Northwest Passage British cannibals who became national heroes


It’s been two weeks since the discovery of one of the most important exploratory ships in Polar history.In 1845 The Terror and Erebus set sail under the direct command of Sir John Frankilin.

The objective was to find a sea trading passage through possibly the most perilous unforgiving region in the world. These were unchartered Arctic waters and if a route was discovered linking the Europe and the East, Atlantic to the Pacific which could save fortunes for potential commercial and passenger shipping in future years. This elusive prize was known as the Northwest Passage. Unfortunately this inspirational and brave expedition would end in terror and misery with a question of cannibalism hanging over what Victorians hailed as perhaps the most heroic venture of their time.

The Man Who Ate His Boots.
Franklin was a Royal Naval veteran and a fully fledged Polar explorer of repute. During a previous Arctic expedition he and his men had been reduced to eating leather to stave off starvation, earning Franklin notoriety as “the man who ate his boots”. But in 1845 he had nearly reached the ripe age of 60 and it was questionable whether a veteran of this age should be putting himself through potential grief and misery and certainly life threatening possibilities. He wasn’t the first choice to lead this expedition and strangely enough it was his wife Jane, anxious to reinforce her status as a wife of a national hero who helped lobby successfully for his selection.


Despite the recent discovery, the Northwest Passage is yet to surrender all it’s mysteries. However along with discoveries in 1992 where it was suggested with strong evidence that Franklin’s men had been carrying portable “joints” of their shipmates to sustain them on their “do or die march” after the vessels had been crushed to pieces in the winter ice. Now with this new discovery valuable information from one of the vessels has fortified the evidence of the terrible truth which horrified Victorians hearing the rumours at the time – did Franklin and his men really resort to cannibalism? “An Englishman eating another Englishman! Certainly not!” So it was privately and publicly brushed under the carpet especially by government and monarchy and more favourable stories of local eskimo savages slaughtering Franklin and his crew were easier to swallow and helped retain the incredible heroics of this brave British expedition. So now we know the truth.Readers will be relieved (and hopefully excited) to know that Arctic Bound can offer such an expedition of a life time through the North-west Passage whilst offering you a significantly higher degree of safety and comfort! Expeditions are small-vessel based enabling  you to get up front and close to the wildlife and scenery of this amazing region. Zodiac landings, on board lectures all delivered by naturalists, ornithologists, historians and Polar experts who know the Arctic inside out.