Sir John Barrow

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Barrow, Sir John (1764–1848). Promoter of exploration. As a member of Lord Macartney's staff, Barrow was on the famous embassy to China in 1793 and then with him at the Cape of Good Hope after the British take-over; he wrote accounts of both ventures. Barrow had made some useful travels in the little-known South African interior and drew maps. He became 2nd secretary at the Admiralty in 1806 and remained there using the position to promote British exploration, official and semi-official, most notably of west Africa and of the north polar region. Barrow was a founder member and key figure in the foundation of the Royal Geographical Society in 1830 and set it on its path as the premier promoter of 19th-cent. exploration.

Roy C. Bridges

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