Talk:William Baffin

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PICTURE: Why is this picture from the National Maritime Museum attached to the William Baffin article. It's *not* of him. As the caption in the NMM makes clear, it's a Dutch painting, probably of an (anonymous) Dutch gentleman (as evidenced by the flag on the ship visible through the window in the painting). Their page on the painting ( also shows that the person in it was 23 years old when it was painted, in 1624. Well, Baffin died in 1622, at considerably older than 21 years of age (an age that would have made him 11 years old during his first recorded voyage to Greenland, as pilot, in 1612). The Dictionary of National Biography article on Baffin also makes clear that there is no known image of him. This image simply has nothing to do with Baffin and should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonathandore (talkcontribs) 09:13, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Year of birth[edit]

YEAR OF BIRTH: I removed 1584 as the year of birth, since there is absolutely no documentary evidence to support it (see Markham's edition of all documents relating to Baffin, Hakluyt Society, 1881). No documents have come to light since then to provide new information. The 1584 date originates in Britannica 11th edition, but the author gives no source and the date is clearly an extrapolation on the age a pilot is likely to have reached by the time he's entrusted with certain level of responsibility. But it could easily be 10 or 15 years out -- really not good enough to even warrant a "circa" designation. It's simply a guess. (The author of the Baffin article in the new Dictionary of National Biography, Wayne Davies, has confirmed to me by email that he had no other source for repeating the date in his article but Britannica, and he agreed it had no documentary basis.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonathandore (talkcontribs) 09:13, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The date originates in at least the EB9, which—along with the EB11—is a generally reliable source. Your WP:OR commentary is worth noting... here on the talk page. It is not worth removing a cited and circa mention. — LlywelynII 13:01, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
Upon further examination, Dodge's published account directly contradicts the article's previous misrepresentation of it. He provides the date and does not claim anything like the skepticism attributed to him. It's fine if you have your personal correspondence, but it's not a WP:RS. You need to find an actual published scholar who makes that point for you. — LlywelynII 13:13, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for backdating that to EB9, Llywelyn, but without citing a source itself that really doesn't move the question forward. The book that *I* cited, The Voyages of William Baffin, 1612-1622, by Clements Markham (London: Hakluyt Society, 1881), is the only book-length work on Baffin, reproducing all the surviving original sources in full with critical notes and a scholarly introduction. As such it has much greater authority than an encyclopedia article, especially when that encyclopedia article fails to cite its source. So Markham's positive statement that "I have been baffled in all my attempts to discover even a single fact respecting his former history [before 1612]"[1] carries far more weight than an unsupported assertion in EB.
Your mention of Dodge shows that you haven't read my previous note very carefully, since I didn't refer to him or his article in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. I referred to the Dictionary of National Biography, and the author if its Baffin article, Wayne Davies. But since Ernest Dodge, like Wayne Davies, confirms that the EB article cites no source for 1584 (and thinks it worth mentioning that it cites no source) he clearly doesn't think it's an authoritative source in any case, so on what basis do you think it's a claim that's worth repeating?Jonathandore (talk) 14:25, 4 December 2015 (UTC)


The article previously claimed that this was an exploratory vessel but the DCB puts it under the same captain as the Tiger and presumably makes it the flagship of the whaling fleet, not a separate vessel on a separate mission. Removed pending source. — LlywelynII 13:25, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

You misread the DCB. It simply stated Baffin sailed with Joseph. It didn't specifically say he was in the same vessel. Had you read Markham's work (or Conway 1906, p. 66, or Purchas 1625), you would've seen that the Thomasine was clearly an exploration vessel. Had you read Fotherby's 1614 account of that voyage you would know this. He and Baffin spent a good portion of that season exploring the north coast of Spitsbergen. Why would you dismiss a first-hand account over some vague statement in a secondary source? WB96FE (talk) 20:09, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Disappearance of Norse Greenlanders[edit]

The reasons for the disappearance of the Norse Greenlanders has never been established. Some alternate explanations suggest the worsening climate caused what was left of the colony to attempt to leave by ship (and not getting to where they were going) or attacks from outsiders. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hsdonnelly (talkcontribs) 13:27, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Markham, Clements. The Voyages of William Baffin, 1612-1622. London: Hakluyt Society, 1881, page xxi.