Clavering Douglas

(08.09.1794-mid 1827)


Officer of the British Royal Navy and Arctic explorer.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in the house of Holirud. He was the eldest son of Brigadier General Henry Mordaunt Clavering (1759–1850) and Lady Augusta Campbell (1760–1831), his grandfather Lt. Gen. John Clavering, who served as commander in chief of British forces in India.

He died in June 1827 (aged 32-33 years)

Clavering did not follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather - army generals. He chose to serve in the fleet, having entered into its composition at a young age, he served as a midshipman under the command of Sir Philip Brooke on the frigate "Shannon". Clavering distinguished himself during the battle with the United States ship Chesapeake in June 1813 and was favorably noted in the Brooke report. He then served as a lieutenant aboard the military sloop "Spey" in the Mediterranean, and in 1821 he was appointed commander of the sloop "Pheasant" on the coast of Africa.

On the way to his ship, he struck up a close friendship with Captain Edward Sabin, who was going to Africa to conduct a series of pendulum experiments, which were part of research on determining the figure of the Earth at several stations in near-equatorial regions of Africa and America. At the suggestion of Clavering, Pheasant was chosen for these observations. Observation points were located in Sierra Leone, on St. Thomas, Ascension Island, Bahia, Maranham, Trinidad, Jamaica and in New York. During the voyage, Clavering also made an extensive series of observations on the equatorial current and the Gulf Stream.

After the publication of the results of the observations of Sabin, it was decided to continue them to the northernmost latitude, which could be reached. For this purpose, they chose the brig Graiper, which had already adapted to Arctic travels and was used on the first expedition by William Parry in 1819-1820. March 1, 1823 Clavering was appointed his commander.

Clavering prepared his ship at Deptford, providing for a possible wintering.

On May 11, 1823, the Gripper set sail on the North Sea, and then north along the coast of Norway. On June 2, they arrived at Hammerfest, where Sabin made his first series of observations.

The next item was Svalbard. While Sabin made his observations, examined the shores of the archipelago, were engaged in replenishing food stocks.

Then the "Gripper" sailed north to Spitsbergen, where they left for observation the group

After Svalbard went to the east coast of Greenland. Having made our way through heavy ice, we reached the coast at a latitude of 74°. In search of a suitable landing site, two islands were discovered, which were later named Lille Pendulum (Little Pendulum) and Sabin.

On the Big Pendulum Island, a Sabin camp was set up to observe, and Clavering and his midshipman Henry Foster explored the coast in two boats between 72° 30'N and 74° N, extending the observations of William Scoresby.

After the observations, Sabine went to the shores of Norway, where they conducted the last series of measurements at Trondheim.

In January 1825, Clavering was appointed commander of the "Redwing" brig sloop, part of the West African squadron engaged in the suppression of the slave trade. "Redwing" sailed from Sierra Leone in June 1827 and no one else saw him. The wreckage, which made ashore in November off the coast of Africa, suggested that lightning caused a fire that destroyed the ship.

Island near the east   coast of Greenland . Named the Second Germanic Polar Expedition of 1869-1970.


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