The Private Journal of Captain G. F. Lyon

The Private Journal of Captain G. F. Lyon

The Private Journal of Captain G. F. Lyon 1824 1st Edition

By George Francis Lyon

Printed In London For John Murray

The Volume is in Very Good Condition Bound in half Green morocco over marbled boards, with the spine divided into six compartments by five gilt bands, with a black morocco letter piece in the second compartment from the top, with the leaf bottoms gilt. Externally the boards and spine are lightly scuffed in general, with some mild scuffing on the spine and board corners bumped a bit. Internally the leaves are generally clean amply margined, with some mild foxing on certain leaves, general toning at the title and the plates, some occasional creasing and little in the way of stains or tears.
The Volume is Complete in All Respects with frontispiece, folding map, and six other plates. See below for pagination & dimensions.


The Private Journal of Captain G. F. LyonThe Private Journal of Captain G. F. Lyon

George Francis Lyon

was a British naval officer notable as a rare combination of Arctic and African explorer. While not having a particularly distinguished career, he is remembered for the entertaining journals he kept and for the watercolour paintings he completed in the Arctic; this information was useful to later expeditions.

The Volume documents the third of voyage of Captain William Edward Parry to explore the arctic. Parry, in command of the Fury along with Lyon on the Hecla, continued to probe the area around Baffin Island in search of viable passage. Others with him were George Fisher, scientist and chaplain, William Hooper, purser and diarist, lieutenants Francis Crozier and Henry Parkyns Hoppner and James Clark Ross, then a midshipman. Experience from the previous voyage led to improvements. The two vessels were nearly identical since the Gripper, from a previous expedition, had not been able to keep up with the Hecla. They had cork insulation, cork plugs for the portholes and a coal-burning stove in the lowest deck to deal with condensation. The men were issued better clothing and lemon juice was stored in kegs rather than glass bottles.

The goal this time was to find a passage near the northwest end of Hudson Bay. After working slowly through the ice of Hudson Strait he headed directly west to Frozen Strait which Christopher Middleton had found impassable in 1742. He passed Frozen Strait in a fog and found himself in Repulse Bay which he re-checked and found land-locked. He then ran northeast and mapped the coast of the Melville Peninsula and wintered at the southeast corner of Winter Island. From the Inuit he learned that northward the coast turned west.

In March and May Lyon led two sledging expeditions into the interior. Freed from the ice in July he then went north and found the Fury and Hecla Strait, which was ice-filled. They waited for the ice to clear, but it did not. In September Lieutenant Ried trekked 100 miles (160 km) west along the Strait to the ice-filled Gulf of Boothia, the north end of which Parry had approached in 1819. When new ice began to form they went a short distance southeast and wintered at Igloolik. The ship was not freed from ice until 8 August. Since it was late in the season and there were signs of scurvy, he turned for home and reached the Shetlands in mid-October 1823. During his absence, he had been promoted to post rank in November 1821, and shortly after his return he was appointed acting Hydrographer of the Navy.

Pagination & Dimensions

The volume is paginated as follows: [v]-xi-[xii], [1]-468. The volume collates as follows: a6, B-2G8, 2H4. The volume measures about 23.5 cm. By 15 cm. Each leaf measures about 225 mm. By 140 mm.

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