Saturday, January 16, 2010

#17-Willoughby and Chancellor

17 Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor

Hugh Willoughby (c.1525-1554) and Richard Chancellor (c.1520-1556) were English explorers trying to find the Northeast passage. Although Willoughby had good commanding skills and was the appointed leader of the voyage, he left all the navigational work to Chancellor, for Willoughby had no previous nautical experience. On May 10, 1553, Willoughby and Chancellor left England with their three ships, the Bona Esparanza, the Edward Bonaventure, and the Bona Confidentia. When the ships got to the Lofotan Islands, a terrible storm hit, separating Chancellor (in the Edward Bonaventure) from Willoughby and the other two ships. Although Willoughby made it to Novaya Zemlya, he was forced to return to Scandinavia. His ships then got stuck in the ice at the mouth of the Arzina River near Murmansk. Although Willoughby and his crew made several attempts to find help, none were successful, and Russian fishermen found their bodies a year later. Chancellor, on the other hand, found luck. He was able to bring his ship to Kholmogory (Arkkanglash) on the Dvina River, and was even invited to Moscow by Ivan the Terrible. When he returned, Chancellor brought back furs and letters promising trade privileges. Later on, when Chancellor tried to return to Russia, he drown in a shipwreck off the Scottish coast. Willoughby and Chancellor are remembered for helping to bring Russian and British trade together. They also helped England remember that there were trade opportunities closer than the New World and Asia.

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