National Maritime Museum Manuscripts : Observations made by Fisher at sea when accompanying Parry to the Arctic

National Maritime Museum Manuscripts

<p> <a href='/search?keyword=George%20Fisher'>George Fisher</a> was acting Chaplin and astronomer for Captain <a href='/search?keyword=William%20Parry'>William Parry</a>’s 1821 voyage to the Arctic on board <a href='/search?keyword=HMS%20Fury'> <i>HMS Fury</i> </a>. Parry and Fisher sailed in convoy with <a href='/search?keyword=George%20Francis%20Lyon'>George Francis Lyon</a> on board <a href='/search?keyword=HMS%20Hecla'> <i>HMS Hecla</i> </a> for the northernmost side of the Hudson Bay. Many of the volumes are notebooks and papers from this voyage including this short volume of astronomical observations made at sea on the outward voyage between the 10th of May and the 8th of July 1821 in search of the Northwest Passage. The majority of the observations are for calculating <a href='/search?keyword=HMS%20Fury'> <i>HMS Fury</i> </a>’s longitude [<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(22);return false;'>20</a>] and latitude [<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(8);return false;'>6</a>] positions with the reductions for the lunar distance method with occasional additional lunar readings [<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(40);return false;'>38</a>]. There is a very minimal amount of text with the calculations, but there is one interesting note [<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(12);return false;'>10</a>] of Fisher using <a href='/search?keyword=Captain%20Henry%20Kater'>Captain Henry Kater</a>’s compass for a set of observations. This volume helps to demonstrate the sheer quantity of observations and reductive mathematical work that went into staying even approximately on course at sea.</p> <p>Sophie Waring<br />History and Philosophy of Science<br />University of Cambridge<br /> </p>


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