Eastward Hoe was performed by the Children of Her Majesty's Revels (one of whose shareholders would later be secretary of the Jamestown colony) at the Blackfriars theater in London sometime after Christmas 1604. The play's ridicule of Scots (not a good idea, since James I of England had been James VI of Scotland first) earned the Roman Catholic Jonson a second stay in prison, which evidently helped him see the true light of the Anglican Church.2 The plot of the comedy borrows heavily from the story of the Prodigal Son, but our concern is with the second scene of the third act, in which a blowhard "Captain" seduces two Londoners with fantastic stories of the fabulous riches of Virginia.'From Act 3, Scene 2
The English had yet to establish a successful foothold in America. The aggressive expansionism of Elizabeth had been replaced with the cautious pacifism of James, and Virginia expeditions were becoming something of a joke. That includes the expedition now known as the Lost Colony, to which the play refers, albeit by the wrong date. Details aside, the mention shows that the mystery of the colonists' fate occupied a place in the English consciousness; they were lost, but not forgotten.