Archives

James Fitzjames’ letters and documents are dispersed over several archives.
Here is an overview of where to find what.


NAtional maritime museum, caird library, greenwich

1. Diary of Mid James Fitzjames HMS MADAGASCAR and HMS ST VINCENT, his return home and posting to the WINCHESTER, February 1833 – October 1834. Fitzjames, James 1833-02-01 – 1834-10-31
Item reference: JOD/86
Description: Diary of Mid James Fitzjames, kept from Feb 1833-Oct 1834, covering his service in the Mediterranean in HMS MADAGASCAR and HMS ST VINCENT, his return home and posting to the WINCHESTER and then to Capt Chesney’s Euphrates Expedition.

2. Papers of Captain James Fitzjames and correspondence with the Coningham family. 1813-1849
Item reference: MRF/89
Description: Papers of Captain James Fitzjames (1813-ca1849) and correspondence with the Coningham family.

Reel 1 of 2. 1813-1849 MRF/89/1

Reel 2 of 2. 1813-1849 MRF/89/2

3. Printed booklet ‘The Last Journals of Captain Fitzjames, R.N., of the Lost Polar Expedition’.
Item reference: MCL/47; MS1958-024
Description: Booklet ‘The Last Journals of Captain Fitzjames, R.N., of the Lost Polar Expedition’, printed by W. Pearce (late Wallis), 5 Bartholomews, Brighton. It contains transcriptions from the journal of Captain James Fitzjames, in command of HMS EREBUS, June and July 1845, addressed to Mrs. Coningham.
On loan to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, from a private lender

4. Uncatalogued 1835-01-01 – ?
Item reference: MSS/73/108
Description: Royal Humane Society Citation awarded to James Fitzjames, midshipman, for courage in jumping overboard from the GEORGE CANNING in Jan 1835 to save a drowning seaman.


Royal Geographical Society, London
1. Fitzjames, James April 30 1845 – May 16 1845.
Reference:         RGS/CB3/281
Description:      Correspondence
Physical description:     2 items


2.  Fitzjames, Capt. R. N.
Reference: LMS F 6
Description:     
Volume of letters to John Barrow Junior
Includes several written on HMS Erebus during Franklin’s third expedition.


3. James Fitzjames: the story of the friendships, devoted zeal for the service, high souled courage, self denial, and heroic deaths of 129 British naval officers and seamen. A romance based on information and on facts so authentic and so numerous that it must be very near the truth. (MS.)
By Sir Clements Robert Markham
Markham, Clements R. (Clements Robert), Sir, 1830-1916.
Control Number: rgs324571
Description: pp. 345-6 missing; 10 1/2 x 9 in.
Publisher: 1899


4. The last journals of Captain James Fitz-James of the lost polar expedition.
Capt. James Fitzjames, R.N
.; edited by William Coningham, Esq., M.P. /
Fitzjames, James Captain, R.N

Control Number: rgs312617
Description: [28p.]: octavo.
Publisher: Brighton: W. Pearce (late Wallis), N.D. (c.1858-64)


Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge
1. Reference: GB 15 James Fitzjames
Dates of Creation:
1825-1845
Physical Description: Correspondence (14 leaves) Papers (2 microfilm). Some of the material is on microfilm
– MS 1214/1-2;MJ  Papers, 1825-1845 [Correspondence with Coningham family, personal and service documents] microfilm, 2 reels

These are copies of the microfilm at the Caird Library.
– MS 248/380;D  Notes and letter
extracts to John Barrow senior and junior, 6 August 1844 to 11 July 1845 [Regarding Sir John Franklin] 14 leaves
copied by Lady Jane Franklin, not written by Fitzjames

Drawings
1. The Arctic Expedition at Whale Fish Island, near Disko, 8 July 1845.
Accession no.: N: 1995
Object name: Sketch
Title:     Description: Pencil sketch by Captain James Fitzjames, showing HMS Erebus and HMS Terror at anchor.
Note:    Note, on scrap of paper: ‘This sketch, by Captain James Fitzjames, HMS Erebus, was sent home from Greenland, with his last letters’.

2. The Arctic Expedition leaving Stromness, 3 June 1845, 9am.
Accession no.:  N: 1994
Object name:    Sketch
Description:      Pencil sketch by Captain James Fitzjames, showing HMS Erebus and HMS Terror towed by HMS Rattler.
Note:    Note, on scrap of paper: ‘This sketch, by Captain James Fitzjames, HMS Erebus, was sent home from Greenland, with his last letters’.


