ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sir John Franklin (1786-1847), British explorer. Franklin was born in Lincolnshire and at the age of 14 joined the Royal Navy. He served at the batles of Copenhagen and Trafalgar and sailed on the Flinders expedition to Australia. After the peace he went on Buchan's abortive expedition to the North Pole. Franklin led his own first expedition in 1819 across land from Hudson Bay along the coast, losing 11 of his 20 men in the process. His second expedition, to the Beaufort Sea, was more successful. In 1836 he was appointed Governor of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). In 1845 he was sent with two ships to try to find the north-west passage across the top of Canada. His expedition was lost, after three years search parties were sent to find it with even more ships being lost. Years later it was discovered that Franklin and his crews had become ice-locked and had died of starvation and disease.
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