So few details of the life of Henry Foster Collins have survived that even the indefatigable Richard J. Cyriax was lost for words about the Second Master of HMS Erebus.
Henry Foster Collins, Second Master, was educated at Greenwich Hospital School. He entered the Merchant Service on July 4th, 1832, and the Royal Navy on September 30th, 1843. Commander Fitzjames found him to be a most pleasant companion. His portrait is in the Royal Naval Museum.”
The portrait, of course is the daguerrotype taken on board HMS Erebus in mid-May 1845, before the ships set out on their historic voyage.
The auction house Sotheby’s sold the only known complete set of Franklin Expedition daguerrotypes for £444,500 on 21st September 2023. In the run-up to the auction, they made high-resolution copies widely available for the first time¹.