffriends in towne, upon the top of the smalle
worke hee had cast up in the night, where he caused them to tarey till
hee had finished his defence."[662] The husbands were enraged that the
rebels should thus hide behind the "white aprons" of their innocent
wives, but they dared not make an assault.

When, however, the ladies were removed, "upon a Signall given from ye
Towne the Shipps fire their Great Guns and at the same tyme they let fly
their small-Shott from the Palaisadoes. But that small Sconse that Bacon
had caused to be made in the night, of Trees, Bruch, and Earth soe
defended them that the Shott did them noe damage at all, and was
returned back as fast from the little Fortresse."[663]

Fearing that this cannonade will be followed by an assault upon his
works, Bacon places a lookout on the top of a near-by brick chimney,
which commands a view of the peninsula. On the sixteenth, the watchman
announces that the enemy are preparing for an assault, and the rebels
make ready to give them a warm reception. The Governor's forces, six or
seven hundred strong, dash across the Sandy Bay, in an attempt to storm
Bacon's redoubts.[664] Horse and foot "come up with a narrow front,
pressing very close upon one another's shoulders". But many of them
fight only from compulsion, and have no heart for their task. At the
first volleys of shot that pour in upon them from the rebel army, they
throw down their arms and flee. They marched out, as one chronicler
says, "like scholars going to school ... with heavy hearts, but returned
hom with light heels".[665] Their officers were powerless to stem the
rout, until they were safe under the protection of the palisades.[666]

The Governor's losses in dead and wounded were very small, but the moral
effect of his defeat was great. The rebels were so elated at their easy
victory, and so scornful of their cowardly opponents, "that Bacon could
scarce keep them from immediately falling to storm and enter the
Towne".[667] On the other hand, the loyal troops were utterly
discouraged. Many of them, that had been "compelled or hired into the
Service", and "were intent only on plunder", clamored for the desertion
of the place, fearing that the victorious rebels would soon burst in
upon them.[668]

"The next day Bacon orders 3 grate guns to be brought into the camp, two
whereof he plants upon his trench. The one he sets to worke against the
Ships, the other against the entrance into the towne, for to open a
pasage to his intended storm."[669] Had the rebels delayed no longer to
make an assault it seems certain they could have carried the palisades
with ease, taken many of the enemy, and perhaps captured the Governor
himself. The loyal soldiers were thinking only of flight. "Soe great was
the Cowardize and Basenesse of the generality of Sir William Berkeley's
party that of all at last there were only some 20 Gentlemen willing to
stand by him." So that the Governor, "who undoubtedly would rather have
dyed on the Place than thus deserted it, what with (the) importunate and
resistless solicitations of all was at last over persuaded, nay hurried
away against his will".[670] "Takeing along with him all the towne
people, and their goods, leaveing all the grate guns naled up, and the
howses emty", he left the place a prey to the rebels.[671] "So fearful
of discovery they are, that for Secrecy they imbarque and weigh anchor
in the Night and silently fall down the river."[672]

Early the next morning Bacon marched across the Sandy Bay and took
possession of the deserted town.[673] Here he learned that the Governor
had not continued his flight, but had cast anchor twenty miles below,
where he was awaiting a favorable opportunity to recapture the
place.[674] At the same time, news came from the north that Colonel
Brent, Bacon's former ally, was collecting troops in the counties
bordering upon the Potomac River, and would soon be on the march to the
Governor's assistance, with no less than a thousand men.[675] Should
this new army, by acting in concert with the fleet, succeed in blocking
Bacon up at Jamestown, the rebels would be caught in a fatal trap. The
peninsula could hardly be defended successfully against superior forces
by land and water, and they would be crushed between the upper and
nether millstones. On the other hand, should they desert the town, in
order to go out against Brent, Berkeley would undoubtedly return to take
possession of it, and all the fruits of their victory would be lost.

After long consultation with his chief advisors, Bacon decided to
destroy the town.[676] That very night he set fire to the place, which
in a few hours was reduced to ashes. Not even the state-house, or the
old church were spared. Drummond and Lawrence, it is said, showed their
unselfish zeal for the cause by applying the torch to their homes with
their own hands.[677] As the Governor, from his ships, saw in the
distance the glare of the burning buildings, he cursed the cowardice of
his soldiers that had forced him to yield the place to the rebels. But
as it could now serve him no longer as a base, he weighed anchor, and
set sail for Accomac.[678]

Deserting the ruined town, Bacon led his men north to Green Spring, and
thence across York River into Gloucester county. Here there came to him
a messenger riding "post haste from Rapahanock, with news that Coll:
Brent was advancing fast upon him".[679] At once he summons his soldiers
around him, tells them the alarming news, and asks if they are ready to
fight. The soldiers answer "with showtes and acclamations while the
drums thunder a march to meet the promised conflict".[680]

Bacon had advanced not "above 2 or 3 days jurney, but he meets newes ...
that Brents men were all run away, and left him to shift for
himselfe".[681] Like the troops that had so signally failed of their
duty in the battle of Sandy Bay, these northern forces had no desire to
meet Bacon. Many of them were undoubtedly pressed into service; many
were in sympathy with the rebellion. At all events they deserted their
leaders before the hostile army came in sight, and fled back to their

Thus Bacon once more found himself master of all the mainland of
Virginia. But his situation was more critical than it had been in July
and August. Many of the prominent gentlemen that had then given him
their support, and had taken his three oaths, were now fighting on the
side of the Governor. It was quite certain that royal forces were being
equipped for an expedition to Virginia, and might make their appearance
within the capes before many more weeks. Moreover, the disastrous
failure of Carver and Bland had left him without a navy and exposed all
the Western Shore to attack from the loyal forces in Accomac.

Realizing his danger, Bacon felt it necessary to bind the people to him
more closely. Summoning the militia of Gloucester to meet him at their
county court-house, he delivered a long harangue before them and
tendered them an oath of fidelity. They were asked to swear that if the
King's troops attempted to land by force, they would "fly to-gether as
in a common calamity, and jointly with the present Army ... stand or
fall in the defense of ... the Country". And "in Case of utmost
Extremity rather then submitt to so miserable a Slavery (when none can
longer defend ourselves, our Lives and Liberty's) to acquit the

The Gloucestermen were most reluctant to take this oath. A Mr. Cole,
speaking for them all, told Bacon that it was their desire to remain
neutral in this unhappy civil war. But the rebel replied that if they
would not be his friends, they must be his enemies. They should not be
idle and reap the benefit of liberty earned by the blood of others. A
minister, named Wading, who was active in persuading the men to refuse
the oath, was committed to prison by Bacon, with the warning that the
church was the proper place for him to preach, not the camp. Later, it
seems, fearing the consequences of further refusal, the Gloucester
troops yielded and took the binding engagement.[683]

Bacon now turned his thoughts, it is said, to an expedition against
Accomac. But his preparations were never completed. For some time he had
been ill of dysentery and now was "not able to hould out any
longer".[684] He was cared for at the house of a Mr. Pate, in Gloucester
county, but his condition soon became worse.[685] His mind, probably
wandering in delirium, dwelt upon the perils of his situation. Often he
would enquire if the guard around the house was strong, or whether the
King's troops had arrived. Death came before the end of October.[686]
Bacon's place of burial has never been discovered. It is supposed that
Lawrence, to save the body of his friend from mutilation by the
vindictive old Governor, weighted the coffin with stones and sunk it in
the deep waters of the York.[687]

The death of Bacon proved an irreparable loss to the rebels. It was
impossible for them to find another leader of his undaunted resolution,
his executive ability, his power of command. No one could replace him in
the affections of the common people. It would not be correct to
attribute the failure of the rebellion entirely to the death of this one
man, yet it undoubtedly hastened the end. Had he continued at the head
of his faithful army, he might have kept the Governor indefinitely in
exile upon the Eastern Shore, or even have driven him to take refuge
upon the water. In the end Bacon would have been conquered, for he could
not have held out against the English fleet and the English troops. But
he would have made a desperate and heroic resistance.

The chief command fell to Lieutenant-General Ingram. The selection
seems to have been popular with the soldiers, for when it was announced,
they "threw up their caps, crying out as loud as they could bellow, God
save our new Generall".[688] Ingram is depicted by some of the
chroniclers as a man of low birth, a dandy and a fool, but there is
reason to believe their impeachment too harsh. Although he lacked
Bacon's force of character and had no executive ability, as a general he
showed considerable talent, and more than held his own against the

The mastery of the water was an advantage to Berkeley of the very
greatest importance. The numerous deep rivers running far up into the
country made it easy for him to deliver swift, telling blows at any
point in the enemy's position. In order to guard the James, the York and
the Rappahannock it became necessary for the rebels to divide their
forces into several small bands. On the other hand, the entire strength
of the loyalists could be concentrated at any time for an unexpected

Ingram made his chief base at West Point, where the Mattapony and the
Pamunkey unite to form the broad and stately York.[689] Here he could
watch both banks of the river, and could concentrate his men quickly
either upon the Peninsula, or in Gloucester or Middlesex. At this place
were gathered several hundred rebels under Ingram himself. But it was
deemed wise to leave other detachments at various places lower down in
the country, to prevent the enemy from landing, and to suppress any
rising of the people in favor of the Governor. At the house of Colonel
Bacon, in York county, a force of thirty or forty men were posted under
the command of Major Whaly.[690] "The next Parcell, considerable, was at
Green Spring, the Governours howse, into which was put about 100 men and
boys." Their leader, a Colonel Drew, fortified the place strongly,
barricading all approaches, and planting three large guns "to beate of
the Assailants". Another small detachment, under Colonel Hansford, was
posted "at the Howse where Coll: Reade did once live", the site of
famous old Yorktown.[691]

This last post, situated near the mouth of the river, was especially
exposed to attack from the Eastern Shore. A few days after the death of
Bacon, Major Robert Beverley, with a small force, sailed across the bay
to effect its capture.[692] The rebels "kep a negligent Gard", and were
caught completely by surprise. Hansford was taken prisoner, with twenty
of his men, and brought in triumph to Accomac.

Here he was at once charged with treason, tried by court martial, and
condemned to die. He pleaded passionately to "be shot like a soldier and
not to be hanged like a Dog. But it was tould him ... that he was not
condemned as he was merely a soldier, but as a Rebell, taken in
Arms."[693] To the last he refused to admit that he was guilty of
treason. To the crowd that gathered around the scaffold to witness his
execution he protested "that he dyed a loyal subject and a lover of his

"This business being so well accomplish'd by those who had taken
Hansford, ... they had no sooner deliver'd there Fraight at Accomack,
but they hoyse up there sayles, and back againe to Yorke River, where
with a Marvellous celerity they surprise one Major Cheise-Man, and som
others, amongst whom one Capt. Wilford, who (it is saide) in the
bickering lost one of his eyes, which he seemed little concern'd at, as
knowing that when he came to Accomack, that though he had bin starke
blinde, yet the Governour would take care for to afford him a guide,
that should show him the way to the Gallows."[694]

The Governor was resolved to make the rebel leaders pay dearly for the
indignities they had put upon him. Those that were so luckless as to
fall into his hands, were hastened away to their execution with but the
mockery of a trial. Doubtless Berkeley felt himself justified in this
severity. To him rebellion against the King was not merely a crime, it
was a hideous sacrilege. Those guilty of such an enormity should receive
no mercy. But this cannot explain or excuse the coarse brutality and
savage joy with which he sent his victims to the scaffold. It is
impossible not to feel that many of these executions were dictated, not
by motives of policy or loyalty, but by vindictiveness.

Nothing can make this more evident that the pathetic story of Madam
Cheesman. "When ... the Major was brought in to the Governor's presence,
and by him demanded, what made him to ingage in Bacon's designes? Before
that the Major could frame an Answer ... his Wife steps in and tould his
honr: that it was her provocations that made her Husband joyne in the
Cause that Bacon contended for; ading, that if he had not bin influenced
by her instigations, he had never don that which he had don. Therefore
(upon her bended knees) she desires of his hour ... that shee might be
hang'd, and he pardon'd. Though the Governour did know, that that what
she had saide, was neare to the truth," he refused her request and
spurned her with a vile insult. It is with a sense of relief that we
learn that her husband died in prison and was thus saved the ignominy of
the gallows.[695]

Encouraged by his successes, Berkeley now planned a more formidable
invasion of the Western Shore. Public sentiment, he hoped, was beginning
to turn in his favor. The death of Bacon had deprived the rebellion of
all coherency and definiteness of purpose. The country was getting weary
of the struggle, and was anxious for the reëstablishment of law and
order. In Gloucester and Middlesex especially there were many prominent
planters that awaited an opportunity to take up arms against the rebels.
And although the common people were indifferent to the Governor's cause,
they would be forced to enlist under him could he but get a firm
foothold in those counties.[696]

So he sailed into York River with a fleet of four ships and several
sloops, and a force of one hundred soldiers.[697] Landing a party, under
command of Major Robert Beverley, upon the north bank, he surprised and
captured a number of the enemy at the residence of a Mr. Howard.[698] He
then set up his standard at the very house in which Bacon had died, and
sent out summons to all loyal citizens to come to his support. Here
there soon "appeared men enough to have beaten all the Rebells in the
countrey, onely with their Axes and Hoes".[699] They were quickly
organized into an army and placed under the command of Major Lawrence
Smith.[700] Almost simultaneously the people of Middlesex began to take
up arms in support of the Governor, and for a while it seemed that the
rebels would be overwhelmed and driven back upon the frontiers.

But Ingram acted with vigor and promptness. He dispatched a body of
horse, under Lientenant-General Walkelett, to attack and disperse the
Middlesex troops before their numbers become formidable. With the main
body of the rebels he himself remained at West Point, to watch the
movements of the enemy in Gloucester. When Major Smith heard of
Walkelett's advance, he at once hastened north to intercept him, leaving
a garrison at Mr. Pate's house, to guard that post and maintain intact
his communication with the fleet in York River. But he was not quick
enough. Before he could complete his march, news came to him that
Walkelett had dispersed the Middlesex troops and was preparing to give
battle to him.[701]

In the meanwhile, Ingram, hearing that Smith had marched north, "by the
advice of his officers strikes in betweene him and his new made
Garrisson at M. Pates. He very nimbly invests the Howse", and forces its
defenders to surrender. Hardly had he accomplished this task, "but M. L.
Smith, having retracted his march out of Middlesex ... was upon the back
of Ingram before he was aware". This new move placed the rebels in no
little peril, for the Gloucester forces were between them and their base
at West Point. Defeat at this juncture would have meant utter
destruction for Ingram's army.

As the two bands faced each other, "one Major Bristow (on Smith's side)
made a Motion to try the equity, and justness of the quarrill, by single
combett ... proffering himselfe against any one (being a Gent.) on the
other side.... This motion was as redely accepted by Ingram, as
proffered by Bristow; Ingram swaring, the newest oath in fashion, that
he would be the Man; and so advanceth on foot, with sword and Pistell,
against Bristow; but was fetched back by his owne men", who had no
desire to risk their leader in this duel.[702]

But the Gloucester troops were not inspired to deeds of courage by the
intrepidity of their champion. They had no desire to encounter the
veterans that had defeated the Governor before Jamestown and twice
hunted the savages out of their hidden lairs. Despite all the efforts of
their officers they opened negotiations with Ingram and agreed to lay
down their arms. No less than six hundred men, it is said, thus tamely
surrendered to the rebels. Major Smith and some of his officers, when
they found themselves betrayed by their men, fled and made good their
escape. Other "chiefe men" fell into the enemy's hands and were held as
prisoners of war. Ingram "dismist the rest to their own abodes".[703]

It was a part of the Governor's plan to secure a foothold also upon the
right bank of the river and to drive the rebels out of York county. With
this in view, he sent out one hundred and twenty men, under Captain
Hubert Farrill, to surprise and capture the rebels commanded by Major
Whaly, at Colonel Bacon's house. To advise and assist Farrill, Colonel
Ludwell and Colonel Bacon himself accompanied the expedition. They
decided to steal silently up to the place in the early hours of the
morning before dawn, drive in the sentries and "enter pell mell with
them into the howse". But their plans miscarried woefully. "The Centrey
had no sooner made the challenge ... who comes there? ... but the other
answer with their Musquits (which seldom speakes the language of
friends) and that in so loud a maner, that it alarmed those in the howse
to a defence, and then to a posture to salley out." The attacking party
took refuge "behinde som out buildings, ... giving the Bullits leave to
grope their owne way in the dark". Here they stood their ground for a
short while and then fled back to their boats. Several were taken
prisoners, but none were killed save Farrill himself, "whose commission
was found droping-wett with blood, in his pockett".[704]

The failure of these operations in the York were partly offset by
successes in the southern counties. Late in December a loyal force,
consisting in part of English sailors, landed on the right bank of the
James and defeated a party of the rebels, killing their leader and
taking thirteen prisoners. Four days later, they captured one of the
enemy's forts. Soon large parts of Isle of Wight and Surry had been
overrun and the people reduced to their allegiance. During the first
week of January several hundred rebels gathered upon the upper James to
retrieve their waning cause, but they seem to have melted away without
accomplishing anything, and at once all the south bank of the river

Almost simultaneously in all other parts of the colony the rebellion
collapsed. The defeats of the Governor in Gloucester, Middlesex and York
had not long postponed the end. The failure of the movement was due, not
to military successes by Berkeley, but to hopeless internal weakness.
Since the death of Bacon the insurgent leaders had been unable to
maintain law and order in the colony. Ingram, although he showed some
ability as a general, proved utterly unfitted to assume control of civil
affairs. Bacon, when Sir William fled to Accomac, had grasped firmly the
reins of government, calling a part of the Council to his assistance,
summoning a new Assembly, and retaining sheriffs and justices in their
offices. Like Cromwell, he had shown himself not only a soldier, but a
civil ruler of force and ability. But Ingram could not command the
respect and obedience of the people. Under him the machinery of
government seems to have broken down. The unhappy colony was given over
to disorder and anarchy. We are inclined to wonder why Drummond or
Lawrence did not assume the chief command in the government after
Bacon's death. Both were men of intelligence and ability, both esteemed
by the people, and both devoted heart and soul to the rebellion. For
some reason, neither could take the leadership, and affairs fell into
hopeless confusion.

Without a government to supply their needs, or to direct their
movements, the rebel bands found it necessary to maintain themselves by
plundering the estates of the Governor's friends. Many wealthy planters
paid for their loyalty with the loss of their cattle, their sheep, their
corn and wheat, and often the very furniture of their houses. At times
the rebel officers could not restrain their rough soldiers from wanton
waste and destruction. Crops were ruined, fences thrown down, houses
burned.[706] Disgusted with this anarchy, and seeing that Ingram could
not preserve order, many of the people began to long for the end of the
rebellion. Even the misgoverment of Berkeley was better than lawlessness
and confusion.

Ingram himself seems to have perceived that the end was at hand.
Intelligence came to him that some of his own party, dissatisfied with
his conduct, were awaiting an opportunity to deprive him of the chief
command. The long expected arrival of the English troops would bring
swift and complete ruin, for under the present conditions, he could not
hope for success against them. So he soon became quite willing "to
dismount from the back of that horse which he wanted skill, and strength
to Manidge". Could he but secure a pardon from the Governor, he would
gladly desert the failing cause of the people, and return to his

Nor was Sir William less anxious to come to terms with Ingram. It had
been a bitter humiliation to him to be thrust headlong out of his
government by the rebellious people. It would add to his shame to be
restored by English troops. Could he but reduce the colony before the
arrival of the red coats, his position would appear in a much better
light, both in Virginia and in England. So he sent a Captain Grantham to
negotiate with Ingram and to offer him immunity and pardon in return for
prompt submission. The rebel leader willingly accepted these terms and
returned to his allegiance.[708]

More delicate was the task of inducing the troops at West Point to
follow the example of their general. It was a question whether Ingram,
"or any in the countrye could command them to lay down their arms". An
attempt to betray them, or to wring the sword out their hands by
violence would probably end in failure. It was thought more prudent to
subdue "these mad fellows" with "smoothe words", rather than by "rough
deeds". So Grantham presented himself to them, told of Ingram's
submission and offered them very liberal terms of surrender. They were
to be paid for the full time of their service since the granting of
Bacon's commission; those that so desired were to be retained in arms to
fight the Indians; all servants among them were to secure immediate
release from their indentures. Deserted by their leader and tempted by
these fair promises, the men were at last persuaded to yield. Grantham
embarked them on the fleet and took them down to Tindall's Point, there
to make their submission and "kiss the Governour's hand".[709]

Almost at the same time overtures were made by the Governor to General
Walkelett. Could this man be induced to surrender himself and his
troops, the last great obstacle to peace would be removed. So anxious
was Sir William to seduce him from the cause of the rebels, that he
offered him not only his pardon, but part of the plunder taken by Bacon
from the Indians.[710] Walkelett assented, and agreed to lead his troops
to Tindall's Point, and "declare for ye King's Majesty, the Governour &
Country". He was to find there "a considerable Company of resolved men",
to assist him in case his own party offered resistance.[711] This
arrangement seems to have been carried out successfully and Walkelett's
entire command was taken.[712]

The collapse of the rebellion sounded the death knell of those "chiefe
Incendiaries" Drummond and Lawrence. These men had long protested
against Berkeley's arbitrary government, and had been largely
instrumental in bringing on the insurrection. Bacon had considered them
his chief advisors and friends. So deep was the Governor's hatred of
them that in his recent proclamations he had excepted them from the
general pardon.[713]

When Ingram and Walkelett surrendered, these "arch rebels" were
stationed on the south side of the York River, at a place called Brick
House. When they heard of Ingram's intended desertion, they made
desperate but futile efforts to prevent his designs. Failing in this,
they determined to gather around them the remnants of the rebel forces
and march towards the frontier, in hopes of kindling anew the waning
spirit of resistance. "They sent downe to Coll: Bacons to fetch of the
Gard there, under ... Whaly, to reinforce their own strength." Whaly,
whose position was more exposed than their own, promptly obeyed, and
succeeded in bringing off his force with "the last remains of Coll:
Bacon's Estate". The rebel leaders now mustered about three hundred men,
and with these they retreated through New Kent, "thinking (like the snow
ball) to increase by their rouleing". "But finding that in stead of
increasing there number decreast; and that the Moone of there fortune
was now past the full, they broke up howse-keeping, every one shifting
for him selfe."[714]

And now the chief rebels were hunted down like wild beasts by the
Governor's troops. Thomas Hall, formerly clerk of the New Kent county
court, Thomas Young, Major Henry Page, and a man named Harris were
captured and led before Sir William. They were all tried by court
martial, on shipboard off Tindall's Point, convicted of treason, and at
once sent to their execution.[715]

A few days later Drummond was found, exhausted and half starved, hiding
in Chickahominy swamp.[716] When he was brought before the Governor,
that resentful old man could not restrain his joy. He is said to have
"complimented him with the ironicall sarcasm of a low bend", declaring
that he was more welcome than any other man in Virginia, or even his own
brother.[717] The next day Berkeley went to Colonel Bray's house and
here Drummond was conducted on foot to stand his trial. "In his way
thither he complained very much that his Irons hurt him, and ...
expressed abundance of thankes for being permitted to rest himselfe upon
the Roade, while he tooke a pipe of Tobacco."[718] But he refused the
offer of a horse, saying he would come soon enough to his death on foot.

At his trial he was treated with brutal harshness, his clothes stripped
from his back and his ring torn from his finger. Although the rebellion
was now over, he was denied jury trial, and was condemned by court
martial after a hearing of but half an hour. Some months later, when
this matter came to the attention of the English Privy Council, the Lord
Chancellor exclaimed that "he knew not whether it were lawful to wish a
person alive, otherwise he could wish Sir William Berkeley so, to see
what could be answered to such barbarity".[719]

Thus ended the rebellion. Apparently it had accomplished nothing for the
cause of liberty or the relief of the oppressed commons. Few of the
abuses that had caused the people to take arms had been rectified. The
taxes were heavier than ever, the Governor was more severe and
arbitrary. English troops were on their way to the colony to enforce
submission and obedience. Charles II, irritated at the independent
spirit of the Virginians, was meditating the curtailment of their
privileges and the suppression of their representative institutions. Yet
this attack of an outraged people upon an arbitrary and corrupt
government, was not without its benefits. It gave to future Governors a
wholesome dread of the commons, and made them careful not to drive the
people again into the fury of rebellion. It created a feeling of
fellowship among the poor planters, a consciousness of like interests
that tended to mould them into a compact class, ready for concerted
action in defense of their rights. It gave birth in the breasts of many
brave men to the desire to resist by all means possible the oppression
of the Stuart kings. It stirred the people to win, in their legislative
halls, victories for the cause of liberty, as real as those which Bacon
and his followers had failed to secure on the field of battle.


[472] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 165; P. R. O., CO1-30-71.

[473] Hen., Vol. I, pp. 323, 380.

[474] Hen., Vol. II, p. 141.

[475] T. M., p. 9; Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, pp. 165, 167.

[476] T. M., p. 9; P. R. O., CO5-1371-370; CO1-36-36; CO1-36-37.

[477] T. M., p. 8; Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 165.

[478] T. M., pp. 8-9; P. R. O., CO5-1371-370; Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p.

[479] P. R. O., CO1-39-10; CO1-36-78; W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 10.

