Portion of boat weather canvas cloth

A piece of boat weather canvas from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The piece of linen canvas consists of a selvage edge with two sewn eyelet holes. It is marked with rust stains.

The piece of canvas was found by Lieutenant William R. Hobson's sledge team on 24 May 1859 at a place where a ship's boat was discovered on the coast of Erebus Bay, King William Island, as part of the search expedition led by Captain F. L. McClintock. Hobson described 'Around the gunwale, secured by light batten, was a canvass [sic] weather cloth, which seems to have answered the double purpose of wash streaks [sic] and to exclude the wind from between the boat's gunwale and the rain awning or housing with which she appears to have been fitted.' [Stenton, 'Arctic' v.69, No. 4, p. 517]. McClintock visited the site on 30 May and records in more detail 'She was fitted with a weather-cloth 9 inches high, battened down all round the gunwale, and supported by 24 iron stancheons, so placed as to serve likewise for rowing thowells.' [McClintock, Voyage of the Fox (1859), page 291].

The shot pouch was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, in Case 2, No. 41. 'Boat's canvas cloth'. The item is shown in 'Stereoscopic slides of the relics of Sir John Franklin's Expedition' photographed by Lieutenant Cheyne RN, at the United Services Museum, Whitehall, No. 7 (bottom right, under the stanchion, glove, eyepiece and button).

Object Details

ID: AAA2144
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Boat weather cloth
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Fox (1855)
Date made: Before 1845
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: 405 x 241 mm

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