Lord Richard Cranston

Victorian Explorer


Lord Cranston claimed to have translated an Arabic text that spoke of an isolated island to the east of Madagascar. This island reputably contained “the last of the dragons.” Lord Cranston practically bankrupted his estate with one ill-fated expedition after another. “Cranstonʼs Folly” had become something of a joke in Victorian circles.

On his final expedition in 1895, Lord Cranston claimed to have actually discovered Dragon Island. He lost his ship and his entire crew on the island.

While attempting to return to civilization to put together another expedition rough seas claimed his oars. Lord Cranston drifted aimlessly for days, lacking food and drinking water. He feverishly kept his notes up to date, in case he would die before he was able to tell his tale. Luckily, a steamship headed for Bombay crossed his path and rescued him. The captain, aware of Lord Cranstonʼs reputation, dismissed his claims as heatstroke fancy. Lord Cranston died before the ship reached port, a victim of poor health and broken dreams.

The captain sent Lord Cranstonʼs belongings, including his journal, back to the Cranston estate. The Cranston family simply packed it away, believing that Lord Cranston never really found his island.

Lord Richard Cranston

Thrilling Tales Kataskicana