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The Virginia Company of London

Goldhedge

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History

The Virginia Company of London

In the late 1580s, Sir Walter Raleigh attempted to plant a colony for England in present-day North Carolina. This unsuccessful and expensive settlement, often referred to as The Lost Colony, made the English crown wary of trying again.

It was not until 1606 that the Virginia Company of London received a charter from the newly-crowned King James I. Following the precedent set by other companies such as the Moscovy Company and East India Company, the Virginia Company was a joint-stock company, which sold shares. All who purchased shares at a cost of £12 10s shared in the success or failure of the venture. The Virginia Company was formed both to bring profit to its shareholders and to establish an English colony in the New World. The Company, under the direction of its treasurer Sir Thomas Smith, was instructed to colonize land between the 34th and 41st northern parallel.

In December 1606, the Virginia Company's three ships, containing 144 men and boys, set sail. On May 13, 1607, these first settlers selected the site of Jamestown Island as the place to build their fort.

In addition to survival, the early colonists had another pressing mission: to make a profit for the stockholders of the Virginia Company. Although the settlers were disappointed that gold did not wash up on the beach and gems did not grow in the trees, they realized there was great potential for wealth of other kinds in their new home. Early industries such as glass manufacture, pitch and tar production and beer and wine making took advantage of natural resources and the land's fertility. However, the settlers could not devote as much time as the Virginia Company would have liked to their financial responsibilities. They were too busy trying to survive.

Within the three-sided fort erected on the banks of the James, the settlers quickly discovered that they were, first and foremost, employees of the Virginia Company of London, following instructions of the men appointed by the Company to rule them. In exchange, the laborers were armed and received clothes and food from the common store. After seven years, they were to receive land of their own. The gentlemen, who provided their own armor and weapons, were to be paid in land, dividends or additional shares of stock.

Initially, the colonists were governed by a president and seven-member council selected by the King. Leadership problems quickly erupted and Jamestown's first two leaders coped with varying degrees of success with sickness, Indian assaults, poor food and water supplies and class strife.

When Captain John Smith became Virginia's third president, he proved the strong leader that the colony needed. Industry flourished and relations with Chief Powhatan's people improved. In 1609, the Virginia Company received its Second Charter, which allowed the Company to choose its new governor from amongst its shareholders. Investment boomed as the Company launched an intensive recruitment campaign. Over 600 colonists set sail for Virginia between March 1608 and March 1609.

Unfortunately for these new settlers, Sir Thomas Gates, Virginia's deputy governor, bound for the colony, was shipwrecked in Bermuda and did not assume his new post until 1610. When he arrived, he found only a fraction of the colonists had survived the infamous "Starving Time" of 1609-1610. All too soon, the Mother Country learned of Virginia's woeful state. The result was predictable: financial catastrophe for the Company. Many new subscribers reneged payment on their shares, and the Company became entangled in dozens of court cases. On top of these losses, the Company was forced to incur further debt when it sent hundreds more colonists to Virginia.

There was little to counter this crushing debt. No gold had been found in Virginia; trading commodities produced by exploitation of the raw materials found in the New World were minimal. Attempts at producing glass, pitch, tar and potash had been barely profitable and, regrettably, such commodities could be had far more cheaply on the other side of the Atlantic.

Increasingly bad publicity, political infighting and financial woes led the Virginia Company to organize a massive advertising campaign. The Company plastered street corners with tempting broadsheets, published persuasive articles, and even convinced the clergy to preach of the virtues of supporting colonization. Before the Company was dissolved, it would publish 27 books and pamphlets promoting the Virginia venture.

To make shares more marketable, the Virginia Company changed its sales pitch. Instead of promising instant returns and vast profits for investors, the Company exploited patriotic sentiment and national pride. A stockholder was assured that his purchase of shares would help build the might of England, to make her the superpower she deserved to be. The heathen natives would be converted to the proper form of Christianity, the Church of England. People out of work could find employment in the New World. The standard of living would increase across the nation. How could any good, patriotic Englander resist?

The English rose to the bait. The gentry wished to win favor by proving its loyalty to the crown. The growing middle class also saw stock purchasing as a way to better itself. But the news was not all good. Although the population of Jamestown rose, high settler mortality kept profits unstable. By 1612, the Company's debts had soared to over £1000.

