- Jane Griffin (Lady Franklin)
Jane Griffin, Lady Franklin (
4 December 1791– 18 July 1875), was an early Tasmanian pioneer, traveller and second wife of the explorer John Franklin.
Jane was the second daughter of John Griffin, a liveryman and later a governor of the Goldsmith's Company, and his wife
Jane Guillemard. There was Huguenotblood on both sides of her family. She was born in London, was well educated, and her father being well-to-do had her education completed by much travel on the continent. Her portrait painted when she was 24 by Amelie Romillyat Genevashows her to have been a pretty girl with charm and vivacity.
Marriage to John Franklin
As a young woman, Jane had been strongly attracted to a London physician and scientist, Dr.
Peter Roget. She once said he was the only man who made her swoon. But nothing ever came of their relationship. Jane had been a friend of John Franklin's first wife, Eleanor Anne Porden, who died early in 1825. In 1828, Griffin became engaged to him. They were married on 5 November 1828and in 1829 he was knighted. During the next three years, she was parted for lengthy periods from her husband who was on service in the Mediterranean. In 1836, he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Tasmaniawhere they arrived on 6 January 1837.
Relationship with the colony (of Australia)
Lady Franklin at once began to take an interest in the colony and did a good deal of exploring along the southern and western coast. In 1839, Lady Franklin became the first European woman to travel overland between
Port Phillipand Sydney. In April that year, she visited the new settlement at Melbourne, where she received an address signed by 65 of the leading citizens which referred to her "character for kindness, benevolence and charity". With her husband, she encouraged the founding of secondary schools for both boys and girls. In 1841, she visited South Australiaand persuaded the governor, Colonel George Gawler, to set aside some ground overlooking Spencer Gulffor a monument to Matthew Flinders. This was set up later in the year. In 1841-42, she was the first European woman to travel from Hobartto Macquarie Harbour.
She had much correspondence with
Elizabeth Fryabout the female convicts, and did what she could to ameliorate their lot. She was accused of using undue influence with her husband in his official acts but there is no evidence of this. No doubt he was glad to have her help in solving his problems, and probably they collaborated in the founding of the scientific society which afterwards developed into the Royal Society of Tasmania. When Franklin was recalled at the end of 1843, they went first to Melbourne and then to Englandby way of New Zealand.
Following the disappearance of her husband
Her husband started on his last voyage in May 1845, and when it was realized that he must have come to disaster, Lady Franklin devoted herself for many years to trying to ascertain his fate.
Lady Franklin sponsored four expeditions to find her husband (in 1850, 1851, 1852 and finally in 1857) and, by means of a sizeable reward for information about him, instigated many more. Her efforts made the expedition's fate one of the most vexed questions of the decade. Ultimately evidence was found by
Francis McClintockin 1859 that Sir John had died twelve years previously in 1847. Prior accounts had suggested that, in the end, the expedition had turned to cannibalismto survive, but Lady Franklin refused to believe these stories and poured scorn on explorer John Rae, who had in fact been the first person to return with definite news of her husband's fate.
By 1860, all had been done that could be done, and for the remainder of her life Lady Franklin divided her time between living in England and travelling in all quarters of the world. She died in London on
18 July 1875.
Lady Franklin was a woman of unusual character and personality. One of the earliest women in Tasmania who had had the full benefit of education and cultural surroundings, she was both an example and a force, and set a new standard in ways of living to the more prosperous settlers who were now past the stage of merely struggling for a living. Her determined efforts, in connexion with which she spent a great deal of her own money to discover the fate of her husband, incidentally added much to the world's knowledge of the arctic regions.
The ballad "
Lady Franklin's Lament" commemorated Lady Franklin's search for her lost husband. It was said: 'What the nation would not do, a woman did'.
Awards and honors
* Founder's Gold Medal, the Royal Geographical Society [cite news |first=Kenn |last=Harper |title=Taissumani: A Day in Arctic History Dec. 4, 1791, The Birth of Jane Griffin, the Future Lady Franklin |url=http://www.nunatsiaq.com/archives/61222/opinionEditorial/columns.html |work= |publisher=Nunatsiaq.com |date=
Lady Franklin's Revenge", a history of explorations of the Arctic funded by Lady Franklin
Lady Franklin Bay, a bay on Ellesmere Islandin Nunavut, Canada
Lady Franklin Rock, an island in the Fraser River near Yale, British Columbianamed at the end of her visit there during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush
*Lady Franklin Rock, a rock near
Vernal Fallin Yosemite National Parkin California, United States
* [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=5011 Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]
*Frances J. Woodward, ' [http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010379b.htm Franklin, Jane (1791 - 1875)] ',
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, Melbourne University Press, 1966, pp 411-412.
* [http://www.archiveshub.ac.uk/news/0407jlf.html Journals, correspondence and papers of Jane, Lady Franklin] at the
Scott Polar Research Institute.
* [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?LinkID=mp07492&rNo=0&role=art Portrait of Lady Franklin] , 1816 by Amelie Romilly.
* [http://images.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/Fullimage.asp?Letter=L&Title=Lady+Jane+Franklin+from+a+sketch+by+T.+Bock%2C+Hobart+Town%2C+about+1840&ID=AUTAS001126073246 Lady Jane Franklin] from a sketch by T. Bock, Hobart Town, about 1840.
*The text of " [http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/pages/tiLADYFRAN;ttCROPPIE2.html Lady Franklin's Lament] ".
* [http://www.smh.com.au/news/tasmania/franklin/2005/02/17/1108500205767.html Franklin, Tasmania] was founded by, and named after, her.
* [http://www.harpercanada.com/global_scripts/product_catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0002006715 "Lady Franklin's Revenge"] , by
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Griffin, Jane
DATE OF BIRTH=
4 December 1791
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
18 July 1875
PLACE OF DEATH=
*Dictionary of Australian Biography|First=Jane|Last=Franklin|Link=http://gutenberg.net.au/dictbiog/0-dict-biogF.html#franklin1
* [http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/bits_of_travel_at_home/ "Bits of Travel at Home"] ,
Helen Hunt Jackson, 1878
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