[This document is an annotation to the author's transcription of Charles Dickens's "The Lost Arctic Voyagers" (1854).]

Engraving after John Lucas (frontispiece to Barrow).

Sir John Barrow (1764-1848) had first-hand experience as a Greenland whaler before he joined the British Navy as an instructor at Greenwich. Appointed in 1792 as private secretary to Lord Macartney, the British envoy to China, he travelled to the Cape Colony in 1797, and subsequently published several travel books about his experiences in Africa and China (1801-04). As Second Secretary to the Admiralty (1804-45), he promoted arctic exploration and founded the Royal Geographical Society in 1830. Barrow Strait and Point Barrow in the Canadian Arctic and Cape Barrow in the Antarctic are named after him.

[Back to the text of Dickens's "The Lost Arctic Voyagers"]

Related Materials


Barrow, John. An Auto-Biographical Memoir of Sir John Barrow, Bart., Late of the Admiralty. London: John Murray, 1847. Internet Archive, from a copy in Duke University Libraries. Web. 30 December 2023.

Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ed. Una McGovern. Edinburgh: Chambers Harrap, 2003.

Created 8 July 2004

Last modified 30 December 2023 (portrait added)