Colonial governor: born in Northamptonshire, England
, about 1530; was son of Sir Ralph Lane
, and Maud, daughter of Lord Parr, uncle of Catharine Parr
, one of the queens of Henry VIII.
He was equerry in the Court of Queen Elizabeth; commanded troops in Ireland
, first in 1569, and again in 1583-84; and was sent from England
with Sir Richard Granville
, by Sir Walter Raleigh
, to be governor of Virginia
, in 1585.
After his return from Virginia
he was colonel in the expedition of Norris
in 1589, and in 1591 was mustermaster-general in Ireland
He was knighted by the lord-deputy in 1593.
's administration as governor of Virginia
was fruitless of any good.
By following the example of Grenville
he exasperated the Indians.
Had he been kind and wise the colony might have prospered; but he and his followers were greedy for gold, and only Harriott
, the historian, acted like a sensible Christian.
had the gold fever severely, and all trusted more to fire-arms than to friendship to secure the good — will of the Indians.
Sometimes the latter were treated with cruelty, and a flame of vengeance was kindled and kept alive.
deceived the English
with tales of gold-bearing regions near, and that the source of the Roanoke River
was among rocks near the Pacific Ocean
, where the houses were lined with pearls.
explored, found himself deceived, and returned.
, who wanted to have the English
dispersed in the forest, so as to exterminate them in detail, were discomfited.
They looked with awe upon the English
with fire-arms, and, believing more were coming to take their lands away from them, they determined to slay them.
, satisfied that there was a wide-spread conspiracy against the colony, struck the first blow.
He invited King Wingina and his principal chiefs to a friendly conference.
They came, confidingly, without weapons.
At a preconcerted signal Lane
and his followers fell upon and murdered the king and his companions.
Thenceforth both parties stood on the defensive.
The condition of the English
Their supplies became exhausted, and none could be got from the natives; only from the woods and waters could food be obtained.
The colony was on the verge of starvation and despair, when Sir Francis Drake
, returning from a raid upon Spanish towns, came to Roanoke Island
In his ship the colonists gladly embarked for England
Sir Ralph died in Ireland
, in 1604.