Sunday, 8 April 2018

FRANKLIN'S LOST EXPEDITION ..... FAMILY CONNECTION ..........


I think that you all might find this interesting ... it's a bit of a longer post than I normally do but try and stick with it ... it also has family connections !

 In 1845, The Franklin expedition met a tragic end after becoming trapped in Arctic Ice, killing all 129 people on board. Before knowing of it's fate, the British Government sent expeditions in search of Franklin.


One of the ships sent to find Franklin was HMS Resolute under the command of Canadian Sir Edward Belcher. They left England in April 1852 and on board was my husband's great, great, great { can't remember how many greats !!! } Uncle William, ship's carpenter. William wrote a journal of the whole expedition which was given to my husband by his aunt .....

BUT ...
... his parents borrowed it and decided to sell it and ...


... it was auctioned at Sotheby's in December 1984. It was bought by the Canadian High Commission for £17,000 !!!



The journal was 250 detailed pages with drawings and water colours of ships, printed posters and playbills and autographed letters. It sold for so much as it was chockablock full of information not only of their own voyage but what they found of the Franklin expedition. 



In 1981, bodies from the Franklin expedition were exhumed and found to be in near perfect condition { there are photographs of them on line but are a little gruesome so I didn't put them up here but they are easily found if you google Franklin expedition frozen bodies if you're interested ! } William recorded in his journal in 1852 that they too found the same three bodies on Beechey Island. 
Much was learnt from the bodies in 1981, one was that some of their deaths could be attributed to lead poisoning from the solder on the canned food but there were a number of things that could have killed them including hypothermia, scurvy and starvation. There were also indications that the crew had resorted to cannibalism.The bodies were returned to their graves and nobody would ever be able to tell that anyone had disturbed the grave site as every stone was returned to the same position it was before they arrived.
HMS Resolute abandoned ship in April 1854 as the ship was locked in slow moving ice and the crew rescued. In 1855, HMS Resolute was found by American whaler George Henry. HMS Resolute was returned to England as a gesture of national courtesy and the ship was presented to Queen Victoria. HMS Resolute was retired in 1879 and salvaged for timber.



The Resolute desk was made from the oak timbers of the ship and presented to President Rutherford B Hayes from Queen Victoria, in 1880 as a memorial of the courtesy and loving kindness of the American people. This is the desk that nearly all the presidents have sat at in the Oval Office in The White House. Queen Victoria also had a writing desk made for herself from the timbers.
Because my husbands uncle was the carpenter on HMS Resolute, he must have acquired some of the timbers, as we have a footstool with a brass plaque saying ' made from the timbers of HMS Resolute'. I can't take a photograph of it as we haven't got it at the moment. 


The Franklin expedition departed England in 1845 aboard two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.
After the success of The Walking Dead there is a new horror drama called The Terror, directed by Ridley Scott to be shown on AMC starting on April 24th in the UK { it's already started in the US } It is a gripping, atmospheric, supernatural horror series inspired by the true story.

There is much more to the real story { even Charles Dickens got involved and wrote about it } but I'm sure you have all heard enough.... if you've read everything I've written then you deserve a medal !!!



image 1: via wikipedia, images 2 & 3: via me, image 4: via owlcation, image 5: via white house history, image 6: via geek

Jackie

38 comments:

  1. Wow, the lineage is quite a story. I am taping that series. They should have called Ernest Shackleton as he didn't lose a man. Because of Shackleton's story, I'll never go to Antartica. My vision of hell.

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    1. I think we will watch it too Donna .... the filming looks brilliant although I’m not always fussed on horror but it will be interesting for us as we are close to the story. Shackleton was one of the houses at my primary school so I know a bit about him as well !!! XXXX

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    2. Oh no Donna! You may recall I've visited Antarctica - followed Sir Edward Shackleton's amazing journey - it was the most awesome place on the planet, I loved every moment of the 3-week trip! If I could return I would.
      Mary -

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    3. OOPS! Sorry it is of course Sir ERNEST!

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  2. It is fascinating Z . When we had the journal, we tried to read it but it was quite difficult to read all of it. There is lots more to it ..... court marshalls, mutiny and all sorts !!! XXXX

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  3. Wonderful account Jack@. I have seen those frozen bodies. Very impressive.

