THE RELATION OF the Right Honourable the Lord De-La-Warre, Lord Gouernour and Captaine Generall of the Colonie, planted in VIRGINEA.


LONDON ¶Printed by William Hall, for William Welbie, dwelling in Pauls Church-yeard at the Signe of the Swan. 1611.

A SHORT RE­lation made by the Lord De-La-Warre, to the Lords and others of the Counsell of Virginea, touching his vnexpected returne home, and af­terwards deliuered to the generall Assembly of the said Company, at a Court holden the twenty fiue of Iune, 1611.
Published by authority of the said Counsell.

My Lords, &c.

BEing now by accident returned from my Charge at Virginea, con­trary either to my owne desire, or [Page] other mens expectations, who spare not to censure me, in point of duty, and to dis­course and question the reason, though they apprehend not the true cause of my returne, I am forced, (out of willingnesse to satisfie euery man) to deliuer vnto your Lordships, and the rest of this Assembly, briefely, (but truely) in what state I haue liued, euer since my arriuall to the Colonie; what hath beene the iust occasion of my sudden departure thence; and in what termes I haue left the same: The ra­ther because I perceiue, that since my com­ming into England, such a coldnesse and ir­resolution is bred, in many of the Aduentu­rers, that some of them seeke to withdraw those paimēts, which they haue subscribed towards the Charge of the Plantation, and by which that Action must bee supported and maintained; making this my returne, [Page] the colour of their needlesse backwardnes and vniust protraction. Which, that you may the better vnderstand, I must informe your Lordships, that presently after my ar­riual in Iames Towne, I was welcommed by a hote and violent Ague, which held mee a time, till by the aduice of my Physition, Doctor Laurence Bohun, (by blood letting) I was recouered, as in my first Letters by Sir Thomas Gates I haue informed you. That disease had not long left me, til (with­in three weekes after I had gotten a little strength) I began to be distempered with other greeuous sicknesses, which succes­siuely & seuerally assailed me: for besides a relapse into the former disease, which with much more violence held me more then a moneth, and brought me to great weakenesse, the Flux surprised me, and kept [Page] me many daies; then the Crampe assaulted my weak body, with strong paines; & after­wards the Gout (with which I had heere­tofore beene sometime troubled) afflicted mee in such sort, that making my body through weakenesse vnable to stirre, or to vse any maner of exercise, drew vpon me the disease called the Scuruy; which though in others it be a sicknesse of slothfulnesse, yet was in me an effect of weaknesse, which neuer left me, till I was vpon the point to leaue the world.

These seuerall maladies and calamities, I am the more desirous to particularise vnto your Lordships (although they were too notorious to the whole Colonie) lest any man should misdeeme that vnder the ge­neral name and cōmon excuse of sicknes, I went about to cloke either sloth, or feare, [Page] or anie other base apprehension, vn­worthy the high and Honourable charge, which you had entrusted to my Fide­litie.

In these extremities I resolued to con­sult my friends, vvho (finding Nature spent in mee, and my body almost con­sumed, my paines likewise daily encrea­sing) gaue me aduise to preferre a hope­full recouery, before an assured ruine, which must necessarily haue ensued, had I liued, but twenty dayes longer, in Vir­ginia: wanting at that instant, both food and Physicke, fit to remedy such extraor­dinary diseases, and restore that strength so desperately decayed.

VVhereupon, after a long consulta­tion held, I resolued by generall consent and perswasion, to shippe my selfe for [Page] Meuis, an Island in the VVest Indies, fa­mous for vvholesome Bathes, there to try what help the Heauenly Prouidence would afford mee, by the benefit of the hot Bath: But GOD, who guideth all things, according to his good will and pleasure, so prouided, that after wee had sailed an hundred Leagues, wee met with Southerly windes which forced mee to change my purpose, (my body being al­together vnable to endure the tedious­nesse of a long voyage) and so sterne my course for the VVestern Islands, which I no sooner recouered, then I found help for my health, and my sickenesse asswaged, by meanes of fresh diet, and especially of Orenges and Lemonds, an vndoubted remedy and medicine for that disease, which lastly, and so long, had [Page] afflicted mee: which ease as soone as I found, I resolued (although my body remained still feeble and weake, to re­turne backe to my charge in Virginia a­gaine, but I was aduised not to hazard my selfe before I had perfectly recoue­red my strength, which by counsell I was perswaded to seeke in the naturall Ayre of my Countrey, and so I came for England. In which Accident, I doubt not but men of reason, and of iudge­ment will imagine, there would more danger and preiudice haue hapned by my death there, then I hope can doe by my returne

In the next place, I am to giue ac­compt in what estate I left the Collony for gouernment in my absence. It may please your Lordships therefore to vnderstand, [Page] that vpon my departure thence, I made choise of Captaine George Pearcie, (a Gen­tleman of honour and resolution, and of no small experience in that place, to re­maine Deputie Gouernour, vntill the comming of the Marshall Sir Thomas Dale, whose Commission was likewise to be determined, vpon the arriuall of Sir Thomas Gates, according to the intent and order of your Lordships, and the Coun­cill here.

