Virginia Company Archives

An essential source for the study of the Atlantic World and Early Colonial Period.

This resource documents the founding and economic development of Virginia as seen through the papers of the Virginia Company of London, 1606-1624. It shows the continuing interest of the Ferrar family in the settlement of North America from Jamestown to the Bermudas and provides a rich source for the study of trade between Britain and America.

There is valuable evidence on the ethnic and gender composition of Virginia and new evidence of tensions among the colonists and of early relations with Native Americans. This is also a crucial source for London’s economic history and will be welcomed by religious and social historians of Early Modern England.

Key Data

Period Covered

  • 1590 - 1790


  • Previously unpublished transcripts by Dr David Ransome of around 500 documents from the Virginia Company Archives
  • A searchable text of The Records of the Virginia Company of London (4 vols, Washington DC, Government Printing Office, 1906-1933).
  • The complete Ferrar Papers from Magdalene College, Cambridge
  • An extensive contextual introduction to the Ferrar papers, family trees, and items on the life of Nicholas Ferrar

Source Archive

  • Magdelene College, Cambridge

Material Types

  • Manuscripts
  • Transcripts
  • Maps
  • Illustrations

Editorial Board

  • David Ransome, Author of The Ferrar Papers, 1590-1790, Magdalene College, Cambridge


  • Economic development
  • Trade between Britain and America.
  • Ethnic and gender composition of Virginia
  • Tensions amongst the colonists and of early relations with Native Americans
  • London's economic history
  • Religious history
  • Social history of Early Modern England

Key Features

  • Contextual introduction by David Ransome, describing the papers
  • Settlement maps
  • Gallery of illustrations
  • Slideshow viewer
  • Bibliography
  • Chronology


Highly recommended. Graduate students and above; interested upper-level undergraduates

Spanning 200 years of English colonial history, the Virginia Company Archives documents the Ferrar family's interest in the settling of North America (1590-1790) and the Virginia colony's ......