A Manual of Private Devotions

A relic of Sir John Franklin's last expedition 1845-8. 'A Manual of Private Devotions' by Charles James Blomfield (1786-1857 ), published by B. Fellows, Ludgate Street, London found in an abandoned boat at Erebus Bay, King William Island, in May 1859 by the McClintock Search Expedition 1857-9. The book is a cloth bound, pocket edition. Inscribed on the title page 'G. Back to Graham Gore May 1845'. On a hand-written label inside the front cover 'This book was given by Rear Admiral Sir George Back to Lieut. Graham Gore, who was first Lieutt with Sir John Franklin in HMS Erebus May 1845. It was found by Geo. Edwards carpenters mate of the Fox Capt McClintock RN near one of two skeletons in a boat covered by snow in Erebus Bay May 18 1859. King William Island Lat 69 12 N Long 97 25 W. Geor. Edwards. Names of the sledge party Lieut. W. R. Hobson, Geo Edwards, Henry Toms, W. James, Benj. W. Pound, Christian Anthon (Esquimaux from Lievely) [Greenland]. Left the ship 2d April and returned June 1859.'
Sir George Back (1796-1878) was a veteran of three arctic expeditions commanded by Sir John Franklin and led two of his own - down the Great Fish River to the coast, and in 'Terror' to the northern part of Hudson Bay in 1836-7. He was one of the Arctic Council - an informal body that provided expert advice to the Franklin search expeditions. Back's Great Fish River seems to have been adopted as a planned escape route by Franklin's officers.
Graham Gore entered the Navy in April 1820. He took part in the Battle of Navarino while serving as Midshipman on HMS 'Albion'. During 1836 and 1837 he served as Mate in 'Terror' under Sir George Back during Back's voyage to the Arctic. Now a Lieutenant, he served in 'Modest' and 'Volage' during the Chinese war . Appointed Lieutenant on Franklin's ship HMS 'Erebus' in 1845, he was promoted to the rank of Commander after the expedition sailed. Commander Fitzjames said he was a 'man of great stability of character, a very good officer, and the sweetest of tempers'. In May 1847, Franklin sent Gore, Des Voeux, and six men to King William Island, probably to explore the then uncharted link in the North West Passage. The party marched for some distance along the west coast of the island to the south before returning to the ships. By the time the ships were abandoned in April the following year, Gore was dead. The book was bequeathed to Greenwich Hospital in 1900 by Mrs Eliza Back, the widow of the Reverend Henry Back, George Back's nephew.

Object Details

ID: AAA2199
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Prayer book
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Blomfield, Charles James; B. Fellows
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Fox (1855)
Date made: 1839
People: Gore, Graham; Edwards, George Back, George
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Measurements: Overall: 127 x 89 x 15 mm

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