Principall Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation, The

The Principall Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation was written by Richard Hakluyt (c 1552-1616). A passionate enthusiast of trade and colonization, convinced that English navigators "excelled all ... peoples of the earth," Hakluyt participated personally in launching the Virginia Company of 1606, encouraged the search for the NORTHWEST PASSAGE and was an adviser to the EAST INDIA CO. Through his lectures, his connections with people in high public office and his extensive publications he was enormously influential in stimulating and popularizing the overseas ventures of Elizabethan and early Jacobean England. Though he published accounts of the voyages of other peoples, his most important work was The Principall Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation, which first appeared in one volume in 1589 and then in an enlarged 3-volume edition a decade later. Hakluyt's publication of the discoveries of the Cabots and their successors established English claims to large parts of North America and the Arctic. Hakluyt is commemorated by the Hakluyt Society, founded in the mid-19th century, which continues his work of publishing accounts of explorations and voyages.