Open main menu

DALE, Sir THOMAS (d. 1619), naval commander, was already well known as a soldier in the Low Countries, when, in 1609, he was sent out to Virginia as marshal of the colony, the government of which was then reorganised on a military footing under Lord De la Warr. In 1611 De la Warr's health broke down, and he was compelled to return to England. Dale was, at the time, absent, having been sent home for provisions and reinforcements. He soon, however, returned, and, finding the old anarchy threatening to break out again, assumed the post of governor. With a severity that was considered excessive, but appears to have been necessary, Dale speedily restored order, and under his rule the colony began to prosper. In August 1611 he was relieved by Sir Thomas Gates, whom he again succeeded in 1614, and for two years ruled the colony ‘with firmness and ability.’ In 1616, being ‘well satisfied with the results of his administration,’ he was able to return to England, taking with him Thomas Rolfe and his more celebrated wife, the ‘Princess’ Pocahontas. In 1618 Dale was appointed commander of a squadron of six ships, which the East India Company sent out in April, to maintain their interests against the aggressive policy of the Dutch and for the relief of Courthope [see Courthope, Nathaniel], reported to be beleaguered in Pularoon. Dale arrived at Bantam in November 1618, and on 23 Dec. engaged the Dutch fleet off Jacatra, the site of the modern Batavia. After a sharp action he put it to flight, and laid siege to the Dutch fort at Jacatra, in the swamps around which he seems to have contracted the sickness of which, in the course of the following summer, he died at Masulipatam.

[Gardiner's Hist. of England, ii. 60–2, iii. 156–80; Calendars of State Papers (East Indies).]

J. K. L.