Jane Griffin (Lady Franklin)

Jane Griffin (Lady Franklin)

Jane Griffin, Lady Franklin (4 December 179118 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 Huguenot blood 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 Romilly at Geneva shows 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 1828 and 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 Tasmania where 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 Phillip and 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 Australia and persuaded the governor, Colonel George Gawler, to set aside some ground overlooking Spencer Gulf for 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 Hobart to Macquarie Harbour.

She had much correspondence with Elizabeth Fry about 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 England by 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 McClintock in 1859 that Sir John had died twelve years previously in 1847. Prior accounts had suggested that, in the end, the expedition had turned to cannibalism to 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=2006-12-01 |accessdate=2008-04-21]

ee also

*"Lady Franklin's Revenge", a history of explorations of the Arctic funded by Lady Franklin
*Lady Franklin Bay, a bay on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada
*Lady Franklin Rock, an island in the Fraser River near Yale, British Columbia named at the end of her visit there during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush
*Lady Franklin Rock, a rock near Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park in 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 Ken McGoogan

External links


NAME=Franklin, Jane
DATE OF BIRTH=4 December 1791
DATE OF DEATH=18 July 1875
PLACE OF DEATH=London, England

*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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  • Jane Griffin (Lady Franklin) — Retrato de Lady Jane Franklin. Jane Griffin, Lady Franklin (Londres, 4 de diciembre de 1791 – 18 de julio de 1875), fue una de las primeras mujeres pioneras en residir en Tasmania, viajera y segunda esposa del explorador inglés del Ártico John… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lady Franklin — Lady Frankin is a common term for Jane Griffin (Lady Franklin), wife of explorer Sir John Franklin. Places and things named for her include:*Lady Franklin Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada *Lady Franklin Island, Davis Strait, Nunavut, Canada …   Wikipedia

  • Jane Griffin — can refer to:*Jane Griffin (Lady Franklin) (1791 1875), early Tasmanian pioneer and traveller *Jane Griffin (murderer) *Jane Griffin (copyeditor) …   Wikipedia

  • Lady Franklin's Lament — (a.k.a. Lord Franklin ) (Roud 487) is a traditional ballad commemorating the loss of Sir John Franklin s British Arctic Expedition of 1845. It is attested as early as 1855, allegedly written by Jane Griffin (Lady Franklin), Sir John s widow.It… …   Wikipedia

  • Lady Franklin's Lament — est une ballade traditionnelle commémorant la disparition de l expédition Franklin de John Franklin en 1845. Sa création est attestée dès 1855, elle aurait été écrite par Jane Griffin (« Lady Franklin »), la veuve de John Franklin. Elle …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jane Griffin — ou Lady Franklin suite à son mariage, née à Londres le 4 décembre 1791 et morte le 18 juillet 1875, est une pionnière en Tasmanie, grande voyageuse et seconde épouse de l explorateur John Franklin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lady Franklin — Jane Griffin (* 1791; † 18. Juli 1875) war eine britische Abenteurerin des viktorianischen Zeitalters und wurde bekannt als die Ehegattin des Polarforschers Sir John Franklin, dessen Expedition in der kanadischen Arktis auf der Suche nach der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lady Franklin — Jane Griffin Jane Griffin Jane Griffin ou Lady Franklin suite à son mariage, née à Londres le 4 décembre 1791 et morte le 18 juillet 1875, fut une pionnières en Tasmanie, grande voyageuse et seconde épouse de l explorate …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jane Griffin — Jugendbildnis Jane Griffins, Kupferstich Jane Griffin (* 4. Dezember 1791 in London; † 18. Juli 1875 in London) war eine britische Abenteurerin des viktorianischen Zeitalters und wurde bekannt als die Ehegattin des Polarforschers Sir …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jane Franklin Hall — Jane Franklin Hall, commonly referred to as Jane , is a private residential college of the University of Tasmania and is based in Hobart, Tasmania. It was founded by the Tasmanian Council of Churches in 1950 as a non denominational Christian… …   Wikipedia

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