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Diary of William Brett on HMS INVESTIGATOR search for Franklin's expedition and party.


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Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

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Biographical details HMS INESTIGATOR was a merchant ship purchased in 1848 to search for Sir John Franklin's lost expedition. She made two voyages to the Arctic and had to be abandoned in 1853 after becoming trapped in the ice. Her wreckage was found in July 2010 on Banks Island, in the Beaufort Sea. William Brett was born about 1824 and died 9 May 1878 at the age of 54. Arthur Mee's 'Dorset' says he was captured by the press gang when a lad in Ireland, fought in the Crimea, was on one of the Franklin Search expeditions, saved many lives from drowning and Queen Victoria presenting him with his 6th medal said 'I am proud of you'. Captain of the Foretop, HMS Investigator 1848-49 search expedition in 'Enterprise' and 'Investigator'.
Description Diary kept by William Brett on HMS INVESTIGATOR the covering is made of animal skin with fur (possible seal skin) which is delicate. William Brett notes that most of the journey was spent clearing away the snow and ice though he notes other incidences such as handing the crew their winter clothes on 1 January 1849; placing land marks on 17 March 1849; men walking round to keep themselves warm; one man breaking his leg when he slipped; one man who leaving HMS ENTERPISE was found later by a search party frost bitten on his hands and feet on15 May 1849 and on 24 mAY 1849 that the Lieutenant and six hands being warned that they would be going to Fury Beach to find intelligence on Captain Franklin and party. Also includes one letter and newspaper clippings from W. H. Ifould.
Date made 1848-10-07 - 1849-10-26

Finding Reference JOD/282
Catalogue section Manuscript volumes acquired singly by the Museum
Creator Brett, William
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent 1 volume
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