[480] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 6; T. M., p. 11.

[481] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 6.

[482] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 165; P. R. O., CO1-36-78.

[483] P. R. O., CO5-1371-369; T. M., p. 9.

[484] T. M., p. 10.

[485] T. M., p. 9; P. R. O., CO392.1-173, 178; Cotton, p. 3; Inds'
Pros., p. 5; P. R. O., CO5-1371-370.

[486] P. R. O., CO1-36-78; CO5-1371-369; T. M., pp. 9-10; Inds' Pros.,
pp. 7-8; Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 165.

[487] P. R. O., CO5-1371-370.

[488] Inds' Pros., p. 7; P. R. O., CO-1371-370; CO1-36-66; Mass. S. IV,
Vol. IX, p. 176.

[489] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 7.

[490] P. R. O., CO5-1371-372; Va. Mag., Vol. III, p. 35.

[491] T. M., p. 10.

[492] P. R. O., CO5-1371-373, 411.

[493] P. R. O., CO1-30-51; CO1-36-37.

[494] T. M., p. 11; W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 7; P. R. O., CO5-1371-375.

[495] P. R. O., CO1-36-36.

[496] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p 165; Hen., Vol. II, p. 326.

[497] P. R. O., CO5-1371-373; Hen., Vol. II, pp. 327-329.

[498] Inds' Pros., pp. 8, 9.

[499] P. R. O., CO5-1371-378.

[500] P. R. O., CO5-1371-374.

[501] P. R. O., CO5-1371-378; Inds' Pros., p. 8.

[502] P. R. O., CO5-1371-379; CO1-37-17.

[503] P. R. O., CO5-1371-375.

[504] P. R. O., CO1-40-106.

[505] P. R. O., CO5-1371-375.

[506] Ibid.

[507] Ibid.

[508] Bac's Pros., p. 9.

[509] P. R. O., CO5-1371-376.

[510] Cotton, p. 4; Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p, 180; P. R. O., CO1-37-1.

[511] Va. Mag., Vol. II, pp. 125-129.

[512] P. R. O., CO5-1371-375.

[513] Va. Mag., Vol. III, pp. 134-135.

[514] P. R. O., CO5-1371-376; W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, pp. 4, 7.

[515] P. R. O., CO5-1371-376.

[516] P. R. O., CO1-36-54; CO1-36-37; CO1-37-1.

[517] P. R. O., CO5-1371-376, 7; CO1-36-54: CO1-37-1; Mass. S. IV, Vol.
IX, p. 166.

[518] P. R. O., CO5-1371-376, 7.

[519] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 7; Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 166.

[520] P. R. O., CO5-1371-377; W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 4.

[521] Hen., Vol. I, p 422; Burk, Vol. II, pp. 104-106; Force, Vol. I,
Tract VIII, p. 14.

[522] Hen., Vol. I, p. 380.

[523] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, pp. 166, 180.

[524] Mass. S. IV, p. 166.

[525] P. R. O., CO5-1371-377; CO1-36-55; CO1-37-1.

[526] P. R. O., CO5-1371-377; CO1-36-66; CO1-37-14.

[527] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 167.

[528] P. R. O., CO5-1371-377.

[529] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 168.

[530] Ibid.

[531] P. R. O., CO1-37-1.

[532] P. R. O., CO1-36-64. Berkeley's proclamation, addressed to the
sheriff of Rappahannock county, dissolving the Assembly, and the
proclamation denouncing Bacon as a traitor were both issued in Henrico,
on May 10, 1676.

[533] P. R. O, CO5-1371-379.

[534] P. R. O., CO5-1371-379, 411.

[535] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 1; Va. Mag., Vol. I, p. 180; P. R. O.,
CO1-36-77; CO1-37-16.

[536] Va. Mag., Vol. I, p. 180.

[537] W. & M. Q., Vol. XI, p. 121.

[538] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 167.

[539] Ibid.

[540] P. R. O., CO1-37-16; Va. Mag., Vol. I, p. 182.

[541] P. R. O., CO1-36-77.

[542] Va. Mag., Vol. I, p. 181.

[543] Mass. S. IV, Vol. I, p. 167.

[544] Ibid.

[545] Va. Mag., Vol. I, p. 181; P. R. O., CO1-37-16; W. & M. Q., Vol.
IX, p. 2.

[546] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[547] P. R. O., CO1-36-77.

[548] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 167; P. R. O., CO1-37-16; CO1-36-77.

[549] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 167.

[550] P. R. O., CO1-36-77.

[551] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 168.

[552] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[553] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 7.

[554] P. R. O., CO1-36-77.

[555] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 7.

[556] P. R. O., CO1-36-77; CO1-36-16; T. M., p. 11.

[557] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 5.

[558] P. R. O., CO5-1371-379.

[559] Bac's Pros., p. 11; T. M., p. 12.

[560] P. R. O., CO5-1371-369; CO1-37-16, 17; Bac's Pros., p. 11; Mass.
S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 170.

[561] P. R. O., CO5-1371-379.

[562] Ibid.

[563] Ibid.

[564] Ibid.

[565] P. R. O., CO5-1371-380; CO1-37-16; Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 170.

[566] Ibid.

[567] Ibid.

[568] CO5-1371-380.

[569] Ibid.

[570] Va. Mag., Vol. I, p. 171; Hen., Vol. II, p. 543.

[571] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 5.

[572] T. M., p. 15.

[573] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 8.

[574] T. M., pp. 12-13.

[575] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[576] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 170; P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[577] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 8.

[578] Ibid.

[579] Ibid.

[580] W. & M. Q., Vol. IX, p. 9.

[581] Va. Mag., Vol. I, p. 171.

[582] P. R. O., CO5-1371-381.

[583] P. R. O., CO5-1371-382.

[584] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 171.

[585] P. R. O., CO1-37-17.

[586] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[587] P. R. O., CO1-37-17.

[588] Ibid.

[589] Ibid.

[590] Ibid.

[591] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[592] P. R. O., CO1-37-17.

[593] P. R. O., CO1-37-16, 17; T. M., p. 16.

[594] P. R. O., CO1-37-17.

[595] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[596] Ibid.

[597] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[598] P. R. O., CO5-1371-382.

[599] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[600] P. R. O., CO5-1371-382.

[601] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[602] P. R. O., CO5-1371-382. In the various accounts left us of these
scenes there is usually agreement upon the essential points. But in
details and the sequence of events there is much discrepancy. The author
has endeavored to present the facts in accordance with the greatest
weight of evidence.

[603] P. R. O., CO1-37-16, 17.

[604] P. R. O., CO5-1371-383; CO1-37-15.1.

[605] P. R. O., CO1-37-16.

[606] P. R. O., CO5-1371-379.

[607] Hen., Vol. II, p. 353.

[608] Hen., Vol. II, p. 354.

[609] Hen., Vol. II, p. 359.

[610] Hen., Vol. II, p. 357.

[611] Hen., Vol. II, p. 356.

[612] Ibid.

[613] P. R. O, CO1-37-16.

[614] CO5-1371-384, 385.

[615] P. R. O., CO5-1371-383.

[616] Mass. S. IV, Vol. IX, p. 181.

[617] P. R. O., CO5-1371-385.

[618] P. R. O., CO5-1371-387; T. M., p. 20.

[619] P. R. O., CO5-1371-385.

[620] P. R. O., CO5-1371-385.

[621] P. R. O., CO5-1371-386.

[622] P. R. O., CO5-1371-387.

[623] P. R. O., CO5-1371-232-240; CO1-39-38.

[624] P. R. O., CO1-37-41.

[625] P. R. O., CO1-37-42.

[626] Ibid.

[627] P. R. O., CO1-37-41.

[628] P. R. O., CO1-37-43.

[629] P. R. O., CO5-1371-388; Burk, Vol. II, p. 271.

[630] P. R. O., CO5-1371-390.

[631] P. R. O., CO5-1371-391.

[632] P. R. O., CO5-1371-392.

[633] P. R. O., CO5-1371-392.

[634] P. R. O., CO5-1371-393.

[635] P. R. O., CO5-1371-393.

[636] P. R. O., CO5-1371-394.

[637] Ibid.

[638] T. M., p. 22.

[639] P. R. O., CO5-1371-394; Burk, Vol. II, p. 271.

[640] Burk, Vol. II, p. 271.

[641] Ibid.

[642] T. M., p. 22.

[643] T. M., p. 22.

[644] P. R. O., CO5-1371-394.

[645] T. M., p. 23; P. R. O., CO5-1371-52, 54.

[646] The account of the King's commissioners places the number at six
hundred; in Bacon's Proceedings it is given as one thousand.

[647] P. R. O., CO5-1371-394; Bac's Pros., p. 21.

[648] Bac's Pros., p. 22.

[649] Bac's Pros., p. 22.

[650] Bac's Pros., p. 22.

[651] Bac's Pros., p. 22.

[652] Bac's Pros., p. 22.

[653] P. R. O., CO5-1371-394.

[654] P. R. O., CO5-1371-395.

[655] P. R. O., CO5-1371-395.

[656] P. R. O., CO5-1371-395.

[657] P. R. O., CO5-1371-396.

[658] P. R. O., CO5-1371-397, 400.

[659] Bac's Pros., p. 24.

[660] Bac's Pros., p. 24.

[661] P. R. O., CO5-1371-396.

[662] Cotton, p. 8; Bac's Pros., p. 24. The report of the commissioners
places this incident some days later, after the assault of the 15th. The
author has followed the account given in Bacon's Proceedings, which
seems to him probably more correct. Bacon could have no object in
exposing the ladies after his trenches were completed, his heavy guns
mounted and the enemy defeated.

[663] P. R. O., CO5-1371-397.

[664] Bac's Pros., p. 25.

[665] Bac's Pros., p. 25.

[666] P. R. O., CO5-1371-398, 400.

[667] P. R. O., CO5-1371-400.

[668] Ibid.

[669] Bac's Pros., p. 25.

[670] P. R. O., CO5-1371-400.

[671] Bac's Pros., p. 26.

[672] P. R. O., CO5-1371-400.

[673] P. R. O., CO5-1371-401; Bac's Pros., p. 26.

[674] Bac's Pros., p. 26.

[675] Bac's Pros., p. 26.

[676] P. R. O., CO5-1371-401.

[677] P. R. O., CO5-1371-405.

[678] P. R. O., CO5-1371-401; CO1-39-22; Bac's Pros., p. 26.

[679] Bac's Pros., p. 26.

[680] Bac's Pros., p. 26.

[681] Bac's Pros., p. 26.

[682] P. R. O., CO5-1371-402.

[683] P. R. O., CO5-1371-401; Bac's Pros., p. 27.

[684] Bac's Pros., p. 28.

[685] P. R. O., CO5-1371-404.

[686] Bacon's Proceedings places the death of Bacon on Oct. 18; the
Commissioners give the date as Oct. 26.

[687] T. M., p. 24.

[688] Ing's Pros., p. 32.

[689] Ing's Pros., p. 39.

[690] Ing's Pros., p. 40.

[691] Ing's Pros., p. 39.

[692] The news of Hansford's capture reached Captain Morris near
Nansemond Nov. 12th.

[693] Ing's Pros., p. 33.

[694] Ing's Pros., p. 35.

[695] Ing's Pros., p. 36.

[696] Ing's Pros., p. 38.

[697] Ing's Pros., p. 38.

[698] Ing's Pros., p. 38.

[699] Ing's Pros., p. 40.

[700] Ing's Pros., p. 40.

[701] Ing's Pros., p. 40.

[702] Ing's Pros., p. 42.

[703] Ing's Pros., p. 42.

[704] Ing's Pros., p. 43.

[705] P. R. O., CO5-1371-416; CO1-37-52; CO1-39-10.

[706] P. R. O., CO1-40-45.

[707] Ing's Pros., p. 45.

[708] Ing's Pros., p. 45; P. R. O., CO5-1371-416.

[709] Ing's Pros., p. 46; P. R. O., CO5-1371-416.

[710] P. R. O., CO1-39-13.

[711] P. R. O., CO5-1371-501.

[712] P. R. O., CO5-1371-416.

[713] P. R. O., CO1-39-10; Ing's Pros., p. 47.

[714] Ing's Pros., p. 48.

[715] Ing's Pros., p. 49.

[716] Drummond was captured Jan. 14, 1677.

[717] T. M., p. 23; Ing's Pros., p. 49.

[718] Ing's Pros., p. 50.

[719] Burk, Vol. II, p. 266; P. R. O., CO1-41-74, 75; CO389.6. Lawrence
and Whaly made good their escape into the forest. They probably
perished, however, from exposure, or at the hands of the Indians.



When the news reached England that the common people of Virginia were in
open revolt against their Governor, and had driven him from his capital,
the King was not a little surprised and alarmed. The recollection of the
civil war in England was still fresh enough in his memory to make him
tremble at the mutterings of rebellion, even though they came from
across the Atlantic. Moreover, since the customs from the Virginia
tobacco yielded many thousand pounds annually, he could but be concerned
for the royal revenue. If the tumults in the colony resulted in an
appreciable diminution in the tobacco crop, the Exchequer would be the
chief loser. Nor did the King relish the expense of fitting out an army
and a fleet for the reduction of the insurgents.

His anxiety was increased by lack of intelligence from the colonial
government. Several letters telling of Bacon's coercion of the June
Assembly had reached him, but after that months passed without word from
the Governor or the Council. From private sources, however, came reports
of "uproars so stupendous" that they could hardly find belief.[720] It
was rumored in England that Sir William had been defeated, driven out of
the colony, and "forced to lie at sea".[721]

Charles seems to have perceived at once that Berkeley must have been
responsible for the Rebellion. He probably cared very little whether the
old Governor oppressed the people or not, so long as he kept them quiet,
but it was an inexcusable blunder for him to drive them into
insurrection. Charles himself, it is said, had resolved long before,
never to resume his travels; he now wondered why Sir William had brought
upon himself this forced journey to Accomac. He decided to institute an
investigation to find out what the Governor had been doing so to
infuriate the people. A commission, consisting of Colonel Herbert
Jeffreys, Sir John Berry and Colonel Francis Moryson, was appointed to
go to Virginia to enquire into and report all grievances and

Early in June, 1676, Berkeley had written the King, complaining that his
age and infirmities were such that he could no longer perform properly
his office in Virginia, and requesting that he be allowed to retire from
active service.[723] The Council had protested against this resignation,
but Charles thought it best to take Sir William at his word and to
recall him from the government he had not been able to preserve in peace
and quiet. In honor of his long service, and his well known loyalty, he
was, however, to retain "the title and dignity of Governor".[724] He was
ordered to return to England "with all possible speed", to report upon
his administration and to give an account of the extraordinary tumults
in the colony.[725] During his absence the duties of his office were to
be entrusted to Colonel Herbert Jeffreys, who was to bear the title of
Lieutenant-Governor.[726] He was not, however, to be the deputy or
assistant of Sir William, and "to all intents and purposes" was made
Governor-in-chief. Berkeley was to be "no wayes accountable" for his
actions good or bad.[727]

The King instructed Colonel Jeffreys, before attempting to subdue the
rebels by force of arms, to exhaust all peaceable means of securing
their submission. In order to make this task more easy, he drew up and
had printed a proclamation of pardon, which he directed him to publish
throughout the colony. All, it declared, with the sole exception of
Bacon, that should surrender themselves, and take the oath of allegiance
and supremacy, were to receive free and full forgiveness. Charles felt
that most of the colonists were at heart still loyal, and would, if
their grievances were redressed, be glad to accept his royal offer of

But he did not rely entirely upon gentle measures, for, after all, the
stubborn Virginians might distrust his promises and reject the pardon.
So he resolved to send to the colony a strong body of troops to bring
them to their senses, if necessary, at the point of the bayonet. A
thousand men, thoroughly equipped for active service, were put under the
command of Colonel Jeffreys and embarked for the colony.[728]

In the meanwhile, Governor Berkeley, having regained his authority, was
busily engaged in reimbursing himself and his friends for their losses
in the Rebellion. There can be no doubt that many of the loyalists had
suffered severely by the depredations of the insurgents.[729] Those that
followed the Governor into exile upon the Eastern Shore, had been
compelled to leave their estates to the mercy of the enemy. And the
desperate rebels, especially after death had removed the strong arm of
Bacon, had subjected many plantations to thorough and ruthless pillage.
Crops had been destroyed, cattle driven off, farm houses burned,
servants liberated. Almost every member of the Council had suffered,
while Berkeley himself claimed to have lost no less than £10,000.[730]

Thus, it was with a spirit of bitterness and hatred that the loyalists,
in January and February, returned to their ruined homes. Quite
naturally, they set up a clamor for compensation from the estates of
those that had plundered them. Now that the King's authority had been
restored, and the cause they had contended for had triumphed, they
demanded that the vanquished should be made to disgorge their plunder
and pay for their wanton destruction. Surely the Governor's followers
could not be expected to accept readily all these great losses as a
reward for their loyalty.

But restoration upon a large scale would almost certainly entail
injustice, and would fan again the flames of bitterness and hatred. It
might be possible to restore many articles yet remaining in the hands of
the rebels, but most of the plundered goods had long since been
consumed. It was often impossible to determine what persons had been
guilty of specific acts of pillage, while many of the most active
rebels were very poor men, from whom no adequate compensation could be

There ensued an undignified and pernicious scramble by the loyalists to
seize for their own use the property of the few well-to-do insurgents.
On all sides confiscation, unauthorized seizures, and violence marked
the collapse of the Rebellion. In these proceedings Sir William took the
lead. His servants went out, under pretence of searching for his stolen
property, to take for his use the sheep, the cattle, and other goods of
the neighboring rebels.[731] He showed, it was declared, "a greedy
determination thoroughly to heale himselfe before hee car'd to staunch
the bleeding gashes of the woefully lacerated country.... Making and
treating men as delinquents, before any due conviction or attainder, by
seizing their estates, cattle, servants and carrying off their tobacco,
marking hogsheads and calling this securing it to the King's

Even more unjustifiable was the conduct of Sir William in resorting to
arbitrary compositions with his prisoners to fill his exhausted
purse.[733] Men were arrested, thrown into jail, terrified with threats
of hanging, and released only upon resigning to the Governor most or all
of their estates.[734] One James Barrow was locked up at Green Spring
and refused permission to plead his case before the Governor. He was
told that his release could be secured only upon the payment of a
ruinous composition. "By reason," he said, "of the extremity of Cold,
hunger, lothsomnesse of Vermin, and other sad occasions, I was forct to
comply."[735] Edward Loyd was held for twenty-one days, while his
plantation was invaded, and his wife so frightened that she fell into
labor and died.

It was proposed by the loyalists to share among themselves the estates
of all that had been executed for treason, had died in arms against the
King, or had fled from the colony to escape the Governor's
vengeance.[736] It did not matter to them that the wretched widows and
orphans of these men would be left destitute. Nor did they stop to
consider that these estates, if forfeited at all, could not be seized
legally for private use, but should revert to the Crown. They thought
only of repairing their own ruined fortunes.[737]

In the midst of this confusion and lawlessness Berry and Moryson, with a
part of the fleet and seventy of the English soldiers, arrived in the
James River.[738] They had left Portsmouth November the nineteenth, but
it was January the twenty-ninth before they reached Virginia.[739]
Without waiting for Jeffreys and the main body of the fleet, they
notified the Governor of their arrival and requested an immediate
conference. Berkeley came aboard their flag-ship, the _Bristol_,
February the first, where he was notified of their mission and intrusted
with official letters.[740] He poured into the ears of the commissioners
the recital of the exciting events of the past months--the destruction
of Jamestown, Bacon's death, the surrender of Ingram and Walkelett, the
execution of the leading rebels, the return of "the poore Scattered
Loyal party to their ruined homes".[741] Although peace had been
restored not three weeks before, he pretended astonishment that the King
had thought it necessary to send soldiers to his aid.

Nor could he conceal his irritation at the mission of Berry and Moryson.
That Charles should think it necessary to make an investigation of
affairs in Virginia betokened a lack of confidence in the Governor.
Berkeley's friends claimed, no doubt truly, that he was the author of
every measure of importance adopted by the government of Virginia. An
inquiry into conditions in the colony could but be an inquiry into his
conduct. And the Governor, perhaps, knew himself to be guilty of much
that he did not wish to have exposed before his royal master.

Moreover, Berkeley was not in the humor to brook interference at this
juncture. He was inexorably resolved that the chief rebels should be
brought to the gallows and that his own followers should be rewarded for
their faithfulness. If the commissioners intended to block these
measures, or protest against his actions when in violation of law, they
might expect his bitter hostility.

Before the commissioners had been in Virginia two weeks their relations
with the Governor became strained. The disposing of the "delinquents
Estates", they announced, must be referred to the King. Loyal sufferers
should not secure restitution except by due process of law. Seizures of
tobacco and other goods must stop. Soon the meetings in the cabin of the
_Bristol_ became so stormy that the commissioners decided to hold all
future communication with Sir William in writing. This they thought
necessary because his "defect of hearing" not only made privacy
impossible, but looked "angrily, by loud and fierce speaking".[742]

A few days later Colonel Jeffreys arrived with the remainder of the
fleet. He and his fellow commissioners found the whole country so ruined
and desolate that they experienced considerable difficulty in securing a
place of residence.[743] As the Governor disobeyed flatly the King's
commands to entertain them at Green Spring,[744] they were compelled to
accept the hospitality of Colonel Thomas Swann and make their home at
his seat on the James River.[745] On the twelfth of February, Jeffreys,
Berry and Moryson went to Green Spring, where they held a long
conference with Berkeley and the Council.[746] Jeffreys produced his
commission, and read the clauses which instructed Berkeley to return
immediately to England, and to resign the government into his

It is easy to imagine with what anger Berkeley and his Council received
this command. If Sir William must embark for England and give up his
government to this stranger, they would be foiled in their revenge in
the very moment of triumph. Jeffreys would probably put an end to the
wholesale plundering of the rebels: the illegal distribution of
confiscated estates, the seizure of goods, the unjust compositions. It
was true that Sir William had written the King in June asking his
recall, but many things had happened in Virginia since he penned that
letter. He was passionately opposed to leaving his government at this

And the old man's quick wit found an excuse for remaining in Virginia.
The word "conveniency" in his orders gave him a loophole.[748] It was
evident to all that the King wished him to return without delay, but
Berkeley pretended to believe that this word had been inserted in order
to permit him to use his own convenience in selecting the date of
departure. The question was put to the Council and this body gave a
ready and joyous support to the Governor's interpretation. Jeffreys and
the commissioners begged them to consider that the word referred not to
Sir William's "conveniency", but to that of the King's service, yet they
would not heed them.[749] So Jeffreys went back to Swann's Point in
discomfiture and the old Governor remained in Virginia for three months
more to carry to completion his plans of restitution and revenge.[750]
That he should have dared thus to trifle with his royal master's
commands, which all his life he had considered sacred, reveals to us
vividly his furious temper at this juncture. The humiliation and
indignities he had experienced during the Rebellion had deprived him of
all prudence.

Had Colonel Jeffreys been a man of force he would not have submitted to
this juggling with the King's commands. With a thousand British troops
at his back, he could easily have arrested Sir William and forced him to
take ship for England. Although this would have been harsh treatment for
one that had so long served the King, it was fully justified by the
Governor's flagrant disobedience. And it would have relieved the colony
of the presence of a man whose inhuman cruelty had rendered him odious
to the people. But Jeffreys knew that the Governor's brother, Lord John
Berkeley, was high in the King's favor, and might take revenge should he
resort to violent measures. So he contented himself with writing home
his complaints, and sat quietly by, while Berkeley carried to completion
his principal designs.

The Governor was deeply displeased with the King's proclamation of
pardon. Should he publish it at once, as he was ordered to do, it would
greatly hinder him in his work of revenge and render more difficult his
illegal seizures and confiscations. Since the pardon excepted only
Bacon, under its terms such notorious rebels as Robert Jones, or Whaly,
or even Lawrence, might come in out of the wilderness and demand
immunity. This Berkeley was determined should not be. He thought at
first of suppressing the pardon entirely, and of setting out one of his
own based upon it, excepting the most notorious rebels.[751] The
commissioners urged him to publish the papers unchanged, as the King
would undoubtedly resent any attempt to frustrate his intentions.[752]
And they insisted that there should be no delay. "Observing the
generality of the people to look very amazedly one upon another", at the
arrival of the English soldiers, as though dreading a terrible revenge
by the King, they thought it highly desirable to "put them out of their
paine".[753] It was, they declared, by no means unlikely that a new
rebellion would break out, for the people were still deeply dissatisfied
and "murmured extremely".

After several days of hesitation, Berkeley decided to issue the King's
proclamation unchanged. Accordingly, on the tenth of February, to the
great relief of "the trembling people", the printed copies brought over
by the commissioners were made public.[754] But with them the Governor
published a proclamation of his own, which limited and modified that of
his Majesty.[755] Gyles Bland, Thomas Goodrich, Anthony Arnold, and all
other rebels then in prison were to be denied the benefit of the pardon.
The King's mercy was not to extend to Lawrence and Whaly; or to John
Sturdivant, Thomas Blayton, Robert Jones, John Jennings, Robert Holden,
John Phelps, Thomas Mathews,[756] Robert Spring, Stephen Earleton and
Peter Adams; or "to John West and John Turner, who being legally
condemned for rebellion made their escapes by breaking prison"; or to
Sara Grindon, "who by her lying and scandalous Reports was the first
great encourager and Setter on of the ignorant" people; or even to
Colonel Thomas Swann, Colonel Thomas Bcale or Thomas Bowler, former
members of the Council.[757] The commissioners thought it highly
presumptuous in Berkeley thus to frustrate the King's wishes, and they
were careful to let his Majesty know the Governor's disobedience, but
the Council of Virginia endorsed all his actions and the people dared
not disobey.

