Humphrey Gilbert

Sir Humphrey Gilbert: “As near to heaven by sea as by land.”

He laid down some laws for his rag-tag citizenry, including one that forbade disrespecting the queen. On 5 August 1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert assembled the reluctant fishermen of St John’s harbour in front of his tent. In a brief ceremony he proclaimed that the land thereabouts now belonged to England, and that he would be its governor.