Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
April 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


John Davis


Davis, John (1550?-1605), explorer, was born at Sandridge, near Dartmouth, Devonshire, about 1550. He went to sea as a boy, and became one of the most famous of Elizabethan sea-captains. In 1585, 1586, and 1587 he made voyages to the north-east coast of America, and explored the shores of Davis strait, Cumberland gulf, and Baffin bay. He narrowly escaped discovering Hudson strait and Hudson bay. In 1588 he took his share in repelling the Spanish Armada; and in his later years he made several expeditions to the South seas. He was killed by Japanese pirates at Bintang, near Singapore, on December 29, 1605. He was the author of a treatise on navigation entitled The seaman's secrets (London, 1594); and his own accounts of his voyages have been published by A. H. Markham for the Hakluyt Society (London, 1880). See Clements R. Markham, Life of John Davis, the navigator (London, 1889).

Source  : W. Stewart Wallace, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 183-184.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College