1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/McClure, Sir Robert John le Mesurier

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M‘CLURE, SIR ROBERT JOHN LE MESURIER (1807–1873), English Arctic explorer, born at Wexford, in Ireland, on the 28th of January 1807, was the posthumous son of one of Abercrombie’s captains and spent his childhood under the care of his godfather, General Le Mesurier, governor of Alderney, by whom he was educated for the army. He entered the navy, however, in 1824, and twelve years later gained his first experience of Arctic exploration as mate of the “ Terror ” in the expedition (1836-1837) commanded by Captain (afterwards Sir) George Back. On his return he obtained his commission as lieutenant, and from 1838 to 1839 served on the Canadian lakes, being subsequently attached to the North American and West Indian naval stations, where he remained till 1846. Two years later he joined the Franklin search expedition (1848-1849) under Sir J. C. Ross as first lieutenant of the “ Enterprise, ” and on the return of this expedition was given the command of the “ Investigator ” in the new search expedition (18 50-1854) which was sent out by way of Bering Strait to co-operate with another from the north-west. In the course of this voyage he achieved the distinction of completing (1850) the work connected with the discovery of aNorth-West Passage (see POLAR REGIONS). On his return to England, M'Clure was awarded gold' medals by the English and French geographical societies, was knighted and promoted to post-rank, his commission being dated back four years in recognition of his special services. From 1856 to 186I he served in Eastern waters, commanding the division of the naval brigade before Canton in 1858, for which he received a C.B.in the following year. His latter years were spent in a quiet country life; he attained the rank of rear-admiral in 1867, and of vice-admiral in 1873.

See Admiral Sherard Osborn, The Discovery of a North- West Passage (1856).