British Sea Captain William Mynors discovered an island in the Indian Ocean on Christmas Day 1643 and named it “Christmas Island.” Now WE know em

Rugged coastline of Christmas Island

Rugged coastline of Christmas Island

British Sea-Captain William Mynors was master of the English East India Company vessel the Royal Mary.

On his voyage in 1643, Mynors came upon an island in the Indian Ocean on Christmas day December 25, 1643.

William Mynors thus named the island “Christmas Island” because he had discovered it while sailing past it on Christmas Day.

christmas island map

Christmas Island began to be included on English and Dutch navigational charts, but it was not until 1666 when a map published by Dutch cartographer Pieter Goos included the island.

It was not until English navigator William Dampier, aboard the English ship Cygnet, made the earliest recorded visit to Christmas Island in March of 1688 that it was determined to be uninhabited.

Dampier gave an account of the visit which can be found in his Voyages. Dampier was trying to reach Cocos from New Holland. His ship was pulled off course in an easterly direction, arriving at Christmas Island 28 days later. Dampier landed at the Dales (on the west coast). Two of his crewmen were the first Europeans to set foot on Christmas Island.

Daniel Beekman made the next recorded visit, chronicled in his 1718 book, A Voyage to and from the Island of Borneo, in the East Indies.

The first attempt at exploring the island was in 1857 by the crew of the Amethyst. They tried to reach the summit of the island, but found the cliffs impassable.

Now WE know em

 

 

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