EXPLORERS

Marco Polo
born in Venice, Italy, probably around 1254. In 1271, Marco, along with his Father and Uncle, travelled to China. In those days it was known as "Cathay". In 1275, Polo and his Father and Uncle had arrived in Cambuluc (Beijing). It is thought the Polo family lived in China for around 17 to 20 years. They eventually arrived back in Venice in 1295. Polo went on to write about his journeys in a book, "Il Milione". Also known as "The Travels of Marco Polo". The book basically became the authoritive subject of China for centuries. Marco Polo died sometime around 1324.

Sir Walter Raleigh
Born in 1552, at Devonshire, England. It should be noted that there are in fact several alternate spellings for his surname including: Ralegh, Rawleigh and Rawley. In 1585, Raleigh was knighted. Raleigh was a spy for Queen Elizabeth 1, and he uncover a plot by the Catholic church to overthrow Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth 1, as a sign of gratitude, granted Walrt a 40,000 acre estate in Ireland. After the death of Elizabeth, Raleigh suffered some trumped up charge for treason. Later, Raleigh was charged with conspiring against James I. Walter Raleigh died October 29, 1618, by execution.

Sir James Ross
Born April 15, 1800, in London, England. In 1812, Ross joined the navy. Ross took part in several Arctic expeditions. In 1831, James was part of an expedition that discovered the North Magnetic Pole. Ross was nominated to the French order of the Legion d'Honneur, and Knighted. Sir James Ross died in 1862.

Robert Scott
Born June 6, 1868, in Devon, England. In 1881, Scott joined the Navy. By 1891, Scott had been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. In 1900, Scott was placed in command of the National Antarctic Expedition. Then in 1912, Robert Scott commanded the Terra Nova expedition. Scott reached reached the pole in January, 1912. However, much to his dismay, Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten him by a month. Robert Scott died March 29, 1912. His son, "Peter Markham Scott", co-founded the World Wildlife Fund.

Ernest Shackleton
Born February 15, 1874, in Kilkee, Ireland. Shackleton attended Dulwich College. In 1901, the Royal Geographical Society organized an expedition which Ernest took part. In 1709, Shackleton led a new expedition to Antarctica with the goal of reaching the South Pole. Shackleton was Knighted in 1909. Ernest Shackleton died June 5, 1922.

John Speke
Born on May 4, 1827. Speke joined Richard Burton in 1854 on a expedition to Somalia where they reached the forbidden city "Harar". Afain in 1856, Speke joined Burton. This time they explored East Africa where they discovered "Lake Tanganyika". John Speke died September 15, 1864, from a hunting accident.

George Vancouver
Born on June 22, 1757, in Kings Lynn, England. At only 15 years old, Vancouver took part in his first expedition aboard Captain James Cooks "HMS Resolution". In 1776, Vancouver was part of the voyage aboard the ship, "HMS Discovery". From 1791 to 1794, Vancouver led an expedition to explor the Pacific coast of North America. George Vancouver died May 12, 1798.

Francisco Pizarro
Born in 1475, in in Trujillo, Spain. In 1510, Pizarro journed to Colombia. Pizzaro also was with Vasco Núñez de Balboa, when they discovered the Pacific. Later, in Panama, Francisco became involved in the cattle trade. By 1524, pizzaro had formed a partnership with Fernando de Luque and Diego de Almagro. After a number of explorations, Pizzaro returned to Spain where he secured financial help from Emperor Charles V. In 1532, Pizarro with a small force arrived at Cajamarca. Pizarro took Atahualpa prisoner, extorted a massive ransom, then eventually murdered him in cold blood. Pizarro went on a blood thirsty killing rampage against the people, killing them and stealing their posessions. Francisco Pizarro died on June 26, 1541, after being assassinated.

Zebulon Pike
Born on January 5, 1779, in Lamberton, New Jersey. In 1794, Pike was a Cadet in the army serving in his Fathers regiment. By 1805, Pike was placed in charge of a mission to explore the source of the Mississippi River. In 1806, Pike led a new mission. This time to explore west. During this mission, he sighted "Pikes Peak", which was eventually named after him. In 1810, an account of his expedition was published. Zebulon Pike died in 1813.

Nicolas Perrot
Born 1644, in France. In his younger years, Nicolas migrated to Canada (New France). Perrot went on to become trade furs in exchange for guns and established good relations with the native Indians. Nicolas Perrot died August 13, 1717, in Bécancour.

