|About the Book|
This book is a chronicle of Englands contrasting imperial civil and ecclesiastical policies for its first two colonies, Ireland and Virginia. The settlement of Virginia contrasted sharply with Englands experience in Ireland. It was not an undertaking of the state but a commercial enterprise delegated by James I to the merchant adventurers of the Virginia Company of London. The colony was launched without the familiar English civil, military, and ecclesiastical personnel and leadership applied in Ireland. It was the Companys obligation to recruit settlers for the colony, provide governance, administration, laws, and religious worship in accordance with the English Church. Ireland was not an imperial model for Virginia.The novelty of governing a sparsely settled colony thirty-seven-hundred miles distant from Whitehall in London proved financially difficult for the Virginia Company. After its charter was revoked in 1624 the province became a royal jurisdiction. Gradually over several decades the governor and legislature advocated and implemented statutes for the conduct of civil, ecclesiastical, trade, and commercial affairs. Between 1680 and 1713 London officials applied new imperial policies for the governance of overseas affairs that became the formula for the administration of the province until the Declaration of Independence.