You are logged on as '': logout Login/Register
Freeze Frame Scott Polar Research Institute

You are in: Resources > Biographies > Adams William

Adams, William (Snr.) (d.1890)

Served in Princess Charlotte and Narwhal before becoming master of the whaler the Arctic in 1868. In 1872, he commanded the Arctic on the British whaling and exploration expedition from Dundee, returning to the Davis Strait region in 1873 as captain of Arctic on a British whaling and reconnaissance expedition. This voyage was joined by Albert Hastings Markham of the Royal Navy for the purpose of gaining Arctic experience with a view to further polar exploration. The following year, the Arctic, commanded by Adams, was lost in Cresswell Bay, Prince Regent Inlet. In June 1875, Messrs. Alexander Stephen & Sons of Dundee launched a new Arctic [Arctic II], commanded by Adams on several whaling voyages to the Arctic until 1883 when he bought the wooden barque the Maud, converting her into a whaler in 1886. Until 1890, Adams commanded the Maud and in 1890 on his final whaling voyage to the Arctic, was accompanied by his son William Adams (1869 – 1942). During the return journey, the Maud was heavily battered in the Atlantic and Adams Snr. died after landing at a Caithness port in 1890.

Further information

Lubbock, B. (1955) The Arctic whalers. Glasgow: Brown, Son & Ferguson Ltd.

Wordie, (Sir) J.M. (1944) Captain William Adams and Dr. R.W. Gray, The Polar Record Vol.4 no.27 January 1944 p119 – 120.