Sir William Parry
Born December 19, 1790, in Bath. William joined the British navy at only 13 years old. In 1818, Parry made his first voyage to the arctic. In 1816, Parry published the "Nautical Astronomy by Night". Parry served on the "Alexander" in 1818. In 1819, Parry gained Chief Command of the two ships, the "Hecla" and the "Griper" for a new Arctic voyage. Parry went on to discover and name "Melville Island" and "Barrow Strait". The voyage returned to England in 1820. In 1852, Parry was promoted to the Rank of Rear-Admiral. Sir William Parry died in 1855.

Mungo Park
Born September 20, 1771, Scotland. Mungo earned a surgical diploma from the University of Edinburgh. Park was part of a voyage to Benkulen in 1792, during a stint as the assistant-surgeon on board the "Worcester" East Indiaman. Park was then employed to explore the course of the Niger River. By June, 1795, Park had reached the Gambia. Mungo, then ascended the river, till he eventually made his way inward. At one stage, Park was captured and held prisoner for four months. He eventually reached the Niger at Segu. Mungo Park died in 1806.

Ferdinand Magellan
Born in 1480, in Northern Portugal. At the age of 12, Ferdinand served as a page for Queen Leonor. Magellan made his first sailing voyage under the Portuguese flag in 1505, where Ferdinand went to India. In 1517, Magellan travelled to Spain. In Spain, the Knig accepted a plan put forward by Magellan for a voyage. Later, Magellan became a citizen of Spain. Magellan is credited with leading the first expedition that sailed around the World. He also gave the Pacific Ocean its name. Ferdinand Magellan died in 1521.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie
Born in probably 1764, in Scotland. His family moved to New York in 1774. Then in 1776, they moved to Montreal. Mackenzie founded Fort Chipewyan in 1788. In 1789, Alexander discovered the Mackenzie River. Mackenzie also became the first European to cross the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountains. In 1802, Mackenzie was Knighted. He also served in the legislature of Lower Canada. Alexander Mackenzie died in 1820.

