A relic of Sir John Franklin's last expedition 1845-8. A silver told English pattern table fork owned by Lieutenant Robert Orme Sargent ('HMS Erebus'). The back of the handle is engraved with Sargent's crest of a dolphin and wings . It was found in an abandoned boat at Erebus Bay, King William Island, in May 1859 by the McClintock Search Expedition 1857-9. The fork has the maker's mark of Thomas Northcote - 'TN'. It has London hallmarks with the date code for 1792.
Sargent passed his Lieutenant's examination in 1843. He was appointed Mate of HMS 'Terror' during Sir John Franklin's last expedition and was promoted after it sailed. In his journal Commander Fitzjames described him as a 'nice, pleasant-looking lad, very good-natured'.
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. McClintock found none of the iron spoons used by the men, and concluded that the officer's plate had been distributed among the crew to preserve it.

Object Details

ID: AAA2502
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Fork
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Northcote, Thomas
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Erebus (1826); Fox (1855)
Date made: 1792 ?
People: Sargent, Robert Orme
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 18 x 206 x 25 mm

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