MARTIN FERNANDEZ DE NAVARRETE (1765-1844), Spanish historian, was born at Abalos on the 9th of November 1765, and entered the navy in 1780. He was engaged in the unsuccessful operations against Gibraltar in 1782, and afterwards in the suppression of Algerine pirates. Ill-health compelled him for a time to withdraw from active service, but he devoted this forced leisure to historical research, and in 1789 he was appointed by the crown to examine the national archives relating to the maritime history of Spain. Rejoining the navy in 1793, he was present at the siege of Toulon, and afterwards received command of a frigate. From 1797 to 1808 he held in succession various important posts in the ministry of marine. In 1808 the French invasion led to his withdrawal to Andalusia, and the rest of his life was entirely devoted to literature. In 1819 appeared, as an appendix to the Academy's edition of Don Quijote, his Vida de Cervantes, and in 1825 the first two volumes of the Coleccion de los Viajes y Descubrimientos que hicieron por Mar los Espanoles desde fines del Siglo XV. (3rd vol., 1829; 4th vol., 1837). In 1837 he was made a senator and director of the academy of history. At the time of his death, on the 8th of October 1844, he was assisting in the preparation of the Coleccion de Documentos Ineditos para la Historia de Espana. His Disertacion sobre la Historia de la Nautica (1846) and Biblioteca Maritima Espanola (1851), were published posthumously.
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