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Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596), pirate, sea captain, and explorer, was born about February or March 1540 in Crowndale, near Tavistock, Devon, the eldest of five known children of Edmund Drake (d. 1566) of Tavistock. Edmund's wife is unknown, though she may have been named ...

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Sir Francis Drake (1540–1596) by Jodocus Hondius? © Copyright The British Museum

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

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Gosnold, Bartholomew (d. 1607), sea captain and explorer, was the elder son of a Suffolk gentleman, Anthony Gosnold of Grundisburgh, Clopton, and Burgh, and Dorothy Bacon, a kinswoman of the lord keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon. Bartholomew is first recorded on 20 October 1572 when his great-grandfather ...

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Keymis [Kemys], Lawrence (1564/5–1618), mariner and explorer, was born in Wiltshire and entered Balliol College, Oxford, in 1581 at the age of sixteen. He graduated BA in 1584 and held a junior bursarship in 1585–6, when his admission of liability for unpaid bills and uncollected battels amounting to over ...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Snow, William Parker (1817–1895), mariner and explorer, son of a naval officer, was born at Poole, Dorset, on 27 November 1817. His father died in 1826, leaving the family ill provided for; his mother took the family to Jersey and Normandy, leaving William...