adams, william defined in 1939 yearadams, william - Adams, william (c. 1575-1620);
adams, william - English sailor and the first Englishman to settle in Japan. Born at Gillingham, Kent, and acquainted with the sea from boyhood, Adams went, in 1598, as pilot on board the Charity, a Dutch vessel bound for India. The ship lost its way and, after some exciting adventures, the crew found themselves off the coast of Chile. Making their way across the Pacific, they reached Japan in April, 1600, and at Osaka Adams interviewed the ruler of that country, who gave him an income and an estate and kept him in Japan. Adams married and assisted in founding an English settlement on the island of Hirado. He died May 16, 1620. A monument to his memory was unveiled at Yoko-suka in 1918. His story is told in the publications of the Hakluyt and Japan Societies. Consult Will Adams; The First Englishman in Japan, W. Dalton, 1861.
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