Sir John Ross (1777-1856)
A three-quarter length portrait of Sir John Ross, facing to the right, painted in about 1833. He wears a sealskin coat worn over a black coat with naval civilian buttons and the Swedish Order of the Sword. He holds a chart in his left hand. The background shows a camp setting in the Arctic. Ross's early years with the merchant service slowed his promotion once he rejoined the service he had originally entered and he did not become a lieutenant until 1805. From 1808 he served with de Saumarez in the Baltic and received the Swedish Order of the Sword after serving on their staff. His arctic explorations began in 1814 and in 1818 he went on Parry's expedition. Unfortunately on this occasion he identified a range of mountains in Lancaster Sound which must have been a mirage and when they subsequently proved not to be there his reputation suffered. He was not employed again until 1829 when he went on the Felix Booth expedition in command of the 'Victory' attempting to find the North West passage to the Pacific. He did not return until 1833. In 1839 he went as consul to Stockholm and returned in 1846. Quarrels with others interested in Arctic exploration resulted in his receiving little further employment, and in 1850 he went on an expedition himself at his own expense.
- Image reference: BHC2983
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
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