A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke

A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0465024904

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In 1587, John White led 117 English men, women, and children to Roanoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina. They hoped to establish a British foothold in North America, but soon found themselves struggling to survive. White returned to England for help, but when he returned to Roanoke in 1590, the colonists were nowhere to be found: White never saw his friends or family again. But as James Horn reveals in A Kingdom Strange, some from the party survived; their descendants were discovered a century later, a living testament to America’s remarkable origins.

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Elizabeth, the court, and London’s mercantile community. Promotional pieces by Richard Hakluyt (the lawyer) and his younger cousin of the same name explained the many benefits of American colonies to the nation and individual investors. Ralegh’s emphasis on trade was not entirely mercenary. He, like John Dee and the two Richard Hakluyts, viewed commerce as indispensable to England’s ambition to rival Spain: “This was Themistocles’ opinion long since, and it is true,” Ralegh later wrote, “that he

of the heavily armed Lion, or possibly because they did not want to leave their families. Only Christopher Cooper, after much cajoling by White, showed any willingness, but he changed his mind after talking to friends. The next day the entire company went to White and “with one voice” implored him to go to England himself. They believed his close association with Ralegh made him by far the best qualified to obtain supplies and additional settlers for the colony. White was aghast and refused

plans. Sir Humphrey now had a powerful advocate close to the queen who could press the case for colonization with important ministers and investors. But Gilbert had to act quickly. If he failed to make a discovery and establish a settlement in America within the next two years, his 1578 grant would expire. Throughout the summer Gilbert set about raising money by offering vast landed estates and commercial privileges to individuals and mercantile corporations. He granted rights to millions of

shortly after the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572. 32 McGrath, French in Early Florida, 20-22, 25-26; Eugene Lyon, The Enterprise of Florida: Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and the Spanish Conquest of 1565- 1568 (Gainesville, FL, 1976), 10-18; and Paul E. Hoffman, A New Andulucia and a Way to the Orient: The American Southeast During the Sixteenth Century (Baton Rouge, 1990), 128-129. 33 Olivia A. Isil, “Simon Fernandez, Master Mariner and Roanoke Assistant: A New Look at an Old Villain,” in

century later, see David Cressy, Coming Over: Migration and Communication between England and New England in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, 1987), 148-149, 159-177. For meals, see Humber, Backgrounds and Preparations, 42. 20 Quinn, Roanoke Voyages, 2: 517-520. 21 Quinn, Roanoke Voyages, 2: 835-836. 22 Quinn, Roanoke Voyages, 2: 517-522, 813, 836-838. The armament of the Lion is an estimate derived from ordnance carried by the Tiger in 1585: six demi-culverin, ten sakers, two minions, two

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