Murchison, correspondence

Scope and Content

  • MS 248/224;D Letter to Sophia Cracroft, February 1857 [Regarding search for Sir John Franklin] holograph
  • MS 248/221/1-4;D Letters (4) to Jane, Lady Franklin, 3 November 1852 to 9 April 1857 [Regarding second voyage of Prince Albert and fossils, Augustus Petermann's plan for Franklin search by Spitsbergen, John Rae and discoveries of Franklin's fate, need to search great Fish river, Admiralty and final search expedition] 5 leaves, holograph
  • MS 248/222;D Letter to Sir John Franklin, 12 February 1842 [Request for geological specimens from Van Dieman's Land] holograph
  • MS 116/51;D Letter to William Penny, 22 February 1853 [Regarding Mr Longmuir and vacant chair at Aberdeen] holograph

Administrative / Biographical History

The correspondence covers general matters with reference to the search for the British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1845-1848 (leader Sir John Franklin). 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 is arranged alphabetically by recipient


SEE ALSO GB 15 Sir John Franklin:

  • MS 248/225/1-3;D Letters (3) to Roderick Impey Murchison, 6 November 1825 to 19 November 1842 [Regarding progress of British Naval Exploring Expedition, 1825-1827, Corfu geology and politics] 3 leaves, holograph

Related Material

The Institute holds archival collections for William Penny, Jane Franklin and Sophia Cracroft