English polar explorer.
Born in Spilsby, Lincolnshire. His
ancestors were free landowners (franklin) who had lived on their own
land for many years, but Franklin's father, who had twelve children,
sold the estate and went into business. For
John, the youngest in the family, a church activity was planned, to
which he fiercely resisted, since he had dreamed of the sea since
father, hoping to cure his son of fantasies, sent him to Lisbon on a
merchant ship. However,
this led to the opposite result. John,
who had returned from sailing, became even more firmly established
in his maritime choice, and then his father secured for him the
place of a midshipman on the Polifem ship, on board of which
Franklin participated in the battle of Copenhagen in 1801. Two
months after that, he began serving on the vessel "Investigator",
which was sent to discover and explore the shores of Australia. During
this voyage, Franklin mastered many practical skills in the maritime
service, not only in sailors, but also in officers.
After returning from the full adventure of the voyage, Franklin
was appointed a signalman for the vessel Bellerophon, on board of
which he took part in the famous Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He
then served in the English Channel Flotilla, off the coast of
Portugal and Brazil, and participated in the disastrous attack on
New Orleans in 1814. Here
he showed such courage that he was prematurely promoted to
Soon after the conclusion of peace, the attention of the English
government turned to Arctic research in order to search for the
Northwest Passage. The
search for the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific along the
northern shores of North America was begun primarily by English
sailors in the early 17th century, but ended in failure even in the
Baffin Sea. The
initiator of the resumption of them after the 200-year hiatus was
the famous and influential secretary of the Admiralty J.
Barrow, who was distinguished by his ability to achieve his own
by any means. He
succeeded in obtaining equipment in 1818 for an expedition under the
command of John Ross on two ships. The
second expedition on the ships "Dorothea" and "Trent" under the
command of David Buchan was prescribed nothing less than the
achievement of the North Pole from Spitsbergen. In
the case of a free sea, the ships were to return through the Baffin
Sea and the Davis Strait. In
addition, the expedition also had scientific assignments:
determining the magnetic declination and studying the figure of the
Trent was commanded by Franklin, whose assistant was F.
Beachy, and the navigator was J.
of them subsequently gained immortal fame.
The ships of Buchan went between Greenland and Spitsbergen,
where, as is now well known, there is a powerful current that flows
from north to south, carrying a huge amount of ice.
At the end of May, the ships reached Spitsbergen and made an
unsuccessful attempt to pass to the north. Having
settled in the Gulf of Magdalene, they made another attempt and
again failed. The
third time they went north on July 6th. Soon
they were surrounded by heavy ice, the movements of which often put
the ships in critical position. Drawn by ice, they reached only 80° 34′N. From
the ice captivity escaped with significant damage, especially
suffered "Dorothea", which was no longer able to continue ice
asked to allow him to continue the expedition on the Trent, but
Buchan decided that both ships should return to England together.
The following 1819, two expeditions set off in search of the
Northwest Passage, commanded by young sailors on the sidelines of
the 1818 expeditions: W.
Parry and Franklin. Young
ambitious sailors managed to prove in the Admiralty that the
failures of last year were caused not only by objective, but also by
subjective reasons, namely, by insufficiently decisive guidance. Important
support was provided by the same Barrow. Parry’s
expedition was a sea expedition, while Franklin’s was a land
The party of Franklin, whose assistant became Buck again, sailed
from London at the end of May and three months later arrived at Fort
York - the main base of the Hudson Company on the banks of the
Hudson Bay. From
here to the starting point of their research, the mouth
of the Mednorudnaya River, lay a path 2 thousand km long. Moving
along the rivers, making foot crossings on ice and land, suffering
severely from hunger and cold, having suffered two winterings,
travelers only on July 18, 1821 saw the sea.After A.
Mackenzie and S.
Herna Franklin was the first European to reach the Arctic Ocean from
Finally managed to start something for which they suffered so
much deprivation. However,
it was only flowers.
