Sabine, British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1818

Scope and Content

  • MS 862;BJ Journal, 30 April to 2 November 1818 [Including letters] 1 volume (Xerox)

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1818 (leader John Ross) was the first of many nineteenth century expeditions sent by the Admiralty in search of the passage. The two Ships HMS Isabella (Ross) and HMS Alexander (William Edward Parry) explored the Baffin Bay area sighting Smith Sound, Jones Sound and Lancaster Sound. The first two were erroneously declared to be bays while Lancaster Sound was noted as being a small inlet enclosed by mountains. The expedition passed but did not attempt to enter Cumberland Sound, returning to London in November 1818. Although the expedition failed to find a passage, it confirmed the earlier discoveries of Robert Bylot and William Baffin and encouraged whalers to extend their activities north to Baffin Bay and the coast of Baffin Island



Related Material

The Institute holds several archival collections containing material relating to this expedition see SPRI collections GB 015 Sir John Ross, GB 015 Sir William Edward Parry and GB 015 Charlotte Grimstone.