Few of us in America ever pause to count the cost,
in pounds, shillings and pence, and in terms of
human suffering, at which the English people laid
the foundations for this country. That in itself is
a story worth recalling. —Wesley Frank Craven
Dissolution of the Virginia Company
Caveat: John’s actual surname is Army. He is not a member of the Arvin family, but he is an interesting character in his own right. See Sidebar below.
John “Arvine” was born in England in Elizabethan times, that is to say during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. He was born in the southern Cotswolds of the West Country in the year 1589, the year following England’s great defeat of the Spanish Armada. He was baptized there, in one of the fine stone churches built with wool money—St. George’s Anglican Church in the town of King’s Stanley, Gloucestershire, on 25 September 1589.1
The Cotswolds (“cots,” stone sheep pens; “wolds,” the rolling hills) were the very heart of England’s woolen industry, producing what was considered the finest wool in the world. Just about everyone living in the Cotswolds at this time was involved in the woolen industry in one way or another, so we can guess that the Arvines were sheep farmers or engaged in some trade which processed the wool cloth or brought it to market. We have no documentation of John’s early life, but we can conjecture that the family was typical of the West Country rural farmers or townspeople “of the middling sort.” They apparently were church-goers, although there are no other life events recorded (births, marriages or deaths) for Arvines or variant spellings in Gloucestershire Parish Registers that have survived. (There is a possible exception: the marriage of John “Hardine” to Elizabeth Allen on 26 November 1576.)2 They may have lived in the area only during the time John was born.
John and his family were contemporaries of William Shakespeare, son of a glove maker (and an unlicensed wool trader), who was also born and raised in the West Country, in the nearby town of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, twenty-five years earlier. By the time John was a youngster, though, Shakespeare had moved to London and was on the threshold of greatness as a playwright and a favorite of the royal court. But we can imagine that much of John’s early childhood, schooling, clothing, lifestyle, housing, pastimes, etc. would have been similar to Shakespeare’s. (John probably could read and write, as we shall see later.) Shakespeare’s early life in the West Country would have been similar to John’s.
It is also likely that at some point in time John’s family came to consider themselves Puritans, part of a growing movement within the Anglican Church. These Puritans, believed that the state Church of England still had too many trappings of the Catholic Church in it; that it was not “pure” enough. They would not conform to the traditional Anglican style of worship, and also became known as “non-conformists.”
John was 14 years old when Queen Elizabeth died, the Tudor line ended, and James of Scotland came south to accept the English crown as the first Stuart king. And it was during the reign of King James that England, which had emerged as a world sea power under Elizabeth, realized its goal of colonizing the New World. John would play a part of this great effort and it is because he did so that we are here today. In fact, that is why this sketch is written in English.
Great Britain, as the King called it, was in competition with other countries, especially Spain, at this time in colonizing newly discovered territories, including America. Emigration from England to these places became a national goal. Economic and social conditions at the time also led to mounting pressure on those of the middling sort and the poorer sort, and the hope of making a better life away from the mother country sprang up in the hearts and minds of the people. “Low wages and hard living conditions, both in town and country caused many to look to Virginia as a land of opportunity.”3 Inflation during the sixteenth century and an increasing population combined to relentlessly drive down the purchasing power of wages in the Kingdom. By 1600 it had declined by 57% from the turn of the previous century.4 In addition to economic pressures, King James, as the head of the Church of England, also took a hard line with the Puritans, and persecuted them for their non-conformity. (“I will make them conform or I will harry them out of the land.”) This also made emigration an attractive option.
A traditional joint-stock company was organized and granted a charter by the King in 1606, primarily to make a profit, but also as a patriotic enterprise to realize England’s goals of colonization in America. Its name was, “the Treasurer and Companie of Aduenturors and Planters of the Cittie of London for the first Colonie in Virginia.” Known simply as “The Virginia Company of London,” it was given monopoly control of the lower Chesapeake Bay, and was allowed to colonize this area for its own benefit. It was this company which established the colony of Virginia, named after the Virgin Queen Elizabeth, and its first settlement, Jamestown, named after King James. The company was continually recruiting “Adventurers” (venture capitalists) of the merchant class to invest in the stock of the company, and “Planters,” (those who would actually plant themselves in the colony, the spot where they planted themselves being called the “plantation.”)
“The Virginia Company certainly used handbills, ballads, sermons by friendly ministers and other means of cheap mass advertising to persuade the ordinary men and women that the crock of gold could be found in America. The large merchants doubtless had their own methods. The majority of emigrants were probably recruited and shipped by individual small merchant partnerships using pack-horse men, peddlers, carriers and other agents to reach the villages and towns of England with news of the benefits to be gained by venturing overseas. Probably, too, many men were recruited in the seaports where they had already drifted in search of adventure and employment. One vital point to remember is that the English were not a particularly settled nation. For most emigrants, the distance across the Atlantic and the virgin soils to be expected there were the only new factors. They and their families were already accustomed to migration; emigration held few additional terrors.”5 John Arvine was one of those who were to come under the influence of the Virginia Company of London.
In 1607, when John was just 18, Jamestown was established. The Company had a flare for self-promotion, and did its best to make sure England was well aware of the colony. It launched a great multi-ship flotilla from London and the port town of Plymouth, bound for Virginia, in 1609 amid much fanfare. Broadsides were regularly posted in the yard at London’s great St. Paul’s Cathedral, and brochures were readily available there as well. Until 1621 when King James put an end to it, the company operated a national lottery to fund its efforts. Captain John Smith and Ralph Hamor had returned home from Virginia and had each written a book. The great Indian chief Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas, who had saved Smith’s life early on in the colony, had become legend. She had married John Rolfe, bore him a son, and even made a visit with them to England in June of 1616. The Rolfes had landed at Plymouth and traveled to London by coach with their entourage, where they had remained through the following winter, much to the fascination of the royal court and the entire country. But Pocahontas had fallen ill as they were about to return to Virginia, and had died at Gravesend, London’s port. Rolfe had been forced to leave Thomas the baby with friends at Plymouth and return alone. (Thomas returned to Virginia later as a young man, in John’s time, and lived out his life there.)
The mismanagement of the little colony, which would almost prove to be its undoing, was also common knowledge in England and had put the company in ill repute. Thousands of Planters had died in Virginia or on the way over, and the Adventurers’ stock had “decayed,” as Captain John Smith put it. Even one of Shakespeare’s never-produced plays, Timon of Athens, hinted at the disaster that was early Jamestown (from digging for gold to digging for roots.) Shakespeare was a close personal friend of Rev. Richard Buck, who had married Pocahontas and John Rolfe at the church at Jamestown in 1614.6 Jamestown had become “laughingstock,” to use a phrase that Shakespeare coined, for the comedians of the day.
Now all this occurred while John was still a young man presumably living with his family in the West Country. But because of overpopulation and the gradual shutting off of suitable farming lands by the gentry, called “enclosure,” more and more economic pressure built up on those of the middling sort and those of the poorer sort. John’s family may have rented rather than owned land, or he may not have been the first-born son, who would have stood to inherit the land via the right of primogeniture. So, with nothing holding him in Gloucestershire, he may have left his family and moved or drifted from King’s Stanley down to Plymouth, which was an important seaport of about 6,000 population on England’s south coast in Devonshire, and strongly Puritan. And at some point in time he apparently made the acquaintance of another young man his age, a certain William Newman. William may have been a member of the powerful family which owned the Robert Newman Company. The family had originated in Totnes, South Devon, in the fourteenth century but had lived in the coastal town of Dartmouth since the early 1500s. They operated a successful import-export trading company which had started in cloth and wool and expanded into wine, salt and especially fish. By the seventeenth century a John Newman was sending his own ships across the north Atlantic to New-found-land, and a Richard Newman had been granted fishing rights on the south coast there.7 Did the Robert Newman Company become interested in tobacco export-import also? Could William Newman have been in the family? Was there some sort of merchant/planter encouragement or “sponsoring” of William and John’s emigration to the new colony?
Due to the Virginia Company’s mismanagement, the early years of the colony were disastrous times of disease, starvation, Indian attacks, community labor practices and martial law, not to mention a financial abyss for the investors. The King’s Privy Council allowed the Company to rewrite its charter three times in an effort to right itself in those early days, and finally in 1618 it came out with its “greate Charter” which did away with martial law and established a representative form of self government in the colony. It also initiated the famous “headright” land grant system whereby fifty acres of land in Virginia was granted for each person who “adventured” himself or another person to Virginia at his expense. In 1619, a new treasurer, Sir Edwin Sandys, with his deputy John Ferrar, took control (both at an exorbitant Sallarie, some thought.)8 But he was bursting with a myriad of new projects for the company, even though it was under serious financial strain and more than £8,000 in debt at the time.9 The Company’s Adventurers had expended over £100,000 of their own and company money, and countless man-hours of time and labor, on the economy of Virginia.10
Emigration to Virginia picked up considerably, however, with this reorganization and with the treasurer’s more active recruitment and development projects. “Sandys endeavored…to interest prospective settlers of good character in all sections of the country, and with some success. In reviewing the first year’s accomplishments the council claimed that settlers of that year had been mostly choice men born and bred to labor and industry…100 men ‘brought up to Husbandry’ had come out of Devon, above 110 were from Warwickshire and Staffordshire, about 40 from Sussex and the remainder ‘out of divers Shires of the Realme.’”11 In fact, now began what is known as The Great Migration.12 The net population of the colony began to slowly grow, although horrific losses to disease and Indian attacks continued. Based on emigrant lists the company itself had prepared, there were about 700 English in Virginia in March of 1619. These, together with the 3,570 sent over during the next three years, in forty-two separate sailings, made a total of 4,270 in the colony during the period. But in these years over 3,000 died, leaving only about 1240 alive by March of 1622.13 And the worst was yet to come.
The Company’s response to all these loses was to simply recruit and ship even more settlers across the Atlantic as replacements. (In April and May of 1622 alone ten more ships departed for Virginia with 580 settlers and 120 cattle.) And it was at this point in time, on one of those ships, that William Newman and his partner John traveled to the new world. They were among those who had decided that Virginia offered more for them than England. They had decided to become Planters, and plant themselves in America. There were basically four reasons why men like William and John emigrated to America: the age-old call of adventure, wanting to be associated with a highly publicized venture, being footloose with nothing much else to do, or having adventure thrust upon them by their families.14 Captain John Smith wrote that, at the time, “…Tobacco [is valued] at three shillings the pound, and [in Virginia] they value a mans labour a yeere worth fifty or threescore pound…”15 In other words, a person could make a tremendous amount of money growing tobacco in Virginia. Our partners must have felt that the opportunity to seek their fortunes growing tobacco in the colony outweighed the risks of being there. And so, they went.
There is no record of any Arvines or Newmans (including The Robert Newman Company) investing in the joint-stock of the Virginia Company of London as Adventurers. But William and John may have had financial support from their families or from The Robert Newman Company, because trans-Atlantic passage alone cost the goodly sum of six pounds sterling. (Historians differ on how to value English currency of the period, but we can think of a pound sterling, written £, as about $1000.00, a shilling as $50.00, and a penny, often written as “d” after the Roman coin dinarius, as $4.00 in today’s money.)
It is also quite possible that they were recruited in Plymouth by a certain Robert Newland. He was a highly favored provisioner to the Virginia Company of both settlers and supplies, who operated from the Isle of Wight, which is off the south coast of England opposite Portsmouth. He “…hath beene well approved by Plimouth & other Countries wch doe imploye him.”16 Newland may have put William and John in touch with his associate, a certain Nathaniel Basse, gentleman, who was developing his own plantation in Virginia and actively seeking settlers to populate it.
Robert Newland and Nathaniel Basse were both associated with a group of strong Puritan-leaning Adventurers led by Sir Richard Worsley, Member of Parliament, Knight Baronet and also a resident of Isle of Wight. The group had been granted a patent for a plantation in Virginia in 1619, downriver from Jamestown, and it had been occupied. But it had been abandoned after the death of its Captain, Christopher Lawne, and many of the settlers. By 1621 Nathaniel Basse and another member of the group, Edward Bennett, a wealthy merchant with a fleet of ships, had both been granted their own patents for plantations further downriver from Jamestown in an area known as Warrascoyack, named after the Indian tribe living there. The area is close to the present-day city of Smithfield. 17
Bennett’s plantation was below Burwell Bay on the James River at present-day Rock Wharf. Basse’s plantation was nearby, being situated on the east side of Pagan Bay, on the Pagan River before it empties into the James. Today it is a marshy area up from Pagan Point. Here is the surveyor’s description of it, taken from its sale years later:
“…beginning at ye mouth of Polentine swamp, which divides ye sd
Taberer’s land from ye land of Mr. James Day, thence up the said
swamp north 32 degrees west, 80 poles to a locust sapling in John
Munger’s line, then by Munger’s south west 92 poles to a white oak
near ye head of a small gutt, thence down ye said gutt south 25 degrees
westerly 60 poles to Hutchinson’s creek, and thence by various courses
down ye sd creek and ye Crosse creek to ye Maine Pagan creek, then
northeast by ye Maine creek side 120 poles to yr mouth of said
Taberer’s own creeke, then up that creek and Jones’ hole creek to a
locust post in ye marsh, and then north 53 degrees west 40 poles
to ye first station.”18 [1 pole = 16.5 feet]
Basse’s patent was for more than 300 acres, conditional on his recruiting and transporting one hundred settlers to develop it.19 These “hundreds” or “particular plantations” as they were called, were private enterprises and were not under direct control of the Company, although they did operate under its corporate umbrella. The particular plantation concept had caught on in recent years after former Governor Argall and Ralph Hamor had returned to Virginia with John Rolfe, and then began to recruit settlers to come to their own plantations at their own expense. It was seen by the company as a way to expand the colony at no further cost to itself, and it was very much encouraged.
