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Buddington's Salvage

HMS Resolute’s Most Fantastic Christmas 1855 (Part I)

HMS Resolute arriving in New London Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1855 with Captain James Munroe Buddington in charge, a whaling captain working for the New London whaling firm Perkins and Smith
HMS Resolute entering New London, Connecticut, 24 December 1855, from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. 19 January 1856.

As you can see I actually took a 2 day break over Christmas, despite saying I would only take Christmas Day off. Yesterday I gathered together some interesting tidbits about Resolute’s 1855 Christmas. Without a doubt this was her 2nd most adventurous holiday of her entire life!
From my Resolute (concisely) page you know James Munroe Buddington was the Connecticut whaler, working for the New London whaling firm of Perkins and Smith, who found the abandoned HMS Resolute still afloat in Baffin Bay during September 1855. This whaling season hadn’t been kind to the George Henries, and here is a passage about it from my new manuscript:

“Buddington and his crew encountered storm after storm after storm. The hunting wasn’t any good either. Ice completely blocked Cumberland Sound, and only sixteen days after leaving home [29 May 1855] floating ice stove in George Henry’s port bow and knocked out her stem. Although most of the damage was above the waterline, they still needed repairs urgently, and Buddington headed east for Holsteinsborg (now Sisimiut), Greenland. En route they found dense pack ice completely blocking Davis Strait, and Buddington had to sail along its edge. Five days later quickly moving, sharp-edged flow ice severely mangled the George Henry’s cutwater (the forward edge of her prow and gripe, where the stem and keel are joined). Now, when they needed even more extensive repairs, their ability to actually arrive at Greenland was in serious doubt….On the 15TH [July], with the repairs finished, Buddington headed west hoping to manoeuvre into the pack. But the ice was still too solid to penetrate, so he steered George Henry north,along Greenland’swest coast, hoping to hunt in Disco Bay. Arriving there on 31 July, the hunting was terrible. They only caught halibut and four humpback whales, which yielded the very meagre reward of 184 barrels of oil.”

James Munroe Buddington. Image still in copyright, in the collection of The New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Connecticut

  After Buddington got stuck in the pack, his lookout spotted Resolute, and he decided to investigate the ship. He helped to pump her out and found she still held water. Considering his very meager haul so far, Buddington decided to sail Resolute to his homeport for salvage. Here’s another passage from my new manuscript:
“Splitting his crew, he left Quayle in charge of the George Henry with fourteen men, and took ten with him to Resolute. Using George Henry’s charts (surveyed by Beaufort’s men and produced by the British Admiralty) Buddington drew an outline of the American coast on a piece of foolscap. He took this, his lever watch, a quadrant, and a wonky unreliable compass with him to the Arctic discovery ship. But he knew it was his years of experience and extensive knowledge of these waters which would get him home. Though it would be prudent and safer for them to sail in company, Buddington advised Quayle to make his own way home if the ships got separated.”

Unfortunately they did get separated. The new American Resolutes encountered even more storms, which forced them far to the south and almost to Bermuda, where Resolute’s former captain Kellett was stationed. But the worst problem they encountered was becoming dangerously close to running out of drinking water. I write about their entire trip home in detail in the manuscript, but to shorten this blog entry a bit I am jumping ahead now to just before Christmas. The George Henry arrived home first:

“The usual holiday joy of the local whaling families must have been tainted by worry as they kept an anxious vigil for Resolute. Finally, on Little Christmas Eve, after 63 stormy days at sea, Buddington dropped anchor at Groton, his hometown. Groton’s residents had suffered dearly during the Revolutionary War and was still strongly anti-British. Most of the local patriots had been killed resisting the British advance on the heights above their town where 164 militia and local men had been manning Fort Griswold. The Yankee traitor, Benedict Arnold, led his soldiers in a two-pronged attack, using half to take Fort Trumbull still under construction on the New London side of the Thames. Then, splitting the rest he used half to scale the heights and attack Fort Griswold, while the remaining men fought their way directly into Groton. The patriots fought hard to repulse the attack on Fort Griswold, but, after its American commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ledyard, surrendered his sword, the British murdered him with it then slaughtered the entire garrison of 88 men and boys. 
“James Buddington’s mother, Esther Hill, was only eight days old when James’ maternal grandfather, Samuel Hill, was killed at Fort Griswold. In 1830 the town had erected a 127-foot monument to memorialise the sacrifice made by their slain martyrs, but now this British exploration ship rocked at anchor, directly in its shadow. Now, after the War of 1812 seriously damaged the local whaling and commercial fishing industries, here wasn’t much sympathy for Britain in the area, particularly as anti-British sentiments about recruitment spread across the country. With Resolute anchored in their harbour, local feelings would’ve quickly hardened against any British attempts to reclaim her.”

Tempers were already frayed enough between the two countries without any additional stress being added…but that part of Resolute’s eventful story is best saved for another day. (Again…from my manuscript:) “On Christmas Eve Buddington crossed the Thames River to New London. By the time he passed the lighthouse the pier was awash with men and women. Holding their torches high, they welcomed the brave whalers who had sailed the Arctic discovery ship to their home just in time for Christmas.”

The story of Resolute’s arrival will continue tomorrow, with additional insights made by one of the followers of my FaceBook “HMS Resolute History and News” page!

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HMS Assistance & Pioneer 1853 Catchup continued

Returning to my manuscript:

At almost the most northerly point of the Sabine Peninsula Richards, upon reaching the promontory later named after him, made the following remarkable journal entry:

We were full of hope (although as yet no traces of the missing expedition had been discovered). We had examined 300 miles of new coast, and were good for 200 more. The people in good health and spirits; though it must be confessed somewhat lower in bodily strength than when they left the ship; and we had every reason to hope, that with the resources at our command, we should get to the westward of Melville Island, and find, at any rate, some indications of those we came to seek, should they have ever entered the Polar Sea. At [6:30 p.m.] we parted with the customary cheers; and the sledges were soon out of sight of each other…to our great surprise we crossed a sledge track, which appeared [to be] very recent. I immediately halted the sledge, and followed them back to the eastward. After an hour’s quick walking, we saw an encampment, and, on coming up to it, found it to be a party from the Resolute, under Lieutenant Hamilton. The surprise of himself and his party may be imagined, at being awoke from their dreams by the hail of a stranger.

