Somers, Sir George

Somers, Sir George,

1554–1610, English naval commander. The leader of several successful privateering ventures against the Spanish, he was knighted in 1603. He was a founder (1606) of the London CompanyLondon Company,
corporation composed of stockholders residing in and about London, which, together with the Plymouth Company (see Virginia Company), was granted (1606) a charter by King James I to found colonies in America.
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 and set out with settlers for Virginia in 1609. They were shipwrecked and landed in the Bermudas, which Somers claimed for Britain. He continued to Virginia but returned to Bermuda (1610), where he died. Several versions of his shipwreck were written at the time, one of which may have inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest.
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