ANNE BURRAS Biography - Pioneers, Explorers & inventors


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Anne Burras was the first unmarried English woman in the New World known to have           
survived. She was also the first English woman to marry in the New World and the           
first to give birth to a known surviving child in the New World. She arrived in             
Jamestown on September 30, 1608 on the Mary and Margaret, the ship bringing the             
Second Supply as a 14 year old maid to Mistress Forest, whose first name is lost           
to history. They were the first two English women in Jamestown. Mistress Forest             
was ill from the crossing and did not live long in Virginia. Reportedly she died           
within the month. Anne was married in November to John Leydon, a carpenter who             
came on the Susan Constant in May 1607. Their marriage was the occasion of much             
festivity in spite of the bleak conditions.                                                 
The following May, a large group including married women and children sent out             
by the Virginia Company added to the precarious position of the food supply at             
Jamestown as their large supply ship the Sea Venture which had been intended to             
furnish food for all the settlers had been destroyed in the hurricane that                 
struck the fleet near Bermuda. The rest of the ships limped into Jamestown with             
injured and demoralized passengers. Believing their officers, husbands and                 
friends on the Sea Venture dead only added to the colonists' sorrow and                     
Since by then all friendly contact with the Indians had ceased and Anne had been           
the only woman living in Jamestown, there would have been no one to help her               
when her baby was born. She must have been very glad to have these women nearby.           
Anne gave birth to a daughter, Virginia, in December 1609.