A Postal History Gallery of Related Events


A New Navigation Instrument

Captain John Franklin sent a Coffee House letter to Mr. Fox arranging a viewing of a new instrument with Admiral Beaufort in 1836.

The Search for John Franklin

Sir John Franklin became the Hero figure of the Arctic and his name and reputation attracted many young men to the Arctic Service and the search for the Northwest Passage continued.

The Departure of Franklin
May 19th, 1845

Sir Edward Parry visited the Franklin Arctic Expedition on the eve of their departure and prophetically wrote of Franklin . . .


"take him for all in all, we ne'er shall look on his like again."


A Franklin Search Through Canada

John Richardson arranged for a field party to be transported to Canada in 1847 to prepare for an overland search for Franklin.

"The 5th of June is the day appointed for the Hudson's Bay ships, Prince Rupert and Westminster to be ready . . . "

The party, led by John Richardson, signed agreements assuring their performance while on the search. Personal arrangements were made for mail to be handled through the York Factory after their arrival.

The Franklin overland party, under Sir John Richardson, was sent to prepare for a search of northern Canada in 1848.

Arrangements were made to deposit the pay of the members of his party in a bank while they were on the search. Ships of the Hudsons Bay Company carried the party to the York Factory.

Reports of cannon having been heard by the natives were sent to John Richardson, but rejected as only a desire to encourage the searchers. The seriousness of Franklin's problem was not realized until the next year.

Franklin's Death


"M. 1828 Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin who died in the Arctic Regions whilst effecting the discovery of the Northwest Passage, 11 June 1847."


A 1965 search for new answers to the fate of the Franklin party also failed to find new information, just as Lady Franklin learned from many efforts to discover the story of the loss of the party. She refused to accept his death until many years later as seen in this biography for the Baronetage Journal in 1860.

(Exhibition pieces courtesy of George Hall)