Carsten Egeberg Borchgrevink was born in Oslo, Norway, on December 1, 1864, the son of a Norwegian father and an English mother. He enrolled as a student at the Royal Forestry School in Saxony in 1885 and at the age of twenty-four emigrated to Australia. Initially, he worked on government survey teams in Queensland and New South Wales before becoming a teacher of languages and natural science in New South Wales.
In 1894 Borchgrevink volunteered as seaman, seal-shooter and naturalist for the Norwegian Sealing and Whaling Exploration, 1893-1895 (leader Henrik Johan Bull), organised to investigate Antarctic whaling possibilities. The expedition ship Antarctic managed to penetrate the ice of the Ross Sea and Borchgrevink was a member of the party that landed at Possession Island and Cape Adare in January 1895.
This experience led Borchgrevink to visit England to raise funds to lead an Antarctic expedition of his own, the British Antarctic Expedition, 1898-1900. The expedition ship Southern Cross sailed from Hobart in December 1898 and after a successful landing at Cape Adare in February 1899, two huts were erected where ten men wintered, the first party to do so on Antarctica. Borchgrevink left Cape Adare onboard Southern Cross in February 1900, called at Possession Islands, Cape Crozier and coasted along the Ross Barrier. At a place in the Barrier that approximates to the Bay of Whales, a sledging party reached a farthest south of 78.83° in February 1900.
After his return to England, Borchgrevink did not receive the acclaim that he considered his due and had to wait more than a quarter of a century before receiving the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1930. He returned to Norway with his English wife and continued to interest himself in scientific pursuits. He died in comparative poverty on 21 April 1934.
From the guide to the Carsten Egeberg Borchgrevink collection, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)