William Mogg collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1824-1825 (leader William Edward Parry)

Administrative / Biographical History

William Mogg was born in 1796 at Bridgwater, Somerset. He was educated at Dr Burney's Naval School in Gosport, entering the Navy as a first class volunteer in 1811 and serving in a succession of vessels engaged in the task of patrolling the coasts of Europe during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1817, he was appointed to the surveying brig HMS Investigator, employed in conducting surveys in the Shetland Islands.

He was appointed clerk in HMS Hecla on the British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1821-1823 (leader William Edward Parry), sent by the Admiralty to search for a passage along the west coast of Foxe Basin. The following year he returned to the Arctic as clerk in HMS Fury on the British Naval Northwest Passage, 1824-1825 (leader William Edward Parry), sent to seek a passage through Prince Regent Inlet to the American mainland coast, then following the coast west. In August 1825, Fury was forced aground at Fury Point, Somerset Island, and Parry reluctantly abandoned the expedition, taking both crews aboard Hecla before returning to England. During both expeditions, Mogg ran evening schools for the crews and plays were regularly performed.

In 1826, Mogg set sail for the South American Station in HMS Ganges, arriving the following year at Rio de Janeiro where HMS Beagle was undergoing a refit. Mogg was appointed acting-purser of HMS Beagle, remaining with the expedition until its first return to England in 1830, after which he travelled extensively in Europe for eighteen years. He died in 1875 near Southampton.


The collection is arranged chronologically

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to 'William Mogg' by L E Taverner in Nautical Magazine volume 170 1953 p141-144 SPRI Library Shelf Pam 92[Mogg] and Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and Arctic, exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland Garland Publishing, London (1994) ISBN number 0824076486

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.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible

Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library, which includes an image of Mogg. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.