Thomas Cavendish

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Sir Thomas Cavendish (September 19, 1560[1] – May 1592) was an explorer and a privateer known as "The Navigator" because he was the first who deliberately set out to circumnavigate the globe. While members of Magellan's, Loaisa's, Drake's, and Loyola's expeditions had preceded Cavendish in circumnavigating the globe, it had not been their intent at the outset.[2] After his first circumnavigation, which made him rich from Spanish gold, he set out for a second, but was not as fortunate and died at sea at the age of 32.



Cavendish was born in 1560 at Trimley St. Martin near Ipswich, Suffolk, England. He was a descendant of Roger Cavendish, brother to Sir John Cavendish from whom the Dukes of Devonshire and the Dukes of Newcastle derive their family name of Cavendish. At the age of 15 he attended Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University for two years, but did not take a degree.[3] He was a member of the Parliament for Shaftesbury, Dorset, in 1584. He sailed with Sir Richard Grenville to Virginia in 1585. He was a member of Parliament for Wilton, 1586. He circumnavigated the globe between 1586-1588. Embarked on a second voyage around the world in 1591 and died of unknown causes in the South Atlantic in 1592.



  • David Judkins (2003), "Cavendish, Thomas (1560-1592)" in Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia, volume 1.
  • Peter Edwards, editor (1988). Last Voyages: Cavendish, Judson, Ralegh: The Original Narratives. Oxford. ISBN 0198128940
  • Richard Hakluyt. Chapter: "The prosperous voyage of the worshipful Thomas Candish..", in Voyages and Discoveries: Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation. Found in volume 8 of the 1907 Everyman's Library edition. Also found in Penguin edition ISBN 0-14-043073-3

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