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Patent to settle the New World

1584 The patent to settle the New World

435 years ago, on 25th March 1584 Queen Elizabeth 1 presented Sir Walter Raleigh a royal patent to settle and colonise the new world at Westminster. That April the first expedition to the Americas set sail. The idea was that a defended colony could potentially provide both a very lucrative trade route and a base that English ships could sail from to raid the Spanish treasure fleets returning from South America briming with gold.

Map of World and Sir Walter Raleigh

July 1585 the boats made land fall on an island called Roanoke and as the colony was being founded Queen Elizabeth was asked to name this new exotic land. She decided to call it Virginia. Unfortunately, the Anglo Spanish wars between 1585 and 1588 prevented the resupply ships from sailing back to Roanoke, as the boats were used to fight against the Spanish Armada. When they finally returned three years later in 1588, they found the inhabitants of settlement to be missing. This is historically now known as the ‘Lost Colony of Roanoke Island.’


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