Nathaniel Basse had named his plantation “Basse’s Choyse,” and had already escorted some settlers into the colony to “seate” it. It may have been that Robert Newland recruited William and John, and put them in touch with Basse, who agreed to advance passage for them into Virginia in return for their becoming “half-share tenants” on his plantation. They would work for him for perhaps three years, splitting the profits of their labor, after which they would be freemen and on there own. Since this was a private arrangement, the two sides could have come to any agreement acceptable to the parties without approval of the company. However, it seems more likely that William and John paid for their own passage and were freeman from the very beginning, only intending to settle on Basse’s plantation as a favor to him in meeting his quota and as a convenience to themselves. Basse family traditions vary, but it appears that Nathaniel Basse was already building on his plantation, and had made a trip back to London with his wife Mary. They may have left some of their children under nanny’s care in the colony, and Basse was now about to return with more of his own settlers on a company-chartered ship which was carrying servants and apprentices for the company.
It is our good fortune that numerous records of the Virginia Company (which was in operation until 1624) still exist. Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian of a later era, obtained an extensive collection of these records and sold it to the United States. (They formed the first holdings of the Library of Congress.) From these records we can draw an amazingly detailed picture of John’s trip to the New World and his early life there.
The ship that took him to the New World was the Furtherance, a 180-ton galleon typical of its class. It might have been quite similar to the Mayflower, a galleon which had taken another Puritan group of Planters (associated with Christopher Lawne, and later known as “Pilgrims”) from Plymouth, England, to Cape Cod two years before. We know that the Furtherance left Gravesend about June 11 or 12, 1622. Watermen would have ferried the passengers a few miles down the traffic-congested Thames River in their open barges from London to Gravesend, where the transatlantic sailing vessels moored, for a toll of 2d apiece. “The good ship the Furtherance” was to carry a total of eighty passengers on this trip, counting those who would board later at the provisioning stop to be made at the Isle of Wight. Ship’s master was Captain William Eden, with the mysterious alias, Mr. Sampson. We even know some of the passenger’s names: John Walker, --- Hosier, William Jackson, William Apleby, John Manby, Arthur Cooke, and Steven.20 Also on board were three indentured servants and an apprentice whom the company was transporting to the colony at its expense: George Pelton, Richard Willis, Clement Melton and Richard Buttry, a “tayler.”(Typically, servants and apprentices contracted to work for the company for seven years in return for half of the profits of their labor—“tenants at halves”—after which they would be freemen. No land was included in the deal, but the company provided them with a year’s supply of food and cattle, along with clothes, weapons, tools and other equipment.)
These four must have been brimming with confidence (outwardly, at least) and cut dashing figures, because we know from “The Accompt of the charge of the .4. servants sent into Virginia in the Ship called the furtherance” that each had been expensively outfitted by the company with a canvas suit, a wastcote, two cloth cassocks, a pair of knit and a pair of Irish stockins, three shirts, two pairs of shoes, a [knit wool Monmouth] cap, three bands and three handkerchiefs, plus points, garters, girdles, knives and trusses. They had been allocated five ells [= 225 inches] of canvas for their sea beds and bolsters [pillows], a sea rugge, three gallons and a pint of aqua-vite [water of life – wiskey], and a caske to put it in, a chest to pack things in, and maylinge cord. The company had also paid “the wages [expenses] of the .4. men till .26. Mai at 6p a peece by the day whereof .3. of them were entertained [room and board] the xxxth of Aprill and the other about a week after,” and twenty-four pounds “for the passage and dyet [meals] of them into Virginia.” It also paid ten shillings, “To the Surgeon that was hired to look unto the passengers on shipboard towards the charge of furnishinge his chest,” and 22d “ffor a Testament for one of them much desiringe the same.” They were also given three shillings each, “at their departure for to serve them at the Ile of Wight and at their arrival while they should stay at Iames City.” And there was one last entry: “Item to Mr. Allin who had the conductinge of them and the rest of the passengers to Gravesend for one nights supp and breckfast before they could be taken in a shipboard…20s 8d.” The company was spending 10 lbs sterling per man of stockholders’ money just to outfit them and get them to Virginia.21
And from an invoice for on a later trip on another ship we get a good idea of how servants were provisioned by the Company. We have Mr. Webb’s “A Proportion of the Charge to Furnishe and Transport Six Men to Virginia.” Six indentured servants were supplied with “Vitailes” [victuals]--three hogsheds [wooden casks 43 inches high and 27 inches diameter] of meale containing 9 buz [bushels] a peece, a hogshd of Oatmeale to contain 9 buz, one hs of vinegar, 10 Gallons Oyle with the Caske, a firkin [9 gallons] of butter, one hundred wt of Cheese half Cheshire and half Suff, a firkin of beife suett of 56 pound, Twentie Gallons of aquavite, 40ll of Sugar and for other spice, a hogshed of beare the Caske to be Iron bound. Apparrell--for 6 men, alowing to each man 3: Sutes of Clothing, 4: shirts, 4: bands, 4: pr shooes .3: pr Irish stockins, a Monmouth Cap etc. Tooles--of sundry sorts, Nailes for their vse. Armes--for 2 of the 6 men, to be completely armed, for a long peece, for Powder half a barrel, and for shott. Transport--And for Transport of the six men to Virginia…36 lbs. Fraight--of the abovesaid Goods being estimated at Two Tun and an half. The Company spent almost 20 lbs sterling per man of the stockholders’ money to feed, clothe, equip, arm and transport these six servants.22 It’s no wonder the stock had “decayed” and the company was heavily in debt by this time, and going deeper.
Others on board the Furtherance included twenty-five shipwrights, led by a Captain Thomas Barwick, whom the company was sending to the colony to serve as builders of “Boats, Pinnaces and Ships, for the necessary vse of the Colony for fishing, trade, and Discovery, &c,”23 and, “Leonard Hudson a Carpenter with his wife and fiue of our Apprentices for the erecting of the East India Schoole,” (intended to be a free school for the colonists’ children, built on a 1000-acre tract of company land).24 These were but two of “The many wilde & vast pjects set on foot all at one time…” by Sir Edwin Sandys.25
For the officers of the Virginia Company there were some conflicts of interest with these expenditures. “[Captain John] Smith was of the opinion that had they managed their own estates no more ably than they had the affairs of Virginia they would have long since become bankrupt. Yet it is noticeable that few of the officers in England had lost their estates or had exhibited any desire to relinquish their offices. The reason was that these great men who controlled the company were insensible to the petty losses entailed in the collapse of the common stock, while they enjoyed many opportunities of profit from the freight for colonists and supplies sent in their ships. The freight rates of £6 per person and £3 per ton of goods had encouraged them to overload their ships, thereby occasioning much sickness and many deaths. For though all passengers died they were still sure of their freight, ‘and then all must be satisfied with Orations, disputations, excuses and hopes.’”26 The company’s main operatives owned the ships which collected some of the revenue. Gabriel Barbour, who had run the lottery, had the Bonnie Bess. Robert Newland, “a ventrous charitable merchant,” was building the Plantation and had been awarded five shares of joint-stock, gratis, by the company. Edward Bennett had a whole fleet of ships, the Seaflower its flagship. And Sir Edwin Sandys had (what else) the Treasurer.
Here is the wording of a contract drawn up for the captain of a ship chartered by the Company during these times. (Note the peculiarities of Early Modern English, including archaic syntax and spelling and an almost complete lack of punctuation):
William Ewens. Covenant with the Company for Virginia. July 1621.
To all whome these presents shall come greetinge Knowe yee that I Wm Ewens Mr
of the good Ship the George of 150 tun burden nowe resident in the Riuer of Thames
for and in consideration of the Sume of 480li of good and lawfull money of England to
mee in hand paide and deliuered by the Treasurer and Companie of Adventurors and
Planters of the Cittie of London for the first Colonie in Virginia before the insealinge
and deliuery hereof and for and in consideracon of certaine coueants between them
and mee agreed I the said Wm Ewens do promise and couenant in manner and forme
followinge Imprimis that the good Shipp the George before her departuer out of River
of Thames shalbe stronge and staunch and in all things well fitted and prouided aswell
with furniture belonging to a Shippe as also Marriners and Sea men fitt and sufficient
for a safe and good performance of the voyage now intended and couenanted
Item I doe couenant and promise with the first opportunity of wynde and weather to
sett sayle wth the first Shippe for the Porte of the Cowes neare the Ile of Wight and
there to receaue and take into the said Shippe such Passengrs and goods as the said
Treasuror and Company shall direct and appointe and no other and I do further
couenante and promise after the Passengers and goods shalbe receaued in to the said
Shippe to departe from thence the directest course for the Porte of James Citty in
James Riuer in the Kingdome of Virginia and during the time of the said voyage to
giue and make such allowance of victuall to the Passengers as by the Shedull herevnto
affixed is specified. And I doe promise and couenant to deliuer the said Passengers and
goods (mortality and dangers of the Seas onely excepted) safe and well condiconed at
James Cittie in Virginia accordinge as the said Treasuror and Company shall direct
And I do further promise and couenant to take and receaue in to the said Shippe the
George such Tobacco as the Governor and officers residinge in Virginia shall lade
aboord here duringe the time that the said Shippe shall abide in Virginia for the
Account of the said Treasuror and Company here in England & the said Tobacco and
their goods to deliuer and consigne safe and well condiconed (the danger of the Seas
excepted) to such ffactors in England or Holland or Ireland and at such Ports as the
said Treasuror and Companie shall appointe and ordaine.