Overcoming his surprise, Hamilton took great joy in informing Richards of the successful rescue of the Investigators, and that he had no further need to search to the north and west, because the Resolutes and Intrepids had already covered it. Richards could choose between heading back to the Assistance with Hamilton’s despatches and the news of the rescue, or rejoining Osborn and continuing to explore Cornwallis Island’s western coast.

There was nothing in Richard’s orders to direct him to go south or to reach Kellett in person onboard HMS Resolute. He could construe Belcher’s instructions about the sealed letter in a way that could compel him to deliver it in person, but the orders didn’t really read this way. He wasn’t meant to seek out a superior officer, only hand the letter over if he came across officers under either Kellett or Collinson. Perhaps he was curious about the Investigators? Perhaps he wanted to congratulate Kellett and his men on their success? Without any record of his reasons one can only speculate.

However, though Belcher had given him a great deal of latitude, he had ordered Richards to head to the north and west. Sledging to Resolute was almost due south, and added 200 miles to his trip. From his current location it was the same distance to reach Resolute, as it would’ve been to get ⅔ of the way back to the Assistance. So he must have had very strong motivation to subject himself and his men to this additional arduous travel. In the end, Richards’ desire to meet with Kellett outweighed all other considerations.

Hamilton’s orders from Kellett were to proceed down the eastern shore of Melville Island, but Richards, as the senior officer at their meeting, instead ordered him to overtake Osborn, using his smaller and faster satellite sledge, so he could fully inform him about the Investigators’ rescue. Richards set off toward the south along the western shore of the Sabine Peninsula. At 20:00 on 30 May, Richards saw a small encampment in the distance. He discovered it was a party led by Pim, en route to Cape Fisher to place a depot there for McClintock. Pim showed Richards the safest and quickest route to Resolute. Strong winds alternated with thick fog as Richards made his way, and by 1 June he reached Separation Ravine.

To his delight while standing on a high pass, Richards saw Resolute and Intrepid in the frozen distance about ten miles to the south, beyond the next ravine. Descending, the ravine narrowed until the men had to unload everything, and use block and tackle to pull the sledge on its side. It took them three tedious hours to get through. Then the mile wide beach they faced had very little snow cover, and it took three hours to cross it. Finally they reached the floe. Trying to advance with speed their many slips and falls slowed them right down again. 

Richards hobbled on ahead alone, and Roche’s diary gives a humorous account of his surprising arrival at Resolute, since no one expected to see a single man approaching, hobbling along with a bamboo cane.

Richards hobbled on ahead alone, and Roche’s diary gives a humorous account of his surprising arrival at Resolute, since no one expected to see a single man approaching, hobbling along with a bamboo cane.

….those onboard were vey much astonished by the arrival of a stranger….A superstitious old quartermaster had the morning watch, and came on deck about 5 o’clock, when he was astonished to see a man or spirit stalking up and down the deck with a long pole in his hand. He [the quartermaster] immediately bolted below again, and didn’t mention the circumstances. So the ghost had to walk below and search the cabins, until at last he found one inhabited. He then transformed himself into Commander Richards of the Assistance…

Richards found the ships almost deserted: everyone was out sledging. The few men onboard seemed like strangers to him, as well they were, being the most seriously ill Investigators and not men who were originally in the Belcher Expedition. The only familiar faces were those of George McDougall, who was the highest ranking officer left in charge, and Emille De Bray. An hour later the rest of his Assistances arrived.

….those onboard were vey much astonished by the arrival of a strangerA superstitious old quartermaster had the morning watch, and came on deck about 5 o’clock, when he was astonished to see a man or spirit stalking up and down the deck with a long pole in his hand. He [the quartermaster] immediately bolted below again, and didn’t mention the circumstances. So the ghost had to walk below and search the cabins, until at last he found one inhabited. He then transformed himself into Commander Richards of the Assistance…

Richards found the ships almost deserted: everyone was out sledging. The few men onboard seemed like strangers to him, as well they were, being the most seriously ill Investigators and not men who were originally in the Belcher Expedition. The only familiar faces were those of George McDougall, who was the highest ranking officer left in charge, and Emille De Bray. An hour later the rest of his Assistances arrived. De Bray departed immediately to tell Kellett of Richards’ arrival, Kellett promptly headed back to camp. 

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HMS Assistance & Pioneer

Web Whit: Catching up with Assistance & Pioneer 1853

Some of the following is background information which I have had to cull from my manuscript, and will form part of what I call “Web Whits”. To reduce my manuscript so it comes in under the normal word count for a non-fiction manuscript, I have taken vast amounts of background information out of it. This background information will be password protected on the website and available in private pages which will only be accessible to persons who have bought the new book. I am including this Web Whit here as an example of what will be available to folks who buy the new book. (Anyone who would like to sign up ahead of time for a copy can either tell me on the facebook page, or register here and tell me on this website after asking to be a registered user and becoming a contributor!)

Now to the WebWhit:
At the beginning of the 1853 sledging season on 10 April at the Wellington Channel camp, all the sledges and divisions from the flagship and the Pioneer lined up alongside Assistance. Belcher read their orders, and he told them he expected them all to cover at least 10 miles a day. The crews then retired to their respective ships for dinner. At 15:30 they reassembled on Assistance’s quarterdeck for Belcher’s  final address. He ordered them to their dray ropes, those who could use the wind set and trimmed their sails, then all parties left, except for those taking the few remaining sledges in a couple days. Once all the parties were gone only Assistant Surgeon Ricards, Engineers Howard and Webb, Richard Hale, and a steward to cook for them stayed behind.

Richards had HM Sledge Sir Edward. Taking its clue from Belcher’s own verbosity, this sledge was the only one to claim more than one motto: ‘Sustine, Abstine’ (Bear and Forebear); ‘Laus Deo’  (Praise God); AND ‘Loyal au Maort’ (Loyal unto Death), one of Belcher’s family mottos. Richards’ men were: Captain of the Sledge, Edward Humphries, Sailmaker’s Mate; George Jefferies, Sergeant of the RM; Richard Bayley, Bo’s’un’s Mate; George Edwards, Carpenter’s Mate; and three Able-Bodied Seamen: John Simmons, Henry Billett, and Louis Read. 