A third charter provided a short-term resolution to the Virginia Company's problems. The Company was permitted to run a lottery as a fundraising venture. Other attractive features of the charter allowed Virginia's assembly to act as the colony's legislature and also added 300 leagues of ocean to the colony's holdings, which would include Bermuda as part of Virginia. But the colony was still on shaky ground until John Rolfe's successful experiment with tobacco as a cash crop provided a way to recoup financially.

Unfortunately by 1616, the Virginia Company suffered further adversity. The original settlers were owed their land and stock shares; initial investors at home were owed their dividends. The Company was forced to renege on its cash promises, instead distributing 50-acre lots in payment. The next year, the Company instituted the headright system, a way to bring more settlers to Virginia. Investors and residents were able to acquire land in paying the passage of new settlers. In most cases, these newcomers spent a period of time in servitude on the investor's land. Sir Edwin Sandys, a leading force in the Virginia Company, strongly supported the headright system, for his goal was a permanent colony which would enlarge British territory, relieve the nation's overpopulation, and expand the market for English goods. Sir Thomas Smith, as the Company's Treasurer, had a different dream: the Virginia Company's mission was to trade and to make a profit.

In the end, it was Sandys' vision which prevailed. When he became Treasurer of the Company in 1619, he moved forward to populate the colony and earn a protective status for the tobacco crop which had become the cash crop of Virginia. At the same time, he urged colonists to diversify their plantings and thus become less reliant on only one staple. The colonists ignored this advice, to their later dismay.

In 1621, the Company was in trouble; unpaid dividends and increased use of lotteries had made future investors wary. The Company debt was now over £9000. Worried Virginians were hardly reassured by the advice of pragmatic Treasurer Sandys, who warned that the Company "cannot wish you to rely on anything but yourselves." March 1622, the Company's and the colony's situation went from dire to disastrous when the Powhatan Indians staged an uprising which wiped out a quarter of the European population of Virginia. When a fourth charter, severely reducing the Company's ability to make decisions in the governing of Virginia, was proposed by the Crown, subscribers rejected it. King James I forthwith changed the status of Virginia in 1624. Virginia was now a royal colony to be administered by a governor appointed by the King. The Virginia Assembly finally received royal approval in 1627 and this form of government, with governor and assembly, would oversee the colony of Virginia until 1776, excepting only the years of the English Commonwealth.

The Virginia Company of London, so far as achieving its aims as a profitable stockholding company, was a dismal failure. Despite numerous creative and desperate attempts to make Virginia stable and financially successful, the investors never achieved a profit, while the colonists suffered from the factionalism and mismanagement by the administration on the other side of the Atlantic.

But other motives for establishing Virginia were achieved. England's territory was increased vastly and the new land could be settled and its natural resources harvested. Spanish colonial enterprise in the New World was challenged. England's laws, language and religion were transplanted to a new place, laying the foundations for what would become the United States of America.

Bibliography
Bemiss, Samuel M., ed. The Three Charters of the Virginia Company of London. Williamsburg, Virginia: Virginia's 350th Anniversary Celebration Corp, 1957.

Craven, Wesley Frank. Dissolution of the Virginia Company. New York: Oxford University Press, 1932.

----------, The Virginia Company of London, 1606-1624. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia, 1957.
Davidson, Thomas E. "Supplying the Jamestown Colony" from Yorktown-Jamestown Foundation Newsletter, Date Unknown.
Kingsbury, Susan M., ed. The Records of the Virginia Company of London. Washington: Governmental Printing Office, 1906.
Neill, Edward D. History of the Virginia Company of London. Albany, New York: Joel Munsell, 1869.

Researched and written by
Ted Chaney, Student Intern
Ken Cohen, Student Intern
Lee Pelham Cotton, Park Ranger
July 15, 2002
 

keef

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Sir Walter Raleigh
1543940008117.png
Many of the colonists started growing tobacco from seeds stolen from the Spanish. Imported slaves to grow the crops and made out quite well.
 

Goldhedge

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The Virginia Company Conspiracy – Country? Or Corporation?
First Published: February 14, 2018
Last updated: July 28th, 2018

Anyone who has spent a certain amount of time in conspiracy circles (which regularly overlap with the UFO community) will have heard of a world elite. A secret cabal of influential people, monetarily rich beyond imagination and consequently having a real desire for power and control.



These conspiracies come in many forms, and with varying levels of outlandish claims. That is not to say some of these aren’t true. Or that all of them don’t have partial truths within them. As we will look at later, history itself is often perspective based at best. Various famous quotes exist that elude to this. Perhaps Churchill’s “History is written by the victors” or Napoleon’s “History is a set of lies that people have agreed upon!” are two of the most accurate, for example.

