Inspiration for The Tempest is believed to have come from a letter written by William Strachey, detailing the experiences of a shipwreck survivor. The Virginia Company was newly formed in the years before the play; and, in 1609, a fleet was sent out from England, with four hundred colonists who were supposed to land in Virginia. However, a hurricane hit the ships as they neared the coast, and the governor's ship was separated from the others; luckily, they found themselves near Bermuda, and were able to land safely there and live quite comfortably on the island. The account that William Strachey wrote of this ordeal was first printed in 1625; however, the letter gained a wide audience starting in 1610, and manuscripts of it were circulated. Shakespeare also knew many others who were involved in the Virginia Company venture, like Southampton and Pembroke, to whom Shakespeare dedicated a few of his works?and there is even evidence that he may have known Strachey himself. There are clear parallels between Strachey's letter and the events described within The Tempest, so it is more than likely that Shakespeare was familiar with the text, and was inspired by it to write the play that appeared at court about a year after the letter was circulated in London.