HMS Erebus (1826)


HMS Erebus (1826)

HMS "Erebus" was a "Hecla" class bomb vessel designed by Sir Henry Peake and constructed by the Royal Navy in Pembroke dockyard, Wales in 1826. The vessel was named after the dark region in Hades of Greek mythology called Erebus. The 372-ton ship was armed with two mortars, one 13-inch and one 10-inch.

Ross expedition

After two years service in the Mediterranean Sea, "Erebus" was refitted as an exploration vessel for Antarctic service and on November 21 1840, captained by James Clark Ross, she departed from Tasmania for Antarctica in company with HMS "Terror". In January 1841, the crew of both ships landed on Victoria Land, and proceeded to name areas of the landscape after British politicians, scientists, and acquaintances. Mount Erebus, on Ross Island, was named for the ship itself.

They then discovered the Ross Ice Shelf, which they were unable to penetrate, and followed it eastward until the lateness of the season compelled them to return to Tasmania. The following season, 1842, Ross continued to survey the "Great Ice Barrier", as it was called, continuing to follow it eastward. The two ships returned to the Falkland Islands before returning to the Antarctic in the 1842-1843 season. The ships conducted studies in magnetism, and returned with oceanographic data and collections of botanical and ornithological specimens. Birds collected on the first expedition were described and illustrated by George Robert Gray and Richard Bowdler Sharpe in "The Zoology of the Voyage of" HMS Erebus & HMS Terror. Birds of New Zealand"., 1875. The revised edition of Gray (1846)(1875).

Franklin expedition

For their next voyage, to the Arctic under Sir John Franklin, "Erebus" and "Terror" were outfitted with 20hp steam engines (converted from railway locomotive engines), and had iron plating added to their hulls. Sir John Franklin sailed in "Erebus", in overall command of the expedition, and "Terror" was again under the command of Francis Crozier. The expedition was ordered to gather magnetic data in the Canadian Arctic and to complete a crossing of the Northwest Passage, which had already been charted from both the east and west but had never been entirely navigated.

The ships were last seen entering Baffin Bay in August 1845. The disappearance of the Franklin expedition set off a massive search effort in the Arctic and the broad circumstances of the expedition's fate was not revealed until a series of expeditions between 1848 and 1866.

Both ships had become icebound and had been abandoned by their crews, all of whom subsequently died of exposure and starvation while trying to trek overland to the south. Subsequent expeditions up until the late 1980s, including autopsies of crew members, also revealed that their shoddily canned rations may have been tainted by both lead and botulism. Oral reports by local Inuit that 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 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 Canada announced [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.

External links

* [http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/History/antarctic_ships/erebus_terror_antarctica.htm Erebus and Terror]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • HMS Erebus (1826) — HMS Erebus und HMS Terror 1845 Geschichte Typ Bombarde Verbleib Am 22. April 1848 in der Viktoria Straße evakuiert …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • HMS Erebus (1826) — Para otros buques del mismo nombre, véase HMS Erebus. HMS Erebus El HMS Erebus y el HMS Terror durante la expedición a la Antártida Ba …   Wikipedia Español

  • HMS Erebus (1826) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir HMS Erebus. Erebus L’Erebus et le Terror lors de l expédition de Ross en Antarctique …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • HMS Erebus — Fünf Schiffe der Royal Navy hießen bisher HMS[1] Erebus. Benannt waren sie nach Erebos, dem griechischen Gott des Hades. Die erste Brander. In den Folgejahren wurde das Schiff mehrfach umgebaut, u.a. zu einem Raketenschiff, und war mit 18 bis 24… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Erebus (disambiguation) — Erebus may refer to the following:*Erebus, the Greek god of darkness *HMS|Erebus, the name of five ships of the Royal Navy, most famously: **HMS|Erebus|1826|6, part of the expedition that carried Sir John Franklin s failed expedition to find the… …   Wikipedia

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  • Mont Erebus — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Erebus. Mont Erebus Le mont Erebus vu depuis la péninsule de Hut Point …   Wikipédia en Français


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