Penny, correspondence

Scope and Content

  • MS 248/454/1;D Letter to the Admiralty, 26 January 1850 [Proposal for Franklin search expedition] holograph
  • MS 116/63/1-22;D Letters (22) to Admiralty, 18 February 1850 to 14 May 1853 [Regarding vessels, search for Sir John Franklin, mention of Hogarth, Austin, Goodsir, Sutherland and Stewart etc] 22 leaves, holograph and copies
  • MS 116/63/23-24;D Letters (2) (drafts) to the Accountant General of the Navy, 25 and 27 September 1851 [Sending list of crews ready for paying off] 2 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/25;D Letter to [Robert] Anderson, undated [Offering to buy shares] holograph
  • MS 116/63/26-28;D Letters (3 copies) to Horatio Austin, 10 March to 4 August 1851 [Regarding search for Sir John Franklin] 3 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/29;D Letter to Sir Francis Baring, 13 December 1851 [Regarding Sherard Osborn] holograph
  • MS 116/63/30-45;D Letters (16) (drafts and copies) to John Barrow, 8 March 1850 to 29 January 1855 [Various topics] 16 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/46-52;D Letters (7) (drafts and copies) to Sir Francis Beaufort, 13 October 1840 to 18 March 1850 [Regarding vessels] 7 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/53;D Letter to Bell, undated [Letter of introduction] holograph
  • MS 116/63/54;D Letter to Brown, 18 June 1854 [Written during a whaling voyage] holograph
  • MS 116/63/55;D Letter to Browne, undated [Regarding George Duncan] holograph
  • MS 248/454/2;D Letter to Sophia Cracroft, 8 October 1856 [Regarding reports on fate of Franklin expedition] 3 leaves, holograph
  • MS 248/454/3-14;D Letters (12) to Jane, Lady Franklin, 22 December 1849 to 8 December 1856 [Regarding search for Sir John Franklin] 13 leaves, holograph and copies
  • MS 116/63/56-87;D Letters (32) to Jane, Lady Franklin, 6 March 1849 to 19 February 1855 [Regarding search for Sir John Franklin] 33 leaves, holograph, copies and drafts
  • MS 116/63/88;D Letter to Robert Goodsir, undated [Regarding search for Sir John Franklin] holograph
  • MS 116/63/89-100;D Letters (12) (drafts and copies) to W A B Hamilton, 23 March 1850 to 24 November 1852 [Regarding grant of land, the Lady Franklin, unemployment] 12 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/101;D Letter to William Hogarth, 9 April 1850 [Regarding Smith's Sound] holograph
  • MS 116/63/102;D Letter (copy) to John Hume, undated [Regarding search for Sir John Franklin] holograph
  • MS 116/63/103-106;D Letters (4) to Peter La Trobe, 30 July 1853 & undated [Regarding Moravian missionary] 4 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/107;D Letter (draft) to Loss, undated [Regarding command of Lady Franklin and Sophia] holograph
  • MS 116/63/108-110;D Letters (3 drafts and copies) to the Duke of Northumberland, 25 October 1852 & undated [Regarding search for Sir John Franklin] 3 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/111-112;D Letters (2) to Sherard Osborn, 6 August 1851 & undated [Regarding merchant navy] 3 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/113;D Letter to John Parker, 19 January 1850 [Acknowledgement of 50.00 from Admiralty] holograph
  • MS 116/63/114-116;D Letters (3) to Margaret Penny (wife), 4 February 1843 to 13 April 1857 [Regarding Horatio Austin] 3 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/117-118;D Letters (2) to his children, 28 January 1846 and 4 August 1849 [General news] 2 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/128-129;D Letters (2) to Charlotte and Jane Penny (sisters), 29 June 1855 [Invitation to dine] 2 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/130;D Letter (draft) to a solicitor, 18 May 1853 [Regarding G L Brown] holograph
  • MS 116/63/120-121;D Letters (2) to Lord John Russell, 6 and 18 June 1855 [Regarding land on west side of Davis Strait] 2 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/122;D Letter (draft) to Mrs Stewart, undated [Praising her son] holograph
  • MS 116/63/123-124;D Letters (2) (draft) to [W D] Taylor, undated [Answers to letters] 2 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/125;D Letter (draft) to Dr Templeton, undated [Regarding requests for testimonial, Sherard Osborn and Royal Geographical Society] holograph
  • MS 116/63/126;D Letter (draft) to Thomas Ward, 19 September 1851 [Regarding his voyage] holograph
  • MS 116/63/119;D Letter to the President of the Board of Trade, undated [Asking for George Brown to command the Sophia on a whaling voyage] holograph
  • MS 116/63/127;D Letter (draft) to Captain Washington, undated [Regarding business in London] holograph
  • MS 116/63/131-132;D Letters (2) to unknown persons, 7 July 1853 and 20 January 1855 [Regarding Arctic Co] 2 leaves, holograph
  • MS 116/63/133;D Letter to the owners of the St Andrew, 1848 [Regarding his termination of employment with them] holograph
  • MS 116/63/134;D Letter to gentleman, undated [Regarding their fleet] holograph
  • MS 116/63/135-137;D Letters (3 drafts) to a scientific body, undated [Regarding the search for Sir John Franklin] 9 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 correspondence covers the search for Franklin, including the 1850-1851 expedition led by Penny, whaling matters, mention of Arctic exploration and explorers and personal news


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient

Related Material

The Institute holds several archival collections which containing material relating to whaling and sealing in both the Arctic and Antarctic waters.

The Institute holds several archival collections containing material relating tot he search for the missing Northwest Passage Expedition of Sir John Franklin, including extensive collections for Franklin's wife Jane