Item #5000909 An Account of Several Late Voyages and Discoveries: I. Sir John Narborough's Voyage to the South Sea… II. Captain J. Tasman's Discoveries on the Coast of the South Terra Incognita. III. Captain J. Wood's Attempt to Discover a North-East Passage to China. IV. F. Marten's Observations made in Greenland… To which are added, a large introduction and supplement, containing short abstracts of other voyages into those parts. John NARBOROUGH.
An Account of Several Late Voyages and Discoveries: I. Sir John Narborough's Voyage to the South Sea… II. Captain J. Tasman's Discoveries on the Coast of the South Terra Incognita. III. Captain J. Wood's Attempt to Discover a North-East Passage to China. IV. F. Marten's Observations made in Greenland… To which are added, a large introduction and supplement, containing short abstracts of other voyages into those parts.

An Account of Several Late Voyages and Discoveries… [including] Captain J. Tasman's Discoveries on the Coast of the South Terra Incognita…
An Account of Several Late Voyages and Discoveries: I. Sir John Narborough's Voyage to the South Sea… II. Captain J. Tasman's Discoveries on the Coast of the South Terra Incognita. III. Captain J. Wood's Attempt to Discover a North-East Passage to China. IV. F. Marten's Observations made in Greenland… To which are added, a large introduction and supplement, containing short abstracts of other voyages into those parts.

London: Printed for D. Brown without Temple-Bar, J. Round in Exchange-Ally, W. Innys in St. Paul's Church-Yard, and T. Ward in the Temple-Lane, 1711.

Octavo, with the folding "Chart of the Western and Southern Oceans", folding chart of Terra del Fuego, a polar map and 19 engraved views; eighteenth-century panelled calf, neatly respined.

Successively owned by Lady Jane Franklin, Sir John Franklin, Sophia Cracroft, and Joseph Dalton Hooker

An exceptionally well-provenanced copy of this important book, one of very few original descriptions of Tasman's voyage, and the first serious notice in English of the European discovery of Tasmania and New Zealand. Its anonymous editor (probably Tancred Robinson) exclaims: "tis the Discovery of a new World, not yet known to the English, 'Tis probable by Abel Jansen Tasman's Navigation, that New Guinea, New Carpentaria, and New Holland, are a vast prodigious Island, which he seems to have encompass'd in his Voyage…".

An exceptionally well-provenanced copy of this important book, one of very few original descriptions of Tasman's voyage, and the first serious notice in English of the European discovery of Tasmania and New Zealand. Its anonymous editor (probably Tancred Robinson) exclaims: "tis the Discovery of a new World, not yet known to the English, 'Tis probable by Abel Jansen Tasman's Navigation, that New Guinea, New Carpentaria, and New Holland, are a vast prodigious Island, which he seems to have encompass'd in his Voyage…".

This is the second and best edition of the book, a compendium of early voyages which includes an early account in English of Tasman's celebrated voyage of 1642 from Batavia, on which he discovered Tasmania, New Zealand and part of Tonga, and visited new Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The Narborough voyage in the Batchelour through the Strait of Magellan and into the Pacific was widely read by later navigators including the survivors of the Wager (part of Anson's fleet), who used this account for their own navigation through the passage. It was edited by Tancred Robinson, and included a resumé of voyages including those of Quiros, Drake and Magellan, and a plea for scientific exploration of the globe; lamenting "that the English nation have not sent with their Navigators, some skilful Painters, Naturalists, and Merchanists, under publick Stipends and Encouragement as the Dutch and French have done…".

As the first significant book account of the European discovery of Tasmania, it is remarkable that this copy was owned by the splendid proto-feminist Lady Jane Franklin who played an important part in the cultural development of Tasmania when accompanying her husband, Sir John Franklin, as lieutenant-governor of Tasmania from 1837 to 1843. Jane Franklin has signed her name on the title-page, and at the back of the book has noted the two sections of the book relevant to Tasmania, the important section about Tasman's voyage as well as the relevant passage mentioning Joost Schouten, the VOC administrator who had equipped Abel Tasman for his expedition, and for whom Tasman named Schouten Island.

Sir John Franklin has signed (or his ownership has been acknowledged with a simulacrum of his autograph) in pencil on the front flyleaf, below which a subsequent owner (perhaps Sophia for the purposes of presentation) has added an original clipped autograph in ink.

Since Jane Franklin inscribed the title-page, we may assume that she was the first of these distinguished owners, which would be in keeping with the cultural and literary style for which she was remarkable, and in which she led her husband. John Franklin, Arctic explorer and colonial administrator, was a man of action, known wonderfully in his time as "the man who ate his boots" from the harrowing survival story of one of his early expeditions. After the disappearance of the 1845 expedition of the Erebus and Terror to the Northwest Passage, Jane Franklin famously campaigned over three decades for rescue or, following indications of his death, to discover any records of the ships' fate, sponsoring seven expeditions.

Her companion in those years was John Franklin's niece, Sophia Cracroft, who had lived with the Franklins in Tasmania and who remained close to Jane Franklin until the latter's death in 1875. She was more than simply the traditional figure of a "lady's companion" as a family member, but also for having been courted by Captain Francis Crozier. Crozier had commanded HMS Terror during the Ross expedition of 1841–1844 to the Antarctic, which had sailed from Hobart and returned there during the Franklin administration, at which time he had proposed twice to Sophia, who is said to have turned him down out of a reluctance to take on the worries of being married to a naval explorer. Crozier, already a Franklin intimate from the time of the Ross Antarctic expedition and the two periods spent in Tasmania, went on to being appointed executive officer and commander of the Terror on the last, fatal voyage under Franklin's overall command.

