[Sir] Francis Leopold McClintock

1819-1907 [M’Clintock]; b. 8 July, Seatown Tce., Dundalk; son of excise officer and former officer in 3rd Dragoon Guards; entered British Navy as gentleman volunteer, 1831 [aetat. 11]; Lieutenant, 1845; served in Mediterranean, North Sea, America, and West Indies; beached in Gorgon off Montevideo and distinguished himself in salvage operation; volunteered for expedition to search for missing Sir John Franklin expedition (Erebus and Terror), travelling aboard Enterprise with Sir James Clark Ross, 1848, unfortunately missing the survivors, then heading for Great Fish River; subsequently served on Assistance and Resolute expeditions in 1850-51 and 1852-54, losing Franklin's trail at Beechey Island;

led Arctic voyages on Intrepid; sailed on the “Fox” (177 tons steamer) , bought by Lady Franklin, April 1857; accompanied by Dr. David Walker, as ship's surgeon and photographer; locked in ice off Greenland, reaching Boothia in 1858; located graves and possessions, including records left by Franklin’s officers up to 25 April 1848, found at Victory Point in course of a sledging overland expedition to King William Island heading towards Great Fish River and recording the death of Franklin, 11 June 1847 and other hardships; returned to England, 1859; issued an account of the voyage as The Voyage of the Fox in the Arctic Seas (1859); also a Narrative of the Fate of Sir John Francis and His Companions (q.d.);

knighted 1860; stood as MP for Drogheda, withdrawing in face of electoral rioting, 1868; explored North Somerset, King William Island, Melvile Island and Patrick Prince Island, et al. loc. in Arctic, M’Clintock Channel, Canada, being named after him; acknowledged expert on Arctic exploration; served as advisor to Nares expedition, 1875-76 and British Antarctic Expedition, 1902-04; KCB 1891; superintend. Portsmouth Dock. d. London; an abandoned cache left by him in the Arctic was discovered by a Canadian expedition in 1960; his specimen collection held in Natural History Museum, Dublin. DIB DIW

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David Murphy, The Arctic Fox: Francis Leopold McClintock (Cork: Collins Press 2004) 176pp. See also article on McClintock by Murphy in History Ireland ( May/June 2006) citing F. Fleming, Barrow's Boys (London 1998); F. Nugent, Seeking the Frozen Lands (Cork 2003), and A. Savours, The Search for the North West Passage (London 1999).

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Brian Cleeve & Ann Brady, A Dictionary of Irish Writers (Dublin: Lilliput 1985), lists Voyage &c. 1859); ‘found evidence in King William’s Land that Franklin had died in 1847 after his ships had been locked in pack ice for nine months .. abandoned by their crews [who died] trying to reach civilisation ... McClintock knighted 1860 and given Freedom of City [of London].’

Bernard Share, ed., Far Green Fields, 1500 Years of Irish Travel Writing, ed. (Blackstaff 1992), contains extract from F. L. McClintock, The Fate of Sir John Franklin [1st pub. 1860; 5th edn.] (London: John Murray 1881).

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