- HMS Terror (1813)
HMS "Terror" was a
bomb vesseldesigned by Sir Henry Peakeand constructed by the Royal Navyin the Davy shipyard in Topsham, Devon. The ship, variously listed as being of either 326 or 340 tons, carried two mortars, one 13-inch and one 10-inch.
"Terror" saw service in the
War of 1812against the United States. Under the command of John Sheridan, she took part in the bombardment of Stonington, Connecticuton 9 August - 12, 1814, and of Fort McHenryin the Battle of Baltimoreon 13 September - 14, 1814; the latter attack inspired Francis Scott Keyto write " The Star-Spangled Banner". In January, 1815, still under Sheridan's command, "Terror" was involved in the attack on St. Marys, Georgia.
After the end of the War, "Terror" was laid up until 1828, when she was recommissioned for service in the
Mediterranean. On 18 February 1828 she ran aground on a lee shorenear Lisbon; eventually refloated, she was withdrawn from service after repairs.
Bomb vessels were strongly built in order to withstand the enormous recoil of their 3 ton mortars, and this made them suited to Arctic service. In 1836, command of "Terror" was given to
George Backfor an expedition to the northern part of Hudson Bay, with a view to entering Repulse Bay, where landing parties were to be sent out to determine whether the Boothia Peninsulawas an island or a peninsula. However, "Terror" failed to reach Repulse Bay and barely survived the winter off Southampton Island, at one point being forced 40 ft up the side of a cliff by the ice. In the spring of 1837, an encounter with an icebergfurther damaged the ship, which was in a sinking condition by the time Back was able to beach the ship on the coast of Irelandat Lough Swillycite book | last = Paine | first = Lincoln P. | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Ships of Discovery and Exploration | publisher = Houghton Mifflin| date = 2000 | location = | pages = pp. 139 - 140 | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 0395984157]
"Terror" was repaired and next assigned to a voyage to the
Antarcticin company with HMS "Erebus" under the overall command of James Clark Ross. Francis Crozierwas commander of "Terror" on this expedition, which spanned three seasons from 1840 to 1843 during which "Terror" and "Erebus" made three forays into Antarctic waters, crossing the Ross Seatwice, and sailing through the Weddell Seasoutheast of the Falklands Islands. The volcano Mount Terror on Ross Islandwas named for the ship.
"Erebus" and "Terror" were both outfitted with 20hp steam engines, and iron plating added to the hulls, for their voyage to the
Arctic, with Sir John Franklinin overall command of the expedition in "Erebus", and "Terror" again under the command of Crozier. The expedition was ordered to gather magnetic data in the Canadian Arctic and complete a crossing of the Northwest Passage, which had already been charted from both the east and west but never entirely navigated.
The expedition sailed from
Greenhitheon 19 May 1845 and the ships were last seen entering Baffin Bayin August 1845. The disappearance of the Franklin expedition set off a massive search effort in the Arcticand the broad circumstances of the expedition's fate was revealed during a series of expeditions between 1848 and 1866. Both ships had become icebound and were abandoned by their crews, all of whom subsequently died of exposure and starvation while trying to trek overland to Fort Resolution, a Hudson's Bay Companyoutpost convert|600|mi|km to the southwest. Subsequent expeditions up until the late 1980s, including autopsies of crew members, also revealed that their canned rations may have been tainted by both lead and botulism. Oral reports by local Inuitthat some of the crew members resorted to cannibalism were at least somewhat supported by forensic evidence of cut marks on the skeletal remains of crew members found on King William's Island during the late 20th century.
The remains of the ship have yet to be found.
On 15 August 2008,
Parks Canada, an agency of the Government of Canadaannounced [http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/story.html?id=147541d1-0d04-445c-963a-f9c498b32883|a CDN$75,000 six week search] , deploying the icebreaker CCGS "Sir Wilfrid Laurier" with the goal of finding the two ships. The search presumably seeks to strengthen Canada's position in sovereignty over large portions of the Arctic.
*Martyn Beardsly: "Deadly Winter: The Life of Sir John Franklin". ISBN 1-55750-179-3
*Owen Beattie: "Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition". ISBN 1-55365-060-3
*Pierre Berton: "The Arctic Grail". ISBN 0-670-82491-7.
*Scott Cookman: "Ice Blink: The Tragic Fate of Sir John Franklin's Lost Polar Expedition". ISBN 0-471-37790-2
*Elizabeth McGregor: "The Ice Child".
*Dan Simmons: "The Terror" (Fictionalised account of the Franklin expedition). ISBN 0-59305-762-7 (UK H/C)
* [http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/History/antarctic_ships/erebus_terror_antarctica.htm Erebus and Terror]
* [http://www.nypress.com/15/5/news&columns/oldsmoke.cfm "Central Park Still Awaits the British"] "New York Press" article describing "Terror"'s bombardment of Stonington
* [http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/ships/html/sh_090500_hmsterror.htm Ships of the World listing]
* [http://www.pbenyon.plus.com/Naval_History/Vol_VI/Contents.html Naval History of Great Britain, volume VI]
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