Franklin, Sir John

Franklin, Sir John

▪ English explorer
born April 16, 1786, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, Eng.
died June 11, 1847, near King William Island, British Arctic Islands [now in Nunavut territory, Can.]
 English rear admiral and explorer who led an ill-fated expedition (1845) in search of the Northwest Passage, a Canadian Arctic waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

      Franklin entered the Royal Navy at the age of 14, accompanied Matthew Flinders (Flinders, Matthew) on his exploratory voyage to Australia (1801–03), and served in the battles of Trafalgar (1805) and New Orleans (1814). He commanded the Trent on Captain David Buchan's Arctic expedition of 1818, which sought to reach the North Pole.

      From 1819 to 1822 Franklin conducted an overland expedition from the western shore of Hudson Bay to the Arctic Ocean, and he surveyed part of the coast to the east of the Coppermine River in northwestern Canada. After his return to England he published Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the Years 1819, 20, 21 and 22 (1823).

      On a second overland expedition to the same region (1825–27), Franklin led a party that explored the North American coast westward from the mouth of the Mackenzie River, in northwestern Canada, to Point Beechey, now in Alaska. A second party followed the coast eastward from the Mackenzie to the Coppermine. These efforts, which added new knowledge of about 1,200 miles (1,932 km) of the northwest rim of the North American coastline, were described in Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the Years 1825, 1826, and 1827 (1828). Knighted in 1829, Franklin served as governor of Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania, from 1836 to 1843.

      Franklin's search for the Northwest Passage began on May 19, 1845, when he sailed from England with two ships, the Erebus and the Terror, carrying 128 officers and men. The vessels were last sighted by British whalers north of Baffin Island at the entrance to Lancaster Sound in late July. In 1847, when no word had been received, search parties were sent out. For 12 years, various expeditions sought the explorers, but their fate was unknown until 1859, when a final search mission, sent in 1857 by Franklin's second wife, Lady Jane Franklin, and headed by Captain Francis Leopold McClintock (McClintock, Sir Francis Leopold), reached King William Island, south and west of Lancaster Sound. Found were skeletons of the vessels' crews and a written account of the expedition through April 25, 1848.

      Having ascended the Wellington Channel, in the Queen Elizabeth Islands, to 77° N, the Erebus and the Terror wintered at Beechey Island (1845–46). Returning southward along the western side of Cornwallis Island, they passed through Peel Sound and Franklin Strait. In September 1846 they became trapped in the ice in Victoria Strait, off King William Island (about midway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans). By April 1848, Franklin and 23 others had perished there. The ships, still gripped by ice, were deserted on April 22, 1848, and the 105 survivors tried to head south across the North American mainland to the Back River, apparently resorting to cannibalism along the way. An old Eskimo woman told McClintock of how the starving men fell down and died as they walked. Franklin himself never proved the existence of the Northwest Passage, but a small party from his expedition may have reached Simpson Strait, which connected with the western coastal waters previously visited by Franklin. Postmortems conducted on the preserved bodies of several crew members suggest that lead poisoning from eating faultily tinned food may have contributed to the mental and physical decline of the expedition.

Additional Reading
Franklin's life and achievements are portrayed in Richard J. Cyriax, Sir John Franklin's Last Arctic Expedition (1939); Paul Nanton, Arctic Breakthrough: Franklin's Expeditions, 1819–1847 (1970, reissued 1981); Leslie H. Neatby, The Search for Franklin (1970); and Roderic Owen, The Fate of Franklin (1978). More recent revisionist theories of the expedition's fate are reported in Owen Beattie and John Geiger, Frozen in Time (1987), detailing the forensic study of the exhumed bodies of three expedition sailors; and David C. Woodman, Unravelling the Franklin Mystery: Inuit Testimony (1991).

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Franklin,Sir John — Franklin, Sir John. 1786 1847. British explorer who led a search for the Northwest Passage (1845 1847) on which he and his 129 man crew perished. A record of the expedition s discovery of the passage was found in 1857. * * * …   Universalium

  • Franklin, Sir John — (1786 1847)    Served at Trafalgar, in the Bellerophon. Headed overland expedition of 1819 1822, from York Factory by way of Great Slave Lake, to the mouth of the Coppermine, and the Arctic coast; and second expedition, 1825 1827, in which he… …   The makers of Canada

  • FRANKLIN, Sir John (1786-1847) — fifth governor of Tasmania and arctic explorer was born at Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England, on 15 April 1786. He was the fifth son of Willingham Franklin, was educated at the grammar school at Louth, in the autumn of 1800 became a first class… …   Dictionary of Australian Biography

  • FRANKLIN, SIR JOHN —    a famous Arctic explorer, born at Spilsby, Lincolnshire; entered the navy in 1800; was a midshipman; was present at the battle of Copenhagen; shortly afterwards accompanied an expedition, under Captain Minders, to explore and survey the coasts …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Sir John Franklin High School — Infobox Education in Canada name= École Sir John Franklin High School streetaddress= 4701 52nd Avenue city= Yellowknife province= Northwest Territories postalcode= X1A 2N8 url= schoolboard= Yellowknife Education District …   Wikipedia

  • Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, 1st Baronet — Infobox Prime Minister name =Sir John Eardley Wilmot, 1st Baronet birth date =birth date|1783|2|21|mf=y birth place =London, England, United Kingdom death date =death date and age|1847|2|3|1783|2|21|mf=y death place =Hobart, Van Diemen s Land… …   Wikipedia

  • Sir John Randall — John Randall (physicien) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Randall. Sir John Randall Naissance 23 mars 1905 Newton le Willows, St Helens, Lancashire (Royaume Uni) Décès 16 juin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet — Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet, FRS , FRGS , LL.D (June 19, 1764 ndash; November 23, 1848) was an English statesman.He was born in the hamlet of Dragley Beck in the parish of Ulverston in Lancashire. He started in life as superintending clerk of an …   Wikipedia

  • Sir John Gielgud — John Gielgud Demande de traduction John Gielgud → …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sir John Franklin Junior High School (Calgary) — Sir John Franklin Junior High is an art centered learning school located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Its current principle is Mr. Todd Cave. SJF s current athletic team is the Firebirds …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”