And to prformance of all and singular the Couenants aboue recited to be well land
truly holden kept and pformed in all things by mee I said Wm Ewens binde my self
my executors and Administrators and goods and namely the Shippe aforesaid wth the
fraight tackle boale and apparel of the same vnto the saide Treasuror and Companie and their
Successors in the Sume or penaltie of 1000li of lawfull money of England well and truly
to be paid by these presents: In Witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand
and Seale this day of July 1621 And in the yeares of the raigne of or soueraigne
Lord James by the grace of God King of England Scotland ffrance and
Ireland Defender of the faith that is to say of England ffrance and Ireland the 19th and
Scotland the fower and fiftith.27
Passengers on these ships rode like cargo in the galley and were referred to as “light freight” by the crew. Supplies, called “heavy freight,” were stored below them in the hold of the ship. There was probably lots of mail on board, and we know that in that mail was the usual letter from the Company’s council in London to the governor in Virginia with exhortations and instructions on how to run the colony. (The original of this letter, which road with John across the Atlantic in 1622, still exists today. It resides in the Library of Congress.)28
The Furtherance sailed from Gravesend and made its way to the Isle of Wight, mooring at the bustling port of the Cowes, where ships often made short stops on their voyages. William and John may have boarded previously at Gravesend or were set to board now from the Isle of Wight. Either way, the ship was probably provisioned at the Cowes, most likely by Robert Newland. But it was delayed in getting under way again because of unfavorable strong west headwinds. In a letter from Newport, capitol of Isle of Wight, back to London on June 27, Newland writes to the company’s deputy treasurer Nicholas Ferrar (brother John Ferrar had fallen ill), saying that he had to buy new shirts for some of the company’s passengers because, although “...you say Capten Barwik had order to open the Chest wher the shirtes is[;] but thoues Chist ar stod in the ship and ar not to be Com by[.] Some of youer pepell hath gon a month in a shirt so that of nesitie they most [must] have Chaing[.] I do for you as for me[,] sell nothing but what Nesistie is done[.] the fordrence [Furtherance] paseger hath ben 2 times at the Coues [Cowes] to goe abord but the wind is Come to be westward a gaine so now that [they] be hear at Nuport and Capten Barwike will not leat his pepell Remane a bord befor the wind is faier.”[He concludes by announcing that his new ship should be ready by August.]29
When they finally did get under way, the captain was obligated to take, “the directest course,” to the colony. That was the northern route established by that flotilla of 1609: down to the Canary Islands, thence due west to the Somers Islands (Bermuda) and on to America. (The old southern route, from England to the Canary Islands, southwest to the West Indies, and up to the Chesapeake was longer, hotter, required more provisions and risked confrontation with the Spanish and pirates in the Caribbean.) Captain Eden would have sailed up the mouth of the James River and landed at the aging wharf at Jamestown close to where the old triangular palisaded fort still stood. James Fort had been rebuilt by Captain John Smith himself after a fire in 1608 but was now in faded glory, slowly being given over to crop tobacco. But it was still the location of Governor Francis Wyatt’s residence, former Governor George Yeardley’s houses, the church, the store houses, the old marketplace, the gaol and the pillory. It was still the symbolic civic center of “James Cittie.”30
“The voyage to Virginia, usually lasting two to three months, even under the best of circumstances, was often one of severe hardship. On board vessels fitted out by the Ferrars the ordinary discomfort, sickness, and tedium were made much worse by the fact that ships were frequently overcrowded and the food provided unsatisfactory both in quality and in quantity. The result was that the toll in sickness and death left many shiploads sadly depleted when the long crossing was finally ended. Even those who survived were often so weakened by the voyage that they died in a short time or lived to be of little service.”31
The Furtherance must have arrived at Jamestown, unannounced and unexpected, in the midsummer heat of late August 1622. Standing today at the original site, it takes only a little imagination to look out onto the river and see the Furtherance right out there, moored to the trees, its disembarking passengers walking up the gangway to the shore, brushing past you as they enter the gate and spill into the fort. Look around. These are the same grounds where Pocahontas turned cartwheels as a young Indian maiden. That 50 ft. by 20 ft. wooden church that the new arrivals are going into, perhaps for a hastily-prepared prayer service by Rev. Richard Buck and a welcome speech by the Governor Wyatt, is the replacement to the church where Pocahontas and John Rolfe were married. The tobacco which Rolfe had introduced to the colony seems now to be taking up every unused space in the fort—a real moneymaker. The church is also the venue of the legislative General Assembly with its elected Burgesses, the first representative form of government in the New World. The General Court of the colony also meets there. William and John, as we will see, would be on the docket of that Court in less than two and a half years, as defendants. (The church would later be replaced by a brick structure about 1639, and a brick belltower would be added sometime after 1647. This Memorial Church, built in 1907, now stands over the remains of the orginal brick church, and its foundations can be seen through plate glass in the floor. The belltower is the original 1647 structure. The lines of the original fort, represented by the palisade in this image, have been recently "rediscovered." See apva.org)
Our two partners were both 33 years old when they arrived, coincidentally the same age as Nathaniel Basse and the Furtherance’s master, Captain Eden. This was older than most of those who adventured themselves to Virginia. Many of them were in their teens and twenties. William and John might have had a little more capital, a little more savvy, a little more experience—with family or Newman Company support—than the average settler. They would have been considered “persones of qualitie” for disciplinary purposes (able to be fined for money rather than subjected to corporal punishment.)32 Unlike William and John, most indentured servants arrived with almost nothing, only what the Company had provided them.
And when they arrived, these passengers were in for a shock. The colony was in a desperate state, still trying to recover from the Indian Massacre of Good Friday, March 22, 1622. The Furtherance, the Margaret & Iohn, and the Iames had all set sail before news of the massacre got back to London, and were on the high seas traveling to the colony as the bad news was going back the other way. The colony’s treasurer George Sandys (Sir Edwin’s younger brother) had written up a report of the massacre and compiled a list of those killed. (It began, “Here following is set downe a true list of the names of all those that were massacred by the treachery of the Sauages in Virginia, the 22nd March last to the end that their lawfull heyres may take speedy order for the inheritinge of their lands and estates there for which the honourable Company of Virginia are ready to do them all right and fauour:”) He was sending the list home to the company on the Seaflower. Powhatan’s confederation of Indian tribes had made an extensive and well coordinated attack on all parts of the colony simultaneously that day in an effort to extinguish it once and for all, and they nearly succeeded. According to George Sandys’ list, upwards to a third of the total population of the colony, some 347 people, including John Rolfe, were killed. Warrascoyack had been hit the hardest in the attack. Nathaniel Basse soon learned that his plantation had been destroyed and that his eldest son Humphrey had been killed, as were most of his tenants.33 (Humphrey’s twin Samuel and others may have survived because some sympathetic Nansemond Indians led them to safety.)34 Edward Bennett’s nearby plantation, Bennett’s Welcome, was also totally wiped out, almost everyone killed there. All tolled, a total of fifty-three people in Warrascoyack had been killed. Martin’s Hundred, halfway between Warrascoyack and Jamestown on the north side of the river was likewise completely “ruinated and spoyled” and twenty women were taken captive.35
On and on it went. In fact, almost all the plantations up and down the river had been hit to some extent, many of their buildings burnt, crops destroyed and livestock slaughtered. Jamestown itself was saved only because of a tip from a young Indian boy who had been adopted by a settler.36
It had taken a few weeks to decide, but by the “vnanimyous voice of both the Counsell and the Planters,”37 the Governor ordered that all outlying settlements up and down river had to be abandoned and all survivors, their livestock and possessions had to be withdrawn to the seven or eight plantations closest to Jamestown. This relocation was probably just being finished up as the Furtherance was finishing its crossing. Ralph Hamor, the respected “Ancient Planter” who had brought John Rolfe home from Plymouth a few years before, had been in charge of “draweinge the people from the Wariscoyack to Jamestown.”38 Hamor, along with his brother Thomas and their neighbors, had survived the massacre armed only with “spades, axes and brickbats.”39 His plantation was also close to Basse’s Choyse.
Things didn’t get any easier for new arrivals. The colony had built a 10 ft. by 20 ft. “guesthouse,” as “an house of entertainment for the new comers at Iames City.” It had been built on company land in 1619 a few miles to the northwest of Jamestown towards the Chicahominy River, and was intended as a place for settlers to stay initially until they had became “seasoned” (gotten used to the Virginia climate, food, water, etc.) But it could not handle all the new arrivals even in the best of times, and with the Jamestown area now choked with relocated survivors and new ships constantly bringing in more “new Comers” to the colony, it was hopelessly inadequate. (The area, called “Pasbehay Country,” is now being excavated as an archeological site.)40 And in fact when Captain Nathaniel Butler, retiring Governor of Bermuda, wrote his scathing expose about his visit to Virginia in 1622 on his was back to England, he accused the colony of not even having a “Guest house Inne”. To this charge, the Company answers that, while this is true, Strangers are put up in the “pryvate houses” of the settlers by the Governor.41 “One can readily imagine the effect on the colonists, who had been enlisted by the most highly colored picture of Virginia and the prospects of improving their position in the new world, when they arrived to find a country only in the first stages of development, their supply of food, clothing, and other equipment inadequate, and then to be seized with an attack of diarrhea, crowded into the household where their presence was probably resented, and to lie there for days under the scourge of a severe fever. There must have been little in the stern reality that fulfilled the glowing anticipations with which they sailed from England. It was enough to make them despair, and to leave those who survived neither in a mood nor a condition to promote with enthusiasm those ‘public ends’ for which they had been sent.”42
We don’t know exactly where William and John were or with whom they stayed for those first few months after their arrival. But we know they certainly did walk the very grounds at Jamestown that can be walked today, almost 400 years later, in the first permanent English settlement in America.
And surprisingly, even at this desperate time the colony may have put the Indians on the defensive and run some retaliatory “excursions” against certain tribes. Former governor George Yeardley led one such expedition against the Nansemonds and Warrascoyacks, killing many, burning their houses and taking their corn.43 William and John may have been picked by levy to participate in one or more of those raids, if they were sufficiently seasoned.
Meanwhile, the good ship Seaflower arrived back at Gravesend, England, with the stunning news of the massacre, and with the colony’s plea for help. When the news broke in the City of London in July of 1622, the Company published the list of the dead which the colony’s treasurer George Sandys had compiled, and organized a relief effort for the colony. Twenty barrels of gunpowder plus various pieces of arms and armor from the Tower of London, things such as “iron skulls,” coates of mail, short pistols with fire lockes, and harquilbussies (guns made obsolete by muskets), all of it “being vnfit for any modern service here” were graciously donated by his Majesty.44 The Abigail then lay at anchor off the coast of Kent in the English Channel, ready to depart for Jamestown, and everything was loaded into it, including many replacement settlers recruited for the colony. It soon set sail. The Seaflower was loaded with traditional English longbows and emergency food supplies, including £500 worth of flour, and left soon afterward, intending to stop briefly at Bermuda before continuing on to Jamestown.
Back in the colony, “Careful arrangements were made to protect the colonists from Indian attacks. Each community was put under the absolute authority of a military commander, and no one, without his consent, was allowed to hold any communication with an Indian. A watch was set every night at each plantation. Each man was required to have a palisade about his house. Settlers who went beyond the fortified areas had to go in groups and well armed. They had to take their weapons to work with them and keep a sentinel on guard. No plantation was ever to be left without sufficient arms and ammunition and a force to guard it.”45 The heads of several plantations were commissioned as Captains and given authority to “try all causes in a plantation except capital offenses.” It is likely that at this time Nathaniel Basse, gentleman, became Captain Nathaniel Basse. “Capt. Nat. Basse” is promptly ordered “to Ransom Englishman prisoners to the Nansemung Indians.”46
The good ship Furtherance stayed on at Jamestown to render emergency assistance to the governor, but Captain Eden apparently had enough time on his hands to get himself into trouble. For in October, 1622, a petition was brought before the Governor and Council by Ralph Hamor’s brother Thomas seeking to force payment from that rascally Captain Eden (alias Sampson) because he “did take of your petitioner in the presents of doctor Potts & Capn Nathaniel Basse two peeces [matchlocks], and thereby did binde to pay to your said petitioner two hundred pound sterling here in James Citty…”47 Could this sort of thing be why our Captain Eden found it necessary to use an alias?
But there were more pressing matters to occupy Governor Wyatt and his Council. Because much of the harvest and livestock was destroyed by the Indians, food was getting very scarce, and very pricey. The Treasurer and Council in London had responded to the Council in Virginia’s request for food advances, in effect by saying, “You may face starvation, but let this be a lesson to you.” In a letter as cold as stone written 1 August 1622 and sent aboard the departing Abigail, the treasurer writes, “The feare of your want of Corne doth much perplex vs, seeing so little possibility to supplie you, the publique stock being vtterly as you know exhausted, and the last years Adventures made by Private men not returned, as was promised, we have no hope of raising any valuable Magazine [advances to the particular plantations last year were not paid back, so we can’t raise another supply for you] …Other waies and means are so uncertaine, as wee cannot wish you to rely vppon anything, but yourselues…and that at last you will vnderstand, it is fitt and necessarie to yield the return of Adventures yearely as to receiue them.”[see how important it is to pay back what was advanced to you?]48 The officers of the Virginia Company really did put profit ahead of people.
Wyatt and the Council had already anticipated this sort of response, and had, now in late October, issued commissions to several ships captains, including Captain Eden in the Furtherance 49 and Captain Ralph Hamor in the Tiger 50 to travel far and wide up the Chesapeake and trade with other Indian tribes for food, and use force if diplomacy failed. Two other ships, one captained by Mr. Robert Bennett, of the famous Bennett family, were also commissioned in the next few weeks. These excursions would bring in a critical 4,000 lbs of corn to the colony as winter closed in.51
Then in December, 1622, the greatest disaster of all struck the colony. When the Abigail arrived, the colonists learned that instead of food so desperately needed, it carried the obsolete armor, the gunpowder and the scolding letter from London. But much worse, it carried an epidemic of a flu-like contagion (later called plague), delivered by the arriving passengers, most sick themselves, to the struggling colony. It is suspected that, seeing as how the Governor’s wife Margaret Lady Wyatt was on board the overcrowded vessel, Dr. John Pott, the colony’s physician-general, “well practiced in Chururgerie and Phisique,” waived a quarantine of the ship and allowed all to come ashore, spreading the epidemic across the now high-density colony.52 That winter and through the next spring, more than 500 died due to malnutrition, sporadic Indian attacks and the contagion. George Sandys, who himself fell ill, writes about “…the living being hardlie able to bury the dead.”53 Compounding the disaster, news came that the Seaflower had blown up and sunk off Bermuda (the captain’s son had been smoking in the gun room). With so much of their crops and cattle destroyed, and with new settlers arriving all the time, unannounced and undersupplied with victuals—fourteen more ships arrived in 1623—it was another starving time for the colony. It was again on the very brink of extinction. William and John were literally lucky to be alive. But could they survive until spring…
Even as the colony lay starving over that winter, the Virginia Company and its sister the Bermuda Company were wrangling with the King and his Privy Council to establish a monopoly contract to manage tobacco importation into England. Actually, the officers “were hoping to use a tobacco contract to loot the [Virginia Company] project, having given up hope of profiting through the joint-stock operation itself.”54 The director of this new management company (Sir Edwin Sandys naturally) would be paid an astounding £500, the treasurer, Ferrar, £400 and the total to all officers would be about £2,000. This would have been in addition to their Virginia Company salaries. The scheme was to be financed by an import duty on tobacco, with the two companies and the king chipping in with any additional money needed. The Virginia Company was about £2,000 in debt at this point. The scheme not only had the investors worried, but would also impose an “unbearable burden” on the planters. It was ultimately defeated in Parliament, and “…it is little wonder, with this state of affairs at home, that the news of Virginia sufferings through the preceding winter led almost immediately to a royal investigation.”55
* * *
In the spring of 1623, Captain Nathaniel Basse and his surviving new settlers, including William and John, probably moved across the James and down to Warrascoyak, to “resoul” Basse’s Choice and to set about rebuilding it in anticipation of the spring planting season. Perhaps Nathaniel Basse arranged for William and John to occupy the plantation as “tenants at half-share” (or as freemen) at this time. The two of them apparently formed a single household, William the head.
