PROVIDING FOR THE CHILDREN
AND now before I am come to the most terrible time in the
history of our town of James, let me set down that which
the London Company has decreed, for it is of great importance
to all those who, like Nathaniel and me, came over into this
land of Virginia before they were men and women grown.
Master Hunt has written the facts out fairly, to the end that
I may understand them well, he having had the information from
Captain Newport, for it was the last decree made by the London
Company before the John and Francis sailed.
I must say, however, that the reason why this decree, or order,
whichever it may be called, has been made, was to the end that
men and women, who had large families of children, might be
induced to join us here in Jamestown, as if we had not already
mouths enough to feed.
The Council of the Company has decided to allow the use of
twenty-five acres of land for each and every child that comes
into Virginia, and all who are now here, or may come to live
at the expense of the Company, are to be educated in some good
trade or profession, in order that they may be able to support
 they have come to the age of four and twenty
years, or have served the time of their apprenticeship, which
is to be no less than seven years.
It is further decreed that all of those children when they
become of age or marry, whichever shall happen first, are to
have freely given and made over to them fifty acres of land
apiece, which same shall be in Virginia within the limits of
the English plantation. But, these children must be placed as
apprentices under honest and good masters within the grant made
to the London Company, and shall serve for seven years, or until
they come to the age of twenty-four, during which time their
masters must bring them up in some trade or business.