Osborn, SherardVariant names
Epithet: Rear-Admiral CB
British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000621.0x000271
Sherard Osborn was born on 25 April 1822. He joined the Navy in 1837, serving in HMS Hyacinth in the Far East where he participated in the first China War before serving in the Pacific as gunnery mate in HMS Collingwood between 1844 and 1848. Promoted lieutenant in 1846, he was later placed in command of the steamer HMS Dwarf employed in patrolling the coast of Ireland in 1848.
In 1850, Osborn was appointed lieutenant in command of HMS Pioneer, the tender to HMS Resolute, on the British Naval Franklin Search Expedition, 1850-1851 (leader Horatio Austin), sent by the Admiralty to search for John Franklin's missing Northwest Passage expedition by way of Baffin Bay and Lancaster Sound. In the spring of 1851, Osborn led a sledge party to the furthest western point of Prince of Wales Land before returning to the ship, having covered more than 900km. During the expedition, Osborn and George McDougall of HMS Resolute produced the ship's newspaper, the Illustrated Arctic News, and his popular narrative of the voyage Stray leaves from an Arctic journal... was published in 1852.
Osborn resumed command of Pioneer on the British Naval Franklin Search Expedition, 1852-1854 (leader Sir Edward Belcher), sailing in company with four vessels in a voyage to the regions of Wellington Channel and Melville Island in search of Franklin's expedition. In the spring of 1852, Osborn accompanied George Henry Richards, an officer in HMS Assistance, as far as the northeastern tip of Sabine Peninsula. Retracing his steps, he explored the east coast of Bathurst Island before returning to the ships, covering a total distance of more than 1670km. In September 1853, news reached Osborn of his promotion to the rank of commander and the following year he returned with the expedition to England.
After the expedition, Osborn spent a short time in charge of the Norfolk Coastguard before receiving the command of HMS Vesuvius during the Crimean War in 1855, the year in which he was promoted captain and received the Order of Bath. Taking command of HMS Furious in 1857 during the second China War, he later became involved in the development of European trade with China and Japan, sailing Furious up the Yangtze River to prove its navigability to smaller trading vessels. Invalided home in 1859, he wrote numerous articles and papers for publication, mostly on naval matters and Chinese politics, before he returned to the Navy in 1861, serving off the coast of Mexico and China. Between 1865 and 1866, he acted as agent for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway Company in Bombay and from 1867 to 1873, served as managing director of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company. Advancing to the rank of rear admiral in 1873, Osborn was appointed to an Admiralty committee advising on preparations for the British Arctic Expedition, 1875-1876 (leader George Strong Nares). He died on 6 May 1875 at London, shortly before the departure of the expedition.
Published work The career, last voyage and fate of Captain Sir John Franklin by Sherard Osborn, Bradbury and Evans London (1860) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Franklin, John]
From the guide to the Sherard Osborn collection, 1849-1860, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)
|associatedWith||Allen Robert Calder 1812-1903||person|
|associatedWith||Austin Horatio Thomas d 1865||person|
|associatedWith||Belcher Edward 1799-1877||person|
|associatedWith||British Naval Franklin Search Expedition Canada Arctic Archipelago 1850-1851||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Cator John Bertie b 1820||person|
|associatedWith||Elliott James Edward 1813-1865||person|
|associatedWith||Franklin John 1786-1847||person|
|associatedWith||Kane, Elisha Kent, 1820-1857||person|
|associatedWith||Markham Clements Robert 1830-1916||person|
|associatedWith||McClintock Francis Leopold 1819-1907||person|
|associatedWith||Mecham George Frederick 1828-1858||person|
|associatedWith||Ommanney Erasmus 1814-1904||person|
|associatedWith||Osborn Sherard 1822-1875||person|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Oudewater, the Netherlands|
|Fort Kinburn, Ukraine|
|Hankow, Hupeh, China|
|Arctic regions Discovery and exploration|
|Suez Canal, Egypt|
|Ionian Islands, Greece|
|United States of America|
|Mexico, Central America|
|Corfu, the Ionian Islands|
|Castries Bay, Gulf of Tartary|