English ship commander who was one of the many explorers of the 1500s in search of a water passage from Europe to the lucrative markets of southeast Asia. Sir Hugh Willoughby is perhaps most remembered for his attempt to find a Northeast Passage across the northern reaches of Europe and Asia. He set sail in 1553 into the cold waters north of Norway. His ship was separated from the other two in the expedition, however, and he died off Lapland. The expedition continued east to Moscow without him, and initiated trade between England and Russia.