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Franklin Expedition 1845

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 19 May 1845 to about 1850
Location: Northwest Passage, Canadamap
Surnames/tags: Erebus Terror Arctic
Profile manager: Kevin Sands private message [send private message]
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On 12 May 1845, the Franklin Expedition of 134 men (all listed below) set out from Greenhithe, England on two ships, Erebus and Terror, to find the elusive Northwest Passage across the top of Canada. The supply ship, Barretto Junior, accompanied them to the Whalefish Islands (Greenland) where it transferred stores to both ships before returning to England in July 1845.

It is said that within three months five men were sent back to England on the Barretto Junior leaving 129 to carry on. The expedition met a tragic end after becoming trapped in Arctic ice. All 129 people eventually died - many of them probably in 1848 while walking south on King William Island. The local people stated that as many as forty men were seen dragging a boat across the ice in 1950.

It is now believed that at least four of the crew were women and that cannibalism occurred amongst the crew.

In 1848, HMS Investigator and HMS Enterprise unsuccessfully set out from England to find the Franklin Expedition. On the 2nd attempt the Investiagtor was frozen in ice and abandoned in 1853.

N.B. Published 'Crew Lists' all vary in some way! I have, therefore, spent a great deal of time checking and cross-checking sources to ensure this list is the most complete and accurate of them all.
N.B. Most 'Where from' place names (in the tables below) are in Great Britain and Ireland.

The Franklin Expedition 1845

H.M.S. Erebus

  • The wreck of Erebus was located in September 2014.
  • The sunken remains were found in relatively shallow water south of King William Island in northern Canada and approx. 100 kilometres south of the wreck of HMS Terror.
  • N.B. Click on surnames in BLUE and underlined. to view their personal profile.
Crew of 67 comprising 13 officers, 25 non-commissioned officers, 20 seamen, 7 marines and 2 boys.
No. Surname Forenames Title Where from Age Found
01 FRANKLIN John Captain, Sir Spilsby, Lincolnshire 59 no
02 FITZJAMES James Commander London 32 no
03 GORE Graham Lieutenant Virginia (British colony) 37 no
04 LE VESCONTE Henry Thomas Dundas Lieutenant  ? 34 no
05 FAIRHOLME James Walter Lieutenant  ? 27 no
06 REID James Ice Master Aberdeen ?  ? YES, skull
07 STANLEY Stephen Samuel Surgeon  ?  ? no
08 OSMER Charles Hamilton Paymaster  ?  ? no
09 SARGENT Robert Orme Master  ?  ? no
10 DES VOEUX Charles Frederick Mate  ?  ? no
11 COUCH Edward Mate  ?  ? no
12 GOODSIR Henry Duncan Spens Assistant Surgeon Scotland  ? YES, b.c.1820
13 COLLINS Henry Foster Second Master  ?  ? no
14 GREGORY John Engineer  ?  ? no
15 TERRY Thomas Boatswain  ?  ? no
16 WEEKES John Carpenter  ?  ? no
17 BROWN Samuel Boatswain's Mate Hull, Yorkshire 27 no
18 WATSON Thomas Carpenter's Mate Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk 40 no
19 MURRAY John Sailmaker Glasgow, Lanarkshire 43 no
20 SMITH William Blacksmith Tibenham, Norfolk 28 no
21 HART James Leading Stoker  ? 33 no
22 WALL Richard Ship's Cook Hull, Yorkshire 45 no
23 BROWN James W. Caulker Deptford, Kent 28 no
24 DUNN Francis Caulker's Mate Llanelli, Wales 25 no
25 RIGDEN James Captain's Coxswain Upper Deal, Kent 32 no
26 BELL William Quartermaster Dundee, Forfarshire 36 no
27 ARTHUR Daniel Quartermaster Aberdeen, Scotland 35 no
28 DOWNING John Quartermaster Plymouth, Devon  ? no
29 SINCLAIR Robert Captain of the Foretop Kirkwall, Orkney 25 no
30 SULLIVAN John Captain of the Maintop Gillingham, Kent 28 no
31 REDDINGTON Philip Captain of the Forecastle Brompton, Kent 28 no
32 ANDREWS Joseph Captain of the Hold Edmonton, Mddlesex 35 no
33 HOAR Edmund Captain's Steward Portsea, Hampshire 23 no
34 FOWLER William Purser's Steward Bristol, Somerset 26 no
35 AYLMORE Richard Gun-room Steward Southampton, Hampshire 24 no
36 BRIDGENS John Subordinate Officers' Steward Woolwich, Kent 26 no
37 COWIE John Stoker Bermondsey, Surrey 32 no
38 PLATER Thomas Stoker Westminster, Middlesex  ? no
39 THOMPSON George A.B. Staines, Berkshire 27 no
40 HARTNELL John A.B. Brompton, Kent 25 YES
41 HARTNELL Thomas A.B. Chatham, Kent 23 YES
42 STICKLAND John A.B. Portsmouth, Hampshire 24 no
43 ORREN William A.B. Chatham, Kent 34 no
44 CLOSSAN William A.B. Shetland, Scotland 25 no
45 COOMBS Charles A.B. Greenwich, Kent 28 no
46 MORFIN John A.B. Gainsborough, Lincolnshire 25 no
47 BEST Charles A.B. Fareham, Hampshire 23 no
48 McCONVEY Thomas A.B. Liverpool, Lancashire 24 no
49 LLOYD Henry A.B. Christiansen, Norway 26 no
50 WORK Thomas A.B. Kirkwall, Orkney 41 no
51 FERRIER Robert A.B. Perth, Scotland 29 no
52 GEATER Josephus A.B. London, Middlesex 32 no
53 WILLIAMS George A.B. Holyhead, Angelsea 35 no
54 TADMAN Thomas A.B. Brompton, Kent 28 no
55 SEELEY Abraham A.B. Gravesend, Kent 34 no
56 POCOCK Francis A.B. Upnor, Kent 24 no
57 JOHNS Robert A.B. Penryn, Cornwall 24 no
58 MARK William A.B. Holyhead, Angelsea 24 no
59 BRYANT Daniel Sergeant R.M. Shepton Montague, Somerset 31 no
60 PATERSON Alexander Corporal R.M. Inverness, Scotland 30 no
61 HOPCRAFT Robert Private R.M. Nottingham, Nottinghamshire 38 no
62 PILKINGTON William Private R.M. Kilrush, Co. Clare 28 no
63 BRAINE William Private R.M. Oakhill, Somerset 31 YES
64 HEALEY Joseph Private R.M. Manchester, Lancashire 29 no
65 REED William Private R.M. Bristol, Somerset 28 no
66 CHAMBERS George Boy, 1st Class Woolwich, Kent 18 no
67 YOUNG David Boy, 1st Class Sheerness, Kent 18 no
BURT Thomas Armourer Wickam, Hampshire 22 Note 1.

