Frobisher, Sir Martin


Frobisher, Sir Martin
born с 1535, Yorkshire, Eng.
died Nov. 22, 1594, Plymouth, Devon

English navigator and early explorer of Canada's northeastern coast.

Searching for the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean, he crossed the Atlantic in 1576 and reached Labrador and Baffin Island, discovering Frobisher Bay. Returning to England with reports of possible gold mines, he obtained royal backing for further expeditions in 1577 and 1578; when he brought back nothing of value, his backing collapsed. In 1585 he sailed as vice admiral of Sir Francis Drake's expedition to the West Indies, and in 1588 he played a prominent part in the campaign against the Spanish Armada.

* * *

▪ English explorer
born c. 1535, , Yorkshire, Eng.
died Nov. 22, 1594, Plymouth, Devon

      English navigator and early explorer of Canada's northeast coast.

      Frobisher went on voyages to the Guinea coast of Africa in 1553 and 1554, and during the 1560s he preyed on French shipping in the English Channel under a privateering license from the English crown; he was arrested several times on charges of piracy but never brought to trial.

      Having become interested in the possibility of finding a Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean, Frobisher in 1576 obtained the command of three small ships, in one of which he succeeded in crossing the Atlantic that year. He reached Labrador and Baffin Island and discovered the bay that now bears his name. He returned to England with reports of possible gold mines, thereby obtaining royal backing for two further expeditions to the same area, in 1577 and 1578. On the latter of these expeditions, Frobisher sailed up Hudson Strait but then turned back to anchor at Frobisher Bay, where his attempts to establish a colony were unsuccessful. Frobisher's single-minded pursuit of mineral treasure limited the exploratory value of his voyages, and, when the ores he brought back from his third voyage proved to contain neither silver nor gold, his financing collapsed, and he was forced to seek other employment.

      In 1585 Frobisher sailed as vice admiral of Sir Francis Drake's expedition to the West Indies, and three years later he played a prominent part in the campaign against the Spanish Armada, being knighted during the operations. Over the next six years Frobisher commanded various English naval squadrons, including one in the Azores (1591) that unsuccessfully sought to capture Spanish treasure ships. In 1594 he was mortally wounded fighting a Spanish force on the west coast of France. Frobisher was undoubtedly one of the ablest seamen of his time, but as an explorer he lacked the capacity for patient factual investigation.

Additional Reading
William W. Fitzhugh and Jacqueline S. Olin (eds.), Archeology of the Frobisher Voyages (1993); D.D. Hogarth, P.W. Boreham, and J.G. Mitchell, Martin Frobisher's Northwest Venture, 1576–1581: Mines, Minerals, Metallurgy (1994); James McDermott, The Navigation of the Frobisher Voyages (1998).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Frobisher,Sir Martin — Fro·bish·er (frōʹbĭ shər, frŏbʹĭ ), Sir Martin. 1535? 1594. English explorer who made three voyages to the Canadian Arctic (1576, 1577, and 1578) in search of the Northwest Passage. * * * …   Universalium

  • Frobisher, sir Martin — ► (1535 94) Navegante británico. Descubrió la bahía que lleva su nombre, en la costa meridional de la Tierra de Baffin (1576). * * * ( 1535, Yorkshire, Inglaterra–22 nov. 1594, Plymouth, Devon). Navegante inglés y uno de los primeros exploradores …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • FROBISHER, SIR MARTIN —    famous English sailor and navigator, born near Doncaster; thrice over enthusiastically essayed the discovery of the North West Passage under Elizabeth; accompanied Drake to the West Indies; was knighted for his services against the Armada;… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Frobisher, Sir Martin — (1535? 1594)    Navigator. Made three voyages to America in search of the North West Passage, 1576, 1577, and 1578. Vice admiral in Drake s expedition to West Indies, 1586; led one of the squadrons against the Spanish Armada; took part in Hawkins …   The makers of Canada

  • Sir Martin Frobisher — noun English explorer who led an expedition in search of the Northwest Passage to the orient; served under Drake and helped defeat the Spanish Armada (1535 1594) • Syn: ↑Frobisher • Instance Hypernyms: ↑explorer, ↑adventurer, ↑navigator …   Useful english dictionary

  • Martin Frobisher — Sir Martin Frobisher (* um 1535 in Normanton, Yorkshire; † 22. November 1594 in Plymouth) war ein englischer Seefahrer. Er unternahm zwischen 1576 und 1578 drei Reisen in die arktischen Gebiete, unter anderem, um die …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Frobisher — Frobisher, sir Martin * * * (as used in expressions) Frobisher, bahía Frobisher, Sir Martin Frobisher Bay …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • FROBISHER (M.) — FROBISHER sir MARTIN (1535 1594) Navigateur anglais. Valeureux soldat et marin de grande expérience, Martin Frobisher fréquente les côtes de Guinée dès 1553 1554, puis navigue en Méditerranée, avant d’être corsaire et peut être pirate dans la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Frobisher Bay — [after FROBISHER Sir Martin] 1. inlet of the N Atlantic, on the SE coast of Baffin Island, Canada 2. former name for IQALUIT …   English World dictionary

  • Frobisher — (sir Martin) (v. 1535 1594) navigateur anglais. Il explora l Arctique canadien lors de trois voyages (1576, 1577 et 1578) puis se rendit aux Indes (1585) …   Encyclopédie Universelle


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.