Belcher Edward 
(27.02.1799–18.03.1877)


English explorer, arctic explorer. 
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia Province, Canada. His grandfather, Jonathan Belcher, was the chief judge and then governor of Halifax. 
In 1812, Belcher entered the fleet, in 1818 he became a lieutenant. After 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 Strait. During 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 of John 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 options. The 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 the Wellington Strait, going north from the Lancaster Strait between Devon and Cornwalls. Under 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. Kellett, F. McClintock, S. 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 "Resolute", 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 difficult. Reaching the latitude of 76.5°, on August 17, Belcher was forced to hibernate near the northwestern tip of 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 Devon Island. 
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 doomed. After the meeting, detachments of both expeditions across the ice arrived at the base of the Belcher expedition near Beachy Island. 
After the second wintering, Belcher considered that the "Assistance", "Resolute", "Pioneer" and "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 acquittal. True, 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. 
Died and buried in London. Place of burial unknown. 
An island south of the island of Cornwall in the Canadian Arctic archipelago. 
Cape and Glacier in the east of Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. 
Cape on 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  17° 19.0'E and 77° 10.0'N  17 ° 00'E. Called by A. Peterman. 
Strait between the Greennell Peninsula of Devon and Cornwall in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

 

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