Rebuilding would have been a huge task and a team effort. They probably got started salvaging whatever they could of the remains and rebuilding the burned out houses. These were the typical “wattle and daub” style homes built throughout the colony at this time. Made of wood with half-timber studs set right into the ground, they had lattice-work interior walls and thatch roofs. Most all had one room with mud floors and a hearth along one end, although Basse’s residence might have been larger, perhaps even two-storied.56 Each homestead was to have a palisaded fence around the place to protect the garden from Indians and animals. Despite having to rebuild almost everything, the settlers would have also needed to plant crops such as corn, wheat and barley. And of course they would have planted just as many tobacco plants as they thought they could tend that year. The tobacco was money, and with it they had to buy everything else they needed—their “necessaries.” These were bought at the “Magazine,” which was a store house operated by the Virginia Company, a monopoly whose prices were very high (another “opportunity of profit,” and another conflict of interest for the company.)
As if all this weren’t enough, the colony had resolved, and was directed by the company, to run more retaliatory raids against the Indians in July 1623. Each captain launched a coordinated attack on an assigned area, even though, as Governor Wyatt estimated, there were only 180 capable men in the whole colony. These dangerous and time-consuming sorties were in addition to the necessary restrictions placed on everyone for their own safety by the governor and council. There was also a levy of every fifth man placed on the settlers for workers to build a second fort down at Point Comfort. Adding in the sickness and poor nutrition of the settlers and the shiploads of new Comers arriving continually, often sick and always needing food and shelter, it’s no wonder that the stress level in the colony was running critically high. Governor Wyatt, himself also sick that year, wrote to his father that, “I often wish little Mr. Farrar here, that to his zeale he would add knowledge of the Contrey.”57
William and John may have started to chafe under the direction of the company and the management of the governor and council during this time. And being at Basse’s Choice would also mean following Captain Basse’s supervision and orders regarding the rebuilding and operation of the plantation. Since they may have been freemen, and the same age as Basse, William and John might have become resentful of his methods and management at Basse’s Choice. For them, this matter would soon come to a head.
Meanwhile back in London, the Virginia Company had become polarized into factions for and against its strong-willed de-facto chief executive Sir Edwin Sandys. When news of the massacre reached them, the anti-Sandys faction sprang into action against him. They solicited the private letters sent home to England aboard the returning Abigail testifying to the misery in the colony and presented them at the company’s council meeting.58 Nathaniel Butler’s report on the colony was also made public, and also painted a very grim picture. When word of the shocking events and conditions in the colony came to the King’s attention, he initiated an investigation into the company’s operation.
The factions battled all year long in 1623 about the issues involved. The King’s Privy Council appointed a five-member commission headed by future Virginia governor John Harvey in October 1623 to actually travel to the colony, “and certify us accordingly what you find viz., how many severall plantations there be and which of them be publique and which private and particular, what people, men, women and children be in each plantation…” They also notified the colony of the appointment of this commission, and issued a request to “…send home at the first opportunity of Shipping an exact list as well of all such as have died or ben sleine since the Massacre as also of all such as are now livinge within all plantations[.]”59
And so, the Lists of the Livinge & Dead in Virginia were prepared (probably by George Sandys) and sent back to London. On it, we find William and John living at Bass’s Choice—two of only twenty English alive there. In fact, only about fifty English were alive in all of Warrascoyack, and but 1275 in the whole colony. Here’s a small part of the list:
LISTS OF THE LIVINGE & DEAD IN VIRGINIA
Feb. 16th, 1624 [new style]
A LIST OF THE LIVINGE.
At Bass’s Choice
Capt. Nathaniel Basse, Richard Longe,
Samwell Basse, uxor Longe, [wife]
Benjamin Simmes, infant Longe,
Thomas Sheward, Richard Evans,
Benjamin Handcleare, William Newman,
William Barnard, John Army, [sic]
John Shelley, Peter Langden,
Nathaniell Moper, Henry,
Nath.Gammon, Andrew Rawley,
Margrett Giles, Peter,
The second part, “A LIST OF THE NAMES OF THE DEAD IN VIRGINIA SINCE APRIL LAST.” enumerated those who had died just since the massacre. It shows twenty-six had died in Warrascoyack, a staggering number.60 Death, whether from disease, accident or attack, was never very far away. Among those on this list was Mr. Robert Bennett, brother of Edward Bennett.
Captain John Smith later referred to the colonists of this time as “those strange little miracles of misery,” and surely they were. But William and John, against overwhelming odds, had become survivors.
* * *
The little church at Jamestown was becoming the venue for all governmental functions in the colony: administrative, legislative and judicial. Administration was of course handled by the governor and his council in session there. The House of Burgesses met there as well, legislating for the colony. Captain Basse was the elected the Burgess from Warrascoyak to serve in the House for 1623-24.61 And at some point in time (we don’t know exactly when, as there has been extensive loss of records) a General Court was established to handle civil and criminal offenses within the colony. It also was held by the governor and his Council of State, composed of senior members of the colony. Records are not complete, and there is little remaining except the stark entries of the results of the proceedings, but fragmentary records of this General Court give us a few glimpses of these rough and tumble times in the colony, when death was always close at hand and discipline was of necessity harsh and without appeal.
At the court held 11 December 1623, we find that Captain Barwick, leader of the shipbuilders, has died, along with seven or eight of his crew. Captain Eden (of the Furtherance, which had made another trip back to the colony that year) is shown involved in court proceedings to disposition Barwick’s property.
Tragically, almost everyone who arrived at Jamestown aboard the Abigail had also died, including its master, Captain Each. Before he died, the council had given him a commission to build the fort at Point Comfort in Warrascoyack, and which he had only just begun. Captain Roger Smith, of the plantation Smythe’s Mount and member of the governor’s council, was commissioned to take over its completion.
In another court session, held 24 January 1625, we find a witness testifying about Captain Basse, recovering bodies from “the fort,” (perhaps Point Comfort) and bringing them over to “the olde fort.” (perhaps James Fort)62 This may have been in the aftermath of another Indian attack sometime in 1624. Apparently some of the dead were transported from Warrascoyack to Jamestown by Basse. The court decided there was little point in censuring the sentinel who was supposed to be on guard duty, since he was among the slain.
Then, also in January 1625, we find an entry of great importance to our story. William and John appeared before the General Court in that little church at Jamestown, as defendants. The court convened on 3 January 1625. Presiding were some very familiar names of the colony: Sr. Francis Wyatt, Knight &c, Sr. George Yardley (sic), Knight, Doctor Pott, Capt [Roger] Smith and Capt [Ralph] Hamer (sic). A number of issues were resolved and decisions were written up that day. Among the decisions, we find this entry:
“Yt is ordered yt Wm Newman and John Army for their
Contempt in disobeying Capt Bass his Commissio’ granted
him by the Gou’nor shall pay each of them 10 pownd
ster in the best merchantable Tobacco and yt Army
for his absenc in not Cominge to Churge shall pay
his fine according to the act of ye
Something very serious and traumatic had happened involving Captain Basse, William and John. But what was it? The latter part of this entry is plain enough. John had violated the second “Act” of the general Assembly of 1619: “That whosoever shall absent himselfe from divine service any Sunday without an allowable excuse shall forfeite a pound of tobacco, and he that absenteth himself a month shall forfeit 50lb of tobacco.”64 Of course, why he did not attend church is never revealed. Was this an early example of Puritanism starting to assert itself in the colony? The Puritans would have objected to attending a “conforming” Anglican Church service, perhaps even to the point of not attending. Or was there some other reason? No explanation is given in the record, and we are left to wonder what happened.
And exactly what the first part of the entry means is even more difficult to discern. They were apparently found guilty of a very serious offense in the colony, but what? One could speculate that William and John had grown disrespectful of Basse’s authority in operating the plantation sometime in 1624. Were they among those who refused to gather sassafras? Back in February 1623, in a move typical of the company (which had been falling into increasingly desperate financial straights) deputy treasurer Mr. Farrar sent word from England that sassafras roots were to be gathered for shipment back home aboard the Abigail. Each laboring man was to gather one hundred pounds. But Governor Wyatt wrote privately to his father that the order was not enacted, “save by some above James Cittie, the others resolving to stand to the penaltie of ten pounds of Tabago for every hundred pound of Sassafras not gathered though indeed it was a very trifle not a days labor.”65 So frustration and resentment was building at this time.
William and John’s offense must have been much more than a trifle. They might have committed what could be called “felony” back in England, although the term was not used in this record. Under English common law, felons were subject to confiscation of their property, banishment, loss of bodily parts or even death. To our disappointment, the exact charges against them are not recorded. The partners could have refused to do any number of the other duties required at the plantation: standing guard duty, helping build the new fort, running excursions against the Indians etc. They could have taken some action against Basse, or they might have stolen property, traded with the Indians, or spread rumors (all considered serious offenses). But exactly what did they do and why? Their fines were listed in “pownd ster,” rather than in pounds of tobacco, as some other penalties imposed on the same day were. This would be a very large fine in the colony at this time, far more than ten pounds of tobacco. It would amount to almost the cost of two trans-Atlantic passages for each man. A penalty like this was something beyond the authority of the commander of the plantation to impose, and was just short of a “capital offense,” which carried the death penalty. (Note, by the way, that they did not receive a sentence of physical punishment. This implies that they had the financial wherewithal to actually pay a cash fine rather than receiving a lashing or spending time with their ears nailed to the pillory, or in the gaol, as was customary for those without means to pay fines.) But what could they have done to be fined such a huge amount? Paying this fine would probably have completely wiped them out financially. It amounted to almost a total confiscation of all their funds and property. It would have been cheaper for them to actually leave the colony rather than pay their fines. Apparently this is what the governor and council intended; banishment from the colony! And in fact, it appears that this is what actually happened.
Back in 1623, as the King’s court action against the Virginia Company had progressed, the commission led by John Harvey had been ordered to visit the colony to investigate its condition and, among other things, take a Muster of the inhabitants and inventory it supplies of food and weapons. They arrived in March of 1624 and stayed through the entire year. They found that the colony had come a long way towards healing itself since the massacre. They returned to London in February 1625 with the results of their investigation and prepared their Muster. Here’s how a small part of the original Muster looked as written up by the commission:
M U S T E R S
of the Inhabitants in Virginia
THE MUSTER OF THE INHABITANTS AT WARISCOYACK
TAKEN THE 7TH OF FEBR 1625 [new style]
A MUSTER OF THE INHABITANCE
OF BASSES CHOYSE
CAPT NATHANIELL BASSE HIS MUSTER
NATHANIELL BASSE aged 35 in the Furtherance 1622
WILLIAM BARNARD aged 21 in the Furtherance 1622
EDWARD WIGGE aged 22 in the Abigail 1621
PROVISION: Corne, 40 bushells; Pease, 6 bushells; Fish, 500 ct.; Sows, 1;
Houses, 2. ARMES: Corsletes, 4: Swords, 6; Coates of Male, 7; peeces, 7; pistols,
2; petrenell, 1; Murderer, 1; powder, 12 lb; lead, 300 lb.
WILLIAM NEWMAN HIS MUSTER
WILLIAM NEWMAN aged 35 in the Furtherance 1622
JOHN ARMY aged 35 in the Furtherance 1622 [sic]
PROVISION: Corne, 16 bush; house, 1. ARMES: Corslett, 1; Swords, 2; peeces, 2:
Powder, 6 lb.