Five other teams were under Richards’ command.  Sherard Osborn had the John Barrow (Be of Good Courage) with Joseph Organ, Ice Quartermaster and Captain of the Sledge; Thomas Hall, Gunner’s Mate; Samuel Walker, Carpenter’s Mate; three Able-Bodied Seamen: George Wicketts, Thomas Copeland, and William McArthur; and Simon Dix, Royal Marine.Several of Osborn’s men were experienced Arctics. Joseph Organ had been in the Arctic every year since 1848, and both Copeland and McArthur were here in 1850 and 1851.

Lieutenant Walter May had Reliance (Go Forth in Faith) with Benjamin Young, Ice Quartermaster; George Edey; Robert McCormack, Royal Marine; and three Able-Bodied Seamen George Green, George Harris, and James Sinnett. Master Allard, had  Enterprise (Success to the brave) with Captain of the Sledge James Robinson; Thomas Barber, Sailmaker; Cornelius Tielder, AB; Henry Tranter, AB; Richard Box, Royal Marine; William Huggett, AB; John Clark, Steward; George Custance, Stoker; John Green, Private Royal Marine; William Wood, Ship’s Cook. Lastly, Assistant Surgeon John B. Ricards had the Sir Francis Baring and Mate Pym, HM Sledge Perseverance.

Belcher’s orders for Richards were to go due west, gather supplies from the main depot at Cape Lady Franklin, then, with Osborn under his command, proceed to the most north-westerly point of Cornwallis Island and leave information for Kellett at Mount Rendezvous, their pre-arranged location for exchanging despatches and reports. Richards was then to search for Collinson, McClure and Franklin along the entire coast of the island, avoiding wasting time where the ice was old. Using his discretion thereafter whether to split the party, if he did he should take the most northern and western routes, and Osborn the most southwestern.  Not quite to plan Richards actually crossed the Byam Martin Strait and searched the Sabine Peninsula, the most northeasterly point of Melville Island, while Osborn searched Cornwallis Island’s western coast.

Osborn recorded examples in his journals of the weight his men hauled. Total dead weight per sledge was around 557 pounds, the sledge weighing 120, a buffalo robe 37, cooking stove 40, and an additional 56 pounds worth of eight sleeping bags, and the remainder being tents, tools, clothes and medicine. For a long journey, forty days worth of food and fuel added another 843 pounds.

At Cape Colquhoun, Latitude 76.44 N, Longitude 108.46 W, Richards and Osborn separated. By 17 May Richards was no longer in command of a division; he only had his sledge and the men to pull her. Osborn and Richards would continue exploring and searching for as long as their supplies lasted. Then, if they found no sign of the missing explorers, Osborn would turn toward Assistance, anticipating arriving at Cape Lady Franklin by 21 July. 

Returning now to my manuscript:
At almost the most northerly point of the Sabine Peninsula Richards, upon reaching the promontory later named after him, made the following remarkable journal entry:

We were full of hope (although as yet no traces of the missing expedition had been discovered). We had examined 300 miles of new coast, and were good for 200 more. The people in good health and spirits; though it must be confessed somewhat lower in bodily strength than when they left the ship; and we had every reason to hope, that with the resources at our command, we should get to the westward of Melville Island, and find, at any rate, some indications of those we came to seek, should they have ever entered the Polar Sea. At [6:30 p.m.] we parted with the customary cheers; and the sledges were soon out of sight of each other…to our great surprise we crossed a sledge track, which appeared [to be] very recent. I immediately halted the sledge, and followed them back to the eastward. After an hour’s quick walking, we saw an encampment, and, on coming up to it, found it to be a party from the Resolute, under Lieutenant Hamilton. The surprise of himself and his party may be imagined, at being awoke from their dreams by the hail of a stranger.

Overcoming his surprise, Hamilton took great joy in informing Richards of the successful rescue of the Investigators, and that he had no further need to search to the north and west, because the Resolutes and Intrepids had already covered it. Richards could choose between heading back to the Assistance with Hamilton’s despatches and the news of the rescue, or rejoining Osborn and continuing to explore Cornwallis Island’s western coast.

There was nothing in Richard’s orders to direct him to go south or to reach Kellett in person onboard HMS Resolute. He could construe Belcher’s instructions about the sealed letter in a way that could compel him to deliver it in person, but the orders didn’t really read this way. He wasn’t meant to seek out a superior officer, only hand the letter over if he came across officers under either Kellett or Collinson. Perhaps he was curious about the Investigators? Perhaps he wanted to congratulate Kellett and his men on their success? Without any record of his reasons one can only speculate.

However, though Belcher had given him a great deal of latitude, he had ordered Richards to head to the north and west. Sledging to Resolute was almost due south, and added 200 miles to his trip. From his current location it was the same distance to reach Resolute, as it would’ve been to get ⅔ of the way back to the Assistance. So he must have had very strong motivation to subject himself and his men to this additional arduous travel. In the end, Richards’ desire to meet with Kellett outweighed any other considerations.

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HMS Resolute & Intrepid in the New Year 1854

My last blog post took us up to the New Year’s Eve celebrations onboard Resolute and Intrepid. Picking up from where we left off, we begin just a few days into the new year of 1854. From my manuscript:

Only two days into the new year Intrepid’s Royal Marine Thomas Hood died. He was one of the experienced Arctics, and McClintock knew him well because they’d traveled together in 1851 on a ninety day sledge journey during the Austin Expedition. He’d been ill for a long time with a chest complaint and died after suffering a heart attack. While his shipmates had expected his death, they still saw it as an ill omen for the new year to begin with his funeral. In his will he left five pounds and all his clothes to his friend, Jeremiah Shaw, who had nursed him through his illness. He left everything else to his sister.

By 18 January, Kellett had thirty-five men on the sick-list, two of whom suffered with psychological issues. Miertsching’s observation indicated how much stress the overcrowding was causing.

Nothing out of the ordinary occurs except that, often, especially on the Resolute, Captain Kellett is compelled to resort to severe rebuke and punishment to keep his unruly crew in order. 

One month to the day after Hood’s death Intrepid’s Ice Quartermaster James Wilkie also died. Nicknamed ‘Stoneman’, he was only thirty-six, and left a wife and three children. He was also an experienced Arctic, having served with Hood twice, during the 1848-1849 Ross Expedition, and in the 1850 – 1851 Austin Expedition. McDougall wrote about them in his journal, noting both were respected for their strength and endurance. Stoneman’s funeral took place on the same day the sun reappeared, a difficult juxtaposition of feelings of loss and sadness, against relief. Even the well-attended lecture series couldn’t lift the cloud of gloom these deaths left behind. 

