explorer, arctic explorer.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia Province, Canada. His
grandfather, Jonathan Belcher, was the chief judge and then governor
In 1812, Belcher entered the fleet, in 1818 he became a
the usual routine service, during which he participated in the
battle of Alger, in 1824 - 1825. Belcher
was a topographer on the expedition of Captain F.
Beechy on the ship
Blossom, who surveyed the northwestern Pacific and the Bering
this voyage, many unknown objects of the Pacific Ocean were mapped.
In 1829, Belcher received the rank of captain 3rd rank and served
under the command of Rear Admiral Owen, and in 1830 he commanded the
warship Etna, which conducted the survey of the shores of Africa.
In the years 1836–1842, Belcher aboard the Sulfur made a world
tour during which he took part in the war with the Chinese and
destroyed 28 Chinese military boats. His
merits were marked by the rank of captain 1 rank and noble title. About
this period he wrote and published an interesting report.
Shortly thereafter, on the "Samarang" vessel, Belcher was
instructed to survey the shores of the Indian Ocean. During
one of the many encounters with pirates, he was seriously injured.
The last enterprise of Belcher was the search for the expedition
Franklin, which set out from England in 1845 to open the
Northwest Passage and disappeared in the expanses of the Canadian
Arctic Archipelago. Anxiety
over the fate of this expedition appeared by the end of 1846, but
these were the isolated voices of the people closest to Franklin. When
no news came in the third year, the anxiety became widespread. The
matter was aggravated by the fact that no one could really imagine
where, strictly speaking, it was necessary to look for, since even
the Admiralty instruction given to Franklin provided for various
first search expeditions began to be sent from 1848, but none of
them found traces of the missing.
Belcher was connected to the search in 1852. The
Admiralty designated the area of its operation as the main area of
Strait, going north from the Lancaster Strait between Devon and
the command of Belcher there was a whole squadron of five ships,
four of which were part of G.
Austin's expedition earlier: the flagship vessel "Assistance", as
well as "Resolute", "Intrepid", "Pioneer". In
addition, he was attached to the auxiliary vessel "North Star". The
crew of the expedition included such experienced Arctic sailors as G.
Osborne and others.
The squadron left England in late April 1852 and by the end of
July, after passing the Baffin Sea, went through the Lancaster
Strait to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.Having reached Beachy
Island by mid-August, it split into three groups: "Assistance" and
under Belcher’s command, went north along the Wellington Strait,
"Pioneer" and "Fearless", led by Kellett, proceeded west to Melville
Island, and "Northern Star" as a base remained off Beachy Island.
The ice conditions in the Wellington Strait proved to be very
the latitude of 76.5°,
on August 17, Belcher was forced to hibernate near the northwestern
Devon Island in Northumberland Bay. In
late August - early September, the boats went around the Grinnell
Peninsula and opened the island to the north of it. Cornwall In
the spring of 1853, the sleigh party under the direction of J.-G. Richards and
S. Osborne made sleigh trips to the west and opened the north coast of
Bathurst and a number
of small islands. The
luge party, under the leadership of Belcher himself, examined the
northern coast of the Grinnell Peninsula, opened its small Cardigan
island to the north. Traces
of Franklin were not found anywhere.
From mid-July 1853, the Belcher ships began to drift south with
ice fields. They
were brought to the northern tip of the Wellington Strait, where
they embarked on a second wintering near the west coast of
During the two winters, Belcher personally walked around the
Wellington Strait, north of Devon Island, south coast of Cornwall
Island, a number of small islands.
Another detachment of the Belcher expedition, led by Kellett,
reached the island
of Melville using
favorable ice conditions, where it was wintering. In
the spring of 1853, during the sleigh expeditions, the shores of the
islands of Melville and Bathurst were carefully examined. There
were no traces of Franklin, but they found a note left by the
expedition of R.
McClure, which left England for the same purpose, but through
the Bering Strait, as early as 1850. Having
spent three winterings, the people of McClure were most likely
the meeting, detachments of both expeditions across the ice arrived
at the base of the Belcher expedition near Beachy
After the second wintering, Belcher considered that the "Assistance",
"Fearless" vessels could not be rescued from ice
captivity, and, despite objections first of all to Kellett, he
decided to leave them and on the
"North Star" return to England.
Belcher’s return at the end of 1854 was grievously grieved. The
main reason for discontent and even outrage was the fact that
serviceable ships were abandoned in the Arctic. The
case went to trial, in which, in addition to Belcher, Kellett and
McClure were involved. These
two were quickly acquitted as the people who carried out the orders
of the commander. For
several hours Belcher confidently and steadfastly defended himself
from accusations of lack of courage. After
an hour and a half of discussion, the court unanimously delivered an
the words “with honor” were omitted in the text of the sentence, and
when the sword returned to him, the chairman did not utter a single
word, thus showing his displeasure.
The troubles for Belcher continued the following year, when the
whaling ship George Henry, Captain S. Baddington, met the fully
resolute "Resolute" drifting in the Davis Strait and delivered it to
the port of New Orleans in the USA. That
was a shame for Belcher.
It should, of course, be said that contemporaries reacted to
Belcher rather biasedly. Although
he did not find any traces of Franklin, he sharply narrowed the
boundaries of further searches, which determined the success of
subsequent search expeditions. In
addition, his expedition conducted the most large-scale geographical
research, which allowed to get a clear idea of the vast part of
the Canadian Arctic archipelago.
In 1864, Belcher became a rear admiral, and in
1866 he retired with the rank of vice admiral.
Awarded the Order
of the Bath.
buried in London. Place
of burial unknown.
An island south
of the island of Cornwall in the Canadian Arctic archipelago.
Glacier in the
east of Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
the coast of Canada in the Beaufort Sea west
of Purd Bay.
Glacier and mountains on
Earth Turel, West Spitsbergen Island. The
coordinates are 77° 13.0'N
and 77° 10.0'N
17 ° 00'E. Called by
the Greennell Peninsula of Devon and Cornwall in the Canadian Arctic