Capt. Christopher Newport, Admiral of Virginia

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Sea Capt. Christopher Newport

Birthplace: Harwich, Essex, England
Death: August 16, 1617 (55)
Bantam, Java (Died at sea)
Place of Burial: Buried at Sea
Immediate Family:

Son of Christopher Newport, Sr. and Dorothy "Jane" Hatton
Husband of Katherine Newport; Ellen Ade or Heath and Elizabeth Newport
Father of Mary ‘Molly’ Bragg; Christopher Newport, III; Elizabeth Newport; John (Joseph) Newport and Marian Hatcher
Brother of Sir William Newport, afterwards Hatton

Occupation: Sailor, privateer, ship owner and ship captain, explorer, SHIP CAPTAIN
Managed by: Debora Ann Baxter
Last Updated:

About Capt. Christopher Newport, Admiral of Virginia

Curator Note:

Capt. Christopher Newport was married three times, to Katherine Proctor, Ellen Ade and Elizabeth Glanfield. He had four children -- Christopher, Jane, John and Elizabeth. Two additional daughters are hotly disputed - Molly and Marian. See notes on their profiles. [Source for the four known children: Capt. Christopher Newport, Admiral of Virginia’” by A. Bryant Nichols Jr., Copyright 2007. ISBN: 9780615140018] -- Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Curator, 22 May 2011.


Christopher Newport (1561–after August 15, 1617)

Christopher Newport was an English privateer, ship captain, and adventurer who helped to establish the first permanent English colony in North America at Jamestown in 1607. Born the son of a shipmaster on the east coast of England, he worked in the commercial shipping trade and, beginning in 1585, as a privateer, or sanctioned pirate, in the war between England and Spain. His assistance in the capture of the Spanish ship Madre de Dios in 1592 won him such wealth and prestige that in 1606 the Virginia Company of London appointed him leader of the voyage to the newly chartered colony. In the first few months, he played a key role in negotiating between Virginia's often-fractious leaders. He also sailed between the colony and England, carrying news and delivering precious supplies. In 1608, he participated in an unsuccessful "coronation" of the Indian chief Powhatan, who refused to submit himself to the English. In 1609, as captain of the Sea Venture, Newport was shipwrecked off the islands of Bermuda, arriving in Virginia the next spring. Newport left the Virginia Company's employment in 1612 and entered the service of the East India Company. He died in Banten (Bantam), Java, sometime after August 15, 1617.

Time Line:

December 29, 1561 - Christopher Newport is christened at Harwich, England. He is the son of Christopher Newport, a shipmaster.

1580 - Christopher Newport jumps ship at Bahia, Brazil, while serving on the Minion of London.

October 19, 1584 - Christopher Newport marries Katherine Proctor.

1587 - Christopher Newport serves as a privateer against the Spanish for English merchants. He is a master's mate on John Watts's ship the Drake during an attack on the Spanish port city of Cádiz.

1589 - Christopher Newport is the master of the ship the Margaret, of London, the property of merchant Robert Cobb and others.

1590 - Christopher Newport marries Ellen Ade after his first wife, Katherine Proctor Newport, dies.

1591 - Christopher Newport, again sailing for John Watts, is promoted to captain of the Little John. He makes his first privateering trip to the Caribbean and loses his right arm while engaging two Spanish treasure ships off Cuba. He also takes part in the Barbary Coast trade.

1592–1595 - Christopher Newport is made captain of the Golden Dragon, owned by John Moore, and sails in the West Indies.

1592 - Christopher Newport commands a flotilla of privateers and attacks Spanish towns in the Caribbean. Near the Azores, he helps to capture the very rich Spanish ship Madre de Dios and sails it back to England.

1595 - Christopher Newport marries Elizabeth Glanville, a London goldsmith's daughter. Soon after, he partners with her brothers and others as one-sixth owner of the heavily armed ship the Neptune.

1595–1603 - As captain of the ship the Neptune, Christopher Newport raids Spanish towns in the Caribbean.

1604 - Christopher Newport's privateering career ends when a peace agreement is signed between England and Spain.

1604–1605 - Christopher Newport leads trading voyages in the Caribbean.

1606 - Christopher Newport receives a post as a master of the Royal Navy. The Virginia Company of London gives him command of its first fleet to sail to Virginia.

December 20, 1606 - Three ships carrying 104 settlers sail from London bound for Virginia. Christopher Newport captains the Susan Constant, Bartholomew Gosnold the Godspeed, and John Ratcliffe the Discovery.

April 26, 1607 - Jamestown colonists first drop anchor in the Chesapeake Bay, and after a brief skirmish with local Indians, begin to explore the James River.

May 21–27, 1607 - Captain Christopher Newport, Captain John Smith, George Percy, and others explore the James River, making mostly friendly contact with the Kecoughtans, the Paspaheghs, the Quiyoughcohannocks, and the Appamattucks.

May 26, 1607 - While Christopher Newport and a party of colonists explore the James River, an alliance of five Algonquian-speaking Indian groups—the Quiyoughcohannocks, the Weyanocks, the Appamattucks, the Paspaheghs, and the Chiskiacks—attacks Jamestown, wounding ten and killing two.

June 22, 1607 - Christopher Newport departs from Jamestown for England, carrying a letter to the Virginia Company of London that exaggerates the Virginia colony's commercial possibilities.

August 12, 1607 - Christopher Newport arrives in London.

