At the time of James I reign, Britain was in the midst of a financial crisis. Amongst his financial reforms was granting a Charter to the Virginia Company of London in 1606 the pursuit of valuable resources in the form of gold and silver that was said to be ‘glittering on the shores’ within North America. James I offered the Virginia Company exclusive ownership rights to the land of Virginia, with the directive to begin mining the natural resources of the continent.


The journey of 144 Englishmen to North America, consisted of shareholders and investors. On 4th May 1607 after over four months of sailing, they arrived at Chesapeake Bay and established Jamestown, becoming the first permanent English settlement of the New World. Upon arrival, however, settlers would soon find the land to be largely inhospitable and barren of the resources initially desired. Early development of the town was difficult and unforgiving, fraught with famine from the inhospitable swamp terrain, and conflict with the indigenous Powhatan tribe.