Search the Collection

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.

List Thumbnail


Sir William Edward Parry

by Samuel Drummond
oil on canvas, engraved 1820
NPG 5053


Sir William Edward Parry

by Stephen Pearce
oil on millboard, 1850
NPG 912


Sir William Edward Parry

by James Thomson (Thompson), after Samuel Drummond
stipple engraving, published 1821
NPG D38801


Sir William Edward Parry

by Samuel William Reynolds, published by and after William Haines
mezzotint, 1827
NPG D15679


Sir William Edward Parry

after Samuel Drummond
mezzotint, (1820)
NPG D39553


Sir William Edward Parry

published by John Limbird, after Samuel Drummond
stipple engraving, (1820)
NPG D16102


The Arctic Council planning a search for Sir John Franklin

by James Scott, after Stephen Pearce
mezzotint, published 1853
NPG D9472