English naval officer, an outstanding arctic and antarctic
Born in London.
Ross began serving in the navy as a volunteer at the age of 12 on
board the ship, whose captain was his uncle John Ross, later a rear
Until 1817, as a midshipman, he sailed in the Baltic and White
seas, in the Channel, near the west coast of Scotland.
In 1818 Ross participated in the first English expedition to the
American Arctic after the nearly two centuries of interruption.
The initiative of resuming the voyages belonged to the Secretary
of the English Admiralty,
J. Barrow, who
always knew how to achieve his goals, using any means for that.
This expedition was headed by John Ross, and one of the two ships
was commanded by W.
The ships of the Isabella and Alexander expeditions reached the
Baffin Sea and passed to its northern part, specifying and
correcting the map compiled earlier by
took the line of the Greenland coast almost 10° west of and 200 km
to the north, revealed Melville Bay.
Northwest exit from the sea, Jones
Strait, was packed with ice, and the ships headed for the then
The expedition leader saw high mountains, and this mirage made
him turn back: he considered the strait as a bay.
The expedition carried out valuable scientific observations, but
its geographical results were insufficient - a passage to the
Pacific Ocean was not found.
In subsequent years, Ross participated in three Arctic
expeditions under the command of W. Parry.
In 1819 the ships Parry "Hekla" and "Greiper" were in the
Lancaster, they were convinced that the mountains are a mirage,
opened up the straits adjoining it and a number of lands washed by
Expedition wintered on Melville
island, the next year, she could not go further to the west and
in October 1820 she returned to England.
Ross participated in the expedition under the command of Parry
for the second time.
On the ships "Hekla" and "Fury" examined the Prince-Regent Strait,
where they were forced to stand for a ten-month wintering.
In the spring, it turned out that Fury, which Ross was on, had
fallen into disrepair and had to be thrown.
In 1827, Ross, as the commander of Hekla, once again participated
in the expedition of Parry, who was trying to reach the North Pole
on ice from Spitsbergen.
Upon his return, Ross did not stay long in England and already in
1829 took part in the expedition of his uncle John Ross that lasted
John Ross was the failure of 1818, when he took the mirage for a
mountain range and considered the Strait of Lancaster a gulf.
Ross Sr. conceived a new expedition, but the Admiralty did not
Then he allocated 3,000 pounds sterling and additionally used the
help of the rich merchant-patron
Felix Butiy, who allocated 17,000 pounds sterling.
In gratitude, John Ross immortalized the name of the patron of
the arts, naming a large peninsula and a bay in his honor.
In 1829, they performed on the paddle steamer “Victoria” and
Strait through the Lancaster Strait, in
which in 1824–1825
They managed to go further south to Parry and discover an unknown
Here we got up for the first wintering, for which the second
followed, since it was not possible to get rid of ice.
During this time, James Ross investigated in detail the Butiya
During one of his trips, he crossed the
washing the peninsula from the west (later named after him) and
discovered the land, which he took to be the peninsula.
In fact, it was King William Island, which in 15 years became the
scene of the tragedy of the expedition of
Discoveries Ross largely clarified the configuration of the
Arctic coast of North America.
On the south-west coast of the Boothia Peninsula, James Ross
discovered the North Magnetic Pole and hoisted the British flag
And the ship spent the third winter practically in the same
The commander decided to throw the ship and head over the ice to
The fourth wintering was spent on the southeast coast of the
island of Somerset
in the place where Parry left Fury in 1824 and left there a
warehouse with a large supply of food and equipment.
This saved the Ross expedition.
In the summer of 1833, long-suffering travelers reached across
the ice of the Barrow Strait, moved into the boats brought with them
and moved to the Lancaster Strait, at the entrance to which the ship
"Isabella" was met by chance.
This meeting is from the category of meetings of
F. Nansen with
F. Jackson or
V. Albanov and
A. Conrad with
the expedition of
G. Sedov to “St.
"Isabella" was exactly the ship that John Ross commanded during
his unsuccessful expedition of 1818-1819.
John Ross was not immediately recognized by the crew of his
native ship - he was considered dead two years ago, and the
"Isabella" was sent in search of the missing expedition.
From the mouth of the team, travelers heard the most incredible
information about the circumstances and the place of their death.
Upon arrival at home, both Ross were honored with great honors
and recognition of their merits.
Captain James Ross was searching for whalers in the ice of the
Baffin Sea, magnetic surveys of Great Britain and Ireland, performed
on the instructions of the Admiralty.
In 1839, Ross led an expedition on the ships "Erebus" and
"Terror", which was intended to conduct magnetic research and
geographical discoveries in the Antarctic seas.
The commander of the "Terror" was
The expedition was able to detect a vast continent located beyond
an ice barrier 150 feet high, and to reach 78°
At 77° 32'S
and 167°E, among the eternal ice and snow, they
discovered an active volcano with a height of 12,400 feet, which was
given the name "Mount Erebus", and the territory in which it is
located - Victoria Land.
The expedition conducted extensive zoological, botanical,
geological and meteorological research, as well as observations of
terrestrial magnetism, and returned to England in September 1843.
Proof of her excellent organization is the fact that in four
years only three people died from accidents and one from an illness.
Shortly after his return, Ross received a nobility, and in France
was presented to the
Order of the Legion of Honor.