David Livingstone
Born March 19, 1813, in Blantyre, Scotland. David studied medicine and theology at the University of Glasgow. Livingstone discovered the Zambezi River in 1851, and then the Victoria Falls in 1855. David was later appointed the British consul at Quelimane. Livingstone again returned to Africa in 1866, where he went on to discover the lakes Bangweula and Mweru. David Livingstone died on May 1, 1873. Livingstone as buried in Westminster Abbey. David Livingstone (19 March 1813 - 1 May 1873) was a Scottish Presbyterian pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and explorer in central Africa. He was the first European to see Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls), to which he gave the English name in honor of his monarch, Queen Victoria. He is the subject of the meeting with H. M. Stanley, which gave rise to the popular quotation, "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" Perhaps one of the most popular national heroes of the late-nineteenth century in Victorian Britain, Livingstone's mythic status operated on a number of interconnected levels: that of Protestant missionary martyr, that of working-class "rags to riches" inspirational story, that of scientific investigator and explorer, that of imperial reformer, anti-slavery crusader and advocate of commercial empire. His fame as an explorer helped drive forward the obsession with discovering the sources of the Nile River that formed the culmination of the classic period of European geographical discovery and colonial penetration of the African continent. Born on March 19, 1813 in the mill town of Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland, into a Protestant family believed to be descended from the highland Livingstones, a clan that had been previously known as the Clan MacLea. Born to Neil Livingstone (1788-1856) and his wife Agnes (1782-1865), David, along with many of the Livingstones, was employed in the cotton mill of H. Monteith - David and brother John working 12-hour days as "piecers," tying broken cotton threads on the spinning machines. David Livingstone's father Neil was very religious, a Sunday School teacher and teetotaller who handed out Christian tracts on his travels as a door to door tea salesman, and who read books on theology, travel and missionary enterprises. This rubbed off on the young David, who became an avid reader, but he also loved scouring the countryside for animal, plant and geological specimens in local limestone quarries. Neil Livingstone had a fear of science books as undermining Christianity and attempted to force him to read nothing but theology, but David's deep interest in nature and science led him to investigate the relationship between religion and science. When in 1832 he read Philosophy of a Future State by the science teacher, amateur astronomer and church minister Dr Thomas Dick, he found the rationale he needed to reconcile faith and science, and apart from the Bible this book was perhaps his greatest philosophical influence. At age nineteen David and his father left the Church of Scotland for a local Congregational church, influenced by preachers like Ralph Wardlaw who denied predestinatarian limitations on salvation. Livingstone's experience from age ten to twenty-five in H. Montieth's Blantyre cotton mill, first as a piecer, later as a spinner was also important. Livingstone attended Blantyre village school along with the few other mill children with the endurance to do so, but a family with a strong, ongoing commitment to study also reinforced his education. After reading Gutzlaff's appeal for medical missionaries for China in 1834, he began saving money and in 1836 entered Anderson's College in Glasgow, founded to bring science and technology to ordinary folk, and attended Greek and theology lectures at the University of Glasgow. In addition, he attended divinity lectures by Wardlaw, a leader at this time of vigorous anti-slavery campaigning in the city. Shortly after he applied to join the LMS and was accepted subject to missionary training. He continued his medical studies in London while training there and in Essex to be a minister under the supervision of the LMS. Despite his impressive personality, he was a poor preacher and would have been rejected by the LMS had not the Director given him a second chance to pass the course. Livingstone hoped to go to China as a missionary, but the First Opium War broke out in September 1839 and the LMS suggested the West Indies instead. Livingstone was assigned to Kuruman by the LMS and sailed in December 1840, arrived at Moffat's mission, now part of South Africa, in July 1841. Upon arrival, Livingstone was disappointed at the unexpectedly small size of the village and an indigenous Christian population, after Moffat's twenty years of work, of only about forty communicants and a congregation of 350. Reasoning that conversions would be more likely if the missionaries were themselves indigenous converts, Livingstone rapidly attached himself to the plans of missionary Rogers Edwards to found a mission farther north in territory increasingly disturbed by traders, hunters, and Afrikaner settlers. Setting up the new mission at Mabotswa among the Kgatla people in 1844, he was mauled by a lion which might have killed him if it had not been distracted by the African teacher Mebalwe, who was also badly injured. Both recovered but Livingstone's arm was partially disabled and caused him pain for the rest of his life. Robert Moffat arrived in Kuruman with his family in December 1843, and shortly afterward Livingstone married Moffat's eldest daughter Mary on January 2, 1845. She was also Scottish but had lived in Africa since she was four. After falling out with Edwards he moved to an out-station at Chonuane among the Kwena under chief Sechele, and finally moved with the Kwena to Kolobeng in 1847 under pressure of drought. Mary travelled with Livingstone for a brief time at his insistence, despite her pregnancy and the protests of the Moffats. She gave birth to a daughter, Agnes, in May 1847, and at Kolobeng began an infant's school while Livingstone worked on a philological analysis of the Setswana language, in which he had become fluent. The first and only Christian convert of Livingstone's career was made in Kolobeng when Sechele was baptized after renouncing all but his senior wife, although he was later denied communion after he took back one of his previous wives. Livingstone always emphasized the importance of understanding local custom and belief as well as the necessity of encouraging Africans to proselytize, however he always had acute difficulties finding converts he considered suited for training to be missionaries. Later Mary and Livingstone's family returned to England, but came to Africa again on the Zambezi Expedition. After the Kolobeng mission had to be closed due to drought, he explored the African interior to the north, in the period 1852-56, and was the first European to see the Mosi-oa-Tunya ("the smoke that thunders") waterfall (which he renamed Victoria Falls after his monarch, Queen Victoria). Livingstone was one of the first Westerners to make a transcontinental journey across Africa, Luanda on the Atlantic to Quelimane on the Indian Ocean near the mouth of the Zambezi, in 1854-56. Despite attempts especially by the Portuguese, the