Dyer, correspondence

Scope and Content

  • MS 1226/11;D Letter to Sir James Clark Ross, 8 May 1848 [Regarding John Peddie, acting surgeon in HMS Terror] holograph

Administrative / Biographical History

The correspondence relates to a member of HMS Terror during the British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1845-1848 (leader Sir John Franklin). This expedition was to search for a Northwest Passage in the unexplored region southwest of Barrow Strait. Sailing from London in May 1845 HMS Erebus (Franklin) and HMS Terror (Crozier) were last seen heading for Lancaster Sound by two whalers in northern Baffin Bay in late July 1845. During the course of many search expeditions the main facts regarding the route taken and final fate of the expedition were established. The two vessels had become beset north of King William Island, where they spent two winters between September 1846 and April 1848. Franklin died on 11 June 1847 and the command devolved on Francis Crozier. Abandoning the two vessels on 22 April 1848, 105 survivors led by Crozier set out toward Back River. All perished during the journey.

James Clark Ross led the British Naval Franklin Search Expedition, 1848-1849 sent 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.



Related Material

The Institute holds several archival collections containing material relating to the British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition and the subsequent expeditions sent to determine the fate of Franklin and his men