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  • Writer's pictureDon Wilding

Sparrow Hawk survivor comes to life

Actor David Hobbs as John Sibsey.

When it comes to portraying history icons, there might not be an actor who’s more attached to his role than David B. Hobbs is to John Sibsey.

As many historians know, Sibsey was one of several Virginia settlers rescued following the wreck of the Sparrow Hawk near Potanumaquut Harbor in 1626. It’s the earliest ship known from the first decades of English settlement in the New World to have survived to the present day.

The Sparrow Hawk was on a return voyage from England. Sibsey was returning to his Virginia Plantation when he was shipwrecked and then forced to live with others at Plimouth Plantation.

A little over 10 years ago, Hobbs, who has playing this role for the better part of two decades, performed his Sibsey program for Senator Edward M. Kennedy and a small group at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum in Hyannis — in front of the Sparrow Hawk’s remains, which were on display there.

“Yes, that’s ‘my’ ship — the ship I came in on,” quipped Hobbs, who will reprise his Sibsey role for the Eastham Historical Society at the 1869 Schoolhouse Museum on WEDNESDAY night (July 6) at 7 p.m. “It was really cool to do the program right in front of the ship.”

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