- MS 631;D Letter (draft) to the Secretary of the Admiralty, 1 December 1849 [Regarding opinion of fate of Franklin Expedition, and suggestions for search parties] 4 leaves, autograph
- MS 248/346;D Letter to Jane, Lady Franklin, 19 November 1849 [Regarding return of James Clark Ross from search for Sir John Franklin] holograph
- MS 248/347;D Letter to Sir John Franklin, 24 September 1831 [Regarding publication of the narrative of the British Naval North Polar Expedition, 1818, possibility of an expedition to search for Ross and survey of the North American coast] holograph
- MS 1226/5;D Letter to Sir James Clark Ross, 8 November  [Regarding Ross's return from his Franklin search expedition, speculation on fate of the expedition] 4 leaves, holograph
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 Frederick William Beechey/Correspondence
- Dates of Creation1831-1849
- Name of Creator
- Physical Description4 letters
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The correspondence covers the publication of the narrative of the British Naval North Polar Expedition, 1818 (leader David Buchan). This expedition sailed from London to the waters of Svalbard. The Admiralty wished to explore the possibilities of a route from Svalbard via the North Pole to the Bering Strait and Pacific Ocean. Buchan commanded HMS Dorothea while John Franklin sailed on HMS Trent. The ships were beset at 80°34'. This expedition was to be the last sent by the Royal Navy that attempted to sail across the Pole.
Further correspondence deals with the British Naval Franklin Search Expedition, 1848-1849 (leader Sir James Clark Ross). 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. These search expeditions were mounted by the Admiralty and private individuals including Sir John's wife Jane, Lady Franklin. The British Naval Franklin Search Expedition, 1848-1849 (leader Sir James Clark Ross) was despatched to search along the shores around Lancaster Sound towards Barrow Strait and Wellington Channel and Prince Regent Inlet. During the expedition Ross carried out a survey of the Whalefish Islands. Ice prevented the two vessels HMS Enterprise and HMS Investigator (Edward Bird) from progressing past Lancaster Sound. Sledge parties carried out surveying and depot laying work during the spring. The expedition found no trace of Franklin.