Burial of John Franklin. Author: me


Kabloonas is the way in which the Inuit who live in the north part of Canada call those who haven´t their same ascendency.

The first time i read this word was in the book "Fatal Passage" by Ken McGoogan, when, as the result of the conversations between John Rae and some inuit, and trying to find any evidence of the ill-fated Sir John Franklin Expedition, some of then mentioned that they watched how some kabloonas walked to die in the proximities of the river Great Fish.

I wish to publish this blog to order and share all those anecdotes that I´ve been finding in the arctic literature about arctic expeditions. My interest began more than 15 years ago reading a little book of my brother about north and south pole expeditions. I began reading almost all the bibliography about Antarctic expeditions and the superknown expeditions of Scott, Amundsen, Shackleton, etc. After I was captured by the Nansen, Nobile and Engineer Andree. But the most disturbing thing in that little book, full of pictures, was the two pages dedicated to the last Franklin expedition of the S.XIX, on that moment I thought that given the time on which this and others expeditions happened, few or any additional information could be obtained about it. I couldn´t imagine that after those two pages It would be a huge iceberg full of stories, unresolved misteries, anecdotes, etc. I believe that this iceberg, on the contrary than others, would continue growing instead melting.

martes, 22 de abril de 2014


I am feeling like a mad gold miner who has found an amazing and neverending vein of gold in the desert of the vast unknown zone which is the last and lost Franklin´s expedition.

Digging on this new source of information which is the scanned old newspapers available in the website of the National Library of Australia, I recently did  another interesting finding in an article published in the Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal in 1902.

A mysterious relic from the Franklin expedition travelled a long way from the King William Island to Bathurst, Australia. I called it a mysterious relic because since I stumbled with it I have been searching for references among the pictures, engravings, narratives and so on aboutthe Franklin expedition relics and I have found nothing at all.

This, till now unknown for me, relic was no other than a small geographical globe of about three inches in diameter. It seems that it was found together with other Graham Gore´s belongings in the arctic, a sword and a telescope,  among the other relics of the Franklin expedition. There is not mentioned in the article who did this finding.

The article says that the globe was loaned to the Local Technology Museum (of Bathurst, I guess) in 1902. It belonged to the Captain John Gore, Grandfather of Graham Gore. John Gore was a well known sailor who circunnavigated the Earth three times, twice on board the HMS Dolphin and once together with Cook in the HMS Resolution during his third voyage. 

The origin of the little globe is a mistery by itself, surely it was a present addressed to John Gore done by the Admiralty after finishing the voyage for Cook as a sort of tribute to his endeavours.

Graham Gore (Royal Navy Lieutenant)
National Maritime Museum
John Gore (Royal Navy Captain) 

The globe of the picture above is a Geographycal globe of 1,5 inches in diameter made by Newton & Son with engraved hand-colored gores, set within a turned mahogany box. It represented the routes of Captain Cook's third voyage, and the route taken by the Captains Charles Clerke and John Gore who completed the voyage in 1779 after Cook was killed in Hawaii. The thought that a globe similar to this one could have been presented to the Captain John Gore came to me because on it was represented that particular voyage.

The size of the globe in the picture and the size of the globe described in the article don´t match. In fact it seems that commonly these also called pocket globes usually had 3 inches of diameter. However, there is still a chance of discovering the actual globe which could have belonged once to John Gore and to after to Graham Gore. The one of the picture has a twin, a bigger one of three inches size, which is now in the National Maritime Museum of Greenwich.  I have taken a look at it (below) and it looks quite new, not as if it would have spent years in the arctic, and there is no trace of another similar among the pictures of the Franklin expedition relics available in its web page neither.

One has to wonder if the one which is now in the NMM could be the same who was loaned to the Local Techonology Museum in 1902 in Bathurst, Australia. The globe which is in the NMM is described as it follows:

"An identical globe, without the mahogany box, is in the collection of the National Maritime Museum in Britain and pictured in Dekker, Globes at Greenwich.  Their example is part of an orrery published c. 1850.  In the book are illustrated two 3-inch Newton pocket globes, dated "after 1833" and c. 1860 respectively, shown with mahogany cases of the same design, but larger to accommodate the larger globes." 

Terrestrial and celestial pocket globe

National Maritime Museum


If our little piece of the puzzle, the original Graham Gore´s globe, is now in the National Maritime Museum, then it would have done the same long trip at least four times. It would have traveled from Britain to Australia with John Gore Jr. when he moved to there in 1831, from Australia to the Arctic with Graham Gore in 1845 when he joined the Franklin Expedition, it would have come back again to Australia when it was sent to his relatives after being found in King William Island and he would have done once more trip from Australia to London to repose in some box or shelf of the National Maritime Museum. 

