Earl of Auckland collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by George Eden with Jane, Lady Franklin regarding the British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1845-1848 (leader Sir John Franklin)

Administrative / Biographical History

George Eden was born in 1784 near Beckenham in Kent, the second son of William Eden, first Baron Auckland. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, graduating with an MA in 1808, and was admitted to the bar in 1809. On the death of his elder brother, the MP for Woodstock, in 1810, he took his brother's seat in the House of Commons and was re-elected for Woodstock in 1813. In 1814, he succeeded his father as second Baron Auckland, taking a seat in the House of Lords as a supporter of the Whig Party. In 1830, Eden was appointed president of the Board of Trade and Master of the Mint. He served briefly as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1834 until 1835 when he was appointed Governor-General of India. An excellent administrator, he introduced reforms in education and initiated famine relief in India but his desire to expand British trade and influence in central Asia led to a disastrous military campaign in Afghanistan.

In 1839, Eden was created Lord Eden of Norwood, Surrey, and first Earl of Auckland. Recalled to England, he was replaced in office by Lord Ellenborough in 1842. In 1846, he was again appointed Lord of the Admiralty, holding this office until his death on 1 January 1849 near Alresford, Hampshire.


The correspondence with Lady Franklin is arranged chronologically

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 16, Smith, Elder & Co. London (1888) and Wikipedia

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