The number of men I left there, were vpward of two hundred, the most in health, and prouided of at least tenne moneths victuals, in their store-house, (which is daily issued vnto them) be­sides other helps in the Countrey, late­ly found out by Captaine Argoll by tra­ding vvith pettie Kings in those parts, [Page] who for a small returne of a piece of Iron, Copper, &c. haue consented to trucke great quantities of Corne, and willingly imbrace the intercourse of Traffique, shewing vnto our people certaine signes of amitie and affection.

And for the better strengthening and securing of the Collony, in the time of my weaknesse there, I tooke order for the building of three seuerall Forts, two of which are seated neere Poynt Comfort, to which adioyneth a large Circuit of ground, open, and fit for Corne: the third Fort is at the Falles, vpon an I­land inuironed also with Corne ground. These are not all manned, for I wanted the commoditie of Boates, hauing but two, and one Bardge, in all the Coun­trey, which hath beene cause that our [Page] fishing hath beene (in some sort) hinde­red, for want of those prouisions, which easily will be remedied when vvee can gaine sufficient men to be imployed a­bout those businesses, which in Virginia I found not: but since meeting with Sir Thomas Gates at the Cowes neere Ports­mouth (to whom I gaue a perticular ac­compt of all my proceedings, and of the present estate of the Collony as I left it) I vnderstood those wants are supplyed in his Fleete.

The Countrey is wonderfull fertile and very rich, and makes good whatsoe­uer heretofore hath beene reported of it, the Cattell already there, are much en­creased, and thriue exceedingly with the pasture of that Countrey: The Kine all this last VVinter, though the ground [Page] was couered most vvith Snow, and the season sharpe, liued without other fee­ding then the grasse they found, vvith which they prospered well, and many of them readie to fall with Calue: Milke being a great nourishment and refresh­ing to our people, seruing also (in occa­sion) as well for Physicke as for food, so that it is no way to be doubted, but when it shall please God that Sir Thomas Dale, and Sir Thomas Gates, shall arriue in Vir­ginia with their extraordinary supply of one hundred Kine, and two hundred Swine, besides store of all manner of o­ther prouisions for the sustenance and maintenance of the Collony, there vvill appeare that successe in the Action as shall giue no man cause of distrust that hath already aduentured, but encourage [Page] euery good minde to further so worthy a worke, as will redound both to the Glory of GOD, to the Credit of our Nation, and to the Comfort of all those that haue beene Instruments in the furthe­ring of it.

The last discouery, during my conti­nuall sicknesse, was by Captaine Argoll, who hath found a trade with Patamack (a King as great as Powhatan, vvho still remaines our enemie, though not able to doe vs hurt.) This is in a goodly Ri­uer called Patomack, vpon the borders whereof there are growne the goodliest Trees for Masts, that may be found else­where in the VVorld: Hempe better then English, growing wilde in aboun­dance: Mines of Antimonie and Leade,

There is also found without our Bay [Page] to the Northward an excellent fishing Bancke for Codde, and Ling, as good as can be eaten, and of a kinde that will keepe a whole yeare, in Shippes hould, with little care; a tryall whereof I now haue brought ouer vvith mee. Other Islands there are vpon our Coasts, that doe promise rich merchandise, and vvill further exceedingly the establish­ing of the Plantation, by supply of ma­ny helpes, and vvill speedily afford a returne of many vvorthie Commodi­ties.

I haue left much ground in part ma­nured to receiue Corne, hauing caused it the last VVinter to be sowed for rootes, vvith vvhich our people vvere greatly releeued.

There are many Vines planted in [Page] diuers places, and doe prosper vvell, there is no vvant of any thing, if the acti­on can be vpheld with constancy and resolution.

Lastly, concerning my selfe, and my course, though the VVorld may ima­gine that this Countrey and Climate, will (by that vvhich I haue suffered be­yond any other of that Plantation) ill a­gree, vvith the state of my body, yet I am so farre from shrinking or giuing ouer this honourable enterprise, as that I am vvilling and ready to lay all I am worth vpon the aduenture of the Acti­on, rather then so Honourable a worke should faile, and to returne vvith all the conuenient expedition I may, beseeching your Lordships, and the rest, not onely to excuse my former wants, happened [Page] by the Almighty hand: but to second my resolutions vvith your friendly in­deauours: that both the State may re­ceiue Honour, your selues Profit, and I future Comfort, by being imployed (though but as a weake Instrument) in so great an Action.

And thus hauing plainely, truely, and briefely, deliuered the cause of my returne, vvith the state of our affayres, as wee now stand, I hope euery vvor­thy and indifferent hearer, will by com­paring my present resolution of returne, with the necessitie of my comming home, rest satisfied with this true and short De­claration.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.