This text is one of the items included in Voyages and Travels:
Ancient and Modern and was prepared from a 1910 edition,
published by P F Collier & Son Company, New York.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert, the founder of the first English colony in North
America, was born about 1539, the son of a Devonshire gentleman, whose
widow afterward married the father of Sir Walter Raleigh. He was
educated at Eton and Oxford, served under Sir Philip Sidney's father
in Ireland, and fought for the Netherlands against Spain. After his
return he composed a pamphlet urging the search for a northwest
passage to Cathay, which led to Frobisher's license for his
explorations to that end.
In 1578 Gilbert obtained from Queen Elizabeth the charter he had long
sought, to plant a colony in North America. His first attempt failed,
and cost him his whole fortune; but, after further service in Ireland,
he sailed again in 1583 for Newfoundland. In the August of that year
he took possession of the harbor of St. John and founded his colony,
but on the return voyage he went down with his ship in a storm south
of the Azores.
The following narrative is an account of this last voyage of
Gilbert's, told by Edward Hayes, commander of "The Golden Hind," the
only one to reach England of the three ships which set out from
Newfoundland with Gilbert.
The settlement at St. John was viewed by its promoter as merely the
beginning of a scheme for ousting Spain from America in favor of