“Thus, after a struggle of twenty years, Maryland passed under the control of Claiborne. Starting with a claim under a grant from the king, he now held office under commission of parliament. Writs for an assembly to be held at Patuxent were issued, and they contained the first religious test ever exacted in Maryland. No Roman Catholic could be elected to the general assembly, or vote. The assembly thus obtained repealed the toleration act of 1649...” (Famous Americans)


  
To his Majesty's Commissioners for the Settlement of Virginia in these troublesome times of Rebellion and Generalldisturbances.

The humble Representation of the Colony and Assembly ofVirginia Shewing :

That all the time since the dissolution of the Virginian Patent not only then but ever since they have from time to time received assurances under the Broad Seal of England and by many other ways and declarations from the then King and ever since from time to time that their estates should be in all respects conserved and in no sort prejudiced. During which time the Petitioner Coll Claiborne hath been resident in Virginia and enjoyed as a Councellor and Secretary of State there the benefits thereof and did accordingly by virtue of Commissions under his Majesty's Government and Seal of Virginia and by expressed directions from the Commissions under theBroad Seal of England discover and plant the Isle of Kent.

From time to time it continued under the Government of Virginia, warrants were directed to arrest men at the Isle of Kent; one man was brought down and tried in Virginia for felony and many were arrested for debt and returned to appeare at Iames City; and so in many particulars.

It continued under the Government of Virginia until Lord Baltamore's officers came and expelled us by force of armed men severall times, but especially they wounded and then hanged our men without any tryall of Law, or any just cause given; they took away all our goods, servants and Cattle there and in like manner they displanted us at Palmers Island out of their limits in Susquohanouh River: All this they did to us though we presented them and gave them Copies of his Majesty's commands to the contrary, strictly commanding them not to molest us to which we had no other answer, than slighting and contempt.

March 1676/7.   W. Claiborne.


  By the Governor and Captaine generall of Virginia.

To all to whom these presents shall come I Sir George Yeardley Knight Governor and Captaine generall of Virginiasend greeting in our Lord God everlasting. Whereas thereremain divers places and parts of this Kingdom of Virginia altogether unknown unto us and not yet discovered by any since the beginninge of the Colonie, by the search and truediscoverie whereof the bounds and limmitts of this plantationmay be farr augmented, and such other Comodities found out,as may be for the benefitt and good of the people inhabitingin the same. Now Know you that I the said Sir George Yeardley at the ernest suite and requeste of my welbelovedfriend William Claybourne Esqre Secretarie of State intending this Springe to imploy himself with a sufficient Companie ofmen in a shallope for discoverie of the Bottome of the Bay ofChesepeck greatly favoringe and affecting the preservationand happie success of soe good an accon doe by these presentsgive full power and authority unto him the said William Claybourne to goe and make his voyacige and saile into any therivers Creekes ports and havens within the said Bay of Chesepeiacke or into any other part or parts of this Colonie andthere to trade and truck with the Indians for furrs skinns corneor any other comodities of what nature or qualitie soever theybe and for the better mannadging and good orderinge of allmatters and occurrences in his said voyadge I do hereby givefull power and authority unto the said William Claybourne togoverne, correct and punnish such of his his said company as shall offend or be delinquent in anything, according to thelaws and customes of the Sea (life only excepted) and thiscommission shall continew in force for and during the tyme ofhis said voiadge and retourne from the same. Given at JamesCitty under my hand and seale of the Colonie the 27th day ofAprill. 1627.

George Yeardley

The names of the Burgesses in the first Va. Assembly, called by Gov. George Yeardley upon his arrival in 1619--which met once per year. were For James citty: Captaine William Powell and Ensigne William Spense; For Charles citty: Samuel Sharpe and Samual Jordan; For Citty of Henricus; Thomas Dowse and John Polentine; For Kiccowtan: Captaine William Tucker and William Capp; For Martin Brandon-Capt. John Martin's Plantation: Mr. Thomas Davis and Mr. Robert Stacy; For Smythe's Hundred: Captaine Thomas Graves and Mr. Walter Shelley; For Martin's Hundred: Mr. John Boys and John Jackson; For Argall's guiffe: Mr. (Captaine Thomas) Pawlett and Mr. (Edward) Gourgaing; For Flowerdieu Hundred: Ensigne (Edmund)Roffingham and Mr. (John)Jefferson; For Captaine Lawne's Plantation: Captaine Christopher Lawne and Ensigne Washer; For Captaine Warde's Plantation: Captaine Warde and Lieutenant Gibbes.

