Sir Humphrey Gilbert

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American History 1483

Sir Humphrey Gilbert born 1537, son of a Devon shire gentleman, who’s
widow later married the father of Sir Walter Raleigh, Gilberts half
brother, which was a British explorer, poet, historian and soldier. Gilbert
was a soldier, navigator and explorer and was founder of the first English
colony in North America. He went to school at Eton and Oxford and served
under Sir Phillip Sidney’s father in Ireland and fought Spain for the
Netherlands. Gilbert was knighted in 1570 for his service campaigns in
Ireland. Later after the fight against Spain he composed a pamphlet for the
search of a northwest passage to Cathay, which led to furbisher’s license
for his explorations. Gilbert was sure on a northern passage which went
threw the Artic, Canada, and along the northern coast of Alaska between the
Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Gilberts pamphlet inspired other explorers to
seek passages and other voyages for many years through out the northern
regions. In 1578 Queen Elizabeth I, granted him rights to explore the
colonies in Northern America and other new found lands as well as setup a
colony there. He is said to believe that America was the lost continent of
Atlantis. So eager to find a route threw the northern waters of North
America he sailed out on September 23 1578 from England but was attacked by
Spain and had to return to England. The first trip cost him all of his
fortune and so he had to serve in Ireland. After that voyage he didn’t try
to sail out again until June 11 1583 and took 5 ships with him this time.

Along this journey one ship had to return to England due to leaks aboard
it, but the other 4 ships kept going and eventually made it to North
America on July 30 1583. He then went to St. Johns and claimed the area for
England. There he set up the colony that the queen gave him the task to do.

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About 2 weeks after the colony was setup he left it to explore other
region, mostly by Nova Scotia. On his way back to England along with 2
other ships they ran into a terrible storm in which his ship the “Squirrel”
went down and was the death of Gilbert along with one of the other ships
that was with him. The only ship that made it back to England was “The
Golden Hind”.


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