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Document Number: AJ-085
Title: Discourse of the Old Company, 1625
Source: Tyler, Lyon Gardiner (editor). Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606-1625. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907). Pages 429-460.
Pages/Illustrations: 34 / 0
Citable URL:

Jamestown Settlement

The London Company sponsored the expedition to establish a profitable colony. The expedition started with 144 men but only 104 survived the trip. No women were a part of the initial expedition. In 1609, about six hundred people, including women and children, joined the colony in the hopes of making it more like a settlement. Other voyages brought more settlers in the years between 1606 and 1624 expanding the population and goals of the Jamestown colony.

The document contains information about Jamestown’s establishment, progress, and demise under three different types of government during the years it was managed by the Virginia Company. The 1606 charter that allowed the settlement of Jamestown gave the King of England and an English council complete control over the colony. A revised charter of 1609 gave authority over the colony to a governor who resided in England and cooperated with a treasurer and council. The 1612 charter gave the Virginia Company, based in England, control over the activities in the colony. The changes in government created tensions in the ruling parties that could not be resolved and eventually lead to the end of the Virginia Company and its involvement with the Jamestown Colony.

Document Note

The document was published in the Virginia Magazine of History, I. The original is kept in London’s Public Record Office.

Other Internet and Reference Sources

The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities has a website with information at

The National Park Service maintains an excellent short Web page on the Virginia Company of London at

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