Wostenholme Company Compound
By the Governor and Captaine generall of Virginia.

To all to whom these presents shall come I Iohn Pott EsqreGovernor and Captaine Generall of Virginia send greeting inour Lord god everlasting. Whereas there remaine dyversplaces and partes of this Kingdome of Virginia not yett discovered since the beginning of this Colony, by the search anddiscovery whereof the bounds and limitte of this plantationmay be far augmented and such other commodities found outas may be for the benefitt and good of the people inhabitingin the same. Now know yee that I the said John Pott out ofthe good opinion I conceive of the sufficiency and experienceof William Clayborne Esqre who intendeth this Sommer toemploy himself with a sufficient Company of men a shipp andother necessary provisions requisite for such a voyage to discover the parts and territories of this Colony situate and lyingto the Southwards of this place as also of some particular placesto the Northward and in the Bay of Chesepeiacke and greatlyfavouring the prosecution of such enterprises tendeth so much to the enlargement and welfare of this Colony doe by thesepresents give full power and authority unto him the said WilliamClayborne to goe and make his voyage and saile into any theRyvers Creekes portes and havens within the said Bay ofChesepeiacke or into any other part or parts of this Countrywithin the degrees of 34 and 41 and there to trade and truckewith the Indians for furres skins Come or any other Commodities of what nature or quality soever they bee. Willingand requiring him the said William Clayborne with all diligenceand circumspection to be carefull in the guard of himselfe andCompany against the treacherous plotts of the Salvages thatsoe such as bee our enemies may be prevented in any evilwhich they shall imagine or practize and such of them as remaine and bee in termes of amytie and friendshipp receive noejust cause of distast or wrong And for the better mannadgingand execution of all matters and occurrences and repressingof all disorders and mutines incident and happening in his saidvoyage I doe hereby give and grant unto the said WilliamClayborne full power and authority to Govern correct andpunishe such of his said Company as shall in any wise beedelinquent or obstinate to his authority and Command according to the Lawes and customŹs of the Seas, and as hee in his  best discretion shall think fitt life only excepted. By these presents willing and requiring all and every person and persons accompanying him in this his said voyage willingly and readilyto obey and execute to their best power all such Commands and directions as they shall at any time receive or be required to doe by the said William Clayborne. And this Commission shall continue in force for during the terme of six months next after the date hereof Given at lames Citty under my handand the seale of the Colony the thirteenth daie of March in the  fourth yeare of the reigne of our Sovereigne King Charles of England &c.

Annoq Domini 1628.
Iohn Pott.

Dr. John Pott was Virginia's first medical doctor, a very inauspicious beginning for medical ethics in Virginia. In 1623, he poisoned wine to be used by the colonists in a fake "peace conference" they had called. The colonists, led by Captain William Tucker, shot the Indians who hadn't dropped dead from the poisoned wine. Dr. Pott paid a ransom to the Indians to release one of the female captives from 1622. An act of compassion? No. On her return, he informed her that she owed him service for the ransome he had paid, plus the three years left on her dead husband's contract. She described her servitude to Dr. Pott as being indistinguishable from her slavery to the Indians.

" While the captive women suffered alongside their captors, the Indian war transformed the colony into an even cruder, crueler place than before. The war intensified the social stratification between leaders and laborers and masters and servants, while a handful of powerful men on Virginia Governor Sir Francis Wyatt’s council thoroughly dominated the political, economic, and military affairs of the colony.

It soon became clear that the fate of the missing women depended not upon official concern or humanitarian instincts but upon the principle that everything and everybody had a price. Near the end of 1623, more than a year and a half after the uprising, the prosperous Dr. Pott ransomed Jane Dickenson and other women from the Indians for a few pounds of trade beads.

After her release, Dickenson learned that she owed a debt of labor to Dr. Pott for the ransom he had paid and for the three years of service that her deceased husband had left on his contract of servitude at the time of his death. She complained bitterly that her new “servitude . . . differeth not from her slavery with the Indians.”

