The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Franklin, Lady
Franklin, Lady, the wife of the ill-fated Arctic explorer, Sir John Franklin, was the daughter of John Griffin, and was born in 1792. She married Sir John as his second wife at Liverpool in Nov. 1828, and accompanied him to Van Diemen's Land when he was appointed Governor there in 1836. They arrived in the island in Jan. 1837 and remained till August 1843. She was a great traveller, and was the first lady to cross overland from Sydney to Port Phillip, a feat she accomplished in May 1839, two years only after the latter settlement was founded. Though a most intrepid explorer, Sir John was only a weak administrator, and his term of office was embittered by perpetual contentions between Lady Franklin and Montagu, the Colonial Secretary, nephew of the previous Governor, Arthur, as to which should dictate the policy of the Government, the matter being ultimately the subject of amusing references to the Colonial Office, who when Sir John Franklin dismissed Montagu practically reversed his decision. In 1845 Sir John Franklin proceeded on his ill-fated expedition to the Arctic seas, and perished in 1847. His wife's heroic efforts in organising search expeditions are well known. In 1860 she was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society, being the first woman on whom that distinction was conferred. She died in London on July 18th, 1875, aged eighty-three years.