The collection comprises of material relating to the British Naval North Polar Expedition, 1773 (led by Phipps) to Svalbard and the surrounding Arctic ocean
Constantine Phipps collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 Constantine Phipps
- Dates of Creation1773
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical DescriptionExpedition material (1 volume)
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Constantine John Phipps was born in 1744, the eldest son of the first Baron Mulgrave, a peer of Ireland. In 1760, he entered the Navy, serving in the West Indies before advancing to the rank of lieutenant in 1762 and commander in 1763. He embarked upon a career in politics in 1768 when he was elected Member of Parliament for Lincoln.
In 1773, Phipps led the British Naval North Polar Expedition, sent by the Admiralty to determine how far navigation was possible toward the North Pole from Spitsbergen. Sailing in HMS Racehorse, in company with HMS Carcass under Captain Skeffington Lutwidge, the expedition reached a farthest north of 80° 48 minutes North in July 1773 before impenetrable ice forced them to turn back. His narrative of the expedition was published in 1774.
On the death of his father in 1775, Phipps succeeded as second Baron Mulgrave and was later created a peer of Great Britain as Baron Mulgrave in 1790. In 1777, he won the parliamentary seat for Huntingdon and was appointed a lord of the Admiralty. At the Battle of Ushant in 1778, he commanded HMS Courageux, in which he remained until the end of the war in 1783. In 1784, Phipps was elected Member of Parliament for Newark-upon-Trent and was appointed joint paymaster-general of the forces, later serving as commissioner for the affairs of India. Resigning due to ill health in 1791, he died on 10 October 1792 at Liege.
Published work A voyage towards the North Pole undertaken by His Majesty's command, 1773 by Constantine John Phipps, Caedmon of Whitby Press, Whitby (1978) SPRI Library Shelf (3)91(08)
The collection is arranged chronologically.
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Dictionary of National Biography volume 45, Smith, Elder & Co. London (1896) and National Maritime Museum and Arctic, exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland, Garland Publishing, London (1994) ISBN number 0824076486 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.
Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.
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