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While many freelance operators abounded with the Age of Exploration, national interests were also paying attention and quickly organized their own expeditions. The individuals on these ships were also frequently also explorers, but their main mission was to deliver the Rule of Law -- for each's respective country -- on the High Seas.
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Cross-listed in ExplorersArtists

Sir George Back

bornactivedied
1796, Nov 61808-18391878, Jun 23
a British naval officer, explorer of the Canadian Arctic, naturalist and artist. As a boy, he went to sea as a volunteer in the frigate HMS Arethusa in 1808 and took part in the destruction of batteries on the Spanish coast. In the following year, he was involved in combat in the Bay of Biscay, until he was captured by the French. Back remained a prisoner un...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Physicians

George Balfour

bornactivedied
unknown1790sunknown
naval surgeon in the U.S. navy
Timeline (1)


Cross-listed in Pirates

Hayreddin Barbarossa

aka: Khair ad Din, Kheyr-ed-din, Redbeard
bornactivedied
14781504-15451546
an Ottoman admiral of the fleet who was born in the island of Midilli (Lesbos) and died in Constantinople (Istanbul), the Ottoman capital. Barbarossa's naval victories secured Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean during the mid 16th century, from the Battle of Preveza in 1538 until the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
Timeline (4)Links (4)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Pirates

Joshua Barney

bornactivedied
unknown1759-1818unknown
an American Navy officer who served in the Continental Navy during the Revolutionary War. He later achieved the rank of commodore in the United States Navy. At the outbreak of the War of 1812, after a successful but unprofitable privateering cruise as commander of the Baltimore schooner Rossie, in which he captured the Post Office Packet Service packet ship ...
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Links (1)


James Barron

borndied
1768, Sep 151851, Apr 21
an officer in the United States Navy. He served in the Quasi-War and the Barbary Wars, during which he commanded a number of famous ships, including the USS Essex and the USS President. As Commander of the frigate USS Chesapeake, he was court-martialed for his actions in 1807, which led to the surrender of his ship to the British. After criticism from some f...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Pirates

Jean Bart

bornactivedied
1650, Oct 211672-16971702, Apr 27
a French naval commander and privateer. He served in the Dutch Navy and later became a successful privateer for the French. Bart retired an Admiral in French service. He made a famous escape in a small boat from Plymouth, in Devon.
Links (2)


Cross-listed in Governance

Washington Allon Bartlett

borndied
1816 ca1865, Feb 6
the first alcalde (mayor) of the American-era San Francisco serving from August 14, 1846 to January 31, 1847. While some sources state that Bartlett was born in Maine, citing dates of 3 September 1812 to 1820, other sources have stated he was related to Josiah Ba...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in ExplorersPhysicians

George Bass

bornactivedied
1771, Jan 301789-1803unknown
a British naval surgeon and explorer of Australia. At the age of 18 he was accepted in London as a member of the Company of Surgeons, and in 1794 he joined the Royal Navy as a surgeon. He arrived in Sydney in New South Wales on HMS Reliance on 7 September 1795.
Links (1)


Cross-listed in Pirates

Willem Bastiaanszoon

bornactivedied
1620 ca1670s-1680s1704
Dutch merchant and mariner in the Dutch navy. He was born in Haarlem. He took part in the war between the Dutch Republic and France (1672 - 1678) and was active against the privateers from Duinkerken in 1676. He was active against Sweden in the service of Denmark from 1676 to 1678 and transported Willem III in 1688 to England on board his frigate Den Briel.


