Parry, British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1819-1820

Scope and Content

  • MS 1199/1/2;MJ Journal, 4 May 1819 to 29 October 1820 [HMS Hecla] microfilm

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1819-1820(led by Parry) was dispatched to search Lancaster Sound for a passage west. The expedition occurred at the same time as the British Naval Exploring Expedition, 1819-1822 (leader John Franklin) was making an overland exploration of the north coast of America.

Parry sailed on HMS Hecla with Matthew Liddon on board HMS Gripper. The two ships were deliberately over wintered in the Arctic at Winter Harbour, Melville Island. While the ships were trapped in the ice Parry carried out an exploration of Melville Island.

This was an extremely successful Arctic expedition which identified Lancaster Sound as the main contender for a Northwest Passage, by crossing the 110° meridian in a high northern latitude the expedition qualified for the 5,000 prize offered by the Board of Longitude.



Alternative Form Available

This is a copy

Related Material

For additional material regarding this expedition see SPRI collections GB 15 Mathew Liddon, GB 15 Edward Sabine, GB 15 North Georgia Gazette

The barrel organ used to entertain the men during the Arctic winter is on display at the Scott Polar Research Institute museum (open Tuesday to Saturday 2.30pm to 4pm).

Location of Originals

MS 1199/1/2;MJ Naval Library (1982)

Personal Names