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By his integrity, patriotism, scholarship, and great administrative talent, he infused new life into the expiring society, and associated with bim Nicholas Ferrar, the honorable merchant of London, Sir John Danvers, the step-father, and Edward Lord Cherbury, the brother of the sweet poet, George Herbert, also the Earl of Southampton, who in early life extended a helping hand to a poor boy that is said to have held horses for gentlemen at the doors of play-houses, and became Shakspeare, the portrayer of all the varied emotions of the soul, whose reputation as a dramatist has increased in lustre as the centuries have advanced.
The new managers of the company proceeded to reconstruct Virginia with the most liberal views. By their permission the first representative and legislative body in America was convened at Jamestown, on July 30, 1619, in the church, the most convenient place they could find, the minister of which was Mr. Buck.
During the sessions of this body, which continued until the fourth of August, a petition was presented relative to the erection of a university and college. From this period until the dissolution of the Virginia Company the design of a university and college was never forgotten.
The collections taken up by order of the King for a college in 1619 amounted to £2,043 28. 12 d., and at a meeting of the company on May 26th, Sir Edwin Sandys, as treasurer, propounded to the court "a thing worthy to be taken into consideration for the glory of God and honor of the company, forasmuch as the King, in his most gracious favour, hath granted his letters to the several bishops of his kingdom for the collecting of moneys to erect and build a college in Virginia for the training and bringing up of infidels' children to the true knowledge of God and understanding of righteousness. He conceived it the fittest that as yet they should not build the college, but rather forbear awhile, and begin first with the advances they have to provide and settle an annual revenue, and out of that to 'begin the erection of said college. And for the performance hereof also moved that a certain piece of land be laid out at Henrico, being the place formerly resolved on, which should be called the college land, and for the planting of the same send presently fifty good persons, to be located thereon, and to occupy the same.”
On June 14, 1619, it was moved by Mr. Treasurer, “that the court would take into consideration to appoint a committee of their gentlemen and other of his Majesty's counsel for Virginia concerning the
college, being a weighty business, and so great that an account of their proceedings therein must be given to the State. Upon which the court, upon deliberate consideration, have recommended the rare trust unto the right worthy Sir Dudley Diggs, Sir John Danvers, Sir Nath. Rich, Sir Jo. Wolstenholme, Mr. Deputy Ferrar, Mr. Dr. Anthony, and Mr. Dr. Gulson, to meet at such time as Mr. Treasurer shall order thereto."
On June the 24th the committee by the last court appointed for the college having met, as they were desired, delivered over their proceedings, which the court allowed, being this that followeth :
“A note of what kind of men and most fit to be sent to Virginia in the next intended voyage of transporting one hundred men.
“A minister to be entertained at the yearly allowance of forty pounds, and to have fifty acres of land for him and his forever; to be allowed his transportation and his man's at the company's charge, and ten pounds to furnish himself withall.
"A captain thought fit, to be considered of, to take charge of such people as are to be planted on the college land.
“ All the people at this first sending, except some soon to be sent as well for planting the college and public land, to be single men, unmarried.
“ A warrant to be made and directed to Sir Thomas Smith for the payment of the collection money to Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer, and that Dr. Gulstone shall be entreated to present unto my Lord Primate of Canterbury such letters to be signed for the speedy paying of the moneys from every diocese which yet remain unpaid.
“The several sorts of tradesmen and others for the college land : smiths, carpenters, bricklayers, turners, potters, husbandmen, brickmakers.
“And whereas, according to the standing order, seven were chosen by the court to be of the committee for the college, the said order allowing no more, and, inasmuch as Mr. Johu Wroth came in error to be left out, he is therefore now desired to be an assistant with them, and to give them meeting at such time and place as is agreed of.”'
At a ineeting of the company held in London, at Mr. Ferrar's house, on July 21, 1619, the Earls of Southampton and Warwick, Sir Thomas Gates, and others being present, the following anonymous letter was read:
I. H. S. “SIR EDWIN SANDYS, Treasurer of Virginia :
“Good luck in the name of the Lord, who is daily magnified by the experiment of your zeal and piety in giving beginning to the foundation of the college in Virginia, sacred work due to Heaven and so longed for on earth.
“Now know we assuredly that the Lord will do you good and bless you in all your proceedings, even as He blessed the house of Obed Edom and all that pertaineth unto him because of the ark of God. Now that you seek the kingdom of God, all things shall be ministered unto you. This I well see already, and perceive that by your godly determination the Lord hath given you favor in the sight of all His people, and I know some whose hearts are much enlarged because of the house of the Lord our God to procure you wealth, which greater designs I have presumed to outrun with this oblation, which I humbly beseech you may be accepted as the pledge of my devotion, and as an earnest of the power which I have vowed unto the Almighty God of Jacob concerning this thing, which till I may in part perform I desire to remain unknown and unsought after.
The things are these : a communion cup with the ewer and vase; a trencher plate for the bread; a carpet of crimson velvet; a linen damask cloth.”
