One of the most annoying things in my life as a Robert Anstruther Goodsir researcher is the man’s infuriating reluctance to put his real name on many of the articles he wrote. But he’s out there if you know where and how to look.
Copyright: The National Archives / Image: Logan Zachary
“They may be portions of one of Sir John Franklin’s ships. God grant that the crews are safe.”
Logan followed a lead all the way to London, and made a fantastic breakthrough: https://twitter.com/LoganoZaccaria/status/1199626722204934144
The fingerpost found on Beechey Island was definitely at the former Royal United Services Museum for maybe two-thirds of the 20th Century. Logan thought he could see it in the photograph above, but how to prove it? Well, it involved a lot of hard work in the RUSI Library, which he detailed in a long post for the Remembering the Franklin Expedition history club over on Facebook.
The clincher jumped out at him, magic-eye style, after weeks of studying the photo. That’s the Beechey Island anvil, right next to the post.
Picture a Victorian graveyard, and you’re probably picturing something like this. It’s ornate, melodramatic, well-manicured, and photogenic. Large swathes of Kensal Green Cemetery are like this. But important parts of it aren’t.
At 10am on Thursday 15 August 2019, I walked into the National Archives in Kew, London. to look for some missing journals. I didn’t find them. What I did find was the Beechey Papers.