Scoresby, William (skôrzˈbē) [key], 1789–1857, English arctic explorer and scientist. He made yearly voyages (1803–22) to Greenland, at first on his father's whaler, later as captain on other ships. Preparing himself by study between voyages, he mapped, charted, made deep-sea temperature soundings, noted the flora and fauna, and collected other valuable data along the little-known and hitherto unknown coasts of Greenland, giving special attention to terrestrial magnetism. His last trip to the Arctic was made in 1822. In 1825 he entered the Anglican ministry. He maintained his interest in exploration and encouraged the search for the Northwest Passage. He made a voyage to Australia (1856) to study terrestrial magnetism. Scoresby's several books on his arctic experiences helped lay the foundations of modern arctic geography.
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