Dessert fork

A relic of Sir John Franklin's last expedition 1845-8. A silver dessert fork owned by Lieutenant Robert Thomas ('HMS Terror'). It was found in an abandoned boat at Erebus Bay, King William Island, in May 1859 by the McClintock Search Expedition 1857-9. The back of the handle is inscribed with the monogram 'R.T.' The maker's mark 'CS' is that of Charles Shipway and it has London hallmarks with the date code for 1844.
McClintock's party reached this site on the 30 May and discovered that Hobson had been there a few days before on the 18th. The boat was 28 foot long and mounted on a heavy sledge. McClintock found it just above high tide mark pointing back in the direction of the ships and containing a large quantity of abandoned personal possessions and two skeletons.
Robert Thomas passed his examination for promotion to Lieutenant in March 1845 and was shortly afterwards appointed Mate in HMS 'Terror' during Sir John Franklin's last expedition. He was promoted to Lieutenant two years after its departure.

Object Details

ID: AAA2496
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Dessert fork
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Shipway, Charles
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Fox (1855); Terror (1813)
Date made: 1844 ?
People: Thomas, Robert
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 15 x 176 x 22 mm

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