While there is enough information and points of interest to fill entire volumes of books (of which many exist), we will look here at the basics of this particular conspiracy, where it stems from, and if there may be any truth in it. Sometimes, simply being aware of such claims, regardless of whether you subscribe or not, allows us to look at other incidents with a slightly different perspective. Indeed, perhaps other incidents may also serve to back-up these apparently crazy theories.

The Conspiracy
In Great Britain at the start of the 1600s, with the much-anticipated flux of pilgrims to the new lands of America, a small group of businessmen, politicians, bankers and other people of influence, began the first steps towards the creation of a new company in the new land.

In 1604, at a meeting in Greenwich in the south of England, the Virginia Company came into existence. The person with the largest stake in this new company was King James I, and the main objective of this new venture, ultimately, was to bring wealth to The Crown (which we will look at shortly).

The company split itself into two groups – the London Company who would establish the first British colony in (King) Jamestown in 1607, and the Plymouth (or New England) Company who would arrive via the Mayflower at Cape Cod in 1620.

Following the establishment of these colonies under British rule and control of The Crown, all lands of America (as well as any lands that may reside up to nine-hundred miles off its shores) belonged to The Virginia Company. Consequently, they had rights to fifty percent of any gold or silver ore mined on the lands, as well as rights to any other material mined there. Any venture that would result in a profit would also pay five percent to the Virginia Company.

There were plenty of other reasons for this other than to extract wealth, however. Spain had “expanded” considerably into the South Americas, and part of the North American continent via Mexico. At the time, it was in the interests of The Crown to transplant English speaking people, and their customs and religion, to head off further encroaches of the Spanish and to keep “the Empire” as the most dominant in the world.

Some Clarity – What Is The Crown?
Most people will think of the British Royal Family upon hearing The Crown. However, in this instance, it refers not to them, but to the Crown Corporation, also known as the Crown Temple in the City of London, itself a separate sovereign state (much like Vatican City). Incidentally, many researchers even draw connections between The Crown and the Knights Templar, with some even suggesting links to societies in ancient Babylon.

The City of London is a one-square-mile area in the heart of London, who, according to some versions of history, won its sovereign rights through debt-financing right the way back in 1067 – shortly after William the Conqueror was victorious in battle, and who himself would grant this “sovereignty”. Since then, all monarchs and governments have allowed this “arrangement” to stay in place.

There are claims that many of the Founding Fathers of America and people of influence at such key times as the Declaration of Independence or the Civil War, were essentially lawyers for The Crown, ensuring the best financial interests and outcomes for its clients – wealthy European (and mostly British) families. All thirteen of the original “states” of America were essentially the land of the privately-owned business, the Virginia Company.

One other point of interest here (and something we will look at shortly) are the court systems. Under these conditions, criminal courts would operate under maritime or admiralty law, which is literally, the international law of the sea. Civil courts would operate under common law – the law of the land.

Officially, the Virginia Company would go bankrupt, and the War of Independence would ultimately free it from British rule. Some researchers suggest this isn’t actually the case.

Before we look at that, check out the video for more detailed information on the City of London.


Still Under Rule of The Crown?
In 1871 Congress would pass the Act of 1871. This basically allowed for a “government” for the District of Columbia to form a corporation called the United States. This is different from the United States of America, which refers to the fifty states. These states’ citizens are protected from the federal government (the District of Columbia) by the US Constitution.

Much like the City of London, the District of Columbia is a privately-owned stretch of land (hence its own government). On this land is the Federal Reserve Banks – privately owned corporations. These corporations not only dictate American economy but profit from it. The US government (different from the federal government) are essentially in debt to these private banks, who themselves have no form of independent auditing. Many researchers claim this is essentially, the Virginia Company renamed.

However, here is where the maritime or admiralty law becomes interesting. The federal government, or the United States – the corporation – operate under maritime law. Therefore, any federal court proceedings also operate this way, as the “United States” is a privately owned federal company.

According to some researchers, following the Second World War most individual states would join the Federal Revenue Sharing schemes. Part of the conditions, they say, would be that their courts would also come under such maritime (or federal) law instead of common law.

Many mainstream historians dispute these accusations, relying on “twisted interpretation” of acts and laws as their rebuttal. While that is perhaps true, law doesn’t often leave things to interpretation. Quite often “the letter of the law” is extremely precise.

The video below looks at the basics of these claims a little further.