The next two lectures were McDougall’s history of Arctic exploration, and Nares’ talk about mechanics. Gradually the men shook off their despondency, and began preparations for the new season. Kellett told the Investigators he was sending them to Beechey Island in the spring, so they could sail home at the first opportunity. This gladdened their hearts:

This was cheering news to all of us, for we are heartily sick of living on these two ships, and although we have a journey of fifty German miles on foot over the ice before us, we will rejoice on the day of our departure. (Miertsching)

By now the Resolutes and Intrepids were as happy to hear this news as the Investigators. Antipathy was particularly strong about Miertsching, who kept pestering them with his religious beliefs. Sailors had a long-standing prejudice against parsons onboard, and a Moravian Brother was too close to a parson for comfort. Miertsching had some followers, called the ‘pietistic Investigators’, but his hosts shied away whenever he tried engaging them in religious conversations. The explorers weren’t non-religious: their writings were frequently interspersed with Biblical references and verses, and appreciation for God’s work as they saw it manifest in the beauty of the worlds they sailed in. But sailors were a very independent lot, and they didn’t care for someone telling them how, or what, they should believe. They also liked to keep to their routines: Sundays were reserved for full dress inspection, Divine Services, and a reading of the Articles of War. That was the extent of their interest in religious formalities.

On 12 April 1854 the first party of Investigators left Resolute and Intrepid led by Dr. Armstrong and Pim. Before their departure Kellett commended the Investigators for their discipline and good conduct. McClure led the second group east two days later, followed by Hamilton taking Kellett’s report to Belcher detailing their successful rescue of the ungrateful Investigators. 

We must catch up with the events on HMS Assistance and Pioneer, and to do this we have to back track to the summer of 1853, and to do that I will begin another blog post.

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Resolute’s 1853 Winter Camp

After the previous post about Resolute’s autumn and then winter camp, (Blog Post titled: The Fate of HMS Resolute and Intrepid in autumn 1853) which ended with the November Guy Fawkes ceremonies conducted by the Resolutes, Intrepids, and Investigators, the tensions between the ships’ companies didn’t disappear. The undercurrent of tension, no doubt partly caused by the overcrowding, lingered the entire winter. However, they all did work together to prepare camp and the ships’ winterising.

You will recall the ships did not have the opportunity to make camp this year in the stable land ice. Instead the floe ice had formed up around them, and they had to secure the ships as best they could. This was not ideal: the floe ice was much less stable and therefore more dangerous than the stable ice along a shore. However, it did have one advantage: the floe was moving slowly eastward. If it didn’t break and consume the ships they would be closer to Beechey Island where Kellett wanted to send the Investigators so they could go home as quickly as possible.

(From my manuscript, taking up immediately after the Guy Fawkes ceremonies at the end of the previously noted blog post:)

On 6 November winterising resumed. With no shore gravel available the ice quartermasters used cinders for the slurry deck covering. Kellett created a clear passage between the ships through the hummocks and rough ice to make winter communication between them safer. To mark the passage so they could follow it even in the midst of a snow storm, Kellett also had the ice quartermasters build snow pillars along the edges of the path. The men had great fun turning these shapeless lumps of snow into sculptures. They carved their images with knives, and adorned several of these snow Resolutes and Intrepids with black buttons for eyes and old boots and bits and bobs to make them realistic additions to the crew.

Sadly, Investigator’s Mate Hubert H. Sainsbury died on 14 November, after being very poorly for two years with a chest ailment. Domville had diligently nursed him, and he’d rallied upon arriving at Resolute, even taking a few walks along the deck. But his strength seeped away when he realised the ships wouldn’t now breaking free until 1854. De Bray recorded Sainsbury had lost hope of seeing England again: taking to his bed he no longer resisted the decline to death. On the 16TH Kellett led Sainsbury’s funeral service and, the men having cut a hole in the ice for his weighted body, he was buried ‘at sea’. Before an hour had passed, new ice had completely sealed his grave.

Winter activities began on 21 November. Domville’s chemistry lecture was the first. The hushed men concentrated until bursting into enthusiastic applause an hour later when he finished.

Such a numerous audience astonished us all, for the original intention was to read the paper quietly in the sickbay to the few men who suggested the idea, but as all the crew wished to attend, the chests were arranged as for church, and the lower deck lighted up. Had Dr. Domville supposed for a moment that he would have been complimented by such a numerous and attentive audience, he would have extended the information to the Intrepid.This is to be remedied next lecture night.” G. F. McDougall

Next, the crew began rehearsals for The Taming of the Shrew, while officers prepared Two Bonny Castles. Others polished songs and poems for the intermission. The curtain rose on 30 November as the ships’ orchestra of six fifes, one violin and a drum played introductory tunes. 

“The fifes had been made from hollow copper curtain rods and the tinsmith has spent many days in making the marvellous [tin] violin. With a certain amount of good will one could passably recognise the numbers, and they might have been a lot worse.” (Emille De Bray)

Miertsching complained the theatre performances did nothing for him, but he hoped he would get better enjoyment from the upcoming lectures. The well attended new series included presentations about astronomy, geology, mechanics, and the history of Arctic traveling….

to be continued

13 May 2021 Resolute’s 1853-1854 winter camp (continued from my new manuscript)

After the Intrepids gave their theatre performance, everyone began Christmas preparations. For days the lower deck made decorations, even painting festive designs on the candles. They hung a chandelier above each mess table, decorated with glass beads, paper rosettes and flags. They used flags to disguise the shelves of gear and hanging equipment, over which they placed every picture they could find onboard. Some put pen to paper and made drawings of themselves, while others hung very neatly printed phrases and slogans appropriate to the day. It was quite a respectable gallery when finished. On Intrepid festivities began on the 22ND with a magic lantern show, conjuring tricks, songs, burlesque and comic turns. A farce called Box and Cox followed. McClintock gave each man a glass of grog and pint of beer, then held a dinner for the officers.

On Christmas Day in Resolute’s mess two long rows of tables groaned under the weight of the food: roast beef (muskox), bacon, preserved meats, beef pies, plum puddings, and cranberry and apple tarts. Several jugs of home-brewed ale (tasting very much like a porter from home) crowned the holiday spread, which the men called ‘Richards’ after Resolute’s brewer, William Richards.Kellett dined with the officers in the wardroom, and all were in fine spirits. 

