Repro ID: PU3722
Title: England's famous discoverers.
Description: The full title of this engraving is 'England's famous discoverers. Captain Davies. Sir Walter Rawleigh, Sir. Hugh Willoughby, Captain Smith'. John Davis (c. 1550-1605) was the inventor of the double quadrant. He also led expeditions to the Arctic Circle between 1575-87 in search of the Northwest Passage. Although he did not achieve his objective, he did travel as far north as 73 degrees of latitude, and rediscovered Greenland, which had been unknown to Europeans since the break-up of the Norse colonies.
Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) was a courtier, politician, soldier, seaman, explorer, businessman, philosopher, historian and poet. He organised and financed exploration in North America with the aim of finding and mining gold and increasing trade. In 1585, Raleigh sent a party of colonists to found a settlement on the east coast of North America. They landed in North Carolina, which Raleigh later named 'Virginia' in honour of Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen.
In May 1553, Sir Hugh Willoughby sailed from Ratcliffe with a fleet of three ships to find a north east trade route to the east. He, along with the crews of two of the ships, were shipwrecked off Lapland and died. The third vessel sailed onwards and reached Russia. The crew travelled overland to Moscow and met the Russian Tsar, Ivan the Terrible. Their meeting led to trade between England and Russia.
Captain John Smith Smith led the 1606 expedition to Virginia from Blackwall. He was responsible for the establishment of a trading settlement at Jamestown. During his stay in Virginia his life was saved by the Indian Pocahontas. Legend has it that Pocahontas fell in love with Smith and, when he was due to be clubbed to death by the Algonquians, put her head over his, so that no blows would fall on him.
Date: c. 1554
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London