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Journal of the Third Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage   By: (1790-1855)

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THE DISCOVERY OF A NORTH WEST PASSAGE

This ebook was transcribed by Les Bowler.

CASSELL’S NATIONAL LIBRARY.

JOURNAL OF THE THIRD VOYAGE FOR THE DISCOVERY OF A NORTH WEST PASSAGE.

BY CAPT. W. E. PARRY, R.N., F.R.S., AND COMMANDER OF THE EXPEDITION.

CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED: LONDON , PARIS , NEW YORK & MELBOURNE . 1889.

INTRODUCTION.

William Edward Parry, the son of a physician, was born at Bath in December, 1790. At the age of thirteen he was entered as a first class volunteer on board the flag ship of the Channel fleet, and after seven years’ service and careful study of his profession he obtained a commission in 1810 as lieutenant in the navy. He was then at once, aged twenty, sent to the Arctic seas, where he was during two or three years in command of a ship for protection of the British whale fisheries and for revision of the admiralty charts. In 1813 he was recalled from that service and sent on blockade service to the North American station, where he remained about four years, and occupied his leisure in writing a book on “Nautical Astronomy by Night,” which he published upon his return to England in 1817.

At that time the search for a North West Passage to Eastern Asia had been suspended for more than half a century. No expedition had been sent out since 1746. But after Lieutenant Parry’s return from the North American station, an expedition was prepared under Sir John Ross in the Isabella , which sailed in April, 1818, accompanied by the Alexander , to the command of which Parry was appointed, Sir John Ross being chief of the expedition. They went by Davis’s Straits to Lancaster Sound, where Sir John Ross gave up hope of success and turned back; though Lieutenant Parry would have gone on. Next year Parry was entrusted with an expedition of his own, which set out in May, 1819, and reached Lancaster Sound in July, discovered Prince Regent’s Inlet, and Barrow Straits, named after Sir John Barrow, Secretary to the Admiralty, who was active promoter of these expeditions. Parry wintered among the ice and returned next year, having pushed Arctic discovery by thirty degrees of longitude farther than any who had gone before. That was Parry’s first voyage, from which he returned to be received with triumph by his countrymen. He was advanced to the rank of Commander in November, 1820, and made a Fellow of the Royal Society. He had shown in what direction to proceed with further search, and at the age of thirty had established for himself a place of lasting honour in the history of English navigation.

Commander Parry was sent on a second expedition in 1821, from which he returned in 1823. He was to explore the Fox Channel, for the purpose of ascertaining whether it was connected with the Arctic Sea of his first voyage. This voyage had no important results; and in 1824 Parry started again on the third voyage, of which this volume contains his Journal. In 1827 he sailed again in the Hecla , but found himself sledging over ice that floated southward as fast as he travelled forward on it northward. He returned then to the work ashore, as a hydrographer, for which his thorough knowledge of navigation marked him out. Desire for a more active life caused him to spend four or five years in Australia (from 1829 to 1834) as Commissioner to the Agricultural Company of Australia. He was knighted, and became in 1852 a Rear Admiral. Sir Edward Parry was Lieutenant Governor of Greenwich Hospital at the time of his death, in July, 1855.

H. M.

THIRD VOYAGE FOR THE DISCOVERY OF A NORTH WEST PASSAGE.

INTRODUCTION.

Notwithstanding the want of success of the late Expedition to the Polar Seas, it was resolved to make another attempt to effect a passage by sea, between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans... Continue reading book >>




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