Ferdinand Magellan is a name that is common to most people especially those who live off the sea. His discoveries made the world of seafaring and discovery more lucrative. With the opening of new trade routes and of stories of far-away lands will begin future explorers and untold riches to these European nations.
Ferdinand Magellan was born in 1480 in Sabrosa, Portugal. Son to Rui DeMagalhaes and Alda DeMesquita. He was fortunate enough that his family had ties to the Portuguese Royal Family. So when his parents died untimely he was sent to live with the royal family where he was properly educated and learned about past Portuguese explorations. He might have even known about the explorations of Columbus when he discovered the Caribbean.
While he served in for the royal family he left with another government official to India to set up a viceroy there. There he was accused of illegal trade with the moors. Unfortunately for him this accusation was true and because of this he lost all of his offers of employment in Portugal. Because of the problem with illegal trade with the Moors wiped out any chance of employment he decided to go to Spain.
He proposed to the Portuguese crown that he could find a new route to the East Indies much like Columbus did for Spain. But the King decided not to pursue this venture so he had to look elsewhere. At around this time Spain was also looking for a route to the Spice Islands (East Indies). There he proposed to the Spanish crown that he could find a new route to the Spice Islands. So Charles I was persuaded and decided to give him financial support for this venture to find a new route to the East Indies. The Spanish gave him five ships to use during his venture of finding a new route to the East Indies. The five ships were the Conception, San Antonio, Santiago, Trinidad and the Victoria.
The Spanish captains disliked Ferdinand and plan to murder him. Fortunately for Ferdinand he found out about the plot and had the Captains either arrested or be put to death. While at the same time he had to be careful about avoiding territories which belong to the Portuguese because if they had found out about him sailing ships for Spain he would have been arrested and put to jail. He did not want this to happen so he avoided them as much as he could to avoid arrest. During this voyage two of the five ships abandoned the expedition so he was down to three.
After he crossed into the Pacific he thought it would only be a few days turned to four months. With very little supplies left the ship’s crew members began to starve and suffer from scurvy. Luckily for them they were able to find a small island where they ate fish and seagulls. They did this until they were properly supplied in Guam.
After he took part in the Battle of Mac tan in the Philippines against the Lapu Lapu tribe he died during battle. So he was never going to see the end of his expedition. After his death one of his captains burned one of the ships and took over the two left and decided to go back to Spain. One of the ships was seized by the Portuguese and the other made it back to Spain with just 18 crew members still alive.
Although Magellan did not see his expedition to the end, his legacy is still felt even to this day. Because of him we are able to circum navigate the world by ship. The Pacific Ocean was named by him and he discovered the Straits of Magellan which is still in maps to this day. He discovered South America’s “Tierra Del Fuego” Magellan’s expedition significally helped in the later development of geographical exploration giving us knowledge of what the world looks like today.