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    1. We find the Franklin expedition and all that came after very readableTom but then we do have a connection to it which makes it even more interesting to us. As much as the bodies are a bit gruesome, they are worth a look at aren’t they ? They are still near perfect even after over 150 years ! XXXX

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  4. Happy new week love Ria ❤️

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  5. FASCINATING!!!!!!!WHAT A HISTORY.............
    I may have TO GOOGLE!!!!!!!!
    I bet the MAN in the White House PUT THIS DESK IN STORAGE!
    ABSOLUTELY NO TASTE what so ever......................WE ARE TERRIBLY EMBARRASSED about his whole ACT!!!!!!!!XX

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    1. Actually Elizabeth, I’ve seen a photograph of him signing something at it so he must like it !!!!!! XXXX

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  6. How very interesting. I suppose the book is probably where it should be, and I hope your husband received the proceeds. I do hope the desk hasn't been 'gold-leafed'.

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    1. No, he didn’t get anything Cro ..... we were a bit miffed !!!!! .... you’re right though .... the book is definitely where it should be. They learned an awful lot from it. XXXX

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  7. I am quite happy to go through the post.

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  8. I enjoyed this read. Twice. Very interesting. I have not seen the frozen bodies.

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    1. Thanks Rachel ...... The Franklin expedition and all that came after is interesting. Have a look online at the bodies ...... they are very nearly perfect considering they’ve been there over 150 years !!
      Hope you are feeling loads better and didn’t have anything too nasty. XXXX

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  9. Fascinating Story! I knew about the Resolute Desk and had probably heard the story before, but your version makes it more readable and memorable. Thanks so much for a great story.

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    1. Ahwwww ..... thanks Jean. When I write this stuff, I always think everyone will be bored !!!! That’s why I try to keep my posts short. Thanks for the lovely comment. XXXX

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  10. Fascinating history . .
    Thank you for inviting us into listening, observing . . .
    Thank you Jackie . . .

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  11. It is a very interesting story Lynne ..... we can’t imagine how awful it must have been for them all. XXXX

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  12. Quelle histoire fantastique que je ne connaissais pas , merci !

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    1. Merci beaucoup Nadezda. C’est une histoire interessante. XXXX

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  13. Interesting to know that a family member is part of an important piece history.
    Thank you Jackie for your sweet comment at Rachel's. You are very kind xxx
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. I love a bit of history Maria ...... my husbands family has lots of history ..... mine isn't so interesting !!!
      I hope you are feeling well Maria and your procedure went well. Am always thinking of you. XXXX

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  14. I watched the trailer for this recently! Looks promising

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    1. Thought you might like it John ..... you’ll be getting withdrawal symptoms as The Walking Dead is finished !!! XXXX

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  15. I will be waiting for my medal dear Jackie ;)))). I absolutely love reading about historic events like this!!! How exciting it is that your husband's ancestor kept such a journal that would become such a valuable historical treasure. You can bet I will be googling this and yes, I may even peek at the bodies recovered!
    sending love to you...

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    1. Hello June,
      Lovely to hear from you .... I’ll send your medal ASAP !!! Hope you found the bodies ..... they are worth a look as they are so well preserved .
      Sending love back .... how’s that beautiful garden of yours ? XXXX

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  16. President Trump IS using the desk Jackie - just saw it in the Oval Office on the news tonight as he showed French President Macron and his wife around the White House today!

    Such an amazing story, Bob and I enjoyed reading your post and then looked up more stories of the Franklin Expedition and the mummified bodies etc., all so interesting!

    We are watching The Terror and enjoying it despite being dark and foreboding - and of course some scary additions which were not part of the authentic expedition - this is based on a novel. Some of the accents are hard to understand for us over here - you may be fine though.

    A 'Terror' episode coming up tonight so must away - wash the supper dishes and hunker down to watch!

    Hugs - Mary

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    1. Hi Mary,
      Terror starts here tonight !!! Horror isn’t my favourite but we have to watch it !!!! It looks as if it is filmed beautifully so I will concentrate on that !
      I think it’s only been about three Presidents who didn’t use the desk...... Johnson, Nixon and Ford. Johnson was too big for it, Nixon had an allergy to oak and Ford kept what Nixon had !!!!!
      Did you see the bodies ? They were so well preserved weren’t they ?
      I’m looking forward to The Terror ! XXXX

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  17. Hi ,could not find another way to contact you .Saw the hyaluronic comment on Tom's blog .Is it pills you are taking ,how many and where from ?

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    1. Hi Angela,
      You can take tablets but i’m taking Foundation Hyaluronic Acid drink. You take two teaspoons per day and you get it from deciem.com or Boots ( probably other places too) I think the recommended dose is 200mgs-300mgs per day if you want to take the tablets (just Google Hyaluronic acid tablets. If our body doesn’t need it all it just gets flushed out !!!! I know Amazon sell them) Hope that helps. I have found it brilliant ..... along with Omega 3 it has cured my dry eyesXXXX

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