Sir Humphrey Gilbert

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Gilbert, Sir Humphrey,

1537?–1583, English soldier, navigator, and explorer; half-brother of Sir Walter RaleighRaleigh or Ralegh, Sir Walter
, 1554?–1618, English soldier, explorer, courtier, and man of letters. Early Life

As a youth Raleigh served (1569) as a volunteer in the Huguenot army in France.
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. Knighted (1570) for his service in the campaigns in Ireland, he later (1572) served in the Netherlands. Convinced of the existence of a Northwest PassageNorthwest Passage,
water routes through the Arctic Archipelago, N Canada, and along the northern coast of Alaska between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Even though the explorers of the 16th cent.
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, he explained his theories in his famous Discourse (ed., with some additions, by George Gascoigne in 1576), which inspired the voyages of Martin FrobisherFrobisher, Sir Martin
, 1535?–1594, English mariner. He went to sea as a boy, and spent much of his youth in the African trade. He later gained the friendship of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, through whom he became interested in the Northwest Passage.
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 and John DavisDavis or Davys, John,
1550?–1605, English navigator. He made his first voyage in search of the Northwest Passage in 1585, continuing the work of Martin Frobisher.
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 and for many years motivated English exploration in the northern regions. In 1578, Gilbert was granted a patent by Queen Elizabeth I to found colonies in America and other lands. His first expedition, undertaken the same year, failed completely, but on his second voyage (1583) he reached Newfoundland. Entering the harbor of present-day St. John's, he took possession of the region in the name of the queen and assumed authority as governor over the colony of fishermen there. Still in search of the Northwest Passage, he explored to the southwest. After losing one ship, among other disasters, he decided to return to England; however, the small vessel carrying Gilbert was lost in a storm in the Azores. The narrative of Gilbert's voyage by Edward Hayes is included with other documents in Sir Humfrey Gylberte and His Enterprise (ed. by Carlos Slafter, 1903, repr. 1967).
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These documents are dated 4 May and 22 July 1578 respectively and were clearly written as companion pieces, although they were presented to Elizabeth separately.(57) They were apparently prepared at Elizabeth's request, for Dee indicated that the "Brytanici Imperii Limites" was "compiled speedily at her majesty's commandment Anno 1578."(58) This command might have been occasioned by the intended voyage of Humphrey Gilbert to North America, which was in its initial planning stages.
In this context, as Humphrey Gilbert's letter patent and the Mendoza-Drake affair shows, Dee's works provided the crown with valuable justifications for its claims to sovereignty in overseas territories.
Even though Elizabeth deemed Sir Humphrey Gilbert "a man noted of not good hap by sea" (qtd.
1578 Sir Humphrey Gilbert's voyage to America; Frobisher's 3rd voyage.
1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert drowns on voyage back from America.
Sir Henry's most feared commander there, on excellent terms with the Sidney family, was the choleric Humphrey Gilbert, who was at this time starting to meditate more distant "plantations" in the New World.
Frobisher, who knew Sir Humphrey Gilbert (who knew Sir Henry Sidney), approached the Sidneys and the Warwicks for pledges to finance his voyages to discover a North-West passage to the Orient.
In November, Sir Humphrey Gilbert set out on his first voyage, while in France Nicolas Pithou published his translation of Dionysius Settle: La Navigation du Cap.
This not only introduced to an English public Ramusio's version of Zeno the Venetian and Friseland, which we saw in Sidney's letter to Languet, and the 1563 French text about Jean Ribaut's Protestant colony in Florida, but also contained a set of fascinating notes on colonization thought to have been prepared for Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1578.(36) In the dedication Hakluyt reminds Sidney that he has always been "so readie to pleasure me and all my name," and hopes that he will "continue and increase [his] accustomed favour towarde those goodly and honorable discoveries" (sig.
It was also in 1582 that the colonization concept first became realized in Sidney's involvement with the project of Sir Humphrey Gilbert.(37) To sum up usefully this very complex story, of which not all the factors are known, we have to turn to the Catholics.
However, the Trust possesses such a property in Compton Castle -- the boyhood home of Sir Humphrey Gilbert who received Elizabeth I's 'Patent for Discovery of Strange Lands' in 1576 and whose subsequent pioneering expeditions to colonise the New World led to the acquisition of the 'New Found Land' off the coast of modern-day Canada in 1583.