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Frobisher, Martin Captain Vice Admiral - ship Primrose part-owned by John Hawkins 


Captained one of the 23 ships of Sir Francis Drake Fleet. They Stopped off the coast of Roanoke Island. Richly laden with booty from his attack on the Spanish West Indies and Florida, Drake's ships helped rescue the men of the military colony.


The career of that notable Elizabethan and intrepid Yorkshireman, Martin Frobisher, is illustrative. Arrested many times in the 1560s for piracy, Frobisher was subsequently hired by the Queen's most trusted councilor, William Cecil, as a ship's captain on Crown business. By the mid 1570s, Frobisher had become convinced of the existence of a Northwest Passage to the Orient and mounted expeditions to go in search of it. 

But his reputation as a pirate was so well known that potential merchant underwriters were reluctant to commit ships and money to the now "reformed" Frobisher! It was only after Frobisher the explorer returned to England with an Eskimo and ore, mistakenly identified as gold, that substantial and whole hearted support was secured for two more such voyages. Though Frobisher was not successful in finding the illusive passage to the Orient and the ore in question turned out to be worthless, he rose in fame, fortune and service to the Crown. The year 1588 saw the sometime pirate in command of one of the four English squadrons in the campaign against the Spanish Armada.


Write up extracted from: 

Frobisher Research File 



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