Martin Frobisher
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Martin Frobisher: Famous English Navigator, Explorer during Elizabethan Era

Sir Martin Frobisher was an English navigator born at Altofts in Yorkshire. He made three different voyages to look for the North-western passage. They all ended at North-eastern Canada, around what we know today as Frobisher Bay.

On his second trip, Frobisher believed he had found gold ore and brought 200 tons of it back home and its value was misjudged and this encouraged Frobisher to bring more of it.

English Navigator: Martin Frobisher


After several years and after smelting of the ore, it was realized that all the ore was worthless and that it contained nothing of any value. Frobisher was an English pirate and he often attacked French ships. Frobisher was awarded knighthood in order to honor him for his service against the Armada.

Martin Frobisher
Martin Frobisher

Sir Martin Frobisher endeavored to go on three voyages in total. During the Elizabethan era In 1560, Frobisher had arranged and decided that he would look for and successfully locate the north-west passage to China. Finally, in 1576, Frobisher was successful in making his sponsors ready to help him in his endeavor.

Martin Frobisher Route

Storms help in changing routes and the mouth of Frobisher Bay was reached. Frobisher decided to sail westward up and soon, in August of 1576, Baffin Island was reached and some interaction took place there with the native people.

After some accidents there, Frobisher returned homewards and reached London in October, the 9th. Along with other things brought by him, there was the one which seemed to be promising. The second voyage was undertaken in 1577 and return home was designed in the same.

About Martin Frobisher

The queen, having believed in the value of the ore, encouraged Sir Martin Frobisher consistently. The third expedition was the largest of all, containing 15 vessels altogether. This proved unsuccessful as well and a return homewards was arranged and the fleet gathered in Frobisher Bay to do this. The ore brought back home by him was not at all of value.

In 1591, Sir Martin Frobisher went back to Altofts to visit his native place and married his second wife, Dorothy Wentworth, daughter of Thomas, first Baron Wentworth. He also became a land proprietor in Yorkshire and Notts but Frobisher was never meant for the country.

Frobisher Bay

The next year he took charge of the fleet ordered by Sir Walter Raleigh to the Spanish Coast and returned with a reward and glee! Sir Martin Frobisher was killed due to a gunshot in 1594 when he was engaged in battle and thus ended the life of one of England’s brave sons who sailed its seas and protected the same.

Frobisher’s legacy consists of the Frobisher Bay, a central station, a Canadian territory, and several schools and houses, all of which are named after him.

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