Willem Corneliszoon Schouten

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Willem Corneliszoon Schouten

c. 1567-1625

Dutch mariner who discovered the Drake Passage around the southern tip of South America. Schouten and Jakob Le Maire (1585-1616) sailed in two vessels from Holland in May 1615, en route to the East Indies. Rather than pass through the perilous Strait of Magellan at the tip of South America, they navigated a much more logical and safer path between Tierra del Fuego and Estados Island, a route that came to be known as the Drake Passage. Arriving in Batavia, Java (now Jakarta, Indonesia) in October 1616, they were arrested on charges of attempting to infringe on the Dutch East India Company monopoly over East Indies trade. Eventually they were cleared of all charges, and Schouten's memoirs, when published, proved highly valuable to mariners and explorers.

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Willem Corneliszoon Schouten

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