Thomas Button North-West Passage expedition 1612–13

In 1612, explorer Thomas Button sailed in two ships, Resolution and the Discovery, in search of the North-West Passage.

Button was a Welsh officer of the Royal Navy. In his crew were two men who had been part of the mutiny in Henry Hudson’s failed North-West Passage expedition the previous year, Robert Bylot and Abacuck Prickett. 

Button’s expedition charted much of the west coast of Hudson Bay, wintering at what is now known as Port Nelson (named after Button’s sailing master, who died there along with several other members of the crew). When the ice broke up the following spring it crushed the Resolution, which was abandoned and sank.

Ne Ultra

The remainder of the expedition, on board Discovery, continued to map the west coast of the bay but concluded that there was no westward passage to be found. However, Button did discover an opening in the north-west corner of the bay, but decided this was not the entrance to the passage. In fact he named it 'Ne Ultra', Latin for ‘No Further’. Button returned to England in 1613.

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