Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Captain Christopher Newport was an English sailor and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers in 1607 on the way to found the settlement at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, which became the first permanent English settlement in North America. He was born in 1561, and died in 1618. He made several voyages of supply between England and Jamestown. In 1609, he became Captain of the new supply ship Sea Venture, which met a hurricane and was shipwrecked in Bermuda. That event began Bermuda's permanent settlement by England.
In 1609, Temperance Flowerdew traveled to the New World aboard the Falcon in a convoy of ships destined for Jamestown. Nearly two months into the trip, the fleet encountered a hurricane. The flagship (Sea Venture) with new leaders for Jamestown was separated from the convoy. Months later, Temperance's ship limped into Jamestown. Temperance and other travelers ate rats to keep from starving. Once they got to Jamestown, they faced so much death from sickness, disease, hunger, and Indian attacks that over 80% didn't survive. Temperance Flowerdew survived this dreadful Starving Time. In 1610, she was there to welcome the hardy souls, feared lost at sea, when they finally arrived ten months later in two small ships made from the wreckage of the Sea Venture. George Yeardley was among them. Temperance married Sir George Yeardley in 1613 and over the course of the next few years had three children, a daughter Elizabeth (1614-15), and two sons, Argoll (1618) and Francis (1623). Yeardley was appointed Governor of Jamestown in 1616. George Yeardley built a plantation and named it for his wife, Flowerdew Hundred.

Governor Thomas West Baron de la Warr (1577-1618)
After the Powhattans attacked Jamestown and killed the colony's governor, Lord West, Baron de la Warr headed a contingency of 150 men who landed in Jamestown, June 10, 1610, just in time to persuade the original colonists not to give up and return to England. As a veteran of English campaigns against the Irish, de la Warr employed "Irish tactics" against the Indians. He was appointed governor-for-life and captain-general. He outfitted three ships, recruited and equipped men at his own expense. Leaving his deputy Sir Samuel Argall in charge, Lord de la Warr returned to England and published a book about Virginia (The Relation of the Right Honourable the Lord de-la-Warre, of the Colonie, Planted in Virginia, 1611). Remaining the governor, he received complaints from the Jamestown colonists of Argall's tyranny in governing them. Thus to investigate the charges, Lord de la Warr set sail for Virginia again in 1618. He died en route. It is thought he might have been poisoned and buried at sea. The state of Delaware is named for Thomas West de la Warr (de-la-ware). Sir Thomas West's descendants built West Point Plantation.