And so the trials and executions of the wretched rebels continued. As a
result, no doubt, of the protests of the commissioners, the proceedings
of the court martial were closed, and the accused were now examined
before the court of oyer and terminer.[758] Gyles Bland, who for some
months had been a prisoner aboard the _Adam and Eve_, was now made to
answer for his participation in the Rebellion.[759] He possessed many
powerful friends in England, but their influence could not save him. It
was rumored that the Duke of York had blocked all efforts in his behalf,
vowing "by God Bacon and Bland shoud dye".[760] Accordingly, on the
eighth of March, he was condemned, and seven days later was
executed.[761] Other trials followed. In quick succession Robert
Stoakes, John Isles, Richard Pomfoy, John Whitson and William Scarburgh
were sent to the scaffold.[762] Some of the Governor's friends expressed
fear that the rabble might attempt to rescue these men, and "Counsell'd
the not sending them to dye without a strong Guard", but the people
dared not rise in their behalf.[763]

Robert Jones was condemned, but was saved from the gallows by the
intercession of Colonel Moryson. Jones had fought with Charles I in the
English civil wars, and now exhibited the wounds received in the service
of the father as a plea for pardon for his rebellion against the son.
Moryson was moved to pity at the plight of the old veteran and wrote to
Madam Berkeley requesting her to intercede for him with the
Governor.[764] "If I am at all acquainted with my heart," wrote the Lady
in reply, "I should with more easinesse of mind have worne the Canvas
Lynnen the Rebells said they would make me be glad off, than have had
this fatal occasion of interceding for mercy."[765] None the less
Berkeley consented to reprieve Jones, and many months later the King
pardoned him.[766]

Anthony Arnold, who had been one of the most active of the rebel
leaders, boldly defended the right of peoples to resist the oppressions
of their rulers. He declared that kings "had no rights but what they
gott by Conquest and the Sword, and he that could by force of the Sword
deprive them thereof, had as good and just a Title to it as the King
himselfe.... If the King should deny to doe him right he would make noe
more to sheathe his sword in his heart or Bowells then of his own
mortall Enemyes."[767] For these and other treasonable words this
"horrible resolved Rebell and Traytor" was condemned to be "hang'd in
Chaines in his own County, to bee a more remarkable Example than the

The Governor, even now, showed no inclination to put an end to the
trials and executions. No sooner would the courts empty the jails of
prisoners than he would fill them up again. The unhappy rebels, finding
that the King's pardon gave them little protection, and that Berkeley
excepted from it whom he wished, could not know where next the axe would
fall.[769] None can say how far Sir William would have carried his
revenge had not the Assembly requested him "to hold his hand from all
other Sanguinary punishment".[770] This brought him to his senses and he
consented, though with extreme reluctance, to dismiss his witnesses and
juries, and put an end to the executions. And even then "he found out a
new way" to punish his victims, "ffyning some of their Treasons and
Rebellions and condemning others to banishment to England".[771]

The Governor's extreme severity and the insatiable greed of the loyal
party brought the colony to the verge of another rebellion. The people
were deeply angered. Had there appeared any person to lead them, "bould
and courageous ... that durst venture his neck", the commons were ready
"to Emmire themselves as deepe in Rebellion as ever they did in Bacon's
time".[772] For many months it was feared that Lawrence, "that Stubborn
desperate and resolved Rebell", would emerge from seclusion to put
himself at the head of a new swarm of mutineers.[773] Were he to appear
at this juncture, not even the presence of the English troops could
prevent Bacon's veterans from flocking to his standard. "Soe sullen and
obstinate" were the people that it was feared they would "abandon their
Plantacons, putt off their Servants & dispose of their Stock and away to
other parts". Had England at this juncture become involved in a foreign
war, the Virginians would undoubtedly have sought aid from the enemies
of the mother country.[774]

Nor could the people expect relief or justice from the General Assembly
which met at Green Spring, February the twentieth, 1677.[775] The
elections had been held soon after the final collapse of the Rebellion,
amid the general terror inspired by the numerous executions, and had
resulted in an overwhelming victory for the loyalists. In many counties,
staunch friends of the Governor had been put in nomination, and the
commons given an opportunity of showing the sincerity of their
repentance by electing them to the Assembly. William Sherwood declared
that most of the Burgesses were Berkeley's "owne Creatures & choase by
his appointments before the arrivall of the Commissioners".[776] In
several places fraud as well as intimidation seems to have been used to
secure the election of loyalists. The commons of Charles City complained
that there had been illegal voting in their county and seventy of them
signed a petition, demanding a new election, which they posted upon the
court house door.[777] That the Assembly was in no sense representative
of the people seems to have been recognized even in England, for some of
the King's ministers declared that it had been "called when ye Country
was yet remaining under great distractions, and uncapable of making
their Elections after ye usual manner".[778]

Certain it is, that the House of Burgesses as well as the Council, was
filled with ardent loyalists and friends of the Governor. They passed
several acts confirming all Berkeley's recent measures, and inflicting
further punishment upon the luckless rebels.[779] Some that had escaped
the gallows were forced to pay heavy fines, others were banished.[780]
Many were compelled to make humble submission, with ropes around their
necks, upon their knees before the Governor or the county magistrates.
Large sums of money were voted to reward the most active of Berkeley's
supporters. All that had held command among the rebels, even Ingram and
Walkelett, were made forever "incapable of any office civil or military
in Virginia". To speak ill of the Governor and Council or of the
justices of the peace, was declared a high crime, punishable by
whipping. If the people, to the number of six, assembled in arms, they
were to be considered mutineers and rebels. And the Burgesses showed
great reluctance to reduce their own salaries, which the people
considered so excessive. The Governor feared to insist upon it, "least
perhaps he might thereby disoblige and thwart his own ends and interest
in the Assembly", and only the positive commands of the King, delivered
to them by the commissioners, could induce them to make any reduction at

They passed resolutions praising the wisdom, the bravery, the justice
and integrity of the Governor, and exonerating him for all blame for the
outbreak of the Rebellion.[782] "The distempered humor predominant in
the Common people", which had occasioned the insurrection, they declared
the result of false rumors "inspired by ill affected persons, provoking
an itching desire in them to pry into the secrets of the grand
assembly".[783] They snubbed the King's commissioners, replying to their
request for assistance in discovering the common grievances that the
Assembly alone was the proper body to correct the people's wrongs.[784]
Yet when the commons did come to the Burgesses with their complaints
they were repulsed with harsh reproofs and even severe punishment.
Certain grievances from Isle of Wight county were denounced as
"libellous, Scandalous and rebellious" and "the chiefe persons in the
Subscriptions" were to be punished "to the merits of their Crymes".[785]
A petition from Gloucester county was declared to savor so strongly of
the "old leaven of rebellion" that it must be expunged from the records.
When the people of Nansemond appealed for a more just method of
taxation, they were answered briefly, "It is conceived the pole is the
equallest way."[786]

One is inclined to wonder why the people, thus finding the Assembly but
an instrument of oppression in the Governor's hands, did not turn
eagerly for support and relief to the King's commissioners. These men
had invited them to bring in all their pressures, without restraint or
fear of punishment. His Majesty, they announced, was anxious to know
what had caused them to rise against his authority. All just complaints
would be carefully considered and all grievances redressed.[787] But
dread of Sir William's anger held the people back. Their chief grievance
was the old Governor himself, but there were few that dared say so, even
with the promise of the King's protection. The commissioners wrote
Secretary Coventry that until "the awe of his stay" was removed, they
could "never thoroughly search and penetrate into the bottome of the
Businesse".[788] Berkeley, they said, continually impeded their
investigations and prevented the people from testifying. It might be
necessary for Colonel Jeffreys to send him home, before the mists he
cast before them could be dispelled.[789] When he was gone, a short time
would show boldly those things that as yet only cautiously peeped

The violent opposition which the commissioners encountered from the
Governor and the loyalists soon forced them to become the leaders of the
defeated party. The poor people looked forward with hope to the day when
Sir William would leave and Colonel Jeffreys assume control of the
executive. Then, they were sure, the persecutions would end and justice
be done them.

The hatred and contempt of the Governor's friends for Colonel Jeffreys
and his colleagues is shown by an interesting and unique incident.
Having heard that Sir William was at last preparing to sail for England,
they went to Green Spring, on the twenty-second of April, to bid him
farewell.[791] This they thought due his dignity and rank, even though
their relations with him had been far from cordial.[792] As they left
the house, after paying their respects to the Governor and his lady,
they found Sir William's coach waiting at the door to convey them to
their landing.[793] But before they rode away a strange man came
forward, boldly putting aside the "Postillion that used to Ryde" and got
up himself in his place. The Governor, several Councillors, and others
saw what occurred, but did not offer to interfere. Lady Berkeley went
"into her Chamber, and peep'd through a broken quarrell of the Glass, to
observe how the Show look'd".[794] After reaching their boat, the
commissioners found to their horror that the strange postilion was none
other than the "Common Hangman that ... put the Halters about the
Prisoner's Necks in Court when they were to make their submission". This
seemed to them so gross an insult, not only to the "Great Seal", but to
their "persons as Gentlemen", that they were resolved to make his
Majesty himself acquainted with it.[795] "The whole country rings of ...
the public Odium and disgrace cast upon us," they said, "as the Exchange
itselfe shortly may."[796]

It is probable that Lady Berkeley alone was responsible for this
incident, which, as the commissioners themselves said, looked "more like
a woman's than a man's malice".[797] The Governor denied with
passionate vehemence that he was in any way guilty. "I have sent the
Negro[798] to be Rebuked, Tortur'd or whipt, till he confesse how this
dire misfortune happen'd," he wrote the commissioners, "but I am soe
distracted that I scarce know what I doe."[799]

Even before Berkeley left the colony Colonel Jeffreys issued a
proclamation, formally taking possession of the government.[800] For
some time it had been apparent that the Lieutenant-Governor's long delay
in entering upon his duties was greatly weakening him in the estimation
of the people. Since he had been forced to sit idly by for several
months while Sir William carried to completion matters of the utmost
importance, and had not dared to take his office so long as it pleased
the old man to linger in the colony, many thought, quite naturally, that
he could not have been entrusted with full authority to act as Governor.
And this opinion had been industriously furthered by the loyal party.
The departure of Sir William, they declared, did not mean a permanent
change of administration. Jeffreys was to act only as his deputy during
his absence and would retire upon his return.[801] Feeling that these
views, if universally accepted, would undermine his influence and
authority, Jeffreys entered a vigorous denial in his proclamation. He
had been appointed, he declared, to exercise the power of Governor, as
fully as Berkeley or any of his predecessors had done. No man should
dare to belittle his office or authority. Berkeley was going home at his
own request because his great age and infirmities rendered him unfit to
sustain further the burdens of his position. The new executive had
refrained from assuming his duties earlier, "because an Assembly being
... ready to convene, the issueing forth a new Summons ... must needs
have greatly retarded the publique Weale".[802] Nor did he scruple to
claim the full title of "Governour and Captain Generall of Virginia".

This proclamation aroused Berkeley's deepest ire. "Your ejecting me," he
wrote Jeffreys, "from having any share in the Government whilst yet I
am in the Countrey ... I beleeve can neither be justified by your
Comision nor mine." "You say that his Majesty out of the knowledge of my
inability to govern did surrogate so able a man as Coll: Jeffreys to
supply my defects. I wish from my heart Coll: Jeffreys were as well
known to the King and Counsel as Sir William Berkeley is, for then the
difference would be quickly decided." The letter was addressed to the
"Right honorable Coll: Herbert Jeffreys, his Majesty's Lieutenant
Governor of Virginia", and was signed "William Berkeley, Governor of
Virginia till his most Sacred Majesty shall please to determine

In the meanwhile the letters of the commissioners, reporting Berkeley's
disobedience to the King's commands, had arrived in England. Charles was
angered, not only at his delay in surrendering the government, but also
at his presumption in disregarding the royal proclamation of pardon.
"You may well think," he wrote Berkeley, "we are not a little surprised
to understand that you make difficulty to yield obedience to our
commands, being so clear and plain that we thought no man could have
raised any dispute about them. Therefore ... we do ... command you
forthwith ... without further delay or excuse (to) repair unto our
Presence as We formerly required you."[804]

Secretary Coventry wrote even more severely. We understand, he said,
that to the King's clear and positive orders for you to resign the
government to Colonel Jeffreys, "upon certain pretences which are no
wayes understood here, you have delayed at least if not refused
obedience.... His Majesty ... seemeth not a little surprised as well as
troubled to find a person that had for so many years served his Royal
Father and himself through ye worst of times with so unshaken a loyalty,
and so absolute obedience and resignation, should now at one time fall
into two such great errors as to affront his Proclamation by putting out
one of his owne at ye same time with his, and in that to exempt several
persons from pardon, which were by the King's owne Proclamation made
capable of Pardon; then after positive orders given for your immediate
return ... you yet stay there ... and continually dispute with his
Majesty's commissioners. I will assure you, Sir, his Majesty is very
sensible of these miscarriages, and hath very little hopes that ye
people of Virginia shall be brought to a right sense of their duty to
obey their Governours when the Governours themselves will not obey the
King. I pray you, Sir, ... take not councell from your owne nor any
other body's passion or resentment, to take upon you to judge either
conveniency or not conveniency of the King's orders, but obey them, and
come over; and whatever you have to say ... you will be heard at

Even before these letters were written Sir William had left the colony.
He had embarked for England, May the fifth, in Captain Larrimore's
sturdy ship which had stood him in such good stead in the hour of
need.[806] But the old man, worn out by his violent passions and unusual
exertions, was physically unfit for the long voyage across the Atlantic.
He became very ill on shipboard, and reached England a dying man. "He
came here alive," wrote Secretary Coventry, "but so unlike to live that
it had been very inhumane to have troubled him with any
interrogacons."[807] The news of the King's displeasure at his conduct
added much to his suffering. He pleaded for an opportunity "to clear his
Innocency" even though the "tedious passage & griefe of mind" had
reduced him "to extreame weaknesse".[808] That Charles did not refuse
him this privilege is attested by a letter written to Berkeley by
Secretary Coventry. "I am commanded by his Majesty," he said, "to let
you know that his Majesty would speake with you as soone as you can,
because there are some ships now going to Virginia, and his Majesty
would see what further Instructions may be necessary to be sent by
them."[809] But Berkeley could not attend the King, either to give
information or to plead his own cause. His condition rapidly became
critical, and a few days later he died.[810]

Hardly had Sir William breathed his last than Thomas Lord Culpeper
"kissed the King's hand as Governour".[811] This nobleman had received a
commission, July 8, 1675, which was to take effect immediately upon the
death, surrender or forfeiture of the office by Berkeley.[812] It had
never been Charles' intention that Colonel Jeffreys should remain
permanently at the head of the government of Virginia, and he now
notified him to prepare to surrender his office to the new
Governor.[813] The King, who felt that the unsettled condition of
Virginia required Culpeper's immediate presence, ordered him to depart
"with all speed", and told the colonists they might expect him by
Christmas "without fayle".[814] But this pampered lord, accustomed to
the luxury of the court, had no desire to be exiled in the wilderness of
the New World. By various excuses he succeeded in postponing his
departure for over two years, and it was not until the spring of 1680
that he landed in Virginia.[815] Thus, for a while, Colonel Jeffreys was
left as the chief executive of the colony.

In the meanwhile the commissioners, freed from the baleful presence of
the old Governor, were continuing their investigation into the causes of
the Rebellion. Berkeley had advised them, when they first announced
their mission, to carry out their work through the county courts.[816]
But they had refused to accept this plan. The justices were almost all
henchmen of Sir William, many were hated by the people and some were the
objects of their chief accusations. Had the investigation been intrusted
to their hands, they would most certainly have suppressed the principal
complaints.[817] The commissioners, therefore, appointed especial
officers in the counties to hear the people's grievances, draw them up
in writing and bring them in for presentation to the King.[818] Even
then the loyal party attempted, by intimidation, to prevent the commons
from explaining without reserve what had caused them to take up arms
against the government. Sir William, they were careful to report, would
most certainly return, and any that dared charge him or his friends with
corruption might expect the severest punishment.[819] But the
announcement by the commissioners that his Majesty himself had promised
his protection to all informants relieved the fears of the people and
many came forward with the story of their wrongs.[820] These seem to
have been faithfully drawn up by the officers and in time presented to
the King.

The loyal party complained loudly that the commissioners used in this
matter none but the enemies of the Governor.[821] Lord John Berkeley
declared that they had sought information from such only as were known
"to be notorious actors in the rebellion".[822] But the commissioners
were undoubtedly right in insisting that all grievances should come from
those that had been aggrieved. They themselves, they declared, were not
responsible for the truth of the charges; their function was only to
receive and report them. The King had sent them to Virginia to make the
royal ear accessible to the humblest citizen. This could be done only by
brushing aside the usual channels of information and going directly to
the commons themselves. That some of the accusations were exaggerated or
even entirely false seems not improbable; many were undoubtedly true.
Posterity must accept them, not as the relation of established truth,
but as the charges of a defeated and exasperated party.

In their work of investigation the commissioners found that they had
need of the records of the House of Burgesses. In April, 1677, after the
adjournment of the session at Green Spring, they came to Major Robert
Beverley, the clerk of the Assembly, and demanded "all the Originall
Journals, Orders, Acts", etc., then in his custody.[823] Beverley
required them to show their authority, and this they did, by giving him
a sight of that part of their commission which concerned his delivery
of the records.[824] He then offered to allow them to examine any of the
papers necessary to the investigation, but he refused absolutely to
relinquish their custody.[825] The commissioners, who distrusted
Beverley and perhaps feared that he might conceal the records, "took
them from him by violence".[826]

When the Assembly met in October, 1677, the House of Burgesses sent a
vigorous protest to Colonel Jeffreys against these proceedings of the
commissioners. Their action, they declared, "we take to be a great
violation of our privileges". The power to command the records which the
commissioners claim to have received from the King, "this House humbly
suppose His Majesty would not grant or Comand, for that they find not
the same to have been practiced by any of the Kings of England in the
likewise.... The House do humbly pray your Honour ... will please to
give the House such satisfaction, that they may be assured no such
violation of their privileges shall be offered for the future."[827]

When Charles II heard of this bold protest he was surprised and angered.
It seemed to him a "great presumption of ye said Assembly ... to call in
Question" his authority.[828] Referring their representation to the
Lords of Trade and Plantations, he directed them "to examine ye same, &
to Report" what they thought "fitt to be done in Vindication of ...
(the) Royall Authority, & for bringing the said Assembly to a due sence
& acknowledgement of their Duty & Submission".[829] The Lords gave it as
their opinion that the declaration was so "Seditious, even tending to
Rebellion", that the new Governor should be directed to rebuke the
Assembly and punish the "authors and abettors of this presumption".[830]
The King commanded Lord Culpeper to carry these recommendations into
effect. On the third of July, 1680, Culpeper brought the matter before
the Virginia Council, preparatory to delivering the rebuke. But the
Councillors made a vigorous defense of the action of the Assembly, and
unanimously advised the Governor to suspend the execution of the King's
command.[831] After some hesitation, Culpeper yielded, and the matter
was referred back to the Privy Council. Charles was finally induced to
rescind the order, but he insisted that all reference to the declaration
"be taken off the file and razed out of the books of Virginia".[832]

The work of the commission being completed, Berry and Moryson, in July,
1677, sailed with the royal squadron for England.[833] Their report,
which was so damaging to the Virginia loyalists, was not allowed to go
unchallenged. Sir William Berkeley, upon his death bed, had told his
brother, Lord John Berkeley, of the hostility of the commissioners, and
charged him to defend his conduct and character. And Lord Berkeley, who
was a member of the Privy Council and a man of great influence, did his
best to refute their evidence and to discredit them before the
King.[834] Their entire report, he declared, was "a scandalous lible and
invective of Sir William ... and the royal party in Virginia".[835] His
brother's conduct had been always prudent and just, and it was
noticeable that not one private grievance had ever been brought against
him before this rebellion.[836] The meetings of Lord Berkeley with the
commissioners in the Council chamber were sometimes stormy. On one
occasion he told Berry, "with an angry voice and a Berklean look, ...
that he and Morryson had murdered his brother". "Sir John as sharply
returned again" that they had done nothing but what they "durst

As the other members of the Privy Council protected the commissioners,
and upheld their report, the attacks of the angry nobleman availed
nothing. Secretary Coventry averred that Berry and Moryson had been most
faithful in carrying out the King's directions, and he showed his
confidence in their honesty and their judgment by consulting them upon
all important matters relating to the colony.[838] And for a while,
their influence in shaping the policy of the Privy Council in regard to
Virginia was almost unlimited.

Nor did they scruple to use this great power to avenge themselves upon
those men that had so antagonized them and hindered their investigation.
Robert Beverley they represented to the Privy Council as a man of low
education and mean parts, bred a vulgar seaman and utterly unfit for
high office.[839] Colonel Edward Hill was the most hated man in Charles
City county.[840] Ballard, Bray and some of the other Councillors were
rash and fiery, active in opposing the King's orders and unjust to the
poor people.[841] The Privy Council was so greatly influenced by these
representations that they determined to reconstruct the Virginia
Council, upon lines suggested by Berry and Moryson. Colonel Philip
Ludwell, Colonel Ballard and Colonel Bray were expressly excluded from
the Council, while Colonel Hill and Major Beverley as "men of evil fame
and behavior" were deprived of all governmental employment whatsoever,
and "declared unfit to serve His Majesty".[842] On the other hand,
Colonel Thomas Swann, who had been excluded from the Council by Governor
Berkeley, was now, for his kindness to the commissioners, restored to
his seat.[843]

The departure of Sir William Berkeley by no means ended the opposition
to Colonel Jeffreys. A part of the Council, realizing that continued
hostility could result only in harm to themselves, made their peace with
the new administration, and were received into favor, but the more
violent of the loyal party remained defiant and abusive. Philip Ludwell,
Beverley, Hill, Ballard and others openly denounced Jeffreys as a
weakling, entirely unsuited for the important office he now occupied,
and did their best to render him unpopular with the people.[844] The
Lieutenant-Governor retaliated with considerable spirit, depriving some
of their lucrative offices, and suspending others from the Council.
Ludwell, whose conduct had been especially obnoxious, was ousted from
the collectorship of York River.[845] Ballard was expelled from a
similar office.[846] And many months before the changes in the Council
ordered by the English government became known in Virginia, no less than
six of the most active loyalists had been suspended by the

But events soon took a more favorable turn for the Berkeley party. The
departure of Berry and Moryson deprived Jeffreys of his staunchest
friends and advisors. And, before the end of the summer, he was
prostrated by the Virginia sickness, which was still deadly to those
unaccustomed to the climate of the colony. For several months he was too
ill to attend properly to his duties or to resist the machinations of
his enemies, and the government fell into the hands of the Council.[848]
And since this body, despite its pretended support of the
Lieutenant-Governor, was at heart in full sympathy with Beverley and
Ludwell and the other loyalists, the policy of the administration was
once more changed. The work of extortion was actively resumed and the
courts again busied themselves with suits against the former

But consternation seized the Green Spring faction, as the loyalists were
now called, upon the arrival of the King's order, annulling Berkeley's
proclamation of February 10, 1677, and reaffirming the general
pardon.[850] If this command were put into effect, most of the
confiscations secured since the Rebellion, would become illegal, and
restitution would have to be made. So desperately opposed to this were
the loyalists that they resolved to suppress the King's letter. They
believed that it had been obtained by the influence of the
commissioners, and this, they hoped, would soon be rendered nugatory by
the presence at court of Sir William Berkeley. If they could keep the
order secret for a few weeks, new instructions, dictated by the
Governor, might arrive to render its execution unnecessary. Colonel
Jeffreys protested against their disobedience, but he was too weak to
oppose the will of the Council.[851] So, for six weeks, his Majesty's
grace "was unknown to ye poore Inhabitants", while the innumerable suits
and prosecutions were pushed vigorously. Not until October the
twenty-sixth, when all hope of its revocation had been dispelled by
fresh information from England, did the Council consent to the
publication of the letter.[852]

In September, 1677, writs were issued for an election of Burgesses.[853]
Had Jeffreys not been ill, he would perhaps have refused to allow a new
session of the Assembly. The contest at the polls could but result in a
victory for the Green Spring faction, as the electoral machinery was in
their hands. The Lieutenant-Governor, although he had removed some of
the higher colonial officials, had made few changes in the personnel of
the county courts.[854] The sheriffs, by resorting to the old methods,
made sure of the election of most of the nominees of the loyal party.
Complaints came from James City county, New Kent county and other places
that intimidation and fraud had been used to deprive the people of a
fair election.[855] If we may believe the testimony of William Sherwood,
the Berkeley faction carried things with a high hand. "The Inhabitants
of James City County," he wrote, "did unanimously elect me a Burgess ...
but several of my professed enemies ... procured another writt for a new
election, with a positive command not to choose me. The people then
being under amazement consented to whome soever the Sheriffe would
returne, & so my enemies to make their party the stronger in ye house
... causd three Burgesses to serve for James City County."[856]

"By this means," wrote Colonel Daniel Parke, "and by persuading the
burgesses that Sir William Berkeley was coming in Governour again, (the
loyal party) got all confirmed that was done at the Assembly before held
at Greene Spring."[857] In order to compensate themselves for their
great losses and to fulfil the promises made by Berkeley to his
followers during the Rebellion, they levied a tax upon the people of
one hundred and ten pounds of tobacco per poll. "This with the county
tax and parish tax," said Parke, "is in some counties 250lbs, in some
300, and in some 400lbs, which falls very heavie upon the poorer
people." The county grievances were again rejected by the Burgesses as
false and scandalous, and the persons presenting them were severely
punished.[858] But the Assembly expressed an earnest desire to bring
about a reconciliation between the hostile factions in the colony, and
prescribed a heavy penalty for the use of such opprobrious epithets as
"traytor, Rebell Rougue, Rebell", etc.[859]

The news of Berkeley's death was a severe blow to the Green Spring
party. All the hope they had entertained that he would accomplish the
overthrow of the work of the commissioners, at once fell to the ground.
But they were somewhat consoled by the appointment of Lord Culpeper.
This nobleman was related to Lady Berkeley, and they had good reason to
believe he would reverse the policy of the present administration and
ally himself with the loyalists.[860]

In the meanwhile the Lieutenant-Governor was regaining his health and
spirits, and was taking a more active part in public affairs. He had
been deeply angered with Colonel Philip Ludwell for his many insults,
and he now determined to prosecute him "for scandalizing the Governor,
and abusing the Authority of his Majesty".[861] Ludwell's unpardonable
crime, it would seem, consisted in calling Jeffreys "a pitiful little
Fellow with a perriwig".[862] He had also been heard to say that the
Lieutenant-Governor was "a worse Rebel than Bacon", that he had broken
the laws of Virginia, that he had perjured himself, that he "was not
worth a Groat in England". Nor was it considered a sufficient excuse
that Ludwell had made those remarks immediately after consuming "part of
a Flaggon of Syder".[863] The jury found him guilty of "scandalizing the
Governor", but acquitted him of any intention of abusing his Majesty's
authority. The General Court, upon the motion of Colonel Jeffreys,
referred the case to the King and Privy Council, that they might "advise
a punishment proportionable to the offence".[864] Against this decision
the defendant, as he had an undoubted right to do, appealed to the
General Assembly. Ludwell felt, no doubt, that should the appeal be
allowed, his great influence in the House of Burgesses would secure him
a light sentence. But the court declared the case so unprecedented that
the whole matter, including the question of appeal, must be decided by
the King.