January 2, 1608 - John Smith returns to Jamestown after being held captive by Powhatan. Only thirty-eight colonists survive, Smith's seat on the Council is occupied by Gabriel Archer, and the Council accuses Smith of killing his companions. Smith is sentenced to hang, but the charge is dropped when Christopher Newport arrives with the first supplies from England.

February 1608 - Christopher Newport and John Smith visit Powhatan, the paramount chief of Tsenacomoco, at his capital, Werowocomoco. Powhatan feeds them and their party lavishly, and Newport presents the chief with a suit of clothing, a hat, and a greyhound. The English continue upriver to visit Opechancanough at the latter's request.

April 10, 1608 - Aboard the John and Francis, Christopher Newport leaves Jamestown for England. Among those with him are Gabriel Archer, Edward Maria Wingfield, and the Indian Namontack.

May 21, 1608 - Christopher Newport arrives at Blackwell, England, having sailed from Virginia.

September 1608 - Christopher Newport returns from England with a plan to improve relations with Virginia Indians by bestowing on Powhatan various gifts and formally presenting him with a decorated crown. The subsequent crowning is made awkward by Powhatan's refusal to kneel, and relations sour.

December 1608 - Christopher Newport returns to England from Jamestown accompanied by the Indian Machumps. John Smith, meanwhile, attempts to trade for food with Indians from the Nansemonds to the Appamattucks, but on Powhatan's orders they refuse.

Mid-January 1609 - Christopher Newport arrives in London.

May 23, 1609 - The Crown approves a second royal charter for the Virginia Company of London. It replaces the royal council with private corporate control, extends the colony's boundaries to the Pacific Ocean, and installs a governor, Sir Thomas West, twelfth baron De La Warr, to run operations in Virginia.

June 2, 1609 - The largest fleet England has ever amassed in the West—nine ships, 600 passengers, and livestock and provisions to last a year—leaves England for Virginia. Led by the flagship Sea Venture, the fleet's mission is to save the failing colony. Sir Thomas Gates heads the expedition.

July 24, 1609 - A hurricane strikes the nine-ship English fleet bound for Virginia on a rescue mission. The flagship Sea Venture is separated from the other vessels and irreparably damaged by the storm.

Winter 1609–1610 - While the English colonists starve in Virginia, the shipwrecked crew and passengers of the Sea Venture make camp in Bermuda. They build two new boats, the Patience and Deliverance, from Bermuda cedar and the scavenged remains of the Sea Venture.

February 11, 1610 - Captain Christopher Newport and William Strachey serve as witnesses to the christening of John Rolfe's daughter, named Bermuda after the group of islands on which they are stranded. The girl and her mother both die.

March 25, 1610 - Captain Christopher Newport, William Strachey, and James Swift become godfathers to a baby boy called Bermudas after the group of islands on which they are stranded.

May 24, 1610 - The party of Virginia colonists headed by Sir Thomas Gates, , now aboard the Patience and Deliverance, arrives at Jamestown. They find only sixty survivors of a winter famine. Gates decides to abandon the colony for Newfoundland.

September 1610 - Christopher Newport returns to England.

May 12, 1611 - Christopher Newport arrives at Jamestown for the last time, bringing Sir Thomas Dale with him.

August 20, 1611 - Christopher Newport sails from Virginia.

October 1611 - Christopher Newport arrives in England.

1612 - Christopher Newport assumes his Royal Navy post of 1606 and enters the service of the East India Company.

1613 - Christopher Newport sails to Banten (Bantam), Java.

1615 - Christopher Newport sails to India.

November 16, 1616 - Christopher Newport writes his will. About to sail for the third time to the East Indies, he takes his son Christopher Newport with him as master's mate.

May 1617 - Christopher Newport arrives at Saldanha Bay north of Cape Town, South Africa.

August 15, 1617 - Christopher Newport arrives in Banten (Bantam), Java, and dies soon afterward.

1961 - Christopher Newport College is established in Newport News, taking its name from the early Virginia explorer.


Salmon, J. Christopher Newport (1561–after August 15, 1617). (2013, August 7). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from


Salmon, John. "Christopher Newport (1561–after August 15, 1617)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 7 Aug. 2013. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.


Further reading

   * A. Bryant Nichols Jr., Captain Christopher Newport: Admiral of Virginia, Sea Venture, 2007
   * David A. Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of A New Nation, Alfred A. Knopf, 2003
   * Breese, Steven, Actus Fidei, Steven Breese and Associates, 2007
   * Smith, John, The Generall Historie of Virginia [%E2%80%9CG.H.%E2%80%9D London, 1623].
   * Wingfield, Jocelyn R., Virginia’s True Founder: Edward Maria Wingfield, etc, [Charleston, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4196-6032-0].

Christopher Newport (1561–1617) was an English seaman and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607 on the way to found the settlement at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, which became the first permanent English settlement in North America. He was also in overall command of the other two ships on that initial voyage, in order of their size, the Godspeed and the Discovery.

He made several voyages of supply between England and Jamestown; in 1609, he became Captain of the Virginia Company's new supply ship, Sea Venture, which met a hurricane during the Third Supply mission, and was shipwrecked on the archipelago of Bermuda. Newport, Kentucky, a suburb of Cincinnati,[1] and Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, were named in his honour.

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Capt. Christopher Newport, Admiral of Virginia's Timeline

December 29, 1561
Harwich, Essex, England
December 1561
Harwich, Essex, England
March 25, 1585
London, Middlesex, England
May 1595
Welton, Northamptonshire, England
Tower Hill, London, Middlesex, England