Braving both the Arctic and the continent of Antarctica, Sir James Clark Ross was an explorer and naval officer who represented Britain. His claim to fame was conducting magnetic surveys. First, Ross joined his uncle Sir John Ross and Sir William Parry for an adventure into the Arctic that lasted from 1819 to 1827. Alongside his uncle, they were able to find the north magnetic pole on Boothia Peninsula (situated in the northern part of Canada , north of King William Island).
James Clark Ross (1800 – 1862)
When it came time for Ross to lead an expedition of his own, he chose Antarctica. While his friend Francis Crozier commanded the “Terror,” Ross manned the “Erebus” during these travels that would last from 1839 to 1843. Charting the majority of the coastline, Ross discovered the Ross Sea in 1841, as well as Victoria Barrier, which was later given the name of the Ross Ice Shelf.
3 Facts About Ross
1) London was the birthplace of Ross.
2) Lady Ann Ross was James’ wife, who he surpassed in life only by five years.
3) In Blackheath, London, there is a blue plaque that signifies the Ross’ old home in Eliot Place.
4) The Moon bears a crater named after Ross that he shares with Frank Elmore Ross , an American astronomer and physicist that did research in Saturn’s moon, Phoebe amongst other things.
Francis Drake (1545-1596)
Sir Francis Drake was known for many different things, as he explored the world in the name of Britain. Besides participating in the slave trade, Drake was also what was known as a privateer (a nicer way of calling someone a pirate that worked for the government). One of Drake’s claim to fame was leading the second expedition to have the pleasure of sailing around the world after Magellan, who is noted as the first. This particular journey took Drake from 1577 to 1580 to complete. Drake’s life was the stuff of legends, as you will find in some of the following facts:
7 Facts About Drake
1) The oldest of 12 sons, Drake was born to a Protestant farmer named Edmund Drake, who later shifted to the church and became a preacher.
2) When Drake participated in the exploits of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588, Drake was second-in-command, which meant that he only answered to Charles Howard and the Queen herself.
3) While in South America, Drake’s brother was subjected to grueling sessions of torture, as the Spaniards were interested in gaining information regarding the purpose of his brother’s voyage.
4) The English viewed Drake as a hero, while the Spaniards dismissed the adventurer as nothing more than a pirate. He was also given the nickname “El Draque” (which is assumed an old translation for ‘the Dragon’).
5) King Philip II was not a fan of Francis Drake and supposedly offered 20, 000 ducats for whoever would put an end to his life. Today, this sum is nearly equal to 8 million dollars.
6) Not only was Drake unsuccessful in attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1595, but he lost his life shortly afterwards by the hand of dysentery.
7) Drake was given a burial at sea, where he was placed in a coffin made out of lead and shipped out close to Portobelo.