History – Just One Person’s Perspective
Part of the problem with attempting to uncover “real” history and versions of events, is that we are ultimately having to trust someone else’s version of them. Essentially, their interpretation or perspective.

What is a joyous event in time for one, might be a sad turning point in the road for another. We can never see these events for ourselves, and so, ultimately, we rely on our own perspective as to what is most likely to have happened. Often, we can do little else but place in front of us each account, and settle upon likely scenarios.

One last point of interest, particularly in light of the claims that such financial controls stretch back to Babylon, is that of the Babylonian deity, Queen Semiramis – also known as Venus Columba. Given that The Crown Temple in the City of London, if you subscribe to the theories, owns the “United States”, and they themselves date back to Babylonian times, is it just coincidence that the heart of the “United States” is called the District of Columbia (Columba, or Queen Semiramis)?

So, what should we make of claims that the Virginia Company, in whatever form, still “owns” America today?

Perhaps a good way to end this article is by using the words of George Bush Sr., who once stated, “If the American people knew what we have done they would string us up by the lampposts!”

That line could be used to support so many conspiracies. It could also discredit them. It all depends on perspective. Of course, perspective isn’t necessarily truth. And that is where the blurring of the lines of history tends to happen.

The video below looks at some of the apparent “secret” history of the United States.






About Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for anything interesting, from UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies and unsolved mysteries. He also has a passion for film, music, and the NFL. As well as writing for various websites, he runs and writes for Me Time For The Mind.
 

EO 11110

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i've heard that the thing in jamestown was a company town -- people willingly signed up to make the voyage and work for the company for X number of years

also heard the revolt was because of failed socialism -- some people working, while others were freeloaders

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as for the crown and america - certainly seems the brits still have sway. the two world wars are hard to argue against

less hidden are the colonies of canada, australia - which have governor generals (crown reps) perched atop their elected officials. the skoolz/media never EVER teach people the truth about this
 
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DodgebyDave

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This left me so inspired I dug out a history book I saved from 5th grade. None of this stuff is in there!

Imagine the bullshit they would be teaching kids had white folks lost!
 

BarnacleBob

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Throughout the 17th century there was a scarcity of circulating money. The scarcity was the result of the wealthy refusing to revalue & devalue their substance money which would have increased the volumes in circulation. The scarcity caused great unemployment & widespread societal poverty. The poor people were forced to borrow money from the weathly to merely buy food to survive... they of course possessed no means to repay these debts... Debtors prisons sprang up & were soon filled to capacity.

The trading companies would agree to settle the debtors debt releasing the debtor from prison if they would privately contract for 7 years voluntary servitude in the colonies. The trading company as part of the contract provided one-way passage to the new world colony. The contracted colonists were the subjects of law merchant "merchantile" law.

When you hear that America & Australia were initially populated by criminals, this is in reference to the emptying of European & English debtors prisons to populate the newly established colonies in America & Australia. The debtors scam was a depopulation agenda of England & Europes elite to export its growing poor & destitute population to new continents.

Admiralty Law is the law of the sea. Its jurisdiction is maritime travel & commerce, it doesnt come on land! Lex Merchatoria a.k.a. Law Merchant is private contract law that employs & uses the long established rules of equity... The difference in America between equity & law merchant is that equity carries no criminal penalties, while law merchant does. Persons who draft NSF bank checks can be prosecuted using law merchant for violating the contract. Law Merchant is also the body of law used to prosecute federal tax law violators.

"And while the federal law merchant developed for about a century under the regime of Swift v. Tyson, 16 Pet. 1, represented general commercial law rather than a choice of a federal rule designed to protect a federal right, it nevertheless stands as a convenient source of reference for fashioning federal rules applicable to these federal questions." -- CLEARFIELD TRUST CO. v. UNITED STATES, No. 490, (1943)

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/318/363.html

As noted in the Brushaber & Stanton Cases (1916), the 16th Amendment gave no new taxing powers to Congress that it didnt already possess. Indeed the IRS cannot point to any law @ USC Title 26 & 28 that makes a tax payer liable, such a law or regulation doesnt exist in writing, it does however exist in time immemorial in the law merchant. Namely accepting a benefit or privilege creates a contract that demands performance & duties upon the acceptor. (ref: Hale v Henkel, 1905).

The Revolutionary War & Declaration of Independence, 1776 was the result of the King & Crowns use of Law Merchant to inequitably divert, exploit, expropriate & enslave the Colonists wealth & labor back to the King & Crown investors...