great peninsula of central and southern Africa had not been crossed by Europeans at that latitude owing to their susceptibility to malaria, dysentery and sleeping sickness which was prevalent in the interior and which also prevented use of draught animals (oxen and horses), as well as to the opposition of powerful chiefs and tribes, such as the Lozi, and the Lunda of Mwata Kazembe. Livingstone was a proponent of trade and Christian missions to be established in central Africa. His motto, inscribed in the base of the statue to him at Victoria Falls, was "Christianity, Commerce and Civilisation." At this time he believed the key to achieving these goals was the navigation of the Zambezi River as a Christian commercial highway into the interior. He returned to Britain to try to garner support for his ideas, and to publish a book on his travels which brought him fame as one of the leading explorers of the age. Believing he had a spiritual calling for exploration rather than mission work, and encouraged by the response in Britain to his discoveries and support for future expeditions, in 1857 he resigned from the London Missionary Society. The British government agreed to fund Livingstone's idea and he returned to Africa as head of the Zambezi Expedition to examine the natural resources of southeastern Africa and open up the River Zambezi. Unfortunately it turned out to be completely unnavigable past the Cabora Bassa rapids, a series of cataracts and rapids that Livingstone had failed to explore on his earlier travels. The expedition lasted from March 1858 until the middle of 1864. Livingstone was an inexperienced leader and had trouble managing a large-scale project. The artist Thomas Baines was dismissed from the expedition on charges (which he vigorously denied) of theft. Livingstone's wife Mary died on 29 April 1863 of malaria, but Livingstone continued to explore, eventually returning home in 1864 after the government ordered the recall of the Expedition. The Zambezi Expedition was castigated as a failure in many newspapers of the time, and Livingstone experienced great difficulty in raising funds further to explore Africa. Nevertheless, the scientists appointed to work under Livingstone, John Kirk, Charles Meller, and Richard Thornton did contribute large collections of botanic, ecological, geological and ethnographic material to scientific institutions in the UK. In January 1866, Livingstone returned to Africa, this time to Zanzibar, from where he set out to seek the source of the Nile. Richard Francis Burton, John Hanning Speke and Samuel Baker had (although there was still serious debate on the matter) identified either Lake Albert or Lake Victoria as the source (which was partially correct, as the Nile "bubbles from the ground high in the mountains of Burundi halfway between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria"). Finding the Lualaba River, Livingstone decided it was the "real" Nile, but in fact it is the Upper Congo River. Although Livingstone was wrong about the Nile, he discovered for western science numerous geographical features, such Lake Ngami, Lake Malawi, and Lake Bangweulu in addition to Victoria Falls mentioned above. He filled in details of Lake Tanganyika, Lake Mweru and the course of many rivers, especially the upper Zambezi, and his observations enabled large regions to be mapped which previously had been blank. Even so, the furthest north he reached, the north end of Lake Tanganyika, was still south of the Equator and he did not penetrate the rainforest of the River Congo any further downstream than Ntangwe near Misisi. Livingstone was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society of London and was made a fellow of the society, with which he had a strong association for the rest of his life. Livingstone's letters, books and journals did stir up public support for the abolition of slavery. However he became humiliatingly dependent for assistance on the very slave-traders whom he wanted to put out of business. Because he was a poor leader of his peers, he ended up on his last expedition as an individualist explorer with servants and porters but no expert support around him. At the same time he did not use the brutal methods of maverick explorers such as Stanley to keep his retinue of porters in line and his supplies secure. For these reasons from 1867 onwards he accepted help and hospitality from Mohamad Bogharib and Mohamad bin Saleh (also known as Mpamari), traders who kept and traded in slaves, as he recounts in his journals. They in turn benefited from Livingstone's influence with local people, which facilitated Mpamari's release from bondage to Mwata Kazembe. Livingstone completely lost contact with the outside world for six years and was ill for most of the last four years of his life. Only one of his 44 letter dispatches made it to Zanzibar. Henry Morton Stanley, who had been sent to find him by the New York Herald newspaper in 1869, found Livingstone in the town of Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on November 10, 1871, greeting him with the now famous words "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" These famous words may be a fabrication, as Stanley has torn out the pages of this encounter in his diary. Even Livingstone's account of this encounter doesn't mention these words. Despite Stanley's urgings, Livingstone was determined not to leave Africa until his mission was complete. His illness made him confused and he had judgment difficulties at the end of his life. He explored the Lualaba and failing to find connections to the Nile, returned to Lake Bangweulu and its swamps to explore possible rivers flowing out northwards. David Livingstone died in that area in Chief Chitambo's village at Ilala southeast of Lake Bangweulu in Zambia, on 1 May 1873 from malaria and internal bleeding caused by dysentery. He took his final breaths while kneeling in prayer at his bedside. (His journal indicates that the date of his death would have been 1 May, but his attendants noted the date as 4 May, which they carved on a tree and later reported; this is the date on his grave.) Livingstone's heart was buried under a Mvula tree near the spot where he died, now the site of the Livingstone Memorial. His body together with his journal was carried over a thousand miles by his loyal attendants Chuma and Susi, and was returned to Britain for burial in Westminster Abbey. By the late 1860s Livingstone's reputation in Europe had suffered owing to the failure of the missions he set up, and of the Zambezi Expedition; and his ideas about the source of the Nile were not supported. His expeditions were hardly models of order and organisation. His reputation was rehabilitated by Stanley and his newspaper, and by the loyalty of Livingstone's servants whose long journey with his body inspired wonder. The publication of his last journal revealed stubborn determination in the face of suffering. He had made geographical discoveries for European knowledge. He inspired abolitionists of the slave trade, explorers and missionaries. He opened up Central Africa to missionaries who initiated the education and health care for Africans, and trade by the African Lakes Company. He was held in some esteem by many African chiefs and local people and his name facilitated relations between them and the British.

