Page Heading for Arctic Archipelago


Robert Bylot

"Robert Bylot was a 17th-century explorer who made four voyages to the Arctic. He was uneducated and from a working-class background, but was able to rise to rank of Master in the British Royal Navy."1
Bylot was first mate on Henry Hudson's ship, Discovery, during his 1610-11 expedition. Bylot, together with the other returning sailors, were tried as mutineers. As for Bylot, your compiler is not sure whether a conviction was entered, or not; or whether he was pardoned? In any event, he was soon back to exploring the arctic. He was with Thomas Button when he was sent out in 1612, in two ships (Resolution and Discovery), to see what Hudson's fate might have been.

Bylot is to be remembered for his early extensive work in the arctic with others, resulting in a new picture of these foreign lands:

"Bylot and Baffin's work in Baffin Bay was doubted by cartographers back in England. As late as 1812, charts of the area only showed a dotted bulge with the words: Baffin's Bay according to the relation of W. Baffin in 1616, but not now believed. When the bay was "rediscovered" by Sir John Ross in 1818, the records of the Bylot-Baffin voyage proved extremely accurate. In England, almost total credit for the discovery was given to Baffin, and Bylot was virtually ignored. Historian Farley Mowat has speculated two possible reasons for this: Bylot's lack of education and lower position relative to Baffin in English society, and his involvement in the mutiny during Hudson's expedition."2

1 Wikipedia. While at the top rank of the men below deck; an aristocratic officer, Robert Bylot was not.

2 Wikipedia.


Found this material Helpful?


Peter Landry