Cross-listed in ExplorersScientistsCartographers

Nicolas Baudin

bornactivedied
1754, Feb 171769-18031803, Sep 16
a French explorer, cartographer, naturalist and hydrographer. At the age of 15 he joined the merchant navy, and at 20 joined the French East India Company. He then joined the French navy and served in the Caribbean as an officer bleu during the American War of Independence. He subsequently traveled to (and explored) China and Australia,
Links (1)


Cross-listed in Inventors

Francis Beaufort

borndied
1774, May 271857, Dec 17
an Irish hydrographer and officer in the Royal Navy. Beaufort was the creator of the Beaufort Scale for indicating wind force. During these early years of command, Beaufort developed the first versions of his Wind Force Scale and Weather Notation coding, which he was to use in his journals for the remainder of his life. From the circle representing a weather...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in ExplorersWritersCartographers

Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen

bornactivedied
1778, Sep 91796-18521852, Jan 13
a Baltic-German officer in the Imperial Russian Navy, cartographer and explorer, ultimately rose to the rank of Admiral. He participated in the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe and subsequently became a leader of another circumnavigation expedition, which discovered the continent of Antarctica.
Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Explorers

Vitus Bering

aka: Ivan Ivanovich Bering
bornactivedied
1681, Aug1699-17411741, Dec 19
a Danish born explorer in Russian service, and an officer in the Russian Navy. He is known for his two explorations of the north-eastern coast of the Asian continent and from there the western coast on the North American continent. The Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, Bering Island, the Bering Glacier and the Bering Land Bridge have since all been (posthumousl...
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Timeline (3)Links (13)


Albemarle Bertie

aka: 1st Baronet
bornactivedied
1755, Jan 201760s-18121824, Feb 24
a long-serving and at the time controversial officer of the British Royal Navy who saw extensive service in his career, but also courted controversy with several of his actions. Bertie won recognition for unsuccessfully defending his ship against superior odds in the American Revolutionary War. He was later criticised however for failing to close with the en...
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Links (1)


Admiral Robert Blake

borndied
1598, Sep 271657, Aug 7
one of the most important military commanders of the Commonwealth of England and one of the most famous English admirals of the 17th century, whose successes have "never been excelled, not even by Nelson" according to one biographer. Blake is recognised as the chief founder of England's naval supremacy, a dominance subsequently inherited by the British Royal...
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Timeline (5)Links (1)


William Bligh

borndied
1754, Sep 91817, Dec 7
an officer of the British Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. He is best remembered for the historic mutiny which occurred during his command of HMS Bounty in 1789; Bligh and his loyal men made a remarkable voyage to Timor, 3,618 nautical miles (6,701 km; 4,164 mi), after being set adrift in Bounty's launch by the mutineers.
Timeline (4)Links (9)


Willem Bloys van Treslong

borndied
15291594, Jul 17
a nobleman from the Southern Netherlands and military leader during the Dutch war of Independence . He was best known as one of the leaders of the Sea Beggars who captured Den Briel on April 1, 1572. Bloys of Treslong was appointed Admiral of Holland in 1573, followed by the appointment as Admiral of Zealand in 1576. After a dispute over the strategy for the...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Explorers

Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra

bornactivedied
1744, May 221770s-1790s1794, Mar 26
a Spanish naval officer born in Lima, Peru. Assigned to the Pacific coast Spanish Naval Department base at San Blas, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (present day Mexico), this navigator explored the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America as far north as present day Alaska.
Links (1)


Cross-listed in Pirates

Louis de Boisot

aka: Ludwig of Boisot, Lodewijk van Boisot, Lord of Ruart
bornactivedied
1530 ca1560s-15761576, May 27
After 1567 he joined the watergeuzen. He took part in a battle under Willem van Oranje in 1572. He was escort on its way to France when he was capture He managed to escape, however. In 1573 he became Admiral of Zeeland and in 1574 he was Lieutenan-Admiral of Holland and Zeelan On 29 January 1574 he managed to defeat the fleet under the command of Luis de Res...
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Timeline (3)


Cross-listed in Writers

Carl Siegfried Bonnevie

borndied
1804, Dec 191856, Oct 13
a Norwegian naval officer. He took his naval education at Frederiksvern, and became an officer in 1821. In the Royal Norwegian Navy he was promoted to Premier Lieutenant in 1832, Lieutenant Captain in 1945 and Captain in 1856, though he spent the years 1841 to 1849 in Bengal. He was a notable debater within the circle of higher officers, founding and editing...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in ExplorersWriters

