Scoresby, William 1789 - 1857


William Scoresby junior (1789-1857), Arctic scientist and Church of England clergyman, was born in Cropton, near Pickering, Yorkshire, on 5 October 1789. He was one of eleven children born to Arctic whaler and navigator William Scoresby (1760-1829). He accompanied his father on voyages to the Arctic from a young age and in 1806 he enrolled at Edinburgh University to study chemistry and natural philosophy. Scoresby undertook many voyages to the Arctic and had a considerable reputation as an Arctic scientist and scholar. In 1823 he entered the church and entered his name at Queen's College, Cambridge. In 1825 he was ordained and served at the curacy in Bessingby. In 1827 Scoresby became chaplain of the Mariner's Floating Church for Seamen in Liverpool and in 1838 he became the Vicar of Bradford. Scoresby wrote prolifically, publishing more than one hundred works on topics ranging from polar geography, oceanography, and natural history, to magnetism, religion, and social reform. He invented and constructed several pieces of apparatus for his experiments and was an active lecturer to both scientific and popular audiences. His outstanding work was in oceanography and magnetism.