Francis Willoughby

Francis Willoughby, 5th Baron Willoughby of Parham, was caught between believing the fables and writings of Sir Walter Raleigh and the realities of the English Civil War. His plan to establish a new colony in Surinam was a way for him to avoid Parliamentarian retribution in Barbados after he had defected to the cause of the King. This is despite the fact that he fought for Parliament in England. However he was becoming alarmed at the increasing radicalisation of the Parliamentary movement and openly joined with the Royalists in 1647. Taking a few hundred fellow Royalist diehards he set off to found Willoughbyland in 1651. The colony was quite successful for a while but it got caught up in the Anglo-Dutch wars and was ultimately traded by the English for the obscure Dutch colony known as New Amersterdam - soon to be renamed New York. Image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery.

South America | Surinam | Barbados

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by Stephen Luscombe