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Travel & Explorers

During the Tudor period most people were poor and life was hard.

Poor men often became sailors on expeditions to find new routes to Asia. These were organised by rich men in search of fabulous wealth and power.

A bonus of such expeditions was that the explorers discovered a host of exotic spices including pepper and cloves, cinnamon, mace and ginger. These were often used by the wealthy to enrich the flavour of their bland food.

John Cabot (1450-1499) was the first European to voyage to the North American continent since the Vikings, found areas of sea full of fish – eventually bringing a huge new industry to Europe.

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) captained an amazing four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean visiting the Bahamas, Haiti and Venezuela.

Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) led the expedition from his Portugal homeland, which established the first European sea route to India.

Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) was amongst the first Europeans to visit the Spice Islands and later commanded the first Spanish expedition to sail around the world.

Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) who was infamous for his attacks on Spanish ships, became the first Englishman, along with his crew, to sail all the way round the world.

Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) organised expeditions to North America and is most famous for introducing potatoes and tobacco to England!

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