Note 1: This man from HMS Erebus was returned to England from the Whalefish Islands on the Barretto Junior in 1845 before the tragedy.

H.M.S. Terror

  • The wreck of Terror was located in September 2016.
  • The sunken remains were found in Terror Bay, off the shore of King William Island in northern Canada, approx. 100 kilometres north of the wreck of HMS Erebus.
  • N.B. Click on surnames in BLUE and underlined. to view their personal profile.
Crew of 62 comprising 11 officers, 24 non-commissioned officers, 19 seamen, 6 marines and 2 boys.
No. Surname Forenames Title Where from Age Found
01 CROZIER Francis Rawdon Moira Captain Banbridge, N.I. 48 no
02 LITTLE Edward Lieutenant  ?  ? no
03 HODGSON George Henry Lieutenant  ?  ? no
04 IRVING John Lieutenant  ? 33 no
05 HORNBY Frederick John Mate  ?  ? no
06 THOMAS Robert Mate  ?  ? no
07 MacBEAN Gillies Alexander Second Master  ?  ? no
08 BLANKY Thomas Ice Master  ?  ? no
09 PEDDIE John Smart Surgeon Edinburgh, Scotland 31 no
10 McDONALD Alexander Asst. Surgeon  ?  ? no
11 HELPMAN Edwin James Howard Clerk in Charge Devon, England  ? no
12 THOMPSON James Engineer  ?  ? no
13 LANE John Boatswain  ?  ? no
14 HONEY Thomas Carpenter  ?  ? no
15 JOHNSON Thomas Boatswain's Mate Wisbech, Cambridgeshire 28 no
16 WILSON Alexander Carpenter's Mate Holy Island, N. Durham 27 no
17 MALE Reuben Captain of the Forecastle Woolwich, London 27 no
18 McDONALD David Quartermaster Peterhead, Scotland 45 no
19 KENLEY John Quartermaster St. Monance, Fifeshire 44 no
20 RHODES Willam Quartermaster Kent, England 31 no
21 DARLINGTON Thomas Caulker Plymouth, Devon 29 no
22 HONEY Samuel Blacksmith Plymouth, Devon 22 no
23 TORRINGTON John Shaw Leading Stoker Manchester, England 20 YES
24 WILSON John Captain's Coxswain Portsea, Hampshire 33 no
25 FARR Thomas R. Captain of the Maintop Deptford, Kent 32 no
26 PEGLAR Henry Peter Captain of the Foretop London, Middlesex 37 YES, b.1811
27 GODDARD William Captain of the Hold N. Yarmouth, Norfolk 39 no
28 HICKEY Cornelius Caulker's Mate Limerick, Ireland 24 no
29 DIGGLE John Cook Westminster, London 36 no
30 JOPSON Thomas Captain's Steward Marylebone, Middlesex 27 no
31 ARMITAGE Thomas Gun-room Steward Chatham, Kent 40 YES, b.1807
32 GIBSON William Subordinate Officers' Steward London, Middlesex 22 no
33 GEORGE Edward Subordinate Officers' Steward Gosport, Hampshire 21 no
34 SMITH Luke Stoker London, Middlesex 27 no
35 JOHNSON Willam Stoker Lindsey, Lincolnshire 45 no
36 CANN George J. A.B. Battersea, Middlesex 23 no
37 STRONG William A.B. Hampshire 22 no
38 SIMS David A.B. Gedney, Lincolnshire 24 no
39 BAILEY John A.B. Leyton, Essex 21 no
40 JERRY William A.B. Pembroke, Wales 29 no
41 SAIT Henry A.B. Bognor, Sussex 23 no
42 BERRY Alexander A.B. Fifeshire, Scotland 32 no
43 HANDFORD John A.B. Sunderland, England 28 no
44 BATES John A.B. London, Middlesex 24 no
45 CRISPE Samuel A.B. Lynn, Norfolk 24 no
46 JOHNSON Charles A.B. Halifax, Nova Scotia 28 no
