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Who discovered the bodies?:


Due to the Expedition being completely lost and isolated around the Arctic, people had found remains of the expedition in different times as well as places.

These individuals who had discovered remains from the Franklin Expedition were:

- Captain Erasmus Ommanney
- John Rae
- Sir Francis McClintock
- Dr Owen Beattie, Canadian anthropologist



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John Rae (1813-1893)

When were they discovered?:


- 1850 (Ommaney)
- 1854 (John Rae)
-1857(Sir Francis McClintock)
-1981 (Owen Beattie)



Where were they discovered?:


Remains of bodies were found all over North East Canada, near Greenland. However, King William Island, Beechey Island and Devon Island held most artefacts on the expedition.

How were they discovered?:


Erasmus Ommanney


Ommanney had found remains of the Franklin Expedition at Cape Riley in Devon Island. He wrote that he had discovered: "fragments of stores and ragged clothing and the remains of an encampment”
Many artefacts of the expedition were scattered around him, but there was no clue as to what might have happened to the voyage. Ommanney had been on an expedition to find missing whales.


John Rae:


John Rae had gone a search expedition for the remains of the Franklin expedition. He had met lots of Inuits, who had items from the Franklin expedition, including cutlery and various letters as well as many accounts that they told John Rae, including a statement from an Inuit that the last surviving crewman from the expedition had fell subject to cannibalism before dying. Rae had stated this, on his return to England, which caused much controversy amongst the British public, who refused to believe that the Royal Navy would fall to such grotesque manner, especially from Victorian England.


Francis McClintock:


Franklin’s wife, who refused to believe that the sailors had fell to cannibalism, as well as wanting to find out the fate of her husband, had requested that renowned Arctic Explorer Francis McClintock lead a search expedition. They too, like John Rae found Inuits with many items from the expedition as well as the fate of the expedition (through journal accounts): Both ships had become stuck in ice in September 1846 and for over a year and a half 24 members including John Franklin had died. In April 1848, the remaining members abandoned the ships to walk across the ice to find a river where they could row to a trading post. Due to letters being unfinished, McClintock concluded that they did not survive.



Dr Owen Beattie:
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Dr Owen Beattie (Anthropologist)

Over a century later, Dr Owen Beattie a Canadian anthropologist, set off to find more about the fate of the Franklin Expedition. He had found three sailors: Petty Officer John Torrington, Able Seaman John Hartnell and Private William Braine of the Royal Marines. After running autopsies on the bodies he found that they had died in the first winter of the Franklin expedition.


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