Why British Colonization?
Read "The Arrival of the English" at the end of Chapter 1, and "The Early Chesapeake" at the beginning of Chapter 2.
1. Queen Elizabeth (1558-1602)
- imperial reasons
- Potosi silver, Atocha treasure 1622 (Mel Fisher)
- Francis Drake, John Hawkins - "sea dogs"
- Drake's ship"Golden Hinde" was the first British ship to circumnavigate the globe 1577-80
2. Humphrey Gilbert
- cultural reasons
- "make a planting" like Ireland
- "pale of settlement" separate from "savages"
- 1566 book - America was Atlantis
- 1578 patent "to inhabit & possess heathen lands"
- voyages of 1578 (7 ships with 400 men turned back by storms) and 1583 (5 ships with 250 men destroyed by storms, Gilbert killed)
- attracted by early maps of abundance and fertility and rebirth
- Portuguese Cantino map showed Cabral's 1500 claim of Brazil
- Portuguese Miller map showed "Terra Bimene"
- German Frend map showed imaginary pygmies attacking flamingos and a solitary unicorn looking at a village
- German porcelain with symbols of America
3. Walter Raleigh
- strategic reasons
- took over Gilbert's patent 1584, proposed to establish a military outpost financed by privateering - to stop expansion of Spanish La Florida
- 1st expedition 1584 of 2 ships under Amadas scouted location off North Carolina coast, returned with tobacco samples and the Indians Manteo and Wanchese
- 2nd expedition 1585 of 3 ships under Raleigh's cousin Richard Grenville landed at Roanoke and explored for gold, map made by John White, Ralph Lane remained with about 100 men while Grenville returned to England for supplies
- Francis Drake stopped at Roanoke in 1586 during his raid of the Florida coast, took colonists back to England due to Indian trouble and storms and lack of food
- 3rd expedition 1586 under Richard Grenville arrived at a deserted colony a few days after Drake departed, Grenville left 15 men
- 4th expedition 1587 of 3 ships under John White with 117 new colonists including 17 women and 9 boys and the two Indians Manteo and Wanchese, found no survivors from the 3rd expedition, began colonization with land grants of 500 acres, 2 children born in 1587, Virginia Dare Aug. 18 and Harvye; Grenville departed Aug. 27 to return to England for more colonists
- Armada battle 1588 caused Raleigh to give up on Roanoke, delated Grenville's return
- 5th expedition 1590 found colony burned and deserted, CRO writtten on tree, became the mystery of the "Lost Colony"
- John White drawings of tortoise, Indian canoe, Pic-tish woman, vilage of Secoton
- Thomas Harriot - Briefe and True Report 1590
4. Richard Hakluyt
- economic and social reasons
- "vexed and troubled Englishmen"
- Stuart kings followed Elizabeth after 1603
- corruption, romanism, military adventures
- enclosures due to rising demand for wool
- primogeniture created landless "adventurers"
- Discourses on Western Planting 1584
- mercantilism - new markets, products
5. Edwin Sandys
- East India Co. 1600 - new merchant class
- joint stock company - royal charter yet privately owned
- Virginia Co. 1606 of London "adventurers"
- took over Raleigh's patent
- Susan Constant, Godspeed, Discovery left England Dec. 20, 1606, with 100 men and 4 boys, under Capt. Christopher Newport
- landed at Cape Henry in late April 1607, then sailed 57 miles up the James River and built a fort by June 22
- Powhatan, weroance of Pamunkeys, growing empire
- wore mantle with 34 discs, of subject tribes
- collected yearly tribute in deerskin and perals
- large warehouse for royal family
- brother-in-law priest Uttamatomakkin advised peace with the English, to trade for metal and wapons, and as possible allies against Monacans to the west
- gave corn to help Jamestown survive first year, but only 38 alive in the spring
- 1608 John Smith took control of the colony
- took hostages to exchange for food, including Opechancanough brother of Powhatan
- required all men to work, explored the Chesapeake
- new colonists arrived from England and dispersed by Smith but this caused more conflict with Powhatan
- wrote True Relation in 1608, General Historie in 1624
- wrote story how he was saved by 11-year old Pocahontas in 1607
- baptized by Rev. Alex Whitaker 1614, married John Rolfe, trip to England 1616, but ill at start of return, buried March 21, 1617 at Gravesend
- 1609 charter revision by Sandys, John Smith recalled to England, new governor given broad powers, allowed annual election of a council by company stockholders, each settler given 1 share of stock
- 1609 starving time - only 60 of 480 survived.
- 1610 Lord De La Warr, 1611 Thomas Dale
- 1612 lottery to attract more settlers
- 1616 particular plantations and hundreds
- 1618 headright of 50 acres freehold tenure
- 1622 Great Massacre led by Opechancanough, killed 347 on March 22
- Wolstenholme Town on Martin's Hundred led by Wm Harwood
- "The particular plantation of Martin's Hundred was probably chartered in 1618 by the Virginia Company of London for a group of investors known as the Society for Martin's Hundred. Granted 20,000 acres, the Society could administer the plantation any way they pleased to attempt to make money on the initial investment. The next year, some 220 men and women presumably hoping to make money for themselves and the Society arrived at Martin's Hundred. Any optimism they may have had was dashed four years later, at the time of the Anglo-Native American War of 1622. Seventy-eight of the 140 inhabitants were killed by the Native Americans on March 22, 1622 and the remaining 62 were captured or fled the hundred, seeking safety in Jamestown. Martin's Hundred sustained a substantial 22% of the 347 fatalities recorded throughout the colony." (Noel Hume 1991)
- 1624 company dissolved, became royal colony
- Jamestown Rediscovery Archeological Project web page and the recent discovery of the fort.
- Virtual Jamestown from the Virginia Center for Digital History
- Wolstenholme Town from Jamestown 2000
- Tobacco BBS includes history
- A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia by Thomas Hariot, from 1588 edition
revised 8/15/05 | Significance of Columbus | Southern Regional Culture |Class