Some of the old equipment sent from the Tower of London had apparently found its way to them; however, they have no lead or shot for the “peeces.” They have no food other than the corn, and have no livestock or fish. The Muster shows only thirty-one English living in Warrascoyack, down from about fifty the year before.66
In March 1625, just as the case against the Virginia Company was reaching its conclusion at the Court of King’s Bench in London, King James suddenly died, and his son ascended to the throne as King Charles. By May of that year Charles had upheld his father’s decision that the company be put into receivership to wipe out its crushing debts and that Virginia become a royal colony for the protection of its settlers. Of course, none of this was yet known in Virginia. And for William and John, it was irrelevant. For them, the die had been cast. Perhaps because of the enormous fine imposed on them, they had come to a decision: they would leave the colony and return to England!
Either their indenture to Captain Basse had run its course and they were now free to leave, or they had been freemen all along and they had now simply had enough. As the many letters collected by the anti-Sandys faction vividly demonstrate, there was much misery and longing to return to the mother country in the colony. However, not many people had the financial means to put their longings into action. William and John must have been able to afford the trip home. Perhaps, instead of paying their fines, they simply paid for passage home. Or perhaps they borrowed the cost of passage from another colonist, or their families in England agreed to pay their way back. Unfortunately, with the demise of the Virginia Company of London in 1624, the abundant flow of records it has supplied to us now stops, and we are left with much less documentary evidence. We must rely on more speculation and conjecture to connect the dots now. But it seems clear that they did leave the colony at this time.
The partners probably returned to England, “at the first opportunity of Shipping,” in 1625. William Newman may have returned to Totnes, in the shire of Devon. And John apparently returned to his friends and possibly his family in his hometown of Plymouth, also in Devonshire, although there is no documentary evidence and the name of their ship is not known.
What was called plague struck Plymouth in 1627, but there are few details about its effect on the town or the townspeople, including John. However, we do know that soon after returning, he married Mary Smythe at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, described as “the mother church of Plymouth,” (and in fact the only church in Plymouth at this time) on Saturday, 17 July 1627.67 How ironic for someone who had a few years before been fined for not “Cominge to Churge.” Had he known Mary prior to going to Virginia? Had he “married well,” into a moneyed family? There was a Mary Smith, youngest of seven children born to William and Aline Smith and christened 26 June 1586 in Shute, Devonshire. She would have been three years older than John, who was 38. Her parents had both passed away by the year 1600 and were both also buried in Shute. Is this the Mary Smythe that John married? Did Mary or her family pay for John’s return, or advance him money for passage? Or did he have enough money to purchase passage himself, or borrow it from another colonist or from William Newman? We have no answers to these questions.
In the years that followed, John rose considerably in social status, and became a tobacco “factor” in Plymouth—a merchant, buying “merchandise,” i.e. tobacco, from planters in the colony and probably reselling it in England at wholesale or retail. This would have required considerable “ready cash in hand,” i.e. working capital, to finance and considerable skill to operate successfully. It could also be quite profitable.
Although physically absent from the colony and happily married back in England, Mary with a child on the way (at age 42?), John was still very much involved in the commercial activity of Virginia, as well as the matters of its court. His name again appears in what is now being called The Minutes of the Council and General Court. The little church at James Citty was still the venue for the court, and this session was held on the 4th of March 1629. Presiding at the court were Doctor Pott [now governor], Capt Smyth, Capt Mathewes, Mr. Secretary [Christopher Davison] and Mr. Ferrar.
Various matters were disposed of, including this one: Roger Saunders’ suit against Richard Popely. Saunders, who had set a large bond of four hundred pounds sterling to be heard by the court, affirmed that he had been damaged in the amount of 2600 lbs of tobacco, which he had satisfied [advanced] unto John (in Plymouth). After hearing the matter, the court ruled that Richard Popely was indeed at fault, and must do two things: first, discharge a bill wherein John was indebted to Mr. Thomas Flint in the amount of 900 lb. of tobacco and second, discharge another bill wherein Saunders was indebted to John for 800 lb. of tobacco. Popely was also ordered to surrender to Saunders one newly-arrived indentured servant for the entire length of his indenture.68
John is listed the following winter in the Port Book of Plymouth, Overseas imports and exports (List of Exchequers, Queen’s Rembrancer), for the year from Christmas 1629-Christmas 1630. Here, on 29 January 1630, he is listed as one who imported (presumably tobacco) from Virginia on the 120-ton ship the Retourne. Five men are listed as importers “with warrant,” including John, and a William Vengham, who was also listed as the master of the ship. All are listed as “natives” of England.69 This was at a time when tobacco prices were peaking in Virginia. John may have been able to profit from his “factory.” The boom times were followed by a depression in 1630-31, however, and there was probably considerable turbulence in prices for tobacco. Fortunes may have been made and lost by the tobacco factors and merchants, including John, in England during these times. It was by its very nature a risky business.
John and Mary continued to live in Plymouth, and a son was born to them circa 1631, although a Parish Register of his birth was either not made by the vicar of St. Andrew’s, or it has not survived. They decided to name their son William, likely after another family member, or perhaps even after John’s old partner William Newman, with whom they may have stayed in touch. Other children may also have been born, but if so, they apparently did not survive past infancy.
Then another unexpected turn of events occurs—John and Mary made a big decision. They would adventure themselves to Virginia, patent some land, and plant themselves in the colony.
In these times, inevitably, tobacco importation continued to expand dramatically. In 1633, a total of 405,000 pounds of tobacco was imported; in 1634 it had risen to over half a million pounds.70 In England at this time, licenses to sell tobacco at retail became a requirement. At Westminster on 29 January 1634, The Tobacco License Commission, which had been set up to regulate its importation, gave the power to Lord Treasurer and others to, “combine with such persons as desire to have licenses to sell tobacco.” Also, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Thomas Lord Coventry, was warranted “to pass such licenses for the selling of tobacco by retail as shall be granted by the commissioners appointed for that purpose in the authorized form.”
So on 28 August 1634, William Newman purchased a license to sell tobacco at retail in Totnes, Devon at a cost of six pounds sterling. And on 7 March 1635, John Newman (a relative? and/or a member of the Robert Newman Company?) obtained a license to sell in nearby Dartmouth at a cost of five pounds sterling.71 Perhaps they also had an agreement with John to purchase tobacco from him directly. Again, no documentation.
John, Mary and little William made their way to Virginia at this time, possibly in the fall of 1633 or the spring of 1634, so that they could build a house and be ready for the planting season of 1634. Unfortunately there is no record of their actual ship’s passage. It is apparent, however, that John is in much better financial shape than when he emigrated to the colony in 1622. He could afford to pay for the passages of himself, his wife, his son (probably in more comfortable accommodations), and perhaps five indentured servants, whom he may have planned to have work for him. He had set his sights on becoming a planter, and running his own full-fledged plantation.
John, now 45 years old, found the colony much changed and rapidly developing when he returned. It hardly seemed possible, but the population was now almost 5,000 English, with over 500 residents in Warrascoyack alone.72 Settlers seemed to be everywhere, not just up and down the James, but also on other rivers in the Chesapeake as well. Two thousand settlers would migrate to Virginia this year alone.
And a whole new colony had been established to the north, much to the consternation of some Virginians. Cecilius Calvert, Lord Baltimore, had been granted a proprietorship of this enormous wilderness, almost 12 million square miles, by King Charles. Calvert had graciously allowed the king to fill in the name of the territory on the charter, and the king had filled in “Mary Land” in honor of his Catholic queen from France, Henrietta Maria. By the spring of 1634, Calvert’s brother Leonard (departing from the Cowes) arrived in the Chesapeake with two ships, the Ark and the Dove. They made a brief stop at Point Comfort, then proceeded up the Potomac and landed at a small island. Having prayed to St. Clement on the way over, they named it St. Clement’s Island. Within two weeks they had moved to the mainland and established a capital, which they named the Cittie of St. Mary. (In 1639, a certain Dr. Thomas Gerrard would patent the island; it would become part of his St. Clement’s Manor.)
And in Virginia, mostly to improve access to the courts, steps were being taken to divide the colony into counties. There would be eight in all, and Warrascoyack was to be one of them. Land was now being homesteaded at a prodigious rate, although the pace of the actual patenting was slow. Governor John Harvey was not a proponent of fast growth, instead stressing good relations with the Indians. But he was about to be forced out as Governor of Virginia by the Council, and would have to travel back to London to defend himself from their charges against him. In his absence, Captain-General John West, Esquire, would take over as interim governor in May of 1635, and the patent floodgates would fly open. The Puritans had started to homestead down-river from Warrascoyak in the areas along the Nansemond River, and it is likely that John and family, upon arrival in the colony, settled right away in this area.
One of the older generation of the Bennetts, Mr. Robert Bennett, had died back in 1623, but a new generation had come to America to look after the Bennetts’ interests. It included another Robert Bennett, a nephew of the elder Mr. Robert Bennett. He was taking steps to patent 700 acres of land for himself on a creek which runs parallel to the Nansemond River, near its mouth. Another young member of the Bennett family had also come to America, and was also was taking steps to patent an even larger tract of land, some 2000 acres, further up the same creek. His name was Richard Bennett. He was only 25 years old and still a bachelor, but this youngster was destined to have a profound effect on the colonies of the Chesapeake. Richard was, of course, quite wealthy. But he also had a charismatic personality and just seemed to be a natural in colonial politics. He had quickly become the populist leader of the Puritans in Virginia.
The creek that these two young Bennett gentlemen were settling on would soon come to be called Robert Bennett Creek, and later still, simply Bennett Creek. And in a few years Richard would show remarkable influence on the Puritans of this area by leading more than 350 of them north to a new settlement, Providence, in Lord Baltimore’s Mary Land, as yet another new governor of Virginia started making life difficult for them in Virginia.
John and Mary decided to establish their plantation along this creek also. They must have worked hard to “seat” it: girdling trees, building a wattle and daub house with garden, and preparing the land for crops. They may have been influenced to settle there by the Bennetts’ presence, and the Bennetts may have been good neighbors in helping get John and Mary settled and established that first year. In fact, all the people of the area probably helped get new settlers established, and John and Mary would likely help others in the area later on.
They also started the preliminaries needed to patent their land as required by the colony under the famous “headright” system. There was a definite procedure in place for patenting land at this time. “The first step involved the proving of the headright by the claimant appearing before either a county court [for John and Mary, at Warroscoyack or Elizabeth City] or the Governor and Council [at Jamestown] and stating under oath that he had imported a certain number of persons whose names were listed. The clerk of the court issued a certificate which was validated in the secretary [Richard Kemp]’s office. Authorization for the headright was then passed on to a commissioned surveyor who ran off fifty acres for each person imported and located the grant in the area selected by the claimant as long as the land had not already been patented and had not been barred for white settlement in order to maintain peace with the Indians. Upon completion of the survey and of marking of the boundaries, a copy of the record along with the headright certificate was presented to the secretary’s office where a patent was prepared and a notation made of those imported. The final step was the signing of the patent by the Governor [Captain-General John West, since Sir John Harvey was off defending himself in London] in the presence of, and with the approval of, the Council.”73 John had stated under oath that he imported five other persons in addition to Mary, William and himself. However, John did not necessarily pay for the five men’s transportation, nor did they necessarily travel with him and his family to America. It was a common practice for these warrants to be falsified simply to allow for a larger tract of land to be patented. The colony was glad to see the development, land was plentiful, and the King got more quitrent.