With the return of hot weather, Colonel Jeffreys, not yet being
acclimated, or "seasoned", as the Virginians expressed it, again became
seriously ill.[865] The Council elected a president to act in his place
and once more assumed control of the administration.[866] The Green
Spring faction, whom only the Lieutenant-Governor could restrain, again
lifted its head and endeavored "to continue their old exactions &
abuses".[867] Feeling, perhaps, a sense of security in their remoteness
from the King, which made it impossible for him to watch their actions
closely, or to mete out to them prompt punishment, they still
disregarded his pardon and his reiterated commands.[868] "The colony
would be as peaceful as could be wished," wrote William Sherwood in
August, 1678, "except for the malice of some discontented persons of the
late Governor's party, who endeavour by all ye cunning contrivances that
by their artifice can be brought about, to bring a Contempt of Colonel
Jeffreys, our present good Governor.... Those persons who are the
troublers of the peace ... are ... Lady Berkeley, Colonel Philip
Ludwell, Colonel Thomas Ballard, Colonel Edward Hill, Major Robert
Beverley, all of which are cherished by Mr. Secretary Ludwell (who acts
severely.) It is to be feared, unless these fiery Spiritts are allayed
or removed home, there will not be that settled, happy peace and unity
which otherwise might be, for they are entered into a faction, which is
upheld by the expectation of my Lord Culpeper's doing mighty things for
them & their interest."[869]

Colonel Jeffreys died in November, 1678.[870] It was the fortune of this
Governor to come to the colony in one of the greatest crises of its
history. Had he been a man of ability and firmness he could have
rendered the people services of great value. He might have put an end to
the reign of terror inaugurated by Berkeley, prevented the unending law
suits, confiscations and compositions, reorganized the county courts and
assured to the people a fair election of Burgesses. He seems to have
wished to rule justly and well, but he was too weak to quell the strife
between the rival factions and bring quiet to the distracted colony.

So bitter was the loyal party against Colonel Jeffreys, that after his
death they sought to revenge themselves upon his widow. The
Lieutenant-Governor had received no part of his salary from March, 1678,
to the day of his death, and had, as a result, incurred considerable
debt. As Mrs. Jeffreys was unable to meet all her husband's obligations,
she was detained in Virginia, and, according to one account, thrown into
prison.[871] "'Tis plain," she wrote Secretary Coventry,
"they seek my Life in malice to my husband, though none of them can tax
him with any injustice.... I cannot hope to outlive this persecution,
but I most humbly beseech you to intercede for me to his Majesty, that
my child may not be ruined."[872] Mrs. Jeffreys later received the
arrears due her husband, and was thus enabled to free herself from the
power of her enemies.[873]

Upon the death of Colonel Jeffreys, Sir Henry Chicheley, by virtue of a
commission granted in 1674, assumed control of the government.[874] The
new Governor had long served with distinction in the Council, and seems
to have been a "most loyal, worthy person and deservedly beloved by the
whole country".[875] But he was now too "old, sickly and crazy" to
govern the colony with the vigor and firmness that were so greatly
needed.[876] During the eighteen months of his administration the people
were "not reconciled to one another", and "ill blood" only too often was
manifested by both factions.[877]

Sir Henry had himself been a severe sufferer by the Rebellion. He had
fallen into Bacon's hands and had even, it would seem, been threatened
with death, in retaliation for Berkeley's execution of Captain Carver.
Yet he attempted to rule impartially and well. Writs were issued in the
spring of 1679 for an election of Burgesses, and the people were
protected from intimidation at the polls. The Assembly, as a result,
showed itself more sane, more sensitive to the wishes of the commons,
than had been either of the sessions of 1677.[878] Several laws were
enacted redressing some of the most flagrant evils of the old
governmental system of Berkeley. The voters of each parish were
empowered to elect two men "to sitt in the severall county courts and
have their equall votes with the severall justices for the makeing of by
lawes".[879] An act was passed putting a limit upon the excessive fees
charged by the collectors of the customs.[880] And the clamor of the
loyalists for the payment of their claims upon the treasury were
unheeded, and all public debts were referred for settlement to the next

Chicheley's administration came temporarily to an end with the arrival
of Lord Culpeper. The period from the close of the Rebellion to May,
1680, when the new Governor-General took the oath of office, seems, at
first sight, characterized only by confusion and disaster. The violent
animosities, the uncertainty of property rights, the lack of a firm and
settled government kept the people in constant uneasiness and
discontent. The numerous banishments and executions had deprived the
colony of some of its most intelligent and useful citizens, while the
plundering of both parties during the Rebellion, and the numberless
forfeitures that followed the establishment of peace, had reduced many
men to poverty. Nor had the most pressing of the grievances that had
caused the people to rise against the government been redressed. The
Navigation Acts were still in force, the commons were yet excluded from
their rightful share in the government, the taxes were more oppressive
than ever.

Yet amid the melancholy confusion of the times, important changes for
the better were taking place. Never again was an English Governor to
exercise the despotic power that had been Sir William Berkeley's. This
was not due to the greater leniency of the British government, or to
lack of ambition in the later Governors. But the Rebellion and the
events following it, had weakened the loyalty of the people and shown
them the possibility of resisting the King's commands. The commons,
angered at the severity of the punishment inflicted upon the rebel
leaders, and disappointed in the royal promise that their grievances
should be redressed, regarded the government with sullen hostility. The
wealthy planters resented what they considered Charles' ingratitude for
their loyal support in the hour of need, and complained bitterly of his
interference with their attempts to restore their ruined fortunes.
Throughout Berkeley's administration their interests had seemed to be
identical with those of the Governor, and they had ever worked in
harmony with him. With the advent of Colonel Jeffreys, however, they had
been thrown into violent opposition to the executive. Their success in
thwarting the policies of the Lieutenant-Governor, and in evading and
disobeying the King's commands gave them a keen appreciation of their
own influence and power. They were to become more and more impatient of
the control of the Governors, more and more prone to defy the commands
of the English government.

The awakened spirit of resistance bore rich fruit for the cause of
liberty. The chief difficulty heretofore experienced by the commons in
defending their rights was the lack of intelligent and forceful leaders.
These they now secured through the frequent quarrels of the wealthy
planters with the Governors. More than once Councillors, suspended from
their seats for disobedience, came forward as leaders in the struggle to
preserve the rights of the people. In this capacity they rendered
services of the highest importance. Strangely enough some of the leading
spirits of the old Berkeley party became, by their continued opposition
to the executive, champions of representative government in the colony.
Had it not been for the active leadership of Robert Beverley and Philip
Ludwell the cause of liberty might well have perished under the
assaults of Charles II and James II.

The House of Burgesses was gradually becoming more representative of the
people. The intimidation of voters practiced by the loyal party
immediately after the Rebellion could not be continued indefinitely. As
the terror inspired by Berkeley's revenge upon the rebels began to wane,
the commons insisted more upon following their own inclinations at the
polls. Moreover, the incessant quarrels of the Governors with the
members of the aristocracy made it impossible for any clique to control
again the electoral machinery. As the sheriffs and justices were no
longer so closely allied with the executive as they had been in the
Restoration period, false returns of Burgesses and other electoral
frauds were apt to be of less frequent occurrence.

Thus, during the years immediately following the Rebellion, forces were
shaping themselves which were to make it possible for the colony to
resist those encroachments of the Crown upon its liberties that marked
the last decade of the rule of the Stuart kings, and to pass safely
through what may well be called the Critical Period of Virginia


[720] P. R. O., CO389.6-177.

[721] Ibid.

[722] The commission had consisted at first of Sir John Berry, Colonel
Francis Moryson and Thomas Fairfax. P. R. O., CO1-37-53.

[723] P. R. O., CO389.6-113, 174.

[724] P. R. O., CO389.6-113.

[725] P. R. O., CO389.6-121, 174, 175.

[726] P. R. O., CO389.6-113.

[727] P. R. O., CO389.6-137, 139, 140, 144; CO1-38-7.

[728] P. R. O., CO389.6-116.

[729] P. R. O., CO5-1371-149, 154.

[730] P. R. O., CO1-40-110; CO5-1371-27, 33, 62, 63, 64.

[731] P. R. O., CO1-39-11, 17; CO5-1371-68, 69, 62, 63, 64, 78, 79, 81,
82, 132.

[732] P. R. O., CO5-1371-152.

[733] P. R. O., CO5-1371-132.

[734] CO1-40-1 to 37; CO1-40-43; CO5-1371-81, 82.

[735] P. R. O., CO1-40-23.

[736] P. R. O., CO5-1371-27, 33.

[737] P. R. O., CO1-39-38.

[738] P. R. O., CO5-1371-17, 20.

[739] Ibid.

[740] P. R. O., CO5-1371-27, 33.

[741] Ibid.

[742] P. R. O., CO5-1371-55, 60.

[743] P. R. O., CO5-1371-90, 94.

[744] P. R. O., CO391.2-173, 178.

[745] P. R. O., CO5-1371-90, 94.

[746] P. R. O., CO5-1371-83, 85, 90, 94.

[747] P. R. O., CO289.6-121.

[748] P. R. O., CO5-1371-50, 83.

[749] P. R. O., CO5-1371-93, 94.

[750] P. R. O., CO1-40-88.

[751] P. R. O., CO1-39-24.

[752] P. R. O., CO5-1371-32.

[753] P. R. O., CO5-1371-55, 60.

[754] P. R. O., CO5-1371-32, 38.

[755] P. R. O., CO5-1371-276, 286.

[756] This Thomas Mathews was probably the author of the T. M. account
of Bacon's Rebellion.

[757] P. R. O., CO2-39-31; CO5-1371-276, 286.

[758] P. R. O., CO5-1371-125, 127.

[759] P. R. O., CO1-39-38; CO1-41-79.

[760] T. M., p. 24.

[761] P. R. O., CO1-39-35; Hen., Vol. II, p. 550.

[762] P. R. O., CO1-39-35; Hen., Vol. II, p. 553.

[763] P. R. O., CO5-1371-152.

[764] P. R. O., CO5-1371-178, 179.

[765] P. R. O., CO5-1371-180, 181.

[766] P. R. O., CO1-45-3.

[767] P. R. O., CO5-1371-152.

[768] P. R. O., CO5-1371-152; Hen., Vol. II, p. 550.

[769] P. R. O., CO5-1371-32, 152.

[770] P. R. O., CO5-1371-152.

[771] P. R. O., CO5-1371-152.

[772] P. R. O., CO1-40-88.

[773] P. R. O., CO5-1371-132.

[774] P. R. O., CO5-1371-32.

[775] P. R. O., CO1-39-35.

[776] P. R. O., CO1-40-43.

[777] P. R. O., CO1-40-73, 106.

[778] P. R. O., CO1-40-114.

[779] P. R. O., CO1-39-35.

[780] P. R. O., CO1-39-35.

[781] P. R. O., CO5-1371-168 to 175; CO1-39-35.

[782] P. R. O., CO1-39-38.

[783] P. R. O., CO1-39-38.

[784] P. R. O., CO1-39-39.

[785] P. R. O., CO1-39-38.

[786] P. R. O., CO1-39-38.

[787] P. R. O., CO5-1371-39 to 44.

[788] P. R. O., CO5-1371-132.

[789] P. R. O., CO5-1371-182, 187

[790] P. R. O., CO5-1371-193 to 198.

[791] P. R. O., CO5-1371-208 to 211

[792] P. R. O., CO5-1371-212, 213.

[793] P. R. O., CO5-1371-220, 231.

[794] P. R. O., CO5-1371-220, 231.

[795] P. R. O., CO5-1371-212, 213.

[796] P. R. O., CO5-1371-220, 231.

[797] P. R. O., CO5-1371-220, 231.

[798] Probably the real postilion.

[799] P. R. O., CO5-1371-214 to 217.

[800] This proclamation was issued April 27, 1677. P. R. O., CO1-40-53.

[801] P. R. O., CO1-41-121; CO1-42-23.

[802] P. R. O., CO1-40-53.

[803] P. R. O., CO1-40-54.

[804] This letter was written May 13, 1677.

[805] P. R. O., CO389.6-195 to 198.

[806] P. R. O., CO1-40-88.

[807] P. R. O., CO389.6.

[808] P. R. O., CO1-40-110.

[809] P. R. O., CO389.6-207.

[810] P. R. O., CO389.6-210.

[811] P. R. O., CO389.6-212.

[812] P. R. O., CO5-1355-299; CO389.6-271 to 273.

[813] P. R. O., CO389.6-210, 215.

[814] P. R. O., CO389.6-210.

[815] P. R. O., CO5-1355-377.

[816] P. R. O., CO5-1371-45.

[817] Nothing can show this more clearly than the reception in the
Assembly, which was largely composed of justices of the peace, of the
county grievances.

[818] P. R. O., CO391.2-180.

[819] P. R. O., CO5-1371-132.

[820] P. R. O., CO5-1371-132.

[821] P. R. O., CO391.2-180; Burk, Vol. II, pp. 259, 260.

[822] P. R. O., CO391.2-173 to 178; Burk, Vol. II, p. 260.

[823] P. R. O., CO1-41-87.

[824] P. R. O., CO1-42-138.

[825] P. R. O., CO5-1376-273.

[826] P. R. O., CO5-1376-273.

[827] P. R. O., CO1-41-87.

[828] P. R. O., CO1-42-141.

[829] P. R. O., CO1-42-141.

[830] P. R. O., CO391.2-300, 301.

[831] P. R. O., CO5-1355-354.

[832] Sains., Vol. XVIII, p. 129.

[833] P. R. O., CO1-41-17.

[834] Burk, Vol. II, p. 263.

[835] Burk, Vol. II, p. 259; P. R. O., CO391.2-180.

[836] Burk, Vol. II, p. 264.

[837] Burk, Vol. II, p. 266.

[838] P. R. O., CO391.2-180.

[839] P. R. O., CO1-41-121. Major Beverley was of good family. His
military leadership in Bacon's Rebellion, and his services as clerk of
the Assembly, testify to his ability. Va. Mag., Vol. II, p. 405.

[840] P. R. O., CO1-41-121.

[841] P. R. O., CO391.2-173 to 178.

[842] P. R. O., C039I.2-305.

[843] P. R. O., CO391.2-173 to 178.

[844] P. R. O., CO1-41-138; CO1-42-117.

[845] Va. Mag., Vol. XVIII, p. 18; P. R. O., CO1-42-55.

[846] Sains., Vol. XVII, p. 19.

[847] P. R. O., CO1-41-121.

[848] P. R. O., CO1-42-17.1, 23.

[849] P. R. O., CO1-42-23.

[850] P. R. O., CO1-42-17.1, 23.

[851] P. R. O., CO1-42-17.1, 23.

[852] P. R. O., CO1-42-17.1.

[853] P. R. O., CO1-42-23.

[854] P. R. O., CO1-42-23.

[855] P. R. O., CO1-42-17.1.

[856] P. R. O., CO1-42-23.

[857] P. R. O., CO1-42-17.1.

[858] P. R. O., CO5-1376.

[859] P. R. O., CO5-1376.

[860] P. R. O., CO1-42-55; Va. Mag., Vol. II, p. 408.

[861] Va. Mag., Vol. XVIII, p. 20.

[862] Va. Mag., Vol. XVIII, p. 12.

[863] Va. Mag., Vol. XVIII, p. 11.

[864] Va. Mag., Vol. XVIII, p. 23.

[865] P. R. O., CO1-42-103.

[866] Va. Mag., Vol. IX, p. 307.

[867] P. R. O., CO1-42-103.

[868] P. R. O., CO1-42-107.

[869] P. R. O., CO1-42-117.

[870] Va. Mag., Vol. IX, p. 307.

[871] P. R. O., CO5-1355-304, 305, 309.

[872] P. R. O., CO5-1355-305.

[873] P. R. O., CO5-1355-370.

[874] Va. Mag., Vol. IX, p. 307.

[875] P. R. O., CO1-41-121.

[876] Sains., Vol. XVII, p. 230.

[877] Sains., Vol. XVII, p. 230.

[878] Hen., Vol. II, p. 433.

[879] Hen., Vol. II, p. 441.

[880] Hen., Vol. II, p. 443.

[881] Hen., Vol. II, p. 456.



For some years after the Restoration the administration of English
colonial affairs had been very lax. The Council of Plantations, which
had served as a Colonial Office during the period from 1660 to 1672, had
done little to control the Governors or to supervise and direct their
policies. With the exception of one list of questions sent to Virginia
in 1670, they had left Sir William Berkeley almost entirely to his own
devices. September 27, 1672, the Council of Plantations was united with
the Board of Domestic Trade to form the Council of Trade and
Plantations. This new arrangement seems not to have been productive of
good results, for in December, 1674, after the fall of the Cabal
ministry, it was discontinued and the direction of colonial affairs
entrusted to the King's Privy Council. This important body, finding its
new duties very onerous, created a committee of twenty-one members, to
whom the supervision of trade and plantations was assigned. In this way
the King's most trusted ministers were brought into close touch with
colonial affairs. We find now such prominent statesmen as Secretary
Coventry, Secretary Williamson and Sir Lionel Jenkins carrying on
extensive correspondence with the Governors, becoming interested in all
their problems and needs, and demanding copies of all journals of
Assembly and other state papers.[882]

This closer intimacy with the colonial governments led inevitably to a
feeling of intolerance for local autonomy and for representative
institutions, and to a determination to force upon the colonists a
conformity with the policies and desires of the English government.
Charles II and James II, instituted, in the decade preceding the English
Revolution, a series of measures designed to curb the independence of
the colonists. Some of the Assembly's long-established and most
important rights were attacked. Many of its statutes were annulled by
proclamation; its judicial powers were forever abolished; its control
over taxation and expenditure was threatened; the privilege of selecting
the Assembly clerk was taken from it; while even the right to initiate
legislation was assailed.

The intolerant mood of the King and Privy Council is reflected in the
instructions given Lord Culpeper upon his departure for Virginia. They
included orders depriving him of the power, exercised freely by all
former Governors, of calling sessions of the Assembly. "It is Our Will
and pleasure," Charles declared, "that for the future noe General
Assembly be called without Our special directions, but that, upon
occasion, you doe acquaint us by letter, with the necessity of calling
such an Assembly, and pray Our consent, and directions for their

Even more dangerous to the liberties of the people was the attempt to
deprive the Assembly of the right to initiate legislation. "You shall
transmit unto us," Culpeper was commanded, "with the advice and consent
of the Council, a draught of such Acts, as you shall think fit and
necessary to bee passed, that wee may take the same into Our
consideration, and return them in the forme wee shall think fit they bee
enacted in. And, upon receipt of Our commands, you shall then summon an
Assembly, and propose the said Laws for their consent."[884]

Most fortunately neither of these instructions could be enforced. The
great distance of England from Virginia, and the time required to
communicate with the King, made the summoning of the Assembly and the
initiation of legislation without the royal assent a matter of absolute
necessity. Lord Culpeper, with his Majesty's especial permission,
disregarded these orders during his first visit to the colony, and
later, to his great satisfaction, the Committee of Trade and Plantations
"altered their measures therein".[885]

Culpeper was directed to secure in the colony a permanent revenue for
the King. It was rightly judged that the representatives of royal
authority could never be entirely masters of the government while they
were dependent for their salaries upon the votes of the Assembly. Sir
William Berkeley, it is true, had rendered his position secure by
obliging all "the men of parts and estates", but similar methods might
be impossible for other Governors. The King and Privy Council did not,
however, attempt to raise the desired revenue by imposing a tax upon the
people without their own consent. An act levying a duty of two shillings
a hogshead upon all tobacco exported from Virginia was drawn up by the
Attorney-General for ratification by the Assembly.[886] The consent of
the King in Council was duly received and the bill, with an act
concerning naturalization and another for a general pardon, were sent to
Virginia by Lord Culpeper. "These bills," the King told him, "we have
caused to be under the Greate Seale of England, and our will is that the
same ... you shall cause to be considered and treated upon in our
Assembly of Virginia."[887]

The revenue bill was quite similar to an act of Assembly still in force,
which had imposed a duty upon exported tobacco, but an all-important
difference lay in the disposal of the funds thus raised. The former
statute had given the proceeds of this tax to the Assembly, "for the
defraying the publique necessary charges",[888] but the new act was to
grant the money "to the King's most excellent Majesty his heires and
Successors for ever to and for the better support of the

In order to carry out these new designs for the government of the
colony, the King ordered Lord Culpeper to prepare to sail at once. The
Governor, however, was most reluctant to leave the pleasures of the
court for a life in the American wilderness. His departure had already
been long delayed, more than two years having elapsed since Charles had
told the colonists to expect his speedy arrival. Yet he still delayed
and procrastinated. On the third of December, 1679, an order was issued
giving his Lordship "liberty to stay in Towne about his affaires until
Monday next, and noe longer, and then to proceed forthwith" to the
Downs, where "the Oxford frigat" was waiting to convey him to
Virginia.[890] But as he still lingered in London, the Captain of the
frigate was ordered to sail up the Thames to take him on board.[891] No
sooner had he left his moorings, however, than Culpeper, probably in
order to gain time, hastened away to the Downs. This so aroused the
King's anger that he was pleased to direct one of his principal
secretaries to signify by letter to Lord Culpeper his high displeasure
at his delay and neglect of duty, and that his intentions were to
appoint another Governor of Virginia unless he embarked as soon as the
frigate returned to the Downs.[892] But now adverse winds set in, and
Culpeper, with the tobacco fleet which had waited for him, was unable to
sail until February 13, 1680.[893]

He arrived off the capes May the second, and eight days later took
formal possession of his government. Immediately the Councillors and
other leading planters flocked around him, eager to secure his support
against the old rebellious party. Nor was their presentation of their
cause ineffectual in winning the Governor's sympathy. "All things," he
wrote Secretary Coventry, "are ... far otherwise than I supposed in
England, and I beleeve ye Council, at least I have seen through a
mist."[894] It was to be expected then, that in settling the dispute
that had so long troubled the colony he would favor the Berkeley
faction. And this, so far as the King's commands would permit, he seems
to have done. The wealthy planters expressed their satisfaction with his
measures, and the commons, if they disapproved, feared to reveal their
resentment. "His Excellency," wrote Colonel Spencer, "has with soe great
prudence settled all the Affairs of the Country that our late different
Interests are perfectly united to the general satisfaction of all his
Majesty's Subjects in this colony."[895]

The Berkeley party was deeply displeased at the King's command to
exclude Colonel Philip Ludwell from the Council. Recognizing in the
order the influence of Colonel Jeffreys and the other commissioners,
they assured the Governor that it had been secured by false
representations. The Councillors declared "that they were very sencible
of ye want of that Assistance they for many Years" had had from Colonel
Ludwell, "whose good abilities, Knowne Integrity and approved Loyalty"
rendered him most necessary to his Majesty's service. They therefore
earnestly requested "his Excellency to Readmitt & Receive him to be one
of ye Councill".[896] Culpeper yielded readily, and Ludwell was restored
to his seat.

