December 19 – I saw three ships go sailing away

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for December 19.

Today in 1606, just three years after Elizabeth’s death, three ships left England.They were called the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery, and they were carrying the settlers who would found Jamestown, the first English colony in America. This was a risky adventure. Just a few years earlier Walter Raleigh’s colony Roanoke, off the coast of Virginia had failed as all traces of the colonists had just disappeared, and no one knows what happened to them.

England had been playing catch up in the exploration game, and the later Elizabethan period saw huge advances with explorers like Raleigh and Drake mapping out routes, and staking their claims. Jamestown was the first successful colony for the English, and within jus a few generations the American colonies would be bustling and successful.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com where there are episodes on trade and exploration in the Elizabethan era.

Links:
Throwback Episode 31: Trade and Exploration in the 16th century

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