South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

  • John Paxton
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


HISTORY. South Georgia was probably first sighted by a London merchant, Antonio de la Roche, and then in 1756 by a Spanish Captain, Gregorie Jerez. The first landing and exploration was undertaken by Captain James Cook, who formally took possession in the name of George III on 17 Jan. 1775. British sealers arrived in 1788 and American sealers in 1791. Sealing reached its peak in 1800. A German team was the first to carry out scientific studies there in 1882–83. Whaling began in 1904 when the Compania Argentina de Pesca formed by C. A. Larsen, a Norwegian, established a station at Grytviken. Six other stations were established up to 1912. Whaling ceased in 1966 and the civil administration was withdrawn. Argentine forces invaded South Georgia on 3 April 1982. A British naval task force recovered the Island on 25 April 1982.

Book of reference

  1. Headland, R. K., The Island of South Georgia. CUP, 1985Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Paxton

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