“Following the dissolution of the company, the Assembly set the fees to the secretary regarding land patents along with other authorized charges. In 1632 the secretary collected thirty pounds of tobacco for issuing a patent plus two pounds for each sheet required to record the document. In 1633 the fee for patents by the secretary was designated as fifteen shillings which could be collected either in tobacco or corn according to current price.”74
“Surveyors usually took the edge of a stream, either a river or a creek, as the base line of the survey and then ran the boundaries for a specified distance along a line at a right angle to the base. Terminal points were laid out and witnessed by neighboring owners with some distinguishing mark as a large stone or a tree with three or four chops.”75
“The stamp of the seal of the colony [a crimp paper embosser, producing a raised seal on the paper] was required during much of the seventeenth century as the final step of approval for a patent, and during most of this time no fee was charged for this.”75
All three neighbors, John, Richard Bennett and Robert Bennett, had their patents issued on the same day—June 26, 1635. Perhaps a ceremony or “reading” of the patents was done at Jamestown. John’s land was entered first on the records of the colony. Here is a transcription of the patent in its entirety:
(185) To all to whome these presents shall come I Capt John West Esqr
John Governr and Capt Generll of Virginia send greeting in our Lord
Armie God Everlasting Whereas by Letters bearing date the two
Patte 400 and twentieth day of July one Thousand Six Hundred thirtie
acres fower from the Lords of his Majesties most Honorable Privie Council
their Lordshipps did authorize the Governor and Counsell of
Virginia to dispose of such pportions of land to all planters
being freeman as they had the power to doo before the yeare 1625
when according to diverse orders and constitutions in that case
provided and appointed all dividents of lands any waies due or
belonging to Adventurers or planters of what condition
soever were to bee laid out and assigned unto them according
to the severall conditions in the same mentioned Now Know
yee that I the said Capt John West Esqr doe with the Consent
of the Counsell of State give and grant unto John Armie
fower hundred acres of Lands situate lying and being within the
County of Warrasquioke as followeth (vizt) on a Creeke on the South
Exmd east side of Nansemond river and on the East side of the Creek about
three miles up the said Creek running up Southerly beginning at a
little creek and running Easterly into the woods lying over against
the land of Richard Bennett and adjoining Unto the land of Robert
Bennett the said fower hundred acres of land accruing due unto
him the said John Armie upon these consideration’s following (viz)
fiftie acres of the said fower hundred acres of Land being due
unto him the said John Armie for his owne psonall Adventure
into this Colony and fiftie acres more of the said fower hundred
for the psonall adventure of his wife Marie Armie into this Colony
and fiftie acres more of the said fower hundred for the psonall
adventure of his sonn William Armie into this Colony and two
hundred and fifty acres of the said fower hundred acres of land
being due unto him the said John Armie by and for the transportation
at his owne pper coste and Charges of five psons into this Colony
whose names are in the Records mentioned under this Pattent
To have and to hold the said fower hundred acres of Land with his
due share of all Mines and Mineralls therein conteyned and with
all rights and priviledges of hunting harvesting ffishing and ffoweling
alsoe all woods waters and vines and all pfitts commodities and
hereditaments whatsoever within the precincte of the said fower hundred
acres or to said lands or any of the them in any wise belonging
unto the said John Armie his heirs Executors &c And said assignes
for over in as large and ample manner to all intents and purposes
as is expressed in the said orders and Constitutions or by Consequence
may be justly collected out of the same or out of his Majesties Letters
Pattente whereon they are grounded To bee held of our Most Soveraign
Lord the King his heires and Successors as of his Mannor of East
(186) Greenwich in free and comon Soccage and not in Capite
nor by Kts service. Yielding and paying unto our said
Soveraigne Lord the King his heirs and Successors for
ever or to his or their rent gatherers for every fiftie
acres herein by these presents given and granted yearly
at the feast of St Michaell the Archangell the fee rent
of one shilling to his Majestie Ye Provided alwaies that
if the said John Armie his heirs or assignes shall not
plant or seate or Cause to be planted upon the said
fower hundred acres of land with in the time or terme
of three years now next ensuing the date hereof that
then it shall and may bee lawful for any Adventurer or
planter to make Choice of and seate upon the same Given
at James Citty under my hand and Sealed with the seal
of the Colony this twentie sixth day of June one Thousand
six hundred thirtie five and in the Elth year of the -
reign of our Soveraign Lord King Charles over England
&c John Armie Mary Armie William Armie
James Smith Tho: Webb John Morgan
Thomas Williams Richd Davis76
Richard To all to whome these presents shall come…[etc., etc., etc.]
“‘The Manor at East-Greenwich’ refers to the residence of King James I at the royal palace of Greenwich and was used as a descriptive term in many grants to indicate that the land in America was also considered a part of the demesne of the King. The land was held not ‘in fee simple’ with absolute ownership, a concept which was not a part of English law at the time; but it was granted ‘in free and common soccage’ with the holder a tenant of the King with obligations of fealty and of the payment of a quitrent. The fixed rent replaced the service, military or personal, required under feudal law; and the socage tenure in effect did not subject the land to rules of escheat or return of the land to the King if inherited by minors or widows.”77
We can even get a good idea of exactly where this land is. It is described in his patent as being, “on the East side of the Creek about three miles up the said Creek[,] running up Southerly[.] beginning at a little creek and running Easterly into the woods[,] lying over against [Water was seen as joining land together rather than separating it. Read as, “joined by water with”] the land of Richard Bennett and adjoining Unto the land of Robert Bennett.” A careful reading of the patent and examination of a detailed map of the area reveals that the “little creek” is probably Dean’s Branch. The surveyor began his work from the confluence of Dean’s Branch and Bennett Creek, and shot a line running due east from it. It is our good fortune that some of this land has never been developed, perhaps because it was too marshy. It ultimately was transferred to the City of Suffolk to be set aside as a park. It is called Bennett's Creek Park. John’s land can be walked to this very day! From the point where Dean’s Branch flows into Bennett Creek, imagine the survey line running due east. The southern side would have been John’s land; the northern side belonged to young Robert Bennett. Richard Bennett was on the other side of Bennett Creek, across from them.
John and Mary were in good company at this location, being amongst the most prominent of their fellow Puritans in the entire colony. Their next-door neighbor to the west was a “widdowe,” Martha Tomlin. A certain Robert Newman (kin to William Newman?) lived up north of Robert Bennett. Thomas Butler, Clarke and Pastor of Denbie, and George White, Minister of the word of God, both also lived in the neighborhood, this a reflection of the strong religious element of English society at the time, “the Age of Faith.” John had moved up considerably in social status now and was with the very cream of the Puritan crop in Virginia.
In the fall 1636, Edward Dewall, an indentured servant to Symon Cornocke, also of Warroscoyack, asked John and two other colonists to witness his will. Dewall had decided to will a property back in England, a “Hoast-house or Inne,” called the Rose and located in Redding, to his master Symon Cornocke. When the paperwork was prepared, on November 11 of that year, John Army[sic] signed with his name, not with his mark, as a witness. This is significant to us because it indicates that he apparently was able to read and write at least his name. Thus it would be a safe bet that he was literate, as would be expected of a former tobacco factor and merchant.78 (This will was rather unusual in that it deals with an indentured servant owning property. The will was proved in November 1640, but Edward Dewall’s brother Humphrey in England contested the disposition of the Inne to Symon Cornocke. Did Cornocke unfairly influence his servant to will him the property? We may never know.)
* * *
A new governor would come to Virginia in 1642, Sir William Berkley. He was a young, well educated Royalist, and was staunchly loyal to King Charles. As the English Civil War was breaking out in the homeland between the Puritan Parliamentarians and the Royalists, Berkley took a strong stance and harsh measures against the Puritans in the colony. And in January 1649, more than 350 of them would indeed follow Richard Bennett out of Virginia and would indeed establish a settlement which they called Providence (on the Severn River “over against” an area that would later become Annapolis) in Mary Land.79 It would be logical to assume that John, Mary and William were among these Puritans. After all, they must have known Richard Bennett well, all of them neighbors and prominent members of the Puritans at Nansemond.
However, no record of John’s life is to be found anywhere in the Chesapeake after he signed Edward Dewall’s will. There is no record of him up in Providence. There is no record of him on Kent Island, in the Chesapeake, “over against” Providence—where many settlers following Richard Bennett also made their home. There is no trace of him in the Virginia settlement of Chicacoan—the area “over against” St. Mary’s City, Maryland, where his former partner William Newman would later settle. No, there is no further record of him anywhere in America because he was no longer in America. Instead, the evidence points us in a whole new direction—again.
Just when their lives in Virginia were going so well, John’s family was shattered by a terrible tragedy. Circumstantial evidence points to the fact that Mary may have died or been killed in 1638. Almost four hundred years of the sands of time have drifted over the events that occurred, so we may never know exactly what happened, or the pain and heartbreak that took place. Did she die during childbirth, or from disease? Was she killed in an Indian attack? Whatever the facts are, John must have abandoned Virginia soon after her death. He probably decided to bring in his crops for the year, sell his land and make preparations to once again return to England. And we do not positively know what became of William and any other children they may have had. John may have decided it was impossible to care for his family without his dear wife, and also that it was becoming increasingly difficult to make a living as a planter in the colony due to the ever decreasing price of tobacco, which had fallen now below subsistence levels because of ever increasing production. He may have found it advisable to take William and any other children back to his mother country and his old hometown.
He apparently sold his plantation on Bennett Creek to Mr. Thomas Burbage, Merchant, who had made several purchases of land in the area in the fall of 1638. Burbage then assigned John’s land to Peter Knight, Merchant, who repatented it in his own name on November 18, 1638.80 (This land would have been worth about 2200 lbs. of tobacco, based on a comparable sale in the area. 450 acres of land was sold by John Parrott to Robert Newman, Planter, “in consideration of the full sum of 2,500 lbs. of good & merchantable tobacco with casque.” By coincidence, Robert Newman had later resold that parcel to Richard Bennett in August 1638.)81
John probably returned to Plymouth, a strong Puritan community in the midst of the mostly Royalist Southwest of England, in the late 1638 to resettle, reestablish himself and care for his surviving children. You could guess that he started to again attend his old church St. Andrew’s in Plymouth. He might just have been seen as a very eligible widower in the eyes of the ladies of St. Andrew’s church!
* * *
John now found himself rising into the ranks of a “new merchant” class, a force which was steadily gaining power and influence in England and rivaled the old Merchant-Adventurer establishment in London. And now with even more working capital apparently available to him, he might now have been considered almost a “gentleman” himself. He became involved in adventuring “trading cloth” (and probably other trucking goods as well) to the Chesapeake, which was now being called dismissively, “parts of America.” Trading cloth (also called stroud cloth, as in Stroud, Gloucestershire), was semi-finished woolen cloth used for bartering with the Indians in the Chesapeake. It was typically bleached white, or dyed red or blue. John may have made trips to London in the course of his adventuring business. Perhaps he needed access to a larger market than the one presented by Plymouth. “In fact, it is questionable that any port in England could successfully compete with London in the supply of goods suited to the English taste, a point which may help to explain the subsequent enslavement of the planters to the London merchants [for generations].”82 One can imagine him traveling to London on the same coach line that had carried John Rolfe and Pocahontas to London back in 1616.
He made at least one such trip to London in the fall of 1640, (on the eve of its “City revolution.” England was falling into Civil War.) While there, he entered into an agreement with a certain Dr. Thomas Gerrard, one of the first “chirurgeons” in parts of America. Gerard had accumulated large tracts of land in Maryland and Virginia. One of his holdings was St. Clement’s Manor, where the Ark and the Dove had landed in 1634. Dr. Gerrard had recently arrived in “in the Realme of England” on the Blessing.
Gerrard was being handsomely outfitted for his return trip to Maryland by his brother-in-law Abel Snow. Abel, a Merchant “of Cursitar’s Office on Chancery Lane” in London, had advanced Dr. Gerrard a very large amount of money--over £178. Abel had also given the good doctor more than £69 in ready cash, had purchased various commodities and sundry items for him, and had paid the customs duties on the 22 hogsheads of tobacco which doctor had brought with him to London for import.
Apparently Abel Snow and/or Dr. Gerrard knew John, and knew that he was an Adventurer (a venture capitalist). Abel brought John in on an additional “adventure” that he was making with Dr. Gerrard. Each of them was going to advance Gerrard a substantial amount of “blew tradeing cloth,” which he could take to Maryland and for which he would make them “a return.” The good doctor signed a joint note for over £15 each to his “Loving brother” Abel Snow and to John on Friday, 15 October 1640. John is referred to deferentially in the note as, “Mr. John Army [sic].” This was a sizeable transaction. The note was witnessed by two witnesses when Dr. Gerrard signed, sealed and delivered it, probably at the Cursitar’s Office on Chancery Lane.
As we saw with the London Company of Virginia, many risky adventures associated with “parts of America” might never yield “a return,” and this one apparently did not. Abel and John’s note was never satisfied by Gerrard, who was later taken to court in Maryland over this and other matters.
