A relic of Sir John Franklin's last expedition 1845-8. A silver fiddle-pattern table spoon owned by Stephen Samuel Stanley (Surgeon, 'HMS Erebus'). Found in an abandoned boat at Erebus Bay, King William Island, in May 1859 by the McClintock Search Expedition 1857-9. The front of the handle is engraved with Stanley's initials 'SSS'. The maker's mark is 'W.E' (possibly William Eaton and the spoon has London hallmarks with the date letter for 1837.
Stanley obtained the diploma of Member of the Royal College of surgeons in 1838 and entered the Navy as Assistant-Surgeon during the same year. He later worked at Haslar hospital and met James Fitzjames while attached to HMS 'Cornwallis during the first China War. He was promoted Surgeon and joined Sir John Franklin's last expedition as Surgeon of HMS 'Erebus'. Fitzjames describes him as thoroughly good-natured and obliging.
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: AAA2503
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Spoon
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Eaton, William
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Erebus (1826); Fox (1855)
Date made: 1837 ?
People: Stanley, Stephen Samuel
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 28 x 222 x 51 mm

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