Voyages to Hudson Bay in Search of a Northwest Passage, 1741–1747: Volume I: The Voyage of Christopher Middleton, 1741–1742, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Voyages to Hudson Bay in Search of a Northwest Passage, 1741–1747

Volume I: The Voyage of Christopher Middleton, 1741–1742, 1st Edition

By William Barr, Glyndwr Williams

Routledge

346 pages

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Hardback: 9780904180367
pub: 1999-01-31
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Description

The 18th century saw a resurgence of hope that a Northwest Passage - that elusive target of European seamen over the centuries - might yet be found. Prompted by the Irish MP Arthur Dobbs, the Admiralty sent the Furnace and Discovery to Hudson Bay in 1741 in search of a navigable passage to the Pacific. The expedition was commanded by Christopher Middleton, until his resignation in 1741 a sea captain in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. With his actions closely scrutinized by his former employers and colleagues, concerned about possible interference with the fur trade, Middleton wintered at the Company fort at Churchill. From there in the summer of 1742 he sailed farther north along the west coast of Hudson Bay than any previous European explorer, charting Wager bay, Repulse Bay and Frozen Strait; but he failed to find a passage. After his return to England he found himself accused of negligence and corruption. Dobbs attacked both him and the Hudson's Bay Company in a campaign which ruined Middleton's professional reputation and opened the way for a further expedition to the Bay. The controversy over the Middleton expedition helps to explain the wealth of documentation which has survived. In angry pamphlet exchanges Dobbs and Middleton published their letters to each other; and to these the editors have added Dobb's manuscript Memorial on the Northwest Passage, his correspondence with Judge Ward, and documents from the Admiralty and other government departments. The voyage itself is seen through the pages of Middleton's journal, supplemented with extracts from the journals, logs and affidavits of other crew members. From the Hudson's Bay Company's archives the journal of James Isham, factor at Churchill, adds to the story of the expedition's wintering. The final section deals with the controversy which developed after Middleton's return, and prints the more important charges and counter-charges which were made in the years 1743 to 1745.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Editorial note; Sections 1- 4 (each with introduction): Genesis of the Voyage; Preparations for the Voyage; The Voyage; Controversy; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Hakluyt Society, Second Series

Routledge is pleased to be the publisher for the Hakluyt Society.

The Hakluyt Society has for its object the advancement of knowledge and education, particularly in relation to the understanding of world history. The society publishes scholarly editions of primary sources on the 'Voyages and Travels' undertaken by individuals from many parts of the globe. These address the geography, ethnology and natural history of the regions visited, covering all continents and every period over the last two thousand years. Such texts, many previously available only in manuscript or in unedited publications in languages other than English, are the essential records of the stages of inter-continental and inter-cultural encounter.

Established in 1846, the Society has to date published over 350 volumes. All editions are in English. Although a substantial number of the Society's past editions relate to British ventures, with documentary sources in English, the majority concern non-British enterprises and are based on texts in languages other than English. Material originally written in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French or Dutch has regularly appeared, material in Russian, Greek, Latin, Ethiopic, Chinese, Persian or Arabic occasionally.

All editions contain an introduction and scholarly annotation, giving both the general reader and the student a degree of assistance in understanding the material and providing guidance on the relevance of the episodes described, within the context of global development and world history. Volumes are often generously furnished with maps and contemporary illustrations.

Information about the Society may be obtained from the Administrative Assistant at the following address:

Hakluyt Society, c/o Map Library, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DG, UK

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General