On fragile canoes, the sailors moved along the coast to the east. Continued
sailing month until August 18, after which they were forced to turn
into the Strait
of Dis from the
point, which was called Cape Rotary. Winter
was approaching, deer and birds migrated south. By
canoe, we reached the mouth of the Huda River, climbed it, and went
across the mountain pass to the Mednorudnaya River. Food
stocks dried up, and famine began. They
ate ugly lichens. Discipline
weakened, people refused to go. By
September 26, they reached Mednorudnaya, but for a long time could
not cross, as the porters abandoned the canoe. After
the crossing, Franklin sent Buck with two people forward to Fort
Enterprise to bring
the Indians to the rescue. People
began to lag behind, and only five led by Franklin reached the Fort
Enterprise of more than 20 people.To their horror, there was neither
food nor Indians. They
found a note from Buck, from which they learned that he was heading
to the fort
of Providence, but he doubted what was coming. For
several days they lived in the Enterprise's enterprise, feeding on
deer skins, bones and lichens abandoned here at the beginning of the
march, suffering terribly, among other things, from ulcers on the
lips and larynx caused by eating burnt bone. Approached
the laggards. Dr. J.
Richardson and sailor
Hepburn who caught up with them told an eerie story related to the
Indian Michele who joined them. It
turned out that he shot two Canadian conductors and ate their meat,
then simulated an accident with a junior officer Hood. They
understood that the same fate awaited them. "We
could save a life only by sacrificing this person". Richardson
killed Michel with a pistol shot to the head. This
story has shocked everyone.
Salvation came unexpectedly. Brave
Buck still reached the fort of Providence and sent the Indians with
rest of the winter was spent in the fort Providence and in the more
southern fort on Losiny island. July
14, arrived at Fort York. Three
years have passed since they left there, during which the expedition
traveled a length of 5550 miles. The
results of this expedition turned out to be insignificant, not
corresponding to the suffering suffered. Affected
by the difficulty of movement in unknown areas, as well as the
natural unpreparedness of the beautiful sailor Franklin to the
organization of land expeditions.
At home, Franklin was met with great honors. In
1823 he was elected to the British Academy of Sciences.
The desire to continue the research did not leave Franklin and
his friend Parry, who returned home at about the same time. According
to Parry, the Admiralty adopted a new plan: it was proposed to
conduct research from three sides. Franklin
had to move again from the south, while Beachy from the west through
the Bering Strait, and Parry from the east through the Lancaster
three expeditions were to meet somewhere off the north coast of
North America, thereby solving the problem of the Northwest Passage.
On February 16, 1825, Franklin and his group, which included his
old comrades, Lieutenant Buck and Dr. Richardson, sailed from
Liverpool to New York. On
board reigned cheerful mood and complete faith in success. Franklin
planned to descend along the Mackenzie River to the mouth, where he
split into two parties: the western and the eastern. During
the preparation, special attention was paid to boats.
At the end of July, we reached the Great
Slave Lake, where Mackenzie flows out, and through it on August
7 reached the Big
Bear Lake. Wintering
was planned here.
Before the onset of winter, Franklin sent Richardson to inspect
the northern coast of the lake, he left Baka for preparatory work at
the base, and he went to the reconnaissance route to the ocean
it was another Franklin. He
clearly distributed all the duties, taking into account the
experience and mistakes of the previous expedition. The
beautiful sailor, Franklin, was also a great land traveler.
On August 14, the largest boat, the Lion, reached the coast,
where Franklin left Parry's message on one of the islands just in
case, reinforcing it on a high pole. On
September 5, they returned to the wintering place on Big Bear.
Having successfully overwintered, at the end of June 1826, the
Franklin group of 15 people headed north in two boats, the Lion and
the mouth of the Mackenzie went west towards Beechy. The
progress was extremely difficult because of the shallow water,
frequent fogs and ice, constantly pressing them to the shore.Summer
ended, and about a month later, Franklin, who remembered the lessons
of the last expedition, ordered to turn back, although the team was
ready to go on. To
the base on Big Bear reached a little over a month.
The eastern group was commanded by Dr. Richardson. His
sailing on the Dolphin and Union boats was much easier due to the
favorable ice conditions. Practically
in pure water they reached the mouth of the Mednorudnaya River and
further to the Coronation
Strait, opened by the previous expedition of
the north, they saw an island named after them in honor of the
famous naturalist Dr. Wallace. Subsequently,
it turned out that this is a peninsula of a large island, now called Victoria. Having
considered his task accomplished, Richardson turned back on August
an unfamiliar coast, he traveled a length of 900 miles — much more
than he crossed Franklin to the west.
After wintering on the Big Bear Lake, the travelers set off to
the south in February and six months later in August 1827 were in
Having made many geographical discoveries, the expeditions of
Parry, Beachy and Franklin did not solve the strategic task. The
Northwest Passage was not found.Admiralty remained unhappy. It
considered that even if the passage was found, it would not carry
the practical benefit due to the difficulties of navigation. State
For the next 17 years, Franklin retired from Arctic affairs. He
held various positions from command of a ship in the Mediterranean
to governorships in Tasmania and New Zealand.