The Burgesses were chagrined at the order to oust Major Robert Beverley
from all public employment. He was again the clerk of Assembly, for
which office he was "their Unanimous Choyce", and his disgrace was
regarded as a rebuke to the House.[897] Upon their earnest petition
Culpeper consented that he should retain that important post in which he
was soon to render signal service to the people and to incur again the
anger of the King and his ministers.[898]

When the Assembly convened the Governor at once laid before it the Act
of General Pardon, the Act of Naturalization and the Act for a Public
Revenue. To the first and the second he obtained a prompt assent, but
the third was strenuously resisted. The House of Burgesses was filled
with gentlemen of the best families, men closely allied with the Council
in position and interest, yet they were unwilling to permit any part of
the public revenue to pass out of the control of the people.[899] "The
House," they declared, "doe most humbly desire to be Excused if they doe
not give their approbacon of his Majesties bill."[900] And so determined
were they, that when the matter was again brought before them by the
Governor they refused even to resume the debate.[901]

But Culpeper, fearful of the King's displeasure, and uneasy for the
payment of his own salary, made strenuous efforts to secure the passage
of the bill. He did not scruple to resort to bribery and intimidation to
force obedience from the stubborn Burgesses. We have the testimony of
the Governor himself to one notorious case of the misuse of the
patronage. Among the leaders of the House of Burgesses was Isaac
Allerton, a man of wealth and education, and an excellent speaker.[902]
"He did assure me," Culpeper reported to the Privy Council, "of his
utmost services in whatsoever the King should command him by his
Governor, particularly as to a further Bill of Revenue for the support
of ye Government, And I did engage to move his Majesty that hee should
bee of the Council ... though not to be declared till after the Session
of next Assembly, when I am sure he can bee as serviceable if not more
than any other person whatsoever."[903] This bargain was faithfully kept
and in time Allerton, for thus betraying his trust, received his seat in
the Council.[904]

Nor did Lord Culpeper hesitate to intimidate the Burgesses by
threatening to demand the payment of all arrears of quit-rents. This
tax, although belonging to the King from the first settlement of the
colony, had not, for many years, been duly collected. It was now
rumored, however, that the Privy Council intended, not only to enforce
for the future a strict payment, but to demand a settlement for the
accumulated arrears. In 1679 Sir Henry Chicheley had forwarded to his
Majesty a petition from the Assembly asking relief from this great
burden. If this be not granted, he wrote, the payments which have been
so long due and amount to so vast a sum, will fall heavily upon all, but
especially upon the poor.[905] Culpeper, knowing well the anxiety of the
Burgesses upon this point, told them that if they expected the King to
grant their petition, they must yield to his desire for a royal revenue
in the colony.

Calling the Assembly before him, he urged them to resume their debate.
"It looks," he said, "as if you could give noe reasons or as if you were
affraid to be convinced.... I desire you to lay aside that irregular
proceeding ... and resume the debate." The Council, he added, had given
their unanimous consent to the bill. "Consider the affaires of the Quitt
Rents, Consider the King's favour in every thing you may aske even to a
cessacon ... and reflect if it be tante for you not to concurr in a
thing that, I am assured, ye King ... judges his owne and will soe use
it and the more fully then if this Act pass."[906]

Thus threatened, the Burgesses finally yielded, and the bill became law.
But they insisted upon adding to it two provisos: that the former export
duty upon tobacco be repealed, and that the exemption of Virginia ship
owners from the payment of the tax, which had been a provision of the
former law, should be continued.[907] When some months later the matter
came before the Committee of Trade and Plantations, their Lordships
expressed much dissatisfaction at these amendments, declaring that the
bill should have passed "in Terminis". Since, however, the first proviso
in no way changed the sense of the act, and had been added only to
prevent a double imposition, they recommended that it should be
continued. But the second was declared null and void by order of the
King, as "irregular and unfit to be allowed of".[908]

Lord Culpeper, immediately after the dismissal of the Assembly made
ready to return to England. August 3, 1680, he read to the Council an
order from the King granting him permission to leave the colony, and a
few days later he set sail in _The James_.[909] The government was again
left in the hands of the infirm Chicheley.[910]

Culpeper, upon his arrival in England, told the King that all was well
in the colony, that the old contentions had been forgotten, and the
people were happy and prosperous. But this favorable report, which was
made by the Governor to palliate his desertion of his post, was far from
being true. There was, as he well knew, a deep-seated cause of
discontent in Virginia, that threatened constantly to drive the people
again into mutiny and disorder. This was the continued low price of
tobacco. In the years which had elapsed since Bacon's Rebellion, the
people, despite their bitter quarrels, had produced several large crops,
and the English market was again glutted. "What doth quite overwhelm
both us and Maryland," complained the colonists, "is the extreme low
price of our only commodity ... and consequently our vast poverty and
infinite necessity."[911] The Burgesses, in 1682, spoke of the
worthlessness of tobacco as an "ineffable Calamity". "Wee are," they
said, "noe wayes able to force a miserable subsistance from the same....
If force of penne, witt, or words Could truely represent (our condition)
as it is, the sad resentments would force blood from any Christian
Loyall Subjects heart."[912] Some months later the Council wrote, "The
people of Virginia are generally, some few excepted, extremely poor, ...
not being able to provide against the pressing necessities of their
families."[913] That the Privy Council was aware, as early as October,
1681, that these conditions might lead to another insurrection, is
attested by a letter of the Committee of Trade and Plantations to Lord
Culpeper. "We are informed," they wrote, "that Virginia is in great
danger of disturbance ... by reason of the extreme poverty of the
People, occasioned by the low price of tobacco which, tis feared may
induce the servants to plunder the Stores of the Planters and the Ships
arriving there and to commit other outrages and disorders as in the late

This universal distress created a strong sentiment throughout the colony
in favor of governmental restriction upon the planting of tobacco.
Unless something were done to limit the annual crop, prices would
continue to decline. Many merchants, who had bought up large quantities
of tobacco in England with the expectation that its value would
eventually rise, "fell to insinuate with the easiest sort People how
advantageous it would bee ... if an Act of Assembly could be procured to
cease planting tobacco for one whole year".[915] When, in the spring of
1682, it became apparent that another large crop must be expected, an
almost universal demand arose for the immediate convening of the
Assembly for the passage of a law of cessation.

The Councillors, although themselves in favor of some restraint upon the
huge output, advised the aged Deputy-Governor not to consent to a
session at this juncture.[916] But Chicheley, persuaded, it was claimed,
by the insistent arguments of Major Beverley, yielded to the desires of
the people, and upon his own responsibility, issued writs summoning the
Burgesses to convene at Jamestown, April 18, 1682.[917] Five days before
the date of meeting, however, a letter arrived from the King, expressly
forbidding an Assembly until November the tenth, when, it was hoped,
Lord Culpeper would have returned to his government.[918] The letter
also informed the Deputy-Governor that two companies of troops that had
remained in Virginia ever since the Rebellion, could no longer be
maintained at the expense of the royal Exchequer. Since many of the
Burgesses were already on their way to Jamestown, Sir Henry decided to
hold a brief session, in order to permit them, if they so desired, to
continue the companies at the charge of the colony.[919] But he
expressed his determination, in obedience to the King's commands, to
forbid the consideration of any other matter whatsoever.

The Burgesses met "big with expectation to enact a Cessation".[920] The
appeals of their constituents and the smart of their own purses made
them desperately resolute to give the country relief from the present
depressing conditions. When they learned that after all their session
was to be in vain, and that they were to be allowed to vote only on the
matter of continuing the companies, they were deeply concerned and
angered. Addressing the Deputy Governor, they declared themselves
overwhelmed with grief at the expectation of adjournment. They had, from
all parts of the drooping country, passionately wended their way to
Jamestown, to attend this Assembly, upon which the "last expiring
hopes" of the "miserably indigent poor Country" were reposed. Should
they be compelled to return to their homes, having accomplished nothing,
the people would be struck with amazement, "like an unexpected death

The Deputy Governor, not daring to disobey the King, ignored their
appeal, and bade them decide without delay whether or not they would
continue the two companies. But the Burgesses would give no definite
answer upon this matter, hoping by a policy of delay to win, in the end,
Chicheley's consent to the cessation. After seven days of fruitless
bickering Sir Henry, in anger at their obstinacy, prorogued the Assembly
to November the tenth.[922] Before their dismissal, however, the
Burgesses, in order to show that they had not been remiss in endeavoring
to secure relief for the people, voted that the journal of their
proceedings should be read publicly in every county.

Nor had they misjudged the desperate humor of the people. When it became
known throughout the colony that the Assembly had done nothing to
restrict the planting of tobacco, the anger of the poor planters could
not be restrained. Some bold spirits proposed that the people should
assemble in various parts of the country, and, in defiance of law and
order, cut to pieces the tobacco then in the fields. If the King would
not permit a cessation by law, they would bring about a cessation by
force. A few days after the close of the Assembly, parties of men in
Gloucester began the work of destruction. It required but little
exertion to ruin the tender plants, and the rioters, passing from
plantation to plantation, in an incredibly short time accomplished
enormous havoc. Many men, filled with the contagion, cut up their own
tobacco, and then joined the mob in the destruction of the crops of
their neighbors.[923]

As soon as the news of this strange insurrection reached Jamestown,
Chicheley dispatched Colonel Kemp to Gloucester with directions to
muster the militia and to restore order by force of arms. This officer,
with a troop of horse, fell upon one party of plant-cutters, and
captured twenty-two of their number. "Two of the principal and
incorrigible rogues" he held for trial, but "the rest submitting and
giving assurances of their quiet and peacable behavior were
remitted".[924] Other parties, intimidated by these vigorous measures,
dispersed, and soon peace was restored throughout all Gloucester. But
now news reached the Deputy-Governor "that the next adjacent county,
being new Kent, was lately broke forth, committing the like spoyles on
plants". And no sooner had the troops suppressed the rioters here than
the disorders spread to Middlesex and other counties. It became
necessary to issue orders to the commanders of the militia in each
county to keep parties of horse in continual motion, to prevent the
designs of the plant-cutters and arrest their leaders.[925] And then the
rioters, who had at first carried on their work in the open day, "went
in great companys by night, destroying and pulling up whole fields of
tobacco after it was well grown".[926] Not until August were the
disorders finally suppressed.

These troubles, coming so soon after Bacon's Rebellion, caused great
apprehension, both to the colonial government and to the Privy Council.
"I know," wrote Secretary Spencer, "the necessities of the inhabitants
to be such ... their low estate makes them desperate.... If they goe
forward the only destroying Tobacco plants will not satiate their
rebellious appatites who, if they increase and find the strength of
their own arms, will not bound themselves."[927] And, although the
actual rioters were "inconsiderable people", yet it was thought they had
been instigated by men of position and wealth.[928]

Grave suspicion rested upon Major Robert Beverley.[929] It had been the
importunities of "the over-active Clerk" that had persuaded Chicheley,
against the advice of the Council, to convene the Assembly. It was he
that had been the most industrious advocate of a cessation, that had
fomented the disputes in the Assembly, that had most strenuously
opposed adjournment. And it was he, the Council believed, that had
"instilled into the multitude ... the right of making a Cessation by
cutting up Plants".[930] Moreover, they thought it not improbable that
he would lead the people into a new insurrection. The rabble regarded
him with veneration and love. His activity in suppressing the Rebellion
and his opposition to the county grievances of 1677 had been forgotten,
and they saw in him now only the defender of the poor and helpless. Were
he to assume the rôle of a Bacon and place himself at the head of the
commons, he might easily make himself master of the colony. Although
there was no evidence against him, "but only rudeness and sauciness", it
was thought advisable to render him powerless to accomplish harm, by
placing him under arrest.[931] He was taken without resistance by
Major-General Smith, "though to his own great loss of 2 or 300 pounds,
by the Rabbles cutting up his Tobacco plants within two days after out
of Spight".[932]

Beverley was kept in strict confinement on board an English ship, the
_Duke of York_, where for the time, he was safe from rescue by the
people. But so fearful was the Council that he might plot for a general
insurrection, that they issued orders forbidding him to send or to
receive letters, and permitting him to speak only in the presence of the
captain of the ship.[933] Even these harsh measures did not reassure
them, and it was decided to send him to the Eastern Shore, where the
people were most loyal to the government, and where rescue would be
impossible.[934] As preparations were being made to effect his transfer,
he escaped from the custody of the sheriff, and returned to his home in
Middlesex. But he was soon recaptured, and conveyed to Northampton.
Here, despite all the efforts of his friends and his own violent
protests, he was kept in confinement for months. In the fall he applied
for a writ of habeas corpus, but this was denied him under the pretext
that the whole matter had been referred to the King, and was no longer
within the jurisdiction of the Deputy-Governor and Council.[935] Since,
however, all fear of a rebellion was now passed, he was permitted, upon
giving bail to the sum of £2,000, to return to his home. But he was
still restricted to the counties of Middlesex and Gloucester, was
declared ineligible to public office and was forbidden to plead as an
attorney in any colonial court.[936]

When the Privy Council learned of the plant-cutting in Virginia, they
ordered Lord Culpeper "to repair to the Government with all possible
speed, in order to find out, by the strictest enquiry, the abbetors and
instruments of this commotion". And since they too were fearful of a new
insurrection, they gave directions "that some person who shall be found
most faulty may be forthwith punished".[937] "After which," the Privy
Council advised, "and not before the Governor may be directed to
consider of and propose, with the advice of the Council and the
Assembly, ... some temperament in relation to the Planting of Tobacco
and raising the price of that commodity."[938]

Culpeper left England in October, 1682, upon "the Mermaid frigat", and,
after a tedious and dangerous voyage of eleven weeks, arrived safely in
Virginia. He was resolved that the persons responsible for the
plant-cutting should be brought immediately to trial, and punished with
the utmost rigor of the law. The strictest inquiry was made into the
conduct of Major Beverley, and had there been evidence sufficient to
convict him, the unfortunate Clerk would undoubtedly have suffered death
upon the gallows. But since only the most trivial offenses could be
adduced against him, Culpeper was forced to turn elsewhere for the
victims demanded by the English government.

So the prosecution was now directed against some of the actual
plant-cutters. In this, however, Culpeper found himself greatly
embarrassed by Chicheley's previous treatment of the matter. The
Deputy-Governor had, some months before, issued pardons to many of the
chief offenders, and had permitted the others to give bail, thus
treating their crime as "Ryot and noe more", and making the affair seem
"as slight as possible to the people".[939] But Culpeper, despite this
action of Sir Henry, ordered the arrest of four of the most notorious
plant-cutters and charged them with high treason. Their trial created
great excitement throughout the colony, but "despite the high words and
threats" of the rabble, three of them were convicted. Two were
executed--Somerset Davies at Jamestown, and Black Austin "before the
Court-house in Glocester county, where the Insurrection first broke
out".[940] The third was pardoned by the Governor. "Hee was extremely
young," Culpeper wrote, "not past 19, meerely drawn in and very
penitent, and therefore ... I thought fit to mingle mercy with Justice
and Repreeved him ... to the end the whole country might be convinced
that there was no other motive in the thing but purely to maintain

But although Culpeper was thus vigorous in punishing the disorders of
the poor people, he did nothing to remove the cause of their
turbulence--the low price of tobacco. By an order in Council of June 17,
1682, he had been directed to grant a cessation, should it seem
expedient, and had been given a letter from Secretary Jenkins to Lord
Baltimore, requiring the coöperation of Maryland.[942] But, upon
finding the colony in peace and quiet, and the Assembly busy with other
concerns, he "took advantage thereof", and kept secret this unexpected
concession. Culpeper pretended to believe that the desired cessation
would be of no real benefit to the planters, but it is clear that he was
consciously betraying the colony to the greed of the royal
Exchequer.[943] "I soe encouraged the planting of tobacco," he reported
to the Privy Council, "that if the season continue to be favorable ...
there will bee a greater cropp by far than ever grew since its first
seating. And I am confident that Customs next year from thence will be
£50,000 more than ever heretofore in any one year."[944] Immediately
after, he declared that he well knew "that the great Cropp then in hand
would most certainly bring that place into the utmost exigencies
again", and he promised to be prepared to quell the disturbances that
would result.[945]

Before Lord Culpeper left England an order had been delivered to him
"commanding that noe Governour of his Majesty's Plantations, doe come
into England from his Government", without first obtaining leave from
the King.[946] But so loath was he to remain long in Virginia, that as
soon as he had dispatched the business of the April court, he once more
set sail for England. "I judged it a proper time," he said, "to make a
step home this easy quiet year, not out of any fondness to bee in
England, ... but for the King's service only."[947]

But Charles and the Privy Council were weary of Culpeper's neglect of
duty. They decided to rid themselves of so untrustworthy an officer and
to appoint in his place a man that would remain in the colony and carry
out their wishes and policies. An inquisition was held upon his conduct,
and his letters patent as Governor-General were declared void.[948] On
the 28th of September, 1683, a commission as Lieutenant- and
Governor-General of Virginia was granted to Lord Howard of

Few British colonial Governors are less deserving of respect than Thomas
Lord Culpeper. He was insensible of any obligation to guard the welfare
of the people of Virginia, and was negligent in executing the commands
of the King. He seems to have regarded his office only as an easy means
of securing a large income, and he was untiring in his efforts to extort
money from the exhausted and impoverished colony. Sir William Berkeley's
salary as Governor had been £1,000, but Culpeper demanded and received
no less than £2,000.[950] In addition, he was allowed £150 a year in
lieu of a residence, received pay as captain of infantry and claimed
large sums under the provisions of the Arlington-Culpeper grant.

Nor did he scruple to resort to open fraud in satisfying his greed.
There were, in 1680, two companies remaining in Virginia of the troops
sent over to suppress Bacon's Rebellion. Having received no pay for many
months, the soldiers were discontented and mutinous.[951] The Privy
Council entrusted to Culpeper, upon his first departure for the colony,
money to satisfy them, and to compensate the householders with whom they
had been quartered.[952] At this period, as always in the seventeenth
century, there was a great scarcity of specie in Virginia. But there
circulated, usually by weight, various foreign coins, the most common of
which was the Spanish piece of eight, about equal in value to five
shillings in English money. My Lord, upon his arrival, industriously
bought up all the worn coins he could secure, arbitrarily proclaimed
them legal tender at the ratio of six shillings to one piece of eight,
and then paid the soldiers and the landlords. This ingenious trick
probably netted him over £1,000. Later he restored the ratio to five to
one, so that he would lose nothing when his own salary became due. Of
such stuff were some of the Virginia colonial governors.[953]

But Culpeper's many defects were not wholly unfortunate for the colony,
for they rendered him unfit to carry out the designs of the King. His
frequent absences from his government made it impossible for him to
become thoroughly acquainted with conditions in the colony, or to bind
the wealthy to him by a judicious use of the patronage. He was too weak,
too careless to pursue a long continued attack upon the established
privileges of the people.

It boded ill, therefore, for Virginia, when he was removed, and a
commission granted to Lord Howard. The new Governor was well fitted for
the task of oppression and coercion. Unscrupulous,
deceitful, overbearing, resentful, persistent, he proved a dangerous foe
to the representative institutions of the colony, and an able defender
of royal prerogative. Had he not encountered throughout his entire
administration, the united and determined resistance of the Burgesses,
he might have overthrown all constitutional government. Well it was for
Virginia that at this moment of imminent danger, the Burgesses should
have been so conscious of their duty and so resolute in executing it.
They were still, as in most periods of colonial history, men of high
social position, but they represented, not their own class, but the
entire colony. And they were ever watchful to guard the interests of the

Effingham took the oath of office in England, October 24, 1683,[954] and
a few months later sailed for the colony.[955] No sooner had he set foot
in Virginia than the struggle with the Burgesses began. The session of
Assembly of April, 1684, was filled with their bitter disputes.

Consternation reigned in the House when Lord Howard produced an
instruction from the King forbidding appeals from the inferior courts to
the Assembly.[956] As early as October, 1678, Colonel Francis Moryson
had advised the Privy Council to abolish the judicial powers of the
Assembly, claiming that they were the source of the great influence and
"arrogancy" of that body.[957] Their Lordships did not awaken at once to
the importance of this matter, but before long they became convinced
that Moryson was right. Accordingly Lord Culpeper, in his commission of
1682, was directed to procure the immediate repeal of all laws "allowing
appeals to the Assembly".[958] But Culpeper, interested only in securing
money from the Burgesses, failed to put this instruction into operation.
"As to what concerns Appeals," he declared, "I have never once permitted
any one to come to the Assembly, soe that the thing is in effect done.
But having some thoughts of getting a Revenue Bill to pass, I was
unwilling actually to repeal ye Laws relating thereunto till the next
session of Assembly should be over, well knowing how infinitely it would
trouble them."[959]

But Effingham had no such scruples, and told the Burgesses plainly the
commands he bore from the King.[960] The House, in great dismay,
requested the Governor and the Council to join them in an address to his
Majesty, imploring him to restore a privilege which had so long been
enjoyed "according to ye Laws and antient Practice of the
Country".[961] But Lord Howard replied coldly, "It is what I can in noe
parte admitt of, his Majesty haveing been pleased by his Royal
instruccons to direct & command that noe appeales be open to the General

Nor did the Assembly ever regain this important power. As late as 1691
we find the agent of the Burgesses in England asking in vain for the
restoration of the right of appeals.[963] The change threw into the
hands of the Governor and Council extraordinary power over the judiciary
of the colony. The county justices, who sat in the lower courts, were
the appointees of the Governor, and could not effectually resist his
will. Moreover, as appeals lay from them to the General Court, they were
powerless before the decisions of the superior tribunal. Thus the
judiciary of the colony lost its only democratic feature.

The Burgesses, undismayed by their defeat in this matter, at this same
session entered a vigorous protest against the King's right to annul
acts of Assembly. During Berkeley's administration his Majesty had
seldom exercised this power, but of late many acts had been repealed by
proclamation without the consent or knowledge of the Assembly. This, the
Burgesses claimed, was an unwarranted infringement upon the privileges
granted them "by sundry Comissions, Letters and Instructions", that was
most destructive of their cherished liberties and rights. And they
demanded that henceforth their statutes should have the force of law
until they had been "Repealed by the same Authority of Generall
Assembly".[964] But they received no encouragement from the Governor.
What you ask, he told them, "is soe great an entrenchment upon ye Royall
authority that I cannot but wonder you would offer at it".[965]

Thereupon the House determined to appeal directly to the King,
petitioning him not only to give up the right of repealing laws by
proclamation, but to permit the continuation of appeals to the Assembly.
Since the Governor refused to transmit their address to his Majesty,
they forwarded copies to Secretary Jenkins by two of their own
members--Thomas Milner and William Sherwood.[966]

This address received scant consideration from the King and the Privy
Council. "Whereas," James II wrote Effingham in October, 1685, "it hath
been represented unto us by our Committee for Trade and Plantations,
that they have received from some unknown persons a paper entitled an
address and supplication of the General Assembly of Virginia ... which
you had refused to recommend as being unfit to be presented.... Wee
cannot but approve of your proceedings.... And wee doe further direct
you to discountenance such undue practices for the future as alsoe the
Contrivers and Promoters thereof."[967] For their activity in this
matter Sherwood and Milner "in ye following year were both turned out of
all imployments to their great damage and disgrace".[968]

In the spring of 1685 Effingham received notification from the Privy
Council of the death of Charles II and the accession of the Duke of York
as James II.[969] He replied a few days later, "I have, with the
greatest solemnity this place is capable of proclaimed his Majesty King
James II in all the considerable places of this colony, where the great
Acclamations and Prayers of the People gave a universal Testimony of
their Obedience."[970] Despite these outward manifestations of joy, the
people were by no means pleased to have a Roman Catholic monarch upon
the English throne. When news reached Virginia that the Duke of Monmouth
was in open rebellion, and had gained important successes over his
Majesty's forces, there was grave danger that the commons of the colony
might espouse his cause.[971] Many were so emboldened, wrote Effingham,
"that their tongues ran at large and demonstrated the wickedness of
their hearts, till I secured some and deterred others from spreading
such false reports by my Proclamation".[972] The defeat and execution
of the Duke of Monmouth for a time ended all thought of resistance to
the King.