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Elisha Kane
Born Febuary 3, 1820, Philadelphia. Kane studied Medicine and later joined the navy as a medical officer. Some of his ealier voyages took Kane to Bombay, Philippines, Rio de Janeiro, and Ceylon. During the Mexican-American War, Kane was part of a secret mission that saw him take a serious wound, but he survived. Kane also served on the U.S.S. Supply, and the U.S.S. Walker. Elisha Kane died Febuary 16, 1857, Havana, Cuba.

Louis Jolliet
Born September 21, 1645, in Quebec. Jolliet studied at the Jesuit seminary. In 1673, Jolliet lead an expedition to explore the Mississippi. Louis was granted the Island of Anticosti. Here he built a fortress, but the Island was captured in 1690 by the British. Jolliet was appointed the Royal Hydrographer, in 1693. Louis Jolliet died in 1700.

Sir Harry Johnston
Born June 12, 1858, London. In 1882, Johnston travelled to sub-Saharan Africa. Harry then made a journey to Mt. Kilimanjaro in 1884. In 1896, Johnston was Knighted. Sir Harry Johnston died on August 31, 1927.

Henry Hudson
Born 1607. Hudson was hired by the "English Muscovy Company", in order to find the Northeast Passage to Asia. Henry made two attempts both of which failed. Again in 1609, Hudson was hired, this time by the "Dutch East India Company". His voyage eventually lead him to ascend the Hudson River (Named after him). Henry Hudson died in 1611 after a mutiny.

