Alternate Spelling Occurrences: Philip Amadas Philip Amadas Philip Amadas
Amadas, Philip (ca. 1565-?): Philip Amadas, of Plymouth England, was a sailor, naval captain and explorer in Elizabethan England. Early in life he became a member of Sir Walter Raleigh’s household, and in this function was, at the age of nineteen, made captain of the flagship Bark Ralegh (though the Portuguese navigator Simon Fernandez was master and pilot) on Raleigh’s 1584 expedition of North American coastal exploration in search of possible sites for settlement and future colonization. The expedition landed on Roanoke Island, explored the surrounding area and traded with the local Algonquian Indians, notably chief Wingina and his brother Granganimeo, and finally returned to England, taking with them the Indians Manteo and Wanchese. Amadas returned to the New World the following year as “Admiral of Virginia” on the Tiger, acting as second in naval command to Sir Richard Grenville on the 1585 expedition to Roanoke Island. He stayed at the Roanoke settlement, commanded by Ralph Lane, until June of 1586 when he and the other colonists returned to England with Sir Francis Drake’s fleet. naval commander and explorer, was the son of John and Jane Amadas of Plymouth, England. In his youth he released his estate in the manors of Trethake, Penkelewe, to Sir Walter Raleigh and became a member of his household. It is from this association that he was sent in 1584, at age nineteen, to explore the coast of America for a suitable site for Raleigh’s proposed colony. Amadas, like Arthur Barlow, was captain of his own flagship, the Bark Ralegh, with Simon Fernandez as master and pilot. On 13 July 1584 they arrived at an inlet leading to an island named Roanoke by the natives. This inlet they named Port Ferdinando after the pilot, who was the first to discover it. For six weeks, Amadas and Barlowe explored and traded, visiting chief Wingina on Roanoke Island, before returning to England witht the Indians Manteo and Wanchese on board. The next year, 1585, Amadas, now given the title Admiral of Virginia and second in naval command to Sir Richard Grenville, sailed again for the New World on the Tiger. He remained on Roanoke Island under the governance of Sir Ralph Lane for a year and possibly served as both admiral and colonel. He may also have been leader of the Chesapeake Bay expedition and was perhaps instrumental in making entrenchments for the Roanoke Island fort. In June 1586, Amadas and his fellow colonists left for England in Sir Francis Drake’s ships. From that time on, nothing further is known of Philip Amadas.
Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, ed. William S. Powell. (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1979), s.v. “Amadas, Philip.”