Search the Collections

Sir William Edward Parry (1790-1855), Rear-Admiral

Sitter in 8 portraits
Entered the Navy at the age of thirteen, and served in the North Sea and the Baltic. In 1818, he commanded a brig on an Arctic expedition and the following year he was appointed to command another expedition to search for a North-West Passage to the Pacific. The trip was successful and returned with much scientific material. Parry's care for his men, his solution of many of the problems of wintering in the ice, and his meticulous scientific work set a pattern of Arctic exploration for a generation. He subsequently made several more expeditions to the Arctic, culminating in an attempt on the North Pole from the northern shores of Spitzbergen. The furthest north that he reached stood as a record for nearly fifty years.