The collection comprises of material relating to the British Arctic Expedition, 1875-1876 (leader George Strong Nares) and correspondence by Stephenson
Henry Stephenson collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 Henry Stephenson
- Dates of Creation1875-1901
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical DescriptionExpedition material (1 microfilm, 6 leaves) correspondence (1 microfilm, 5 leaves)
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Henry Frederick Stephenson was born on 7 June 1842. He joined the Royal Navy in 1855, serving during the Crimean War, the China Expedition and the Indian Mutiny. Advancing to lieutenant in 1861, he commanded a gunboat on the lakes of Canada between 1866 and 1867, and between 1871 and 1874, was commander of the Royal Yacht. Promoted captain in 1875, he served as captain of HMS Discovery on the British Arctic Expedition, 1875-1876 (leader George Strong Nares), sent by the Admiralty to attempt to reach the North Pole by way of Smith Sound and to explore the coasts of Greenland and adjacent lands. Although the attempt to reach the North Pole was unsuccessful, the expedition made some geographical discoveries and returned with a large quantity of scientific data.
After the expedition, he served in the Egyptian Campaign, and in 1888 was appointed Naval ADC to Queen Victoria. He served as equerry to the Prince of Wales from 1878 until 1893, when he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Pacific Station, a post he held until 1896. Rising to the rank of vice admiral in 1896, he was placed in command of the Channel Squadron the following year. Between 1903 and 1904, he served as first and principal ADC to King Edward VII. He was knighted in 1897 and, in addition to the Arctic Medal, received numerous campaign medals. Retiring from the Navy as admiral in 1904, he died on 16 December 1919.
The collection is split into two sub-fonds comprising of expedition material and correspondence respectively
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Who was who, 1916-1928, Adam & Charles Black London (1947) and British polar exploration and research a historical and medallic record with biographies 1818-1999 by Lieutenant Colonel Neville W Poulsom and Rear Admiral John A L Myres, Savannah Publications London (2000) SPRI Library Shelf 737.2 and Arctic exploration and development c.500 BC to 1915 an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland, Garland Publishing Inc. New York (1994) and Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills San Diego and Oxford, 2003
Other Finding Aids
Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.
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