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John Davis

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Mehr Sharma

on 21 September 2016

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Transcript of John Davis

Introduction and Personal Information
John Davis was a highly regarded English explorer and navigator who made many contributions to modern exploration. He was born in 1550 in Sandridge, Devon, in England, and he died 29 December, 1605 in Bintan Island at the age of 55. He was murdered (on one of his voyages when he was exploring a hostage ship) by a gang of pirates.
John Davis
Skills


John Davis was a skilled captain and explorer. Along with many of his peers, Davis was convinced of a "Northwest Passage", which could give the English people a direct course to the Indies without interaction with the Spanish or Portuguese folk. Many of his voyages were spent hunting for the passage, although none of them were successful. He did not find the passage, but made many other discoveries and accomplishments.
John Davis was an excellent captain. By 1579, he was already very well known navigator and seaman, and by 1600, he was a well known captain. He was the pilot on many of his voyages, including his last.
John Davis
Voyages, Method of Travel, and Challenges Faced
John Davis made numerous voyages throughout his life, but not always did he find what he was looking for. Like many other explorers in that era, Davis was striving to find a northwest passage to provide the British colonies a direct route to the Indies without having to face the Spanish or Portuguese people.
On his first voyage in 7 June 1585, Davis was the commander, and ships and money had been provided by rich merchants from London and Devon. He traveled to Greenland, which, after the interaction with the Norse people, had been forgotten by most European citizens.
During this voyage, John Davis discovered the Davis Strait, which is a sea passage separating Baffin Bay from Labrador Sea. Although he did not find the Northwest passage, he decided that it was near Cumberland Sound, or further up the Strait. John returned home 30 September of 1585.
John Davis went on his second arctic voyage May 7 of 1586, although the sea was not as serene as it had been the previous year. Eventually, one of Davis' ships were lost in a storm. The crew turned back because of icy seas. John returned home 14 October of that year.

He set sail on his third voyage to west Greenland 19 May 1587. The weather was great at first, but then strong winds caused him to change his course. John Davis continued to sail until his route was blocked by an ice stream of the Canadian current. He turned back, and explored the entrances to what is now known as Frobisher Bay and Hudson Strait. Food supplies were low, and he managed to pull through by eating cod fish. Davis returned home 15 September of 1587.
John Davis never explored the arctic sea again, and he started searching for the west entrance to the northwest passage. The journey was a failure, and John only discovered the Falkland islands.
From 1598 to 1600, he was the pilot of a Dutch journey to the Indies and when he reached home in September of 1603, he was made the new chief pilot.
In the December of 1604, John was the pilot of a ship called The Tiger, and served Sir Edward Michelborne. After taking a Japanese Pirate ship as hostage, John and his crew decided to explore the ship, but a gang of pirates escaped and killed John.
Accomplishments
John Davis may not have fulfilled his lifelong dream of discovering the northwest passage, he accomplished many things in his career as an explorer, and some of those things have been:
1) Finding the Davis Strait
The Davis Strait was and still is a passage that separates Baffin Bay from Labrador Sea.
Many modern day explorers use this passage and it is a very important discovery.
2) Inventing the Backstaff (A.K.A the Davis Quadrant)
The backstaff was used for a long time to determine latitude while at sea. Newer and more modern technology replaced it though.
3) Writing Seaman's Secrets
For a long time, John Davis' book Seaman's Secrets was a guide for new sailors. This book assisted many in becoming successful captains.
John Davis married Faith Fulford in 29 September, 1582 and had 1 daughter
and 4 sons. His best friends throughout the course of his life were Humphrey
and Adrian Gilbert and their half brother Walter Raleigh.
Backstaff
Technology Used
Some of his most used technology was the compass and the backstaff (or the Davis Quadrant) which was a device that John Davis himself made that helped calculate latitude at sea.
Impact on Exploration
John Davis made a large impact on modern exploration. He discovered the Davis Strait, which is a very commonly used passage which separates Baffin Bay from Labrador Sea. Not only did John Davis discover the strait, he also wrote Seaman's Secrets which for a long time was a manual for navigation. Finally, John Davis invented the Davis quadrant which helps determine latitude while on sea
Technology Used
Some of his most used technology was the compass and the backstaff (or the Davis Quadrant) which was a device that John Davis himself made that helped calculate latitude at sea.
Backstaff
Compass
Other Interesting Facts
•John Davis went to grammar school

•His crew members say he was kind

•He had 4 kids

•He was killed by pirates

•He was an author
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