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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Lady Franklin, n.d.

A. Romilly, an unknown artist (engraver) and J & S (publisher)

engraving on paper (sheet: 21.3 cm x 13.8 cm, image: 9.5 cm x 8.0 cm)

Jane Franklin (née Griffin, 1791–1875) came to Van Diemen’s Land in 1837 following the appointment of her husband, Sir John Franklin, to the position of lieutenant-governor of the colony. Jane was somewhat unique among colonial vice-regal spouses for being forthright, childless and well-travelled; for her intellectual interests; and for her ‘unwomanly’ outspokenness on matters such as prison reform and convict discipline. Both she and Franklin viewed Van Diemen’s Land not merely as a prison but a new society in which education, science and the arts should be fostered. Jane accordingly approached her role with the belief that she could contribute to the development of the colony and, in so doing, support and aid her husband in his work. Jane’s energy and enthusiasms, however, were seen by conservative colonists as dangerous eccentricities and, within the bitter political environment of Franklin’s term of office, were ultimately held to constitute an unacceptable interference in government affairs. Following Franklin’s recall from office in 1843, Jane resided in London, devoting much of the remainder of her life and fortune to efforts at finding the vanished 1845 Arctic expedition in which her husband and 128 others perished.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Ted and Gina Gregg 2012

Accession number: 2012.67

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

A. Romilly

J & S

Jane Franklin

Donated by

Loretta Pash (40 portraits)

Related portraits

1. Jane Franklin, c. 1866-75. All an unknown artist after Thomas Bock.

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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Joanna Gilmour explores the life of colonial women Lady Ellen Stirling, Eliza Darling, Lady Eliza Arthur, Elizabeth Macquarie and Lady Jane Franklin.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.