British Empire > Colony & Dominion of Virginia

Colony & Dominion of Virginia

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration


The Colony & Dominion of Virginia, also known as Virginia, Virginia Colony, the Province of Virginia, the Dominion of Virginia or the Dominion and Colony of Virginia, was the first British settlement in the territory that would become British North America. The territory was granted to the Virginia Company who was to establish settlements and trade colonies in the New World.

The first settlement to be built was Jamestown in 1607 and almost failed if not for more settlers joining them in 1610. The first colonists experienced disease, warfare with the Powhatan Confederacy and famine and almost ruined Jamestown. However, they managed to survive to become the first permanent British settlement in the New World. The colony began to be economically successful by producing the cash-crop tobacco which would come to define the development of the settlement and the colony as a whole. In 1624 the charter for the Virginia Company was revoked by king James I and the governance was transferred to the royal authority.

Between 1619 and 1776 the legislature of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia was known as the House of Burgesses which ruled through a colonial governor. The capital of Virginia would be Jamestown until 1699 when the capital was transferred to Williamsburg.


Virginia Company

Charter of 1609 Second Virginia Charter The 1609 charter for the Virginia colony "from sea to sea" In 1609, with the abandonment of the Plymouth Company settlement, the London Company's Virginia charter was adjusted to include the territory north of the 34th parallel and south of the 39th parallel, with its original coastal grant extended "from sea to sea". Thus, at least according to James I's writ, the Virginia Colony in its original sense extended to the coast of the Pacific Ocean, in what is now California, with all the states in between (Kentucky, Missouri, Colorado, Utah, etc.) belonging to Virginia. For practical purposes, though, the English had no presence at all in most of this region. The colonists rarely ventured far inland to what was then known as "The Virginia Wilderness", although the concept itself helped renew the interest of investors, and additional funds enabled an expanded effort, known as the Third Supply

Royal Governors

Edmund Andros

Alexander Spotswood

Bacon's Rebellion

American Revolution

When the colonies declared independence from Great Britain The Colony of Virginia (also known frequently as the Virginia Colony, the Province of Virginia, and occasionally as the Dominion and Colony of Virginia or Most Ancient Colloney and Dominion of Virginia) was the first English colony in the world. American archaeologist William Kelso says Virginia "is where the British Empire began,... this was the first colony in the British Empire."[2] The colony existed briefly during the 16th century, and then continuously from 1607 until the American Revolution (as a British colony after 1707[3]). The name Virginia was first applied by Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I in 1584. After the English Civil War in the mid 17th century, the Virginia Colony was nicknamed "The Old Dominion" by King Charles II for its perceived loyalty to the English monarchy during the era of the Commonwealth of England. After declaring independence from Great Britain in 1775 before the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted, the Virginia Colony became the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the original thirteen states of the United States, adopting as its official slogan "The Old Dominion". After the United States was formed, the entire states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, and portions of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania were all later created from the territory encompassed earlier by the Colony of Virginia.

British Empire


British Companies

British Canada

Thirteen Colonies

New England Colonies

Middle Colonies

Southern Colonies

British West Indies


British Leeward Islands

British Virgin Islands

Jamaica & Dependencies

Other Islands

British Forts


Primary Sources

Secondary Sources