Henry Kellett

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Sir Henry Kellett
Henry Kellett.jpg
Sir Henry Kellett
Born 2 November 1806
Clonabody, Tipperary, Ireland
Died 1 March 1875
Clonabody, Tipperary, Ireland
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1822–1871
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held HMS Starling
HMS Herald
HMS Resolute
China Station
Battles/wars First Opium War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Vice Admiral Sir Henry Kellett KCB (2 November 1806 – 1 March 1875) was a British naval officer and explorer.

Naval career

Kellett joined the Royal Navy in 1822.[1] He spent three years in the West Indies and then served on survey vessels under William Fitzwilliam Owen in Africa, as second in command of HMS Sulphur under Edward Belcher in the East Indies,[2] and as captain of HMS Starling in the First Opium War with China during which he was promoted to Commander in 1841 and Post-Captain in 1842.[3]

In 1845 he was appointed captain of the survey ship HMS Herald, being reassigned in 1848 to join the search for Sir John Franklin. During this voyage he sailed through the Bering Strait across the Chukchi Sea and discovered Herald Island. Kellett landed on Herald Island and named it after his ship. He also sighted Wrangel Island in the western horizon. William Pullen was on this expedition.In 1852, he commanded HMS Resolute and went to the aid of Robert McClure, whose vessel, Investigator, was trapped in the Arctic.[2] His men constructed a storehouse on Dealy Island off the south coast of Melville Island.[4]

He became Senior Officer in the West Indies in 1855, Admiral Superintendent of the Malta Dockyard in 1864 and Commander-in-Chief, China Station in 1869.[1] He retired in 1871.[1]


Several places in Hong Kong have been named after him: Kellett Island, Kellett Bay and Mount Kellett.[5][6] Kellett Bluff on Henry Island, Washington, USA, was probably named after Captain Kellett as well. It is an amazing place with extreme currents, views, and is frequented by feeding orcas. Kellet's whelk Kelletia kelletii is named after him.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 William Loney RN
  2. 2.0 2.1 Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
  3. Barr, William (2007). Arctic Hell-Ship: The Voyage of HMS Enterprise, 1850-1855. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-88864-472-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Kellets' Storehouse- A Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Online Exhibit
  5. Wordie, Jason (2002). Streets: Exploring Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. p. 141. ISBN 962-209-563-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Yanne, Andrew; Heller, Gillis (2009). Signs of a Colonial Era. Hong Kong University Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-962-209-944-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Forbes E. (1850). "On the species of Mollusca collected during the Surveying Voyages of the Herald and Pandora, by Capt. Kellett, R.N., C.B. and Lieut. Wood, R.N.". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 18: 270-274. plate IX, figure 10.

Further reading

Military offices
Preceded by
Horatio Austin
Admiral Superintendent, Malta Dockyard
Succeeded by
Edward Fanshawe
Preceded by
Sir Henry Keppel
Commander-in-Chief, China Station
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Shadwell