"A right Heroicall heart": Sir Martin Frobisher
By James McDermott
espite Frobisher's enduring reputation as the would-be discoverer of a northwest route to the Far East, he was, and remained, a man whose career balanced precariously upon the edge of legality. Imprisoned several times during his early career on charges of piracy, his reputation began to improve with the northwest enterprise, though its failure undoubtedly reflected as poorly upon him as the other principal adventurers. His subsequent career in the Queen's service was increasingly distinguished and, by the time of his death, he was one of the most reliable English sea-commanders. Nevertheless, he remained an outsider: a man who acquired the trappings of success without having either the ease or nature to enjoy a life away from the sea.