John White

Led First Attempt To Establish English Colony In America
Born 1540

John White was an English artist, and an early pioneer of English efforts to settle the New World. He was among those who sailed with Richard Grenville to North Carolina in 1585, acting as artist and mapmaker to the expedition. During his time at Roanoke Island he made a number of watercolor sketches of the surrounding landscape and the native Algonkin peoples.… Read More

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1540 Birth John White's exact date of birth is unknown but it seems likely he was born some time between 1540 and 1550. … Read More


1585 45 Years Old 1 More Event
In the late sixteenth century efforts to establish an English colony in the New World began to gain momentum, and White soon became an enthusiastic supporter. In 1585 White accompanied the expedition led by Sir Ralph Lane to attempt to found the first English colony in North America. … Read More
1586 46 Years Old During 1586 White was able to persuade 113 prospective colonists to join Raleigh's expedition, including his daughter Eleanor and his son-in-law Ananias Dare, recently married at St Bride's Church in Fleet Street.
His efforts did not go unrewarded; on January 7, 1587, Raleigh named “John White of London Gentleman, to be the chief Governor” of the new colony. … Read More
1588 48 Years Old In early 1588 White was able to scrape together a pair of small pinnaces, the Brave and the Roe, which were unsuitable for military service and could be spared for the expedition to Roanoke. … Read More


Finally, in March 1590, with the immediate threat of a Spanish invasion by now abated, Raleigh was able to equip White's rescue expedition. … Read More
1593 53 Years Old 1 More Event
The last surviving document related to White is a letter he wrote from Ireland in 1593 to the publisher of the prints of his Roanoke drawings. … Read More
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