There are other Pocket Globes of 3 inches made by Newton & son which are available in webshops of antiquities like this one, who knows if some of these could be the Gore´s one...:

3 inches geographycal globe.
The globe described in the article is said to be contained on a shark skin case, which is not mentioned in any of the descriptions I have read, so surely any of the globes I have found will be the Graham Gore´s one. 

I have even doubt about the existence of that globe, in this letter  are described certain arrangements for the sending of a sword and a telescope. The date of the title is wrong, the correct one is 14 january 1855. No globes are mentioned apparently on it. The description of this letter is this:

"A handwritten double sided letter on thin cream paper, relating to a sword and telescope and transport arrangements for them. The letter starts "Bournemouth, / 14 January 1855" My dear Sir, / Requested my agents / Messrs Clinch & Sons to ap- / ply to Mr Kelby..."

 Did this globe exist at all? or it is a ghost globe? 

Please help me to solve this mistery!!

3 comentarios:

  1. I was a bit confused by the article you quote from, Andres, but I think I’ve worked it out now. Great spot, by the way! The article says this glob "originally belonged to Captain John Gore, son of Admiral Gore, when he was third in command of Captain Cook's expedition, and was brought to this country when New South Wales was discovered".

    Captain John Gore was the father, not the son, of Admiral John Gore, and he (Captain John) sailed on Cook’s First and Third Expeditions. Captain John was third in command of Cook’s Third Expedition. So far, so good, the journalist mixed up the relationship between the two John Gore’s.

    I have some problems with what comes next: “After the death of Captain Gore the globe was sent to Lieutenant Gore, his brother, and was by him taken with the Franklin party to the extreme north…”

    This doesn’t makes sense. Graham Gore was not the brother of ‘Captain Gore’, he was his grandson. And Graham died before his father Admiral John Gore. The John Gore of Cook’s First and Third Expeditions was the father of Admiral John Gore and grandfather of Commander Graham Gore of the Franklin Expedition. Admiral John Gore died in 1853 and by then already assumed that his son Graham was dead, to the extent of erected a gravestone to him with the date of death noted on it as estimated to be c.1850. This was before the recovery of the Victory Point note, from which of course we know that Graham Gore died in either 1847 or 1848.

    The article goes on to say that the globe was “subsequently discovered, along with his [whose - ‘Captain Gore’ or Graham Gore?] telescope and sword by the party, afterwards despatched to search for the missing company. It afterwards came to the late Mrs. Gore, of Goulburn…”

    Although a sword suspected to be from the Franklin Expedition was recovered, it is in store in Canada and was not recovered by a searching Expedition. Attempts to identify whose that sword was, if indeed it is a Franklin relic, have been fruitless so far. Theoretically it could have belonged to Graham Gore. But I think it is much more likely that the writer of the article was thinking of these relics, which include a sword, and which presumably once belonged to either Captain John Gore or Admiral John Gore.

    The Gore / Galloway families used the name ‘Graham’ subsequently, and a Graham Gore who was either a nephew or great nephew of Commander Gore of the Franklin Expedition died on 20th May, 1899 at the age of 37. Commander Graham Gore’s two sisters Charlotte and Ann had died only a few years before, Charlotte in 1885 aged 71 and Ann in 1891 aged 80. I suspect therefore that the globe, the sword and a lot else actually passed through the hands of this Graham Gore, not Commander Graham Gore of the Franklin Expedition, and that it was the confusion of names which led the journalist to think that it had all been in the possession of Commander Graham Gore and therefore recovered from King William Island.

    An easy mistake to make and a fascinating story.

  2. The links to my last comment are here: http://www.nma.gov.au/collections-search/display?irn=106345

  3. Yes, William, I agree, the article is a complete mess, I also noticed that mistake in their relations and I got lost quickly through its reading.

    Thank you very much to put order in this issue and to throw such powerful light to this little mistery. I agree with your conclusions, it sounds as a very reasonable explanation.

    The obvious mental mess of the journalist detracts credibility to the story and judging by the lack of evidence which could support that these artifacts could have actually come from King WIlliam Island, we should assume if not further clues are going to be find, that those articles came from the John Gore (father or son) and ended in the hands of the other Graham Gore as the result of some sort of inheritance.

    However, we shouldn´t blame the journalist for the confusion, surely and also naively, in some point of the history of these articles some member of the family badly informed could have confused its real origin and the mistake lasted till they were finally loaned to the museum.