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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/420

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342 NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 S.X.MAY 6,1022. Etherege' s name does not appear in the 1626 list of landowners in the Appendix to J. D. Burk's ' History of Virginia ' (Petersburg, Va., 1804-16). State Librarian H. R. Mcllwaine, of the Virginia State Library, Richmond, Va., writes me : The records do not state exactly what land, if any, was given to George Etheridge. I very much doubt if any was actually assigned him. If assigned, how long he kept it, or his heirs kept it, and to whom it passed, cannot be dis- covered from such records as have been pre- served. But Etherege does appear among ' The Names of the Aduenturers for Virginia, Alphabetically set downe according to a printed Booke, set out by the Treasurer and Councell in this present yeere, 1620,' given in Capt. John Smith's ' Generall His- torie of Virginia,' &c., 1624 (Capt. John Smith, ' Works,' edited by E. Arber, West- minster, 1895, Part II., p. 553). Smith was probably excerpting from ' A Declara- tion of the State of the Colonie and Affaires in Virginia : with The Names of the Ad- uenturers, and Summes aduentured in that Action,' London, 1620 (reprinted by Peter Force, ' Tracts and Other Papers,' Wash- ington, 1844, vol. iii., No. 5). ' The Names of the Aduenturers, with thtir seuerall sums aduentured, paid [my italics] to Sir Thomas Smith, Knight, late Treasurer of the company for Virginia ' are here also set down alphabetically, and the last entry under E is " George Etheridge . . . 62 10s." This sum entitled Etherege to five shares (ibid., No. 5, p. 25). His continued interest in the affairs of the Virginia Company is attested by his presence at their meetings in London in 1622, 1623 and 1624. He is listed as among those present "at a Court held for Vir- ginia " on Nov. 22, 1622, on Jan. 29, Feb. 5 and 12, Mar. 7 and 24, Apr. 12, 23 and 25, May 12, June 9, 1623 ; on Feb. 2, Apr. 21, 1624 ; and at hpw many other meetings it is impossible to say, as the list of those in attendance frequently ends " wto diuers others " (' The Records of the Virginia Company of London ; The Court Book, from the Manuscript in the Library of Congress,' edited by S. M. Kings- bury, Washington, 1906, vol. ii., pp. 142, 180, 245, 263, 318, 334, 346, 371, 378, 414, 436, 506, 518). Etherege seems to have been among those who had faith in the Company and its projects. The best account of its vicis- situdes is by W. R. Scott in his ' Joint - Stock Companies to 1720,' vol. ii., pp. 246-89. By 1618, he says : Out of a total membership of close on 1,000 probably more than three-quarters had long considered the scheme to be impracticable, and many of these had not paid up the full amounts due on their snares (ibid., ii., p. 268). From 1622 on the Company was split into factions over various questions, but prin- cipally by the struggle for ascendancy between two parties within its ranks. The condition of the Colony itself was neglected in these controversies. After the 1622 Virginia massacre, complaint of neglect and of quarrels in the Court meetings was made to the Privy Council, which appointed a Commission to investigate. The Crown recommended a reorganization and new charter under which the Company was to be controlled by a Governor and twelve assistants nominated by the King. The members could not agree on acceptance or rejection of these terms. James decided to take into his own hands " the thorny business of Virginia," and, as the Attorney- General had in 1623 declared there were grounds . for dissolving the Virginia Com- pany, dissolved it. The announcement of this dissolution by the Crown was made by proclamation dated May 13, 1625. In June the King appointed a Council for the governing of the Colony. In 1625 George Etherege, grandfather of the dramatist, must have been about 49 years old, if, in 1656, he was, according to the lawsuit referred to, " about eighty yeares of age." N The Bermuda Islands or Somers Islands Company proved more directly lucrative. One of the vessels of Gates's 1609 expedition, that commanded by Sir George Somers, suffered shipwreck on Bermuda. The crew were much attracted by the plentiful pro- vender of wild hogs and birds, fish in abun- dance and by the mild climate of the unin- habited island. After they had reached Virginia in cedar boats of their own making, reports of the desirable character of the island reached London in due course. In 1611 the company talked of building a fortification there as an outpost against Spain, which was viewing Virginia coloniza- tion with jealous eyes, but there was no money for this additional enterprise (ibid., ii., pp. 259-60). In January, 1612, an " under - company " was formed calling itself " Under- takers for the Plantation of the Somers Islands." But it was then discovered that