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve Nares gave his lecture about wind, describing the directions and causes of land and sea breezes, the effects of geography on local weather systems, and even examined the tropical trade winds. De Bray called the talk interesting and well handled, but McDougall felt it was a little too esoteric for most of the seamen. Understood or not, Nares received loud applause.

For New Year’s Eve the officers invited Kellett and McClure to the wardroom for dinner at 16:00. Ox tail and hare soup was followed by…
…a leg of venison, ditto of musk veal, roast ptarmigan, musk beef pie and ham with vegetables in the shape of mashed turnips, green peas, parsnips, and preserved potatoes. The second course was composed of a plum pudding, mince pies (real), and numerous tarts and tartlets, the whole decorated with gaily coloured miniature flags…Cheese, of course, followed, and an ample desert of almonds and raisins, of gingerbread nuts, wine biscuits, French olives, and, though last, not least, a noble plum cake, which would have been excellent, had it not been for the numerous geological specimens the cook had inserted, creating a somewhat unpleasant surprise on coming in contact with one’s teeth.

With the aid of beer, champagne, port and sherry, to assist the flow of soul, the dinner passed off admirably; the celebrated Arctic band being in attendance, playing popular and appropriate airs, after the removal of the cloth; when with full hearts and glasses we drank to ‘absent friends! God bless them!’ – George F. McDougall –

Earlier, Kellett had ordered Hamilton to install an electric telegraph line between the ships, allowing communication between the ships irrespective of weather. The ‘poles’ were thirty foot long oars borrowed from the boats and securely driven into the snow and ice. Hamilton then gave instruction to anyone who wanted it.During their celebrations the weather deteriorated from a pleasant breeze to a strong gale, which whipped up snow into huge drifts, and blocked both ships from view. The revellers could hear the howling winds over their festive noise. Tipsy from the alcohol so joyously consumed the officers made the wise decision that everyone was to stay on Resolute. At 22:00 two Intrepids unexpectedly arrived covered from head to toe in snow, looking for their shipmate, Hartnell, missing for over an hour. Worried he was lost in the blizzard, Hamilton used the telegraph for the first time to send Kellett’s message, ‘Is Hartnell onboard?’ Every officer crowded around, eagerly awaiting the response. In just a minute or two the response came back, to their great relief, ‘Yes.’ This convinced everyone of this newfangled contraption’s usefulness. It had saved them from an impossible and dangerous search in the dark stormy blizzard. At midnight, the men heartily sang ‘Auld Lang Synge’ and put the telegraph to use again for the exchange of new year greetings between the ships. Miertsching called the system ‘schnell-post’ (fast post) or ‘blitz-post’ (lightning post). The men even began using it for chess tournaments, and faced the new year with high spirits. 

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Royal Marines On the BELCHER EXPEDITION

The primary purpose of having Royal Marines on a navy ship was to protect the captain or commander, and the other officers from within, via a mutiny by the ship’s company, or from without via attack. Interestingly, Belcher specifically requested the presence of one bombardier per each of his ships from the Royal Marine Artillery at Portsmouth (except for the depot ship North Star). The Admiralty immediately complied with this request, and four bombardiers subsequently joined the Belcher Expedition on 20 February 1852. These men then served alongside the Royal Marines from the Woolwich Division.

The significance of the Portsmouth Royal Marine Bombardiers is that they were trained in handling cannon. One wonders with whom Belcher expected to have such significant trouble that he would need to use cannon! Perhaps his request was coloured by his experience with his prior near-mutiny on HMS Sulphur when at least one Hampshire newspaper prematurely announced Belcher’s death???

He later emphatically denied his demise in the Times.

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HMS Resolute & Intrepid in 1853

THE GRAVES OF KELLET’S MEN on DEALY ISLAND


Quite a while ago my friend, Martin Kellett, asked me about the graves in this image “Headstones on Dealy Island of Kellett’s Men”. In total 5 men from Resolute and Intrepid died during the Belcher Expedition. Three of them died while Kellett’s 1852-1853 winter camp was still in place off Dealy Island before Resolute & Intrepid headed back east during the autumn of 1853. The remaining two men died in 1854.

The men are listed in date order of their deaths:
Thomas Mobley died on 19 October 1852. From the small village of Buckland, in Buckinghamshire, Thomas was a 39 year old Private in the Royal Marines, and had first enlisted in the Royal Navy on 12 April 1834. He mustered in to served onboard Resolute on the 21st of February 1852. (All the rest of the men who died were serving on Intrepid.) He died near the close of the autumn sledging trips, while everyone anxiously awaited the return of the final team led by McClintock. Having a weak heart, Dr. Domville had hoped to preserve Thomas’ health by keeping him on light duties. When, on 18 October, Mobley tried going outside without wearing proper clothing, the shock of the cold air made him turn back. Upon reaching the deck his heart stopped and he immediately collapsed. He had been well liked by his shipmates and the Intrepids, and his sudden death badly affected everyone. The sadness permeated Resolute, and McDougall wrote:
Few things in my somewhat eventful life, have produced a more saddening effect than that occasioned by the death of this man-who was beloved and respected by all onboard…the respect of the officers and men toward him was sincere. He was beloved by his shipmates for his amiable qualities, and respected by the officers for his trustworthy character…an upright man, and I believe a sincere Christian, he died as he had lived- ‘the noblest work of God’ -an honest man.”

The Royal Marines were formed into divisions. The first 3 divisions were based in Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth. The 4th division was established at Woolwich from 1805 – 1869. Each division consisted of several infantry companies, and these were numbered. Mobley mustered from the Woolwich Division, and his infantry company number was 92.

George Drover, died on 12 December 1852. George was Intrepid’s fo’c’le captain. Variously recorded as being 27 and 33 years old, he was from Alverstone, Hampshire, on the Isle of White, and had served on HMS Assistance during the 1850-1851 Austin Expedition. He was a Woolwich volunteer who mustered in onboard Resolute on 24 February 1852. Dr. Domville recorded pleuritis as the cause of his death. (The same as pleurisy, it is the painful inflammation of the tissues that separate the lungs from the chest wall.) George had crossed Melville Island between 14 September and 2 October 1852. He then set out again on HM Sledge Hero on 7 October, but he had to return that same day because he was feeling unwell, and he remained on the sick list util his death. His funeral service was on 19 December and McClintock had him buried next to Thomas Mobley.

