Shellabear, British Naval Franklin Search Expedition, 1852-1854

Scope and Content

  • MS 711;BJ Journal, 7 March 1852 to August 1854 [HMS North Star] 1 volume holograph (Xerox)
  • MS 1238/1/1-10;D Official correspondence, 1852-1853 [HMS North Star] 36 leaves, holograph (Xerox)

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 Naval Franklin Search Expedition, 1852-1854 (leader William Pullen) HMS North Star was the store ship for the British Naval Franklin Search Expedition, 1852-1854 (leader Sir Edward Belcher). North Star spent two winters at Beechey Island and was the only ship of the five in Belcher's search expedition to return to England in 1854, the other four being abandoned on Belcher's orders when beset in the ice.



Related Material

The Institute holds several archival collections containing material relating to this expedition see SPRI collections GB 015 John Cheyne, GB 015 Sir George Back, GB 015 William Harvey GB 015 Robert McCormack, GB 015 Thomas Pullen, GB 015 William Pullen, GB 015 Robert Charles Scott, GB 015 William Elliott, GB 015 Israel Holmes and GB 015 William Snow.