Who was John Biscoe?
John Biscoe was born on 28 June 1794 in Middlesex, England.
In March 1812, he volunteered for the Royal Navy, serving off North America during the war with the United States, 1812–1814.
In 1830 Messrs Enderby, a respected whaling firm in London, proposed an Antarctic sealing voyage and appointed Biscoe master of the brig Tula.
On 24 February 1831, in latitudes below 66° South, Biscoe discovered Enderby Land, sighting bare mountain tops showing through the ice sheet. He remained off the coast for a month, attempting to make a fuller chart, at some cost to the health of the crew and himself. The expedition sailed northeasterly, reaching Hobart in May 1831 after severe problems with pack ice and scurvy, the latter leading to two deaths among the crew. Both vessels wintered in Australia.
In a second season, Biscoe again sailed south.
On 15 February 1832, he discovered Adelaide Island and, continuing in a northeasterly direction, charted the Biscoe Islands.
On 21 February 1832, he discovered and annexed land for King William IV, later calling it Graham Land. (This coast was in fact the southern extension of Edward Bransfield’s Trinity Land and Palmer’s Land, all part of the Antarctic Peninsula).
On his return in 1833, he was awarded the Royal Premium of the Royal Geographical Society for his discoveries and seamanship. He died in 1843.