The North-West Passage
The North-West Passage is the route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Many explorers have risked and lost their lives in searching for this passage, which would be a trade route between Europe and Asia.
Captain James Cook came out of retirement to look for the North-West Passage in 1776. It was to be his last expedition and he never returned home.
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In 1741, Anglo-Irish MP Albert Dobbs commissioned William Moor to search for the North-West Passage, in a bid to strengthen Britain’s trade routes.
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In 1715 James Knight was the first person to go in search of the North-West Passage in over 80 years, but his efforts were to end in tragedy.
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Archaeologists exploring the shipwrecks of HMS Erebus and Terror have recovered over 350 objects from the lost Franklin expedition. Senior Exhibitions Curator Dr Claire Warrior examines the vital new discoveries.
Jens Munk was a captain in the Danish navy in the 17th century. He unsuccessfully went in search of the North-West Passage in 1619.
John Davis was the second explorer to look for the North-West Passage, in 1585. He also invented the Davis quadrant, enabling sailors to find their latitude.
After a failed attempt in 1818, John Ross returned to the Arctic to search for the North-West Passage with his nephew James Clark Ross in 1829.
In 1818 John Ross was sent to search for the North-West Passage. He turned back, mistakenly believing there was no passage through Lancaster Sound.
Explorer Luke Foxe led an expedition to search for the North-West Passage in 1631. He set out at the same time as rival explorer Thomas James.
In 1576 Martin Frobisher was the first English explorer to search for the North-West Passage – the seaway linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.