By the beginning of the 1840s, many expeditions carried out,
moving both from the Bering Strait and from the Baffin Sea,
significantly improved the geographical knowledge of the Canadian
Arctic Archipelago, and although no one could go through it, it
seemed that to solve the North-West problem the passage needs to be
made only a small effort. This
opinion was shared by the overwhelming majority of polar explorers
and J. Barrow himself. Nevertheless,
the Admiralty still did not allocate money, and research was
conducted on private donations.
The resumption of public funding was triumphant swimming in
Ross on the ships
"Terror" and "Erebus" to Antarctica, the farthest to the south. The
ships stood the test perfectly, and this success inspired supporters
of the search for the Northwest Passage. The
penetrating power of Barrow, supported by such outstanding polar
explorers as Parry, James Ross, Franklin, Sabin,
did its job. The
Admiralty agreed to organize a grand-scale expedition on the
repaired Erebus and Terror, stating, however, that this would be the
last attempt. No
one then knew, and could not have known, that the attempt would not
only be not the last, but would entail the organization of numerous
new expeditions in the coming decades.
"Terror" and "Erebus"
No one had the slightest doubt about the full triumph of the
enterprise — they had to pick a long-ripe fruit. The
organization to which the Royal Geographical Society joined was
who wished to participate in the expedition and to share its success
were more than enough, which made it necessary to carry out the
selection.However, it later turned out that the sailors were
experienced, but there were not so many people familiar with the
Arctic conditions. Commodore
James Fitzgerald, who distinguished himself in many campaigns, was
not supposed to be familiar with the Arctic. And
here Franklin took the stage. The
main objection to him was a fairly respectable age, but the
authority of the old sailor played a decisive role. They
could not refuse him, but they failed to convince him. Lady
Franklin said: “he
will die of grief” if he does not go on this voyage.
In a society reigned complete euphoria and hats.
On May 19, 1845, the vessels left England, having 134 people on
board, among which, apart from the teams, were specialists from
various scientific fields. Somewhat
later, five sickness left the expedition on other ships. 129
people entered the Arctic - all of them were killed to the last. Their
fate in general became clear much later on the basis of the Eskimo
stories, the findings of numerous subsequent search expeditions. At
the time of sending the expedition no one imagined such an
unprecedented tragic outcome. The
officers were so confident of success that they left such points for
letters to their relatives as Petropavlovsk, Panama, the Sandwich
A month after the departure, the ships reached the Baffin
was full of optimism, they wrote letters that the transport vessel
accompanying them had to pick up.
On July 22, Franklin met with one of the captains of the whaling
ships that harbor Baffin in the sea. As
it was later reported, Franklin said that food was taken for 5
years; if desired, it could be stretched for 7 years. The
last time the ships of Franklin saw July 26, 1845.
A year has passed - there was no news. However,
it never occurred to anyone to worry. The
first signs of anxiety among the closest people appeared by the end
of 1846.When the third summer came, the anxiety became general, but
it seemed inconceivable that both ships with the whole crew were
other expeditions, not so brilliantly equipped, still returned. The
first to start the search began talking in 1846, the old
who offered his services, but his fears were considered premature.It
was only in 1847 that it was decided, in the absence of news, to
start a search next year. No
one knew where to look for Franklin in the vast expanses of the
Canadian Arctic Archipelago. There
were many opinions, each of which had the right to exist.
The first to go to the area of
the Somerset Island in
1848 was James Ross, followed by the expeditions of R. Hudsier
(1849) and Sounders (1849–1850) to the area of the
Richardson and J.
as well as V. Pelen (1849–1851) in the western part of the archipelago. None
of them traced the missing. Only
in 1850–1851. the
British expedition of G.
Ommanni and S.
Osborn, and the
American expedition of E.
De Haven found the
wintering grounds for Erebus and Terror in the southern part of the
Wellington Strait near Cape Riley and Beachy
In the seven years since Franklin’s departure, numerous search
expeditions have explored the northern coast of the Americas from
the Bering Strait to the mouth of the Mednorudnaya River, inspected
the islands of the central Canadian Arctic archipelago adjacent to
Straits, Barrow, Peel, Prince Regent. The
northern part of the archipelago turned out to be unvisited, as well
as the area adjacent to the
Butiya Peninsula, in which, as we now know, was the secret of
the Franklin expedition. Only
one man, Franklin’s wife, Lady Jane Franklin, was in charge of the
search there, but they did not take the intuition of a loving heart
into account and sent E.
