Jane Franklin correspondence

Scope and Content

  • MS 248/104;BJ Letter book, 28 November 1849 to 25 January 1850 [Letters copied by Sophia Cracroft] 1 volume
  • MS 248/106;BJ Letter book, 17 January to 27 March 1851 [Mainly regarding the Prince Albert] 1 volume
  • MS 248/107;BJ Letter book, copies of letters written and received, March to May 1851 [Mainly of British Franklin Search Expedition, 1851-1852 (leader William Kennedy)] 1 volume, holograph
  • MS 248/110;BJ Letter book, 7 February to 3 April 1853 [Mainly regarding William Kennedy's abortive expedition] 1 volume
  • MS 248/113;BJ Letter book, 1855 to 1858 [Regarding discovery of the Northwest Passage] 1 volume
  • MS 248/114;BJ Letter book, 23 November 1856 to 10 January 1857 [Written and received, regarding final search expedition] copies, 1 volume holograph
  • MS 248/203;D Letter (copy) to John Barrow, 9 April [1851] [On report of five white men seen at De Robbin] holograph
  • MS 248/180;D Letter (draft) to Francis Baring, 3 March 1860 [Thanks for his speech in House of Commons advocating reward for Leopold McClintock and monument to Franklin] holograph
  • MS 248/181;D Letter (draft) to Joseph Ren Bellot, 6 November 1852 [Regarding narrative he is preparing] holograph
  • MS 489/2/1-32;D Letters (32) to Ronald Campbell Gunn, 1838-1845 [Written mainly in Tasmania] 32 leaves, photostat copy
  • MS 248/204;D Letter (copy) to de St Germain, 18 July 1858 [Reply to request to join Franklin search expedition]
  • MS 248/214;D Letter to Mrs M A Dunlop, 9 June 1851 [Thanks for carrier pigeon, reference to Stromness sailor] copy
  • MS 248/210;D Letter (copy) to the Empress of France, 12 March 1853 [Indirect appeal for help in search for Franklin]
  • MS 248/172/1-72;D Letters (72) to John Franklin, 18 October 1829 to 15 June 1839 [Including mention of Charles Babbage, John Hershell, Francis Beaufort, W H Fitton, hope that Franklin will return to exploration etc]
  • MS 962;MJ Letter (draft) to Mr Gladstone, 15 December 1869, microfilm
  • MS 1100/7;D Letter (copy) to Sir James Graham, 20 January 1854 [Her response to the Admiralty's withdrawal of Erebus and Terror from Navy list] 4 leaves, holograph (Xerox)
  • MS 248/212/1-10;D Letters (10) to the Admiralty, 1849 to 1857 [From first appeal to final expedition] 44 leaves, holograph and copies
  • MS 248/170/1-6;D Letters (6) to John Griffin, 26 October 1831 to 12 October 1841 [Written from Mediterranean, Van Diemen's Land] 6 leaves
  • MS 248/182/1-10;D Letters (10 copies) to Henry Grinnell, 19 April 1850 to 6 November 1869, 10 leaves, holograph
  • MS 248/183;D Letter (copy) to Mrs Henry Grinnell, 30 November 1869
  • MS 248/184;D Letters (2 copies) to Hogarth, 23 September to 24 September 1850 [References to expeditions of John Ross and William Penny in search for Franklin and clairvoyance] 2 leaves, holograph
  • MS 248/185/1-2;D Letters (2 copies) to Edward Augustus Inglefield, 8 December 1852 to [1856] [Regarding his appeal to Goldsmith's Co. at assist in Franklin search and gift of Resolute by USA to Britain]
  • MS 248/186;D Letter (draft) to Mrs Kane (mother of Elisha Kane), 14 November 1856 [On Elisha Kane's illness] holograph
  • MS 248/187;D Letter (copy) to William Kennedy, 20 February 1857 [Asking him to correct his statement that Peel Sound was closed by islands]
  • MS 248/171/1-5;D Letters (5) to Reverend H D and Mrs Leeves, 12 December 1832 to 20 August 1841 [Regarding King Otto, fear of revolution in England] holograph, 5 leaves
  • MS 248/188;D Letter to Leopold McClintock, 16 April 1857 [Regarding the purchase of Fox] copy
  • MS 341/2;D Letter (copy) to Mrs George McKinley, 19 April 1860, typescript
  • MS 248/189;D Letter to Rochfort Maguire, 14 March 1857 [Advice of Leopold McClintock, Richard Collinson and John Richardson on final Franklin search expedition]
  • MS 248/190;D Letter (copied extracts) to Fanny Majendie (sister), 28 May to 24 June 1832 [On her travels in the Mediterranean]
  • MS 248/191/1-7;D Letters (7, draft) to Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, 5 November 1852 to [1870] [References to William Kennedy, Bellot, William Penny, Sherard Osborn, Franklin search, Charles Hall] 7 leaves, holograph and copies
  • MS 248/192/1-3;D Letters (3) (drafts) to Joseph Napier, 6 to 16 February 1857 [Appeal to House of Commons regarding search for Sir John Franklin] 3 leaves, holograph
  • MS 248/193;D Letter (draft) to Robert Stirling Newall, 15 May 1857 [Letter of thanks regarding contribution to final Franklin search expedition] holograph
  • MS 248/194;D Letter (2 drafts) to Sherard Osborn, [January] 1856 [Regarding results of James Anderson's search for John Franklin] holograph
  • MS 1100/8;D Letter to [Lord Palmerston], 26 June 1855 [Appeal for official recognition of Sir John Franklin's priority in the discovery of the northwest passage] 4 leaves, holograph (Xerox)
  • MS 248/195;D Letter (copy) to [Viscount Palmerston] 8 March 1860 [Thanking him for tribute but asking that Franklin be acknowledged as discoverer of the Northwest passage]
  • MS 438/17;D Letter to Edward Parry, 21 October 1872, holograph
