A relic of Sir John Franklin's last expedition 1845-8. A fiddle-pattern, silver table spoon, owned by Alexander McDonald, Assistant Surgeon, HMS 'Terror'. It was bought from the Inuit by the McClintock Search Expedition on 3 March 1859, near Cape Victoria, on the Boothia Peninsula. It has London hallmarks and a date code for 1819. The maker's mark is possibly that for William Chawner II (the initials 'WC'). The monogram 'A Mc D' is engraved on the front of the handle.
See F.L. McClintock 'The voyage of the Fox in the Arctic Seas' p. 369 'six silver spoons and forks, the property of Sir John Franklin, Lieutenants H.D. Vescomte and Fairholme, A. McDonald, Assistant-Surgeon, and Lieutenant E. Couch', p.370 'The spoons and forks were readily sold for a few needles each'.

Alexander Macdonald was born at Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire on 13 September 1817. He graduated as licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1838. In 1840 he served on an whaling vessel commanded by Captain William Penny and wrote an account of his experiences. Between 2 Sept 1841 and 5 March 1845 he served as surgeon on board HMS 'Belvidera' in the Mediterranean. He was appointed Assistant Surgeon in HMS 'Terror' on Sir John Franklin's last expedition of 1845. The expedition was beset and abandoned their ships in 1848. There were no survivors.

Object Details

ID: AAA2478
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Spoon
Display location: Display - Polar Worlds Gallery
Creator: Chawner, William
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Fox (1855); Terror (1813)
Date made: 1819
People: Alexander McDonald, Alexander
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 25 x 229 x 48 mm

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