Louis Antoine de Bougainville

bornactivedied
1729, Nov 121753-18111811, Aug 31
a French admiral and explorer. A contemporary of the British explorer James Cook, he took part in the Seven Years' War in North America and the American Revolutionary War against Britain. Bougainville later gained fame for his expeditions, including circumnavigation...
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Links (10)


Cross-listed in WritersCommerce

Ashley Bowen

bornactivedied
1728, Jan 81741-1790s1813
the first American sailor to write an autobiography. Although Bowen's career as a sailor was not particularly remarkable, his writings are of great value in understanding the life of an average sailor at that time. Bowen was a sailor from the age of 13 to the age of 35. Although Bowen did not become a master of his own ship or have notable seafaring adventur...
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Links (3)


Cross-listed in Writers

Edward Boys

bornactivedied
17491796-18511866
an English sea captain. In 1803, Boys, when in charge of a prize, was made prisoner by the French, and continued so for six years, when after many daring and ingenious attempts he succeeded in effecting his escape.Immediately after his escape, and whilst in the West Indies, he wrote for his family an account of his adventures in France; the risk of getting s...
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Links (4)


Cross-listed in Explorers

Edward Bransfield

borndied
1785 ca1852, Oct 31
an officer in the British Royal Navy, serving as a master on several ships, after being impressed into service at the age of eighteen in Ireland, where he was born. He is noted for exploring parts of Antarctica, sighting the Trinity Peninsula in January 1820.
Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Pirates

Luis Brion

aka: Pedro Luis Brión
bornactivedied
1782, Jul 61806-18211821, Sep 27
a military officer who fought in the Venezuelan War of Independence. He rose to the rank of admiral in the navies of Venezuela and the old Republic of Colombia. In 1803, returning from battle, he dedicated himself to business. From 1803 to 1806 he led various actions to prevent the British reoccupation of the island. Nevertheless, the British occupied the is...
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Links (4)


Philip Broke

aka: 1st Baronet, Broke of the Shannon
borndied
1776, Sep 91841, Jan 2
a distinguished officer in the British Royal Navy. During his lifetime he was often referred to as Broke of the Shannon, a reference to his notable command of HMS Shannon in the War of 1812. Broke joined the Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth Dockyard in 1788, and began active service as a midshipman in 1792. It was rather unusual for him to receive formal na...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in ClergyGovernance

Philip of Burgundy

aka: Philip van Bourgondie
bornactivedied
14641498-15241524
Admiral of the Netherlands from 1498 to 1517 and bishop of Utrecht from 1517 to 1524. In the years 1505-1507 he acted on behalf of the Habsburg dukes Philip the Fair and Maximilian I as governor of Gelre and Zutphen. As bishop, he lived as a true Renaissance prince, and allowed himself little interest in religious matters, he subcontracted by deputies. He di...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Explorers

Jose de Bustamante y Guerra

aka: José
bornactivedied
1759, Apr 11770-18171825, Mar 10
a Spanish naval officer, explorer, and politician. With Alessandro Malaspina, they proposed to the Spanish government a grand scientific expedition modeled after the voyages of James Cook. From 1789 to 1794 Bustamante and Malaspina sailed throughout the Pacific Oce...
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Links (1)


John Byron

aka: Foul-weather Jack
borndied
1723, Nov 81786, Apr 10
a Royal Navy officer. He was known as Foul-weather Jack because of his frequent encounters with bad weather at sea. As a midshipman, he sailed in the squadron under George Anson on his voyage around the world, though Byron made it to southern Chile, and returned to England with the captain of HMS Wager. He was governor of Newfoundland following Hugh Palliser...
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Timeline (2)Links (1)

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