Parry, Sir William Edward

Parry, Sir William Edward

(pă`rē), 1790–1855, British arctic explorer and rear admiral. He entered the navy at 13 and made his first voyage to the Arctic under Sir John RossRoss, Sir John,
1777–1856, British arctic explorer and rear admiral. In 1818 he went in search of the Northwest Passage but turned back after exploring Baffin Bay.
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 in 1818 in search of the Northwest PassageNorthwest Passage,
water routes through the Arctic Archipelago, N Canada, and along the northern coast of Alaska between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Even though the explorers of the 16th cent.
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. He was then put in command of the Hecla and the Griper in an expedition (1819–20) to hunt for the passage. Parry sailed westward through Lancaster Sound and discovered and named Melville Island and others of the Queen Elizabeth IslandsQueen Elizabeth Islands,
northern part of the Arctic Archipelago, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, N Canada. Ellesmere Island (the largest), the Parry group (Melville, Bathurst, Devon, Prince Patrick, and Cornwallis islands), and the Sverdrup group (Axel Heiberg, Ellef
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, as well as naming Barrow Strait. Two other unsuccessful attempts were made (1821–23, 1824–25) to find the Northwest Passage, in the course of which Fury and Hecla StraitFury and Hecla Strait
, narrow channel, c.100 mi (160 km) long and from 10 to 15 mi (16–24 km) wide, N Canada, between Baffin Island and Melville Peninsula. It connects Foxe Basin with the Gulf of Boothia. It was explored (1822) by Sir William E.
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 was discovered and new information about the Arctic was disclosed. By discovering the entrance to the passage and the way to the north magnetic pole, Parry had also found important whaling grounds. In 1827 he made an attempt to reach the North Pole by sledge from Spitsbergen, attaining lat. 82°45'N, but was forced to turn back mainly by the fatigue of his exploring party. He published three journals describing his quest for the passage as well as a narrative of his attempt to reach the pole.
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Ed replies: The biography, entitled Parry, Sir William Edward (1790-1855), naval officer and explorer, was written by Anne Parry and appeared in Australia Dictionary and Biography, Douglas Pike, ed, Melbourne University Press, 1967