Primary Resource

Letter from the Council of the Virginia Company of London to the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Norwich (December 4, 1617)

In a letter to the mayor and aldermen of the City of Norwich, dated December 4, 1617, the Virginia Company of London announces a running lottery and explains how it will operate. The transcription, by the scholar Robert C. Johnson, retains the original spelling and punctuation but in some cases expands contractions and abbreviations.

Transcription from Original

To our verie loving Frendes the Maior and

Aldermen of the Cittie of Norwich these

— page 161 —

After our verie hartie Comendacons Whereas the kings most excellent Maiestie hath under his great seale of England authorised the counsell and companie of Virginnia for the keepinge and settinge up of Lottaries within any part of his highnes Dominions for the support and benefitt of that Plantation we by vertue of his Maiesties gratious grannt do earnistly pray and desire you out of your good respect unto us and of your godly and Christian zeale to so worthie an Action to be assistinge unto these our Deputies Mr Gabriell Barbor and Mr Lott Peere (beinge members also of our companie) to whom for the longe and approved triall we have had of there longe fidelitie care and sufficiencie we have comitted the manageinge of a runinge Lottarie to be kept in that your Cittie of Norwich desiringe so much more earnestly your favor and best furtherance therin seinge the profitt arising therby tendes not to any private endes but only and wholly to the advancement of that most noble and Christian Plantation which we have now great hope and greater then heretofore shall stand and florishe to the honor of God the benifit of this Rellme and the enlargement of his Maiesties Dominions and to the end all menes desires maybe satysfied in the most exact maner that maybe of Juste and true dealing for the Cariage of the Loatryes wee have thought good for their better satisfaction to intreate you to reseive the Kyes heere incolosed of the blankes and allso the severall prizes together with a booke shewing all the perticuleres sealed with our Common Seale praying you to cause the blanckes and prizes to bee well mingled to gether in the syght and presences of your bretheren And to apoynte twoe of your Cyttye men of Care and Credit to sit dayley with theis our deputyes and to locke up and open the box everey day forbideing the porer sorte to make any adventures considering the advantage as it is playnely set downe in the printed Publicationes and to permit a child who shall bee alowed for his paynes to drawe oute the lotes for all that doe adventure soe shall theis our deputys befreed from suspision or partialytye of fayre procedinges And your sellves bee in Coraged to give them your testimoney for which your paynes wee our sellves shall have great Cause to acknowledge your good Respect towards And the Plantation in like sort your love and kyndenes towardes the same and soe wee bid you very hartely farewell Resting ever

Your loving frindes

London the iiijth of December 1617

R Riche, Tho Lamsur(?), Tho Howard, Will Paget, Ro Rich, Pembrocke, E Southamtone, Jo Sommesey(?), Thomas Wale, Jo: Davers, Tho Smith,

— page 162 —

Jo: Wrothe, Xpo: Brook, Edwin Sandys, Robt Johnson, Ric Martyn