Monday, July 05, 2010

Pop History Moment: John Guy Sails For Newfoundland

On this day in 1610 John Guy sailed from Bristol* with 39 colonists, intent on creating the first permanent colony and plantation in Newfoundland on behalf of Britain's Society of Merchant Venturers. He'd already received his charter from James I in 1607, and explored the coastline of Conception Bay - scouting for a town site - in 1608.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe colonists arrived in August, too late in the year to do much but build their homes and ride out the winter, but survive it they did; in fact, Cuper's Cove was only the second New World colony (after the Jamestown Settlement) to survive for more than a year after its establishment. It was also there where, in March 1613, the first white baby in Newfoundland was born to the wife of Nicholas Guy.

Steadily occupied for the rest of the century, the site was abandoned early in the 18th Century; today a village known as Cupids - home to some 800 people - stands near where Guy's original colony stood.

*Where he'd once served on the Common Council and as sheriff before being named Governor of Newfoundland by the London and Bristol Company.

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