King William Island

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King William Island,

part of the Arctic Archipelago, in the Arctic Ocean, Nunavut Territory, Canada, between Boothia Peninsula and Victoria Island. The northern coast of the island was explored (1831) by Sir James C. RossRoss, Sir James Clark,
1800–1862, British polar explorer and rear admiral. In 1818 he accompanied his uncle, Sir John Ross, in search of the Northwest Passage and commanded the Erebus.
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. In 1837, Thomas Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Company traced the southern coast. The ships of the expedition of Sir John FranklinFranklin, Sir John,
1786–1847, British explorer in N Canada whose disappearance caused a widespread search of the Arctic. Entering the navy in 1801, he fought in the battle of Trafalgar.
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 were wrecked off the west coast, and the island was further explored by searchers for Franklin, notably John RaeRae, John,
1813–93, Scottish arctic explorer, b. Orkney Islands. A physician in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company in N Canada, Rae made (1846–47) a journey of exploration from Fort Churchill to the Gulf of Boothia, which he described in his
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 and Sir Francis L. McClintockMcClintock, Sir Francis Leopold,
1819–1907, British arctic explorer. As a lieutenant in the navy he was assigned to his first arctic service in 1848, when Sir James Clark Ross went in search of the lost expedition of Sir John Franklin.
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. Roald AmundsenAmundsen, Roald
(Roald Engelbregt Grauning Amundsen) , 1872–1928, Norwegian polar explorer; the first person to reach the South Pole. He served (1897–99) as first mate on the Belgica
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 wintered there in 1903–4 while on his way through the Northwest Passage.


See P. F. Cooper, Island of the Lost (1961).

References in periodicals archive ?
Historians believe the ships were lost in 1848 after they became locked in the ice near King William Island and the crews abandoned them in a hopeless bid to reach safety.
An archaeological dig on nearby King William Island in the 1990s uncovered bones showing signs of cannibalism.
CLUE Note found in May 1859 in a cairn on King William Island, detailing the fate of the Franklin expedition.
In her introduction, Eber notes that a disproportionate number understandably pertain to the expeditions that had the most interaction with Inuit: William Edward Parry's second voyage 1821-23 (to Igloolik), John Ross's second voyage 1829-33 (to the area of Thom Bay, halfway down the east coast of Boothia Peninsula), and Roald Amundsen's successful voyage in a fishing smack through the northwest passage 1903-6 (including his two winters on King William Island at what became the village of Gjoa Haven).
In sum, the stories about this voyage cover familiar ground: Inuit thought that the deaths cursed the land, even before the deaths (74), they found that the sailors "'didn't seem to be right'" (75); the appearance of the sailors terrified the Inuit, and so did the fact that they were carrying "'bones from legs and arms that appeared to be sawn oif" (78); ships broke up both west of King William Island and east of it (88-107), and so forth.
Expedition leader Mark Davey, along with seven other British explorers, sets off yesterday from Victory Point, King William Island, to follow in the footsteps of Sir John Franklin who set off in 1845 to discover the elusive North West Passage
Cape Crozier on King William Island is named after him and his statue, surrounded by four polar bears, is in the Square in Banbridge.
The next winter they were locked in ice west of King William Island when their food ran out.
Some bones were excavated on King William Island in the 1990s, which also showed signs of cannibalism.
But in 1859, Lt William Hobson, of steam yacht Fox, which was chartered by Lady Jane, found a sombre message left in a cairn at Victory Point on King William Island.
They will be the first team to retrace Sir John's final steps, from the initial landing after his two ships were abandoned at Victory Point on King William Island, to Starvation Cove, where the last traces of some of his men were found.
30pm on Wednesday will show how Cronin and Murray located a site, 150 miles south of King William Island, where they believe the Terror sank.