Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BEECHEY, Frederick William, English geographer, born in London, 17 February 1796; died there, 29 November 1856. He was the son of Sir William Beechey, the artist. Entering the navy in 1806, he saw some service in the Channel, on the coast of Portugal, and in the East Indies, and in 1814 was appointed to the "Tonnant," Sir Alexander Coch-rane's flag-ship. He took part in the battle of New Orleans, 8 Jan, 1815, and on 10 March was made a lieutenant for his services on that occasion. On 14 January 1818, he was appointed to the " Trent," commanded by Lieut. (afterward Sir John) Franklin, and acted as artist to the Arctic expedition of that. year, which he afterward described in his "Voyage of Discovery toward the North Pole" (London, 1843). Beechey was employed on the survey of the north coast of Africa in 1821-'2, and published in connection with his brother, Henry W. Beechey, "Proceedings of the Expedition to explore the Northern Coast of Africa" (London, 1828). He was made commander on 25 January 1822, in January 1825, was assigned to the " Blossom," and for four years was engaged in the Pacific and in attempting to cooperate with the polar expeditions from the east. In August 1826, he went, in boats, as far as lat. 71° 23' 31" N., long. 156° 21' 30" W., a point only 146 miles from Franklin's extreme northern point reached about the same time; but as neither explorer knew of the other's position, the opportunity to cooperate was lost. In 1827 he was made post-captain, and discovered the harbors of Port Clarence and Grantley, near Bering strait. A narrative of his voyages in the years 1825-'8 was published by him (London, 1831). From 1835 till 1847 he was chiefly engaged in surveys on the coast of South America and Ireland, and after this he lived in London until his death. In 1854 he became rear-admiral of the blue. In 1855 he was elected president of the geographical society.
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