Wills & Testaments of the Franklin Expedition
This category contains all the wills of the Franklin Expedition that were administered before or during 1856, and are therefore available through The National Archives’ records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. It is possible that wills are missing, despite being administered before 1856, due to being made on other ships
The majority of the wills have been transcribed from the probates noted in the above mentioned records. Exceptions to this are the wills of Sir John Franklin and Charles Osmer, which were both transcribed from the originals.
Every will has two different transcriptions. One ‘direct transcription’ or the text as it was exactly written down, acronyms and mistakes unchanged. The other is ‘adjusted for readability’ with added punctuation, capitalisation and resolved acronyms. More details below.
About the Publications
Types of text you will see:
- Normal text = normal text, written in legal hand. In normal wills this is cursive.
- Bold text = titles/subtitles; in the probates this is often the first line and ‘proved’.
- Italicised text = text written in cursive for the probates; different handwriting/filled in (like a form) for actual wills.
Changes to the body of the text in adjusted versions:
- Capitalisation can be changed with the changes marked by square brackets.
- Acronyms are resolved, including names where possible.
- Any misspelled words are corrected, also marked with square brackets.
Master of the HMS Terror. The National Archives: PROB 11/2192/192
Second Master of the HMS Erebus. TNA: PROB 11/2192/332
Mate of the HMS Erebus. TNA: PROB 11/2192/331
Able Seaman on the HMS Terror. TNA: PROB 11/2195/338
Captain of the HMS Terror and second in command of the expedition. TNA: PROB 11/2198/333
Commander of the HMS Erebus and third in command of the expedition. TNA: PROB 11/2193/347
Captain of the HMS Erebus and commander of the overall expedition. TNA: PROB 1/92
Assistant Surgeon of the HMS Erebus. TNA: PROB 11/2196/323
Clerk in Charge of the HMS Terror (and overall expedition). TNA: PROB 11/2193/209
Second Lieutenant of the HMS Erebus. TNA: PROB 11/2194/191
Assistant Surgeon of the HMS Terror. TNA: PROB 11/2193/413
Purser of the HMS Erebus (and overall expedition). TNA: ADM 48/69/83
Surgeon of the HMS Terror. TNA: PROB 11/2193/157
Master of the HMS Erebus. TNA: PROB 11/2193/279
Surgeon of the HMS Erebus. TNA: PROB 11/2195/250
Mate of the HMS Terror. TNA: PROB 11/2217/27