Baffin, William, was born at Southport in 1584, but not much is known of his parentage or early life. In 1612 he made a voyage to the Northwest, and in the account of it which he published gave a useful method of determining longitude by astronomical observations. In 1613 he went to the Greenland fisheries, and in the two following years went as pilot to Bylot in the Discovery, in search of the North-West Passage. He reached Lancaster and Smith Sounds and the bay that bears his name. His narrative, preserved in the British Museum, has been published by the Hakluyt Society. He then seems to have visited Eastern seas, and in 1621 was killed at Kismis, a small fort near Ormuz in the Persian Gulf, whilst engaged in attacking the Portuguese.