Saturday, December 6, 2014

Was Admiral Somers up to something?

       On June 10, just five days after De La Warr had taken command at Jamestown, the indomitable Admiral Sir George Somers had a plan to feed the colony: he would sail back to Bermuda and bring back six months’ worth of pork and fish and turtle meat. He wrote of this scheme in a letter to Robert Cecil, the Earl of Salisbury, saying “I am in a good opinion to be back again before the Indians do gather their harvest. Bermuda is the most plentiful place that ever I came to for fish, hogs, and fowl.” Somers was also remembering the castaways who were left there: Christopher Carter and Robert Waters were waiting to see him again. He was eager to return “by reason of his promise to those two left behind, as [well as] upon an affection he carried to the place it selfe. . . .”
         Here is another Jamestown mystery--or rather, a Bermuda one: Some say that Admiral Somers had a secret agreement with the two men he left behind in Bermuda, and that he planned to set up his own colony there. In that case, no wonder he was eager to get back to Bermuda.
         Somers sailed for Bermuda on June 19, 1610. He went in his own pinnace, the Patience, and with him went Samuel Argall in the Discovery. The residents of Jamestown watched hopefully and By June 22 (as always, obliged to sail with the outgoing tides) they reached Chesapeake Bay and, as Strachey put it, “left the Bay, or Cape Henry, a sterne.”
         Argall they would see again; Somers, never.

No comments:

Post a Comment