Submitted by FHMaster on Sun, 12/18/2016 - 12:54

Martin's Hundred was an early 17th-century plantation located along about ten miles (16 km) of the north shore of the James River in the Virginia Colony east of Jamestown in the southeastern portion of present-day James City County, Virginia. The Martin's Hundred site is described in detail in the eponymous book of Ivor Noel Hume first published in 1979.

Martin's Hundred was one of the subsidiary "particular" plantations of the joint-stock Virginia Company of London. It was owned by a group of investors known as The Society of Martin's Hundred, named for Richard Martin, recorder of the City of London,[1] (not to be confused with his near-contemporary Richard Martin who was the father of Jamestown councilor John Martin).[2] Sir John Wolstenholme was among its investors. The administrative center of Martin's Hundred (hundred defined a subdivision of an English county) was Wolstenholme Towne, a fortified settlement of rough cabins.

The Society of Martin's Hundred obtained a grant for 80,000 acres from its parent company in 1618. In October of that year, about 250 settlers departed for the plantation, arriving in Virginia about January or March, 1619.[3]

Like all of the land the English claimed along the river, the plantation's 21,500 acres (87 km2) had been part of the domain of the Powhatans, an association of Native American Tidewater tribes formed at the end of the 16th century by the Indian Chief Powhatan. On March 22, 1622, the Powhatans rose to kill as many English as they could surprise in their homes and fields. From near modern Richmond to Newport News, the Powhatans burned and looted dwellings and desecrated corpses. Death counts vary, but about 400 English died. Martin's Hundred, the plantation hardest hit, lost more than 50, perhaps as many as 70. Wolstenholme Towne's death toll was not separated in the death rolls.

The Indian Massacre of 1622 nearly accomplished its purpose. The English withdrew from their scattered settlements to the safety of Jamestown. Wolstenholme Towne was resettled a year or more later but abandoned sometime after 1645.

Martin's Hundred was represented in the Virginia legislature from 1619 until 1634, when Virginia's counties were formed.[3]


No remains