Episode 40 – The First Roanoke Colony

We’re back, after a month’s hiatus, and in this episode we discuss Sir Walter Raleigh’s first colony at Roanoke Island. Commanded by Governor Ralph Lane, the colonists soon managed to make enemies of the local Roanoc Indians. Warned of a planned Indian surprise attack by Manteo, Lane succeeded in killing Wingina in a surprise attack on the village of Dasemunkepeuc. However, the colonists were still beset by danger when Sir Francis Drake sailed up to Roanoke Island and offered to bring them back to England. Thus failed the first Roanoke Colony, but from its ashes a second, more tragic colony would emerge: the second Roanoke colony, The Lost Colony.

Episode 39 – A Tale of Two Drakes

In this episode we discuss the two pre-emptive expeditions which Elizabeth sent to the new world in 1585. The first is Bernard Drake’s destruction of the Spanish and Portuguese fishing fleets in Newfoundland, and the second is Sir Francis Drake’s sacking of Santiago, Santo Domingo, Cartagena, and St Augustine. On his return home, Drake visited Roanoke Island. Apparently, the settlement had not prospered…

Episode 38 – Richard Grenville and the Goblet of Fire

Following Amadas and Barlowe’s return from North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Raleigh sent over a fleet and about 100 colonists. The colony was to be governed by Ralph Lane, while the fleet which conveyed them was placed under the command of Richard Grenville, Raleigh’s cousin. As it turned out, Grenville had an unfortunate habit of setting things on fire when he felt slighted, as his burning of Aquascogoc demonstrates. We also talk about the open war which broke out between England and Spain and the effect that had on Bernard Drake’s planned relief expedition to Roanoke Island.

Episode 37 – Welcome to Windgancon

Following Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s death at sea in 1583, his half-brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, took up the mantle of American colonization. This episode discusses the reconnaissance voyage sent out by Raleigh in 1584, under the command of Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe. The Amadas-Barlowe expedition chose Roanoke Island as the best site for a future English colony, and initiated warm relations with the Roanoc Indians.

Episode 36 – As Near to Heaven by Sea as by Land!

In this episode, we discuss Sir Humphrey Gilbert, the pioneer of British America. We first talk about Gilbert’s family, connections, and activities in Ireland (spoiler alert: they aren’t pretty). Following Gilbert’s Irish stint, we take a look at his two attempts to colonize Newfoundland: his botched attempt in 1578 and his fatal attempt in 1583.

Episode 35 – The World Encompassed Pt. 2

In this episode, we conclude Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe. We discuss his plundering of the Spanish Pacific, the capture of the Cacafuego, the discovery of Nova Albion, trade with Ternate, and various other events which occurred during the voyage. After that, we discuss the rapturous welcome Sir Francis Drake (now knighted) received back home in England.

Episode 34 – The World Encompassed Pt. 1

In this episode, we cover the beginning of Drake’s great circumnavigation of the globe. This episode covers Drake’s Atlantic voyage (including his power struggle with Sir Thomas Doughty) and his entry into the Pacific. By now, Drake’s flagship is the only ship remaining. He is alone in the vast Spanish Pacific – and has no intention of turning around.

Episode 33 – The South Sea

In this episode, we discuss the backdrop of Drake’s curcumnavigation of 1577-1580. In short, we cover two distinct developments: John Oxenham’s failed attempt to break in (or more accurately, break out of) the Spanish Pacific, and Sir Richard Grenville’s plan to colonize and explore the South Pacific. But then Drake came along and stole Grenville’s proposal for himself, so yeah. Richard Grenville was not amused.

Episode 32 – Fools’ Gold

In this episode, we first discuss what Francis Drake was up to (basically the Rathlin Island Massacre of 1575), before moving along to Martin Frobisher. Frobisher was initially searching for a north-western passage to the Indies, but eventually he and the newly formed Cathay Company got distracted by the iron pyrites they found on Baffin Island (they thought the iron was gold). As you can imagine, these highly expensive expeditions ended up being a massive bust when they found out that the “gold” they had been collecting was nothing but iron pyrites.