Saturday, November 20, 2004

Edward Bransfield RN

Edward Bransfield RN - Provides information about this man and his connection with Antartica. Also includes information on other key people involved in both the 'Voyage of Discovery and Exploration' and Bransfield's life.

From the site:

Nothing, so far, is known with any certainty about his pre-naval life, which until investigated thoroughly by a dedicated historian, will remain a mystery.

There has been speculation by some writers (e.g. A.G.E. Jones 1966) that both Edward, and his brother William, were in fact English. This however does not 'tie-in' with the likely origin of the Bransfield surname. [Follow Bransfield Surname link at the top of the page]

The only certainty is that Edward was 'prest' on 2nd June 1803 and then drafted to the 'Ville de Paris' as an Ordinary Seaman.

Given the existing vagueness of Edward's life between 1783-1803 the Site Editor can only offer the following, a 'family folk history' for this period - alongside the usual caution with folk histories, that there is no evidence.

The 'family folk history' suggests that Edward was 'prest' while sailing in a small boat with his brother William off the coast of Co. Cork. The 'folk history' further suggests that Edward's father was a flour merchant / owner of a bakery, of some sort, that counted among its customers, the Royal Navy with regard the provision of 'Ships' Biscuits'.

Such a background suggests that Edward would have come from a family of adequate means with regard his education and it is quite likely that he must have been engaged in some employment before his enforced employment with His Majesty's Navy. This employment could have been with the 'family firm' or outside. Either way some trace is likely to exist of perhaps schooling and employment. He was, after all, 20yrs of age or thereabouts at the time of his 'pressing' and able to 'afford' a little recreational sailing [if the family folk history has any validity]. In support of the 'adequate family means' theory is that Edward's Education must have been sufficient to equip him to advance in his Naval career; from the lowliest rank, to being given immense responsibilty at the highest rank available to him.

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