Gosnold historic seal is found

A HISTORIC document linking Suffolk with the first permanent English settlement in America has been uncovered, it emerged today.Until now the signature and seal of Bartholomew Gosnold, who was instrumental in the founding of the Jamestown colony nearly 400-years-ago, were believed to have been lost in history.

A HISTORIC document linking Suffolk with the first permanent English settlement in America has been uncovered, it emerged today.

Until now the signature and seal of Bartholomew Gosnold, who was instrumental in the founding of the Jamestown colony nearly 400-years-ago, were believed to have been lost in history.

But while researching Gosnold's links with Suffolk in the run-up to Jamestown's 400-year celebrations a hidden bundle of papers proved that theory wrong.

Suffolk Record Office staff at Bury St Edmunds discovered a sixteenth century deed written in Latin within Bunbury family papers, which contained the signatures and seals of six men - including Gosnold.


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And despite being written in 1597, just five years before Gosnold's first voyage to America, the document had remained well preserved.

Councillor Graham Newman, portfolio holder for adult and community services at Suffolk County Council, said: "This discovery is very exciting, and I congratulate the diligence of council staff in the record office.

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“Bartholomew Gosnold's signature and seal make very real Suffolk's intimate connection with the founding of colonies that developed into today's mighty United States of America.”

Next week celebrations start in America to mark the 400th anniversary of Gosnold's landing at Jamestown.

n A free exhibition called 'Gosnold and the World he left behind' opens in Bury St Edmund's Record Office on Sunday, May 6, at 10am.

Bartholomew Gosnold

n Bartholomew Gosnold was born in Grundisburgh in 1572 and moved to the Bury St Edmunds area in 1595.

n He was a lawyer, explorer and privateer.

n His second child, Martha, died in infancy.

n In 1602 he undertook his first voyage to the New World and discovered Cape Cod.

n During his voyage along America's coastline he discovered an island which he named Martha's Vineyard in memory of his daughter.

SOURCE: Suffolk County Council

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