Prince Henry the Navigator

By Justin Sullivan

Henry Who?

Prince Henry the Navigator was a Portuguese explorer, but Prince Henry never explored anything. Prince Henry was more a patron, (a person who gives financial support to another person or cause) yet he planned most of the explorations. Prince Henry spent most of his life as a patron so people could go from Portugal to the west coast of Africa to collect riches, spices, and other things. Prince Henry wanted to explore after his father John l battled in the west coast of Africa.

Prince Henry’s School

In about 1418 Prince Henry the Navigator opened a school of navigation. This school was what got Prince Henry his nickname, and this school helped many people into becoming better explorers. The way this school helped people become better explorers was by teaching them better navigating skills. They hired scientists to teach astrolabe, (an instrument used in navigation to tell how north or south they are from the equator as they sailed.) mapmakers to teach people about maps and how to make and use them, and others to teach what they knew about navigation. After a short time this school produced many explorers, Prince Henry sent explorers on trips to different places to give them test to write everything they saw in a chart and bring it back.

Prince Henry’s Background

Prince Henry the Navigator did not just explore, but he had many things besides that. During his early age, Prince Henry fought battles with his dad (King John l) at many places. Prince Henry got on to exploring from fighting a battle in Africa with his dad. Prince Henry the navigator was not only Portuguese, (from John l) but his mom was English because she was from England. Prince Henry the Navigator has a lot more background to talk yet I can’t say it all.

How Navigation Has Changed

Navigation has changed a lot since the time of Prince Henry(1394-1460). Back when Prince Henry was born people had to take boats to get to places and unless the mapmaker was skilled at making maps or they were skilled at using maps, compasses, and astrolabe they had no clue if they were heading in the right direction. Now I’m not saying that today’s navigation is better I’m just saying we could be more accurate now. Today we now have a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) which is a virtual map. This map tells you where you are, and how far are from your destination. Compasses are still used today by people going hiking, (sometimes) traveling over sea, and to show you (if you didn’t know or you forgot) where north is.Over all the years people have added some new technology to help us with navigation, but that does not mean we have abandoned our old uses of maps, compasses, sundials, astrolabe, and many more. As technology advances so do navigation tools.


In this article I tried to explain everything I knew about Prince Henry the Navigator,and I think I have reached that goal. While reading this I hope you now know more about this explorer, and I hope you can find this useful information. All the paragraphs written explain a lot about Prince Henry’s most important things. I want you to use this as a learning experience.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Prince Henry the Navigator