In 1847 his book was published on an expedition to Antarctica.
In 1848, the search began for the missing expedition of J.
Franklin, who set off for the Arctic in 1845 on the same famous
ships, "Erebus" and "Terror".
Neither in the Admiralty, nor among polar explorers there was a
unity of opinion as to where to look for the ships of Franklin.
The majority argued that Franklin would strictly adhere to the
Admiralty's instruction, which prescribed the Lancaster, Barrow,
Melville Straits and the south-west as the main route, and the
reserve route - movement through the bd
Wellington St to the north, where, according to the then existing
ideas, could be ice-free sea.
Others, and in particular old John Ross, argued the possibility
of deviating from this route due to some circumstances.
Dr. King, a member of the expedition of
J. Back in 1833
to the mouth of the Big Fish River, submitted to the Admiralty a
project of a rescue expedition there, in fact, with absolute
accuracy, he guessed the place of the tragedy.
It was supported only by
F. Beachy, who
considered it useful to send the bot down this river.
But the Admiralty did not give King the answer.
James Ross expressed the authoritative opinion that Franklin
would under no circumstances go to the mouth of Big Fish, but would
rather go to the mouth of Mackenzie.
The Admiralty decided to send three search expeditions.
Commodore Moore’s sea party and captain
G. Kellett had to go from the Bering Strait,
land from the south to the Mackenzie estuary, and Ross’s sea from
the Baffin Sea across the Lancaster Strait.
This decision, as it later became clear, determined the fate of
the people of Franklin.
If in 1848 King had gone down Bolshaya Rybnoy, he might have met
people who were slowly dragging to the south, exhausted from hunger
and cold by people from “Terror” and “Erebus”.
At least someone would be saved, and we would have eyewitnesses
to all that happened.
However, what happened happened.
Ross went on two vessels, Enterprise (Enterprise) and Explorer
(Investigator), with him were later famous thanks to the search for
Franklin R. McClure
and F. McClinthok.
The "Enterprise" and the "Researcher" were vessels of the same class
and quality as the "Erebus" and "Terror", but noticeably larger.
They played a prominent role in the Franklin expeditions.
The instruction given to Ross by the Admiralty prescribed a
survey of a vast area.
They had to go through the Lancaster and Barrow Straits to the
Wellington Strait, examine it and divide.
One ship had to go to about.
Melville and on to
Banks Island, reaching them, create several search teams, explore the
island of Victoria and reach the mouth of the Mackenzie.
The second ship was intended to go south and get up for the
winter in a place from where you can get to the Butiya Peninsula by
Great hopes were pinned on Ross’s expedition.
They left England on June 12, 1848 and a month later reached the
northernmost Danish colony in Greenland, Upernivik.
The passage to the western coast of the Baffin Sea was very
In the Lancaster Strait entered only at the end of August, a month later than
Barrow Strait was clogged with ice, so they got up to winter near the
northeast tip of
Somerset Island at the place where the Barrow (west), Lancaster
(east), Wellington (north) and Prince Regent (south) straits meet.
As it turned out, from their wintering to the first wintering
place of Franklin was no more than 100 miles to the north-west.
Polar explorers built a winter home, and with the onset of
daylight, they made sledding trips.
Ross invented a variety of non-standard ways to alert you about
your whereabouts and searches.
He released foxes caught, providing them with copper plates with
text, wrote in huge letters on the rocks, everywhere he left boards
with inscriptions, threw cylinders with notes into the sea.
Sanny routes up and down unsuccessfully examined Somerset
In place of their wintering, just in case, they left an annual
supply of food, equipment and fuel.
It was possible to get rid of ice only at the very end of August.
Four days crossed the Lancaster
Strait, trying to enter the Wellington Strait: they, as it
turned out, were in close proximity to one of the goals of their
Severe frost bound the ships, and the ice fields carried them
into the Baffin Sea.
They managed to free themselves, but it was too late to go into
the Lancaster Strait.
Of the two options: wintering in the Baffin Sea or returning
home, Ross, given the poor condition of the crew, chose the latter.
It is clear that the failure was determined solely by the severe
ice conditions in 1848–1849.
However, in England, polar explorers became targets for attacks
The situation was aggravated by the fact that Ross’s return
almost coincided with the sending of an auxiliary vessel to him,
indicating in no case should the search continue until 1850.
The auxiliary vessel, not having found Ross, was wintering Baffin
in the sea.
The failure was complete - an expensive expedition, as
contemporaries believed, ended in nothing.
James Ross did a great deal to study the polar regions of the
Earth and was honored with numerous honors for his merits.
He was a member of a number of scientific societies, had an
honorary degree at the University of Oxford, and received gold
medals from the London and Paris Geographical Societies.
In 1856 he was given the rank of Rear Admiral.
The failure of the search expedition seriously affected the moral
and physical condition of Ross.
He no longer participated in the Arctic campaigns.
In 1857, his wife died.
Died in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
with his wife
in Eston Abbey of the
In the gardens of the abbey there
is a lake with two islands, named after the ships "Terror" and
The island north of the island of
Northeastern Land, Svalbard.
The coordinates are 80° 49.5'N
Cape (James Ross) in the
southwest of Melville Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
Cape in the southeast of King
William Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
A bay on the northeast coast
of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and the
river that flows into it.
Strait between King William Island
and the Boothia Peninsula in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.