Sir John Richardson - Encyclopedia


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SIR JOHN RICHARDSON (1787-1865), British naturalist, was born at Dumfries on the 5th of November 1787. He studied medicine at Edinburgh, and became a surgeon in the navy in 1807. In 1819 he was appointed surgeon and naturalist to Franklin's first arctic expedition (1819-22), and he served in the same capacity to the second (1825-26). The scientific results of these expeditions he described in contributions to Franklin's Narratives, and especially in the four quarto volumes of his Fauna Boreali-Americana (1829-37). He was knighted in 1846, and in the following year was chosen commander of the Franklin search expedition (1848-49), the journal of which he published in 1851 under the title of An Arctic Searching Expedition. In 1855 he retired to Grasmere, where he died on the 5th of June 1865. He also wrote accounts dealing with the natural history, and especially the ichthyology, of several other arctic voyages, and was the author of Icones Piscium (1843), Catalogue of Apodal Fish in the British Museum, translated from the German MS. (1856), the second edition of Yarrell's History of British Fishes (1860), and The Polar Regions (1861), expanded from an article with the same title which he wrote for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. A Life by John Macllraith was published in 1868.

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