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James Weddell. Portrait of James Weddell (1787- 1834), British explorer of the Antarctic. Weddell served for some years at sea before becoming a master in the British Royal Navy. After being put on half-pay in 1816 after the war between Britain & France ended, Weddell took command of a commer- cial ship, Jane, which he used to catch seals in the South Atlantic. In 1823, an expedition under Weddell reached 74 degrees 15 minutes South, a record which stood for many years because the sea was unusually ice-free during his voyage. He named the sea after King George IV, but it was soon renamed the Weddell Sea. An island and a species of seal are also named after him.
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