William Shirreff

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William Henry Shirreff (died 1 December 1847)[1] was a Royal Navy officer, Captain of the frigate HMS Andromache patrolling the west coast of South America in protection of the British interests in the region and support of local independence movement against Spanish authority in the early 19th century. Advised by Captain William Smith about the discovery of the South Shetland Islands in March 1819, later that year Shirreff chartered Smith’s brig, the Williams, sending Lieutenant Edward Bransfield on board with the mission to survey and map the new lands.

In 1810 he married Elizabeth Muray, the oldest daughter of the lawyer and Member of Parliament David Murray, a brother of Alexander Murray, 7th Lord Elibank.[1] Shirreff was promoted in 1846 to Rear Admiral of the Blue.[1][2]


Cape Shirreff at the north extremity of Ioannes Paulus II Peninsula on Livingston Island, in the South Shetland Islands is named after William Shirreff.


  1. ^ a b c O'Byrne, William Richard (1849). "Wikisource link to Shirreff, William Henry". Wikisource link to A Naval Biographical Dictionary. London: John Murray. Wikisource. 
  2. ^ Lodge, Edmund (1839). The Peerage of the British Empire as at Present Existing. Saunders and Otley. p. 196. 


  • Alan Gurney, Below the Convergence: Voyages Toward Antarctica, 1699-1839, Penguin Books, New York, 1998