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George Percy - of Jamestown, Virginia

George Percy is the younger brother of

Henry Percy, the Wizard earl, and friend of Christopher Marlowe.

George Percy

George Percy (September 4, 1580 - 1632) was an English explorer and author.

He was the youngest son of Henry Percy, 2nd/8th Earl of Northumberland and Lady Catherine Neville.

He sailed to the New World and became deputy governor in 1609 after John Smith sailed back to England.

In 1607 at Jamestown, Virginia, he married Anne Floyd (1593-1618). The couple had one child:

* Lady Anne Percy (b. 1608). She married John West, Governor of Virginia, the son of Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr and Lady Anne Knollys.

In 1612, he sailed back to England himself. He then wrote 2 books called "A True Virginian" and "Discourse of the Plantation of Virginia".


A portrait of George Percy

A portrait of George Percy

"Observations Gathered out of 'A Discourse of the Plantation of the Southern Colony in Virginia by the English',"
by George Percy, 1606.

George Percy's account describes the first voyage of exploration to Virginia sponsored by the Virginia Company.


Observations gathered out of a Discourse of the Plantation of the Southerne Colonie in Virginia by the English, 1606.

Written by that Honorable Gentleman, Master George Percy.

On Saturday the twentieth of December in the yeere 1606. the fleet fell from London, and the fift of January we anchored in the Downes; but the winds continued contrarie for so long, that we were forced to stay there some time, where wee suffered great stormes, but by the skilfulnesse of the Captaine wee suffered no great losse or danger.



The Honorable George Percy,
Premier Chronicler
of the First Virginia Voyage

Philip L. Barbour


His Life

George Percy was the eighth son and tenth child (of eleven) of Henry Percy ( 1532-85 ), eighth Earl of Northumberland.1

He was born on September 4, 1580,2 when his oldest brother, another Henry, was most likely in Paris.

Less than five years later the Earl died in the Tower of London, murdered or a suicide, and the younger Henry succeeded as ninth Earl.

But it was not until early in 1586 that the new Earl was settled in the family residence in London, opposite the church of St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, Blackfriars.

The whereabouts of George at the time are uncertain, but we know that he was admitted to Gloucester Hall, Oxford, on January 11, 1593/4, aged thirteen, as of Sussex (presumably Petworth Manor).3

On May 12, 1597, George was admitted to the Middle Temple,4 but his stay there seems to have been brief.

Though his career is obscure for nearly ten years, it has been surmised on rea- sonably solid grounds that he was in the Netherlands early in the 1600's, getting first-hand information on the art of war. Since his brother the Earl left for Ostend in July, 1600, accompanied by Roger Manners, Earl of Rutland, Sir Walter Ralegh, and others, George Percy may have gone with him. The Earl remained (except for a brief visit to England) at least until after the surrender of "Berck:" (Rhein- berg, Rheinland), the end of July, 1601.5

There is also evidence that George visited Ireland at some date between February 12, 1599/1600, and March 27, 1602, and again between March 27, 1603, and March 27, 16046--unless he remained there the whole time. A careful study of the manuscripts be- longing to the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick and Syon House would probably produce more details.

From immediately available information, however, we have a fairly clear picture of George's career up to the spring of 1604.

In addition, we know that the Earl was quick-tempered and impetuous after "the manner of his race," but we do not know to what extent

George Percy and William Strachey - is the "Strachey letter" a source for "The Tempest" by Shakespeare?

The Percy family

A list of the pages relating to the Percy family

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