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Royal Geographical Society

Eliza Scott: discovery of Antarctic, log books


Reference code(s): GB 0402 ELS

Held at: Royal Geographical Society

Title: Eliza Scott: discovery of Antarctic, log books

Date(s): 1838-1839

Level of description: Collection level

Extent: 2 vols

Name of creator(s): Balleney | John | [1770-1842] | merchant navy officer and Antarctic discoverer
Moore | William | fl 1838-1839 | chief mate on the ELIZA SCOTT


Administrative/Biographical history:

John Balleny was the English captain of a whaling schooner, the ELIZA SCOTT, who led an commercial voyage of discovery, hoping to find new lands and sealing grounds for the English whaling firm Enderby Brothers to the Antarctic in 1838-1839. Balleny, sailing in company with Thomas Freeman and the SABRINA, sailed into the Southern Ocean along a corridor of longitude centering on the line of 175E., south of New Zealand. During their voyage they discovered the Balleny Islands, Feb 1839, and caught a brief sight of Antarctica itself at 6458'S., 12108'E.

John Balleny was born c 1770; may have been a Londoner, brought up in the Newcastle coal trade; from 1798, he is occasionally recorded in the coasting, home, and foreign trades as master of various vessels; master of the ELIZA SCOTT, 1838; died in or after 1842.


Scope and content/abstract:

Logbooks of the schooner ELIZA SCOTT on the discovery of the Balleny Islands and the first sighting of Antarctica comprising logbook of Captain John Balleney, Jul 1838-May 1839 and logbook of Balleny's chief mate, William Moore, 1838-1839. The voyage went from London to New Zealand, sighted Antarctica and then on to Madagascar.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

By volume

Conditions governing access:

Accessed via the Foyle Reading Room. Free of charge for Fellows, Members and those with valid academic identification. All other users pay a charge and must bring identification in order to register on arrival.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying at the discretion of the Archivist and subject to completion of 'application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication without permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist.

Finding aids:

Card index available in the Foyle Reading Room.



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Moore's logbook was presented to the RGS by Charles Enderby of the Enderby Brothers.


Publication note:

The Old Whaling Days: A History of Southern New Zealand from 1830 to 1840, by Robert McNab (Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, 1913).


Archivist's note: Prepared by an archives volunteer using existing finding aids. Revised by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Oxford DNB, entry for John Bellamy; article 'Note on Sabrina Land, etc.' by Charles Enderby Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Vol. 2, No. 3 (1857 - 1858), pp. 171-172.

Rules or conventions: ISAD(G) ed.2, name authority NRA.

Date(s) of descriptions: 3 December 2001; Jul 2008

Antarctic exploration | Geographical exploration | Geography
Sailing | Sport | Leisure time activities | Leisure

Personal names
Balleney | John | [1770-1842] | merchant navy officer and Antarctic discoverer

Corporate names
Schooner Eliza Scott

Antarctic regions | Polar regions | Climatic zones