Sir Humphrey Gilbert

English Soldier & Navigator

Born: 1539

Died: 1583

English scholar and soldier, became famous as a navigator and explorer. He believed there was a northwest passage by water across the North American continent that would lead to the East Indies. He wrote an essay about his theory in 1576. In 1578, Queen Elizabeth I gave him permission to sail in search of a passage. Little is known about the voyage. Gilbert returned to England after losing one of his best ships and one of his bravest captains.

He set sail again in 1583 in command of another expedition. His half brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, started with him. Raleigh and his crew turned back two days after they left Plymouth, but Gilbert went on. He landed in Newfoundland and took possession of the land in the queen's name. On the way back to England, Gilbert and his crew were lost in a severe storm.

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