Horatio Thomas Austin

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Portrait of Horatio Thomas Austin by Stephen Pearce, 1860.

Sir Horatio Thomas Austin (1801 – 16 November 1865) was a British officer in the Royal Navy, and an explorer.

In 1828 HMS Chanticleer was dispatched on a scientific expedition in the Pacific Ocean under the command of Captain Henry Foster, with Austin as his First Lieutenant. Foster explored the South Atlantic, and especially the South Shetland Islands; Port Foster on Deception Island is named after him. He drowned in 1831 in the Chagres River in Panama. After Foster's loss, the ship's command fell to Austin. On the expedition, the ship circumnavigated along the Southern Hemisphere, visiting the River Plate and Isla de los Estados of Argentina, Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America, New Zealand, South Georgia, rounded the Cape of Good Hope near the southern tip of the African continent, and made port at Trinidad, before returning across the Atlantic Ocean to Falmouth in 1830.

Following the 1849 failure of James Clark Ross's attempt to locate the lost Franklin Expedition, Austin led an 1850 expedition that also attempted to find Sir John Franklin and his crew. George F. McDougall was second master on board HMS Resolute.[1] Although the expedition located only traces of Franklin's presence, Austin is credited with organising successful sledging expeditions along the coasts of several Canadian Arctic islands, including Bathurst, Byam Martin, Melville, and Prince of Wales Island.

Between October 1850 and March 1851, members of the Resolute crew under Captain Horatio Austin published at least five numbers of a handwritten newspaper, "The Illustrated Arctic News," during the wintering of the Resolute in what they identified as "Barrow Strait." Upon the return of the Resolute to home port in England, the manuscript paper was printed in London in 1852. Atwood (1997) references extant copies of the papers at both the British Museum and the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bray, E. F. d., & Barr, W. (1992). A Frenchman in search of Franklin: de Bray's Arctic journal, 1852-1854. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 48–50. ISBN 0-8020-2813-6. 
  2. ^ Roy Alden Atwood (1997). "Shipboard News: Nineteenth Century Handwritten Periodicals at Sea." Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (80th, Chicago, Illinois, 30 July – 3 August 1997) Addendum I.
  • Coleman, E.C. 2006. The Royal Navy in Polar Exploration from Franklin to Scott. Tempus Publishing.
  • Sherard Osborn and George F. McDougall, eds. (1852) Facsimile of the Illustrated Arctic News, Published on Board H.M.S. Resolute, Captain Horatio T. Austin, C.B., In Search of the Expedition Under Sir John Franklin (London, Ackerman, 1852).
  • Roy Alden Atwood (1997). "Shipboard News: Nineteenth Century Handwritten Periodicals at Sea." Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (80th, Chicago, Illinois, 30 July – 3 August 1997) Addendum I; see also "The Illustrated Arctic News" in The Handwritten Newspapers Project

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