Fenton. I. Edward, an English navigator, born in Nottinghamshire about 1550, died at Deptford in 1603. He served for some time in the English army in Ireland, but joined in 1577 one of Frobisher's expeditions for the diseovery of a northwest passage to Asia. The fleet being scattered by storms, Fenton returned to Bristol. Another expedition in which he took part ended disastrously. Early in 1582 he was placed in command of an expedition of four armed vessels, and sailed for Brazil with the ostensible purpose of passing the strait of Magellan. He however put in at St. Vincent, where he destroyed the flag ship of a Spanish squadron. In 1588 he gained much credit as commander of a vessel against the Spanish armada.

II. Sir Geoffrey, an English author and statesman, elder brother of the preceding, died in Dublin, Oct. 19, 1608. He received a good education, and acquired literary distinction, especially by translating from the Italian Guicciardini's History of the Wars of Italy." which he dedicated to Queen Elizabeth (1579). He afterward became the principal secretary of state for Ireland, and exerted great influence in restoring there loyalty and tranquillity. His daughter became in 1603 the second wife of Richard Boyle, the great earl of Cork. He published a number of other works, the best known of which are Golden Epistles," gathered from the works of Guevara and other foreign authors.

III. Elijah, an English poet, of the same family with the preceding, born in Shelton, Staffordshire, May 20, 1683, died in East Hampstead, Berkshire, July 13, 1730. He studied at Cambridge, but becoming a nonjuror he was obliged to leave the university, after which he accompanied the earl of Orrery to Flanders as private secretary. On his return to England in 1705, he was employed in school teaching. Afterward the earl of Orrery confided to him the education of his son, and six years later Fenton became associated with Pope in a version of the Odyssey. According to Dr. Johnson, Fenton translated the 1st, 4th, 19th, and 20th books. In 1723 a tragedy entitledMariamne" gained him more than £1,000. In 1727 he published a new edition of Milton's works, with a brief life of the author, and in 1729 a fine annotated edition of Waller's poems.