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The Fate of Sir Hugh Willoughby and His Companions: A New Conjecture

Eleanora C. Gordon
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 152, No. 2 (Jul., 1986), pp. 243-247
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/634766
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/634766
Page Count: 5
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The Fate of Sir Hugh Willoughby and His Companions: A New Conjecture
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Abstract

Historians have assumed that Sir Hugh Willoughby and the 62 members of his company who set out to discover the Northeast Passage in 1553 died of exposure, starvation or scurvy. An analysis of the details of the voyage as presented in Hakluyt and in a letter from the Venetian ambassador to the Doge in 1555 suggests that the men did not perish as a result of these well-known hazards of exploration but probably died as a result of a single disaster. Carbon monoxide poisoning is presented as a plausible explanation for the deaths of the explorers.

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