  • MS 248/196/1-7;D Letters (7) (copies) to William Penny, 23 November 1849 to [1858] [Regarding Franklin search] 7 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/24/1-6;D Letters (6) to William Penny, 1852 [Kennedy and Wellington Channel, Franklin searches] 6 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/24/7;D Letter to Mrs William Penny, 2 August 1850 [News of Penny] holograph
  • MS 248/179;D Letter (draft) to Charles G Phillips [1850] [Anxiety that James Ross Strait and mouth of the Great Fish Rier be included in the search] holograph
  • MS 248/197;D Letter to B Phipps, 21 April 1857 [Appeal for Prince Albert's support for final Franklin Search expedition] copy
  • MS 248/198;D Letter (copy) to John Rae, 3 May 1850 [Regarding his Arctic expedition and the projected Franklin search expedition under Charles Forsyth De Haven, Horatio Austin and William Penny]
  • MS 248/199/1-2;D Letters (2 draft) to Rennie, 27 March to 11 April 1857 [Regarding purchase of the Fox and rewards for whalers and other matters relating to the search for John Franklin] holograph
  • MS 248/200/1-2;D Letters (2 draft) to George Henry Richards, 17 March 1857 to [November 1869] [Plans for final search for Franklin, C F Hall's return from the Arctic in 1869] holograph
  • MS 248/175/1-23;D Letters (23) to James Clark Ross, 8 October 1840 to 25 May [1850] [Refers to Francis Crozier, John Franklin] 27 leaves, holograph
  • MS 815/1;D Letter to James Clark Ross, 28 February 1855, 2 leaves, holograph (Xerox)
  • MS 815/2;D Letter to Lady Ross, 3 November 1848 [Regarding Franklin search] 2 leaves, holograph (Xerox)
  • MS 248/213;D Letter (draft) to the Royal Society of Dublin, [April 1867] [Letter of thanks]
  • MS 248/211;D Letter to the Emperor of Russia, 6 January 1852 [Regarding Bedford Pim and search for Franklin] holograph
  • MS 1100/3/1-48;D Letters (48) to William Scoresby Jr, 1848 to 1856 [Regarding search for Franklin] 164 leaves, holograph
  • MS 248/174/1-23;D Letters (46) to Mary Simpkinson (sister), 1831 to 19 April 1849 [Regarding Mediterranean travels, administration, education and penal reform in Van Diemen's Land] holograph, copies, autograph
  • MS 489/1;D Letter (copied extract) to Mary Simpkinson, 30 July 1841 [Refers to Miss Hayter and Elizabeth Fry, description of visit to New Zealand] 10 leaves, photostat
  • MS 1039/2;D Letter to Captain Simpson, 9 November 1858 [Letter of thanks] 2 leaves, holograph (Xerox)
  • MS 1259/2/1-3;D Letters (3) to William Parker Snow, 7 March to [November] 1850 [Regarding search for Franklin] 7 leaves, holograph (photocopies)
  • MS 248/205;D Letter (copy) to Lady Alexander Stanley, 27 November 1866 [Asking permission to offer Queen Victoria a set of photographs of the Franklin statue in Waterloo Place] holograph
  • MS 248/206/1-6;D Correspondence (copies) with Tasmanian institutions, 1852 to 1853 [Regarding subscriptions for Franklin search expeditions] 6 leaves, in S Cracroft's hand
  • MS 935/1-2;D Letter and enclosure to Zachary Taylor President of the USA, 4 April 1849 [Appeal to the USA for assistance in the Franklin search] 9 leaves, holograph (Xerox)
  • MS 248/207;D Letter (copy) to the Times, 29 September [1869] [Stating that Charles Hall had brought no journals from King William Land] holograph
  • MS 248/208/1-2;D Letters (2) to the Press, 1860 [Regarding Sir John Franklin's title to discovery of the Northwest passage]
  • MS 248/178;D Letter to Turner (Solicitor), 31 May 1855 [Regarding John Rea and fate of Franklin] holograph
  • MS 248/209/1-2;D Letters (2) to the Government of the United States of America, 4 April and 24 May 1849 [Appeal for American help in Franklin search] 2 leaves, holograph
  • MS 248/176;D Letter to John Washington, 18 May 1857 [Regarding American ship at Gravesend]
  • MS 248/177;D Letter (draft) to James Whiteside, 8 May 1860 [Regarding reward for Leopold McClintock and that Franklin should be acknowledged as the discoverer of the Northwest passage] holograph
  • MS 248/226;D Letter (draft) to John Wrottesley (2nd baron), 6 June 1857 [Request to present Leopold McClintock at levee]
  • MS 248/219;D Letter (part) to unknown person, 1865 [Regarding death of Antonio Alcal Galiano] holograph

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1845 Sir John Franklin sailed north in command of this expedition. Sent by the Admiralty the two ships HMS Erebus (Franklin) and HMS Terror (Francis Crozier) were to search for a passage via Lancaster Sound. With provisions designed to last three years the expedition sailed north in May 1845. Whalers in Baffin Bay were the last Europeans to see the two ships in July of 1845.

Many searches were conducted for the missing expedition, during the course of which the main facts regarding the route taken and the final fate of the expedition were established.

Jane, Lady Franklin played a major role in the search expeditions, personally funding voyages to the Arctic. Much of the correspondence deals with the Franklin search


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient

Additional Information

Some of the letters are copies made by Sophia Cracroft niece and companion to Jane Franklin.