Sir John Franklin to H.S. Curry (1845 July 12)

Her Majesty's Ship Erebus.

Whale Fish Islands 12 July 1845.


I have the honor to acquaint you, for the information of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that Her Majesty's Ships Erebus and Terror, with the Transport, arrived at this anchorage on the 4th instant, having had a passage of one month from Stromness.

The Transport was immediately taken alongside the ship that she might be the more readily cleared, and we have been constantly employed at that operation 'till last evening, the delay having been caused not so much in getting the stores transferred to either of the ships as in making the best stowage of them below as well as on the upper deck. The Ships are now complete with supplies of every kind for three years: they are therefore very deep - but happily we have no reason to expect much Ice as we proceed farther.

The Magnetic Instruments were landed the same morning - so also were the other instruments requisite for ascertaining the position of the Observatory, and it is satisfactory to find that the results of the observations for Latitude and Longitude accord very nearly with those assigned to the same place by Sir Edward Parry. Those for the Dip and Variation are equally satisfactory, which were made by Captain Crozier, with the Instruments belonging to the "Terror," and by Commander Fitzjames with them of the "Erebus."

The Ships are now being swung for the purpose of ascertaining the Dip and Deviation of the Needle on board, as was done at Greenhithe, which I trust will be completed this afternoon, and I hope to be able to sail in the night.

The Governor and principal persons are at this time absent from Disco. In that I have not been able to receive any communication from Headquarters as to the state of the Ice to the North. I have however heard from a Danish Carpenter, in charge of the Esquimaux at the Islands, that, though the winter was severe, the Spring was not later than usual, nor was the ice later in breaking away hereabouts; he supposes also that it is now loose as far as 74┬║ latitude and that our prospect is favourable of getting across the barrier and as far as Lancaster Sound without much obstruction.

The Transport will sail for England this day. I shall instruct the Agent, Lieutenant Griffiths, to proceed to Deptford and report his arrival to the Secretary of the Admiralty. I have much satisfaction in bearing my testimony to the careful and zealous manner in which Lieutenant Griffiths has performed the service entrusted to him, and would beg to recommend him, as an Officer who appears to have seen much service, to the favourable consideration of their Lordships.

It is unnecessary for me to assure their Lordships of the energy and zeal of Captain Crozier, Commander Fitzjames, and of the Officers and men with whom I have the happiness of being employed on this service.

I have the honor to be,


Your most obedient

humble servant

John Franklin, Captain

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About this document ...

  • Written by: Sir John Franklin
  • Archive: National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom
  • Collection: Admiralty 7/187 Admiralty: Miscellanea. Arctic and Antarctic explorations. Documents relating to Arctic Expeditions
  • Date: 1845 July 12
  • Page(s): 1-3
Sunken ship