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Martin Frobisher

Martin Frobisher was an English explorer who aspired to discover the Northwest Passage. This passage was said to link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Frobisher began his exploratory voyages when he explored the northwest coast of Africa. He subsequently became an authorized pirate under the commission of the British crown. As an Elizabethan privateer, he was mandated to plunder ships whose cargo was mainly the enemies’ treasures. He was particularly reputed for his privateer actions against French ships. Frobisher is notable for his three voyages, where he was one of the first explorers to venture and explore North America’s northeast coast. His second expedition led to his sighting the Labrador coast in Canada. Because of severe conditions Frobisher could not continue with his sail northwards, therefore, he sailed westward reaching Baffin Island. It was at this island that he encountered a group of natives that captured some of his crew members. He took a black rock from Baffin Island back to England, which, he believed, contained gold. This rock formed the basis of his third voyage purposely to explore possible precious metals, significantly gold.

Frobisher is remembered mainly because of his attempt at discovering the Northwest Passage. However, while most explorers are remembered for their successes, Frobisher is remembered for his failure to accomplish his primary objective, which was the discovery of the Northwestern Passage. His expeditions to Baffin Island were consequently a failure, since his exploration for precious metals did not find gold which he thought he had found. However, the ore, which he took back to England, turned out to contain iron pyrite, which was worthless given the significant amounts of money invested in his voyages. His only notable success was his privateer activities against French treasure ships and his participation in fighting the Spanish Armada and other subsequent battles. Consequently, he was knighted as recognition towards his contribution in the battlefields.

Frobisher’s activities had no significant impact in archeological contributions; therefore, the evidence of his archaeological contributions is significantly limited. His search for precious metals did not find any valuable archaeological evidences. However, archeologists can only find the evidence of his adventures in the discovery of the remains of the sailors who were captured at Baffin Island. Moreover, the evidence of his excavations in search of precious metals might indicate his activities during his voyages. However, his activities had minimal archaeological significance. He is recognized for his privateering and prowess in the battlefields more than for his successes, in exploration.

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