established the teaching of clinical surgery on a firm and broad platform. He died in 1791, and was buried, as was also his wife, in the tomb of his forefathers in Greyfriars Church.
In Kay's ‘Edinburgh Portraits’ Rae is represented in conversation with Dr. William Laing and Dr. James Hay, afterwards Sir James Hay of Smithfield.
Rae married, in 1744, Isobel, daughter of Ludovic Cant of Thurstan. By her he had two sons and several daughters. The elder son William joined the Incorporation of Surgeons on 18 July 1777, settled in London, where he married Isabella, sister of the Lord chief-justice Dallas, and died young. John, the younger brother, was the first fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, where he was admitted on 14 March 1781. He became president in 1804–5, and was well known in Edinburgh as a dentist. Among Rae's daughters was Mrs. Elizabeth Keith, who founded the Incurables Association, and Elizabeth, wife of James Fleming of Kirkcaldy, whose daughter, Margaret Fleming [q. v.], was immortalised by Dr. John Brown in ‘Pet Marjorie.’
[List of Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 1874; Kay's Portraits, i. 424; Brown's Horæ Subsecivæ, 3rd ser. p. 199; Scotsman, 4 April 1888, under the heading ‘An Old Grave;’ information kindly given to the writer by Dr. G. A. Gibson, a great-grandson of John Rae; see also Sir Grainger Stewart's Account of the History of the Royal Infirmary in the Edinburgh Hospital Reports, 1893, vol. i.]
RAE, JOHN (1813–1893), Arctic explorer, son of John Rae of the Hall of Clestrain, near Stromness in the Orkney Islands, was born there on 30 Sept. 1813. In 1829 he went to Edinburgh to study medicine, and in 1833 qualified as a surgeon. In the same year he was appointed surgeon to the Hudson's Bay Company's ship which annually visited Moose Factory, and two years later was appointed the company's resident surgeon at Moose Fort. There he remained till 1845. Rae spent much of his time in scientific study. In a letter, dated Hamilton, 17 April 1837 (Silliman, American Journal of Science and Arts, xxxiii. 196), he gives an account of his experiments in raising a balloon by means of solar heat, an invention which he called the ‘Sun-flyer.’ In June 1846, while still in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company, he set out on his first journey of exploration. His aim was to survey the coast which separated Ross's explorations in Boothia from those of Parry at Fury and Hecla Strait. The party, consisting of ten men in two boats, started from York Factory with three months' provisions but no fuel, and spent the winter at Repulse Bay in lat. 66° 32′ N. Early in the following year Rae and his companions made a long land journey, in which they surveyed upwards of seven hundred miles of new coast, forming the shores of Committee Bay.
On completing this journey Rae returned to London, but was almost immediately (1847) induced to join the first land expedition sent in search of Sir John Franklin [q. v.] under the leadership of Sir John Richardson [q. v.] In 1848–9 all the coast between the Mackenzie and the Coppermine rivers was searched in vain. At Great Bear Lake, the expedition's winter quarters, very carefully registered observations on meteorology, magnetism, &c., were carried on throughout the winter. After Richardson's return to England, Rae in 1849 descended the Coppermine river with a single boat, but his effort to cross Wollaston Land was frustrated by an impassable block of ice (see Rae's Letter to the Admiralty, date 1 Sept. 1849, printed for H.M. Stationery Office).
Rae went back to the Mackenzie river, and was appointed to the charge of that large district; but in June 1850 the government once more requested his services in pursuing the search for Franklin. Rae accordingly took command of another search party, and spent the autumn and winter in its organisation. In order to utilise the time before navigation opened in the summer, Rae made a journey in the spring of 1851 with two men and two sledges along the shore of Wollaston Land. He left Fort Confidence, on Bear Lake, where the party built and fitted out two boats, on 25 April, and, in order to examine as much of the coast as was possible, traversed in sledges a distance of about eleven hundred miles at a daily average rate of more than 24 miles, the fastest on record. A large part of the shore of Wollaston Land was thus examined and mapped out. On 13 June, three days after the return of the sledge expedition, the boat expedition started. Rae joined it at the Kendal, a tributary of the Coppermine river. After descending the Kendal in safety, Rae examined to about 101° the whole south and east coast of Victoria Land, of which a great part had not been previously explored. The west side of the passage, through which Franklin's ships had been forced by the ice, was traced for ninety miles, and named Victoria Channel. The boats then returned and ascended Coppermine river, after a voyage of eleven hundred to twelve hundred miles. At a convenient place one boat was abandoned and the other hauled overland for seventy miles