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Tudor fact file

Exploration of the World



  • In 1497 John Cabot sailed from Bristol and reached Nova Scotia in North America.
  • In 1508 Sebastian Cabot sailed into Hudson Bay in North America.
  • By 1521 Spanish and Portuguese explorers had found sea routes to America and the Pacific Ocean.
  • English explorers followed their routes.
  • In 1527 Cabot explored the coast of Paraguay in South America.
  • Everyone was searching for new routes to trade goods and to find new lands to settle and live in.
  • The Spanish found new sources of gold in South America.
  • By 1550 the Spanish had conquered much of South and Central America. They brought back the gold by ships to Spain.
  • England and Spain were not openly at war, but privateers such as John Hawkins attacked the treasure ships and took the gold to England.
  • Slaves were taken from West Africa to the Caribbean. They were sold to Spanish settlers in return for sugar, ginger animal skins and pearls.
  • In 1548 English settlers built home on Roanake Island off of Virginia, North America. Sir Walter Raleigh founded this colony. More settlers came in 1585, but because of lack of support from England the settlers abandoned it and returned home.
  • In 1553 Willoughby and Chancellor sailed north east to Russia.
  • Sir Francis Drake was one of the most famous privateers. (The Spanish would have called him a pirate).
  • In 1572 Drake raided Spanish ports in the West Indies and Panama.
  • In 1576 Sir Martin Frobisher explored the Hudson Strait in North America.
  • He went on a voyage around the world in 1577. He set out with three ships. He sailed around South America and up the Pacific Coast. He captured vast amounts of gold and silver from the Spanish. When he returned home Elizabeth I made him a knight.
  • Drake returned from his voyage round the world in 1580.
  • In 1595 Sir Walter Raleigh sailed to Guiana in South America.


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