So who was Will Adams?
|The pub sign. Photo Brian Curtis|
Will was born in 1564, he was apprenticed to a Limehouse shipyard owner and learned shipbuilding, astronomy and navigation before entering the Royal Navy, where he served under Sir Francis Drake and saw action against the Spanish armada. In 1598 he sailed in a convoy of Dutch ships for the Dutch East Indies via the Magellan Straits, the west coast of South America and Japan. After many disasters, Adams was one of the few men to reach Japan, the first Englishman to have reached that country. He was forbidden to leave Japan, became a samurai and was forced to take Japanese nationality. He died in Japan in 1620.