THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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BOROUGH [Burrough, Burrowe, Borrows], STEVEN (1525-1584), English navigator, was born at Northam in Devonshire on the 25th of September 1525. In 1553 he took part in the expedition which was despatched from the Thames under Sir Hugh Willoughby to look for a northern passage to Cathay and India, serving as master of the “Edward Bonaventure,” on which Richard Chancellor sailed as pilot in chief. Separated by a storm from the “Bona Esperanza” and the “Bona Confidentia,” the other two ships of the expedition, Borough proceeded on his voyage alone, and sailing into the White Sea, in the words of his epitaph, “discouered Moscouia by the Northerne sea passage to St Nicholas” (Archangel). In a second expedition, made in the “Serchthrift” in 1556, he discovered Kara Strait, between Novaya Zemlya and Vaygach island. In 1560 he was in charge of another expedition to Russia, and, probably in 1558, he also made a voyage to Spain. At the beginning of 1563 he was appointed chief pilot and one of the four masters of the queen’s ships in the Medway, and in this office he spent the rest of his life. He died on the 12th of July 1584, and was buried at Chatham. His son, Christopher Borough, wrote a description of a trading expedition made in 1579-1581 from the White Sea to the Caspian and back.

His younger brother, William Borough, born in 1536, also at Northam, served as an ordinary seaman in the “Edward Bonaventure” on her voyage to Russia in 1553, and subsequently made many voyages to St Nicholas. Later he transferred his services from the merchant adventurers to the crown. As commander of the “Lion” he accompanied Sir Francis Drake in his Cadiz expedition of 1587, but he got himself into trouble by presuming to disagree with his chief concerning the wisdom of the attack on Lagos. He died in 1599. He was the author of A Discourse of the Variation of the Compas, or Magneticall Needle (1581), and some of the charts he made are preserved at the British Museum and Hatfield.


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