America and West Indies
August 1585


Institute of Historical Research



W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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'America and West Indies: August 1585', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 1: 1574-1660 (1860), pp. 2-3. URL: Date accessed: 24 November 2014.


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August 1585

Aug. 12.
Port Ferdinando Virginia.
3. Ralph Lane to Sec. Walsingham. The General [Sir Ric. Grenville's] return to England cuts him off from reporting upon the peculiarities of the country. Although they arrived there late in the year, wholly through the fault of him who intends to accuse others, they have nevertheless discovered so many rare and singular commodities in the Queen's new kingdom of Virginia, as by the universal opinion of all the apothecaries and merchants there, no state in Christendom doth yield better or more plentiful. Leaves the particulars to the General's report; the ship's freight will prevent all suspicion of fraud. They have not yet found one stinking weed growing in the land. Describes the vast and huge territory, its natural fortifications, and the climate very healthy. There are only three entries and ports; these they have named, Trinity, Scarborough, and Ococan, where their fleet struck aground, and the Tiger was nearly lost. The best port discovered by Simon Ferdinando, the master and pilot major of the fleet, after whom it is named, and which, if fortified by a sconce, could not be entered by the whole force of Spain. Account of their soundings. Has undertaken with a good company to remain there, resolute rather to lose their lives "than to defer possession" of so noble a kingdom to the Queen, their country, and their noble patron Sir Walter Raleigh, through whose and his Honour's most worthy endeavour and infinite charge an honourable entry is made to the conquest of. Is assured they will, by this means, be relieved from the tyranny of Spain, and their enemies, the Papists, will not be suffered by God to triumph at the overthrow either of this most Christian action, or of His poor servants, in their thorough famine or other wants. God will command even the ravens to feed them.
Aug. 12.
Port Ferdinando Virginia.
4. Ralph Lane to Walsingham. Commends to his favour the bearer, Mr. Atkinson, who carried himself so honestly and industriously throughout the voyage. Has also written by Mr. Russell to the like effect, and is persuaded, notwithstanding the general displeasure towards Atkinson that he will clear himself of every charge or imputation.
Aug. 12.
Port Ferdinando Virginia.
5. Lane to Sir Philip Sydney. Will not omit writing to him, although in the midst of infinite business, having the charge of savages as well as wild men of his own nation, whose unruliness prevents his leaving them. Refers him to his letter to Mr. Secretary for an account of the singularities of Virginia. Has discovered the infinite riches of St. John and Hispaniola by dwelling upon the islands five weeks. Thinks if the Queen should find herself burdened with the King of Spain, that to attempt them would be most honourable, feasible, and profitable. Exhorts him not to refuse the good opportunity of rendering so great a service to the Church of Christ, he only being fit for the chief command of such an expedition. The strength of Spain doth altogether grow from the mines of her treasure.