British whaling ship captain, naturalist, explorer and clergyman. Born near Pickering in Yorkshire, England, in 1789. Died 1857.
As a child, Scoresby sailed with his father, and by the time he was 21, he was master of his own ship. In 1822, he became the first to explore and chart an ice-filled body of water in the East of Greenland - what is today known as Scoresby Sound - and the adjacent coastline. During his voyages, Scoresby made measurements and carried out research in such diverse areas as geophysics, meteorology, botany, zoology, and geology. He published a paper on the Earth's magnetic field in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. He also made significant improvements to the design of magnetic compasses. In 1820 and 1823, he published two major works on his travels in the Arctic, both of which are landmarks in the field of Arctic studies.
In 1823, he went ashore to study theology. Two years later, he was ordained, and in 1839, he became a Doctor of Theology at Cambridge, and vicar of Bradford in Yorkshire.
Along with his work as a clergyman, he continued to make scientific enquiries, travelling to America and Australia to do so. He continued to write and publish extensively on both scientific and theological subjects.
Today, his name is preserved in three geographical sites: