British navigator and buccaneer who led the third expedition to circumnavigate the globe (1586-1588). A member of Parliament, Cavendish began his maritime career around 1585 when he joined British admiral Sir Richard Grenville (1541?-1591) on a voyage to the colony of Virginia. Then, following in the path of Sir Francis Drake (1543?-1596), he began his historic circumnavigation in July 1586, reaching the Pacific in February 1587. He then sailed up the South American coast, attacking Spanish settlements and capturing Spanish ships, including treasure galleon Santa Ana (November 1587). In October 1592, while attempting a second circumnavigation, Cavendish died at sea.