ABERDEEN BUILT SHIPS


Name
FOX
Construction
WOOD
Type
STEAM YACHT
Date
1855
Official Number
6882
Description
Rig: SCHOONER
Builder: A. Hall & Co., Aberdeen
Yard Number: 198
Launched: 1855

Description:
1 deck, 3 masts, schooner rigged, round stern, carvel built, no galleries, shield figurehead, half poop deck, 20ft engine room containing 2 steam engines, combined horsepower 15. Engines made by Thomson, Hall, Catto & Co.

Subscribing Owners:
Sir Richard Sutton, Baronet of Northwood Park, Nottinghamshire (64 shares).

Sutton died of November 14th 1855, his will appointed as executors, the Rev. Joseph Banks, Knight of Skelton, Clerk, the Rev. Robert Sutton of Averham, clerk both County of Nottingham, John Todd Pratt, barrister, Samueal William Clowes of Woodhouse Eaves, Leicester, joint owners. Dame Jane Franklin of 60, Pall Mall, London purchased all 64 shares, 30th June 1857.
(Source: Aberdeen Register of Shipping (Aberdeen City Archives))

In 1855 FOX belonged to Sir Richard Sutton, 2nd baronet. Master: Capt. James Palmer of Aberdeen sailed Sir R. Sutton to Norway and back and was presented with a silver cup from the passengers, guests of Sir Sutton, 1st September 1855.

Sutton died in 1855 and the vessel was sold. Bought 1857 by Lady Franklin to search for her husband; Sir John Franklin's lost Arctic expedition of 1845. In 1858 Captain McClintock led an expedition in the FOX to find the remains of Sir Franklin's team on King William Island. FOX left Aberdeen on 1 July 1857, under the command of Capt Young, and managed to pass through the Bellot Strait briefly before finding a secure winter anchorage to the east of the Strait off the Boothia Peninsula. Over the next two years extensive expeditions were made by sled to the west of the Boothia Peninsula.

On 6 May 1859 Lt. William Hobson, the ship's second in command, discovered the only written messages from the missing expedition ever found, in cairns on King William Island. The overland parties returned to the ship, which then left for Plymouth, arriving on 20 September.

Aberdeen Free Press & Buchan News 21st October 1859, page 5:
'Lady Franklin has resolved to sell the steam yacht FOX, which so successfully conveyed Captain McClintock and his brother heroes to the fulfilment of their mission.'

FOX subsequently passed into Danish ownership and worked the west coast of Greenland for 55 years as a supply vessel until its final abandonment. Partially sunk in Godhavn harbour in 1912, the vessel broke up in or around 1940, disintegrated and sunk.

Information from Mr Linnet:
'I recovered the propeller shafting and stern tube, with part of the stern. There also is an ingenious arrangement for changing a broken propeller at sea. I have a little ship repair business, and some years ago, we were building a pontoon bridge in Godhavn and recovered those things because they would have otherwise been destroyed. The ice has destroyed most of the hull but the boiler is still in one piece and part of the bottom of the ship. It was built of teak and oak and the fastenings under the waterline are all bronze. She was copper sheathed. The navigational mark on an island outside Godhavn called 'Blubber Island' is made from the FOX funnel and painted red.'

The propeller is now on display at the entrance to Aberdeen Maritime Museum.
Shipbuilder
A. HALL & Co., Aberdeen
Dimensions
Length: 122ft
Breadth: 23ft
Depth: 12ft 4.5ins
Gross Tonnage: 177 tons.

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