Parry, Sir William Edward
Sir William Edward Parry, rear-admiral, arctic explorer (b at Bath, Eng 19 Dec 1790; d at Bad Ems, Rhineland-Palatinate 8 July 1855), son of a famous physician. As a midshipman in the Royal Navy he saw action in the Baltic and North Sea until 1812; in North America, 1812-17. In 5 arctic expeditions, he commanded the last 4: 1818, through Baffin Bay to Ellesmere Island; 1819, by way of Lancaster Sound to Melville Island, the first ships ever to cross 110° W; 1821, through Foxe Basin to Fury and Hecla Strait, a discovery; 1824-25, down Prince Regent Inlet, but HMS Fury
wrecked; 1827, from Svalbard north to 82°45´ N, a record until 1876. Subsequent naval assignments were 1827, hydrographer; 1836, controller of steam navigation; 1846, superintendent of Haslar Hospital; 1854, lieutenant-governor of Greenwich Hospital. Civilian interludes were: 1830, commissioner of the Australian Agricultural Company; 1834, commissioner of the poor-law in Norfolk. He ranks among the great navigators for penetrating the Arctic Archipelago, for showing how ships can survive and men work through an arctic winter, and for achieving a furthest north unsurpassed for 50 years. He contributed much to the eventual discovery of the Northwest Passage and the North Pole.
Parry, Sir William Edward
Parry ranks among the great navigators for penetrating the Arctic Archipelago, for showing how ships can survive and men work through an arctic winter (courtesy Library and Archives Canada).
Arctic Exploration, Map
ROBERT E. JOHNSON
Links to Other Sites
The website for the Historica-Dominion Institute, parent organization of The Canadian Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Check out their extensive online feature about the War of 1812, the "Heritage Minutes" video collection, and many other interactive resources concerning Canadian history, culture, and heritage.
Exploration of the Northwest Passage
An overview of European expeditions to Canada’s northern Arctic region from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. Brief bios, illustrations, maps, and other reference material. An Industry Canada website.
Major Northwest Passage Exeditions and Explorers
This site offers brief accounts of various European expeditions to North America in search of the Northwest Passage. From the website "Of Maps and Men: In Pursuit of a Northwest Passage," Princeton University.
A superb online exhibit about the search for the Northwest Passage. Historic maps and images from books show how the Inuit assisted foreign led expeditions into the Canadian Arctic and how European explorers gradually accepted Inuit techniques of travel and survival. Contemporary maps show the lasting achievement of the expeditions: the mapping of the Canadian Arctic. From the Toronto Public Library.