During the “Age of Discovery,” European countries like Portugal, Spain,
Netherlands, France and Britain begin to sail across the uncharted Atlantic Ocean in
search of new lands, precious metals and spices, and new routes.
Newly found lands
were commonly named after a king proclaiming the new lands were now rightfully theirs.
The quest to explore new lands and routes was greatly due to the downturn of the
During the 15
century, many European countries were
experiencing a shortage of bullion therefore the need to find additional gold or silver
reserves were necessary.
The quest to find new trade routes and trading partners were
the aims of the hopeful voyagers.
In order to justify these voyages, certain financial
obligations depended on a successful return of ships loaded with gold.
The Virginia Company of London was confident enough to allocate funds for an
exploration to find New World lands.
These explorations were commercial ventures,
licensed by the King.
There were high hopes in finding gold, a new route to the South
Seas, and to find the lost colony of Roanoke as ordered by King James I.
three ships embarked for this trip: the Susan Constant, Godspeed and the Discovery.
Captain Christopher Newport, who headed the exploration was on board the Susan
Constant, they sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from England.
It was on April 26, 1607,
that they made their first landing.
The land was then claimed and was named Cape
Henry, in honor Henry Frederick who was the eldest son of King James.
further explored the land in order to find a suitable site for their camp, which required a
defensive position against rival explorers who were also in the height of finding new
After agreeing on a site, they proclaimed the land after King James, which
is presently known as Jamestown, on May 14, 1607.
In June 1607, Christopher