Martin Frobisher

Sir Martin Frobisher (c. 1535 in Normanton, Yorkshire, † November 22, 1594 in Plymouth ) was an English sailor. He undertook 1576-1578 three trips to the Arctic regions to make, among other things, the Northwest Passage, the northern sea route from Europe to Asia, locate.

Short Biography

Frobisher came as sixteenth child of his parents, an old Yorkshire family, who had resided in the municipality Normanton in the West Riding County since the mid-14th century. After the early death of his father Bernard Frobisher sent his mother to London to her brother Sir John York, so this is taking care of his education. 1550, when Martin was 15 years old, he began at the behest of his uncle Sir John trained as a sailor, which he completed in 1565 as a captain. In 1559 he married.

Frobisher took during his training at several trading voyages to Guinea in part, on which he temporarily in Portuguese captivity came (nine months at the Castle Elmina ). After his return to England because of his bad experience, he gave himself up to a lawless life as a privateer. Within a few years he was considered one of the boldest and most ruthless pirates of the English Channel and was one of the most wanted men of his time. After a checkered career as a privateer came to Frobisher in 1571 in the service of the Queen of England, patrolling from then on legal especially in the Irish Sea to raise French and Portuguese ships.

1575 Frobisher began in London to try to finance a planned since 1560 expedition, which had the exploration of the Northwest Passage to the destination. He relied primarily on research in Sir Humphrey Gilbert ( half brother of Sir Walter Raleigh ), who had propagated the existence of such a passage in his book Discourse. Frobisher drove enough money for the expedition, and stabbed in the summer 1576 with three ships to sea. On this first voyage he discovered named after him Frobisher Bay. After his return in autumn 1576 were increasing due to investigations on some of Frobisher brought black stones the rumors, where Frobisher had been, there would be gold ore, and so a second expedition was quickly equipped, on the one hand to get back the Northwest Passage, but above all, to search for gold. It became a public company founded ( Company of Cathay ) and Frobisher appointed by the shareholders to the " Great Admiral of all the seas and waters" of Cathay and other new -to-find water. In the spring of 1577 Frobisher stood out again with three ships to the northwest in the lake. When he with 200 tons of " ore " and three Eskimos returned in the fall of 1577 his expedition, it was universally enthusiastic and granted him generous funds for a third trip. In early summer 1578 to Frobisher made ​​with a fleet of 15 ships again on the way. Reduce this time not with the aim of searching for the Northwest Passage, but only to " gold ore " and to establish a permanent colony on the spot. After a trip mostly characterized by failure of Frobisher returned in the fall of 1578 home to England, where had by now shown that the salvaged by him during his second voyage " gold ore " was in truth pyrite and had no value.

Financially ruined and mired in numerous disputes with former business partners and investors, took a job as a Captain Frobisher in 1580 on a royal ship and fought the Spaniards, who supported the Irish rebels at that time. 1581 Frobisher tried again a fourth expedition to stand on his legs, the run around the Cape of Good Hope to Asia and from there should find evidence for a northern route to Europe, but failed this effort.

Despite its failures Frobisher remained with respect to the Arctic life the greatest authority of his time. His travelogues were even translated into Spanish.

1585 he took part in the West Indian campaign, where he served as Vice - Admiral under Francis Drake and the command led on the Primrose. During this campaign he conquered among others, the Spanish fort at Cartagena. 1588 he received in the battle against the Spanish Armada in command of the Triumph, the largest English galleon with which he sank four Spanish galleons, whereupon knighted him.

1591 Frobisher married his second wife, a daughter of Lord Wentworth, by which he became the owner of some lands in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. However, the country life could hold him only a short time and the following year he took part in a raid of Sir Walter Raleigh in part to the Spanish coast, from where he returned with rich booty; on this expedition he lost due to an accident, a one eye.

In November 1594 Frobisher was wounded in the fight against the Spaniards at the head of a storming troops at Fort Crozon near Brest. He was taken to Plymouth, where he died on November 22, 1594 due to a medical malpractice. His remains were brought to London, where in the church of St. Giles, Cripplegate, beisetzte him. The remains of his third expedition were found by the American explorer Charles Francis Hall during his expedition from 1860 to 1862.

