England's explorers roam the globe in 1586, as we today continue marking
National Poetry Month.
Poet, historian, and colonizer Sir Walter Raleigh sends lawyer-turned-soldier
Richard Grenville to replenish the supplies of the colony of Roanoke in
North Carolina, then considered part of Virginia. His trip is wasted, as
the colony has vanished. Leaving an 18-man garrison on the spot, Grenville
sails off in search of plunder. None of those left behind will survive.
Drake dashes up the Atlantic coast of the New World, burning a Spanish fort
on the coast of Florida, then stopping off in Virginia (or is it North Carolina?)
to pick up a supply of a strange leaf the natives burn to make smoke, which
they suck into their mouths through tubes. His countrymen back home will
soon be lighting up.
Thomas Cavendish, duplicating Drake's exploit of six years earlier, becomes
the second Englishmen to circumnavigate the globe.
John Davis leaves England on a second voyage, dividing his fleet a month
later. While he heads for Greenland, the rest of the fleet, under Richard
Pope, set their sails for Iceland. Pope will attempt to rendezvous with
Davis in Greenland, miss him by several weeks and return to England. Davis
meanwhile will stop in Greenland to capture a few natives (they'll die before
he reaches England), stop again in Labrador, where natives kill two of his
crew, then return home. He'll write several histories and die at the hands
of Japanese pirates in 1605. Join the Navy and See the World.
On September 20th, the day Davis sails for England, Sir Antony Babington,
accused of a murder attempt on Elizabeth I, is executed at Tyburn along
with two others conspirators. The next month, at Fotheringay, Mary, Queen
of Scots will be found guilty of treason in the same plot. She'll place
her head on the chopping block the following February. Raleigh, by the way,
having a good head on his shoulders, will keep it there until 1618.
In the meantime, on September 22nd, two days after Babington's execution,
poet soldier Sir Philip Sydney, taking part in an English attempt to oust
Spain from Holland, is wounded by a bullet in the thigh, at Zutphen. Infection
sets in and nearly a month later, on October 17th, the author of Arcadia,
and of Astrophel and Stella, dies in the Netherlands.
For Classical ninety-one five, this is David Minor.
© 1997 David Minor / Eagles Byte
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