John Coombes, who died on 12 May 1853, was born in St. Stevens, Cornwall. He mustered in onboard Resolute on 24 February 1852 to serve as a stoker onboard Intrepid. At the time he had been serving on Victoria & Albert and was 32 years and 9 months old. Resolute’s Muster Book reveals he was 5 feet, 9 inches tall, had a fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair, and was married. John had spent his entire working life in the Royal Navy. Before the Belcher Expedition he had served on:
HMS Gordon (1839-1842)
HMS Styx (1842-1844)
HMS Stromboli (1844-1847)
HMS Victoria & Albert (1848-1852)
Coombes died while sledging under the command of Francis Leopold McClintock. They were returning to the ships, and McClintock’s men had joined De Bray’s team on the way. After an autopsy, Dr. Domville recorded his death as being caused by hypertrophy of the heart and pulmonary apoplexy.

From the American Mayo Clinic’s website,
“Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick (hypertrophied). The thickened heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to pump blood. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy often goes undiagnosed because many people with the disease have few, if any, symptoms and can lead normal lives with no significant problems. However, in a small number of people with HCM, the thickened heart muscle can cause shortness of breath, chest pain or problems in the heart’s electrical system, resulting in life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) or sudden death.”

Below are the two remaining “Kellett Men” who died during the Belcher Expedition.

Thomas Hood died on 2 January 1854. He was a Private in the Royal Marines, and first enlisted in the Royal Navy on 16 June 1841. Born in Brewood, Staffordshire, a small village (just NW of Birmingham, Staffordshire), he was 30 years old when he mustered in on 21 February 1852 for service on Intrepid. He was among the Royal Marine Woolwich volunteers, and his infantry company number was 60.This is what I wrote about him in my new manuscript:
Only two days into the new year Intrepid’s Royal Marine Thomas Hood died. He was one of the experienced Arctics, and McClintock knew him well because they’d traveled together in 1851 on a ninety day sledge journey during the Austin Expedition. He’d been ill for a long time with a chest complaint and died after suffering a heart attack. While his shipmates had expected his death, it was still seen as an ill omen for the new year to begin with his funeral. In his will he left five pounds and all his clothes to his friend, Jeremiah Shaw, who had nursed him through his illness. He left everything else to his sister.

The final Kellett man to die was Intrepid’s ice quartermaster James Wilkie on 2 February 1854, exactly one month to the day after Hood. 37 years old when he mustered in, his nickname was “Stoneman” and he was born in Dartmouth, Devon, was only 36 years old, and left a wife and three children. Stoneman Wilkie was also an experienced Arctic, having served with Hood twice, during the 1848-1849 Ross Expedition, and in the 1850 – 1851 Austin Expedition.

McDougall wrote about them in his journal, noting both were respected for their strength and endurance: “Poor Wilkie, ice quartermaster of the ‘Intrepid’, breathed his last at 3AM, of disease of the heart and effusion of the chest. He had been on the sick list nearly the whole winter, but was not considered in danger until within about three weeks of his death…It is a sad reflection that Intrepid should have lost no less than four out of her crew of thirty souls, being nearly one-seventh of the whole…The following day, the 3rd, all that remained of poor Wilkie was consigned to the grave, just as the first beams of the long absent sun tinged the southern horizon.”

From my ms I wrote:
What a difficult juxtaposition of feelings the men must have felt, those of loss and sadness, against that of relief. Even the well-attended lecture series couldn’t lift the cloud of gloom these deaths left behind. 

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NEW SUBSCRIBERS!

We have some new Resolutes to welcome to the Resolute website! One is a direct descendent of Francis Leopold McClintock and another is a direct descendent of one of Resolute’s Royal Marines. I encourage them say more about themselves if they want to by commenting on this blog post. We also have another new member who has been very interested in all things Franklin for quite a few years now. All of them have come from the Remembering Franklin Facebook page which I just recently joined myself.

I do have a long time and faithful Resolute who bears the Kellett name, though he cannot be a direct descendent of my hero Captain Kellett since Henry Kellett never married and had no children. Martin has been faithfully following me for years and I consider him a dear friend now. I am hoping some more of my Facebook followers will register here as we go along, but I am so glad to have folks coming here from the Remembering Franklin FB page.

Martin asked me a question quite a while ago about some graves, but answering it got lost in the shuffle of life. I have started a blog post about it today, which I will publish soon.

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HMS Resolute & Intrepid in 1853 The Widening Search

The Fate of HMS Resolute & Intrepid in autumn 1853

After Kellett sent his report to Belcher the Resolutes and Intrepids had to wait for the sledging party’s return.

(From my manuscript)
During this time the officers organised races and wrestling matches. Kellett, with McClintock on his back, raced Pim and, rather suspiciously, won easily. Richard Roche described the festivities in his journal:

8 Aug 53 All hands from both ships went on shore…where a race course had been measured off. Various matches were made, the men running for sweepstakes of 1, 2, and 3 pounds sterling. Several (both officers and men) stripped and ran in drawers and stockings so eager were they for the winning. The Captain ran 50 yards, carrying Captain McClintock on his back, while Pim ran 100 yards in 14 seconds and 300 yards in 46 seconds. Most of the officers ran 150 yards for sweepstakes and Nares (being  a long legged young fellow) carried off the first prize. We returned on board by 2 o’clock, the Captain, in a fit of generosity, and in consideration of the fatigue we had undergone, served out a pint of beer all round. I realised 1 pound 10 shillings by the above transactions.

In mid August the ice broke up and Kellett prepared the ships for sailing. With anticipation of an open run, everyone’s spirits filled with soaring joy but, just as the sails were set, the winds shifted and the floe ice solidly blocked the channel ahead of them from Melville Island to the northernmost tip of Byam Martin. The men pretended a philosophical indifference to this turn of events, but most couldn’t hide their disappointment. These fits and starts continued to plague them as they kept trying to make headway towards Beechey Island. But by the beginning of September they began doubting they could reach their goal. Kellett shifted supplies between the ships in case he’s have to order them to separate. He planned to send Intrepid ahead alone if it looked like Resolute wouldn’t get through.

