The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic
FIRST SIGHTINGS AND DISCOVERY, old Hawkins Maidenland map


In 1501 Amerigo Vespucci sighted islands that might have been the Falklands and in 1520 Estaban Gomez captain on one of Magellan's ships sighted islands that might have been the Falklands. 1540 and one of the ships from an expedition commanded by Francisco de Camargo wintered in islands that might have been the Falklands.

Although there were these several earlier 'might have been' sightings of the islands, the Falkland Islands were first recorded sighted by the British navigator Davis in 1592. In 1594 the English navigator Richard Hawkins mapped the northern coastline and named the Islands 'Hawkins Maydenlands' after himself and Queen Elizabeth 1.

The Dutch navigator Sebald van Weerdt named the Jason Islands ' The Sebaldines' in 1598.

In 1690 Captain John Strong of the Welfare, enroute to Chile, landed at Bold Cove in Port Howard West Falklands. He named Falkland Sound after Lord Falkland, the Treasurer of the Navy at that time.

In the early 1700’s there were no land mammals save for the warrah fox or wolf, and the Falklands lay unoccupied by any nationality of people. However, with the opening up of the Americas, their strategic importance to shipping was becoming apparent to other parties and Lord Anson strongly advised the Admiralty to claim the islands for Britain.


Timeline for Falkland Islands by Roger Lorton

Sources include: "The Falkland Islands- Ian J Strange, Falkland Islands History- G Moir, The Falkland Islands- Mary Cawkell