Belcher’s squadron to the north,
losing two more years.
In 1853-1854 The
expedition of J. Rae discovered many things of the expedition of
Franklin in the Eskimos of the Boothy Peninsula. Finally
in 1857-1859. The
expedition of F.
the western coast of the Boothy Peninsula, King
William Island and
the mouth of
the Bolshaya Rybnaya River (Baka)
and discovered a large number of things from the Franklin
expedition, the corpses of people and a document explaining the fate
of the expedition. In
subsequent years, the expeditions of C.
Hall (1864–1869) and
(1878–1880) made a great contribution to the disclosure of the
details of this terrible tragedy.
Based on the totality of the available information, the
expedition scenario is as follows.
"Erebus" and "Terror" safely entered the
Lancaster Strait and
reached the Barrow
Strait, which was clogged with ice. Franklin
made an attempt to go to the
Wellington Strait, but after 150 miles the ice stopped the ships
again, and the expedition had to return.
The first winter of 1845–1846 the
ships conducted near the southern entrance to the
Wellington Strait. Traces
of a large camp, three graves and a huge number of discarded cans
were found here. This
led the researchers to speculate that rotten meat was in the jars. The
unforeseen loss of such a quantity of food subsequently affected the
fate of the expedition. Probably a lot could tell the autopsy
graves, but did not. No documents found. This incomprehensible
circumstance can be explained only by the fact that at that time
Franklin was still unconditionally confident in the success of the
expedition and did not consider it necessary to write about what he
could tell after returning.
Freed, the ships moved south
Peel Strait between
the islands of Somerset
and the Prince of Wales,
but in September 1846 they were again trapped by ice in the Victoria
Strait to the west of
King William Island.
From here they could not get out. From a note found in 1859 on King
William Island the search expedition
officer F. McClintock Hobson, it followed that at the time of May
24, 1847, the expedition was all right. In
the postscript, made on April 22, 1848, it is said that on June 11,
1847 the head of the expedition had died, and by that time 9
officers and 15 sailors had died. The
surviving sailors, under the command of Captain F.
R.M. Crozier, left the ships on April 22, 1848, and moved south
to the Great Fish River. They
walked, dying along the road. Their unburied
corpses found the
Eskimos and members of search expeditions. All the invaluable
documentation of the expedition, which the savages used for
kindling, fell into the hands of the Eskimos. Abandoned
"Terror" and "Erebus" for a few more years continued to drift. One
of them, most likely “Terror”, sank somewhere to the south of the
western entrance to the Simpson Strait, the second - passed through
this strait into the Rhea
Strait and sank according to various sources either in the southern part of the
Rhea strait or in its northern part near the island of Mattie.
The almost complete absence of
written documents from the expedition made it possible to draw up
only a general, very schematic representation of its progress. Answers
to many private, but very important questions are based on
conjectures and assumptions. We
know what happened to the expedition, but we don’t know and we’ll
never know why. Why did
such a superbly equipped expedition on well-prepared and proven
ships, having the most experienced and most authoritative leader,
die in full force? How did the first wintering go, why did three
people die, why was a huge number of cans found at the camp site, is
this related to the detection of substandard products? Whydidn’t
Franklin go from Beachy
Island, the first
wintering place, to the wide Vaikаunt-Melville
strait, from which
there was a direct route to the Beaufort Sea, but headed south
through the narrow Peel Strait to a cluster of numerous islands of
the Canadian Arctic Archipelago? What
did Franklin himself die from, why did the officers and sailors
mentioned in the note die? In
what physical and moral condition did the sailors go on a hike, why,
finally, more than a hundred and more well-armed men could not
provide themselves with food by hunting? Now
you can only speculate and make assumptions.
The value of Franklin's
geographical discoveries is great, and his fame is well deserved. However,
it must be admitted that his extraordinary popularity, exceeding the
popularity of many other equally well-deserved Arctic travelers, he
owes much to his tragic fate. After
the death of Franklin, dozens of British and American Arctic
expeditions had the main task of finding him. In
fact, after death, Franklin became a central figure in the study of
the American Arctic. Expeditions
related to the search for Franklin led to the discovery of the
Northwest Passage and gave the map of the Canadian Arctic
Archipelago a modern look.
