English navigator of the XVI century.
Born in Sandridge, in the Stoke Gabriel parish near Dartmouth
in Devonshire. The
atmosphere of the port city, its own inclinations quickly
attracted him to the maritime activities. The
help of kind and skillful mentors, diligence and diligence, the
desire for knowledge soon allowed him to become an outstanding
navigator, one of the best navigators of his time.
His first offshore venture took place in 1585, when he
attempted to open a new passage past North-West America to East
On June 17 he left Dartmouth on two barges at fifty and
thirty five tons in displacement. The
expedition was subsidized by Francis Welsingham and several
wealthy London merchants.
July 20, the ships reached the coast of
Greenland, completely covered with snow without any signs of
forest or grass.
The earth seemed completely lifeless, and Davis called it the
Land of Desolation. Rounding
its southernmost point, they entered the strait, which has since
begun to bear his name. They
went into it 30–40 leagues, but then, due to the changed wind,
were forced to turn back. Davis
realized that there is a vast expanse of water north and west of
The following year, Davis resumed the implementation of his
plan and, once again supported by Welsingham, set sail on four
sent two of them to explore the waters between Greenland and
Iceland, and he continued to explore the coasts and bays he had
previously seen on the other two. One
of the ships with the sick left him, but he continued sailing in
a small barge to 66° 33'N and
from where it had to turn back.
In 1587, Davis made the third voyage. In
past years, he met huge shoals of cod at sea, so this time he
sent two vessels to fish, and the third went for research. The
fishing ships, contrary to promises, soon left him and returned,
and Davis entered the strait and this time managed to reach 73°N. Then
he went to the west, reaching the coast of North America, and
examined him and the surrounding islands, descending to 52°N.
Davis was sure of the success of his search for the passage,
but the war with Spain that followed soon distracted the
country's attention from this object.
Davis did not remain inactive. In
1591 he was a captain in the unsuccessful sailing of the
Cavendish to the southern seas. After
returning, Davis made five voyages to East India as a navigator. In
the last campaign he died in a desperate skirmish with the
Japanese on the coast of Malacca.
Greenland and Baffin Land.