The 1603 Speedwell was commissioned and/or licenced by Sir Walter Raleigh to sail to the territory known as Virginia to evaluate it's commercial potential. The 60 ton Speedwell was the flag ship, the 26 ton barque the Explorer, also known as the Discoverer, was it's escort. Martin Pring, a 23 year old explorer was the captain, the first known Englishman to find and explore the Piscataqua River. The ship left England on 10 April 1603 and landed at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, Maine in June, explored nearby rivers including the Piscataqua, encountered the Abenaki Indians, spent two months ashore at Truro Massachusetts, built a stockade, they were attacked by the Wampanoag Indians and left in August, returning to England on the 2nd of October with one of the Indian's birch canoes.

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