Monday, April 1, 2013

Sir Humphrey Gilbert

Sir Humphrey Gilbert (c. 1539 – 9 September 1583) of Devon in England was a half-brother (through his mother) of Sir Walter Raleigh. Adventurer, explorer, member of parliament, and soldier, he served during the reign of Queen Elizabeth and was a pioneer of English colonization in North America and the Plantations of Ireland.
On arriving at the port of St. John's, Gilbert found himself temporarily blockaded by the fishing fleet under the organization of the port admiral (an Englishman) on account of piracy committed against a Portuguese vessel in 1582 by one of Gilbert's commanders. Once this resistance was overcome, Gilbert waved his letters patent about and, in a formal ceremony, took possession of Newfoundland (including the lands 200 leagues to the north and south) for the English crown on 5 August 1583. This involved the cutting of turf to symbolize the transfer of possession of the soil, according to the common law of England. The locals presented him with a gift of a local dog, whom he named Stella for the North Star. He claimed authority over the fish stations at St. John's and proceeded to levy a tax on the fishermen from several countries who worked this popular area near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. 
Thank you Hemant for this nice FDC.

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