Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Weymouth, George

Weymouth Cross on Allen Island in the Georges Islands group in St. George (2006)

Weymouth Cross on Allen Island in the Georges Islands group in St. George (2006)

Weymouth, sometimes spelled “Waymouth,” was an early English explorer of the Maine coast. In 1602 he led an expedition of two vessels for the newly formed East India Company, to find a northwest passage to India.  He did enter the Hudson Strait, between northern Quebec Province and Baffin Island, but had to turn back in the face of dangerous ice floes and mutinous crew members.

In 1605 he, and partner James Rosier, arrived at Monhegan Island.  With Rosier’s report back to their sponsors, they were the first Europeans to document a visit to that island. He named it St. George’s.

Weymouth, in his ship the Archangel, then explored the Kennebec River finding it rich in timber and fisheries.  According to R.P.T. Coffin, Rosier noted it had “Plenty of salmon and other fishes of great bigness, good lobsters, rock-fish, plaice, and lumps, and, with two or three hooks, enough of cod and haddock to supply the ship’s company for three days.”

The expedition explored the coast and became friendly with the natives on the shore, trading with them for furs.  Before departing for England, Weymouth enticed several Indians onto his ship, detained and kidnapped them.  Aboard ship and in England they were treated well, though trophies of the exotic New World.

In 1607, Skicowares, or Skidwarres, one of the captives, returned to Maine aboard the Mary and John, carrying the expedition to create the Popham Colony.

On the 300th anniversary of his visit, the “Waymouth Cross” was  placed on Allen Island.

His date and place of birth and death are unknown.

Additional resources

Coffin, Robert P. Tristram. Kennebec Cradle of Americans. Camden, Me. Downeast Enterprise, Inc., 1937, p. 41.

Dunbabin, Thomas.  “Waymouth, George.” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol 1. University of Toronto/Université Laval. 1966. http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/waymouth_george_1E.html (accessed October 7, 2013)

Kania, Richard. The 1605 Waymouth expedition to the coast of Maine: an assessment of the Rosier text. Southern Pines, N.C. Carolinas Press. c2005. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections; Maine State Library]

Smith, Marion Jaques. A History of Maine: From Wilderness to Statehood. Portland, Me. Falmouth Publishing House. 1949. pp. 25-30.

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This entry was last modified: September 06, 2014 07:56 PM

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