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Hariot, Thomas (Harriot) -- 1585-86 Military Colonists


Raleigh's First Colony, 1585-86
Raleigh sent a colony of 108 persons to Roanoke Island. The expedition, 

commanded by Raleigh's cousin, Sir Richard Grenville, sailed from Plymouth, England, on April 9, 1585, in seven ships, the largest of which was of 140 tons' burthen.
Included in the group of ship captains and colonists were Philip Amadas and 

Simon Ferdinando of the expedition of the previous year; Thomas Cavendish, then on his first great voyage but destined to be the third circumnavigator of the globe; Grenville's half-brother, John 

Arundell, and brother-in-law, John Stukeley; and other Raleigh cousins and connections, among them Richard Gilbert, a Courtenay, a Prideaux, Ralph Lane, and Anthony Rowse, a friend of Drake's. There were an artist, or illustrator, John White; a scientist, named Thomas Hariot; and, among the humbler folk, an Irishman, Darby Glande or Glaven. The two Indians, Wanchese and Manteo, returned to America on this voyage.


Write up extracted from: 

Hariot - Harriott - Harryot  Research File 



From Roberta Estes:


After working with the names of these early colonists for several years I've begun to imagine what some of them looked like. There are portraits or engravings of Raleigh, Drake, Cavendish, Grenville, and perhaps a few of the others who are fairly well known. I also discovered that portraits of Edward Gorges and David Williams exist and that a portrait at Trinity College, Oxford, may be of Thomas Hariot.


Thomas Hariot, mathematician and astronomer, is too well known for his scientific report on the newfound land of Virginia to require further identification. It is worth noting, however, that a mathematical study of his embodies inventions which gave algebra its modern form and that he used telescopes simultaneously with Galileo. Dean John W. Shirley of State College ( see note below...nlp) is writing a biography of Hariot which undoubtedly will contain much to delight and surprise all who are interested in this period of history.



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John William Shirley (1908 - 1988) served as an English professor and dean of the Division of
Basic Studies at North Carolina State College (now North Carolina State University) from 1949
to 1955, and Dean of Faculty from 1955 to 1962. Shirley left N.C. State in 1962 to become Vice President 
and Provost of the University of Delaware. He received his A.B. degree from the State University of 
Iowa in 1932 and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1937. He also took graduate classes, 
1932-1933, at the University of Nebraska.

He was an internationally known authority on the Elizabethan scientist, Thomas Harriot. His Harriot
studies began when he was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He came to the University of Delaware in 1962 as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and served in that capacity until 1972, when he was named H. Fletcher Brown Professor. He also served as Acting President of the University during 1967-68. Dr. Shirley received his bachelor's degree in physics and literature and his doctorate in literature and philosophy, both with honors, from the University of Iowa. He also received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from St. Lawrence University and a doctor of letters degree from Durham University of England. In 1982, the University awarded him the Medal of Distinction, in recognition of his contributions. 

He published his paper in 1983: 
Paper on Thomas Hariot is located at: (I could not locate a copy)

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