William Penny

William Penny ( born July 12, 1809 in Peterhead, † February 1, 1892 in Aberdeen) was a Scottish whalers and participates in a prominent role in the exploration of the Canadian Arctic and their utilization for whaling. He was known primarily for his rather short and unfortunate part in the search for the missing Franklin expedition.

Penny went at the age of 12 years for the first time on a whaling boat, and had attained the age of 26 his first command of the whaling boat Neptune. Inspired by his experiences in the Canadian Arctic, he campaigned successfully for the establishment of whaling bases near the hunting grounds, which the whaling of the time is safe and effective to a large extent.

Already in 1847 he had tried in vain to his whaling trips out of personal interest, to reach the ships of the Franklin Expedition. When, in 1848, the official search for Franklin began, he offered Franklin's wife Jane Griffin his service, and eventually resigned in April 1850 with the ships HMS HMS Lady Franklin and Sophia in addition to a variety of other teams looking at. When at last the winter camp Franklin was found on Beechey Iceland in the southwest Devon Island, Penny suspected that Franklin had can be observed from here the input of the northbound Wellington channel on passability, and continued his expedition in this direction continues. Although Franklin had actually taken this direction, Penny's search was unsuccessful, however, he discovered at Gates with sled named after him further north Penny Street.

Convinced that Franklin was to be found further to the north, Penny turned on August 11, 1851 to support its ships pleading to the commander of the main search party of the Royal Navy, Vice Admiral Horatio Thomas Austin. As Austin refused this, Penny got into a bitter dispute with him, which resulted in both parties broke off their search efforts and returned to England, where Penny mitführte some samples of Arctic wildlife for the naturalist Charles Darwin. There the events between them were the subject of an official investigation, but which always ended with the result that both opponents had been guilty, no major errors. However, Penny's reputation in the Admiralty was heavily damaged by the opposite Austin down to the day disrespect. Although the influential Lady Franklin Party sided with Penny, his continued participation in the search was denied.

Penny concentrated his efforts more on commercial whaling and led, among other things, a hunting technique of ice floes down one. Penny died after 25 years of retirement from seafaring in Aberdeen.


  • William Penny. In: Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Toronto 1979 et seq, ISBN 0-8020-3142-0 ( English, French)
  • Darwin's request for transfer Brin narrowing of some samples
  • Whaler
  • Polar explorer (Arctic)
  • Briton
  • Scotsman
  • Man
  • Born in 1809
  • Died in 1892