But Effingham found the people sullen and discontented and the Burgesses
more stubborn than ever. The session of Assembly of 1685 was, perhaps,
the most stormy ever held in Virginia. The House made a strenuous and
successful resistance to a vigorous attempt to deprive it of its control
over taxation. In 1662, when the Assembly was dominated by Sir William
Berkeley, an act had been passed empowering the Governor and Council to
levy annually for three years a tax of not more than twenty pounds of
tobacco per poll.[973] In 1680 the Council had requested Lord Culpeper
to represent to the King the disadvantages of leaving taxation entirely
in the hands of the Assembly, hoping that his Majesty would by
proclamation revive the law of 1662.[974] The greatest item of expense
to the government, they argued, arose from the Assembly itself, "ye
charge of which hath been too often found to be twice as much as would
have satisfied all publiq dues".[975] The matter was presented to the
consideration of the Burgesses in 1680, but was lost in the committee

The King and Privy Council, although they approved of the levy by the
Governor and the Council, did not venture to grant them that power by
royal proclamation. They instructed Lord Howard, however, in his
commission of 1683, to propose for passage in the Assembly a law similar
to that of 1662.[977] Accordingly, in 1684, Effingham placed the matter
before the Burgesses and told them that it was the King's desire that
they give their consent. But they ignored his message, and the Governor
could not press the matter at that time. In the next session, however,
he became more insistent. "I must remind you," he told the Burgesses,
"of what was omitted in ye last Assembly ... that a Law may passe
whereby His Majesty's Governor with ye advice of ye Council may be
empowered to lay a levy."[978] But the Burgesses would not yield. "The
House," they replied, "... do humbly signifye to your Excellency, that
they can noe waies concede to or comply with that proposition, without
apparent and signal violation of ye great trust with them reposed."[979]
And when Effingham urged them to reconsider their action, they passed a
resolution unanimously refusing to relinquish this their greatest

After the prorogation of the Assembly, Lord Howard wrote home his
complaints against the stubborn Burgesses. "Your Lordships," he said,
"will ... find their total denyal that the Governor and Council should
have any power to lay the least Levy to ease the necessity of soe
frequent Assemblys.... This was propounded by mee to them before his
Majesty's Instructions came to my hand that I should,... but nothing
would prevail nor I beleeve will, unless his Majesty's special command

A long and acrimonious quarrel occurred over the quit-rents. Because of
the lack of specie in the colony, it had always been necessary to
collect this tax, when it was collected at all, in tobacco. In March,
1662, the Assembly had passed a law fixing the rate of payment at two
pence a pound, which was then not far from the current price. But the
decline in value of the commodity which had occurred since 1662, had
resulted in a great diminution in the tax.

In July, 1684, the King wrote Effingham that he had taken over all the
rights of Arlington and Culpeper to the quit-rents, and announced it his
intention to use them for the support of the Virginia government. He
directed the Governor to secure the repeal of the law of 1662 and to
forbid all payments in tobacco. "You must ... impower," he wrote, "the
Officers of our Revenue to collect (them) ... according to ye
reservation of 2s per every hundred acres ... to be paid in specie, that
is in Mony."[981]

As tobacco sold, in 1684, at a half penny a pound, this order, had it
been put into operation, would have quadrupled the value of the
quit-rents, and increased materially the burdens of the planters. The
Burgesses, in alarm, petitioned the Governor to allow the old
arrangement to continue, declaring that the lack of specie made it
impossible to comply with the King's order. And they refused to repeal
the law of March, 1662.

Displeased at their obstinacy, the King, in August, 1686, nullified the
law by proclamation. "Being now informed," he declared, "that several
persons goe about to impede our Service ... by imposing bad tobacco upon
our collectors at the rate of 2d per llb, under pretence of an Act of
Assembly of March 30, 1662, ... Wee have thought fit to Repeal the said

Even then the Burgesses resisted. At the session of 1686 they petitioned
on behalf of all the freeholders of the colony that the quit-rents
should be paid as formerly. To make payment in specie, they declared,
would not only be ruinous, but utterly impossible.[983] So angered were
they and so determined not to obey, that Effingham found it expedient to
consent to a compromise. It was agreed that the tax should be collected
in tobacco as before, but at the rate of one penny per pound, which, as
Effingham said, was not ad valorum. Thus the only result of this long
quarrel was to double the value of the quit-rents, and to add greatly to
the burdens of the impoverished and discontented people.[984]

Even more bitter was the contest over the so-called Bill of Ports. This
measure was designed to remedy the scattered mode of living in Virginia,
by appointing certain places as ports of landing and shipment, and
confining to them all foreign trade. Throughout the seventeenth century
almost all shipping was done from private wharves. The country was so
interspersed with rivers, inlets and creeks, deep enough to float the
largest vessels, that ports were entirely unnecessary. Each planter
dealt directly with the merchants, receiving English manufactured goods
almost at his front door, and lading the ships with tobacco from his own
warehouse. This system, so natural and advantageous, seemed to the
English Kings, and even to the colonists, a sign of unhealthful
conditions. More than once attempts had been made to force the people
to build towns and to discontinue the desultory plantation trade.

In 1679, Culpeper was ordered to propose a law in the Assembly requiring
the erection of towns on each great river, to which all foreign trade
should be confined. Accordingly, in 1680, a Bill of Ports was passed.
"Wee are now grown sensible," wrote Secretary Spencer, "that our present
necessities, and too much to be doubted future miseries, are much
heightened by our wild and rambling way of living, therefore are
desirous of cohabitation, in order whereunto in ye late Assembly an Act
was made appointing a town in every County, where all Goods imported are
to be landed, and all Goods exported to be shipt off. And if this takes
effect, as its hoped it may, Virginia will then go forward which of late
years hath made a retrograde motion."[985]

But this attempt ended in dismal failure. In 1681, when the shipmasters
came to the appointed ports, they found that no shelter had been
constructed for their goods. Thinking the law nullified, or not yet in
operation, they traded as usual from private wharves. For this breach of
the law, some of them were prosecuted in the colonial courts, to their
own great loss and to the inconvenience of many of the planters.[986]
Loud wrangling and bitter animosities resulted throughout the colony,
and at length the King was compelled to suspend the law.[987]

In the Assembly of 1685 it was proposed to enact another Bill of Ports.
Accordingly an act was drafted in the House of Burgesses and, in due
time, sent up for the approval of the Council. The upper house, after
making several alterations, consented to the bill and returned it to the
Burgesses. The latter agreed to most of the changes, but struck out a
clause restricting the towns to two upon each river, and added an
amendment permitting one port to a county.[988] The Council in turn
yielded, but inserted a new clause, "That there should bee ffees
ascertained on Goods exported and imported for the support of those
Officers which should bee obliged to reside in those Ports".[989] As
"there was noe room in ye margint to write ye alteration ... it was
wrote in a piece of paper and affixt to ye Act".[990] When the bill came
back to the House, Major Robert Beverley, who was again the clerk of the
Assembly, acting it would seem upon his own initiative, tore off the
paper containing this amendment. The bill then came before the House
apparently assented to without change and was returned by them for the
signature of the Governor and the Councillors. Neither Effingham nor any
of the Council noticed the omission, and thinking their amendment had
been accepted, signed the bill.[991] Thereupon it was engrossed, and
sent up for the final signature of the Governor. But Effingham in
reading the engrossed copy, discovered the omission, and refused to
affix his name to the bill, claiming that it "was not engrost as
assented to" by him and the Council.[992] "To which," wrote the
Governor, "they sent mee word that the Bill could admit of noe
alteration or amendment after it was attested by the Clerk of the
General Assembly as assented to, and that it had by that the force of a
Law.... I sent them word again that though any bill was assented to by
mee and the Council, yet if I should afterwards perseive it would prove
prejudicial ... I had power to refuse the signing of it by vertue of His
Majesty's negative voice.... But all would not persuade them out of
their obstinacy, nay tho' I offered to lay that Bill aside till His
Majesty's pleasure should bee known therein; And to sign all the
others.... But nothing would please them but Invading, if not
destroying, His Majesty's Prerogative." The Burgesses declared that they
did not contest the Governor's right to the veto, but contended that
when once he signed a bill, "it could not faile of having ye force of a
Law".[993] Effingham, they complained, was claiming a "double negative
Voice". So angry did they become that they refused to apportion the levy
for defraying the public charges, and after many days of bitter
contention the Governor was forced to prorogue them.

"I did not disolve them," he wrote the Privy Council, "for these
reasons. Because if his Majesty shall think fitt to have them dissolved,
it will bee soe great a rebuke to them, when done by his Majesty's
special command, that I hope it will deter them for the future to bee
soe obstinate and peevish."[994] Accordingly, in August, 1686, the King
wrote the Governor, "Whereas, we have been informed of ye irregular and
tumultuous proceedings of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, at their
late meeting, the members thereof having ... presumed so far as to raise
contests touching ye power of ye Negative Voice ... which wee cannot
attribute to any other Cause then the disaffected & unquiet Dispositions
of those Members.... Wee have thought fitt hereby as a mark of our
displeasure ... to Charge ... you forthwith to Dissolve the present

When this order reached Virginia the Assembly was again in session.
"After I had passed the Acts," wrote Effingham, "I ordered His Majesty's
Letter to bee publickly read to them, and then Dissolved them ... and
told them they were the first Assembly which had been soe dissolved and
I hoped they would bee the last that should deserve it. I ordered copies
of his Majesty's Letter to bee sent to the several County-Courts, that
all the Inhabitants might know how displeasing such proceedings were to
his Majesty."[996] "And now," he added, "the public debts being paid,...
I shall not for the future have soe frequent Assemblys."[997]

More damaging to the Burgesses than this rebuke was the loss of the
right to elect their own clerk. "I was severely angry with their Clerk,"
declared Effingham, "that he durst omit ye least clause, especially soe
material an one ... I sent to the Assembly to make him an example for
it, But they rather maintained him."[998] Some months later the King
sent orders that Beverley be tried for defacing the records and that he
be once more deprived of all offices. Probably because of his great
popularity, Beverley was never brought to trial, but he was forced to
relinquish his lucrative governmental posts.[999] In May, 1686, Nicholas
Spencer wrote the Committee of Trade and Plantations, advocating the
appointment of the clerk by the Governor. "I ... beg leave to present,"
he said, "how necessary it is ... that the clerk of the House ... bee
commissionated by his Majesty's Governour ... and that his salary be
appointed unto him out of his Majesty's revenue. This will take off his
dependency on his great masters the House of Burgesses, and leave noe
room for designed omissions."[1000] Nothing loath, the King, in August,
1686, wrote Lord Howard, "Wee ... require you ... upon the Convening of
the Assembly to appoint a fit person to execute the Office of Clerk of
the House of Burgesses, & not to permit upon any pretense whatsoever any
other person to execute ye said Office but such as shall bee soe chosen
by you."[1001]

Accordingly, at the session of April, 1688, the Governor, with the
approbation of the Council, appointed Captain Francis Page as clerk of
the House.[1002] The Burgesses could but yield, but they told Effingham
that the clerk was still their servant and ought to take the usual oath
of secrecy. "I do declare," replied the Governor, "it was never my
intention nor my desire that the Clerk should be as a spy upon your
Actions and to declare to me your private Debates." It was therefore
agreed that he should take the following oath: "You shall keep secret
all private Debates of the said House of Burgesses."[1003] Despite this,
it was quite evident that the House was no longer to be master of its
own clerk, and that he was to be in the future, to some extent at least,
an emissary of the enemy seated in their midst.

The resolute and vigilant defense of the constitutional rights of
Virginia made by the House in this the critical period of her history is
deserving of the highest praise, because it was made in the face of
vigorous personal attacks by Effingham upon the most active of the
members. Every Burgess that voted against the measures proposed by the
King or advocated by his Governor, exposed himself not only to removal
from office, but to active persecution. As we have seen, Mr. William
Sherwood and Colonel Thomas Milner, for forwarding to the Privy Council
the address of the Burgesses in 1684, had been dismissed from
office.[1004] "In ye year 1686 Mr. Arthur Allen & Mr. John Smith, who
were Burgesses in ye year 1685, were turned out of all imployment Civill
& Military to Mr. Allen's great damage, he being a surveyor of land at
that tyme."[1005] I have displaced Allen, wrote Effingham, because he
was "a great promoter of those differences between mee and the Assembly
concerning the King's negative Voice ... as not thinking it fitt that
those who are peevishly opposite to his Majesty's interest should have
any advantage by his favor".[1006] "In the year 1688 Mr. William
Anderson, a member of ye Assembly in that year was soon after the
Assembly by the Governor's order and Command put in ye Common goale and
there detained 7 months, without Tryal, though often prayed for, and
several courts past in ye time of his imprisonment. Nor could he obtain
ye benefit of habeas corpus upon his humble petition.... Mr. Charles
Scarburgh, a member of that Assembly, alsoe was, soon after ye Assembly,
turned out of all imployment and as a mark of his Lordship's
displeasure, a command was sent to ye clerk of ye county to raze his
name out of ye records as a Justice of Peace."[1007] "From whence," it
was declared, "the people conclude these severities are inflicted rather
as a terrour to others than for any personall crimes of their owne, and
is of such ruinous consequence that either the public or particular
interests must fall, for if none oppose, the country must languish under
the severity of the government, or fly into a mutiny to save themselves
from starving. If any do appear more zealous in prosecuting the
countries complaints they know what to expect. It being observable that
none has been thus punisht but those who were forward in the assembly to
oppose the encroachments on the people, and promote the complaint to
England, being out of hope of relief on the place."[1008]

One is inclined to ask, when considering the incessant quarrels of the
Governor and the Burgesses, why Lord Howard was less successful than
Governor Berkeley had been in gaining an ascendency over the Assembly.
During the Restoration Period the Burgesses had worked in entire harmony
with Sir William, even when he advocated the oppressive measures that
were so instrumental in bringing on Bacon's Rebellion. Effingham, on the
other hand, found himself continually embroiled with the Assemblymen,
and unable to force them into submission even with rebukes and

The explanation must be sought partly in the different characters of the
two Governors. Berkeley was an abler man than Lord Howard, more tactful,
more capable of utilizing the weapons at hand. His method of
overwhelming the legislators with favors was more effective in winning
their support than intimidation and threats. Moreover, Sir William,
himself a Virginian by his long residence in the colony, carried out
only his own policies, and by methods that did not openly assail the
charter rights of the people. Effingham, on the other hand, was the
instrument of the English King and his Councillors in an assault upon
representative government in the colony. It was but natural that all
classes, even the wealthy planters, should resist him with stubborn
resolution. Nor was it possible for Effingham to control, as Sir William
had done, the elections of Burgesses. The opposition of many sheriffs,
whose duty it was to preside at the polls, to the administration, the
greater vigilance of the House, and the independent spirit of the
commons conspired to render the returns more accurate and the House more
responsive to the will of the people. Finally, the poor planters found
now, what they had lacked during the Restoration Period, cultured and
able men to represent them in the Assembly. Without the aggressive
leadership of Major Robert Beverley, Thomas Milner, Colonel Ballard, and
other prominent planters, the cause of the people might have been lost.

Even in the Council the commons had one staunch friend--Colonel Philip
Ludwell. This restless man, who was unable to work in harmony with any
Governor save Sir William Berkeley, sympathized with his old friends of
the Green Spring faction in their resistance to Effingham. As early as
1684 he had aroused the Governor's suspicion by arguing in Council "for
the undutiful Address which was sent to his Majesty",[1009] and during
the sessions of 1685 and 1686 it was thought that he was "an Instrument
in Abbetting and formenting those Disputes & Exceptions the Assembly soe
insisted on".[1010]

Soon after, the Governor's distrust was heightened by two acts of favor
shown by Ludwell to leaders of the opposition in the House of Burgesses.
When ordered to oust Major Allen from his surveyor's place, he gave it
to "Major Swan, one altogether as troublesom as the other & that only
for the use of Allen". Upon receiving information that the King had
declared Major Beverley "uncapable of any public imployment ... hee
presently gives his Surveyor's place, the best in the Country to his
Son".[1011] In the spring of 1686 the Governor made one last attempt to
win Ludwell over from the people's cause. "I did," he wrote, "on the
death of Colonel Bridger ... give him a collector's place, in hopes to
have gained him by it."[1012] But Ludwell, unaffected by this attempted
bribery, continued his active opposition to the arbitrary and illegal
conduct of the Governor. At last, during the session of Assembly of
1686, there occurred an open breach. "His Lordship flew into a great
rage and told ... Ludwell he had formerly made remarks upon him, and
that if he did not look the better to himself he should shortly suspend
him from the Council."[1013] Early in 1687 this threat was put into
effect,[1014] and the troublesome Councillor was for the second time
deprived of his seat. But this persecution, which the people believed to
be directed against Ludwell for his support of their cause, brought him
into great popularity throughout the colony and made him the
acknowledged leader of the opposition to the administration. In the
elections for the Assembly of 1688 he was chosen by the freeholders of
James City county to represent them in the House of Burgesses.[1015]
Effingham, however, would not allow him to take his seat, producing a
clause from his commission which forbade suspended Councillors to become
members of the Assembly.[1016] Despite this exclusion, Ludwell could and
did, by conferences with individual members, influence the actions of
the House and lead them in their fight against the Governor.

The most important task that confronted the Burgesses when they
assembled in 1688 was to call the Governor to account for many
burdensome fees which he had imposed upon the people by executive order.
First in importance was "a fee of 200 pounds of tobacco for the Seal
affixed to Patents & other public instruments".[1017] This the Burgesses
considered a tax imposed without the authority or consent of the
Assembly, and consequently destructive of the most cherished rights of
the people. Moreover, it had, they claimed, deterred many from using the
seal and had greatly impeded the taking up of land. They also protested
against a fee demanded by the "Master of the Escheat Office of £5 or
1000lbs tobacco", and to one of thirty pounds of tobacco required by the
Secretary for recording surveys of land.[1018] "This House," they
declared, "upon Examination of the many grievous Complaints ... (have)
been fully convinced and made sensible that many unlawful and
unwarrantable fees and other dutyes have been, under colour of his
Majesty's Royal authority, unjustly imposed ... & that divers new
unlawful, unpresidented & very burthensom and grievous wayes & devises
have been of late made use of to the great impoverishing Vexing and
utter undoeing of many of his Majesties Subjects of this his

The Burgesses were also deeply concerned at an instance of the
unwarrantable use of the royal prerogative. In 1680 an act had been
passed concerning attorneys. Two years later, before the act had
received the royal assent, it had been repealed by the Assembly. Later
the King, by proclamation, had made void the act of 1682, and the
Governor had insisted that this revived the law of 1680. Against this,
the Burgesses in 1688 entered a vigorous protest. "A Law," they
declared, "may as well Receive its beginning by proclamation as such
revivall.... Some Governor may be sent to Govern us who under the
pretense of the liberty he hath to construe prerogative and stretch it
as far as he pleaseth may by proclamation Revive all the Lawes that for
their great Inconveniences to the Country have been Repeal'd through
forty years since."[1020]

The Burgesses drew up a long paper, setting forth their many grievances,
with the intention of presenting it to the Governor. They first,
however, requested the Council to join them in their demand for redress.
This the Council with some sharpness, refused to do. We are
apprehensive, they replied, that the grievances "proceed from petulent
tempers of private persons and that which inclines us the rather so to
take them is from the bitterness of the Expressions".[1021] Judging the
Governor's temper from this reply of the Councillors, the Burgesses
relinquished hope of redress from the executive and determined to
petition the King himself. An humble address was drawn up, entrusted to
Colonel Philip Ludwell and delivered by him at Windsor, in September,
1688, into the hands of James II. Before it could be considered,
however, William of Orange had landed in England and King James had been

In the meanwhile a crisis in Virginia had been approaching rapidly. The
people felt that their religion, as well as their liberties, was menaced
by the rule of James II. In 1685, the King had directed Effingham "to
permit a Liberty of Conscience to all persons", that would "bee
contented with a quiet and peaceable enjoyment of it, not giving offence
or scandal".[1023] The people of Virginia understood well enough that
this order was dictated, not by considerations of liberality, but by
James' determination to favor the Catholic church. The feeling of
uneasiness was increased when, in 1688, Effingham, declaring it no
longer necessary for the Burgesses to take the oaths of allegiance and
supremacy, admitted a Catholic to the Assembly.[1024]

In October, 1688, James sent word to the Governor of the impending
invasion of the Prince of Orange and commanded him to place Virginia in
a posture of defense.[1025] Immediately the colony was thrown into the
wildest excitement, and, for a time, it seemed probable that the people
would attempt the expulsion of Effingham. "Unruly and unorderly
spiritts," the Governor afterwards testified, "laying hold of the motion
of affairs, and that under the pretext of religion,... betook themselves
to arms."[1026] Wild rumors spread through the colony that the Papists
of Maryland were conspiring with the Senecas to fall upon Virginia and
cut off all Protestants in a new Saint Bartholomew's Eve.[1027] The
frontiersmen along the upper courses of the Rappahannock and the Potomac
"drawing themselves into parties upon their defense", were "ready to fly
in the face of ye government. Soe that matters were ... tending to a
Rebellion." However, the news of William's easy victory and the flight
of James restored quiet to the colony. On February the nineteenth, 1689,
the Privy Council wrote the Governor that William and Mary had ascended
the throne of England,[1028] and a few weeks later their Majesties were
proclaimed at Jamestown with solemnity and thanksgiving.[1029]

The Glorious Revolution was a victory for liberty even more important to
Virginia than to England. It brought to an end those attacks of the
English government upon the representative institutions of the colony
that had marked the past ten years. It confirmed to the people the
rights that had been guaranteed them, through a long series of patents
dating back as far as 1606, and rendered impossible for all time the
illegal oppressions of such men as Harvey, Berkeley, Culpeper and
Effingham. Other Governors of despotic disposition were yet to rule
Virginia--Nicholson, Andros, Dunmore--but it was impossible for them to
resort to the tyrannical methods of some of their predecessors. The
English Revolution had weakened permanently the control of the British
government over the colony, and consequently the power of the Governor.

The advance of liberalism which was so greatly accelerated both in
England and in America by the events of 1688 was halted in the mother
country in the middle of the eighteenth century. But Virginia and the
other colonies were not greatly affected by the reaction upon the other
side of the Atlantic. Here the power of the people grew apace,
encountering no serious check, until it came into conflict with the
sullen Toryism of George III. Then it was that England sought to stifle
the liberalism of the colonies, and revolution and independence

The changed attitude of the Privy Council towards Virginia was made
immediately apparent by the careful consideration given the petition of
the Burgesses. Had James remained upon the throne it is probable that
it, like the address of 1684, would have been treated with neglect and
scorn. But William received Ludwell graciously, listened to his plea "on
behalf of the Commons of Virginia", and directed the Committee of Trade
and Plantations to investigate the matter and to see justice done.[1030]

Effingham, who had been called to England upon private business,
appeared before the Committee to defend his administration and to refute
Ludwell's charges. Despite his efforts, several articles of the petition
were decided against him, and the most pressing grievances of the people
redressed. The "Complaint touching the fee of 200lbs of tobacco and
cask", it was reported, "imposed by my Lord Howard for affixing the
Great Seal to Patents ... in regard it was not regularly imposed ... the
committee agree to move his Majesty the same be discontinued".[1031]
Similarly their Lordships declared in favor of abolishing the fee of
thirty pounds of tobacco required for registering surveys. The article
touching the revival of repealed laws by proclamation was referred to
the consideration of the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General.
These officers gave it as their opinion that his Majesty did have the
right, by repealing acts of repeal, to revive laws, but the committee
agreed to move the King that the Act of Attorneys should be made void by

This was a signal victory for the Burgesses, but Ludwell, who had
personal scores to settle with the Governor, did not let matters drop
here. After the lapse of several months he appeared once more before the
Committee with charges against Effingham of misgovernment and
oppression.[1033] Referring to the quarrel over the Bill of Ports, in
1685, he accused him of exercising "two negative voices". He complained
bitterly of his attacks upon those Burgesses that had opposed him in the
Assembly, and of his abuse of the power of suspending Councillors. The
money arising from fort duties, he said, which had formerly been
accounted for to the Assembly, had, during Effingham's administration,
"been diverted to other uses". The Governor had established new courts
of judicature contrary to the wishes of the people.

These persistent attacks of Ludwell resulted in another victory, for the
Committee decided that Effingham should no longer rule the colony. He
was not displaced as Governor-General, but he was commanded to remain in
England, and to leave the control of the administration to a
Lieutenant-Governor. This, doubtless, was not unsatisfactory to Lord
Howard, for he retained a part of his salary and was relieved of all the
work and responsibility of his office. The Lieutenant-Governorship was
given to Captain Francis Nicholson.[1034]

Thus the colony emerged triumphant from the Critical Period. It is true
the House of Burgesses had lost many privileges--the right to elect its
own clerk, the right to receive judicial appeals, the right to control
all revenues,--but they had retained within their grasp that
all-important power--the levying of general taxes. And they had gained
greatly in political experience. Long years of watchfulness, of
resistance to encroachments upon their rights, had moulded them into a
body that the most cunning executive could neither cajole nor
intimidate. Unmindful of the anger of Governors, the rebukes of Kings,
of personal loss, even of imprisonment, they had upheld the people's
rights. And their descendants were to reap the reward of their
faithfulness. The traditions of ability, probity and heroism established
by the men of the Critical Period made possible that long and honorable
career of the House of Burgesses and the important rôle it was to play
in winning independence for America.


[882] Osg., Vol. III, pp. 280, 281.

[883] P. R. O., CO5-1355-334; McD., Vol. V, p. 302.

[884] P. R. O., CO5-1355-313, 334.

[885] P. R. O., CO5-1355-334; McD., Vol. V, p. 302.

[886] P. R. O., CO5-1356; CO391.2-276, 325, 283 to 285.

[887] P. R. O., CO1-43-165.

[888] Hen., II, p. 133.

