Charles Beautemps-Beaupr collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Beautemps-Beaupr with Jane, Lady Franklin regarding the publication of The voyage of the Prince Albert, British Franklin Search Expedition, 1851-1852 (leader William Kennedy)

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Franois Beautemps-Beaupr was born on 6 August 1766 at Neuville-au-Pont in France. He studied under his relative, the geographer Nicolas Buache, and at the age of nineteen, was entrusted with the work of drawing the charts of the 'Neptune' by the Minister of Marine, the Compte de Fleurieu. In 1791, he was appointed Hydrographer to the French Naval Expedition, 1791-1796 (leader Antoine-Raymond-Joseph Bruni d'Entrecasteaux), sent by the French government to search for the missing French Northwest Passage expedition, 1785-1788 (leader Jean-Franois Galaup, Compte de la Prouse). During the voyage, he conducted Hydrographic surveys and astronomical and geometrical observations, publishing the atlas of the expedition in 1807.

Returning to France in 1796, Beautemps-Beaupr was appointed chief engineer to the Hydrographic Office, where he was employed in the compilation and correction of charts and was instructed by Napoleon to conduct surveys of the French coast, the North Sea, and the Adriatic and other coasts. Between 1816 and 1833, he worked on his atlas Le Pilote Franais, a major work published in six volumes. He died in 1854.


The correspondence with Jane, Lady Franklin is arranged chronologically

Access Information

By appointment.

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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 'M Beautemps-Beaupr' by L S Dawson in Memoirs of Hydrography Part I Cornmarket Press, London (1969) SPRI Library Shelf 92(08)[pub.1969] and D'Entrecasteaux an account of his life, his expedition and his officers by G H Hogg, Royal Society of Tasmania, Papers and Proceedings 1937 [pub.1938] SPRI Library Shelf Pam 92[D'Entrecasteaux, A R J de B] and 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

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.

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Further accessions possible