On Wednesday, November 17, 1619, at a great and general quarterly meeting of the Virginia Company, the treasurer referred to the instructions sent out by the new governor of the colony, Sir George Yeardley, by which were to be selected ten thousand acres of land for the university to be planted at Henrico, of which one thousand was reserved for the college for the conversion of infidels.
On December 1st, “ It was propounded that in consideration of some public gifts given by sundry persons to Virginia, divers presents of church plate and other ornaments, two hundred pounds already given toward building a church, and five hundred pounds promised by another toward the educating of infidels' children, that, for the honor of God, and memorial of such good benefactors, a tablet might hang in the court with their names and gifts inserted, and the ministers of Virginia and the Sommer islands may have intelligence thereof, that for their pious works they may recommend them to God in their prayers; which generally was thought very fit and expedient."
On February 2, 1619-20: “A letter from an unknown person was read, directed to the treasurer, promising five hundred pounds for the educating and bringing up infidels' children in Christianity, which Mr. Treasurer, not willing to meddle therewith alone, desired the court to appoint a select committee for the managing and employing of it to the best purpose. They made choice of : Lord Pagett, Sir Tho. Wroth, Mr. J. Wroth, Mr. Deputie, Mr. Tho. Gibbs, Dr. Winstone, Mr. Bamfourde, and Mr. Keightley.
The copy of the letter. “SIR: Your charitable endeavour for Virginia hath made you a father, me a favourer of those good works which, although heretofore hath come near to give birth, yet for want of strength could never be delivered, (envy and division dashing these younglings even in the womb,) until your helpful hand, with other favorable personages, gave them both birth and being, for the better prosecuting of which good and pious work, seeing many casting gifts into the treasury, I am encouraged to tender my poor mite; and although I cannot with the princes of Issaker bring gold and silver covering, yet offer you what I can, some goats' hair, necessary stuff for the Lord's tabernacle, protesting here in my sincerity, without Papistical merit or Pharisaical applause, wishing from my heart as much unity iu your honorable undertaking as there is sincerity in my designs, to the furtherance of which good work, the converting of infidels to the faith of Christ, I promised by my good friends £500 for the maintenance of a convenient number of young Indians taken at the age of seven years, or younger, and instructed in the reading and understanding the principles of Christianity unto the age of twelve years, and then as occasion showeth, to be trained and brought up in some lawful trade with all humanity and gentleness until the age of one and twenty years, and then to enjoy like liberties and privileges with our native English in that place.
“And for the better performance thereof you shall receive £50 more, which shall be delivered into the hands of two religious persons with certitude of payment, who shall unto every quarter examine and certify to the treasurer here, in England, the due operation of these promises, together with the names of those children thus taken, the foster-fathers and overseers, not doubting but you are all assured that gifts devoted to God's service cannot be diverted to private and secular advantages without sacrilege. If your graver judgments can devise a more charitable course for the younger, I beseech you
inform my friend, with your security for true performance, and my benevolence shall be always ready to be delivered accordingly.
“ The greatest courtesy I expect or crave is to conceal my friend's name, lest importunity might urge him to betray that trust of service, which he hath faithfully promised, who hath moved my heart to this good work. I rest, ab famo,
“ DUST AND ASHES. “Sir Edwin Sandys,
“ The faithful Treasurer for Virginia.” On the sixteenth of February the following was passed :
Whereas, at the last court a special committee was appointed for the managing of the £500 given by an unknown person for educating the infidels' children, Mr. Treasurer signified that they have met and taken into consideration the proposition of Sir John Wolstenholme, that John Peirce and his associates might have the training and bringing up of some of these children; but the said committee, for divers reasons, think it inconvenient, first, because they intend not to go this two or three months, and then after their arrival will be long in settling themselves; as also that the Indians are not acquainted with them, and so they may stay four or five years before they have account that any good is done.
“And for to put it into the hands of private men to bring them up, as was by some proposed, they thought it was not so fit, by reason of the difficulty unto which it is subject.
“But forasmuch as divers hundreds and particular plantations are already there settled, and the Indians well acquainted with them, as namely, Smith's Hundred, Martin's Hundred, Bartlett's Hundred, and the like, that, therefore, they receive and take charge of them, by which course they shall be sure to be well nurtured and have their due so long as these plantations shall hold; and for such of the children as they find capable of learning shall be put in the college and brought up to be Fellows, and such as are not shall be put to trades and be brought up in the fear of God and the Christian religion.
“And being demanded how and by what lawful means they would preserve them, and after keep them, that they run not to join their parents or friends, and their parents or friends steal them not away, which natural affection may inforce in the one and the other, it was answered and well allowed that a treaty and agreement be made with the King of that country concerning them, which if it so fall out at any time, as is expressed, they may by his command be returned.
“Whereupon Sir Thomas Roe promised that Bartlett's Hundred should take two or three, and Mr. Smith to be respondent to the com