ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sir William Edward Parry (1790-1855), English naval officer and explorer. Parry was born and educated at bath, but at the age of 13 joined the Royal Navy. In 1810 he was appointed lieutennant and served on HMS Alexander protecting the Spitzbergen whaling fleet. He made various observations of the night sky at high latitudes. In 1818 he commanded a brig under Captain Ross exploring the Arctic seas and in 1819 commanded the successful expedition of HMS Griper and HMS Hecla which reached half way through the supposed Northwest Passage. Another two expeditions failed to get any further. In 1827 he attempted to reach the North Pole, and although he failed he had reached farther north than anyone before or for 50 years afterwards. On his return he was knighted. In his later career he was comptroller of steam machinery, then superintendent of the Haslar naval hospital.
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