Franklin, Sir John (17861847)

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 of Australia; was wrecked, and returned home on board the Camden as a signal-midshipman; he subsequently distinguished himself at the battle of Trafalgar, and took part in the attack on New Orleans; in 1818 he was second in command of an expedition sent out under Captain Buchan to discover a North-West Passage, which, although unsuccessful, contributed to reveal Franklin's admirable qualities as a leader, and in 1819 he was chosen to head another Arctic expedition, which, after exploring the Saskatchewan and Copper-Mine Rivers and adjacent territory, returned in 1822; Franklin was created a post-captain, and for services in a further expedition in search of a North-West Passage was, in 1829, knighted; after further services he was in 1845 put in command of an expedition, consisting of the Erebus and Terror, for the discovery of the North-West Passage; the expedition never returned, and for many years a painful interest was manifested in the various expeditions (17 in all) which were sent out to search for the lost party; many relics of this unfortunate explorer were found, demonstrating the discovery of the North-West Passage; but the story of his fate has never been precisely ascertained (17861847).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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