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What problems did the settlers face?

Montage of images showing an early map of Virginia, Amerindian men and Richard Grenville.

Montage of images showing an early map of Virginia, a depiction of Amerindian men and an engraving of Richard Grenville.



In August 1585 a party led by Sir Richard Grenville landed in Virginia and tried to establish a colony. But only ten months later the colony had failed and all the surviving settlers returned to England. Sir Walter Raleigh organised another expedition in 1587. This also failed. Nobody knows what happened to these settlers - when a British ship arrived to look for them in 1590 the sailors found no signs of them.

Setting up a new colony was never going to be easy. Although the first reports that were sent back home said that there was plenty of food, the settlers had to rely on Amerindian help. They also relied on getting more help and supplies from England - a journey that took ten weeks. Reports of food shortages were common. It is not surprising, therefore, that the first settlers decided to return to England when they had the chance.

You can find out more about the problems faced by the settlers by studying the following sources. Don't forget that you can record your answers and thoughts on a worksheet.

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