Vessels Transport Wives to Virginia

By Jeannette Holland Austin

A pinnace is a ship’s boat.

Twelve women were sent in theMarmaduke and fifty in the ship and pinnace called Tyger. The London Company detailed in their records that it was their intent to providing their first landing and to dispose of them in marriage. The passage was 12 pounds sterling and 150 pounds of the best leaf tobacco for each. Should any one or more of them die, then the proportional addition was to be paid by the rest. They were to be delivered to Mr. Ed who was to keep an accounting. "This and theire owne good deserts together with your favor and care, will we hope, marry any of them shall unwarily or fondly bestow (for the liberty of marriage we dare not infringe) upon such as shall not be able to give present satisfaction, we desire that at least as soon as ability shalbe, they be compelled to pay the true quantity of tobacco proportioned, and that this debt may have precidence of all other to be recovered." All this possible because in 1622 a monopoly for the importation of tobacco was granted to the Virginia Company and Somers Island Company. Source: The London Company on Buying Wives.

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