Sir Edmund Hillary
Born on July 20, 1919. Hillary grew up in New Zealand, and it was here that he developed a taste for mountain climbing. It was his conquest of Mt. Everest that made Hillary world famous. On the morning of May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit. Edmund Hillary was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. During the 1960s, Hillary became involved in helping the people of Nepal. He became involved in the building of hospitals, clinics and schools. Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, KG, ONZ, KBE (July 20, 1919 - January 11, 2008) was a New Zealand mountaineer and explorer. On 29 May 1953 at the age of 33, he and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt. Hillary was born to Percival Augustus Hillary and Gertrude Hillary, née Clark, in Auckland, on 20 July 1919. They moved to Tuakau (south of Auckland) in 1920, after his father (who served at Gallipoli) was allocated land there. His grandparents were early settlers in northern Wairoa in the mid 19th century after emigrating from Yorkshire, England. Hillary was educated at Tuakau Primary School and then Auckland Grammar School. He finished primary school two years early, but struggled at high school, achieving only average marks. He was initially smaller than his peers there and very shy so he took refuge in his books and daydreams of a life filled with adventure. His daily train journey to and from high school was over two hours each way, during which he regularly used the time to read. He gained confidence after he learnt to box. At 16 his interest in climbing was sparked during a school trip to Mount Ruapehu. He studied mathematics and science at Auckland University College, and in 1939 completed his first major climb, reaching the summit of Mount Ollivier, near Mt. Cook in the Southern Alps. On the outbreak of World War II Hillary applied to join the air force, but later withdrew the application before it was considered for religious reasons. Following the introduction of conscription on the outbreak of war in the Pacific, in 1943 Hillary joined the RNZAF as a navigator and served on Catalina flying boats. In 1945 he was sent to Fiji and to the Solomon Islands where he was badly burned in a boating accident, after which he was repatriated to New Zealand. Hillary was part of a British reconnaissance expedition to Everest in 1951 led by Eric Shipton before joining the successful British attempt of 1953. In 1952 Hillary and George Lowe were part of the British team led by Eric Shipton that attempted Cho Oyu. After that attempt failed due to the lack of route from the Nepal side, Hillary and Lowe crossed the Lho-La into Tibet and reached the old Camp II, on the northern side, where all the pre-war expeditions camped. The route to Everest was closed, and Nepal only allowed one expedition per year. A Swiss expedition (in which Tenzing took part) had attempted to reach the summit in 1952 but was turned back by bad weather 800 feet (240 m) from the summit. During a 1952 trip in the Alps Hillary discovered he and his friend George Lowe had been invited for the approved British 1953 attempt and immediately accepted. Shipton was named as leader but was replaced by Hunt. Hillary considered pulling out, but both Hunt and Shipton talked him into remaining. Hillary was intending to climb with Lowe but Hunt named two teams for the assault: Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans; and Hillary and Tenzing. The Hunt expedition totaled over 400 people, including 362 porters, twenty Sherpa guides and 10,000 lbs of baggage, and like many such expeditions, was a team effort. Lowe supervised the preparation of the Lhotse Face, a huge and steep ice face, for climbing. Hillary forged a route through the treacherous Khumbu Icefall. The expedition set up base camp in March 1953. Working slowly it set up its final camp at the South Col at 25,900 feet (7,890 m). On 26 May Bourdillon and Evans attempted the climb but turned back when Evans's oxygen system failed. The pair had reached the South Summit, coming within 300 vertical feet (91 m) of the summit. Hunt then directed Hillary and Tenzing to go for the summit. Snow and wind held the pair up at the South Col for two days. They set out on 28 May with a support trio of Lowe, Alfred Gregory and Ang Nyima. The two pitched a tent at 27,900 feet (8,500 m) on 28 May while their support group returned down the mountain. On the following morning Hillary discovered that his boots had frozen solid outside the tent. He spent two hours warming them before he and Tenzing attempted the final ascent wearing 30-pound (14 kg) packs. The crucial move of the last part of the ascent was the 40-foot (12 m) rock face later named the "Hillary Step". Hillary saw a means to wedge his way up a crack in the face between the rock wall and the ice and Tenzing followed. From there the following effort was relatively simple. They reached Everest's 29,028 ft (8,848 m) summit, the highest point on earth, at 11:30 am. They spent only about 15 minutes at the summit. They looked for evidence of the 1924 Mallory expedition, but found none. Hillary took Tenzing's photo, Tenzing left chocolates in the snow as an offering, and Hillary left a cross that he had been given. Because Tenzing did not know how to use a camera, there are no pictures of Hillary there. The two had to take care on the descent after discovering that drifting snow had covered their tracks to complicate the task. The first person they met was Lowe, who had climbed up to meet them with hot soup. News of the successful expedition reached Britain on the day of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The group was surprised by the international acclaim that they received upon arriving in Kathmandu. Hillary and Hunt were knighted by the young queen, while Tenzing received either the British Empire Medal, or the George Medal from the British Government for his efforts with the expedition. Hillary climbed ten other peaks in the Himalayas on further visits in 1956, 1960-61 and 1963-65. He also reached the South Pole as part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, for which he led the New Zealand section, on 4 January 1958. His party was the first to reach the Pole overland since Amundsen in 1911 and Scott in 1912, and the first ever to do so using motor vehicles. In 1977, he led a jetboat expedition, titled "Ocean to Sky", from the mouth of the Ganges River to its source. Hillary took part in the 1975 general election, as a member of the "Citizens for Rowling" campaign. In January 2007, Hillary travelled to Antarctica to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Scott Base. He flew to the station on 18 January 2007 with a delegation including the Prime Minister. Hillary was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) on 6 June 1953; a member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ) in 1987; and a Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG) on 22 April 1995. He was also awarded the Polar Medal for his part in the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Various streets, schools and organisations around New Zealand and abroad are named after him. In 1992 Hillary appeared on the updated New Zealand $5 note; Hillary was the only New Zealander to appear on a banknote during his or her own lifetime. International convention for banknotes was to use the faces of only current heads of state and deceased individuals. In 2008, the same year he passed away, the Indian Government conferred him with Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour of the country. Following his ascent of Everest he devoted much of his life to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, which he founded. Through his efforts many schools and hospitals were built in this remote region of the Himalayas. Sir Edmund Hillary dead at 88On 11 January 2008, Hillary died of heart failure at the Auckland City Hospital at around 9 am NZDT (10 January at 20:00 UTC) at the age of 88.

