Robert Anstruther Goodsir was the brother of Harry D S Goodsir who served as assistant surgeon and naturalist on the ill-fated British Naval Northwest Passage expedition, 1845-1848 (leader Sir John Franklin). In 1849, he joined the whaler Advice under William Penny on the British Whaling and Franklin Search Expedition. Sailing in company with the whaler Truelove (Captain Parker), the two vessels lay whaling off Pond Inlet, Baffin Bay, until an Eskimo report that Franklin and his men had been seen alive was brought to Parker. The expedition then entered Lancaster Sound but ice prevented them from passing beyond Brodeur Peninsula. His account of the expedition was published in 1850.
The following year, Goodsir was appointed surgeon in HMS Lady Franklin on the British Franklin Search Expedition, 1850-1851 (leader William Penny), instructed to search for Franklin's missing expedition in Jones Sound and Wellington Channel and in the unexplored region beyond Cape Walker, Barrow Strait. In the spring of 1851, Goodsir travelled up the east coast of Cornwallis Island by sledge before exploring the north coast as far as Little Cornwallis Island where open water obliged him to turn back. After the expedition, he served as president of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh.
Published work An Arctic voyage to Baffin's Bay and Lancaster Sound, in search of friends with Sir John Franklin by Robert Anstruther Goodsir, John Van Voorst London (1850) SPRI Library Shelf (41)91(08)[1849 Penny]
From the guide to the Robert Goodsir collection, 1849-1850, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)