London: Admiralty, June 27, 1837. Sir John Barrow (1764 - 1848) was a British Secretary of the Admiralty whose support and promotion of Arctic exploration led to Britain being the leading Arctic explorer of the first half of the 19th century. Barrow supported explorers including John Ross, William Edward Parry, James Clark Ross, and John Franklin. In 1830 Barrow was one of the co-founders of the Royal Geographical Society. Barrow Strait, Barrow Sound and Barrow Point in the Arctic and Cape Barrow in the Antarctic are named in his honor.
The commission is signed by Barrow on the 27th of June 1837, one week into the new reign of Queen Victoria. Lieutenant John Phillips (1819 - 1901) is being transferred from the steam packet 'Lucifer' to the steamer 'Redwing'. Since the redwing is a species of thrush which summers in and near the Arctic, it's likely that this vessel was intended for Arctic exploration. The commission is also countersigned by two admirals, Sir Charles Adam and Sir William Parker.
Sir Charles Adam (1780 - 1853) was captain of the Frigate 'Sybille' which captured the French frigate 'Chiffone' in 1801 after a battle in the Indian Ocean. He was later a captain of the royal yacht 'Prince Regent', Commander in Chief in the West Indies, and governor of London's Greenwich Hospital.
Admiral Parker (1781 - 1866) was captain of the frigate 'Alarm' and the frigate 'Amazon', serving off the coast of France and in the West Indies. In 1806 he engaged 2 French warships, the 'Marengo' and 'Belle Poule', and captured both. By 1831 he was flag captain of the Channel Fleet under Admiral Codrington. He served as a Lord of the Admiralty and was Naval Commander in Chief in China at the very end of the Opium War; he was promoted to vice Admiral. After retirement Parker was named an Admiral of the Fleet, the highest naval rank attainable.
Vellum document, 13 wide X 11". With one Admiralty seal and a tax stamp at the left edge. Contemporary folds, a little brown spotting. Very good condition. Item #9135