The lookout in Resolute’s crows nest on 11 September saw nothing but ice in all directions. Kellett’s ships were in danger of having to make winter camp drifting in the pack ice. The only consolation was the pack kept moving slowly eastward. If it didn’t crush them, by spring they should be closer to Beechey Island. The pressure of the ice all around caused many eerie and startling sounds, putting the men on edge. Though written about the Antarctic, the Resolutes and Intrepids would’ve recognised Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s description of ice in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: 

And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
And through the drifts of snowy cliffs
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken-
The ice was in-between.
The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound! 


The days passed with a succession of storms while the pack continued to move ESE. Some days they could sail, others a sudden squall would force them to reduce canvas. On 9 September at 01:30 a strong westerly quickly moved the ships along, but in less than an hour a mass of thick, icy sludge stopped Resolute. This time Intrepid towed her out of the nearly impassable ice soup to stable land ice where the men secured both ships. 

Kellett sent out hunting parties after spotting a herd of thirty-five muskox. They successfully killed eleven, yielding 1,970 pounds of meat.  The day after the hunt Kellett called McClintock and McClure into his cabin to review options. A few hours later, Kellett took the Intrepid aheadto check the state of the ice. Before leaving, Kellett ordered enough supplies brought out of Resolute’s hold to supply seventy men through 1 June 1854 and put them onboard Intrepid. McDougall interpreted this order to mean Kellett would leave Resolute behind if it looked like only the steamship Intrepid could get through.

Later that afternoon McDougall received the signal that he should sail Resolute east to join Intrepid. Only a few minutes after reaching the steam tendera slurry of young ice stopped them again. This time Resolute didn’t budge. They lit Bickford’s fuses, Resolute didn’t budge. They rigged hawsers from both her sides sides to pull and rock her. Resolute didn’t budge. Kellett ordered lines to Intrepid. Resolute made an modicum of progress. But around midnight the ice formed up and stopped our gallant ships.

By 20 September Kellett accepted they had to prepare winter camp on the floe ice. They stowed the topgallant yards and furl the jibs and trysails. As other camp prep took place, some Resolute’s were taken completely by surprise, only a short time after being beset, to find the ice was already 20 feet deep.

Wintering in the pack was dangerous: its instability and movement put the ships at great risk of being crushed. if the floe headed southward and they had to abandon ship, they’d have a much longer trek to North Star. Kellett faced a claustrophobic winter with Resolute and Intrepid so overcrowded. Without secure surrounding land, he couldn’t off load supplies, leaving the deck cluttered with equipment.

Space was so cramped that McClure and Kellett, sharing a tiny cabin, found that one man had to stay in bed while the other washed and dressed; there wasn’t room for two to stand upright. And when the steward came to tidy the room, both [Kellett and McClure] had to go out onto the cold deck…

26 April 2021 blog post:
[From my manuscript: as always italicised print indicates material quoted in the ms]

The Resolutes and Intrepids had initially greeted the Investigators with enthusiasm, and the Investigators, on their part, returned this with their own heartfelt gratitude. Investigator’s translator Johann Miertsching, a Moravian Brothers missionary who could speak Inuit, recorded their initial reception:

I was conducted to the Captain’s cabin, where for the first time in sixteen days I had a decent wash and put on clothes and linen leant me by Captain Kellett. After breakfasting with the two captains [Kellett and McClure], and drinking my first cup of coffee in two and a half years, I went to rest and enjoyed a refreshing sleep until 2 o’clock when I was called for lunch. The ship Intrepid- two hundred paces from the Resolute- has been set up as a hospital for the sick, and twenty two men of our company placed there immediately.

(McClure had told Miertsching to leave his journals behind, but on Resolute he wrote a new one using paper, pens, and ink Kellett, Domville, and DeBray gave him.) 

Space was seriously short on both ships:

As for comfortable quarters on board, they lie beyond our sphere of knowledge…On the Intrepid our lot…[is bad] for we have neither the necessary bedding nor warm cabins. Our beds consist of two woollen blankets (coverlets) , one of which each man brought in his sleeping-bag from the Investigator, and the other issued to us here; more cannot be given us for there is no more to give; and our cabins, framed of canvas instead of plank, are so cold that the temperature never rises above freezing point.

Nerves had started fraying before the ice formed up around the ships; then Kellett had to initiate reduced rations. The Investigator’s carpenter George Ford had already begun complaining before summer ended:

We have no place to sit down or wash and but for [Resolute’s carpenter] Mr. Dean’s kindness no place to get our food. All that we have to sleep on is a blanket and buffalo robe we brought with us in a haversack. The men have been doing all the most servile work while this ship’s company does nearly nothing, and part of them officers’ servants. We have never received the least extra to renew our strength, noting but barely the ship’s allowance whilst the traveling parties of this ship on returning got preserved milk, Normandy pippens (sic).

Every Resolute and Intrepid had donated portions of their rations and any extra blankets, but felt their sacrifices weren’t appreciated. When the Investigators excluded them from their celebration it added insult to injury. Miertsching recorded the unpleasant mood in both ships, claiming his shipmates’d been nothing but amiable. But their actions spoke louder than his words as the Investigators followed their captain’s lead in showing no gratitude.

Resolute had a serious condensation problem this winter, probably due to the extra men. Kellett lit all the stoves before building the snowbanks around her to try drying her out as much as possible. It didn’t really help. During October the men alternated between winterising jobs and playing games like rounders on the ice. By the end of the month they’d built a snow depot alongside Resolute, cleared most of the main deck and had secured the tent over it. 

The Resolutes, Intrepids, and Investigators welcomed in November by celebrating Guy Fawkes Day. As morning dawned on 5 November masked, blacked-up and disguised Resolutes played music and drew a sledge with their Guy on it to Intrepid, where their stuffed Guy waited upon her deck. They sang, delivered an address to McClintock, played more music then returned to Resolute. An hour later the Intrepids did the same. As night fell Kellett lit an enormous bonfire and the men threw both ships’ gunpowder-filled Guys onto it. The Arctic resounded to explosions, fired rockets and loud huzzahs. Kellett served up double rum rations to close the festivities. Although the Investigators had been included, Ford wasn’t happy: his only words about the celebrations were complaints about the Investigators still being subjected to punishment for their Northwester Day.

