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John Davis

John Davis (or Davys), c. 1550-1605, English navigator.

Davis, the inventor of the double quadrant, led several early expeditions to the Arcitc Circle between 1575 and 1587 in search of the Northwest Passage. Although he did not achieve his objective, he did travel as far north as 73 degrees of latitude, and rediscovered Greenland, which had been unknown to Europeans since the breakup of the Norse colonies. He explored the coasts of Baffin Island and Labrador, and passed by Frobisher Bay and Hudson Strait without entering them.

He later sailed to the South Seas, and was killed by Japanese pirates near Singapore in 1605.