Saturday, June 8, 2013

Poor Children to make linen

The Virginia Company planned a manufacture of linen in Jamestown, of any quality.  Between 1612 and 1646 they had attempted to promote the cultivation of flax to the Governors of Virginia. So in 1646 the General Assembly decided to erect two houses at Jamestown for this purpose. They were to be built of substantial timber and were to be forty feet in length, twenty feet width, and eight in pitch. The roofs were to be covered with boards properly sawed and in the centre of each house, brick chimneys were to be placed. Each house was to be divided into rooms by convenient partitions. The different counties were required to furnish two children, male or female, of the age of eight or seven years, whose parents were too poor to educate them, and to be instructed in the art of carding, knitting and spinning. It is unknown whether this law was observed. Source: Hening's Statutes, vol. I, p. 336.

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