Here is what happened: Abel Snow patented his own manor, Snow Hill Manor, also in Maryland, but it was seated by his brothers Justinian and Marmaduke Snow rather than by him. When Abel died in England without heirs, Dr. Gerrard attempted to claim Snow Hill Manor as his own, due to the fact that he was married to the Snows’ sister, Susannah. This was despite the fact that he had never paid Abel back the money he owed him. Marmaduke Snow opposed Dr. Gerrard’s attempt to usurp Snow Hill Manor, and considerable litigation, suits and countersuits, ensued in the Maryland Provincial Court Marmaduke apparently had purchased or took on consignment the unpaid note from John, for he entered it into the record as evidence against Gerrard in his lawsuit.83 Here is a transcript of the note as it was entered into the Maryland Provincial Court records:
I doe hereby Certefy that this is a true Coppy of an Acco betweene
the sd Abell Snowe and Thomas Gerrard Sealed deliuered and
accknowledged by the said Thomas Gerrard as a foresd in the pr
of C Baltemore
Likewise my said Brother Abell hath sent & adventures two peeces
of blew tradeing cloth by me which I am to make him a returne of,
the Cloth cost xylb—injs Also Mr John Army hath sent just the like [sic]
Adventure by me wch I am to accompt to him for likewise, Witnes
my hand the day and yeare aboue written Tho. Gerrard
Witnes hereunto Robt Styles Valerius Sutton
This is a true Coppy examined by me Willm Fynney
Thomas Cornwallis of the Cross in Maryland in America Esqr
and John Langford of the pish of St Clement Danes in the County
of Midde gent, doe make oathe tht this is a true coppy (by them now
lately examined of the acco beareing date the fift of October 1640,
And that they were prsent & did see the within named Thomas
Gerrard Signe seale and deliuer the said Acco beareing date as
aforesd) and that these deponts names subscribed therevnto as witt-
nesses are their owne proper hand wryting
Tho: Cornwallys John Langford
The case went on for years in Maryland Provincial Court. Marmaduke Snow eventually won an astronomical judgement against Dr. Gerrard for 1000 lbs. sterling in the Provincial Court. But Gerrard, even though he had abandoned the Manor and moved across the Potomac to Virginia, appealed to the Upper House of General Assembly of Maryland in 1666, where he won a reversal of the order of the Court. It is unknown if John’s note was ever redeemed.
* * *
Only a few short months after he originally took the note from Dr. Gerrard back in 1640, John, now an eligible 52 year-old widower, possibly with young children in his care, remarried. His bride was Thomasine Maye, whom he married on Sunday, 20 January 1641, again at St. Andrews Anglican Church.84 Was she living in Plymouth at this time? Also a parishioner of St. Andrew’s? Surprisingly, details of her life are obscured by an overabundance, rather than a scarcity, of information. Parish Registers (also called Bishops Transcripts, since copies were to be sent to the Bishops) show no fewer than six baby girls born or christened in England between 1581 and 1611 who were given the name of Thomasine May or something close, all but one of them in the Southwest of England. Any one could have been the Thomasine he married. His bride may have been considerably younger than John, and of child-bearing age.
There is a possibility that John and Thomasine may have relocated at this time to the North of England, in the village of Leake in Yorkshire, possibly to be near a relative (brother or cousin?) named “Willmi Armie”.[sic] A son may have been born to them on 24 February 1643, and they named him Thomas, perhaps after his mother Thomasine.85 A son was also born to “Willmi Armie” and his wife, and was named Cuthbert.86 It is not known for how long John and Thomasine lived in Leake, if at all.
King Charles fled London on 11 January 1642, and the English Civil War began soon after. It culminated in 1649 with the establishment of the Commonwealth under the Puritan-controlled Parliament and the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell. Whether from Leake or Plymouth, John and Thomasine lived through it. They might well have been in Plymouth during some or all of the many sieges attempted on Plymouth by the Royalists, none of which were successful. Even King Charles himself approached Plymouth in September 1644, but would not actually lay siege to the town itself because “…[It is] a hard choice for a king that loves his people and desires their love either to kill his own subjects or be killed by them.”87
Later during the War, King Charles took refuge on the Isle of Wight, and was taken prisoner and held at Carisbrooke Castle near Newport for almost a year in 1647 and 1648. This is probably very close to where John and William Newman had stayed while they waited to board the Furtherance back in 1622. Charles attempted to escape several times. One of the king’s escape attempts was unsuccessful because he got stuck in a window of the castle. That window and Carisbrooke Castle itself still stand today, and can even be toured. Charles was escorted from the castle to London to stand trial, and ultimately was beheaded in January 1649 (just as John’s old friend and neighbor Richard Bennett was leading his Puritans to Providence in Mary Land.)
Virginia, ironically, had remained loyal to the King (he had called it “My Old Dominion.”) And during this era of the Commonwealth in England, Richard Bennett, along with the famous William Claiborne and three others, would be commissioned by the Council of State in England and charged with the task of “reducing” both Mary Land and Virginia to the will of the Commonwealth. This they accomplished peacefully in 1652, and at that time Richard Bennett returned to Virginia and his homestead over against John’s old plantation on Bennett Creek. Bennett was elected by the Assembly (at the direction of Council of State in England), to replace Sir William Berkley as Virginia’s first governor under the Commonwealth. Sweet revenge on the man who drove him out of Virginia in the first place!
After having served three consecutive one-year terms, former Governor Bennett agreed to represent Virginia’s interests in England, relocated there, and lived in “the City” for three years. John would certainly have known this, and it is certainly possible that John might have visited Richard while in London on business. In November 1657, Bennett completed negotiations with Lord Baltimore, Cecilius Calvert, to return the proprietorship of Mary Land to him. In 1658, former Governor Bennett again returned home to his Virginia plantation in what had then become Nansemond County. There he embraced Quakerism, and stayed active in the politics of Virginia. He was elected year after year to the Council of State, which had outgrown the little church and now met in its own State House in Jamestown. He was also a Major-General in the Virginia Militia from 1662 to 1672. Richard Bennett’s will is dated 15 March 1675 in Nansemond County. It was proved there on 12 April 1675. Tragically, his son had drowned the prior year, and his grandson, also named Richard Bennett, inherited the bulk of his sizeable estate.
John’s old friend and partner, William Newman also returned to Virginia, perhaps around 1650. He is shown as patenting 1000 acres in Northumberland County with a new partner, John Meekes, on 6 May 1651.88 The area, across the Potomac from St. Mary’s City on the Coan River, was semi-autonomous (they didn’t send a burgess to Jamestown) and had come to be known as Chicacoan, in the “Northern Neck.” It was rapidly being settled by the English. “A fine group of settlers, many from the merchant class in England, came to this region.”89 (In 1657, John Washington, a wool merchant from Sulgrave, England, immigrated here. In a later era, his great-grandson George Washington would be born here.)
100 acres of William Newman and John Meekes’ land was resold to Wm Snodell, who re-patented it in March 1658.90 Other parts of this land were re-patented by Peter Knight in March 1662 and by Anthony Lenton in December 1662. William is last heard from on a Jury of Inquest impaneled to enquire about the strange death of Ursula Batten, a bystander who was accidentally killed on 10 December 1662, as “a beast” was being shot. Her death was ruled accidental.91 William Newman’s land, as well as “Capt. Popely’s ancient landing” is referred to in a deed in York County, 12 January 1666.92
William Newman’s will was proved in 1670 in York County.93
Alas, John may have once again experienced the pain and sorrow of becoming a widower, as he apparently lost his second wife Thomasine to death, although again we have no record of the death.
Ever the eligible widower, this time 66 years old, John again remarried. He married Seth Holcraft on Friday, March 24, 1656. Again the marriage is recorded at St. Andrew’s Church in Plymouth.94 We know nothing of his wife Seth or their life after this third marriage, but can speculate that he continued to live his life comfortably in Plymouth with her for a number of years, perhaps continuing to be an Adventurer, perhaps keeping in touch with William, his son by his first wife Mary, and Thomas, his son by his second wife Thomasine. Both sons may have by this time been living in “parts of America” themselves.
William, born circa 1631, would have gotten his basic education in Plymouth, and may have himself ventured back to Virginia. Capt. Samuel Mathewes uses a “Wm. Urwin” as a headright for his patent of 3,000 acres on 20 August 1642 (when William was only 11 years old?)95 And the one and only surviving Quit Rent Roll for 1704 shows a “Wm. Arving” paying the tax on 100 acres in Essex County, Virginia. (He would have been 73 years old.)96 And “William Arvin” paying the tax on 100 acres also in Essex County in 1715 (at age 84?)97
Thomas, born in 1642, and also having grown up and being educated in Plymouth, might be the “Thomas Army” shown as a headright on Capt. David Mansell’s patent for 600 acres taken on 6 October 1654 (although he would have been only 12 years old.)98 And he might be the “Thomas Ervin,” shown patenting 230 acres in Old Rappahannock county in Virginia on 20 February, 1662, when he was barely twenty years old.99
Perhaps John lived long enough to witness the demise of the English Commonwealth and The Restoration of the Monarchy as Charles II returned from exile and ascended to the throne in 1660. We have no records beyond this point with which to conclude the story. All that is certain is that it did indeed conclude.
John Arvine [or Army], native of England, emigrant to parts of America in the Kingdome of Virginia, indentured servant or freeman, survivor of Jamestown but banished from the colony, wealthy tobacco factor and “new merchant,” again an emigrant to Virginia as a prominent Puritan planter, three times married and twice a widower, and finally prosperous Adventurer, likely died in his hometown of Plymouth, England, circa 1670. Although no records have survived, he was likely buried at St. Andrew’s in the churchyard that was located on the north side of the church.
A modern-day writer tells us that, “Being an ancient parish church, St. Andrews used to have a churchyard. However, by the mid-19th century it had become so heaped with bodies that it was higher than the roadway [Bedford Street] and obscured part of the church so in 1884 it was leveled and the bodies removed to the burial ground in Westwell Street, a few yards to the west. In place of the churchyard was erected a memorial cross, St. Andrews Cross, but this landmark [and the church itself] was badly damaged in the Blitz of March 1941 and later removed for safety.”100
Another Elizabeth, HRH the Princess Elizabeth II, laid the foundation stone for the restoration of St. Andrew’s Church in 1949.
Sidebar: Just who is John Army?
The subject of this sketch is a composite character. You may have noticed that there is information included here which pertains to John Arvan, John Arvine and John Army (or Armie, or even Armye), all of it documented, but not all of it about one single person.
I believe that there is a slight possibility that “Armie” is simply a mistaken spelling of “Arvine.” If so, it opens up the life of a person named John Arvine to us. But it is much more likely that Army was in fact John’s real surname. So this sketch is most likely about John Army rather than John Arvine. Although the surname Army is very rare, there is in fact much more documentary evidence from this time period available about John Army (Armie, Armye) than about John Arvan or John Arvine. In fact, there is precious little about anyone other than John Army.
Review what we have seen. First, we do have evidence that a “John Arvan” was baptized in September, 1589 in Gloucestershire. But there is no further evidence about him. None.
Next, consider the land patent that someone named John was granted in June, 1635. It is the most substantial evidence we have about John’s life in the Virginia colony. But does it relate to John Arvine?
Some background: These patents were prepared in two copies. One copy was given to the patentee, and the other was retained by the secretary of the colony, to be bound into volumes for recordkeeping. The originals no longer exist, but clerks had rewritten the secretary’s copies from time to time into new bound volumes. Although many other records were tragically lost over time or destroyed in fires—from Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, to the fire which burned the Jamestown Statehouse in 1698, to the burning of Richmond during the Civil War—these volumes have, remarkably, survived. They were originally maintained by the colony of Virginia, which became the Commonwealth of Virginia. They later came into the custody of the Land Office and are now under the protection of the Library of Virginia in Richmond. A clerk, L. Edward Harrison, rewrote Volume Number 1 in 1683, and it is his work that could now be considered closest to “primary evidence.”
More than two hundred years after L. Edward Harrison’s work—in the late nineteenth century—these volumes were studied and abstracted to print by Dr. William G. Stanard, secretary of the Virginia Historical Society and editor of its magazine. He interpreted the faded name on the patent in question as “John Arvine,” and that’s the way he published it when he ran a series of articles in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography in the 1890’s [Volume 3 (1896), p 53]. The name was also published as “John Arvine” by the William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine in May, 1899 [1st Series, Volume VII, pages 205-315]. Excerpts from both magazines are published in Virginia Land Records by the Genealogical Publishing Company [page 179 and page 550.] This is our only evidence that a John Arvine did in fact live in the colony at this time.
Later still, in 1934, Harrison’s bound volume was also abstracted by Nell Marion Nugent, custodian of the Land Office in Richmond. For years she studied and transcribed many volumes and literally hundreds of patents in preparing her monumental work, Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1800. She interpreted the name on the very same patent as “John Armie,” and that’s the way it appears in her work. [Book No. 1—Part I, p 23]
Whose interpretation is correct? Well, take a look at how Harrison spells the name on another patent, the original dating from the time when the widow Martha Tomlin, John’s next-door neighbor, patents her property in July of 1635. [Cavaliers and Pioneers, Book 1—Part I, p 27] As Ms. Nugent abstracts Harrison’s writing, the widow’s land is “adjacent to land graunted John Armie, beginning next above his land.” And when Martha Tomlin sells her property to Apaphroditus Lawson in May 1638, John again is mentioned. Ms. Nugent abstracts Harrison’s writing on this patent as, “John Armye.” [Cavaliers and Pioneers, Book No. 1—Part II, p 84] This makes for a strong case that John’s patent was written as “John Armie,” not “John Arvine.”