By 1624, no more than seven of the fifteen to twenty hostages had arrived in Jamestown. The majority of them returned with Jane Dickenson. Those who did not come back were presumed killed during the 1622 attack, although one captive, Anne Jackson, was not returned until 1630. Mistress Boyse, the first of the missing women to rejoin the colony, was not mentioned in official records following her return. Another of the captives, Mistress Jeffries, died within a few months of her release. Anne Jackson probably returned to the colony badly broken from the consequences of her captivity, for in 1630 the council ordered that she “bee sent for England with the first opportunity,” with the stipulation that her brother take care of her until she was on board a ship. Nothing more was heard of Jane Dickenson after she petitioned the council in March 1624 for release from her “slavery” with Dr. Pott.

The missing women of Martin’s Hundred were uprooted by their enemies, manipulated by their countrymen, and mistreated in both societies. No brave frontiersmen stalked their captors, and no romantic legends arose to memorialize them. There were no heroics involved in their return; in the harsh, unforgiving world of Virginia in the early seventeenth century, it was a dispassionate business transaction that brought about their release.”“Martin's Hundred”, By J. Frederick Fausz for American History Magazine


Leonard Calvert's instructions to the jury in the case of the murder of the Indian King of Yowacomoco are very meaningful, giving the context of the Virginia culture, which threatened to encroach upon the peace of Maryland: " And the Jury returned, not guilty, but explaining themselves that they delivered that verdict because they vnderstood  the last not to have beene committed agst his Lops peace or the  kings, because the party was a pagan, & because they had no  president in the neighbour colony of virginea, to make suchfacts murther &c. the Govr satisfied them that those Indians  were in the peace of the king & his Lop & that they [the Maryland Jury] ought  not to take notice of what other colonies did, but of the Law  of England. "


By the Governor and Captaine generall ofVirginia.

To all to whom these presents shall come I John Pott EsqreGovernor and Captaine generall of Virginia send greeting inour Lord God everlasting. Whereas by the Cruellty andtreachery of the Indians we are in many waies justly provokedand incited to undertake a continued and settled course ofwarre against them to there utter exterpation and ruine weebeing better inhabled thereunto by those nombers of personswhich have lately arived and augmented this Colony. Aftersoe many yeares tyme in which wee have rather seemed to forbeare than prosecute so just a revenge as they have deserved. Now know yee that I the said John Pott according to an Acte of Court to that purpose made and established the nynth daie of this instant Iuly out of the good opinion I conceive of the valour, care and sufficiency of my welibeloved friend William Clayborne Esqre doe by these presents nominate and appoynt him the said William Clayborne Captaine and Commander of all such forces and Companies of men as are or shall bee levied or sett forth for that imployment. Willingand requiring him the said William Clayborne to imploy himselfe and Company by all the waies and meanes he can todestroy and pursue the Indians of these territories adjoyning(whoe have beene eyther principals or accessories and aydingto the murder of our men by cutting down their corne surprising them in their habitations intercepting them in theirhunting, burning their townes distroying their Canoes andweares and depriving them of whatsoever may yeld themsuccour or reliefe. Gyveing and granting unto him the saidWilliam Clayborne full power and authority to commandegoverne and directe and if neede require to punishe andcorrecte, all offending persons, as hee in his discretion shallthinke fitt his authority in such cases extending soe farr, as byvirtue of his Majesty's Commission I may derive unto himstraightly chardging and commanding all such as shall accompany him in this expedition to bee subjecte and obedient untothe directions and commands of the said William Claybornein such matters and things as hee shall thinke fitt from time totime to give unto them. Gyven at James Citty the two andtwentith daie of Iuly Anno Domini 1629 and in the fift yeareof the reigne of our soveraigne Lord Charles by the grace ofGod of England Scotland France and Ireland King defenderof the fayth &c. and in the three and twentith yeare of thisplantation.

Iohn Pott.


For those interested in Claiborne history, there is a book out about his neice, Ursula Bysshe, which covers pertinent English history prior to her coming to America, and thereafter. Other family members who came were her great- uncle, Capt. Roger Smyth, her great-aunt, Gertrude Smyth James, and her mother's half brother, Colonel William Claiborne. There are vignettes of neighbors on the Isle of Kent, Maryland, and Northumberland/ Westmoreland Counties in VA, who became connected through marriage. Among those family names are Ashton, Bennett, Cockrill, Cox, Crabbe, Demoville, Downing, Fleet, Jackson, Lamkin, Metcalfe, Neale, Newman, Presly/Presley, Quiney, Ransdell, Rogers, Rust, Sanders/Saunders, Smith, Walker, Walters, Willoughby, Youell, and many others.