First Charter of Virginia - The Fate of the Plymouth Company
The ventures undertaken by the first colonists were risky. The Plymouth company were eager to start the venture and sent its first ship, the Richard, to the New World in August 1606. It was captured by the Spanish. A second expedition was sent in 1607 and its two ships, the Gift of God and the Mary and John, arrived on August 13 1607 and founded the Popham Colony in Maine. The colony survived the first winter, then in 1608 the leader received news that he had received an inheritance in England. He decided to return home, with the 45 remaining colonists in the Popham colony. The colony had lasted one year. The Plymouth Company remained inactive until new colonists obtain charters and arrive in Massachusetts starting in 1620 with the voyage of the Mayflower and the establishment of the Plymouth Colony, refer to the Mayflower Compact.
First Charter of Virginia - The London Company, the Virginia Company
The London Company fared better than the Plymouth Company Their venture led to the establishment of the permanent settlement at Jamestown Colony in Virginia in 1606, led by John Smith. Reports from John Smith detailed the extent of the lands and area of Chesapeake Bay and outlying regions. This information led to the King issuing the Second Charter of Virginia and the Third Charter of Virginia and the London Company was referred to as the all-encompassing Virginia Company.
Second and Third Charters of Virginia
In view of the massive amount of land potential in North America King James 1 issued a Second Charter of Virginia in 1609 which covered lands from Jamestown, extending all the way west to the Pacific Ocean. In 1611 Sir Thomas Dale was sent to Virginia with 300 British troops. The Third Charter of Virginia in 1612 led to the acquisition of Bermuda. The 1612 Third Charter of Virginia extended the colonial boundary lines to include offshore islands extended to lands covering 1,000 miles eastward in the Atlantic Ocean. The Third Charter of 1612 gave the islands to the "The Treasorer and Planters of the Cittie of London for the First Colonie in Virginia." So, at the beginning of colonization, the term "Virginia" was applied to the entire eastern coast of North America from Cape Fear to the coast of Acadia and a large portion of inland Canada.
Map showing Colony of Virginia 1607-1776
Virginia becomes a Royal Colony
King James I realised the potential wealth of Colonial America. With little, or no concern, for the investors of the Virginia Colony the King failed to renew their charter. The Virginia Company in the colony lost the ability to grant property deeds. Then, in 1624 King James made Virginia a Royal Colony, rather than a Proprietary (private) Colony. This meant that the Colonial Governments were appointed by the Crown, carrying out the orders and wishes of the Crown as opposed to private or local interests.
Charter of Virginia
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