3rd Virginia Charter, 1612


March 12, 1611-12

In 1606, King James of England granted the first charter to the Virginia Company, which settled 120 people in Jamestown. The second charter was granted in 1609, and this third charter was granted in 1611-12, giving more independence to the company. The portion of the 1606 Charter addressing religious liberty is excerpted below.

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Religious Institutions Group

James, by the grace of God [King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith;] to all to whom [these pres-ents shall come,] greeting. Whereas at the humble suite of divers and sundry our lovinge subjects, aswell adventurers as planters of the First Colonie in Virginia, and for the propagacion of Christian religion and reclayminge of people barbarous to civilitie and humanitie, we have by our lettres-patent bearing date at Westminster, the three-and-twentieth daie of May in the seaventh yeare of our raigne of England, Frannce and Ireland, and the twoe and fortieth of Scotland, given and grannted unto them, that they and all suche and soe manie of our loving subjects as shold from time to time, for ever after be joyned with them as planters or adventurers in the said plantacion, and their succes-sors, for ever, shold be one body politique incorporated by the name of The Treasorer and Planters of the Cittie of London for the First Colonie in Virginia;

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In witnes whereof [we have caused these our letters to be made patents.] Wittnes our selfe att Westminster, the twelveth daie of March [1612] [in the ninth year of our reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the five and fortieth.]

Per breve de privato sigillo, etc.

Source: The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the United States 1902-08 (Ben Berley Poore ed., 2d ed. 1878).