Martin Frobisher

English Explorer

Born: 1535

Died: 1595

Commanding an expedition to the New World with three English Naval vessels, Martin Frobisher explored some of the coast of Labrador and Baffin Island in 1576 and discovered the bay that now bears his name. Hew returned to England with ships filled with ore, with reports that there may be gold mines waiting in the New World.

Hoping that Frobisher Bay was a link to the Northwest Passage and that gold would be found there, new supporter joined with Frobisher’s original backers and Queen Elizabeth to fund expeditions in 1577 and 1578. On these trips, Frobisher visited Greenland and Baffin Island, including Frobisher Bay, and attempted to found a colony there. While the mining attempts on these expeditions proved unfruitful and Frobisher’s reputation subsequently declined, his favor with the Queen still remained positive. In 1585, Frobisher served as the Vice Admiral in Sir Francis Drake’s expedition to the West Indies. His valor during the defeat of the Spanish Armada won him a knighthood in 1588. He later commanded a fleet to the Spanish coast under Sir Walter Raleigh, and in 1594 was mortally wounded while fighting a Spanish force on the western coast of France. Due to his courage, leadership, success as a military commander, Frobisher was considered one of the ablest seaman of his time.

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