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HMS Resolute & Intrepid in 1853 The Widening Search

Captain Kellett’s Spring 1853 Report to Belcher

From my manuscript: Kellett’s report “…began in autumn 1852, covered the voyage from Beechey to Dealy, making camp, autumn sledging, and Mecham’s discovery of McClure’s message. Kellett described their winter theatricals and lectures, explaining he’d sent Pim as early as possible in the spring to Investigator, where Pim’d arrived just as McClure was preparing his weakest men for a cross-Arctic death march. He described the Investigators’ arrival at Resolute, medical conditions, and ultimately his order for the abandonment of Investigator.

Kellett wrote up his plans for the upcoming summer and autumn, then detailed what he would do if Resolute and Intrepid broke free from the ice in August. He informed Belcher he intended to send Intrepid to Beechey Island with all the Investigators, so they could sail to England on the first available ship. He asked Belcher to send Intrepid back the following year with another vessel carrying food, clothing, and fuel. If it was necessary to leave Resolute they would head east for Beechey after leaving a depot for Collinson. He added, at the time of writing, he knew nothing about the Enterprises.

Don’t think of waiting for me yourself. Leave me a vessel at Beechey Island, and a good depot, sufficient to place us on full allowance when we get there, and to sustain us for a winter. It will be necessary for North Star to have her water complete, and as  many casks as she can fill besides, in readiness to supply any vessel that may reach her…and all the provisions she can spare landed in a secure depot…and all will be well. All my traveling parties left in the highest spirits, in the best possible condition, and admirably equipped. I am most anxious for the results of their journeys. If Sir John Franklin’s ships are ever to be found, I think they will [be] now….It is very painful for me to be obliged to send away Mr. Roche with this party; it looks as if I wanted to get rid of him, or that I could most easily spare him. On the contrary, he is one of my most efficient officers…His crew think they are disgraced by being sent away; not so, they are all excellent men; their only fault is they eat. You will be pleased to hear…they have all vied with each other in performance of their duty, and also in pleasing me. My next letter will show what stuff they’re made of.

Kellett signed and sealed the report, and gave it to Roche, who departed with the report, Beauty, Cresswell, Wyniatt, and ten men that same day, headed for North Star.

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Lieutenant Hamilton’s 1853 Search for Collinson & Franklin

So far in this blog we have covered Lieutenant Pim’s rescue of McClure and the Investigators, McClintock’s long search and Mecham’s sledging trip. When Mecham returned to HMS Resolute it was mid summer. We haven’t covered yet Lieutenant Hamilton’s sledging search, so this is where we will focus our attention now. During his trip search parties from Belcher’s ships Assistance and Pioneer overlapped and joined Hamilton’s team. As always, quotes from the explorer’s letters and reports are in italics. From my manuscript:

Before the expedition split at Beechey, Belcher and Kellett created a rendezvous point at Latitude 77°N, Longitude 105°W for the men from the Western and Eastern branches of the expedition to deposit and share information. Kellett had given Hamilton his charts, the account of the Investigators’ rescue, and Investigator’s journal of proceedings to exchange for Belcher’s despatches. On his second trip Hamilton set out to search the northern reaches of Melville Island via Hecla and Griper Bay. Taking Hope out for 54 days, from 27 April – 21 June, his team covered 663 miles. Including several experienced Arctics, his men were George Murray, Quartermaster; Robert Hoile, Sailmaker; William Silvey, Ice Quartermaster; William Colville, Blacksmith; Thomas Wilson, AB; John Coghlan, AB; David Ross, Corporal Bombardier Royal Marines. McDougall, with several men on Erin, accompanied Hamilton until 2 May, setting up cairns before heading back to Resolute.

On his second day Hamilton met Roche returning from depositing supplies at Cape Mudge. Roche gave him directions to the depot, and a ‘very acceptable present’ of a muskox shoulder he’d been hauling. During his first few days Hamilton made good progress, reaching Roche’s Cape Mudge cairn on the 4TH. But then the coast was covered in three feet of snow, making it difficult to trace, particularly since it was devoid of any prominent points or features. Mist and fog slowed their progress, and their runners kept breaking through the ice. However, at long last on Friday the 13TH, they,

…took advantage of this fine day to dry our wet clothes and robes, also to wash our hands, face, and feet in snow, which is more refreshing than a stranger to the process would imagine. Obtained very good sites.

On 16 May, after a considerable snowfall in the night, the glare completed blinded Hoile, and partially blinded several others. Hamilton used a concoction of…  

…drops of wine of opium into the men eyes, and [bathed] the eyeballs with weak spirits and water. A remedy for snow blindness I have generally found efficacious. 

After dinner three days later they were astonished to hear footsteps outside their tent, and to welcome an unexpected guest, Commander George Richards. En route to Resolute, he found Hamilton’s sledge tracks and followed them for three miles to their camp. Richards told Hamilton about a cache of muskox at Latitude 76°, 33 minutes N, Longitude 104°, 50 minutes W, where he could also find Belcher’s new orders. Richards also said he’d parted ways with Osborn only the day before, and Hamilton could overtake him if he hurried. Richards then headed directly for Resolute, and Hamilton took his satellite sledge with Hoile and Ross to catch Osborn. They found the cairn containing muskox and dispatches, but hurrying on too quickly Hamilton capsized on a hummock and broke his sledge. He took off swiftly, alone on foot, reaching Osborn at 09:00 on 21 May, much to Osborn’s surprise. Osborn sent his carpenter’s mate back to help repair the broken sledge, but the resourceful Hoile, in only two hours, had already effected a temporary repair and was well on his way towards them. The carpenter used a new set of poppets he’d made from a spare batten to make a more permanent repair.

Hamilton, Osborn and their men, reached the depot containing Belcher’s new orders on 28 May. Hamilton picked up these despatches, gave Osborn Investigator’s journal, Kellett’s charts and his account of the Investigator rescue, then set off that evening, rejoining his men on 3 June. They were heartily glad to begin their homeward trek. While Hamilton was away, they’d killed a deer and four ptarmigans, making a good celebratory feast for their reunion.

Hamilton deviated from his outward route only once to examine his namesake, Hamilton Island, then reached Cape Mudge on the 14TH. The deep and muddy sludge made their progress extremely slow, but they all reached Resolute safely on 21 June.

At Resolute, Kellett had finished his detailed report on 7 May. It began in autumn 1852…