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Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/FEG/1/50
TitleLetters from the Parry family to Eleanor Isabella Franklin, later Gell
Extent12 items
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
Archive CreatorEleanor Isabella Franklin, later Eleanor Gell (1824-1860)
Gell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
Administrative HistoryWilliam Edward Parry (1790-1855) was a naval officer and Arctic explorer who was a great friend of John Franklin. They both came to prominence as the seconds-in-command of the first Arctic expeditions of the 19th century which took place in 1818: Parry was the commander of H.M.S. Alexander in the expedition under the leadership of John Ross which attempted to the North West Passage by going through Baffin Bay over the northen coast of the American continent, while Franklin was commanding H.M.S. Trent in the expedition under David Buchan which sought to make its way via the North Pole. Parry became the leader of several other Arctic expeditions between 1819 and 1827; in the first he commanded H.M.S. Hecla, in which he made considering progress but ultimately did not complete the North West Passage, 1819-1820, at the same time as Franklin undertook his first Arctic land expedition: his three subsequent expeditions between 1820 and 1827 proved much less successful . He was knighted in 1829. He took part in no further expeditions, but was much involved as a member of the Arctic Council in planning the search for Sir John Franklin; he was captain-superintendent of the Haslar Royal Naval Hospital from 1846 to 1853 and then lieutenant-governor of the Royal Hospital 1853-1855.
Parry married twice, first in 1826 to Isabella Louisa (1801-1839), with whom he had two daughters and two sons, and then in 1841 to Catherine Edwards (1808-1896, daughter of Reverend John Hankinson and widow of Samuel Hoare) with whom he had two two daughters and a son. Eleanor Franklin, later Gell, corresponded with Parry and after his death with his widow Catherine.

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Related Names
Name (click for further details)
Gell; Eleanor Isabella (1824-1860); daughter of explorer Sir John Franklin
Parry; William Edward (1790-1855); Sir; naval officer and Arctic explorer
Parry; Catherine Edwards (1808-1896); second wife of Arctic explorer Sir William Edward Parry
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