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Letters of Edward Nicholas Kendall

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 387

Scope and Contents

The collection includes transcripts of seven letters, which Kendall wrote to his mother describing his experience during Franklin’s second Artic expedition. They are dated between 15 March 1825 and 18 January 1827. There is also a transcript of another letter, dated 12 Dec. 1829, which was written at Cape Town and relates Kendall’s impressions of the city and colony. The collection also includes a brief summary of Franklin’s ‘Narrative of a second expedition to the shores of the Polar Sea: in ...1825, 1826, and 1827… including an account of the progress of a detachment to the eastward by J. Richardson’ (1828).


  • Creation: 2015

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Edward Nicholas Kendall was the son of the naval captain, Edward Kendall, and was educated at the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth. He joined the Royal Navy in Oct. 1814 and spent several years surveying the North Sea during the early 1820s. As a result of this experience, he was appointed assistant surveyor on George Francis Lyon’s Arctic expedition of 1824. Kendall’s excellent work led to his joining John Franklin’s second Arctic expedition of 1825, which departed overland from the Mackenzie River to explore the north coast westwards and eastwards from the Mackenzie delta. Kendall served under Dr John Richardson as assistant surveyor on the eastern branch of the expedition in 1826, which charted the coast from the delta to the Coppermine River. The party returned to Britain in 1827, when Kendall was commissioned lieutenant.

Between 1828 and 1832 Kendall served on a scientific voyage to the South Atlantic, surveying the South Shetland Islands region of the Antarctic, then surveyed the west coast of Africa, and helped to delineate the boundary between New Brunswick and Maine. During 1833-38, he was employed as commissioner of the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company. In 1838 Kendall became superintendent of the West India Mail Steam Navigation Company. About 1843 he joined the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Packet Company and was its superintendent when he died in 1845.


1 file(s) (1 file) : paper

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Edward Kendall in 2015.


This collection level description was entered by MJC.


Kendall, Edward Nicholas, 1800-1845, naval officer, Arctic explorer, hydrographer, and author

Includes index.
2015-11-12 10:01:55+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom