Rennie, correspondence

Scope and Content

  • MS 248/461/1-2;D Letters (2) to Jane, Lady Franklin, 25 and 31 March 1857 [Regarding the search for Sir John Franklin] 2 leaves, holograph

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1845 Sir John Franklin sailed north in command of the British Naval Northwest Passage 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.

The British Franklin Search Expedition, 1857-1859 (leader Francis Leopold McClintock) was funded by Jane, Lady Franklin and public subscription. This was the fifth such private expedition Lady Franklin mounted in her attempts to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1845-1848. Sailing from Aberdeen in Fox McClintock's brief was to search for survivors, confirm that Franklin had discovered the Northwest Passage and bring home written records from the expedition. The expedition over wintered in Brentford Bay and sledge parties set out to explore Prince William Island in the spring. William Hobson's party uncovered the only written records of the missing expedition ever found, providing the information on Franklin's death in 1847, the abandonment of the ships in 1848 and the direction in which the survivors had taken.



Related Material

The Institute holds several archival collections containing material relating to the search for Sir John Franklin