William Adams

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William Adams

William Adams (24 September 1564 – 16 May 1620), was an English navigator. He was the first Englishman to visit Japan.[1]

He was born in Gillingham, Kent, England. William's father died when his at age 12. He apprenticed to a shipwright, and studied shipbuilding, astronomy, and navigation. He joined the Royal Navy during Anglo-Spanish War. He served in the Royal Navy under Sir Francis Drake.[2] He became a pilot for the Barbary Company, a trading company established by Queen Elizabeth I of England.

In 1598, Adams shipped as pilot major with a five-ship fleet.[3] The fleet was owned by a company of Rotterdam merchants (Dutch East India Company). The fleet went from the isle of Texel, North Holland to the Eastern world.

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