Sir John Franklin, a much experienced arctic explorer, was the leader of the ill fated Franklin Expedition, which came to grief trying to find the "north-west" passage through the Canadian Arctic. Much mystery surrounded the loss of the ships and crew and many searches have been mounted beginning in the early 1850s and continuing until today. George Hobson has participated in several of them which he covered in his presentation.
HMS Terror and HMS Erebus set sail from Greenhithe, England, on May 19, 1845. The expedition was to last 3 years, and the men were commissioned to find a safe and reliable route from Europe to the Orient.
The ships were well stocked with more than 1,000 books, and three years' worth of conventionally preserved or tinned preserved food supplies. Apparently the haste with which the thousands of cans of food were prepared led to sloppily-applied beads of solder on the cans' interior edges and allowed lead to leach into the food although this fact is still under dispute.