John Ross (Arctic explorer)

Sir John Ross ( * June 24, 1777 in Balsarroch, Wigtownshire, Scotland; † August 30, 1856 in London) was a British rear admiral and Arctic explorer.


John Ross was born in 1777 in the Scottish Balsarroch the fourth son of the pastor Andrew Ross. At age nine, he joined the Royal Navy and was wounded 13 times in battle with the French. In January 1818 he was transferred to the command on an expedition with the ships Isabella and Alexander to search for the Northwest Passage. Ross commanded even the Isabella, a former whaler, while Lieutenant William Edward Parry was in command of the smaller Alexander. A participant of the expedition was also the Irish astronomer Edward Sabine. In the Baffin Bay Ross initially identified the Melville Bay in western Greenland and later the Cape Alexander and Cape Isabella. He discovered the Thule District of Greenland and participated for the first time in the history of Western civilization in contact with the Polar Eskimos (Inuit ) on. His misconception that the Smith and Lancaster Sound were only bays, proved influential to his career. He was relieved of his command powers and retired with halved references. Parry returned on behalf of the Admiralty 1819-1920 and 1821-1823 back, discovered a part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago - ( Parry Islands) and proved that the Lancaster Sound is a strait and no bay.

1829 Ross privately organized another expedition, mainly from the brewery owner and later ennobled Baron Felix Booth ( 1775-1850 ) was funded. For the first time in the history of polar exploration, he decided on a steamboat, which he gave the name of Victory. After four winter and the discovery of the magnetic north pole by his nephew James Clark Ross on the Boothia Peninsula they were rescued in 1833 by the now again operating as a whaler Isabella and brought back to England. Other discoveries include the King William Island, the John Ross, however, considered a part of the North American mainland.

From 1839 to 1847 John Ross British consul in Stockholm. His third Arctic voyage he undertook at the age of 72 years from 1850 to 1851 with the schooner Felix in search of the lost Franklin expedition.