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The 3rd Earl of Southampton


The 3rd Earl of Southampton

This is the 3rd Earl of Southampton who lived at Titchfield and was a great friend and sponsor of William Shakespeare. He was one of the main investors in the Virginia Company of London which nearly bankrupted him.


The Virginia Company was set up by James I to aid the colonisation of north America. One role it had was to issue Patents to settlers that gave them the entitlement to land. Robert Cushman represented the Leiden Separatists and obtained a patent for them but it was issued in the name of John Wincob who was a servant of the Earl of Lincoln. The Separatist beliefs getting in the way of them obtaining a grant directly.


Because of their poor navigational aids and the need to tack against the wind the Mayflower landed further north than planned which made their Patent worthless. It was a year later that Robert Cushman visited them on the Fortune and brought with him a new and valid Patent issued in the name of Pierce who was a Merchant Adventure the people who had backed the Mayflower passengers financially.

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