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Famous People from England

Updated on October 28, 2013
The Fighting Temeraire  National Gallery London.
The Fighting Temeraire National Gallery London.

Famous English Explorers

One of the things that is not so apparent is the number of people from England that have had a profound effect on the way we live now. As I said it is not so apparent at first but we are permanently indebted to many an English person that has gone before us; In the professions of Medicine, Science and the Arts as well as Explorers. Let us start with the first of the English Explorers who can account for the expansion of the once mighty British Empire into the antipodes.

A markerDevon Cornwall -
Cornwall, UK
get directions

Sir Walter Raleigh

Raleigh was born to a Protestant Family in Devon, the son of Walter Raleigh and Catherine Champernowne. Raleigh's plan in 1584 for colonization in the "Colony and Dominion of Virginia" (which included the present-day states of North Carolina and Virginia.

Raleigh was Mayor in Devon from 1588 to 1589. He is credited with having planted the first potatoes in Ireland.

From 1600 to 1603, as Governor of the Channel Island of Jersey, Raleigh modernised its defences. This included construction of a new fort protecting the approaches to Saint Helier, Fort Isabella Bellissima , or Elizabeth Castle.

In 1592, Raleigh was given many rewards by the Queen, including Durham Housein the Strand and the estate of Sherborne, Dorset.

Raleigh was beheaded at Whitehall on 29 October 1618. "Let us dispatch", he said to his executioner. "At this hour my ague comes upon me. I would not have my enemies think I quaked from fear." After he was allowed to see the axe that would behead him, he mused: "This is a sharp Medicine, but it is a Physician for all diseases and miseries."

Sir Francis Drake

As the story goes Sir Francis Drake discovered the America's as we now know them .

He is famous for (among other things) leading the first English circumnavigation of the world, from 1577 to 1580.

On 26 September, 1580 Golden Hind sailed into Plymouth with Drake and 59 remaining crew aboard, along with a rich cargo of spices and captured Spanish treasures. The Queen's half-share of the cargo surpassed the rest of the crown's income for that entire year. Drake was hailed as the first Englishman to circumnavigate the Earth (and the second such voyage arriving with at least one ship intact,

Drake was vice admiral in command of the English fleet (under Lord Howard of Effingham) when it overcame the Spanish Armada that was attempting to invade England in 1588.

Drakes Bay and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard of Marin County, California are both named after him, as well as the high school in San Anselmo, California The boulevard runs between Drakes Bay at Point Reyes to Point San Quentin on San Francisco Bay. Each end is near a site considered by some to be Drake's landing place in Central California.A large hotel in Union Square, San Francisco also bears his name.

Birthplace of Captain James Cook

A markerMarton Yorkshire -
Marton, Hull, Yorkshire HU11, UK
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Captain James Cook

Captain James Cook discovered numerous Isles around the world including Australiasia. This led to the establishment of a penal colony and gradual 'non-native' settlement in Australia...

Captain James Cook FRS RN (7 November [O.S. 27 October] 1728 – 14 February 1779) was an English explorer, navigator and cartographer, ultimately rising to the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy. Cook was the first to map Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean during which he achieved the first European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands as well as the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

Cook was born in the village of Marton in Yorkshire, today a suburb belonging to the town of Middlesbrough. He was baptised in the local church of St. Cuthbert's where today his name can be seen in the church register. Cook

In 1766, the Royal Society hired Cook to travel to the Pacific Ocean to observe and record the transit of Venus across the Sun Cook was promoted to Lieutenant and named as commander of the expedition.

Cook's 12 years sailing around the Pacific Ocean contributed much to European knowledge of the area. Several islands such as Sandwich Islands (Hawaii)were encountered for the first time by Europeans, and his more accurate navigational charting of large areas of the Pacific was a major achievement.


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    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      well i'll let you do your homework...

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      Anonymous 5 years ago

      Hey great hub! The only problem is im doing a project and i have to know when they where born. :/

    • profile image

      sun cooking, 5 years ago

      hi, thanks for an interesting article! solar cooking is an excellent way to cook food without wasting fuel or heating up your kitchen. we especially like dehydrating fruit, bananas and mangoes turn out great!!

    • profile image

      Grace 6 years ago

      do you have any girls

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      ethel smith A belated response to your comment on speaking with a scholar on the Topic is is believed another explorer Leif Erikkson was responsible for potatoes and not Raleigh as is oftem claimed...

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Which one brought the potato and which cigarettes? Was it Raleigh?

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Wow, great idea to write about the English explorers. Looks like England could be view for their history of adventure. Good job!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      And thank you indeed for you comment JAY JAY

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 7 years ago from Bristol England

      Very interesting hub, well written and easy to read. Well done