16 Facts About William Strachey


William Strachey was an English writer whose works are among the primary sources for the early history of the English colonisation of North America.


William Strachey is best remembered today as the eye-witness reporter of the 1609 shipwreck on the uninhabited island of Bermuda of the colonial ship Sea Venture, which was caught in a hurricane while sailing to Virginia.


William Strachey was brought up on an estate purchased by his grandfather in the 1560s.


William Strachey wrote a sonnet, Upon Sejanus, which was published in the 1605 edition of the 1603 play Sejanus His Fall by Ben Jonson.


William Strachey kept a residence in London, where he regularly attended plays.


William Strachey, there is no manner of doubt on the evidence and from the signature of his deposition, was the well-known voyager and writer whose account of the Bermuda voyage left its marks on Shakespeare's Tempest.


William Strachey became friends with the city's poets and playwrights, including Thomas Campion, John Donne, Ben Jonson, Hugh Holland, John Marston, George Chapman, and Matthew Roydon, many of them members of the "Fraternity of Sireniacal Gentlemen" who met at the Mermaid Tavern.


William Strachey then decided to mend his fortunes in the New World, and in 1609 purchased two shares in the Virginia Company and sailed to Virginia on the Sea Venture with Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers in the summer of that year.


William Strachey was a passenger aboard the flagship Sea Venture with the leaders of the expedition when the ship was blown off course by a hurricane.


William Strachey's writings are among the few first-hand descriptions of Virginia in the period.


William Strachey remained at Jamestown for less than a year, but during that time he became the Secretary of the Colony after the drowning death of Matthew Scrivener in 1609.


William Strachey returned to England probably in late 1611 and published a compilation of the colonial laws put in place by the governors.


William Strachey then produced an extended manuscript about the Virginia colony, The Historie of Travaile Into Virginia Britannia, dedicating the first version to Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, in 1612.


William Strachey produced two more versions during the next six years, dedicating one to Francis Bacon and the other to Sir Allen Apsley.


William Strachey lived in London while Frances remained at her father's estate in Crowhurst, Surrey.


Frances died before 1615, and at some time before that date William Strachey married a widow whose first name was Dorothy, by whom he does not appear to have had any issue.