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Friday, December 23, 2016


WILLIAM HANCOCK SR. OF JAMESTOWN was the immigrant ancestor of my Hancock line who came to Jamestown to establish a settlement and was killed by "savages" at Thorpe's House in Berkeley Hundred Plantation ... 

He was a member of The Virginia Company of London which was a group of businessmen who were granted a charter by King James I (June 1606) for the purpose of establishing a settlement in the Chesapeake area of Virginia. The first settlement was established at Jamestown in 1607. As an investor in the Virginia Company, William traveled to Jamestown in 1619. According to an old Hancock family Bible, William left England on the ship ?Margaret of Bristol? sailing through the Bristol Channel on Sept 16, 1619. Leaving his family behind in England, he was coming to search for lumber for his ship-building business. [I cannot find William Hancock listed on a record of this ship]

This group of 39 people set foot in Virginia on Dec. 4, 1619 and proclaimed it a day of Thanksgiving. That location became Berkeley Hundred Plantation, a small village. William Hancock lived at Capt. George Thorpe?s house, who wanted to help convert and civilize the Indians. (This was on the north bank of the James River in what is now Charles City County, Va) 

On Good Friday, 22 March 1622 the settlement was attacked by Indians and William was among the 347 who were massacred. Other settlements were attacked also, including Wolstenholme Towne, built in 1620 on the Martin?s Hundred land grant (now James City County). Those killed in this massacre are supposed to be buried at Carter Plantation.

In 1630, three of William's son Augustine came to Virginia to claim his father?s vast estate. Son Simon came in 1635, settling in Princess Anne County, and son William came in 1638. Augustine, Simon and William became wealthy, prominent planters in VA.

In "The Genesis of the United States", page 217, there is listed among the Corporators of the Second Charter of James-1, 1609, the name of WILLIAM HANDCOCK, and on page 909 is the entry:
"Handcock, Wm., Sub-Paid 62 pounds 10 shillings, 5 pence."
See - http://archive.org/stream/genesisofuniteds02brow#page/1100/mode/2up/search/William

In the old family Bible there is written: "in the year 1620. Wm. Handcock in search of forest for his building of ships embarked for ye plantation, being one of the company owners thereof, leaving his
family in England. On the 22nd of March 1622, he, with others, was massacred by the savages at Thorpe's House, Berkeley Hundred, fifty miles from Charles City."

VA Historical Collections, Vol 8, p. 278 - confirms the death of William Hancock at Berkeley Hundred Plantation.

Read an ancient account of the massacre at:

See also:



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