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The Five Flags Hoisted at 83° 20' 26'' N. on May 12th, 1876.

Availability: In stock

Published: London T. Pettitt and Co., Lithographers, 1876

Stock Code: 131016

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


Rare and attractive lithograph broadside commemorating the farthest north record set by Commander (later Sir) Albert Hastings Markham on May 12th 1876, showing the five flags of the expedition: Lieutenant Parr's standard, white ensign, Captain Nares's flag, Captain Markham's motto flag and Captain Markham's flag. "In the Arctic expedition of 18756, under George Strong Nares, Markham commanded HMS Alert. His sledging party, in an attempt to reach the pole from winter quarters in lat. 82 27' N on the western shore of Robeson Channel, reached lat. 83 208 26'' N, long. 64 W, in May 1876. This was gained without dogs and remained the record for the northernmost point reached by explorers until it was broken by Nansen in 1895" (ODNB).

Also illustrated here are the flags of HMS Alert, Autumn Travelling, 1875; Spring Travelling,1876, extended parties, auxiliary parties, and dog sledges; and HMS Discovery, Spring Travelling, 1876. In addition, lists of personnel and details of the parties' achievements are given. In an interesting article in the Geographical Journal, John Edwards Caswell remarks that, on their return to Britain, "Nares, his officers and crew, were welcomed home with a round of banquets. On 1 December 1876, the ships' officers attended a spectacular banquet at Portsmouth. Nares was absent, for he had been called to Windsor to dine with the Queen... A few days later, the City of Portsmouth used the same hall and decorations to host a banquet for the crews... The Geographical Club turned out en masse to dine with Nares and his officers... And still the banquets continued. Nares was made Knight Commander of the Bath... An Arctic Medal was struck and given to each member of the expedition. There were good reasons for banquets, honours and promotions. A remarkable feat of seamanship had been performed. Sledging journeys had been conducted successfully, despite outbreaks of scurvy. British seamen had again given a superb demonstration of their valour and endurance... For a century, writers have ignored the Nares expedition. One may surmise that it was a painful memory for the Admiralty, and not tragic enough for popular writers to use in harrowing the public's sensibilities. In any event, Great Britain did not turn her attention again to the high Canadian Arctic until 1934-35. The Nares expedition concluded an era of British Arctic exploration begun in 1818 with the first voyage of Captain John Ross".

This is a most appealing document that memorialises the achievements of Nares and Markham and attests to the conspicuous public interest in their endeavour.

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Lithograph broadside (600 x 275 mm). Printed in blue, red and yellow.


Creased where folded. In excellent condition.


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