SIR JOHN ROSS (1777-1856), British rear-admiral and Arctic explorer, son of the Rev. Andrew Ross, minister of Inch, Wigtonshire, entered the Royal Navy in 1786, serving in the Mediterranean till 1789, and afterwards in the Channel. In 1808 he acted as captain of the Swedish Fleet, and in 1812 was promoted commander. Six years later he was given the command of an Arctic expedition fitted out by the Admiralty, the first of a new series of attempts to solve the question of a NorthWest passage. This expedition failed to discover much that was new, and somewhat prejudiced the Arctic reputation of its leader, who attained the rank of captain on his return. But in 1829, through the munificence of Mr (afterwards Sir) Felix Booth, he was able to undertake a second Arctic expedition,. which, during an absence of four years, achieved important geographical and scientific results. On his return Captain Ross was the recipient of gold medals from the English and French geographical societies, and of various foreign orders, including a knighthood of the Pole Star of Sweden, and in the following year (1834) received a knighthood and a C.B. at home. In 1850 he undertook a third voyage to the Arctic regions, this time in search of Sir John Franklin, and in the following year he attained flag-rank. His publications include - Voyage of Discovery for the Purpose of Exploring Baffin's Bay (1819); Narrative of a Second Voyage in Search of a North-West Passage,. including the Discovery of the North Magnetic Pole (1835); Memoirs and Correspondence of Lord De Saumerez (1838).
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