[889] P. R. O., CO5-1376; Hen., Vol. II, p. 466.

[890] P. R. O., CO5-1355-372.

[891] P. R. O., CO5-1355-375.

[892] P. R. O., CO5-1355-375, 376.

[893] P. R. O., CO5-1355-378.

[894] P. R. O., CO5-1355-385.

[895] P. R. O., CO5-1355-384.

[896] P. R. O., CO5-1376-265.

[897] Jour. H. of B., 1680, p. 1.

[898] Jour. H. of B., 1680, p. 7.

[899] Among the Burgesses were Captain William Byrd, Major Swann,
Benjamin Harrison, Colonel Ballard, Colonel Mason, Colonel John Page,
Colonel Matthew Kemp, William Fitzhugh, Isaac Allerton, John Carter and
Captain Fox. P. R. O., CO5-1376-321.

[900] Jour. H. of B., 1680, pp. 13, 14.

[901] Jour. H. of B., 1680, p. 27.

[902] P. R. O., CO5-1356-125.

[903] P. R. O., CO5-1356-125, 126.

[904] P. R. O., CO5-1356-265.

[905] P. R. O., CO5-1355-361.

[906] Jour. H. of B., 1680, p. 32.

[907] Jour. H. of B., 1680, p. 36.

[908] P. R. O., CO5-1355-388 to 394.

[909] P. R. O., CO5-1355-380; CO5-1376-286.

[910] P. R. O., CO5-1355-396.

[911] P. R. O., CO5-1355-408.

[912] Jour. II. of B., April 1682, p. 4.

[913] P. R. O., CO5-1356-179.

[914] P. R. O., CO5-1356-1, 2.

[915] P. R. O., CO5-1356-177.

[916] P. R. O., CO5-1356-73.

[917] P. R. O., CO5-1356-73, 156; Jour, H. of B., April 1682.

[918] P. R. O., CO5-1356-11, 12, 68, 72.

[919] P. R. O., CO5-1356-8.

[920] P. R. O., CO5-1356-68.

[921] Jour. H. of B., April 1682, pp. 4, 5.

[922] Jour. H. of B., April 1682; P. R. O., CO5-1356-68.

[923] P. R. O., CO5-1356-65, 66, 67.

[924] P. R. O., CO5-1356-70.

[925] P. R. O., CO5-1356-71.

[926] P. R. O., CO5-1356-178.

[927] P. R. O., CO5-1356-71.

[928] P. R. O., CO5-1356-178.

[929] P. R. O., CO5-1356-74.

[930] P. R. O, CO5-1356-74.

[931] Hen., Vol. III, p. 543.

[932] P. R. O., CO5-1356-156.

[933] Hen., Vol. III, p. 544.

[934] Hen., Vol. III, p. 546.

[935] Hen., Vol. III, pp. 546, 547.

[936] Hen., Vol. III, p. 547.

[937] P. R. O., CO5-1356-76.

[938] P. R. O., CO5-1356-76, 77.

[939] P. R. O., CO5-1356-157.

[940] P. R. O., CO5-1356-158.

[941] P. R. O., CO5-1356-159.

[942] P. R. O., CO5-1356-76, 77, 163.

[943] P. R. O., CO5-1356-164.

[944] P. R. O., CO5-1356-164.

[945] P. R. O., CO5-1356-164, 169.

[946] P. R. O., CO5-1356-87.

[947] P. R. O., CO5-1356-168, 169.

[948] P. R. O., CO5-1356-188, 239, 244, 114.

[949] P. R. O., CO5-1356-188.

[950] P. R. O., CO5-1356-56, 145, 146.

[951] P. R. O., CO5-1376-287.

[952] P. R. O., CO1-42-152; CO391.2-276.

[953] Beverley.

[954] P. R. O., CO5-1356-244, 245.

[955] P. R. O., CO5-1356-248.

[956] Jour. H. of B., 1684, pp. 23, 24.

[957] P. R. O., CO1-42-138, 139.

[958] P. R. O., CO5-1356-53.

[959] P. R. O., CO5-1356-142.

[960] P. R. O., CO5-1356-22.

[961] Jour. H. of B., 1684, p. 37.

[962] Jour, H. of B., 1684, p. 42.

[963] Justice in Va., p. 25.

[964] Jour. H. of B., 1684, p. 114.

[965] Jour. H. of B., 1684, p. 159.

[966] P. R. O., CO5-1356-299, 301.

[967] P. R. O., CO5-1357-58.

[968] McD., Vol. VII, p. 88.

[969] P. R. O., CO5-1356-316.

[970] P. R. O, CO5-1356-328.

[971] P. R. O., CO5-1357-79, 80, 95, 96; Jour. H. of B., 1685, p. 49.

[972] P. R. O., CO5-1357-80.

[973] Hen., Vol. II, p. 24; P. R. O., CO5-1376-281.

[974] P. R. O., CO5-1376-281.

[975] P. R. O., CO5-1376-281; CO5-1356-101.

[976] P. R. O., CO5-1376-362.

[977] P. R. O., CO5-1356-267.

[978] Jour. H. of B., 1685.

[979] Jour. H. of B., 1685.

[980] P. R. O., CO5-1357-85.

[981] P. R. O., CO5-1356-282.

[982] P. R. O., CO5-1357-113.

[983] Jour. H. of B., 1686, p. 17.

[984] Jour. H. of B., 1686, p. 37.

[985] P. R. O., CO5-1355-383.

[986] P. R. O., CO5-1356-177.

[987] P. R. O., CO5-1356-4.

[988] P. R. O., CO5-1407-310, 282.

[989] P. R. O., CO5-1357-89.

[990] P. R. O., CO5-1407-310.

[991] P. R. O., CO5-1357-89.

[992] P. R. O., CO5-1357-89.

[993] Jour. H. of B., 1685.

[994] P. R. O., CO5-1357-93.

[995] P. R. O., CO5-1357-119.

[996] P. R. O., CO5-1357-127.

[997] P. R. O., CO5-1357-133.

[998] P. R. O., CO5-1357-92; McD., Vol. VII, p. 222.

[999] Sains., Vol. XV, p. 30.

[1000] McD., Vol. VII, p. 229.

[1001] P. R. O., CO5-1357-119.

[1002] Jour. H. of B., 1688, p. 1.

[1003] Jour. H. of B., 1688, p. 17.

[1004] Sains., Vol. IV, p. 254.

[1005] McD., Vol. VII, p. 26.

[1006] McD., Vol. VII, p. 257. Some years later Effingham contradicted
this statement. "They were not dismissed," he said, "from their
imployments upon account of their proceedings in ye Assembly, but being
Justices of Peace they oppenly opposed the King's authority in naming
sheriffs by his Governour alledging that office ought to go by

[1007] McD., Vol. VII, pp. 437-441.

[1008] McD., Vol. VII, pp. 437-441.

[1009] P. R. O., CO5-1357-130.

[1010] CO5-1357-127.

[1011] P. R. O., CO5-1357-129.

[1012] P. R. O., CO5-1357-130.

[1013] McD., Vol. VII, pp. 437-441.

[1014] Sains., Vol. IV, p. 226; P. R. O., CO5-1357-127.

[1015] McD., Vol. VII, pp. 437-441; Jour. H. of B., 1688, p. 13.

[1016] P. R. O., CO5-1355-313; Jour. H. of B., 1688, p. 29.

[1017] P. R. O., CO5-1357-218.

[1018] Jour. H. of B., 1688, pp. 82, 83.

[1019] Jour. H. of B., 1688, pp. 82, 83.

[1020] Jour, H. of B., 1688, p. 50.

[1021] Jour. H. of B., 1688, p. 116.

[1022] P. R. O., CO5-1357-248.

[1023] P. R. O., CO5-1357-38, 39.

[1024] Jour. H. of B., 1688, p. 8; McD., Vol. VII, pp. 437-441.

[1025] P. R. O., CO5-1357-229.

[1026] McD., Vol. VII, p. 316.

[1027] McD., Vol. VII, p. 316.

[1028] P. R. O., CO5-1357-236.

[1029] Sains., Vol. IV, p. 215.

[1030] P. R. O., CO5-1357-247, 248.

[1031] Sains., Vol. IV, pp. 233, 234.

[1032] Sains., Vol. IV, p. 243.

[1033] Sains., Vol. IV, p. 246.

[1034] Sains., Vol. IV, p. 254.


_Abigall_, brings contagion, 46.

Accomac, see also Eastern Shore, 80;
  Berkeley flees to, 171;
   expedition against, 176, 177; 182; 184; 186; 195; 197.

_Adam and Eve_, ship, captures Bacon, 163; 177; 203.

Adams, Peter, excepted from pardon, 202.

_Admirall_, ship, 128, 129.

Allen, Arthur, 251, 253.

Allerton, Isaac, 229;
  corrupt bargain of, 230.

Anderson, William, 257.

Annelectons, aid in Susquehannock defeat, 160.

Apachisco, negotiates peace, 26.

Appomatocks, expedition against, 52.

Appomattox, river, 21.

Archer, Gabriel, admitted to Council, tries to establish a parliament, 6; 8;
  helps depose Smith, 10.

Argoll, Samuel, 19;
  enforces laws, 23;
  captures Pocahontas, 25.

Arlington, Earl of, grant to of Virginia, 123, 124;
  yields his rights, 125; 145; 245.

Arnold, Anthony, excepted from pardon, 202;
  hanged, 204.

Assembly, General, attempt to establish, 6;
  early desire for, 8;
  describes tyranny of Governors, 24;
  established, 1619, 36;
  convenes, 37;
  legislative powers of, 38;
  control over taxation, 39;
  judicial functions of, 40;
  Council the upper house of, 41; 42;
  describes Indian war, 51;
  supports Company, 60; 61;
  saved, 62;
  restored, 63; 64;
  Harvey usurps powers of, 72; 73;
  refuses tobacco contract, 74; 76;
  Council summons, 1636, 77;
  elects West Governor, 78; 79; 86;
  opposes revival of Company, 88; 91;
  persecutes Puritans, 92;
  acknowledges Charles II, 95;
  defies Parliament, 98;
  surrenders, 100; 102;
  Northampton petitions, 104; 105; 106; 107; 108;
  contest in, 109;
  elects Berkeley Governor, 110;
  Berkeley addresses, 111; 112; 115;
  encourages manufacture, 119; 122;
  protests to King, 124; 125; 133; 134;
  Long Assembly, 135; 136; 137; 138; 140; 143;
  erects forts, 151, 152;
  hatred of, 153;
  Berkeley dissolves, 1676, 158, 159;
  Bacon elected to, 162; 163;
  Bacon threatens, 168;
  liberal laws of, 169, 170;
  Bacon summons, 173;
  interrupted, 178; 204;
  supports Berkeley, 206, 207;
  protest of, 1677, 214;
  session of October, 1677, 218, 219;
  session of 1679, 222;
  rights of attacked, 226;
  session of 1682, 233;
  appeals to forbidden, 241, 242;
  petition of 242, 243;
  quarrels with Effingham over, taxation, 244, 245;
  quit-rents, 245, 246;
  veto power, 246, 247, 248, 249;
  the clerk, 249, 250.

Austin, Black, executed, 238.

Bacon, Nathaniel, the rebel, 123;
  accuses Burgesses, 133, 134;
  describes abuses of the rich, 135;
  Berkeley jealous of, 144; 145;
  character of, 154;
  becomes leader of rebels, 155;
  prepares to attack Indians, 156;
  attacks Indians, 157;
  proclaimed a rebel, 158;
  pursues Susquehannocks, 159;
  visits Occaneeches, 160;
  battle with Occaneechees, 161, 162;
  elected Burgess, 162;
  captured, 163;
  pardoned, 164;
  flees from Jamestown, 165;
  seizes Jamestown, 166;
  demands commission, 167;
  new demands of, 168;
  secures liberal laws, 169, 170;
  prepares new Indian expedition, 171;
  marches against Berkeley, 171;
  resolves to defy King, 172;
  forces oaths on prominent men, 173;
  attacks Pamunkeys, 174, 175;
  marches on Jamestown, 178, 179;
  repulses Berkeley's attack, 180;
  enters Jamestown, 181;
  burns Jamestown, 182;
  binds Gloucestermen, 183, 184;
  death of in October, 1676, 184; 186; 187;
  executive ability of, 190; 195; 196; 202; 222.

Bacon, Colonel Nathaniel, 108;
  cousin of the Rebel, 154;
  rebels at house of, 185; 189.

Bacon's Rebellion, see Bacon, 114; 121;
  interrupts Virginia charter, 126; 127; 135; 136; 139; 144;
  outbreak of, 155;
  events of, 155 to 194;
  collapses, 190;
  anarchy of, 191;
  results of, 223.

Bahama, Gulf of, fleet wrecked in, 9.

Ballard, Thomas, takes Bacon's oaths, 173;
  excluded from Council, 216; 229; 252.

Baltimore, Lord, (Cecilius Calvert) sends colonists to Maryland, 70; 71; 72; 118;
  prohibits cessation in Maryland, 122; 123; 238.

Baltimore, Lord, (George Calvert) colony of in Newfoundland, 68;
  secures Maryland patent, death of, 69.

Barrow, James, injustice to, 198.

Beale, Thomas, excepted from pardon, 203.

Bennett, Richard, invites Puritan preachers, 92;
  Governor, 103;
  appeases Northampton, 105;
  Burgesses rebuke, 106.

Berkeley, Lord John, 131; 201; 213;
  attacks King's commissioners, 215.

Berkeley, Sir William, 12;
  Governor, 84;
  character of, 85;
  just rule of, 86;
  equalizes taxes, 87;
  opposes Company, 88;
  conquers Indians, 90;
  loyalty of to King, 91;
  persecutes Puritans, 92;
  fears assassination, 94;
  speech of defying Parliament, 96, 97, 98;
  expedition against, 99;
  surrenders, 100;
  terms with Parliament, 101; 103;
  elected Governor, 1660, 110;
  speech of, 111;
  accepts office, 112;
  letter of to Charles II, 113; 114;
  becomes changed, 115;
  opposes Navigation Acts, 120;
  efforts for cessation, 122;
  Baltimore angers, 123;
  fears mutiny, 126, 127;
  prepares to attack Dutch, 1667, 128, 129;
  complains of freight rates, 131;
  controls elections, 133;
  corrupts Burgesses, 134;
  retains Long Assembly, 135, 136;
  controls local government, 137, 138, 139;
  evidence against partizan, 143;
  views upon government, 144, 145;
  sells arms to Indians, 147;
  recalls army, 151;
  wants defensive war, 152;
  quarrels with Bacon, 154;
  refuses Bacon a commission, 156;
  pursues Bacon, 157;
  proclaims Bacon a rebel, 158;
  dissolves Long Assembly, 158, 159;
  captures Bacon, 163;
  pardons Bacon, 164;
  Bacon escapes from, 165;
  Bacon seizes, 166;
  grants commission, 167;
  yields to Bacon, 168;
  tries to raise forces, 170;
  flees to Accomac, 171;
  rebels attack, 174;
  captures rebel fleet, 176, 177;
  captures Jamestown, 178;
  Bacon marches on, 179;
  repulsed, 180;
  flees, 181;
  sails for Accomac, 182;
  controls navy, 185;
  raids of on Western Shore, 186;
  expedition of to York River, 187, 188, 189, 190;
  offers Ingram pardon, 191;
  rebels surrender to, 191, 192;
  Charles II blames, 195;
  recalled, 196;
  illegal seizures of, 197, 198;
  angry at commissioners, 199, 200;
  refuses to leave, 201;
  proclamation of, 202, 203;
  continues executions, 203, 204;
  controls Assembly, 205, 206;
  dread of, 207;
  Jeffreys' proclamation angers, 209, 210;
  death of, 211;
  compared with Effingham, 252.

Berkeley, Lady, letter of to Moryson, 204; 208; 210; 220.

Bermuda Hundred, Dale founds, 21; 116.

Bermudas, _Sea Adventure_ wrecked in, 9.

Berry, John, King's commissioner, 196;
  arrives, 199; 200;
  insulted, 208;
  returns to England, 215;
  influence of, 215, 216, 217.

Beverley, Robert, captures Hansford, 156;
  invades Gloucester, 187, 188;
  journals taken from, 213, 214;
  dismissed from office, 216; 217; 220;
  continued as Clerk of Assembly, 221;
  prosecution of, 235, 236, 237;
  alters bill, 248;
  Effingham censures, 249; 252; 253.

_Black George_, Harveys sails in, 79.

Bland, Gyles, complains of poll tax, 139;
  leads rebel fleet, 174; 176;
  captured, 177; 183;
  excepted from pardon, 202;
  executed, 203.

Bland, John, attacks Navigation Acts, 119.

Blayton, Thomas, excepted from pardon, 202.

Bowler, Thomas, excepted from pardon, 203.

Bray, Colonel, excluded from Council, 216; 220.

Brent, Gyles, pursues Indians, 146, 147; 149;
  joins Pamunkey expedition, 174;
  marches against Bacon, 182;
  his forces flee, 183.

Brick House, rebel forces at, 193.

_Bristol_, conferences on board of, 200.

Bristow, Major, 188, 189.

Buck, Rev., preaches at Jamestown, 17;
  prayer of, 37.

Burgesses, in first Assembly, 36;
  how distributed in 1619, 37; 39; 40; 41;
  coerced by Governor, 42;
  sympathize with Company, 60;
  defy Charles I, 63; 64; 74;
  exempted from arrest, 87; 100;
  supreame power in Virginia, 1652, 102; 103; 104; 105;
  contest with Council, 106;
  dismiss Governor, 107; 108; 109;
  reassert power, 1660, 110; 114;
  Berkeley controls elections of, 133;
  Berkeley corrupts, 134, 135; 136; 137; 145;
  Bacon elected to, 162;
  Bacon threatens, 168;
  frauds in elections of, 205, 206;
  records of seized, 213, 214;
  protest of, 214;
  electoral frauds, 218;
  elections of in 1679, 222;
  become more representative of the people, 224;
  oppose revenue bill, 229, 230, 231;
  struggle of with Effingham over, taxation, 244, 245;
  quit-rents, 245, 246;
  veto power, 246 to 249;
  clerk, 249, 250.

Butler, Nathaniel, describes mortality in Virginia, 12;
  attacks London Company, 56.

Byrd, William, 229.

Calvert, Cecilius, see Lord Baltimore.

Calvert, George, see Lord Baltimore.

Calvert, Leonard, Governor of Maryland, 70;
  war with Claiborne, 71.

Carter, John, 229.

Carver, William, commands rebel fleet, 174;
  visits Berkeley, 176;
  captured and hanged, 177; 183; 222.

Causie, beats off Indians, 49.

Cessation, of tobacco planting, attempts to secure, 121, 122, 123;
  asked, 1682, 232;
  Burgesses eager for, 233; 238; 239.

Chanco, reveals Indian plot, 48.

Charles I, 42;
  his plans for Virginia, 62;
  calls Assembly, 1627, 63; 65; 66;
  grants Maryland charter, 69; 70;
  asks tobacco contract, 74;
  angered at Virginians, 78;
  restores Harvey, 79; 80;
  forgets Harvey case, 82; 85;
  Virginians' loyalty pleases, 88; 90; 94;
  executed, 95; 97; 102; 111.

Charles II, 40; 85;
  proclaimed King, 1649, 89;
  Virginians cling to, 98; 101; 110;
  reappoints Berkeley, 113;
  oppresses Virginia, 115;
  approves Navigation Acts, 117; 119; 120;
  forbids cessation, 121;
  blind to disaffection in Virginia, 123;
  makes Arlington-Culpeper grant, 124;
  grants new Virginia patent, 126; 140;
  Bacon's Rebellion alarms, 195;
  sends commission to Virginia, 196; 199; 200;
  anger of at Berkeley, 210; 211;
  angry at Assembly, 214, 215; 224; 225; 226; 227;
  death of, 243.

Charles City, county, complains of Berkeley, 136;
  charges of corruption in, 138; 142;
  petition from, 153;
  people of take arms, 154;
  electoral frauds in, 205; 216.

Charters:--the royal charter of 1606, 2; 31;
  provisions of, 34; 57;
  the royal charter of 1609, Sandys draws up, 8;
  Governors disregard, 24; 31;
  gives Company control of colony, 35;
  the popular charter of 1612, 35; 54;
  James I attacks, 56, 57;
  revoked, 59, 60;
  the proposed charter of 1621, 54;
  Maryland charter, Baltimore secures, 69:
  new Virginia charter, 124, 125.

Cheesman, Major, captured, 186;
  death of, 187.

Chesapeake Bay, first fleet enters, 1; 3;
  Capt. Smith explores, 7; 70;
  naval war in, 71;
  Dutch fleet enters, 1667, 128;
  battle with Dutch in, 1672, 129, 130; 146; 171.

Chicheley, Sir Henry, commands Indian forces, 1676, 151;
  acting Governor, 1678, 221;
  holds fair election, 222; 230;
  defies Burgesses, 233; 234; 235; 236; 237; 238.

Chickahominies, peace with, 26;
  expedition against, 52.

Chiles, Colonel, 106.

Claiborne, William, in England, 69;
  makes war on Maryland, 71; 107.

Clovell, killed by Indians, 14.

_Cockatrice_, Marylanders capture, 71.

Commissions:--commission to investigate Company, 56;
  unfavorable report, 57:
  commission in Virginia, 1624, 60; 61; 64;
  Mandeville commission, for Virginia affairs, 61;
  abolished, 62;
  Parliamentary commission, to reduce Virginia, 99;
  secures surrender, 100;
  grants favorable terms, 101;
  establishes new government, 102;
  taxes Northampton, 104; 105:
  King's commission of 1676-1677, to receive Virginia grievances, 121, 122; 127;
  thinks poll tax unjust, 139; 142;
  hostile to Berkeley, 143; 144; 177; 184;
  appointment of, 196;
  Berkeley angry at, 199, 200;
  conference of with Berkeley, 200, 201;
  wants King's pardon published, 202;
  Assembly snubs, 206;
  leads opposition
  party, 207;
  insulted, 208;
  reports Berkeley's disobedience, 210;
  receives grievances, 212, 213;
  seizes journals, 213, 214;
  report of, 215;
  Virginia commission to Maryland, to secure cessation, 122.

Commonwealth of England, 85; 86;
  defied by Berkeley, 96;
  sends expedition to Virginia, 99;
  Virginia surrenders to, 100; 103.

Commonwealth Period, 42;
  government of Virginia during, 102; 110;
  ended, 114; 115; 116.

Commons of Virginia, see Middle Class.

Conway, Captain, Dutch take shallop of, 127, 128.

Council, resident in England, King appoints, 2;
  warning of, 10;
  determination of, 31; 34.

Council of State, of Commonwealth, 95;
  warns Berkeley, 96;
  sends expedition to Virginia, 99; 100; 102; 103;
  letter from, 108.

Council of Virginia; 1606-1610, great powers of, 2;
  selections for, 3;
  discord in, 3, 4;
  disruption of, 4;
  deposes Wingfield, 4, 5;
  tyranny of, 5;
  reduced to two, 7;
  abolished, 8;
  acts to depose Smith, 10; 34;
  1610-1619, an advisory body, 17;
  1619-1689, part of Assembly, 36; 37; 39;
  powers of, 41;
  Indians kill six of, 50;
  sympathizes with Company, 60;
  punishes Sharpless, 61; 62; 63; 64;
  Harvey wishes to restrain, 65;
  quarrels with Harvey, 67, 68;
  gets rid of Baltimore, 69; 70;
  hostile to Maryland, 71; 72;
  threatens Harvey, 73; 74; 75;
  arrests Harvey, 76;
  expels Harvey, 77;
  revised, 80; 86; 87; 93; 100;
  agreement of with Commonwealth, 101;
  elected by Burgesses, 1652, 102; 105;
  contest with Burgesses, 106;
  Burgesses dismiss, 107;
  seeks lost power, 108;
  assumes authority, 109; 129;
  submission of to Berkeley, 133; 137;
  praises Berkeley, 143, 144;
  Bacon appointed to, 164;
  Bacon coerces, 168; 169; 200; 201; 217; 220; 228; 229;
  prosecutes Beverley, 235, 236, 237;
  quarrel of over Bill of Ports, 247, 248, 249;

Courts, Council sits as a court, 34; 35;
  Assembly acts as a court, 40; 41;
  Governor's misuse of, 66; 78; 79;
  Harvey master of, 80; 81;
  Berkeley does not abuse, 86; 133;
  local courts, 137;
  Berkeley controls, 138;
  judicial functions of Assembly abolished, 241, 242.

Coventry, Secretary, 207;
  letter of to Berkeley, 210, 211;
  protects King's commissioners, 215; 221; 225.

Crimson, Abraham, captures tobacco fleet, 127, 128, 129.

Cromwell, Oliver, 102;
  neglects Virginia, 103; 107;
  death of, 108.

Cromwell, Richard, Lord Protector, 108;
  resigns, 109.

Culpeper, Thomas Lord, grant to of Virginia, 123, 124;
  yields his rights, 125; 145;
  Governor, 1677, 212; 219; 220; 222;
  instructions to, 226, 227;
  arrives in Virginia, 228;
  insists on revenue bill, 229, 230, 231;
  warned, 232;
  hastens to Virginia, 237;
  prosecutes plant-cutters, 237, 238;
  deposed, 239;
  character of, 239, 240; 241; 244; 245; 247.

