Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sir John Franklin

It was reported in July that a ship lost while searching for missing explorer Sir John Franklin in the Arctic over 150 years ago had been found by Canadian archaeologists. The HMS Investigator, sent by London in 1850 to try to locate Franklin and his crew, was located in 11 metres of water at Banks Island, in the west of the Arctic archipelago.

Franklin and his entire crew were lost after setting sail for Northern Canada in 1845 during a fruitless attempt to find the Northwest Passage, a trade route between the Atlantic and Pacific through the Arctic Ocean. As an aside, a series of eight sketches of the voyage of HMS Investigator, reviewed in The Observer, appeared in 1854.

(Observer, August 13 1854)

The most recent news about Franklin is that a box containing documents linked to his doomed expedition has just been dug up in Gjoa Haven in the Canadian Northwest Territories. The exact contents of the unopened, sand-filled container will not be known for about three weeks. However, the view from Russell Potter's informative and reliable Visions of the North blog is that it will most likely contain records of Roald Amundsen, who was known to have left several caches in the area.

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