Why these Numbers of English at Wolstenholme Towne?

Archaeological work indicates that only about 30 to 40 colonists lived in the town itself, the rest scattered in isolated farmsteads over the surrounding 21,500 acres (Hume 256), one of which has been found. How many were men, and how many women or children is difficult to guess (the passenger lists do not say and the earliest census or "muster" is not until 1624/25), but judging by the list of those killed or captured by the Powhatan in the massacre and assuming (however dubiously) that the casualties were representative of the Martin's Hundred population, and that many of the ones far off would have been surprised and had no opportunity to reach anywhere near the fort before they were cut down, I have suggested the following starting totals.
 
Recorded casualties
(Proposed starting totals for this scenario)
In Town
Refugees
Men and boys 
53
24
41
Women and girls
16
8
12
Small children
9
4
7
Total persons
78
36
60
 
Arms:
The colony generally was caught woefully unprepared for war, and the "Sums totall" of arms for the various Virginia plantations in early March 1619/20 (Julian/Gregorian years) list 686 working "pieces Snaphances & Matchlockes besides pistols" in the entire colony, 30 of which were apparently at Henricus, and 516 swords. Later that year, the new plantation of Berkeley Hundred received another ten muskets, 6 calivers, and 15 swords (Tisdale 155-156), but no word of any more arms shipments to Martin's Hundred appear until after the massacre. There being 1240 persons resident in the colony in March 1622 (Tyler 362n), and 140 at Martin's Hundred (Hume 258) I perform the following (rather silly) proportions to guess what their "average" quota of arms might have been:

140 Martin's Hundred colonists                  --->                    (79.25) Martin's Hundred longarms
     1240 Total Colonists                             --->                              702 Total Longarms

140 Martin's Hundred colonists                  --->                         (60) Martin's Hundred swords
     1240 Total Colonists                             --->                                    531 Total swords

Of these say, 80 guns and 60 swords, we know assuming the same absurd distributional perfection used above, one could postulate 20 guns and 16 swords for the people in the town dispersed among the various dwellings (indeed, Hume's team unearthed barrels for three muskets apparently discarded just after the massacre, two at the Company plot and one at the fort [Hume 147, 200]) and the remaining 60 guns and 44 swords at the homesteads off-table, though these latter would as likely be in Indian hands as English.

(I should note also that the 1624/5 Muster lists for Martin's Hundred 20 men, 4 women and 3 small children, in posession of 26 muskets and 31 swords, i.e. more arms than men [Virtual Jamestown]. We should remember, however, that this was after nearly 3 years of war, in which time a very large arms shipment had come to the colony from the Royal Armories, and most of the population of Martin's Hundred had died by Indian blows, famine, or disease or had quit Virginia.)

For this game, however, all the English except for say, 6 guards at the fort, armed with muskets and swords, start with only improvised weapons - scythes, shovels, axes, brickbats, broomsticks and so on. The small children, are, of course unarmed and always stick close to their mothers. To pick up any weapons will take time and is done as an action during the game.

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Last updated 16 August, 2004.
 For Questions or comments, please email Web Page Author Trevor Brabyn