47 SHANKS William A.B. Dundee, Scotland 29 no
48 LEYS David A.B. Montrose, Scotland 37 no
49 SINCLAIR William A.B. Galloway, Scotland 30 no
50 KINNAIRD George A.B. Hastings, Sussex 23 no
51 LAWRENCE Edwin A.B. London, Middlesex 30 no
52 MANSON Magnus A.B. Shetland, Scotland 28 no
53 WALKER James A.B. Northumberland 29 no
54 WENTZELL William A.B. London, Middlesex 33 no
55 TOZER Solomon Sergeant R.M. Axbridge, Somerset 34 no
56 HEDGES William Corporal R.M. Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire 30 no
57 HEATHER William Private R.M. Battersea, Surrey 37 no
58 WILKS Henry Private R.M. Leicester 28 no
59 HAMMOND John Private R.M. Bradford, Yorkshire 32 no
60 DALY James Private R.M. Westmeath, Ireland 30 no
61 GOLDING Robert Boy, 1st Class Deptford, Kent 19 no
62 EVANS Thomas Boy, 1st Class Deptford, Kent 18 no
AITKEN William Private R.M. Kenilworth, Surrey 37 Note 2.
BROWN John A.B.  ?  ? Note 2.
CARR Robert Thomas Armourer London 23 Note 2.
ELLIOTT James Sailmaker Woolwich, Kent 20 Note 2., invalided

Note 2: These four men from HMS Terror were returned to England from the Whalefish Islands on the Barretto Junior in 1845 before the tragedy.

H.M.S. Barretto Junior

  • After transferring supplies to Erebus and Terror she returned to England in July 1845.
  • N.B. Click on surnames in BLUE and underlined. to view their personal profile.
No. Surname Forenames Title Where from Age
01 GRIFFITHS Edward Lieutenant Plymouth, Devon 52

Search Ships and Crew

H.M.S. Investigator

  • The first ship, accompanied by HMS Enterprise, to search for the missing Erebus, Terror and their crews.
  • On its second mission it became trapped in ice, was abandoned and sank. The wreck was discovered in 2010.
  • N.B. Click on surnames in BLUE and underlined. to view their personal profile.
No. Surname Forenames Title Where from Age Died
01 McCLURE Robert Captain Wexford, Ireland  ? 17 Oct 1873
02 ARMSTRONG Alexander Surgeon Co. Donegal, Ireland  ? 4 Jul 1899
03 BOYLE John A.B.  ?  ? Mercy Bay, Canada
04 EAMES John A.B.  ?  ? Mercy Bay, Canada
05 KERR John Gunner's Mate  ?  ? Mercy Bay, Canada

H.M.S. Enterprise

  • Accompanied HMS Investigator on the first mission to find the Erebus, Terror and crews.
  • In 1850 was the commanding ship to lead the search.
  • N.B. Click on surnames in BLUE and underlined. to view their personal profile.
No. Surname Forenames Title Where from Age Died
01 COLLINSON Richard Captain Gateshead, England  ? 13 Sep 1883


Crew Lists





Comments: 1

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You may want to make a mention of Thomas Morgan (-1854), the fourth grave on Beechy Island and a member of the crew of the HMS Investigator.

I was able to visit those 4 graves in 2012. I was involved in a military exercise that included a search for the HMS Breadalbane which we found off of Beechy Island using an underwater ROV lowered through the ice.

posted by Stu Ward
edited by Stu Ward