The patent book that L. Edward Harrison rewrote in 1683 has been digitally scanned by the Library of Virginia and can be viewed on their website; you can make your own decisions. [For John’s land, see Patent Book No.1, page 185-186. For the spelling in Martha Tomlin’s patent, see page 234, line 23. For the spelling in Epaphroditus Lawson’s patent, see page 535, line 10. Clerk Harrison’s signature is on page 953.] Interestingly, the Library of Virginia does not list either “Arvine” or “Armie” in its on-line alphabetical search facility of patentees’ names, perhaps indicating they are not completely sure themselves of the correct spelling.
But if you decide, as I have, that the name on the patents must be John Armie (or Armye), then John Arvine vanishes entirely from this sketch.
Now back to the review of what we have seen. We know from the 1625 Muster that John Army must have also been born about 1589 (although we do not know where—perhaps Plymouth?), and all subsequent documentation presented in this sketch refers to John Army (or variants), from the 1624 “Lists of the Livinge & Dead in Virginia” to his 1656 marriage to Seth Holcraft in Plymouth, and everything in between. And the documentation is quite coherent. So the preponderance of the evidence indicates that his name really was Army. And for those of us who would hope to claim John as a direct lineal ancestor, this is quite a disappointment.
But in a larger sense, the exact surname is not so important after all. Indirectly, John really can be claimed as an ancestor by all us English-speaking people who are now living in “parts of America.” After so many years and so many generations, his genes surely live on in millions and millions of us. He was seventeenth century England’s “everyman,” the arch-typical prototype of a new merchant class that sprang up and came to power in England at this time, and which drove the colonization of America. Consider the following from Merchants and Revolution, Comercial Change, Political Conflict, and London's Overseas Traders, 1550-1653 (2003), by Robert Brenner:
“…in plantation development in early Virginia, the distinction between merchant and planter tended to be blurred; merchants took up plantations, planters became merchants, and all sorts of merchant-planter partnerships were formed. This was especially true at the top level of the society, for in order to market large amounts of tobacco, it was generally necessary to combine plantation ownership with trade.”[p 116]
“…the traders who were responsible for the crucial inputs of capital and entrepreneurship for colonial development were ‘new men’ in several senses. Few of them had been members of the great London trading companies, or overseas merchants of any kind. Nor did they come from the upper ranks of either London or county society. Originally men of the ‘middling sort,’ they were born outside London and were, in many cases, the younger sons of minor gentry or prosperous yeomen. A few came from borough commercial families.
“From their provincial homes, many of these men entered directly into colonial entrepreneurship by emigrating to the colonies and starting up plantations, a path nearly universally eschewed by the City’s company merchants. In this case, they often used their plantation profits to return to London and set themselves up as full-fledged overseas merchants. Even then, they tended to remain intimately involved in all aspects of the colonial economy, including plantations and politics as well as trade. Indeed, the tight connections retained by the leading colonial traders with the ruling Virginia Council…provided an important key to their dramatic success.”
“…a critical feature of the overall evolution was the emergence from the mass of small traders of what might best be termed a colonial entrepreneurial leadership.”[p 114-115]John certainly was representative of this colonial entrepreneurial leadership. And John’s success is our success, even to this very day. His life is our heritage.
Researched and written by Robert Joseph Arvin, Jr. © Copyright A.D. 2005
Images of Prysten House in Plymouth, England, and the harbor there are courtesy of Mr. Dale Flowers.
1. King’s Stanley, Gloucestershire, Parish Registers, Vol. I, 1573-1677/8. Written as John Arvan or John Aryvan by the vicar or the church warden.
Gloucestershire Record Office Parish Records, as transcribed 1875-80
Richard L. Morton, History of Virginia
, Vol. I, p 69
Kenneth Morgan, Illustrated History of Britain
, p 226-228
R. C. Simmons, The American Colonies
, p 22
Rev. Buck’s home is now the sight of an archeological excavation by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. Site 44JC568
Bill Crant, "Robert Newman and Company."
Grand Banks website.
Dr. Susan Myra Kingsbury, The Records of the Virginia Company of London
, Vol. IV, page 181, item 32. At the King’s insistence Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southhampton, resident of
Isle of Wight (and Shakespeare’s patron,) succeeded Sir Edwin Sandys, as treasurer in 1620.
Sandys, however, continued to have a strong influence on the Company.
Wesley Frank Craven, The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, 1607-1689
, (1949) p 128
10. Morton, History of Virginia, p 89; Craven, Southern Colonies, p 128 11. Craven, Dissolution of the Virginia Company (1932), p 98 12. Craven, Southern Colonies, p 137. This is the English term referring to migration to Virginia 1618-1623, rather than the American term adapted later referring to migration to New England 1620-1640.13. Kingsbury, Records, Vol. III, p 536-53714. Craven, Southern Colonies, p 8915. Philip L. Barbour ed., The Complete Works of Captain John Smith, Vol. II, p 32716. Ferrar Papers, Cambridge University. Letter from Gabriel Barbour to Sir Edwin Sandys17. Isle of Wight Historical Review [United Kingdom]. Published online at the website.18. William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. VII, No. 4, p 215 19. Kingsbury, Records, Vol. IV, p 556 20. "Lists of the Living and the Dead in Virginia, February 16, 1624[new style]," p 190-195. Published in J.C.Hotten. These persons were among the dead, “out of the Furtherance.”21. Records, III, p 618-61922. Records, IV, 227-22823. Records, III, 64024. Records, III, 650 25. Records, IV, 176, item 1026. Craven, Dissolution, p 29627. British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 14285, ff.78a-79a Excerpted in Isle of Wight Historical Review.28. Records, III, 646-65229. Records, III, 66030. Ivor Noel Hume, The Virginia Adventure (1994), p 367-371. Close to the actual site of Jamestown is The Jamestown Settlement, by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. It is an authentic, fully interpreted re-creation of a palisaded colonial fort, a Powhatan Indian village, and three replica sailing ships. The Commonwealth of Virginia also maintains a museum there.31. Craven, Dissolution of the Virginia Company, p 16032. Records, IV, 584, item 30 33. Barbour ed., The Complete Works of Captain John Smith, p 301-234. The Bass name is still associated with the Nansemond Indians to this day. Another son, John Bass, married the daughter of the Nansemond chief in 1638.35. Martin’s Hundred, by Ivor Noel Hume, offers a complete account of the archaeological excavation of this site. And an authentic re-creation of Martin’s Hundred has been built and is maintained by Colonial Williamsburg on the original site, now known as Carter’s Grove.36. Richard L. Morton, Colonial Virginia (1960), Vol. 1, p 7537. Records, IV, 1238. Records, III, 61039. William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. 7 No. 4 (April 1899) p 20740. Designated by Association for Preservation of Virginia Antiquities as site 44JC298 41. Records, II, 38242. Craven, Dissolution of the Virginia Company, p 17443. Records, III, 68244. Records, III, 665, 676. A magnificent collection of this armor is still displayed in the Tower of London today.45. Morton, Colonial Virginia, p 7746. "Council and General Court Records 1626-1634, Book No 43," as excerpted in Virginia Historical Magazine 13 V, pg 39947. Records, III, 69548. Records, III, 666-67349. Records, III, 69850. Records, III, 69651. Records, III, 70052. Hume, Virginia Adventure, p 37953. Records, IV, 6554. Robert Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p 10755. Craven, Dissolution of the Virginia Company, p 25056. An authentic recreation of a working tobacco plantation of this era, fully staffed and interpreted, is located near Historic St. Mary’s City, MD, which is itself an authentic restoration of the first capitol of the province of Mary Land. Also, Plimouth Plantation near Plymouth, Massachusetts, is a fully interpreted, authentic recreation of a circa 1627 Puritan town and an Indian village. The Mayflower II, a replica ship, is moored nearby. 57. Records, IV, 237 58. Records, IV, 229-23959. Acts of the Privy Council of England 1623-1625, p 107-08 60. J. C. Hotten, Lists of the Living and the Dead in Virginia, February 16, 1623/4, p 169-189. Annie Jester and Martha Hiden, Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1624/5, p 4961. William Waller Hening, Statutes at Large; Being A Collection of all the Laws of Virginia, From the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619.(1823), Vol. 1, pg. 128-129. 62. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 21, p 136-14063. Ibid, Vol. 21, p 14964. Hening, Statutes at Large, V 1, p 123. A law similar to Act 2 had been in effect in England since at least 1571. (Act 1 of the General Assembly was: “That there shall be in every plantation, where the people use to meete for the worship of God, a house or roome sequestred for that purpose…”)
, IV, 23766. Annie Jester and Martha Hiden, Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1624/5, p 4967. W.P.W. Phillimore, Devonshire Parish Registers, Marriages at St. Andrew’s, Plymouth, 1581-1837, p 109. Abstracted as John Armye. Also: Parish Registers, St. Andrew, Plymouth, Devonshire, England, Marriages 1618-1720, 1728-1744/5, Transcribed & Typed by Arthur Broomfield. Also abstracted there as John Armye.68. Virginia Historical Magazine, 3 V, p 147.69. Library of Virginia, Virginia Colonial Records Project. Survey Report No 4713, pg 3, a, I: Public Record Office (now known as the “National Archives of the United Kingdom,”) Crown Office Docket Book, 1629-1643. 70. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p 13471. Library of Virginia, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Survey Report No10914, pg 1, item no.8: 1634 Chancery Patent Rolls 10 Charles I, Part 21. Also Survey Report 10922, pg 1, no. 106: 1634/5 Chancery Patent Rolls 10 Charles I, Part 31. Public Record Office72. Colonial Records of Virginia, Vol. 8, No 55 (1634), pg 9173. W. Stitt Robinson, Jr., Mother Earth, Land Grants in Virginia 1607-1699, (1980)p 39-4074. Robinson, Mother Earth, p 5075. Robinson, Mother Earth, p 5176. Library of Virginia Land Records, Patent Book No. 1, p 185-186; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1666, Vol. 1—Part I, p 23. Published in Virginia Land Records, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983, as excerpts from The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, prepared by W. G Stanard, editor, on page 550; also excerpted in the same book from the William & Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine, (1st Series,1899, Vol. VII, p 205-315) on page 179
77. Robinson, Mother Earth, p 11-12
78.George Sherwood, American Colonists in English Records (1969), p27. Also, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol.13, pg 204
79. For a detailed description of the migration, see: James E. Moss, Providence Ye Lost Town at Severn in Mary Land (1976). Available for purchase from the Maryland State Archives.
80. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, Patent Book 1, Part II, p 85. The area was in Upper County of New Norfolk at this time. There is an obvious clerical error in the date (recorded as 18 November 1618.)
81. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, p 109 Patent Book No. 1—Part II, p 649-650
82. Craven, Southern Colonies, p 241. George Washington was one of those later “enslaved.”
83. Archives of Maryland, Vol. 41, pg 373, 495; Vol. 49, pg 530-534, 542-550. Dr. Gerrard’s note is on pg 543.
84. W.P.W. Phillimore, Devonshire Parish Registers, Marriages at St. Andrew’s, Plymouth,p 143. Abstracted as John Armye. Also: Parish Registers, St. Andrew, Plymouth, Devonshire, England, Marriages 1618-1720, 1728-1744/5 Transcribed & Typed by Arthur Broomfield. Also abstracted as John Armye.
85. Parish Register, 1570-1898, Parish Church of Leake (York). Only the child’s father is listed.
87. Derek Wilson, The King and The Gentleman
, p 337
88. Library of
Virginia, Land Records Patent Book 2, p 32.
Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers
, Vol. 1, p 215
89. Morton, Colonial Virginia
, p 127
90. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers
, Patent Book Five, p 470
91. William and Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine
, Vol. IV, No. 1, July 1895, p 3-4
92. William and Mary Quarterly
, Vol. VII, p 209
93. William and Mary Quarterly
, Vol. IV, p 4
94. Parish Registers St. Andrew Plymouth, Devonshire, England Marriages 1618-1720, 1728-1744/5
Transcribed & Typed by Arthur Bloomfield. Abstracted as “John Army?
95. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, Patent Book No. 1—Part II, p 133-134
Virginia Quit Rent Rolls, 1704." Virginia Tax Records
by Genelogical Publishing Company, p 545 (excerpting William & Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine
and Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
County: An annotated copy of the Rent Rolls of 1715." Ibid, p 63
98. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers
, Patent Book No. 3, p 297
99. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers
, Patent Book No. 5, p 511
100. Brian Moseley, Plymouthdata website. “St. Andrew’s Church was situated on the southern side of Bedford Street before the Second World War. After the reconstruction of the 1940s it is now on the southern side of Royal Parade.”
Arvin Family Biographical Sketches