Curls of the River, 24.

Dale, Sir Thomas, Deputy-Governor, 1611, 19;
  founds Henrico, 19, 21;
  secures corn crop, 22;
  educates Pocahontas, 25;
  returns to England, 27; 35; 36.

Davies, Somerset, 238.

De la Warr, Thomas Lord, first Governor, 8; 11;
  prevents desertion of Virginia, 16;
  assumes government, 17;
  restores prosperity, 17, 18;
  becomes ill, 18, 19; 22; 23;
  brings new constitution, dies at sea, 1618, 35; 64.

Denis, Robert, commands fleet to Virginia, 99.

Devil's Island, colonists wrecked on, 10; 16; 22.

DeVries, describes sickness, 12.

Digges, Edward, Governor, 106.

_Discovery_, sails for Virginia, 1, 11.

Doeg, Indians, 146, 147.

Drew, Colonel, rebel leader, 185.

Drummond, William, Bacon visits, 163;
  Berkeley excepts from pardon, 178; 182; 190;
  captured, 193;
  executed, 194.

_Duke of York_, ship, 236.

Dutch, 85;
  take Virginia tobacco, 96, 98; 100;
  on the Eastern Shore, 104; 105; 114; 115;
  contest carrying trade, 116;
  cut off from tobacco trade, 117; 118; 119;
  capture tobacco fleet, 1667, 127, 128, 129;
  battle with in Chesapeake Bay, 1672, 129, 130; 131; 132; 142; 145; 172.

Dysentery, epidemic of in Virginia, 11; 15;
  De la Warr suffers from 19;
  Bacon dies of, 184.

Earleton, Stephen, excepted from pardon, 202.

Eastern Shore, see also Accomac, ill affected, 103;
  grievances of, 104;
  disorders of suppressed, 105;
  Berkeley flees to, 171;
  expedition against, 174, 176, 177;
  Berkeley returns to, 182; 184; 186; 197; 236.

Effingham, Lord Howard, Governor, 239;
  character of, 240;
  forbids appeals to Assembly, 241, 242;
  proclaims James II, 243;
  quarrels with Burgesses over, taxation, 244, 245,
   quit-rents, 245, 246,
   veto power, 246, 247, 248, 249,
   their clerk, 249, 250;
  oppressions of, 251, 252;
  quarrels with Ludwell, 253, 254;
  Burgesses complain of, 254, 255;
  prevents riots, 256; 257;
  overthrow of, 258.

_Elizabeth_, frigate, captured by Dutch, 127, 128, 129.

Elizabeth, river, merchantmen escape into, 1667, 128.

Elizabeth City, 66; 67;
  temporary capital, 80.

English Church, desire to extend, 31;
  to convert Indians, 44; 48;
  large planters adhere to, 91.

English Revolution, 40; 42;
  a victory for Virginia, 256, 257.

Epidemics, see Sickness.

Fairfax, Thomas, 196.

Famines, frequent, 2;
  Indians and epidemics cause, 14;
  misery of described, 15;
  eliminated on upper James, 23;
  English bring on Indians, 51, 52.

Farrar, William, 76.

Farrar's Island, see Henrico.

Farrill, Hubert, Bacon entrusted to, 163;
  attacks Bacon's House, 189; killed, 190.

Fees, limited, 87.

First Supply, Newport brings, 6.

Fitzhugh, William, 229. [** missing page?]

Gardner, Captain, fights Dutch, 130;
  captures Bacon, 163.

Gates, Sir Thomas, first Lieutenant-Governor, 8;
  wrecked in Bermudas, 9; 10;
  ends first royal government, 10;
  to abandon Virginia, 16;
  returns, Councillor, 17; 19;
  again in Virginia, 21;
  posts laws, 1610, 22; 27; 35.

_George_, takes tobacco to England, 28.

Gloucester, county, Berkeley active in, 170; 171;
  Bacon in, 182;
  Bacon coerces, 183, 184;
  Bacon dies in, 184; 185;
  military movements in, 187, 188, 189; 190; 207;
  plant-cutting in, 234, 235; 237; 238.

Goodrich, Thomas, excepted from pardon, 202.

_Goodspeed_, sails for Virginia, 1; 11.

Gosnold, Bartholomew, made Councillor, 3;
  death of, 4.

Grantham, Captain, envoy to Ingram, 191;
  secures surrender of rebels, 192.

Green Spring, 159; 182;
  rebels at, 185; 200;
  Assembly at, 205; 208; 213; 218.

Green Spring faction, 217;
  controls elections, 218; 219;
  activity of, 220;
  Culpeper supports, 228;
  pleads for Ludwell, 229; 253.

Grindon, Sara, excepted from pardon, 203.

Hamor, Ralph, 26; 49.

Hamor, Thomas, 49.

Hansford, Colonel, rebel leader, 185;
  captured and hanged, 186.

Harrison, Benjamin, 229.

Harrison, Thomas, becomes a Puritan, 92;
  expelled from his parish, 93; 95; 96.

Harvey, John, describes Indian war, 52;
  commissioner to Virginia, 60;
  Governor, 64;
  attacks Pott, 65; 66;
  quarrels with Council, 67;
  wants greater power, 68;
  aids Marylanders, 70;
  arbitrary rule of, 72; 73;
  seizes a servant, 73;
  detains letter to King, 74;
  arrests rioters, 75;
  Council arrests, 76;
  expelled from Virginia, 77;
  in England, 78;
  reinstated, 79;
  tyranny of, 80;
  seizes Matthews' estate, 81;
  attacked in England, 82;
  removed, 83;
  prosecuted, 84; 85; 86.

Harwood, Thomas, envoy to England, 1636, 78; 79.

Henrico, county, Bacon resides in, 154;
  Berkeley in, 159;
  Bacon Burgess from, 162;
  Bacon flees to, 165; 174; 178.

Henrico, plantation, Dale founds, 19, 21; 22; 24; 43;
  college of, 44.

Hill, Edward, deprived of office, 216; 220.

Holden, Robert, excepted from pardon, 202.

Holland, see Dutch.

Hopton, Lord, 124.

Indians, a menace, 2;
  attack Jamestown, 13;
  destroy corn, 14; 15; 16;
  war with continues, 18;
  Dale seeks stronghold against, 19;
  driven from Bermuda Hundred, 21;
  peace with, 25; 26; 27;
  destroy iron works, 43;
  college for, 44;
  friendship of, 47;
  plan massacre, 48;
  massacre of 1622, 49; 50;
  war with, 50 to 54; 56;
  long peace with, 88;
  massacre of 1644, 89;
  make peace, 90; 91;
  conspiracy of rumored, 104; 122;
  raid of, 1675, 146;
  war with, 147, 149, 150, 152;
  kill Bacon's overseer, 155;
  Bacon prepares to attack, 156;
  war with, 157 to 162; 167;
  again on war path, 170;
  Bacon again attacks, 175 to 176; 178.

Ingram, General, election of, 184;
  disposes rebel forces, 185;
  captures Pate's House, 188;
  rebel army surrenders to, 189;
  his lack of executive ability, 190;
  his surrender, 191; 193; 206.

Isle of Wight, county, 136;
  complaints from, 138; 140; 143;
  subdued, 190; 207.

Isles, John, executed, 203.

_James_, ship, 231.

James I, 2; 6;
  grants charter of 1609; 8;
  wants American empire, 29;
  interest in Virginia, 30;
  opposes liberal government, 32;
  grants charters, 34;
  restricts tobacco, 45;
  angry at Company, 54;
  ultimatum, 55;
  investigates Company, 56;
  offers new compromise, 57, 58;
  overthrows Company, 59;
  death of, 61; 64; 65.

James II, 40; 42; 224;
  accession of, 243; 244; 246;
  rebukes Assembly, 249;
  deposed, 255; 256.

James City, county, 107;
  complains of forts, 142; 218; 254.

James, river, first fleet enters, 1; 7; 21; 43; 47; 79; 85; 89; 90; 98; 99; 100; 120;
  battle with Dutch in, 127, 128, 129; 130;
  forts on, 141; 142; 153;
  Berkeley at falls of, 157;
  Bacon descends, 163; 171; 174;
  Berkeley in, 181, 182; 185;
  rebels defeated on, 190; 199;
  English fleet in, 200.

James, Thomas, preaches in Virginia, 92.

Jamestown, founded, 1;
  fleet arrives at 1609, 9; 10;
  site objected to, 11;
  Indians attack, 13; 14;
  Gates finds ruined, 16; 18;
  Dale reaches, 19; 21; 22;
  tobacco in streets of, 24; 25; 31;
  first Assembly at, 37; 48; 53; 63;
  Baltimore visits, 69; 77; 80; 90;
  defended by Berkeley, 100; 104; 110; 122; 130;
  houses built at, 140;
  fort at, 141;
  Bacon visits, 163; 164;
  Bacon flees from, 165;
  Bacon seizes, 166;
  Bacon at, 167, 168; 177;
  Berkeley captures, 178;
  Bacon besieges, 179, 180;
  Bacon captures, 181;
  Bacon burns, 182; 233; 238.

Japazaws, Indian king, 25.

Jeffreys, Herbert, 137; 144;
  Lieutenant-Governor, 196;
  leaves for Virginia, 197; 199;
  arrives, 200;
  yields to Berkeley, 201; 207;
  insulted, 208;
  proclamation of, 209; 210; 211; 214;
  opposition to, 216;
  illness of, 217, 218;
  prosecutes Ludwell, 219;
  again ill, 220;
  death of, 221; 223; 229.

Jenkins, Sir Lionel, 225; 238; 243.

Jennings, John, excepted from pardon, 202.

Jones, William, approves new Virginia charter, 126.

Jones, Robert, excepted from pardon, 202;
  Moryson pleads for, 203;
  pardoned, 204.

Judiciary, see Courts.

Kecoughtan, 90.

Kemp, Matthew, 229; 234; 235.

Kemp, Richard, given inadvertently as _Matthew_ Kemp on page 22;
  pillages Matthews' estate, 81;
  quarrel of with Panton, 82; 83;
  prosecuted, 84.

Kendall, George, Councillor, 3;
  from Council, 4;
  tried for mutiny, shot, 5.

Kent Island, Claiborne settles, 71; 72; 73.

Knight, John, 145.

Knowles, John, Puritan minister, 92.

Larrimore, Captain, Bacon seizes ship of, 174;
  plots to aid Berkeley, 176;
  aids in capture of rebels, 177; 211.

Law, 23;
  the Divine, Moral and Martial laws, 23;
  cruelty of, 23, 24; 38;
  against seizing servants, 73;
  against Puritans, 92;
  laws to encourage manufacture, 119; 140;
  Bacon's Laws, 169, 170;
  laws of 1679, 222;
  Culpeper passes three laws, 229, 230, 231.

Lawrence, Henry, letter of to Virginia, 108; 109.

Lawrence, Richard, Bacon visits, 163;
  flees from Jamestown, 178; 182;
  disposes of Bacon's body, 184; 190; 192;
  flight of, 193, 194;
  excepted from pardon, 202;
  feared, 205.

Lightfoot, Philip, takes Bacon's oaths, 173.

London Company, 2; 3; 6; 7;
  secures charter of 1609, 8; 15; 17;
  sends Dale, 19; 22; 24;
  takes tobacco, 28; 29;
  aids Pilgrims, 30;
  motives of, 31;
  England supports, 32;
  liberalism in, 32; 35; 36; 38; 42;
  sends more settlers, 43;
  tobacco restrictions injure, 45; 46;
  massacre of 1622 discourages, 50;
  King hostile to, 54; 55;
  investigated, 56; 57;
  rejects King's compromise, 58;
  charters of revoked, 59; 60; 62;
  plan to revive, 83; 87; 120; 124.

Lower Norfolk, county, 121;
  taxation in, 138.

Loyd, Edward, imprisoned by Berkeley, 198.

Ludwell, Philip, captures rebel fleet, 177; 189;
  excluded from Council, 216; 217;
  Jeffreys prosecutes, 219;
  convicted, 220;
  restored to Council, 229;
  quarrels with Effingham, 253;
  success of in England, 257, 258.

Ludwell, Thomas, 86; 131; 132; 136; 141; 220.

Lynhaven Bay, 129.

Magna Charta, of Virginia, Yeardley brings, 35;
  government established under, 36; 38; 61; 64.

Malaria, epidemic of in Virginia, 11; 15.

Mannakins, 160.

Martin, John, Councillor, 3;
  helps depose Wingfield, 4, 5; 6; 10;
  his Burgesses not admitted, 38.

Martin's Hundred, 37; 38.

Mary, Queen, 256.

Maryland, 68; 69;
  founded, 70;
  war of with Claiborne, 71; 72; 77; 79; 116;
  agrees to cessation, 122; 123; 127;
  fleet of saved, 130; 146; 147;
  Indian war in, 149, 150; 238.

Mason, Colonel, 146; 147; 149.

Massacres: of 1622, 47; 48;
  details of, 49, 50; 88; 89; of 1644, 89;
  details of, 89; 92; 147.

Mathews, Thomas, 202.

Matthews, Samuel, commissioner, 1624, 60;
  Harvey favors, 65;
  leads Council, 68;
  complains of Maryland, 72;
  threatens Harvey, 73; 74;
  arrests Harvey, 76;
  helps expel Harvey, 77;
  accused of treason, 79;
  expelled from Council, 80;
  estate of seized, 81; 82; 83;
  restored to Council, 86;
  Governor, 106;
  deposed but reëlected, 107; 108;
  death of, 109.

Mattapony, river, 185.

Middle class, 92;
  formation of, 93;
  freedmen recruit, 94; 102; 131.

Middlesex, county, 171; 185; 187;
  rises for Berkeley, 188; 190; 235; 236; 237.

Milner, Thomas, 173; 243; 251; 252.

Minifie, George, arrests Harvey, 76; 77; 79;
  restored to Council, 86.

Molina, 12;
  testifies to cruelty, 23.

Monmouth, Duke of, 243; 244.

Mortality, see sickness.

Moryson, Francis, King's commissioner, 196; 199; 200;
  intercedes for Jones, 203; 204;
  insulted, 208; 215;
  influence of, 215; 216; 217; 241.

Nansemond, county, 95; 129; 130; 142; 143; 207.

Nansemonds, 52; 146.

Navigation Acts, 103; 104; 114;
  act of 1651, 116;
  act of 1660, 117;
  effect of on Virginia, 118;
  Berkeley protests against, 120;
  act of 1672, 121; 123; 127; 172; 222.

Necotowance, 90.

New Kent, county, 156; 178; 193; 235.

Newport, Christopher, 1;
  Councillor, 3; 4; 5; 6; 11;
  saves Smith, 6;
  brings Second Supply, 7; 8;
  Vice-Admiral, 8; 9; 11; 17.

Nicholson, Francis, 257;
  Governor, 258.

Northampton, county, 103; 104; 105; 236.

North Carolina, efforts for cessation in, 121; 122; 123.

Northern Neck, grant of, 124; 125; 126.

Notley, Governor Thomas, 137.

Nottoways, 146.

Occaneechees, 159; 160;
  defeat of, 161, 162; 174.

Opechancanough, plans massacre of 1622, 48; 52; 53; 89;
  death of, 90; 147.

Pace, Richard, given by typographical error as Race in text, 48.

Page, Francis, 250.

Page, John, 229.

Pamunkey, river, 185.

Pamaunkeys, victory over, 1624, 53; 146; 151; 156; 157;
  Bacon defeats, 174, 175; 178.

Panton, Anthony, trial of, 82; 83; 84; 85.

Parke, Daniel, 218; 219.

Parliament, 32; 33; 34;
  protects merchants, 39; 42; 54;
  Company appeals to, 58; 87; 91;
  sympathy with in Virginia, 92, 93, 94; 95;
  blockades Virginia, 96; 98;
  sends fleet against Virginia, 99;
  Virginia surrenders to, 101;
  passes Navigation Acts, 116; 120; 121.

Patents, see charters.

Pate's House, Bacon dies at, 184;
  Ingram captures, 188.

Peninsula, the, between the James and the York, 185.

Percy, George, President, 10;
  tells of sickness, 11;
  Councillor, 17;
  acting Governor, 19.

Persicles, 159;
  defeats Susquehannocks, 160;
  Bacon defeats, 161;
  death of, 161.

Phelps, John, 202.

Pierce, William, 77; 79; 80; 82; 86.

Pierse, Thomas, 37.

Piersey, Abraham, commissioner in 1624, 60.

Pilgrims, see Puritans.

Plague, London, epidemic of, 13; 15.

Plymouth, 78; 118.

Pocahontas, captured, 25;
  marries Rolfe, 26; 47; 88.

Point Comfort, 16; 70; 71; 80;
  fort at destroyed, 132; 141.

Pomfoy, Richard, executed, 203.

Population, 114.

Pory, John, commissioner in 1624, 60; 61.

Potomac, river, 25; 69; 71; 120; 124; 141; 146; 149; 159; 174; 182; 256.

Potts, John, acting Governor, 64;
  arrested, 65;
  convicted, 66; 67; 69; 76; 77; 78; 82.

Pountis, John, represents Assembly in England, 61.

Powell, William, 52.

Powhatan, 25; 26; 89; 147.

President, duties of, 2, 3; 4; 5; 9; 10.

Privy Council, 2; 54;
  sends commission to Virginia, 62; 65; 68;
  acquits Harvey, 79; 81; 82;
  removes Harvey, 83; 84; 214; 215; 216; 226; 227; 232; 238; 239; 240; 241; 243; 244; 251; 257.

Protector, Lord, see Cromwell.

Purifee, Capt, 77.

Puritans, 30;
  of Virginia, 92;
  hostile to King, 93; 95; 99; 103.

Quit-rents, 124; 230;
  quarrel over, 245, 246.

Rappahannock, river, 25; 124; 141; 151; 179; 182; 185; 256.

Ratcliffe, John, Councillor, 3;
  President, 4; 5;
  deposed, 7; 8;
  helps depose Smith, 10.

Read, James, 5.

Reade's House, rebels posted at, 185;
  captured, 186.

Representative government, attempt to establish, 6;
  James I opposes, 32;
  desire for in Company, 33;
  none at first, 34;
  decided upon, 35;
  established, 36; 54;
  causes James I to attack Company, 55;
  Virginians plead for, 60;
  Charles I opposes, 62; 91;
  advocates of in Virginia, 93;
  under the Commonwealth, 102;
  people schooled in, 114;
  Berkeley undermines, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138;
  Berkeley does not believe in, 144; 153;
  struggle for, 223.

Restoration Period, 42;
  unfortunate for Virginia, 115;
  Navigation Acts in, 117; 138; 224; 252.

Restoration, of Stuarts, 110;
  accepted in Virginia, 113;
  effects of on Virginia, 115; 117; 135.

Richahecrians, 156.

Roanoke, river, 159;
  battle at, 160, 161; 162;
  Bacon plans to retreat to, 172.

Rolfe, John, 25;
  marries Pocahontas, 26; 27; 28; 47; 88.

Saint Mary's, founded, 71; 72; 73;
  conference at, 122.

Sandy Bay, 166;
  Bacon guards, 167;
  Bacon's camp at, 179;
  battle at, 180; 181; 183.

Sandys, Sir Edwin, draws up charter of 1609, 8;
  liberal leader, 33; 34;
  designs liberal government, 35; 43; 45; 46; 47; 50; 54;
  imprisoned, 55; 56; 60; 61; 62.

Sandys, George, 44; 46; 52;
  tries to revive Company, 87.

_Sarah Constant_, sails for Virginia, 1; 11.

Scarburgh, Charles, 251.

Scarburgh, William, executed, 203.

Scrivener, Matthew, drowned, 7.

Scurvy, infects immigrants, 15; 19.

_Sea Adventure_, wrecked, 9; 10.

_Sea Flower_, 15.

"Seasoned", see sickness.

Second Supply, Newport brings, 7.

Senecas, 146; 160; 256.

Sharpless, Edward, 61.

Sherwood. William, 136;
  forfeits Berkeley's favor, 137; 205;
  claims frauds in elections, 218; 220; 243; 251.

Sickness, 2;
  disastrous, 10;
  in 1607, 11;
  in 1610, 12; 18;
  visitors describe, 12;
  immigrant ships spread, 13; 18; 19;
  reduced, 21;
  renewal of, 25; 44; 45;
  thousands die of, 46;
  declines, 1624, 47; 56; 57; 64; 115;
  attacks Jeffreys, 217.

Smith, Captain John, restrained, 3;
  restored to Council, 4;
  deposes Wingfield, 4, 5; 6;
  President, 7;
  his plots, 9;
  deposed, 10; 11;
  describes famine, 14; 15.

Smith, Mr. John, 251.

Smith, Lawrence, in Gloucester, 188; 189.

Smith, Sir Thomas, 24; 61.

Spaniards, colonists fear, 1; 5; 22; 29; 32; 45; 89.

Spencer, Nicholas, 228; 235; 247; 250.

Spotswood, Alexander, 44.

Spring, Robert, excepted from pardon, 202.

Stafford, county, Indian raid in, 146.

Stevens, Capt, 74.

Stoakes, Robert, executed, 203.

Strachey, William, 17.

Sturdivant, John, 202.

Stuyvesant, Governor, 113.

Swann, Thomas, 173; 200; 201;
  excepted from pardon, 203;
  restored to Council, 216.

Summers, George, admiral, 8;
  wrecked, 9; 11.

Surry, county, 138; subdued, 190.

Susquehannocks, 91;
  press south, 146;
  war with, 147;
  fort besieged, 149, 150;
  atrocities of, 150; 151; 156; 158;
  Bacon pursues, 159;
  Occaneechees defeat, 160; 161; 174.

Tanx-Powhatans, war against, 52.

Tappahatomaks, 52.

Taxation, 39; 40;
  Harvey's illegal, 72, 73; 79;
  attempt to equalize, 87; 91; 101;
  Northampton complains of, 104; 105; 115; 120; 125; 126; 135;
  local, 138;
  by poll, 139; 140; 141; 142;
  rebels refuse to pay, 167; 207; 227;
  Assembly's control of attacked, 229, 230, 231; 244; 245.

Thompson, William, 92.

Thorpe, Rev. George, Indians kill, 50.

Tindall's Point, rebels surrender at, 192;
  executions at, 193.

Tobacco, 22; 24;
  Rolfe cures, 27;
  high price of, 28;
  taxes paid in, 39; 40; 43;
  James I restricts, 44, 45; 51;
  Charles I wishes to buy, 63; 70;
  King asks contract for, 74; 83; 93; 96; 114; 115;
  price of declines, 117, 118;
  glut of, 119;
  attempts to restrict planting of, 121, 122, 123;
  tobacco fleet captured, 127, 128, 129; 132;
  low price of, 232;
  cessation of asked, 233;
  tobacco riots, 234 to 238; 245;
  ports for shipping of, 246, 247, 248.

Tottopottomoi, 156.

Trade and Plantations, Committee of, 120; 144; 214; 225; 226; 231; 232; 243; 257.

Tucker, William, 53.

Turkey Island, 21.

Turner, John, excepted from pardon, 202.

Twine, John, 37.

_Unmasking_, the, attack on Company, 12.

Utie, John, helps arrest Harvey, 76; 79;
  sent to England, 80; 82.

Vestries, cliques control, 138, 139.

Wading, Rev., 184.

Waldo, Richard, 7.

Walkelett, General, leads expedition to Middlesex, 188;
  surrender of, 192; 193; 256.

Warde, Captain, 37.

Warrens, William, 75.

Warwick, county, 140.

Washington, John, besieges Indian fort, 149.

Weinman, Ferdinando, 17.

West, Francis, 9; 10;
  Governor, 64;
  elected Governor, 1636, 78; 79;
  excluded from Council, 80; 82.

West, John, excepted from pardon, 202.

Western Shore, 174; 177; 183; 187.

Westminster Hall, 98; 99.

West Point, Ingram uses as base, 185; 188;
  rebels surrender, 192.

Whaly, Major, 185;
  defeats Farrill, 189, 190; 202.

Wiccocomico, conference at, 122.

Wilford, Captain, captured, 186.

William, of Orange, 256; 257.

Willis, Francis, 108.

Windebank, Secretary, 84.

Wingfield, Edward, President, 3;
  deposed, 4, 5; 6; 8; 13; 35; 62.

Winthrop, Governor, letter of to Berkeley, 92.

Wolstenholme, Sir John, 72; 74.

Woodall, John, 81.

Wyatt, Sir Francis, 51;
  defeats Pamunkeys, 53;
  reappointed Governor, 1624, 61; 62;
  saves Assembly, 63; 64;
  Governor again, 83;
  attacks Harvey, 84; 85; 86.

Wynne, Peter, 7.

Wyanokes, 52.

Yeardley, George, acting Governor, 27;
  Governor, 45;
  brings Magna Charta, 36;
  meets Assembly, 37; 42; 46; 52; 62;
  again Governor, 64.

Yellow fever, 13, 15.

York, county, 75; 185;
  Farrill invades, 189; 191.

York, river, 90; 91; 98; 120; 128; 141; 174; 182; 184; 185; 186;
  Berkeley's expedition to, 187, 188, 189, 190; 217.

Young, Captain, 74.

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