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Strachey, William

William Strachey, 1572–1621, English colonial historian; educated at Cambridge. In 1609 he sailed to Virginia with Sir Thomas Gates. A storm wrecked his ship in the Bermudas, and the party remained there for nearly a year. A letter written by Strachey describing this experience was one of several versions of the shipwreck, one of which may have inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest. When Strachey arrived (1610) at the colony he was made secretary and wrote, for the Virginia Company, a report of conditions under the title Historie of Travaile into Virginia Britannia (pub. by the Hakluyt Society, 1849 and 1951). His writings are prime sources for the early history of Virginia.

See biography by S. G. Culliford (1965).

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