Governor George Yeardley

Governor George Yeardley lived during the years 1588 to 1627. He was both a planter and a colonial governor of the British colony of Virginia. He was also a survivor after the flagship Sea Venture was shipwrecked off the coast line of Bermuda. Most people remember him as the person who was presiding in 1619 at the initial session of the legislative body in Virginia. Throughout the colony there were various representatives at what became known as the House of Burgesses. Today, it is known as the Virginia General Assembly.

On July 28, 1588 George Yeardley was baptized in Southwark, England at the St. Savior’s parish. His father was Ralph Yearley who was a London merchant/tailor. Rather than follow his father’s trade he decided to join a company of English foot-soldiers so as to help battle against the Spanish in the Netherlands. During his term of office as governor of Virginia he was also responsible for being the captain of the bodyguard for Sir Thomas Gates.

On June 1, 1609 he sailed from England along with the newly appointed Sir Thomas Gates. They sailed aboard the flagship of the ill-fated Sea Venture on an expedition to Jamestown. After a long grueling eight weeks at sea and only seven days from their destination, the Sea Venture encountered a tropical storm and was shipwrecked in the Bermudas. Everyone aboard the ship survived and it was not until May 23, 1610 that they were able to continue on to Jamestown.

Once they arrived in Jamestown they found the local colonists to be in a desperate condition and suffering from serious Dallas personal injury. The majority of settlers had died from either starvation, sickness, or Indian raids. The settlers and Sir Thomas Gates abandoned the colony and returned to England. Gates commanded Capt. Yeardley to remain and guard the town. Later in October 1610, Yeardley and another captain were ordered to lead 150 men in a search for silver and gold mines in the surrounding mountains.

In October 1618, George Yeardley was made the deputy governor of Virginia. In October 1618, he was married and one month later he was appointed as governor of Virginia for three years. At this time he was also knighted by James I. Later he patented a plantation on Mulberry Island. The plantation was able to survive the attack by Powhatan Indians in 1622.

He was the first representative in the Virginia General assembly and the legislative house of Burgesses. He died on November 13, 1627 and his grave is at a church in Jamestown, Virginia.

What was the Virginia Company of London?

There was an attempt by Sir Walter Raleigh, back in the 1580s, to position an English colony in what is now North Carolina. This settlement, referred to historically as The Lost Colony, did not last very long and succeeded in making the English crown leery of trying to attempt this once more. By 1606, what was called the Virginia Company of London was granted a charter from King James I, something that would become a joint stock company. People could buy shares in this company, each of which was promised the possibility of profitability. As you will see, this did not work out well either, but it did lay the foundation for what would become the United States of America.

The Virginia Company’sĀ Initial Arrival In America

In 1606 in the month of December, three ships set sail with a total of 144 men and boys. These settlers arrived half a year later at Jamestown Island. It was here they built a fort in order to protect themselves, and they were also focused on making money for stockholders. They did not find gems or gold, but they realized that they could manufacture many things that could be profitable. This would include wine, beer, tar, pitch, and could even manufacture glass. However, despite these grandiose ideas, their main concern was surviving.

Subsequent Ships Arrive At The Colony

Additional ships began to arrive, and during this time, there was significant strife. The settlers realized they were not merely colonists but they were employees of the Virginia Company of London. They were required to perform tasks, all of which were designed to contribute to the profitability of this venture. Different ways of governing came and went, and problems began to get worse in the form of poor food and water supplies, sickness, and assaults by the Native Americans. Hundreds of additional colonists arrived, only to find themselves in the same exact situation. Debts began to amass, and this business venture in the New World, was continuing to fail.

Finally, amidst all of the infighting, and the inability to make a profit on anything except tobacco, made this business venture by the Virginia Company of London an absolute failure. A combination of mismanagement by the administration, and factionalism among the colonists, created a very unstable situation. However, this move to colonize America pave the way for what would become the United States of America 150 years later, thereby making this failed business venture very meaningful.