William Baffin ( eng. William Baffin ; 1584 - January 23, 1622 ) - English navigator who discovered the sea named after him in 1616 and the island of Baffin Island .
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Portrait of William Baffin by Hendrick van der Borch
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Nothing is known about his youth, except that he was probably born around 1584 in London  and may have had Welsh or Irish roots. It was first mentioned in 1612 in connection with an expedition to search for the North-Western route to India, as the first mate of Captain James Hall. The captain was killed in a battle with the Eskimos on the west coast of Greenland . The next two years, Buffin engaged in whaling .
In 1615, he was entrusted with a second expedition to search for the North-Western route to India. On the Discovery, under the command of Captain Robert Baylot, Baffin explored the Hudson Strait , which separates Canada from Baffin Island (now part of Canada's northwestern territories). After the expedition of 1615, when he visited the Hudson Bay , he was convinced that the Northwest Passage could pass only through the Davis Strait between Baffin Land and Greenland, named for navigator.
In 1616 he returned there as the navigator of Discovery and explored the bay about 300 miles (483 kilometers) further than in 1587 the English navigator John Davis . In honor of the sponsors of his expedition, he named the Straits from the beginning of the bay with the names of Lancaster, Smith and Jones. During his fifth expedition (1616) and because of the favorable state of ice, Baffin managed to penetrate the bay named after him, right up to the Smith Strait.
Until the middle of the XIX century, no vessel in this part of the Atlantic went so far north, not counting the Normans . For the second time, the Discovery sailors discovered the western coast of Greenland between 72 and 76 ° north latitude, Melville Bay , the north-west protrusion of Greenland between 76 and 78 ° north latitude (now Hays Peninsula) and the southern entrance to Smith Strait, west of this peninsula from Elesmir Land (the name is given later). In the narrow place of the strait, the ice in early July did not allow the ship to pass, and Baylot turned south. At about. Ellesmere, they found Smith Bay, and to the south, behind a ledge (at 76 ° north latitude), the entrance to the Jones Strait (between Ellesmere and Devon Islands) was ice-covered. Farther south (at 74 ° 30 "north latitude) a very wide, but again ice-flooded entrance to the Lancaster Strait (between Devon and Baylot) again opened. Bylot went now to the southeast and went about 1000 to the polar circle kilometers along the shores of Baffin Land, on which neither Baffin nor Baylot had ever landed, since the ship sailed some distance from the coast, fenced by a wide strip of fixed ice. Many sailors fell ill with scurvy , and Bylot at the polar circle turned south -East, and on August 30 brought the ship to England.
However, hopes for the discovery of the North-West Route to India did not materialize. Baffin accurately mapped all the shores open to him, but in England the expeditions discovered the discoveries to be "fiction" and later removed from the maps. This injustice continued until 1818, when John Ross rediscovered Baffin Bay . The accuracy of the astronomical observations of Baffin on this journey was confirmed by Sir William Parry in 1821 .
Later, Buffin entered the service of the British East India Company , and in 1617-1619 he made an expedition to Surat in India. In the Anglo-Persian attack on Qeshm on January 23, 1622, Baffin was killed.
- German National Library , Berlin State Library , Bavarian State Library , etc. Record # 100852254 // General regulatory control (GND)
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Canadian Biography, Canada
- Baffin William // Great Soviet Encyclopedia : [in 30 t.]
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
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