Luís Vaz de Torres was a Spanish explorer. Sometimes his name is spelled Luis Váez de Torres. He was born around the year 1565, and died in 1607. Today, he is noted for the first recorded European navigation of the strait which separates the continent of Australia from the island of New Guinea. The strait is now named after him (Torres Strait).
Origins and early life
Captain Luis Váez de Torres undertook a voyage from 1606 to 1607. In this voyage, the crew called him a "Breton" in reports. One of the reports points to an origin in the northwest province of Spain, that is Galicia. Historians accept this as evidence of his origins. The year and exact place of his birth are unknown but he was likely born around 1565.
Torres has been presented as Portuguese, without any evidence other than his name. He is never called a Portuguese in the records but they note remarks made by crew members of the Portuguese origins of Pedro Fernandes de Queirós.
Torres entered the navy of the Spanish Crown and found his way to its South American colonies. By late 1605 he first entered the historical record as the nominated commander of the second ship in an expedition to the Pacific. The Portuguese born navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós proposed him for the positon.
Images for kids
Luís Vaz de Torres portrait from a postage stamp.
Luís Vaz de Torres Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.