The House of Commons allocated
£ 2,000 to manufacture the statue of J. Franklin in London.
To date, an entire memorial
dedicated to this expedition has been formed on Beachy Island, the
site of the first wintering of the Franklin expedition.
building is the “Gury Franklin” (Franklin's cairn), but this is not
the building that the Franklin team erected in the winter of
1845–1846. That Guri was
destroyed by the people of Ommanney, who rightly expected to find a
message in it. In this
place, in 1853, a new houri was built: at the base, built of stones,
a metal pillar was fortified, with barrels and metal cylinders
mounted on it. The photo
of 2005 shows that Huriy has undergone significant damage.
In 1854, E. Belcher constructed the Franklin's Cenotaph
(Franklin's cenotaph), a wooden structure, on one side of which a
dedication to the entire Franklin team from Jane Franklin is
engraved on a metal board,
and on the other side is a dedication to
a member of the expedition of W. Kennedy, who drowned in the
Wellington Strait in 1853.
In addition to these structures, the graves of three sailors of
Franklin, who died during the wintering, and six graves that
appeared in the second half of the 20th century, are preserved on
In 1980, anthropologist Owen Beattie decided to study the remains
of three members of the Franklin expedition buried on Bichey
was interested in information that could shed light on the cause of
their death - health, nutrition, signs of illness or violence, age
and physique ... Beatty was going to slightly uncover the mystery of
the missing expedition - this would have to reveal the frozen
year, the grave of a senior stoker from
the “Terror” John Torrington was
results of the dissection and analysis of tissues showed that
Torrington suffered a whole bunch of lung diseases caused by tobacco
smoking and constant inhalation of coal dust. It
turned out that he died from pneumonia. But
not just pneumonia, but pneumonia, burdened by a strange condition -
high content in the body of lead. This
fact was revealed by analyzing a ten-centimeter beam of Torrington
hair taken from the back of the head. A
microscopic examination of the hair showed that from the very first
days of swimming and for eight months, Torrington was getting too
much lead inside ...
Two years later, Beatty returned to Beachy Island with his team. This
time, the task was to open the bodies of John
Hartnell, the twenty-five year old sailor from the Terrorand
William Braine, the private marines from the Terror,
and also to carry out an X-ray examination. It
turned out that the first died of tuberculosis, and the second from
the main thing is that the laboratory analysis also showed them a
high lead content in the body. The
question “from where” did not even stand - it became clear that lead
had entered the body of sailors along with canned food, which was
the main type of food for the crews of both ships of Franklin.
At that time, as now, the government encouraged the fleet’s
desire to purchase everything that was needed at the lowest possible
company supplying canned food had a bad reputation, but the question
of the cost of the order became decisive. And
although all three sailors did not die directly from lead poisoning,
an excess of lead in the body considerably weakened their health and
lowered their immunity, providing a direct path to all other
diseases that eventually killed them - and the same fate awaited
everyone else, sooner or later. Three
hungry winterings in the ice, scurvy, one hundred and twenty mile
transition on hummocks and stones with heavy boats and a bunch of
unnecessary things doomed people to death - however, did they really
have any other way out of the situation?
The effect of lead on the human body in 1845 was practically not
studied, and the cans were sealed in approximately the same way for
another forty-five years after the departure of Erebus and Terror. The
sad fate of the expedition received another explanation - and it was
the three sailors who helped to rest; their ashes lie in the Arctic
desert, on the Spit of Beachy Island - the south-western extremity
of Devon Island, Barrow ...
Left: Franklin statue in Spilsby's hometown;
Right: Statue of Franklin in London
In 2014, it was reported that Canadian archaeologists discovered
one of the ships, but which one was not established then. In
October, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper noted that
underwater archaeologists, having carefully studied artifacts from
the ocean floor and images of the earth's surface, concluded that it
was the ship of the British fleet Erebus, on which John Franklin
himself was based.
between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.
Island and cape in
the north coast of Alaska west of Cape Barrow.
the west coast of King William Island in the Canadian Arctic
and named in 1830 by James Ross.
in the west of the Grinnell Peninsula of Devon Island in the
Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
the lower reaches of the Great Fish (Baka) River in northern Canada.
the Canadian coast of the Beaufort Sea. Opened
by the squad of J. Richardson in 1826.
the Prince-Wales Island and the peninsula Boothia.
the Land of Gustav, Northeastern Land Island, Spitsbergen. Coordinates 80° 00'N