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John MARSHALL - Mate of the "Queen"

On the 19th of October 1866 the “Peterhead Sentinel” reported the safe arrival of the seal and whale fishing vessel “Queen” after an absence of nearly 19 months. The Mate was John Marshall. During the whole period they had caught no fish, seals or whales and were only able to survive because of the knowledge that John Marshall had of the food caches placed by his father - also John Marshall

John Marshall mate of “Queen”

On the 19th of October 1866 the “Peterhead Sentinel” reported the safe arrival of the seal and whale fishing vessel “Queen” after an absence of nearly 19 months. The Master was Captain George Brown and the Mate was John Marshall.

This ill fated voyage is interesting, not because they returned clean ship and not only because we have the original Allotment Notes, Discharge certificate and Pay Bill but because the way in which the crew were able to survive.

In 1850 John Marshall senior, born 1804, was Mate and Ice Master on “Lady Franklin” the lead ship of the Penny Expedition to find John Franklin. This they failed to do but they did leave caches of food in various places. Later John Marshall made his son, also John; learn the position of the various food caches. This ultimately saved the life of all those aboard “Queen”

Transcription of


The seal and whale fishing vessel “Queen”, Captain George Brown,
arrived here on Sunday last, after an absence of nearly 19 months.
We regret to say the “Queen” has been singularly unfortunate,
having come home clean ship after so long and absence. The “Queen”
sailed from Peterhead on Friday, 31st of March 1865, and proceeded
direct to Davies’ Straits. She made the ice about the 20th May,
when several fish were seen, and prospects appeared to be good;
but a gale from the S.E. closed up the ice, or at least rendered
it unfit for fishing. They then proceeded west, towards
Cumberland Straits, Where they got beset off Charles Island. The
“Queen” was froze up for nearly 11 months, during which time they
saw no fish, nor had any communication with any of the other

End of Transcript

Once they were stuck in the Ice John Marshall was sent by the Master – Captain Brown – to try and gain assistance from “Natives” or to find the food catches hidden by John Marshall’

July the 2nd 1866

Mr Marshall
When you get to the water abreast of the ship you will keep the floe edge on board westward util you meet in with loose ice. Then strike across the sound until you meet with Fast Ice .
Proceed southwards until you open out (or come abreast of) Button Point, you will then launch your boat into the crack reaching across the Bay.
It is more than likely that you will find natives:- communicate with them if possible, first , and hire their sledges to assist you: or go in with a sledge first to ascertain the required direction to proceed with your boats.
It is more than likely you will find a crack from the floe edge into the point, but employ the natives in either case, for which you will get muskets and shot with you.
If you fall in with a crack in the floe before you come there, it will suit the same purpose for you can always get along the ground ice. ~~ And may God speed you and grant you success. ~~
I am much disappointed that the position of the ship will not justify myself in going

I Remain
Yours Truly
George Browne

This letter, in the DUE Miller papers confirms the story that John Marshall was sent from his ice-bound ship, the Queen, to find food from a cairn left by his Father, John Marshall, during the Franklin Rescue Expedition in 1850/1851.

Transcribed by Ruairidh Greig, 16 Nov 2008

This is John Marshall's Allotment to his wife

John Marshall Seaman's Allotment

Using the web site www.measuringworth.org/ukgdp it would seem that £3 0s 0d in 1865 is worth about between £209.75 and £276.37
depending on whether the retail price index or the GDP deflator is taken as a base.

This is the record of John Marshall's wife picking up the monthly allotment

John Marshall Seaman's Allotment Receipt

This is John Marshall's Paying Off Wages Slip.

John Marshall's Payoff Slip

And - finally - A reference from Captain Browne

John Marshall's Reference

Owner/SourceRuairdh Greg
Linked toJohn MARSHALL

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