Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sir Humphrey Gilbert


From Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes.

Gilbert, Sir Humphrey (?1539-1583) English soldier and navigator, half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh

Despite the advice of his lieutenants, Gilbert refused to abandon his little ten-ton frigate, the Squirrel, which was overloaded and unseaworthy. Having paid a visit to his men onboard the other remaining ship in his fleet, the Golden Hind, he insisted on returning to the Squirrel. On the afternoon of September 9, 1583, the frigate was almost overwhelmed by the waves, but finally was recovered. Gilbert, sitting near the stern with a book in his hand, shouted out to the Golden Hind as it came within earshot, 'We are as near to heaven by sea as by land.' That night the watch on the Golden Hind saw the lights of the Squirrel suddenly vanish, and he cried out, 'The general is cast away.' This was indeed true, and of the five ships that set out on the expedition, only the Golden Hind returned to England to tell the tale, together with Gilbert's noble last words."

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