America and West Indies: June 1610

Pages 9-10

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 1, 1574-1660. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1860.

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June 1610

June 15.
James Town Virginia.
21. Sir George Somers to Salisbury. On their voyage to Virginia, they were taken with a great storm, about 100 leagues from Bermuda, which sundered all the fleet. His ship sprung a leak, and from 23rd to 28th of July [1609], 100 men were kept working at two pumps night and day. On Friday, 28th July, the island of Bermuda was seen, where their ship layed upon a rock a quarter of a mile from the shore. All lives were saved, and much of their goods, but their bread was lost. From 28th July to 10th May, they built two small barks, and left Bermuda on 13th May with 140 men and women for Virginia, where they arrived on 23rd May. At Cape Henry they were told of the famine at James Town; they hastened there, and found it true. Every living thing had been eaten, and some had fed upon snakes or adders. Describes how, by the industry of the Governor, Sir Thomas Gates, the people gradually recovered, except three, who had died. They were going down the river in four pinnaces when they met Lord De la Warr, the Lord Governor, upon which they returned to James Town. They found no savages, for they had nothing to trade in but mulberries. They are now in good hope to plant and abide there, for greater care than ever is taken. Is going to Bermuda for fish and hogs; it is the most plentiful place he ever went to for such provisions, as well as fowls. Has sent a brief of the island of Bermuda. [Wanting. Sir Geo. Somers died, 9 Nov. 1611. See Book of Abstracts of Inquisitions, Post-mortem. DOMESTIC Corresp. Jac. I., Vol. LXXIX., Cal. p. 268.]