Famous 18th Century British Explorers

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Vote for Your Favourite 18th Century British Explorers

 1 
James Cook
(Explorer)

James Cook
14
Birthdate: November 7, 1728
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marton, England
Died: February 14, 1779

British explorer, navigator, and cartographer James Cook, who had also served the merchant navy and Royal Navy, was the first to complete an expedition around New Zealand. He explored areas in the South Pacific, such as eastern Australia and Hawaii. He was killed while trying to kidnap a Hawaiian king.

 2 
John Franklin
(Explorer, Royal Navy officer)

John Franklin
6
Birthdate: April 16, 1786
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Spilsby, England
Died: June 11, 1847

 3 
George Vancouver
(Explorer, Officer)

George Vancouver
4
Birthdate: June 22, 1757
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: King's Lynn
Died: May 10, 1798

English navigator and Royal Navy officer George Vancouver was the first to explore the Pacific coast of North America. His explored territories included the Canada’s British Columbia, the US’s Alaska, and Australia’s southwest coast. His 3-volume treatise on his journeys, with a collection of maps, was published posthumously.

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 4 

Matthew Flinders
4
Birthdate: March 16, 1774
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Donington
Died: July 19, 1814

 5 

Alexander Mackenzie
6
Birthdate: 1764 AD
Birthplace: Stornoway, Lewis, Scotland
Died: March 12, 1820

 6 
David Thompson
(Fur trader)

David Thompson
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1770
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Westminster, England
Died: February 10, 1857

David Thompson was a British-Canadian explorer, fur trader, and surveyor. He was known to some native peoples as Koo-Koo-Sint or "the Stargazer". He traveled over 90,000 kilometers (56,000 mi) across North America over the course of his career and established a successful fur trade. He was married to a Metis woman and had numerous children. 

 7 
Charles Sturt
(British explorer)

Charles Sturt
3
Birthdate: April 28, 1795
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bengal
Died: June 16, 1869
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 8 
George Bass
(Former Explorer, Surgeon known as one of the first people to explore the interior of Australia)

George Bass
3
Birthdate: January 30, 1771
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: 1803 AD

British naval surgeon George Bass is best remembered for his exploratory voyage to Australia, aboard the Reliance. He explored areas such as the Sydney coastline, Tasmania, and New South Wales. However, he was declared lost at sea after disappearing on a commercial voyage to South America.

 9 
James Bruce
(Explorer, Archaeologist, Film editor, Botanist)

James Bruce
2
Birthdate: December 14, 1730
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stirling
Died: April 27, 1794

Scottish explorer James Bruce is best known for his treatises of travel and his discovery of the source of the Blue Nile. Initially a wine merchant, he later became a British consul in Algiers and decided to explore North Africa. He traveled to places such as Syria, Ethiopia, and Egypt.

 10 
Francis Light
(Explorer)

Francis Light
2
Birthdate: 1740 AD
Birthplace: Dallinghoo, England
Died: October 25, 1794

 11 
George Anson, Baron Anson
(First Lord of the Admiralty)

George Anson, Baron Anson
2
Birthdate: April 23, 1697
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Died: June 6, 1762

British admiral George Anson, or Baron Anson, is remembered for his exploits as an able naval administrator, especially during the War of Jenkins' Ear and the Seven Years’ War. His warship the Centurion was the first British warship to have entered Chinese territory. He also reformed the navy to a great extent.

 12 
John Oxley
(Explorer)

John Oxley
4
Birthdate: 1784 AD
Birthplace: Westow, England, United Kingdom
Died: May 25, 1828

 13 
Samuel Hearne
(Explorer)

Samuel Hearne
2
Birthdate: 1784 AD, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 31, 1792

 14 

Peter Skene Ogden
2
Birthdate: February 12, 1790
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Quebec City, Canada
Died: September 27, 1854

 15 
Henry Kelsey
(Explorer)

Henry Kelsey
2
Birthdate: 1667 AD
Birthplace: Greenwich, England
Died: November 1, 1724

Henry Kelsey was an English fur trader and explorer. He played an important role in establishing the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada. Born in England, he moved to Canada as a young man and began his exploration adventures in the winter of 1688–89. He undertook many journeys across the Atlantic Ocean and eventually returned to England.

 16 

Edward John Trelawny
2
Birthdate: November 13, 1792
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 13, 1881

Edward John Trelawny was a British biographer, novelist and adventurer. He is famous for his friendship with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron. Handsome and dashing, he joined the Royal Navy at the age of thirteen, later writing about his experiences in Adventures of a Younger Son. His other well-known work is Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron.

 17 

Sir George Back
1
Birthdate: November 6, 1796
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, England
Died: June 23, 1878

 18 

William Scoresby
2
Birthdate: October 5, 1789
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cropton, Yorkshire, England
Died: March 21, 1857

 19 

Alexander Gordon Laing
1
Birthdate: December 27, 1794
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: September 26, 1826

 20 
James Weddell
(Navigator)

James Weddell
2
Birthdate: August 24, 1787
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ostend, Belgium
Died: September 9, 1834

 21 
John Richardson
(Surgeon and Explorer)

John Richardson
1
Birthdate: November 5, 1787
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dumfries, Scotland
Died: June 5, 1865

Apart from being a naval surgeon, John Richardson also made a named for himself as an explorer of the Canadian Arctic coast. He was also a talented author of natural history. His accurate surveys eventually got him knighted. Various species of reptiles and mammals have been named in his honor.

 22 
Tobias Furneaux
(Navigator)

Tobias Furneaux
1
Birthdate: August 21, 1735
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Plymouth, England
Died: September 18, 1781

 23 

George William Evans
1
Birthdate: January 5, 1780
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Warwick, England
Died: October 16, 1852

 24 
Basil Hall
(Naval officer)

Basil Hall
1
Birthdate: December 31, 1788
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dunglass, Scotland
Died: September 11, 1844

 25 
John Beecroft
(Explorer)

John Beecroft
0
Birthdate: 1790 AD
Birthplace: Whitby, England
Died: June 10, 1854

 26 
Dixon Denham
(Soldier)

Dixon Denham
0
Birthdate: January 1, 1786
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 8, 1828

 27 

Francis Rawdon Chesney
0
Birthdate: March 16, 1789
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Annalong, Northern Ireland
Died: January 30, 1872

 28 

William George Browne
0
Birthdate: July 25, 1768
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: 1813 AD