The History of the Americans

The History of the Americans


Set Fair For Roanoke Part 2

October 02, 2021

Sir Walter Ralegh's first attempt to settle the Outer Banks of North Carolina -- the first Roanoke colony, under the command of Sir Richard Grenville -- got off to a rough start. A storm off Portugal had scattered the fleet, and only Grenville's Tiger and Thomas Cavendish's Elizabeth made it to the agreed interim rendezvous on the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico. Grenville and Cavendish replenished the fleet with Spanish prizes, and eventually got to Cape Hatteras only to lose most of the colony's supplies when the Tiger ran aground trying to enter Pamlico Sound. We also discuss the "Black Legend" debate, the revisionist view that anti-Spanish propaganda by English and Dutch Protestants unfairly influenced much of the image of the Spanish empire, and how two things can be true at once.

The featured image for this episode is Sir Richard Grenville at age 29.

Selected references for this episode

James Horn, A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke

David Beers Quinn, Set Fair for Roanoke: Voyages and Colonies, 1584-1606

Black Legend (Spain)

Alan Sherman, "Good Advice"