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1585 - Roanoak Colony

Roanoak colony establish in Virginia. This was the first English colony to be established in the new world and was commanded by Ralph Lane. After setting up the Colony he returned to Portsmouth for further supplies. The following year the supply ship found the settlement deserted and to this day no trace of the colonist have been found, it is known as the lost colony of Roanoak.

When Lang returned to Portsmouth his sailors brought back Tobacco and potatoes. They are said to have astonished the inhabitants by smoking pipes as they walked streets of Portsmouth. (A pipe from this period can be seen in the City Museum.) In 1588 Lane was knighted and appointed Captain of Southsea Castle.