Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Where Swedish polar research began: the Linnaean apostle Anton Rolandson Martin's voyage to Spitsbergen in 1758

  • Jonas Hagström (a1)
Abstract

In 1758 the renowned Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus sent his student Anton Rolandson Martin to the Arctic on-board a whaler to collect scientific specimens. He became the first Swedish scientist to sail these northern waters and to set foot on Spitsbergen. But what route did the ship take and where exactly did he land? By using a combination of geographical information in Martin's diary together with latitude and wind directions from his meteorological records the ship's voyage has been reconstructed. The whaler set course directly to the west coast of Spitsbergen and then patrolled waters from there to the eastern flank of the ice fields off Greenland. The ship then returned to Spitsbergen as the whaling season drew to an end. Martin got the chance to set foot on land only once and for just two hours. After recent field work at the presumed locality 258 years after Martin's visit, his descriptions of the islets were checked and a first-hand comparison was made between the rock sample Martin brought home and the local bedrock. The author is now confident that the landing took place on Forlandsøyane islands, situated off the southwestern coast of Prins Karls Forland.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Awebro, K. (1996). Grönlandskompaniet: resor och utforskande av Arktis vid mitten av1700–talet [The Greenland Company: travels and exploration in the Arctic in the mid-1700s]. The Northern Space. The International Research Network on the History of Polar Science. Working Paper, 9, pp. 27.
Carolus, I. (1614). Waere Afbeeldinghe van Noorwegen, Finmarcken, De Noort Caep Laplandt, Moscovien, de Witte Zee, Ruslandt, de Straet van Nassouven, ende Nova Zemla, ende oock de noort Bodem. Mitsgaders het nieuwe landt van Spitbergen met alle havene Bayen Sanden en de Eylanden daer Ontrent gelegen. Als oock het nieuwe gevonden eylandt, beseylt ende beschreven door Mr Ioris Carolus Stierman ende Caertschryver tot Enchu Anno 1614 [map] [True depiction of Norway, Finnmark, The North Cape, Lapland, Muscovy, The White Sea, Russia, the Yugorsky Strait, and Nova Zembla and also of the North Land. Including the new land of Spitsbergen with all the harbours, bays, sands, and the islands that lie in the vicinity. Also the new found island, sailed to and described by Mr Ioris Carolus, Navigator and Cartographer until 1614]. Paris: Biliotheque Nationale de France. Retrieved from http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b59629216.r=stierman?rk=64378;0.
Cotter, C. H. (1983). A History of the Navigator's Sextant. Glasgow: Brown, Son & Ferguson.
Dallmann, W. (Ed.) (2015). Geoscience Atlas of Svalbard. Rapportserien 148. Tromsø: Norsk Polarinstitutt.
Hansen, L. (Ed.) (2007–2011). The Linnaeus Apostles – Global Science & Adventure. London & Whitby: IK Foundation & Company.
Jemn, A. (2008). Anton Rolandsson Martin – Linnélärjunge och Sveriges första polarforskare [Anton Rolandsson Martin – Linnaeus apprentice and Sweden's first polar scientist]. In: Rickberg, S. (Ed.) Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, Yearbook 2007, 1720. Stockholm: Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.
Martin, A. R. (1758). Meteorologiska observationer, gjorde på en Resa til Spits-bärgen [Meteorological observations made on a journey to Spitsbergen]. Kongliga Vetenskaps–Academiens handlingar För Månaderna October, November, December År 1758, 307315.
Martin, A. R. (1881). Dagbok hållen vid en resa till Norrpolen eller Spitsbergen, på Kungl. Vetenskaps– Akademiens omkostnad och med ett Grönlandska Compagniet i Göteborg tillhörande skepp år 1758 [Diary kept during a journey to the North Pole or Spitsbergen on the expenses of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and with a ship belonging to the Greenland Company in Gothenburg in the year 1758]. YMER, 1, 102141.
Martin, A. R. (2009). Självbiografiska anteckningar [Autobiographical notes]. In: Jemn, A., Broberg, G., & Dunér, D. (Eds.) Svenska Linnésällskapets årsskrift 2009, 77122. Uppsala: Swedish Linnaeus Society.
Mehlum, F. (2014). Anton Martin – den første svensken på Svalbard [Anton Martin – the first Swede on Svalbard]. Polarboken, 2013–2014, 68–74.
Nordström, S. (1881). Anton Rolandsson Martin: biografiska anteckningar [Anton Rolandsson Martin: biographical notes]. YMER, 1, 91101.
Ogilvie, A. E. J. (1984). The past climate and sea-ice record for Iceland. Part 1: data to ad 1780. Climate Change, 6, 131152.
Orheim, O., & Hoel, A. (2003). The Place Names of Svalbard. Tromsø: Norsk Polarinstitutt.
Sobel, D. (1995). Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time. New York, NY: Walker & Co.
Sörlin, S., & Fagerstedt, O. (2004). Linné och hans apostlar [Linnaeus and his apostles]. Örebro: Natur och Kultur/ Fakta.
Vongraven, D. (Ed.) (2014). Kunnskapsgrunnlag for de store nasjonalparkene og fuglereservatene på vest–Spitsbergen [Knowledge base for the large national parks and bird sanctuaries in western Spitsbergen]. Brief Report Series 28. Tromsø: Norsk Polarinstitutt.
Zenzén, N. (1920). IV. Om ett bergartsprov från Spetsbergen i Bergskollegii mineralsamling [IV. About a petrological sample from Spitsbergen in the mineral collection of the Bergskollegium]. Arkiv för kemi, mineralogi och geologi, 8, 131134.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Polar Record
  • ISSN: 0032-2474
  • EISSN: 1475-3057
  • URL: /core/journals/polar-record
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed