WILLIAM SCORESBY (1789-1857)
Autograph letter signed ('Wm. Scoresby Jnr') to his 'Dear Brother' (John Clark, his brother-in-law), Liverpool, 1 December 1818, replying in haste about his plans [for re-joining the whaling fleet], that he has not engaged to join the Lady Forbes but will join Messrs Hurry and Gibson in 1820 in a ship to be purchased or built. and will decide about the Lady Forbes when at Edinburgh; referring to the intention of W.[?Clark] whose neglect of duty has displeased him; declaring that he is too pressed for time to write to his sister and mother, sending greetings and messages for others, including his wife, 'Let my dear Mrs. S. know I am well and shall write before I leave for Edinburgh', ending with a religious subscription, 2 pages, 4to, written in brown ink, integral leaf addressed to 'Mr. John Clark (Grocer) Whitby' (ink blots, small splits, and holes in both leaves affecting 4 words); together with a transcript in a contemporary hand of a passage from a letter by Scoresby to Messrs Hurry and Gibson, dated '19th June last , Lat. 74', on the 'Greenland Fishing', recording the catch of Whales for 52 named ships, 'Liverpool. The Baffin, Scoresby, 8 fish June 19th; Lady Forbes, Robertson, 9 fish June 7th ... London. King George, 9 fish, 50 tons, June 7th', etc., the total amount to 207 whales taken, 1½ pages, 4to; and (written in continuation on the same bifolium), a letter by his wife, Mary Eliza Scoresby, to her 'dear Brother and Sister', Liverpool, 20 July 1820, saying that she has seen this account in her husband's writing, giving family news and writing of mutual friends, 1½ pages, 4to, address panel to Mrs. Clark, (seal tear with loss of words in 4 lines).
William Scoresby, Junior, master-mariner and author, made 17 voyages to Spitzbergen from 1803-1822, in whalers of 300-400 tons, having first accompanied his father at the age of eleven. Later becoming a correspondent of Sir Joseph Banks, he made important observations on ice and other natural phenomena, and discovered certain points on the Greenland Coast and Liverpool Island. During 1819 he superintended the building of the Baffin at Liverpool, and sailed with her in February 1820. He returned with her in August, with the largest cargo of whales ever brought back from Greenland. Scoresby was the author of numerous scientific papers, and of the Account of the Arctic Regions and Northern Whale Fishery (1820), which became the standard work on the subject and was considered the foundation-stone of arctic science. (2)