Gourdon, William (DNB00)

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GOURDON, WILLIAM (fl. 1611), traveller, was a native of Hull, who was master pilot on two expeditions sent to the north of Russia by a company of English merchants. He wrote an account of his first expedition, entitled ‘Voyage made to Pechora 1611.’ He was absent from England from April to September, during which time he landed the merchants at Pustozera, and himself explored part of the way up the river Pechora. In 1614 he was again at Pustozera with the colony of English merchants there, and spent from November to April 1614–15 exploring further north to the river Ob or Obi. He wrote an account of this expedition also, entitled ‘Later Observations of William Gourdon in his wintering of Pustozera in the yeeres 1614 and 1615, with a description of the Samoeds' Life.’ Both these pamphlets are printed in ‘Purchas's Pilgrimes,’ iii. 530, 553, with the accounts given by Gourdon's fellow-voyagers. In his ‘History of Muscovia’ Milton made use of these travels, and especially of Gourdon's quaint details about the inhabitants of Samoed.

[Purchas's Pilgrimes, as above.]

E. T. B.