Franklin relics, Polar Equipment and Relics

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Coat fragment

Franklin relics

Object details:

Object ID AAA2117
Description A relic of Sir John Franklin's last expedition 1845-48. Fragments of a navy blue coat now reduced to powder, with a few small silk-covered buttons, in a cardboard box. It was found on a skeleton presumed to be Henry Peter Peglar (1811-48), HMS 'Terror', at Cape Hershel on 25 May 1859, by the McClintock Search Expedition 1857-59. The skeleton is more likely to be that of Peglar's friend, Thomas Armitage, Gun Room Steward, HMS 'Terror'. It was reproduced in the 'Illustrated London News', 15 October 1859, p. 363, as a cuff with three buttons and edged button holes. The decorative edging of the button holes is still recognisable. 'The Petty Officer was dressed in a double-breasted jacket made of fine blue cloth and edged with white silk braid, with slashed sleeves having five covered buttons on each; trousers of strong blue cloth; a blue greatcoat with large, flat, covered buttons; a black silk neckerchief; a blue and white woolen comforter; a pair of black and grey worsted mitts made on board the ship; two shirts; a pair of drawers made of Navy blanket; two pairs of stockings, one thick and the other thin; probably a Guernsey frock of blue serge; and perhaps a waistcoat.' Franklin's crews seem to have abandoned ship wearing their uniforms supplemented with additional warm clothing, some of it made on board.
Date made before 1845

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Materials silk
Measurements 76 x 51 x 51 mm
  • Coat fragment (AAA2117)
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