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Bartholomew Gosnold (1572 - August 22, 1607) was an English lawyer and explorer. He was the first non-indigenous person to visit Cape Cod on May 15, 1602. He was also instrumental in founding the Virginia Company and Jamestown, Virginia.
He pioneered a direct route due west from the Azores to New England arriving in May 1602 Cape Elizabeth in Maine (Lat 43 degrees). He skirted the coastline for several days before anchoring in York Harbor, Maine on May 14, 1602.
The next day, he sailed to Cape Cod. Following the coastline for several days, he discovered Martha's Vineyard and named it after his daughter. He established a small post on Elizabeth's Island, which is now called Cuttyhunk Island and is part of the town of Gosnold. The post was abandoned when the crew voted to return to England rather than attempt to winter over.
He spent several years after his return to England promoting a more ambitious attempt. He recruited his cousin-by-marriage Edward M. Wingfield as well as John Smith of Jamestown, his brother and a cousin, as well as members of his 1602 expedition to form the core of the Jamestown, Virginia colony.
He was popular among the colonists and opposed the location of the colony. He died 4 months after they landed of dysentery on August 22, 1607. By all accounts, he was greatly missed and his loss marked the beginnings of the discord which tore apart the colony its first couple years.