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William Penny

(1808-1892), Seaman and explorer

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 2 portraits
Penny was sent to sea at a young age by his father who was a whale skipper. He was an early advocate of marine steam power; commanding the first steam whaler, into the Arctic regions. He played a major part in the search for Sir John Franklin and the crew of Erebus and Terror, who were lost in the Arctic during an attempt to discover the Northwest Passage. Penny sailed in May 1850 and found on Beechey Island traces of Franklin's winter quarters of 1845-46 but none of the 129 members of the expedition.

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William Penny, by James Scott, published by  Henry Graves & Co, after  Stephen Pearce - NPG D40145

William Penny

by James Scott, published by Henry Graves & Co, after Stephen Pearce
mixed-method engraving, published 30 September 1853
NPG D40145

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