ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
John Ross (1777-1856), Scottish naval officer and explorer. Ross was born near Stranraer, the son of a clergyman. At the age of nine he was apprenticed into the Royal Navy. After rising through the ranks, in 1818 he was sent by the Admiralty to recommence a search for the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and to collect tide, current and magnetic information. He set off with two ships, but didn't progress further than was already known. On a second expedition he managed to get stuck in the ice for four years, but did locate the magnetic north pole. After a failed third expedition, he retired with the rank of Rear Admiral and settled in Scotland.
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