Haslar Museum attracted thousands of visitors from 1827 – 1860.
Sir John Franklin is famous for his various expeditions in search of a ‘north-west passage’ over the top of America through the Arctic Sea, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. If found this might be an important trading route for ships from Europe into the Pacific. However, his attempts were unsuccessful and eventually he lost his life to the cause in 1849 when the expedition he was leading became stuck in ice, with the death of all on board from cold, starvation and sickness.
In his thirties and forties, Franklin had led a number of these expeditions by sea and overland, including two with Sir John Richardson who became the Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets based at Haslar from 1838-1855. Richardson was a key figure in promoting the development of a museum collection at Haslar. Franklin may have visited him in preparation for his last expedition on HMS Terror and Erebus which left England in 1846.