Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CAVENDISH, Thomas, English navigator, born in 1564; died in 1593. He inherited wealth from his father, who lived at Trimley St. Martin, Suffolk, but reduced himself to a state of comparative poverty by living at court and by his extravagance. He then determined to improve his estate at the expense of the Spanish-American colonists, and with this purpose, aided by others who had become interested in his design, he fitted out three vessels of forty, sixty, and one hundred and twenty tons, and sailed on 22 July, 1586, having the year before gained experience by accompanying the expedition under Lane and Sir R. Grenville to colonize Virginia. They entered the straits of Magellan, 6 January, 1587, and after thirty-three days succeeded in clearing the straits, having examined the coast during that time and taken observations. On the Pacific coast they captured and burned Payta, Acapulco, and other towns. Cavendish secured his richest booty in the capture of the Spanish galleon "Santa Anna," of 700 tons, which, together with a valuable cargo, had 122,000 Spanish dollars in its stores. He then sailed from California, crossed the Pacific to the Ladrone islands, went through the Indian archipelago and strait of Java, and around the Cape of Good Hope, reaching England on 9 September, 1588, having circumnavigated the globe in a shorter time than any preceding navigator. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth soon after reaching home, and on 26 August, 1591, sailed on another expedition, but stormy weather, sickness, and a mutinous crew were the principal incidents until his death, on the coast of Brazil, or on his passage home. He rendered some service to geography and topography, and wrote an account of his first expedition, entitled "Voyage to Magellanica in 1586." See "Callander's Voyages" (London, 1776).
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