Henry Ellis (1721–1805) was an explorer, author, and a colonial governor of U.S. state of Georgia and Nova Scotia. Ellis was born in County Monaghan, Ireland. He was educated in law at the Temple Church in London. In May 1746, he went out as agent of a company for the discovery of the Northwest Passage. After extinguishing with difficulty a fire in his ship, he sailed to Greenland, where he exchanged commodities with the Inuit peoples on 8 July. He then proceeded to Fort Nelson, and wintered in Hayes River. He renewed his efforts in June 1747, without success, and returned to England; where he arrived on 14 October. He published an accounts of his explorations in 1748, entitled "Voyage made to Hudson's Bay in 1746, by the Dobbs Galley and The California, to discover a Northwest Passage" and in 1750 published "Considerations relating to the Northwest Passage". After publishing these accounts, Ellis was inducted into the Royal Society.
After his return to England his knowledge of American affairs were called into requisition for developing the plan for taxing the colonies, and in return for this service he was rewarded with sinecure offices. From 1761 to 1763 he held the commission of governor of Nova Scotia, though he did not enter on the duties of his office. He afterward resided in Italy, principally occupied in scientific researches.