Arctic explorer. Born in Inch (Dumfries and Galloway). He joined the navy at a young age, and served in the Napoleonic wars. In 1818 and in 1829, he led Arctic expeditions in search of the North-West Passage. On the former expedition he was accompanied by his nephew, Sir James Clark Ross (1800-62), who became a noted Antarctic explorer. The latter expedition, funded by distiller Sir Felix Booth, was notable for the discovery of the Boothia Peninsula, the Gulf of Boothia and King William Island.
Ross lived at North West Castle in Stranraer, but is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery (London).