The National Archives, Kew, London
1.
Miscellaneous letters to Sabine including two from James Fitzjames on H.M.S. EREBUS in 1845, and from participants in other voyages
Reference:      BJ 3/17
Date:   1834-1851

2.
Name Fitzjames, James Rank: Commander Date of Appointment: 26 January 1838
Description: Admiralty, officer’s service record
Reference:      ADM 196/4/220
Date:   26 January 1838

3.
Will of James Fitzjames, Commander in the Royal Navy
Date:   26 June 1854
Reference: PROB 11/2193/347


4. Clio Ship’s log
Reference: ADM 53/260
Date:   7 May 1839 – 10 Oct 1844

5. Clio Captain’s log
Reference: ADM 51/3587
Description: Captains’ logs, including:
CHEROKEE (1846 July 1-1850 Mar 25).
CLIO (1840 Jan 1-1844 Oct 10)

6. Clio muster
Reference: ADM 38/443
Date:   1843 April 1-1844 March 31.

7. Clio muster
Reference: ADM 38/7803
Description: (a) Clio. C.,D.,O. (b) Clio. C.
Date:   (a) 1839 May 4-1844 Oct.10. (b) 1844 April 1-1844 Oct.10.


United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) Archive, Taunton, Somerset
1. Letter from: Fitzjames
Reference:  LP1857 F/151
Description:
2 Oct 1844 Cdr J Fitzjames HMS “Clio”, informs Hydrographer that he has brought to England some instruments lent to Col Chesney’s Euphrates expedition and subsequently found in a store at Aleppo.

2. Letter from: Fitzjames
Reference:  LP1857 F/152
Date: 10 October 1844

3. Letter from: Fitzjames
Reference:  LP1857 F/153
Title:  Letter from: Fitzjames
Date: 15 January 1845

All three letters have been transcribed and can be found here.


British Library Archives, London
1. CORRESPONDENCE and biographical notes upon which William Richard O’Byrne based his Naval Biographical Dictionary of all living officers (1849), compiled during the years 1843-1849. Sixteen volumes. Paper. Folio.
Reference: Add MS 38039-38054
Includes James Fitzjames’ letter and questionnaire response detailing his life and career (Vol. V. (ff. 547). E-Gi. / f. 273-277 Comm. James Fitzjames, RN: Biographical notes: 1845.)


Derbyshire Record Office, Matlock
They don’t have any documents by the hand of Fitzjames, but they do have items related to him:

1. “The Last Journals of Captain Fitzjames, R.N., of the Lost Polar Expedition”, edited by William Coningham, Esq., M.P.
Reference: D8760/F/LIB/6/1/9
Description:
Personal copy of Eleanor Isabella Franklin from the Editor, comprising copies of letter sent by Fitzjames to William Coningham [his foster-brother], 11 July 1845, and entries from his journal addressed to Mrs Coningham, 8 June – 6 July 1845 Printed by W. Pearce (late Wallis), Brighton, 28 pages.

2.  Handwritten extracts from Captain Fitzjames’s letter to Sir John Barrow off the coast of Greenland, original letter dated 1-12 July 1845
Reference: D8760/F/FEG/3/1/6 and D8760/F/FEG/3/1/7 and D8760/F/FEG/3/1/8
Description:
Copied by Eleanor Isabella Franklin.

3. Mounted set of photographic prints of John Franklin and the crews of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror taken in May 1845
Reference: D8760/F/LIB/8/1/5
Description:
The originals of these photographs were daguerreotypes, commissioned by Lady Jane Franklin from Richard Beard. They were taken on 16 May 1845 on H.M.S. Erebus at Greenhithe, Kent, as the ships were readying for departure. The daguerreotypes were subsequently themselves photographed and two sets of prints created; the other set is at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.


Objects


National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
1. Captain James Fitzjames, 1813 – 47
Description:
Crayon drawing on buff paper, heightened with white chalk.

2. Presentation cup
Description:
Presentation cup awarded to James Fitzjames for lifesaving in the River Mersey 1835.

3. Royal National Lifeboat Institution silver medal 1824-1857
Description:
Royal National Lifeboat Institution silver meda awarded to James Fitzjames for saving a Custom House Officer from drowning at Liverpool.

3. Portrait plaque
Description:
Portrait plaque depicting Captain James Fitzjames (1813 – circa 1847). An oval plaster relief showing the head and shoulders of Fitzjames, hatless, in uniforn and facing right. It is in a square, gilt wooden frame, decorated with rope twist, with buoys in the corners. Inscribed: ‘CAPT JAMES FITZJAMES RN’.

4. Captain Fitzjames’ cabin on board HMS Erebus (1826) – [the date is the ship was built]
Description:
A view of the Captain James Fitzjames’ cabin on the lower deck of the exploration ship HMS Erebus after her refit for the expedition to search for the North West Passage.

5. Photographic negative of Commander Fitzjames
Object: 9191-002
Artist: Richard Beard

6. Portrait photographs of the officers of HMS Erebus (1826) and the captain of HMS Terror (1812)– [the date is the year the ships were built]
Description: This is a Museum-generated black/white negative of a mount held in the collection. It shows mounted prints taken from the original daguerreotypes of the officers of HMS Erebus.


Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge
1. Daguerreotype of James Fitzjames by Richard Beard May 1845