Jennifer Potter: The Jamestown Brides
Tuesday 10th September, 2019
Tuesday 10 September, 7pm
Traded for Tobacco: The Bartered Wives of the New World
Join us to welcome back Jennifer Potter to discuss her new book, The Jamestown Brides: The Untold Story of England’s Maids for Virginia.
In 1621, fifty-six English women from good families crossed the Atlantic in response to the Virginia Company of London's call for maids who were 'young, handsome and honestly educated' to make wives for the planters of its new colony in Virginia. Although promised a free choice of husband, the women were in effect being traded for tobacco to help restore company finances; each carried a bride price of 150lbs of best-leaf tobacco. Among the individual investors who hoped to benefit from this trade in human futures was Augustine Steward of Eastbury Manor, who also signed his name to one of the treasury bills 'for the setting forth of the maids'. Who were these brave young brides, and why did they agree to travel to a wild and dangerous land, where most European settlers died within their first few years? What happened to them in the end? Find out more from Jennifer Potter, acclaimed author of The Jamestown Brides.
The Jamestown Brides is Jennifer Potter's tenth book. Appointed as one of the original Royal Literary Fund Fellows at the British Library, she first visited Eastbury Manor House to talk about Strange Blooms, The Curious Lives and Adventures of the John Tradescants, her celebrated biography of the early seventeenth-century plantsmen, collectors of curiosities, and gardeners to King Charles I. Other books include novels, works about gardens and landscape, and two cultural histories of flowers. She is currently a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow and an Archaeology Ambassador for the Museum of London Archaeology.
Book tickets here
Ticket includes light refreshments. Refreshments from 6:15pm, and the talk will begin at 7pm.