Dale, Sir Thomas, high marshal of Virginia, and deputy governor from May 21, to August 1, 1611, and from March, 1614, till May, 1616. He entered the service of the Low Countries with the Earl of Essex in 1588. In 1595 he was sent by the Provinces into Scotland, where he became one of the retinue of the infant Prince Henry, who had a great affection for him. He remained in Scotland some years, but returned to the Netherlands probably in 1603. In 1604 Lord Cecil wrote to the English ambassador at the Hague to inform him of the king's gracious interest in the military advancement of Dale. On June 19, 1606, while on a visit to England, he was knighted at Richmond by King James as "Sir Thomas Dale of Surrey." He remained in the service of the Low Countries till February 1611, when he came to England and entered into the service of the Virginia Company of London. Dale was selected to head the expedition then preparing, and on March 27, 1611, he left Land's End with three ships carrying 300 people and also horses, cows, goats, fowl, etc. He reached Point Comfort or Algermourne Fort on May 22, 1611, and succeeded Captain George Percy in command of the colony. He found forts Charles and Henry, at the mouth of Hampton river, deserted, and his first labor was to restore them. Constituting James Davis as captain of all three forts, he sailed up the river and arrived at Jamestown May 29, 1611, where he landed and heard a sermon from Rev. Mr. Poole. After consulting his council, Dale set about many extensive improvements at Jamestown and determined to build a new town at Henrico, near the Indian town of Arrohatec. Fears of the intervention of the Spaniards had long disturbed the colonists and there was a great excitement in the colony when some Spaniards from ships sent to find out about the English settlement, landing at Point comfort, were captured and sent to Jamestown, where they were detained in captivity for a long time. He began the work of building the settlement at Henrico under the severest code of marital law, introduced by Gates, and which he ruthlessly enforced. Gates, who arrived August 1 and became Dale's superior officer, endorsed his policy. After Gates' departure for England in 1614, Dale was again chief magistrate in Virginia. While he has received praise for his administration of affairs it appears to have been in large measure undeserved. The men were given food not fit for hogs, and mutinies repeatedly occurred, which were suppressed by the most atrocious cruelties. when Dale left Virginia in 1616 there were only 300 settlers living in the colony, and the frail habitations at Henrico, which he had built in blood, were decayed and ready to fall. He took with him to England Pocahontas and several other Indians, who attracted much attention and lent a glamour to his return. The states general of the Low Countries paid him £1,000 for the period when he was in Virginia, though during that time he rendered no service. A voyage was intended for the East Indies, and Dale was selected to head it. His fleet arrived near Java on December 23, 1618, and in conjunction with Captain Martin Pring he made an attack on the Dutch fleet. It was "a cruel bloody fight" and both sides claimed the victory. He arrived with his fleet at Masultipitan July 19 and he died there "August 9, 1619, after twenty days of languishing sickness".
Sir Thomas Dale married, in January, 1611, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Throckmorton and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Berkeley.