Sir Humphrey Gilert
Most likely born in 1539, in Greenway, Brixham, although there is some doubt to this date. Humphrey was educated at Oxford and Eton. Gilbert was Knighted in 1570, by the Lord Deputy, Sir Henry Sidney. Queen Elizabeth I granted Gilbert a patent to for the foundation of colonies in America in 1578. In 1583, Gilbert eventually reached Newfoundland. He claimed St John's for Britain. Sir Humphrey Gilert died in 1583, after his ship sank in the sea.

John Franklin
Born in Spilsby, Lincolnshire, in 1786. In 1801, John joined the navy in 1801. Franklin took part in the battles pf "Battle of Copenhagen" and "Battle of Trafalgar. John took part in a journey from 1819 to 1822 across Northern Canada. Franklin married Eleanor Porden, who later died in 1825. King George IV, Knighted Franklin in 1828. In 1836, Franklin was appointed the Governor of Tasmania. John Franklin died in June 11, 1847.

Lincoln Ellsworth
Born May 12, 1880, in Chicago, Illinois. His family were rich, religeous and very prominent. Lincoln was heavily involved in Antarctic sponsorship and exploration. In 1931, Ellsworth was part of the flight of the Graf Zeppelin to Franz Josef Land and Northern Land. Ellsworth was also part of a team that tried to reach to North Pole by submarine. Ellsworth wrote a number of books including: Search(1932), Exploring Today(1935), and Beyond Horizons(1938). Lincoln Ellsworth died on May 26, 1951, in New York City.

William Dampier
Born in 1651, near Yeovil. In 1673, Dampier took part in the Dutch War. William led the life as a pirate in some ways. From 1679, Dampier was part of a buccaneering voyage against Spanish America. Dampier eventually went to the Philippines and ended up on the Nicobar Islands. Eventually, William returned to England in 1691. Dampier was also part of an expedition to Australia. William Dampier died in March, 1715.

James Cook
Born October 27, 1728, in Marton, Yorkshire, England. Cook first started work for William Sanders in the fishing village of Staithes. He moved on to became an apprentice to the Walker Family who were ship owners. In 1755, Cook enlisted as an Able Seaman on the Eagle during the war with the French. James was soon promoted to Master's Mate. He was then promoted to Master some four years later. Cook was placed in command his own survey vessel. He undertook an important charting of the St. Lawrence River. James was then given the command of the schooner, "Grenville" in 1763. Over the next four years Cook surveyed the eastern coasts of Canada. In 1762, Cook married Elizabeth Batts in England. In 1768, James Cook was given the position as Captain of the "The Endeavour Bark". The Endeavour was a Whitby collier. It weighed 368 tons, was 106 feet long, 29 feet wide, 29 feet 3 inches in the beam. The Endeavour could make top at around seven to eight knots. During the voyage, in 1769, Cook raised the British flag in New Zealand. In 1770, James Cook discovered Australia. Australia eventually went on to become part of the British Empire. Cook and the Endeavour, returned to England in 1771. In 1772, James set sail again. This time, Cook sailed around Antarctica. In 1776, Cook set sail to explore the Pacific coast of North America. In 1779, during his return voyage, Captain James Cook was killed by Hawaiian natives.

Sir Francis McClintock
Born July 8, 1819, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. At only 12 years old, Francis joined the British Navy. In 1848, McClintock was part of a voyage in search of the lost Sir John Franklin. In 1850, Francis was part of a second voyage. McClintock commanded the "Fox" in 1857. Francis discovered records which solved the mystery of Sir John Franklin. On his return, McClintock was presented with the ship he had made the voyage by Lady Franklin. On February 23, 1860, Sir Francis McClintock was Knighted. McClintock attained the rank of Full Admiral in 1884. Sir Francis McClintock died in 1907, London.

Hugh Clapperton
Born in 1788, Scotland. Clapperton served in the British navy. In 1822, and 1825, Hugh made two journeys to West Africa. Hugh Clapperton died on April 13, 1827.

