Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Franklin Sir John

Franklin, Sir John, naval officer and Arctic explorer, was born in 1786 at Spilsby, Lincolnshire, entered the navy in 1800, served in the Polyphemus, 64, at Copenhagen, and accompanied Flinders in the Investigator to Australia. Returning home in the Earl Camden, he was present at Dance's famous action, and in 1805 he fought in the Bellerophon at Trafalgar. He was made a lieutenant in 1808, and served during the rest of the war in the Low Countries and America. His first voyage of discovery was made in 1818, when, in command of the Trent, he accompanied Buchan's expedition towards Spitzbergen. In 1819 he was given command of a perilous overland expedition from Hudson's Bay towards the mouth of the Coppermine river, and travelled 5,550 miles, not returning to England until 1822. In his absence he had been made commander in 1821, and upon getting home he was made captain. He published an account of his adventures in a Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea. In 1825 he was despatched to co-operate with Beechey and Parry in the search for a north-west passage. This voyage provided material for his Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea. On his return he received many honours and rewards, and was in 1829 knighted. From 1830 to 1834 he commanded the Rainbow, 28, in the Mediterranean, and he was subsequently Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land. In 1845 he was despatched in the Erebus, with the Terror in company, on a renewed search for the north-west passage through Lancaster Sound and Behring Strait. After July of that year the expedition disappeared from civilised ken. In three years England became very anxious, concerning it, and thenceforward for many years search expeditions, both public and private, were sent out, These expeditions discovered many interesting facts, but learnt little of the fate of Franklin, until in 1857-60 Captain (afterwards Sir) Leopold M'Clintock, in the yacht Fox, ascertained conclusively that Franklin had died, that the vessels had afterwards been abandoned in ice near King William Sound, and that all the officers and crew had perished in their endeavours to reach the Great Fish river. Franklin's death occurred on June 11, 1847; but, owing to the doubts and hopes concerning him, his name was not removed from the Navy List until after 1852, when it appeared as that of a rear-admiral. Sir John had married in 1823 Miss Eleanor Anne Porden, and, a second time, in 1828 Miss Jane Griffin. The latter lady, a most devoted wife, spared neither expense nor exertions to discover tidings of her distinguished husband; and the Fox, which finally cleared up the sad mystery, was but one of several vessels that went out at her cost. Lady Franklin died in 1875 at the age of 75. It should be added that the later researches of Hall (1871-73) and Schwatka (1880) have borne out the information which was obtained by M'Clintock, and that these, as well as other travellers, have succeeded in securing many pathetic relics of the lost expedition.