Edward Augustus Inglefield

Edward Augustus Inglefield

Infobox Military Person
name= Edward Augustus Inglefield
lived= 27 March 1820 - 4 September 1894

caption=Sir Edward Augustus Inglefield, by Stephen Pearce, 1853
allegiance= flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom
serviceyears= 1832 [cite web|url=http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic40-1-80.pdf|title=Arctic Profiles - Edward Augustus Inglefield|accessdate=2008-09-12] – 1885
rank= Admiral
awards=KCB, FRS, FRGS
Sir Edward Augustus Inglefield (March 27 1820 – September 4 1894) was a Royal Naval officer who led one of the searches for the missing Arctic explorer John Franklin during the 1850s. In doing so, his expedition charted previously unexplored areas along the northern Canadian coastline, including Baffin Bay, Smith Sound and Lancaster Sound. He was also the inventor of the marine hydraulic steering gear and the anchor design that bears his name. Additionally, the warship HMS "Inglefield" is named after him.

First voyage to the Arctic

Inglefield set out from Britain on his search in July 1852, commanding Lady Franklin's private steamer "Isabel" (also known as "Isabella"), seven years after Franklin had left on his ill-fated search for the fabled Northwest Passage. Once Inglefield had reached the Arctic, a search and survey of Greenland's west coast was made; Ellesmere Island was resighted and named in honour of the president of the Royal Geographical Society; Smith Sound was penetrated further than any known records; Jones Sound was also searched; and a landing was made at Beechey Island in Lancaster Sound. No sign, however, of Franklin's expedition was found. Finally, before the onset of winter forced Inglefield to turn homewards, the expedition searched and charted much of Baffin Island's eastern coast.

Despite finding no traces of the Franklin expedition, Inglefield was fêted on his return for the surveying his expedition had achieved. The Royal Geographical Society awarded him its 1853 Patron's Medal "for his enterprising survey of the coasts of Baffin Bay, Smith Sound and Lancaster Sound."

ubsequent Arctic voyages

Inglefield made two further voyages to the Arctic, to supply the search for the Franklin expedition overseen by Sir Edward Belcher. He returned from the first of these in 1853, bringing with him the first officer to have traversed the Northwest Passage, Samuel Gurney Cresswell of HMS "Investigator". (The "Investigator" had also been sent to join the search for the Franklin expedition, but starting from the "western" side of northern Canada.)

Arriving back in the Arctic the following year, 1854, Inglefield found Belcher's ships abandoned, save one to which the crews had retreated. Most of these men returned with Inglefield to Britain.

Later life


Inglefield retired in 1885. Thereafter he devoted much of his time to painting and his watercolours of Arctic landscapes were exhibited at several art galleries in London. He died, aged seventy-four, in 1894.


He was the father of Henry Beaufort Wilmot Beaumont Inglefield [cite web|url=http://www.thepeerage.com/p27265.htm|title=thePeerage.com|accessdate=2008-09-12] and Edward Fitzmaurice Inglefield, a Royal Navy officer (eventually Rear Admiral), inventor if the Inglefield clip and Secretary to Lloyd's of London.



* Edward Augustus Inglefield, "A summer search for Sir John Franklin; with a peep into the polar basin", Thomas-Harrison, London: 1853.
* E. C. Coleman, "The Royal Navy in Polar Exploration from Franklin to Scott", Tempus Publishing: 2006.

External links

* [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp02361 Three portraits of Sir Edward Augustus Inglefield] at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

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