Francis Chesney
Born May 16, 1789, in Annalong, Co. Down. He explored Egypt and Syria in 1829. Chesney submitted a report showing the viability of the Suez canal. Chesney lead a voyage to North Syria in 1835. Francis was appointed the Commandant of Hong Kong in 1843. In 1850, Chesney published the "Expedition for the Survey of the Euphrates and Tigris". Francis Chesney died in 1872.

Jacques Cartier
Born 1491, in St. Malo, France (Then Brittany). Cartier was appointed by Francis I in 1534, to explore North America. Jacques discovered of the St. Lawrence River. In 1541, Cartier made a third and final exploration of the area. Jacques Cartier died in 1557.

Verney Lovett Cameron
Born July 1, 1844, in Radipole, Dorset, England. In 1868, as part of the British Navy, he took part in a voyage to Ethiopia. In 1873, the Royal Geographical Society sent Cameron to relieve Livingstone. On arrival, Verney found Livingston was dead. Cameron then recovered his papers and continued on with the exploration. Verney became the first European to cross equatorial Africa. Explored the Gold Coast with Sir Richard Burton in 1882. Verney Cameron died in March 27, 1894, Bedfordshire after falling from his horse.

John Cabot
Born in 1461, most probably in Genoa, Italy. During the 1480`s, Cabot went to live in England. In 1497, Cabot set out from Bristol in the ship the "Matthew", and went on to discover the North American coast. For his discovery, Cabot was rewarded with a patent for a new voyage, as well as £10. John again set out in 1498 to explore the coast of America. What happened of him and his ship is unknown. John Cabot died in 1498. A tower was built in Bristol in his honour.

Sir Richard Francis Burton
Born near Elstree, Hertfordshire, March 19, 1821. Richad studied at Oxford University. Burton traveled to Cairo, Suez, Medina and Mecca in 1853. Then in 1854, Richard travelled to the East African city of Harar. Burton made an unsuccessful trip in search of the source of the White Nile in 1855. In 1872, Richard was appointed as the consul in Trieste. In 1886, Queen Victoria knighted Burton. Richard Burton died in 1890, in Trieste. During his life, Burton learned to speak 25 languages.

Vitus Bering
Born in August, 1681, in Horsens, Denmark. In 1703, Bering joined the Russian Navy. During the Great Northern War, Vitus served in the Baltic Fleet. Vitus made his first voyage of exploration to Kamchatka. In 1725, he set out to explore far NE Siberia. Later, Bering discovered the southern route around Kamchatka. Vitas commanded the St. Peter in later voyages. Vitus Bering died on December 8. Bering's grave was discovered by a Russian-Danish expedition in 1991.

Robert Bartlett
Born August 15, 1875, in Brigus, Newfoundland. In 1905, and again in 1909, Bartlett Captained the "Roosevelt" on its explorations of the Arctic. In 1909, Robert Bartlett received the Hubbard Medal. In 1925, Bartlett bought a schooner from an Uncle, which he called his "little Morrissey". Robert went on to make some 20 voyages to the Arctic. Robert Bartlett died on April 28, 1946, in New York.

Sir John Barrow
Born on June 19, 1764, at Dragley Beck, Ulverston, Cumbria. John studied at Town Bank School. Barrow then worked in an iron foundry as a clerk. He was part of a whaling expedition to Greenland at only 16 years old. In 1792, Barrow joined an expedition to China. Here he learnt how to speak mandarin Chinese. Barrow drew Maps and published a review of his travels to South Africa in 1797. He later did diplomatic work in the Cape of Good Hope. John Barrow served as second secretary to the Admiralty from 1804 - 1845. Sir John Barrow died on November 23, 1848, in London. John is buried at St. Martin's in the Fields, Camden Town. Cape Barrow, Barrow Strait and Point Barrow, were all named in his honour. In 1930, John Barrow was a founder member of the foundation of the Royal Geographical Society.

William Baffin
Born 1584, in London, England. Baffin became the first person to determine longitude. In 1615, Baffin piloted the "Discovery". His mission was to search for the northwest passage. In 1616, Baffin made a second attempt. This journey eventually led to the exploration and later naming of Baffin Bay. Baffin then joined the East India Company. He made voyages in 1617 and 1620. William Baffin Died in 1621, while on his final voyage.

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