This document (technically a "Patent" or limited-Charter) was issued by England's|
King James I, 10th April 1606. It created the Virginia Company, & authorized the
8 Patentees to colonize into "...that part of America commonly called Virginia..."
between 34o and 45o North Latitude [i.e. from today's South Carolina to Canada,
and clear across to the Pacific coast]. This huge "Continent of Virginia" was named
in honor of Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. It is noteworthy that 30 years earlier Adm.
Drake, a zealous Protestant, had, while on his circumnavigation of the earth, landed
just above today's San Francisco Bay and claimed for England all the land from the
Pacific eastward back to the Atlantic.
The 1606 Virginia territorial claim was to become important 150 years later during
the French and Indian War as the British [including then-Col. Washington] fought to
oust an intrusion by Roman Catholics. Later, in the early 1800's, the 1606 Virginia
claim justified President Jefferson's expedient re-assertion of American sovereignty
via the Louisiana Purchase. And then again, that claim instructed the 1800's struggle
with Mexico over southern California.
The Virginia Company (1606-1624) was a unique, English-Protestant, joint-stock
Missionary/Business venture with one single statement of purpose: "...so noble a
work...propagating of Christian religion...may in time bring the ...salvages
living in those parts to human civility & to a settled & quiet government...".
There had been seventeen earlier joint-stock ventures, including the Muscovy
Co., and the East India Company, as well as Raleigh's "Lost Colony", but the
Virginia Company was the first explicitly to devote itself to spreading Christi-
anity overseas, plus its direct link as necessary for Western Civilization.
It is noteworthy that just as Virginia was being planted with English settlers,
work on the historic 1611 King James Version of the Bible was was barely
getting underway. Pocahontas, in Virginia, learned to read English through
her study of the Geneva Bible. Later on, during her visit to England with her
husband John Rolfe, she made a request that a school be established back in
Virginia so her people could learn to read Scriptures for themselves, too. The
direct result of her request was the 1619 Henricus Colledge, with its 10,000-
acre campus along the James River at the 1611 Citie of Henricus. The first
Rector was the Rev. Patrick Copland, of Aberdeen, and the administrative
structure was Scottish. From this early plan to have Bible-based education in
Virginia have grown all the schools and colleges in America, including 1636
Harvard and 1693 Wm & Mary.
Before any settlers came over to Virginia the 1606 Va Charter called for two
Colonies, both under the "...superior managing..." of a 13-member Council of
Virginia, in England. The Charter divided Virginia horizontally, coast-to-coast,
giving the lower part the title "First Colony" (within which later was the 1607
Jamestown settlement) and giving the upper part of Virginia the title of "Second
Colony" (within which was to be planted the 1620 Plimouth settlement). It is
difficult for modern-day historians, on this side of the American Civil War, to
grasp that both Jamestown and Plimouth were authorized at the same time, in
the same 1606 Charter, and for the exact same purpose! Also, that neither
of these settlements was established by voyagers fleeing religious persecution!
The 1606 Virginia Charter extended into the North American Colonies the an-
cient 1215-'25 Magna Carta's system of "Liberty Under Law", stating all legal
residents "...shall have and enjoy all liberties, franchises & immunities...as if...
The 1776-era American War for Independence was to KEEP "Liberty Under Law"
re the Grand-founding 1606 Virginia Charter: Birth Certificate of America!