At Jane Franklin's death Sophia Cracroft must have inherited some or all of Jane Franklin's possessions, or had a hand in distributing them, since the year after Jane's death she gave this copy of the book to a man who was intimately involved with polar exploration and John Franklin's ships, the botanist and explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker, inscribing the front flyleaf to "Dr Hooker from Miss Cracroft, A memorial of Lady Franklin's Library. July 24 1876". The botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911), one of Charles Darwin's closest friends, had produced the splendid Antarctic botany Flora Antarctica: the botany of the Antarctic voyage (1844-1859) publishing the scientific results of the Erebus and Terror voyage to the Antarctic, with which the Franklins were of course closely connected. He published important botanical works on the Antarctic and the Himalayan regions, as well as Tasmania and New Zealand. He worked on the botanical specimens brought back by the various search expeditions for Sir John Franklin and in 1865 he was appointed Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. In the course of Ross's expedition, Hooker met Sir John and Lady Franklin, in Tasmania, where the expedition stayed in August to November 1840:

'Lady Franklin had established a Natural History Society, or rather Soirées, that met every fortnight, on Monday evenings at Government House, and Hooker was elected an Honorary Member.  Lady Franklin herself was, it seems, somewhat imperious, and to the young man incomprehensible in her autocratic ways.  Hence he writes (November 9, 1840):

"Lady Franklin... would like to show me every kindness, but does not understand how, and I hate dancing at Government House.  I have dined there five or six times... She very kindly invited me to go to Port Arthur in their yacht, to botanise; we were there three days away... I got about 500 Specimens on Monday, and a few after service on Sunday, though Lady F. did not like it, and very properly, but I thought it excusable as being my only chance of gathering Anopterus glandulosus... " '  In 1904 Hooker recalled that he had read a paper on a Tasmanian fossil tree 'in Lady Franklin's drawing room after dinner, quite privately in 1840, the occasion being the embryo meeting of her endeavour to found a scientific society in Tasmania, which subsequently blossomed into... the Royal Society of Tasmania' (Leonard Huxley, Life and Letters of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, 1918, vol. 1, p. 106, vol. 2, pp. 455–6).

This remarkable book thus unites four figures all consequential in the history of exploration and all connected and inter-connected with the story of Tasmania.

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The Franklins

The Franklins' connection with Australia is strong: John Franklin was Matthew Flinders' cousin, and had begun his distinguished naval career as a midshipman on the Investigator, subsequently staying on in Sydney working as an assistant in the small observatory which Flinders had established. After two polar expeditions, and many other noteworthy exploits, he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Van Diemen's Land, a post he held with great distinction for seven years from 1837.

Besides being the energetic governor's wife, Jane Franklin was an acquaintance of Elizabeth Fry and soon after her arrival in Tasmania in 1837 became involved in helping women convicts. Her tireless contribution to the social and intellectual development of Tasmania throughout John Franklin's term as governor quickly placed Tasmania at the very centre of culture within the Australian colonies. Her legacies were many and under her guidance John Franklin set up in 1839 the society which in 1848 became the first Royal Society for the advancement of science outside of Britain. In 1842, she commissioned the remarkable classical temple, "Ancanthe" ('blooming valley'), as a museum for Hobart, leaving 400 acres in trust to endow it. After long neglect it is used today as the Lady Franklin Gallery.

Jane was always an extraordinary traveller; besides being the first woman to climb Mount Wellington and make several expeditions throughout Australia and New Zealand, in her later years she visited America, Hawaii, Japan and India. But above all her achievements she is best remembered today for the role in the campaign to discover the fate of the lost Arctic expedition led by her husband.

Jane Franklin and the search expeditions

In 1844 Sir John Franklin returned from Tasmania to England to take up his appointment as the commander of the British Admiralty expedition in search of the Northwest passage. When after two years no news of the expedition had been received, Jane became her beloved husband's champion supporter, spending her own money to fit out five search ships which made seven expeditions in total between 1850 and 1857. The Franklins were still so well regarded in Van Diemen's Land that, when news arrived in 1852 that Jane Franklin was organising the search expedition in the Isabel, initial Tasmanian donations alone amounted to more than £1600. "By means of sponsorship, use of influence and by offering sizeable rewards for information about him, she instigated or supported many other searches. Her efforts made the expedition's fate one of the most vexed questions of the decade."

The search to determine the fate of Franklin's expedition was one of the most extensive in maritime history. In all, twenty-nine separate expeditions were mounted up to and including McClintock's, which was almost entirely funded by Jane Franklin. McClintock, who had served with Ross in the Arctic, succeeded where the others had failed and discovered numerous skeletons and relics from the ships. Most importantly he discovered the only written record of the expedition: an official form, completed by the doomed men, describing the death of Franklin and the loss of ships.

For her extraordinary role in the search, the Royal Geographical Society awarded Jane Franklin the patron's medal for 1860, the first and for many years the only woman to be honoured in this manner.

Jane Franklin and Sophia Cracroft subsequently travelled extensively together after John Franklin's death, and from 1862 they maintained a house in London, where Sophia lived on alone until her death in 1892. Jane died in 1875 in London and her coffin was carried to her final resting place in Kensal Green cemetery by six Arctic naval men - the final mark of respect by the Admiralty for this outstanding woman.

Provenance: Lady Jane Franklin (ink signature in upper margin of title; ink notes at end of book); Sir John Franklin (partly faded pencil name possibly autograph, clipped ink signature pasted below); by descent to Sophia Cracroft; by her gift to Joseph Dalton Hooker (with presentation inscription to front pastedown).

Hill, 1476; Sabin, 72186.

Condition Report: A very good copy.

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