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Balleny, John (b. c. 1770, d. in or after 1842), merchant navy officer and Antarctic discoverer, was born c.1770 but nothing is known about his early life and education. He may have been a Londoner, brought up in the Newcastle coal trade. From 1798, when he was living in the parish of ...

Article

A. G. E. Jones

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Biscoe, John (bap. 1794, d. 1843), merchant navy officer and explorer, was baptized in Enfield on 28 June 1794, the third son and youngest child of Thomas Biscoe of Waltham Abbey and his wife, Ann Tibbs. Nothing is known of his early years, but on leaving school he became a clerk. On 11 March 1812 he volunteered for the ...

Article

Smith, William (1790–1847), merchant navy officer and Antarctic explorer, was born on 11 October 1790 in Seaton Sluice, Northumberland, the elder child of William Smith, joiner, of Seaton Sluice, and his wife, Mary Sharpe, of Earsdon, Northumberland. Nothing is known about his early years and education but he was probably apprenticed aged fourteen to the east coast coal trade. In 1811 he became owner and master of the ...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Snow, William Parker (1817–1895), mariner and explorer, son of a naval officer, was born at Poole, Dorset, on 27 November 1817. His father died in 1826, leaving the family ill provided for; his mother took the family to Jersey and Normandy, leaving William...

Image

Joseph Wiggins (1832–1905) by Lavender © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

O. J. R. Howarth

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Wiggins, Joseph (1832–1905), Arctic explorer and merchant navy officer, born at Norwich on 3 September 1832, was the son of Joseph Wiggins (d. 1843) and his wife, Anne Petty (d. 1847). The father, a driver and later proprietor of coaches serving the ...

Article

R. N. Rudmose Brown

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Young, Sir Allen William (1827–1915), merchant navy officer and polar explorer, was born at Twickenham on 12 December 1827, the son of Henry Young, of Riverdale, Twickenham. After being educated at home he joined the merchant service in 1842 and rose quickly. During the Crimean War he transferred from the ...

Image

Sir Allen William Young (1827–1915) by Stephen Pearce, 1876 © National Portrait Gallery, London