Two packets of gun cartridges

Two packages of gun cartridges from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The two packages are made of green paper tied with thread. One package has disintegrated so that the eight cartridges are loose. These are associated with the two double-barrelled shotguns found resting against the boat on King William Island.

The two packets of cartridges were 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 finding a lot of material in the boat, including 'a considerable quantity of powder & shot...' [Stenton, 'Arctic' v.69, No. 4, p. 518]. McClintock may have been the one to recover the packets and records ’Two small packets of blank cartridge in green paper'. [McClintock, Voyage of the Fox (1859), page 366].

The packets of cartridges were displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 2, No. 86 & 87. 'Cartridges'. 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 (top, left above their label 'Blank Cartridges').

Object Details

ID: AAA2175
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Packets of cartridges
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: Overall: 6 x 44 x 19 mm

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