Bartholomew Gosnold - Encyclopedia




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BARTHOLOMEW GOSNOLD (d. 1607), English navigator. Nothing is known of his birth, parentage or early life. In 1602, in command of the "Concord," chartered by Sir Walter Raleigh and others, he crossed the Atlantic; coasted from what is now Maine to Martha's Vineyard, landing at and naming Cape Cod and Elizabeth Island (now Cuttyhunk) and giving the name Martha's Vineyard to the island now called No Man's Land; and returned to England with a cargo of furs, sassafras and other commodities obtained in trade with the Indians about Buzzard's Bay. In London he actively promoted the colonization of the regions he had visited and, by arousing the interest of Sir Ferdinando Gorges and other influential persons, contributed toward securing the grants of the charters to the London and Plymouth Companies in 1606. In 1606-1607 he was associated with Christopher Newport in command of the three vessels by which the first Jamestown colonists were carried to Virginia.

As a member of the council he took an active share in the affairs of the colony, ably seconding the efforts of John Smith to introduce order, industry and system among the motley array of adventurers and idle "gentlemen" of which the little band was composed. He died from swamp fever on the 22nd of August 1607.

See The Works of John Smith (Arber's Edition, London, 1884); and J. M. Brereton, Brief and True Relation of the North Part of Virginia (reprinted by B. F. Stevens, London, 1901), an account of Gosnold's voyage of 1602.

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