Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Joseph René Bellot

BELLOT, Joseph René, one of the heroes and victims of Arctic exploration, was born at Paris, March 18, 1826. At the age of fifteen he entered the Naval School, in which he studied two years, and earned a high reputation. He distinguished himself in the French expedition of 1845 against Tamatave in Madagascar; and although he was not yet twenty he received the cross of the Legion of Honour at the close of that year. He was afterwards attached to the staff of the station, was promoted to the rank of Enseigne de Vaisseau in November 1847, and in 1851 obtained permission to join the English expedition then preparing to go out, under the command of Captain Kennedy, in search of Sir John Franklin. On this occasion he displayed great courage, presence of mind, andself-devotion, rendered important services, and made the discovery of the strait, which bears his name, between Boothia Felix and Somerset Land. Early in 1852 he was promoted lieutenant. In the same year he accompanied, as a volunteer, the expedition sent out by the English Government under Captain Inglefield on the same quest. His intelligence, his devotion to duty, and his courage won him the esteem and admiration of all with whom he was associated. While making a perilous journey with two comrades across the ice, for the purpose of communicating with Captain Inglefield, he was overtaken by a storm, August 21, and being blown into an opening between the broken masses of ice was seen no more. A pension was granted to his family by the Emperor Napoleon III., and an obelisk was erected to his memory in front of Greenwich Hospital.