Eleanor Anne Porden collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Eleanor regarding her husband the Arctic explorer John Franklin

Administrative / Biographical History

Eleanor Anne Franklin (nee Porden) was born ca. 1795 in London, youngest daughter of the eminent architect William Porden. Interested in science and the arts from an early age, she published her first poem The veils, or the triumph of constancy, a poem in 6 books in 1815, which led to her election as a member of the Institute of Paris. She first became acquainted with the Arctic explorer John Franklin in 1818 when she visited his ship HMS Trent before his departure on the British Naval North Polar Expedition (leader David Buchan), and she published a short poem The Arctic expeditions later in the same year. In 1822, she published a more ambitious work Coeur de Lion, an epic poem in 16 cantos, which established her reputation as a British Romantic poet. After resuming her friendship with Franklin on his return from the British Naval Exploring Expedition [first Arctic Land expedition], 1819-1822, they married on 19 August 1823. She gave birth to their daughter, Eleanor Isabella, in June 1824, and she died of tuberculosis on 22 February 1825, shortly after her husband had left England on the British Naval Exploring Expedition [second Arctic Land expedition], 1825-1827.


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Arctic, exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland, Garland Publishing, London (1994) and Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills, San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and Dictionary of National Biography volume 20, Smith, Elder & Co. London (1889) and John Franklin's bride. Eleanor Anne Porden by E M Gell (Hon.), John Murray London (1930) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Franklin, E.] and John Franklin traveller on undiscovered seas by John Wilson, XYZ Publishing Montreal (2001) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Franklin, John] and Deadly winter the life of Sir John Franklin by Martyn Beardsley, Chatham Publishing London (2002) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Franklin, John]

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible