The Voyage of the 'Prince Albert', 1850

Change log
Stone, Ian R. 

This expedition was the first of Lady Franklin's private expeditions in search of her husband and the crews of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror lost in the islands of the Canadian Arctic. The aim was to winter in Prince Regent Inlet and explore the area to the west using two separate boat parties. These parties were to be commanded by C.C. Forsyth R.N., the captain of the ship, and W.P. Snow, his clerk. After a swift passage to Prince Regent Inlet Forsyth turned back because he was prevented from penetrating the inlet further than Fury Beach by what was regarded as unbreachable ice. Prince Albert then passed near Cape Riley where Snow obtained news of the relics that had been found by another expedition and which indicated that Franklin had wintered in that vicinity. Further relics were brought back to Britain by Forsyth. The return caused much disappointment to Lady Franklin and Sophia Cracroft. They determined to send Prince Albert out again with a different commander. Snow believed that he was to have that post, but it was allocated to William Kennedy on his arrival from Canada. This thesis is an analysis of the events surrounding the voyage with reference to the light they throw on the different personalities involved. It is suggested that the main reason for the failure was that the preparation was mismanaged. No efforts were made to secure the appointment of people who had sufficient identity of interests to be an effective team. Forsyth found the situation on board such that he decided to conclude the voyage as soon as a reasonable excuse for returning presented itself.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Awarding Institution
University of Cambridge