SIR JAMES CLARK ROSS (1800-1862), British rear-admiral and Polar explorer, was born in London on the 15th of April 1800. He entered the navy in 1812 under his uncle, Captain (afterwards Sir) John Ross, whom he accompanied on his first Arctic voyage in search of a North-West passage (1818). Between 1819 and 1827 he returned four times to the same seas in the Arctic expeditions under Parry, and in 1829-33 again served on the same mission under his uncle, and while thus employed determined (1831) the position of the North Magnetic Pole. In 1834 he was promoted captain, and from 1835-38 was employed on the magnetic survey of Great Britain. In 1839-43 he commanded the Antarctic expedition of the "Erebus" and "Terror" (see Polar Regions), and for this service he received a knighthood (1844) and was nominated to the French order of the Legion of Honour. He published a narrative of this expedition under the title of A Voyage of Discovery and Research to Southern and Antarctic Regions (1847), and was the author also of various reports on zoological and other matters relating to his earlier voyages. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1848, and in that year made his last expedition, as captain of the "Enterprise," in the first Franklin search expedition. He died at Aylesbury on the 3rd of April 1862.
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