Tuesday, November 9, 2010

James Weddell BIBLIOGRAPHY,James Weddell Wilki

James Weddell (Ostend, August 24, 1787 – September 9, 1834) was an English sailor, navigator and seal hunter who in the early Spring of 1823 sailed to latitude of 74°15' S (a record 7.69 degrees or 532 statute miles south of the Antarctic Circle) and into a region of the Southern Ocean that would later become known as the Weddell Sea.

James Weddell entered the merchant service very early in his life and was apparently bound to the master of a Newcastle collier (a coal transport vessel) for some years. About 1805 he shipped on board a merchantman trading to the West Indies, making several voyages there. James Weddell's father married Sarah Pease.

James Weddell was aboard the Hope when in 1813 in the English Channel she captured the True Blooded Yankee, an American privateer. With the end of the Napoleonic War he was laid off on half pay in February 1816, and for a while resumed merchant voyages to the West Indies. In 1820 he volunteered for service in the Royal Navy and subsequently served on several ships.

James Weddell offered his services to the Admiralty with a proposal for a return voyage to the high southern latitudes, but was turned down. Instead, he returned to trading along the warmer Atlantic coasts. In 1829 he was still master of the Jane, but on a passage from Buenos Aires to Gibraltar the Jane leaked so badly that she had to be given up at the Azores. Weddell and his cargo were transferred to another ship for the passage to England, but this ran aground on the island of Pico, and Weddell only barely survived.

The loss of the Jane meant financial ruin for Weddell, who was forced to take paid employment as a ship’s master. In September 1830 he left England as master of the Eliza, bound for the Swan River Colony in western Australia. From there he proceeded to Tasmania. He sailed back to England in 1832.

James Weddell continued as Master of various trading vessels, but in 1829 was wrecked in the Azores and was only saved by lashing himself to a rock. His last voyage was to New South Wales and Tasmania in 1830-32. James Weddell died in London in relative poverty at the age of forty-seven.

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