The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

Sir William Edward Parry

(1790-1855), Rear-Admiral

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue Entry

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.

Tell us More

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

List Thumbnail

Sir William Edward Parry, by Samuel Drummond - NPG 5053

Sir William Edward Parry

by Samuel Drummond
oil on canvas, engraved 1820
NPG 5053

Sir William Edward Parry, after Samuel Drummond - NPG D39553

Sir William Edward Parry

after Samuel Drummond
mezzotint, (1820)
NPG D39553

Sir William Edward Parry, by James Thomson (Thompson), after  Samuel Drummond - NPG D38801

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 - NPG D15679

Sir William Edward Parry

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

Web image not currently available

Sir William Edward Parry

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

Web image not currently available

The Arctic Council planning a search for Sir John Franklin

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



Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.


Our channel

View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

Hear our story