Captain James Cook
James Cook was born on the 27th October 1728 in the small Yorkshire town of
the majority of Naval officers of the time he was not the son of rich or noble parents. In
fact he was the son of a Scottish farm labourer and a Yorkshire girl. He was intelligent
enough to impress his father's employer who paid for the young James Cook's schooling.
Born in East Coker, Somerset, Dampier was the first Englishman to explore and map parts of New
Holland in Australia and New Guinea. He was the first person to circumnavigate the world three times.
Sir Francis Drake
Born near Tavistock. He served an apprenticeship as a mariner, and in 1567 he was given his first command. In 1570 and 1571 Drake made two profitable trading voyages to the West Indies. In 1572 he commanded two vessels in a marauding expedition against Spanish ports in the Caribbean Sea. During this voyage, Drake first saw the Pacific Ocean; he captured the port of Nombre de Díos on the Isthmus of Panama and destroyed the nearby town of Portobelo. He returned to England with a cargo of Spanish silver and a reputation as a brilliant privateer.
On July 23, 1579, Drake set sail again and was hailed as the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. Seven months later he was knighted aboard the Golden Hind by Queen Elizabeth. He became mayor of Plymouth in 1581 and served as a member of Parliament in 1584 and 1585.
Later in 1585 Drake sailed again with a large fleet for the West Indies. Drake introduced tobacco to England as a result of his visits to North America.
In 1587 war with Spain was recognized as imminent, and Drake was dispatched by the queen to destroy the fleet being assembled by the Spanish in the harbor of Cádiz. He accomplished most of his purpose and in the following year served as vice admiral of the English fleet that defeated the rebuilt Spanish Armada.
He is admired by many for his English spirit, when told that the Spanish Armada had been sighted in 1588, he completed his game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe before setting sail to defeat them.
He made the first surface journey around the world's polar circumference between 1979 and 1982. Earlier expeditions included explorations of the White Nile in 1969, Jostedalsbre Glacier, Norway in 1970, and the Headless Valley, Canada in 1971. Accounts of his adventures include 'A Talent for Trouble' 1970, 'Hell on Ice' 1979, and the autobiographical 'Living Dangerously' 1987. He succeeded to baronetcy 1944.
Sir Martin Frobisher
He made his first voyage to Guinea, West Africa in 1554. In 1576 he set
out in search of the Northwest Passage, and visited Labrador, and Frobisher Bay, Baffin
Island. Second and third expeditions sailed in 1577 and 1578. He was Knighted in 1588.
Sir John Hawkins
Born in Plymouth. Treasurer to the navy between 1573-89, he was knighted for his services as a commander against the Spanish Armada 1588.
Sir Richard Hawkins
Son of John Hawkins. He held a command against the Spanish Armada in 1588, was captured in an expedition against Spanish possessions 1593-94 and released 1602. He was Knighted in 1603.
LVO, OBE DL
The first man in history to reach the Geographic and Magnetic North and South Poles as well as climb the highest peaks in all seven continents. In 1984, he successfully completed a solo expedition to the Magnetic North Pole without dogs, snow mobiles or air supplies. Also he led the first team in 1992 to walk unsupported to the Geomagnetic North Pole. In 1996, he completed a solo unsupported expedition to the South Pole on January 5th, sailed to the South Magnetic Pole on February 19th, and led a team of novices to ski to the Magnetic North Pole on May 15th.
Sir Alexander Mackenzie
In 1789, he was the first European to see the river, now part of N Canada, named after him. In 1792-93 he crossed the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific coast of what is now British Columbia, making the first known crossing north of Mexico. He was knighted in 1807.
Sir Walter Raleigh
English adventurer and writer, who was prominent at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, and became an explorer of the Americas.
Born at Hayes Barton in Devonshire, Raleigh attended the University of Oxford. for a time and later studied law in London, where he became familiar with both court life and the intellectual community.
In 1578 Raleigh sailed to America with his half brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, a voyage that may have stimulated his plan to found an English empire there. In 1585, Raleigh sponsored the first English colony in America on Roanoke Island in present-day North Carolina. He was knighted, and became one of the most powerful figures in England.
Robert Falcon Scott
In 1910 Scott embarked on a second Antarctic expedition, with the aim of being the first man to reach the South Pole. He again landed at McMurdo Sound and with four companions began a trek of 2964 km (1842 mi), the longest continuous sledge journey ever made in the polar regions. Scott reached the South Pole on January 18, 1912, only to find the tent and flag of the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who had achieved the goal 5 weeks earlier. The return journey ended in the loss of the entire party. Petty Officer Edgar Evans died from a fall; Captain Lawrence Oates sacrificed his life, hoping thus to save his comrades; Henry R. Bowers, Dr. Edward Wilson, and Scott perished of starvation and exposure on March 29, 1912, within 18 km (11 mi) of a supply depot. Their bodies, along with valuable documents and specimens left by Scott in his tent, were found by a search party almost eight months later. His diaries and other documents were published as Scott's Last Expedition (1913). He is also the author of The Voyage of the Discovery (1905).