Talk:Robert Bylot

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Rewrite required[edit]

This article needs a complete rewrite in my opinion. I am going to find some time to make drastic changes, I hope I don't offend anyone. Some examples of problems are:

  • "Little is known about his life" - according to who? I'm sure there are arctic historians out there who know quite a bit about him.
  • "he is considered one of the most daring of the early explorers" - again, according to who? No citation. Looks like speculation.
  • "Perhaps an unfortunate experience with Captain Henry Hudson in 1611 doomed him to relative obscurity." - definitely speculation.
  • "but nothing is known about his life after that point." - again, according to who? Zatoichi26 (talk) 01:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Also, this article is too close to http://explorenorth.com/library/bios/bl-bylot.htm, it's practically plagiarism. Zatoichi26 (talk) 01:25, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
OK, I did a complete re-write, I think it looks a lot better now. Zatoichi26 (talk) 02:29, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

A Few Corrections[edit]

Nice write-up, Zatoichi26. I have some little points to make, but I am reluctant to do the editing since I was (unfairly) accused of vandalism many years ago on Wiki.

"Upon return to England, Bylot was tried as a mutineer but was pardoned."

Of the eight sailors that survived the Hudson mutiny, only four (including Bylot) were put on trial. The charge was murder, not mutiny; and they were acquitted, not pardoned. It is quite obvious that a conviction of mutiny would have been certain, as they readily admitted it themselves, although they passed the blame for initiating the mutiny onto two of the mutineers who later died on the voyage home. It is also hardly speculation that the motive of the Royal Navy was to quell the curiosity and shock of the citizens about this matter, while preserving the service of these able seamen.

"Fourth, and perhaps most significantly, they were able to reach 77° 45' North latitude, a record which held for 236 years."

This is certainly a remarkable feat, but it never was a record latitude, much less did it hold for 236 years. Henry Hudson, Jonas Poole, and Robert Fotherby had each reached more than two degrees further north than 77° 45', before this voyage. Baffin, himself, was on Fotherby's voyage to 79° 54' N, near Spitsbergen in 1614. I believe this error is due to the fact that the cited reference is a travel blog by Murray Lundberg and he failed to specify that this record only applies to above North America (the area of his blog's concern). Without this distinction, his claim is misleading, and in the context of general arctic exploration, it is certainly erroneous.

"In England, almost total credit for the discovery was given to Baffin, and Bylot was virtually ignored.[8] Historian Farley Mowat has speculated two possible reasons for this: Bylot's lack of education and lower position relative to Baffin in English society, and his involvement in the mutiny during Hudson's expedition."

I greatly respect Farley Mowat's writings, but Baffin and Bylot both came from impoverished backgrounds, and both improved their social standings through their accomplishments as seamen, navigators, and explorers. While Bylot achieved the distinction of Master Mariner, Baffin never commanded a vessel, nor rose above the qualification of Pilot. While Bylot's mutinous heritage certainly tainted his contribution to their discoveries and enhanced the disparity in the credit afforded them, Baffin's impeccable scientific observations, rather than his social standing, likely increased the credit given to Baffin.--Gseymour (talk) 17:17, 9 November 2014 (UTC)