Lowther Island

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Lowther Island
Location Northern Canada
Coordinates 74°33′N 097°30′W / 74.550°N 97.500°W / 74.550; -97.500 (Lowther Island)
Archipelago Queen Elizabeth Islands
Canadian Arctic Archipelago
Area 145 km2 (56 sq mi)
Territory Nunavut
Population Uninhabited

Lowther Island lies within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of northern Canada's territory of Nunavut. It is one of the mid-channel islands in the western sector of Barrow Strait.[1] Bathurst Island and Cornwallis Island are to the north, while Prince of Wales Island is to the south.[2] The island is clustered within a group of uninhabited islands. It is 15.5 mi (24.9 km) northeast of Young Island, separated by the Kettle Passage, a shipping route, and 13 mi (21 km) southeast of Garrett Island, separated by Hayes Channel.

Lowther Island is 17 mi (27 km) long, 2–6 mi (3.2–9.7 km) wide,[3] and 145 km2 (56 sq mi). It is rimmed by raised beaches, the highest being at 106.5 m (349 ft). above sea level. Gourdeau Point is on the island's south side, and Lowther Shoal is to the south/southeast.[4]


The first European to sight the island was William Edward Parry in 1819.[5] It is named after a relative of Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale (who visited Lowther Island himself), that worked for the Hudson's Bay Company.[6]

In August 1852, ÉMile-Frédéric de Bray, searching for Sir John Franklin, spent a week at Lowther Island and close-by Griffith Island.[7] The island was also visited by Francis Leopold McClintock as part of Capt. Henry Kellett's 1852 to 1854 expedition.[8]


  1. ^ Bourne, Charles B. (1963). "Canadian Yearbook of International Law". Vancouver: Publication Centre, University of British Columbia: 101. ISBN 978-0-7748-0127-0. OCLC 2442067. 
  2. ^ Pharand, Donat; Legault, L.H. (1984). The Northwest Passage: Arctic Straits. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 7. ISBN 90-247-2979-3. 
  3. ^ "Lowther Island". The Columbia Gazetteer of North America. 2000. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  4. ^ Crawford, G.; Padman, L. (February 1997). "Physical Oceanographic Observations from the Resolute 1995 Ice Camp, Barrow Strait" (pdf). Oregon State University. pp. 39–40. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  5. ^ Parry, William Edward (1821). Journal of a voyage for the discovery of a North-West passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific: performed in the years 1819-20. London: John Murray. 
  6. ^ Birkenhead, Frederick E. (1977). Contemporary Personalities. Ayer Publishing. p. 229. ISBN 0-8369-0061-8. 
  7. ^ Bray, E. F. D.; Barr, W. (1992). A Frenchman in search of Franklin: de Bray's Arctic journal, 1852-1854. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 48–50. ISBN 0-8020-2813-6. 
  8. ^ Mowat, Farley (1973). Ordeal by ice; the search for the Northwest Passage (The Fate of Franklin). Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd. p. 288. OCLC 1391959. 

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