Skip to main content

bideford logo

1585-86 - The Second Voyage and Raleigh's First Colony

The next spring, Raleigh sent another colony to Roanoke Island. The expedition, commanded by Raleigh's cousin, Sir Richard Grenville from Bideford, sailed on April 9, 1585. Included in the group of ship captains and colonists were Philip Amadas and Simon Ferdinando of the expedition of the previous year; Thomas Cavendish, destined to be the third circumnavigator of the globe; a scientist named Thomas Hariot; Grenville's half-brother, John Arundell, brother-in-law, John Stukeley; Commander Ralph Lane (who later declared Grenville as being “insufferable”), and an artist, John White who was set to become a pivotal player in the Roanoke Sagas. The two Native Americans, Wanchese and Manteo, who had travelled to England the previous year also returned to America on this voyage.

They landed on an island south of Cape Hatteras, now known as Ocracoke, and spent some time exploring it and the other coastal islands and adjacent mainland. It was not until sometime later that Grenville moved to establish the colony on the North end of Roanoke Island. Ralph Lane was made Governor and quickly built a fort whose present day location is now believed to be submerged a few yards off-shore.

Drakes Relief

For the colonists, relations with the Indians continued friendly enough for a while but eventually deteriorated to the point where the Colonist’s lack of adaptation to the environment left them in a perilous state. By May 1586, the colonists having outworn their welcome with the Native Americans, were at open war with them.

The Colonists planned relief from Grenville was delayed in Bideford and had it not been for the timely arrival of Sir Francis Drake passing by with a fleet of 23 ships, mostly ‘borrowed’ from the Spanish and richly laden with booty, the Colonists might have perished. As it was Drake gave them all immediate return passage to England with his fleet. When Drake sailed, on June 18 1586 he carried the remnants of the first colony home with him.

♦Delivering the information you need about our decision making processes and supporting community participation in local democracy♦

♦ Helping to make the beautiful Town of Bideford a better place to live and work in! ♦

Bideford - A Fairtrade Town

fairtrade & Living Wage employers

Fairtrade is about equitable pricing, good work conditions, sustainability and fair trading for farmers and workers in the developing world. Bideford is a registered Fairtrade Town - Support local and world farmers - look for the fairtrade logo on your shopping items.

Visit the site...

facebook twitter instagram

Coach friendly


© Bideford Town Council 2015 Gingerweb Ltd site design and SEO In North Devon