Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Richardson (1787-1865)

Surgeon, explorer, field naturalist.

Born in Dumfries, Scotland, he studied at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, served with the Royal Marines in the War of 1812, and obtained an MD in 1826. He also studied natural history and was appointed to the Franklin expedition in 1819. On that expedition, which travelled from York Factory to Melville Sound, he collected and identified many specimens of plants, birds, and animals. He was also on the second expedition of 1825-27. He later became recognized as a major field naturalist and received many honours. He led a search for Franklin in 1848 in company with Dr. John Rae. His journal of the first Franklin expedition, edited by C. Stuart Houston, was published in 1984 as Arctic Ordeal: The Journal of John Richardson, Surgeon-Naturalist with Franklin.

See also:

“John Richardson: First Naturalist in the Northwest” by C. Stuart Houston, The Beaver (November 1984): 10-15.

John Richardson, Dictionary of Canadian Biography IX, 658-61.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 June 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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