He was an English privateer and seaman and, under contract with the Virginia Company, would safely navigate the settlers to Jamestown.
Also Read: Facts About Colonial America
#1. Shipping Was In His Blood
Many famous explorers come from different backgrounds. Some come from military backgrounds with little experience in the Navy, and some, like Newport, come from an ideal location.
He was born in Limehouse, right by an important trade port on the River Thames where his dad, an excellent shipwright himself, lived.
He inherited his dad's name and his dad's skills, which he built on. It did not take him long to rise through the ranks as a skilled mariner, and by the age of 24, he was already a privateer.
#2. He Fought In The Anglo-Spanish War
The Anglo-Spanish War began in 1585, and during the war, he would command many ships and raided Spanish freighters in the Caribbean.
This would give him his first taste of the New World, which was creating global empires in the 16th century. The Spanish had been the dominant country in the New World early in the century, while England had fallen behind.
With the exception of John Cabot, the English did not have many accomplishments to speak of. While King Henry VIII was divorcing wives, Hernan Cortes and Francisco Pizzaro had conquered two New World Empires, and other Spanish Conquistadors had expanded Spain's reach.
Also Read: 15 Famous Spanish Conquistadors
By the end of the war, Newport had raided more Spanish ships than Francis Drake, but Drake would be remembered in history for his defeat of the Spanish Armada.
The war gave Newport the necessary experience to navigate to the New World.
#3. Newport Was Hired By The Virginia Company
As stated previously in the introduction, Christopher Newport was placed in command of Susan Constant to navigate the settlers to the New World.
When the land was spotted, a sealed envelope was opened, naming him as one of the members of the Council that would govern the colony.
When on land, he and John Smith began to explore the area and would eventually erect a fort.
In 1607, the colony would be in need of supplies, and he would sail back to England. It would be his supply ships that kept the colony afloat. The colony would struggle to cultivate its own resources and would endure about half of the settlers dying.
His second supply ship would bring the first English women to Jamestown.
#4. He Would Bring John Rolfe To The New World
After surviving a terrible ordeal with his third voyage, Newport returned to England for another shipment. In his fourth supply ship, he brought John Rolfe with him.
Rolfe had developed a new form of tobacco that would grow in Jamestown. This new seed would be the key to Jamestown's survival and wealth.
His last time arriving in Jamestown would be August 20, 1611, when he returned home and re-entered the Royal Navy.
#5. Christopher Newport Would Die In Indonesia
He would remain active in the British Royal Navy for several years after Jamestown and commanded many trips to India and Africa.
On his last voyage in 1617, joined by his son, he wrote his will after reaching South Africa.
The exact date of his death is unknown, as is the reason for his death. He died in what is now Indonesia sometime after August 1617.
Christopher Newport is an often overlooked character in American History. Most folks know of John Smith, John Rolfe, and Pocahontas but forget the man responsible for getting the settlers there and successfully navigating the many shipments and important people that would change the course of America.
He was the most successful raider during the Anglo-Spanish War and continued his success up until his death.