First Hand Accounts of Virginia, 1575-1705
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The third voyage made by a ship sent in the yeere 1586, to the reliefe of the Colony planted in Virginia, at the sole charges of Sir Walter Ralegh.

       In the yeere of our Lord 1586 Sir Walter Ralegh at his owne charge prepared a ship of an hundred tunne, fraighted with all maner of things in most plentifull maner, for the supply and reliefe of his Colony then remaining in Virginia: but before they set saile from England it was after Easter, so that our Colony halfe despaired of the comming of any supply: wherefore every man prepared for himselfe, determining resolutely to spend the residue of their life time in that countrey. And for the better performance of this their determination, they sowed, planted, and set such things as were necessary for their reliefe in so plentifull a maner as might have sufficed them two yeeres without any further labour. Thus trusting to their owne harvest, they passed the Summer till the tenth of June: at which time their corne which they had sowed was within one fortnight of reaping : but then it happened that Sir Francis Drake in his prosperous returne from the sacking of Sant Domingo, Cartagena, and Saint Augustine, determined in his way homeward to visit his countreymen the English Colony then remaining in Virginia. So passing along the coasts of Florida, he fell with the parts where our English Colony inhabited: and having espied some of that company, there he ankered and went aland, where hee conferred with them of their state and welfare, and how things had past with them. They answered him that they lived all; but hitherto in some scarsity: and as yet could heare of no supply out of England: therefore they requested him that hee would leave with them some two or three ships, that if in some reasonable time they heard not out of England, they might then returne themselves. Which hee agreed to. Whilest some were then writing their letters to send into England, and some others making reports of the accidents of their travels ech to other, some on land, some on boord, a great storme arose, and drove the most of their fleet from their ankers to Sea, in which ships at that instant were the chiefest of the English Colony: the rest on land perceiving this, hasted to those three sailes which were appointed to be left there; and for feare they should be left behinde they left all things confusedly, as if they had bene chased from thence by a mighty army: and no doubt so they were; for the hand of God came upon them for the cruelty and outrages committed by some of them against the native inhabitants of that countrey.

       Immediately after the departing of our English Colony out of this paradise of the world, the ship abovementioned sent and set forth at the charges of Sir Walter Ralegh and his direction, arrived at Hatorask; who after some time spent in seeking our Colony up in the countrey, and not finding them, returned with all the aforesayd provision into England.

       About foureteene or fifteene dayes after the departure of the aforesayd shippe, Sir Richard Grinvile Generall of Virginia, accompanied with three shippes well appointed for the same voyage, arrived there; who not finding the aforesayd shippe according to his expectation, nor hearing any newes of our English Colony there seated, and left by him anno 1585, himselfe travelling up into divers places of the countrey, aswell to see if he could heare any newes of the Colony left there by him the yeere before, under the charge of Master Lane his deputy, as also to discover some places of the countrey: but after some time spent therein, not hearing any newes of them, and finding the places which they inhabited desolate, yet unwilling to loose the possession of the countrey which Englishmen had so long held: after good deliberation, hee determined to leave some men behinde to reteine possession of the Countrey: whereupon he landed fifteene men in the Isle of Roanoak, furnished plentifully with all maner of provision for two yeeres, and so departed for England.

       Not long after he fell with the Isles of Aores, on some of which Islands he landed, and spoiled the townes of all such things as were woorth cariage, where also he tooke divers Spanyards. With these and many other exploits done by him in this voyage, aswell outward as homeward, he returned into England.


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