Sir James Clark Ross (April 15, 1800 - April 3, 1862), was a British naval officer and explorer. He explored the Arctic with his uncle Sir John Ross and Sir William Parry, and later led his own expedition to Antarctica.
Ross was born in London. He entered the navy in 1812 under John Ross, whom he accompanied on his first Arctic voyage in search of a North West Passage in 1818. Between 1819 and 1827 he took part in four Arctic expeditions under Parry, and in 1829 to 1833 again served under his uncle. It was during this trip that they located the position of the North Magnetic Pole on June 1, 1831.
In 1834 Ross was promoted to captain, and from 1835 to 1838 he was employed on the magnetic survey of Great Britain. Between 1839 and 1843 he commanded the Antarctic expedition of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror which charted much of the coastline of the continent. In 1841, he discovered the Ross Sea, Victoria Land, and the volcanoes Mount Erebus and Mount Terror. The Victoria Barrier later gained the name "Ross Ice Shelf" in his honour.
On his return Ross was knighted, and was nominated to the French order of the Legion d'Honneur. In 1847 he published his account of the expedition under the title of A Voyage of Discovery and Research to Southern and Antarctic Regions. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1848, and in that year made his last expedition, as captain of HMS Enterprise, in the first expedition in search of Franklin. He died at Aylesbury.
A blue plaque marks Ross's home in Blackheath, London.
James Clark Ross is the name of a British Antarctic Survey ship.
Ross crater on the Moon is jointly named for him and Frank Elmore Ross.
Last updated: 10-13-2005 04:04:12