Petition for a Charter of New England by the Northern Company of Adventurers – March 3, 1619/20

To the King’s most excellent Majesty.

The most humble petition of your Majesty’s counsel for the second colony and other the adventurers in the western parts of England for the plantation in the north parts of Virginia in America. May it please your most excellent Majesty. Whereas, it pleased your Majesty by your most gracious letters patents bearing date the [. . .] of April in the fourth year of your Majesty’s most blessed reign to give license for the establishing of two colonies in Virginia in America, the one called the First Colony undertaken by certain noblemen, knights, and merchants about London, the other called the Second Colony likewise undertaken by certain knights and merchants of the western parts; by virtue whereof some of the western parts have, at their great charge and extreme hazard, continued to endeavour to discover a place fit to entertain such a design, as also to find the means to bring to pass so noble a work, in the constant pursuit whereof it has pleased God to aid them with His blessing so far as, in the confidence of the continuance of His Grace, they are resolved to pursue the same with all the power and means they are able to make to His glory, your Majesty’s honor, and the public good of the country.

And as it pleased your Majesty to be gracious to those of the first colony in enlarging of the first patent two several times with many privileges and immunities according to your princely bounty, whereby they have been encouraged in their proceedings, your petitioners do in all humility desire that your Majesty will vouchsafe unto them the like that they may with more boldness go on as they have begun to the satisfaction of your Majesty’s most religious expectation, with the alteration only of some few things and the additions here ensuing.

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First, that the territories where your petitioners make their plantation may be called, as by the prince his Highness it has been named, New England, that the bounds thereof may be settled from 40 to 45 degrees of northerly latitude and so from sea to sea through the main as the coast lies, and that your Majesty’s council residing here in England for that plantation may consist of a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and other their associates, to be chosen out of the noblemen and knights adventurers home about London, and others the adventurers both knights, gentlemen, and merchants in the western countries; so as the said council do not exceed the number of forty, who, as one incorporate body, may as often as need requires be assembled when and where the president or vice president, with the treasurer and secretary, or any two of them, to be assisted with five or three others of the council, shall think most convenient for that service. Whereby your Majesty’s most humble petitioners do verily hope, by God’s holy assistance, to settle their plantation to the employing of many of your Majesty’s subjects and the content of all that are well disposed to the prosperity of your Majesty’s most happy reign.

And so your Majesty’s most humble petitioners shall be bound, as in duty they are, to pray for all increase of glory and perpetual happiness to your Majesty’s blessed posterity forever.

March 3, 1619. Upon reading of this petition, their lordships did order that the Lord Duke of Lenox, Lord Steward of his Majesty’s household, and the Earl of Arundel shall take notice of the petition, consider of the demands for privileges, and thereupon certify their opinions to their lordships that such further order may be taken as shall be meet.

C. Edmonds

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