William Robert Broughton
|William Robert Broughton|
22 May 1762|
|Died||14 March 1821
|Allegiance|| Great Britain
|Commands held||HMS Chatham
William Robert Broughton (22 May 1762 – 14 March 1821) was a British naval officer in the late 18th century. As a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, he commanded HMS Chatham as part of the Vancouver Expedition, a voyage of exploration through the Pacific Ocean led by Captain George Vancouver in the early 1790s.
In November 1791, while exploring the South Pacific, his crew were the first Europeans to sight the Chatham Islands. In October 1792, while exploring the Pacific Northwest of North America, he was ordered to explore the lower Columbia, between present-day Oregon and Washington, with several boats from Broughton's ship. Broughton and his party navigated upriver as far as the Columbia River Gorge. On 30 October, he reached his farthest point up the Columbia, landing in eastern Multnomah County east of Portland and northwest of Mount Hood. Late in 1792, Vancouver, stymied by conflicting instructions over Nootka Sound, sent Broughton back to England via Mexico and the Atlantic, bearing dispatches and requesting instructions.
Exploring Japan and Sakhalin
In 1793, Broughton was promoted to commander and later given command of HMS Providence, a ship formerly commanded by Captain William Bligh. In February 1795 he left England for the Pacific to assist Vancouver. Correctly determining that Vancouver had returned to England having completed his survey, Broughton crossed to Japan and from September 1796 charted the east coast of Honshu and Hokkaidō before wintering at Macau. There Broughton purchased a small schooner to assist the Providence. Next year he returned to Japan where the Providence was wrecked on Providence Reef (now Yae Bishi 八重干瀬) at Miyako Island (south of Okinawa). The schooner saved the crew of the wrecked ship and they continued north along the east coast of Honshu. He passed either north or south of Hokkaido and sailed north into the Gulf of Tartary along the west coast of Sakhalin. Finding extensive shallows at the north end of the gulf he falsely concluded that Sakhalin was part of the mainland (a common mistake). He turned south along the coast of Korea and then headed home by way of Trincomalee, Ceylon where the crew was paid off. He reached England in February 1799.
Broughton continued service, seeing action at the Battle of the Basque Roads and in the 1811 Java Expedition (where he was commodore). He died in Florence, Italy in 1821, and he was buried in the Old English Cemetery, Livorno.
Broughton named many locations in the course of his explorations and has been honoured with namings as well:
- Broughton Island (New South Wales) and Providence Bay off Port Stephens, New South Wales, were surveyed by Broughton in August 1795. While there he encountered some escaped convicts whom he took back to Sydney.
- Broughton Island in the Snares Islands, New Zealand is named for Lieutenant Broughton.
- Broughton Arm in Dusky Sound, New Zealand is named for Lieutenant Broughton.
- The Broughton Archipelago, Broughton Island and Broughton Strait in British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Strait region are named for Lieutenant Broughton. A street in Vancouver's West End and a street in Downtown Victoria also bear his name.
- Broughton's Bluff, a popular rock climbing destination at the Lewis and Clark State Recreation Site in Troutdale, Oregon, was named after him in 1926.
- Mount Hood for Viscount Samuel Hood, Admiral of the British Fleet.
- Youngs River and Youngs Bay for his uncle, Admiral Sir George Young.
- Broughton's map of the Columbia River was instrumental in the planning of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
- A plaque erected by the State of Oregon along Interstate 84 in the Columbia Gorge commemorates the spot where Broughton landed in 1792.
- The pub located within the British Embassy in Seoul is named "Broughton's Club" to commemorate Broughton's exploration of Northeast Asia, including the Korean Peninsula.
- A cricket team in the Korea Cricket Association league is named "Broughton's International XI" in his honour.
Derek Hayes, Historical Atlas of the North Pacific Ocean',2001
- Jim Mockford, “The Journal of a Tour across the Continent of New Spain from St. Blas in the North Pacific Ocean to La Vera Cruz in the Gulph of Mexico, by Lieut. W. R. Broughton in the Year 1793, Commander H.M. Brig 'Chatham'”, Terrae Incognitae, vol.36, 2004, pp.2–58.
- Broughton, William Robert (1804), A voyage of discovery to the north Pacific Ocean : in which the coastal Asia, ... Japan ... as well as the coast of Corea have been examined and surveyed, performed in His Majesty's Sloop Providence and her tender in the years 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798, T. Cadell and W. Davies, OL24159440M, retrieved 20 January 2012
- Mockford, Jim. "Before Lewis and Clark, Lt. Broughton's River of Names: The Columbia River Exploration of 1792". Oregon History Quarterly. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- Andrew David (ed.), William Robert Broughton's Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific 1795–1798, Hakluyt Society 3rd series, no.22, London, Ashgate, 2010, Introduction, p.v. ISBN 0-904180-97-2.
- Lewis and Clark's Columbia River – Broughton Bluff, Oregon