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Botetourt, John, first Lord Botetourt (d. 1324), admiral, emerged from obscurity in the 1280s and became a politically influential baron, an active soldier, and a prominent naval commander. For such a well-connected man Botetourt's origins and parentage are astonishingly obscure. An unsubstantiated reference in the ...

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Carew, Sir George (c. 1504–1545), soldier and naval commander, was the eldest son of Sir William Carew (c.1483–1536), landowner, of Mohun's Ottery, Devon, and his wife, Joan (d. 1554), daughter of Sir William Courtenay of Powderham, Devon, and his second wife, ...

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Carew, Sir Thomas (1368?–1431), soldier and naval commander, was the son of Sir Leonard Carew (1342–1369), and grandson of Sir John Carew, justiciar of Ireland (d. 1362). His mother was probably Alice, daughter of Sir Edmund Fitzalan. Leonard had come of age only in 1364, and at his death, five years later, his son was still an infant in the king's ward, under the guardianship of a succession of male relatives. ...

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Carleill, Christopher (1551?–1593), soldier and naval commander, was the second son, but heir, of Alexander Carleill (d. 1561), merchant, of London, and his wife, Anne (d. 1565), daughter of Sir George Barne, lord mayor of London, and his wife, Alice...

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Champernowne, Sir Arthur (b. in or before 1524, d. 1578), soldier and naval commander, was the second son of Sir Philip Champernowne (d. 1545), landowner of Modbury, Devon, and his wife, Katherine, daughter of Sir Edmund Carew of Mohun's Ottery, Devon, and his wife, ...

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Crosse, Sir Robert (c. 1547–1611), naval commander, was born at Charlinch, near Bridgwater, Somerset, the second of seven sons of William Crosse, gentleman, and Elizabeth, his wife, who also bore five surviving daughters. His earliest known employment was as a soldier with the regency army during the siege of ...

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Sir Martin Frobisher (1535?–1594) by Cornelius Ketel, 1577 © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

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Frobisher, Sir Martin (1535?–1594), privateer, explorer, and naval commander, was descended from John Frobisher (b. c.1260), a Scot settled in lands near Chirk in Denbighshire granted in recognition of his services to Edward I during the Welsh wars. In the mid-fourteenth century the family crossed the ...

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Sir Richard Grenville (1542–1591) by unknown artist, 17th cent. [original, 1571] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Grenville, Sir Richard (1542–1591), naval commander, was born in May or June 1542, the son of a sea captain, Roger Grenville (d. 1545) of Stowe, Cornwall, and Thomasine, daughter of Thomas Cole.