First trip

June 7, 1576 to October 9, 1576

Ships: barque Gabriel (25 tons, 18 men, skipper Christopher Hall ), Michael barque (25 tons, 17 men, Capt. Owen Gryffyn ), 1 pinnace (10 tons, 4 men )

Crew: 39 men

Mission Objective: Find the Northwest Passage

History: From London Frobisher sailed (on the Gabriel ) on the Orkney Islands in the direction west-northwest. After about 14 days of travel, an eight -day storm came on, in which the pinnace together with crew disappeared forever. On July 11, 1576 reached Greenland. Shortly afterwards lost Michael and Gabriel the contact, after which Michael took the journey home and arrived back in London in early September. The Gabriel continued the journey alone continued, reached on July 20, 1576 Resolution Island and then sailed about 150 kilometers, named after its discoverer, Frobisher Bay, which was considered by Frobisher erroneously as an input to the sought Northwest Passage. They met on Eskimos and began to trade furs with them, to mutual distrust. The gangways five crew members were abducted by the Eskimos and stayed gone forever. Frobisher kidnapped his hand an Eskimo for demonstration purposes and entered the home with the remaining thirteen man crew on. On October 9, 1576 Gabriel reached London.

Second trip

May 26, 1577 to September 23, 1577

Ships: Aid ( 200 tons, Capt. Christopher Hall ), Gabriel (25 tons, Capt. Edward Fenton ), Michael (25 tons, Capt. Gilbert Yorke )

Crew: 120 men (originally 134, but only 120 were approved as Frobisher nominal thickness)

Mission Objective: Find and collection of " ore ", wintering, in the absence of gold finds returning the Aid to London and search of the Northwest Passage through the Gabriel and Michael

History: From London Frobisher sailed again ( this time on the Aid) on the Orkney Islands in the direction west-northwest. On July 4, 1577, he reached Greenland at 60 ° 30 'north latitude and 10 July 1577 Hall Peninsula, the original place where the supposed " gold ore ", where it was started immediately with the degradation. Relations with the Eskimos were also bloody time and characterized by mistrust. Again kidnapped you some Eskimos as visual objects ( an Eskimo woman with her child and an Eskimo man). On August 23, 1577 we set out with 200 tons of " gold ore " in the direction of England. During a storm, in which the skipper of the Aid was washed overboard, the Michael lost the other two ships from his eyes and returned independently on the Orkney Islands to England. The Gabriel and the Aid parted also because the aid was running before the wind faster. On September 23, 1577 Frobisher reached with the Aid Milford Haven. The Gabriel and Michael met shortly thereafter in Bristol and Yarmouth.

Third Voyage

May 30, 1578 to October 1, 1578

Ships: In addition to the flagship Aid (200 tons ) 15 more ships

Crew: Number unknown

Mission objective: cutting " gold ore " on the islands and in front of Frobisher Bay, establishing a permanent colony on site

History: From London via Plymouth and Dursey Head sailed the expedition from the June 5, 1578 against West -northwest. On June 20, 1578 they reached Greenland, where they dropped anchor and tried in vain to establish contact with the Eskimos. On this occasion, Frobisher Greenland took for his Queen Elizabeth I in possession and gave him the name "West of England ". On the way to Frobisher Bay, the ships ran into heavy fog and shortly thereafter in a storm, in which a barque sank, the crew was saved, however. Just the loss of this ship was particularly painful, because it contained the timber for the planned hibernation site. A little later lost Frobisher during a blizzard the course and got together with his fleet to the then unknown Hudson Strait, which he described as " Mistaken Street" ( " confused street "). Therein the fleet sailed about 20 days, always in the dark about whether one was in the Frobisher Bay or in another strait. Finally, the fleet turned around and reached on July 24, 1578 again the open sea. Some ships were now severely damaged, and parts of the crew to mutiny began to emerge. However Frobisher stayed with his goal to salvage the " gold ore ", and as the fleet reached under distress on July 30, 1578 the Countess of Warwick Sound in Frobisher Bay. She quickly began with the dismantling of the " gold ore " had, however, already after a month with only 1,000 tonnes of subsidized do it again on the way back. The plan to establish a colony, was dropped due to lack of material for the construction of the accommodation and the intensification of disagreements among the crew. Between September 24, 1578 and October 1, 1578 scattered fleet reached England. 40 men had perished on the journey.