Francis MacNamara
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Francis MacNamara (abt. 1811 - 1861)

Francis "Frank the Poet" MacNamara aka McNamara, Hill
Born about in Cashel, County Tipperary, Irelandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Mudgee, New South Wales, Australiamap
Profile last modified | Created 29 Dec 2020
This page has been accessed 384 times.

Contents

Biography

Francis MacNamara was a convict after the Third Fleet.
  
Ireland Native
Francis MacNamara was born in Ireland.

Written and researched by Heather Stevens 2021

An amazingly recalcitrant convict, Francis McNamara managed to extend his original 7 year sentence to 17 years whilst experiencing all the brutal punishments that the convict system could dish out, including over 650 lashes with the cat o' nine tails. Known as 'Frank The Poet', he wrote 'The Convict's Tour to Hell', while still a convict, working as a shepherd at Stroud in October 1839.

Francis was born about 1810. He passed away in 1861. His birthplace was Cashel in County Tipperary. He had one sister living in Kilkenny.[1]

He was tried at Kilkenny in January 1832, for the crime of larceny (stealing some material), sentenced to 7 years transportation, no former convictions.

A newspaper reported that at the Kilkenny Quarter Sessions Francis MacNamara was tried

"for breaking the shop-windows of Mr. John M'Donnell, and stealing therefrom a piece of worsted plaid.  ...  On a verdict of guilty being returned, sentence was immediately passed, and he was ordered from the dock. Prior to his leaving it he flourished his hand, and with a cheerful and animated countenance, and a loud voice said,
I dread not the dangers by land or by sea,
That I'll meet on my voyage to Botany Bay;
My labours are over, my vocation is past,
And 'tis there I'll rest easy and happy at last."

The journalist mentioned that Frank, like all the prisoners sentenced to transportation that day, was not from Kilkenny - he had a "peculiar accent" and the journalist thought from his accent that he was from Cork.[2]

We know from his convict record that he was a miner, so it is possible that he had been employed at the large colliery at Castlecomer, where there had been retrenchment of the unskilled workforce, many of whom were itinerant labourers from other counties. It is also possible that he had committed the crime in order to be transported.(Reece p.156)

He was transported to Sydney on the convict ship Eliza which sailed from Cork on 10 May 1832. James Gordon, an officer on the Eliza wrote in the log on 18 June 1832:[3]

Today gave MacNamara (one of the convicts) 2 dozen [lashes] for bad conduct. This fellow is a sad scamp and yet far above the common herd in some respects. He has considerable abilities, has written some very palpable lines on his trial and sentence since he came on board and has a very extensive knowledge of the scriptures ...

Frank was treated three times for constipation during the voyage. The Eliza reached Sydney on 6 September 1832.

Convict indents, Irish warrants and convict muster roll for the Eliza give us the following information; Francis McNamara Age: 21, Miner, Reads & Writes; Single; Native place Wicklow (this is incorrect), 5ft 4 3/4in, ruddy, light brown hair, grey eyes (or 5ft 5in fresh, fair, grey). Religion Protestant (but later records mainly have Catholic). Scar outer corner right eye, features broad and full. Notation on written Indent: "colonial sentence of life passed 8 July 1842 Sydney [..] reduced to 7 yrs under Col Sec letter 44/214 - 27 July 1844".

Frank keeps getting into trouble in Sydney

Various records enable us to track his movements and punishments during his time in Sydney. [4]

Frank was assigned in November 1832 to John Jones, boat builder, Sydney.[5]

However this did not last long, as he was admitted to Phoenix Hulk 3 January 1833 from Sydney Gaol, to work in an Iron Gang at Goat Island for 6 months. He was sent to Hyde Park Barracks on 27 May 1833. Then he was in road gangs in 1833: June 1833 in Road Gang 13; July 1833 in Road Party 10; August 1833 in Overseer Lee's Road Party at Argyle. He received punishments: 24 June 1833 50 lashes for absconding, and on 1 July 1833 one month on the Treadmill for disobedient conduct.

On 24 Aug 1833 he was sentenced to 12 months in an Iron gang for absconding, finally discharged 25 Aug 1834 to Hyde Park Barracks. During his time in the iron gang he was punished on 1 February 1834, 25 lashes for having a stolen shirt, and on 30 March 1834, 75 lashes for insubordinate conduct.

Frank is assigned to the boats crew of the Phoenix Hulk, and still gets into trouble

Superintendent, Phoenix Hulk letter to Principal Superintendent of Convicts, 21 January 1835: Francis McNamara,

"attached to this Estab't as a Boats Crew man absconded from the Boat in which he went on shore yesterday morning. therefore beg every means may be taken for his capture".

For being absent from duty, he was punished on 26 January with "3 days in the cells" (in solitary confinement).

18 February 1835: 25 lashes for disobedience of orders

Bench of Magistrates, Hyde Park Barracks: 9 March 1835 Fras. McNamara and two others in the boats crew. making use of disgusting language, 100 lashes each.

On 16 April 1835 he was sentenced to 12 months in irons for assaulting a constable. He was sent to Iron Gang 12 or 17. On 16 May he was given 36 lashes for refusing to work and impudence. On 8 June, 50 lashes for threatening language. On 8 August, 75 lashes for destroying government property. On 31 October, 36 lashes for destroying a government cart. On 4 December, 50 lashes for refusing to work.

Thirty years later, a newspaper (The Bunyip, South Australia) published a poem he was alleged to have recited in the 1835 court appearance, when asked by the magistrate "When do you think you will obtain your freedom? You are constantly appearing here and receiving additional sentences", Frank replied with a four verse poem, each verse ending with the line "That day I will be free." The first verse:

When Sydney town, of high renown.
Goes to the Windsor races;
When the Surrey hills, and Barker’s mills,
Do visibly change places.
When New South Wales is blessed by God—
Which I think will never be—
And branches new grace Aaron’s rod,
That day I will be free.[6][7]

Bench of Magistrates, Hyde Park Barracks: 25 March 1836 Fras McNamara and John McDermott, boats crew, neglect of duty, 25 lashes each.

Bench of Magistrates, Hyde Park Barracks: 13 May 1836 Hulk Phoenix. Neglect of duty and insolence. 50 lashes.

Bench of Magistrates, Hyde Park Barracks: 15 Aug 1836 Employment: Boats Crew, Found drinking in a Public House. Ten days in a cell

Bench of Magistrates, Hyde Park Barracks: 28 Nov 1836 Francis McNamara, Hulk boats, assaulting a fellow prisoner, two calendar months on the treadmill

25 March 1837: 50 lashes for disobeying orders.

December 1837 convict muster: Francis McNamara, Employment: Hulk Phoenix

Frank becomes a shepherd, refuses to work in the coal mines, and is placed on the boats at Newcastle, but not for long ...

In early 1838 he was sent to work as a shepherd at Calala, the Australian Agricultural Company's pastoral station on the Peel River, then transferred south to another station at Stroud. (to confirm)

In October 1839 he was ordered to work in the Australian Agricultural Co mines in Newcastle.[8] (to confirm)

Much preferring his new life as a shepherd, he refused to work in the mines and wrote two memorials in verse, one of them from the point of view of the sheep! He also wrote another memorial from a chain gang in Newcastle asking that the cook Duffy who used to be a scourger be removed. His name "Francis MacNamara" is in the Company Underground and Chain gang memorials. "A Convict’s Tour to Hell" is at the front of the tiny volume and has the date 23 October 1839. The three memorials and "A Convict’s Tour to Hell" are in the Trimingham manuscript, State Library Sydney. It consists of two foolscap pages, watermark "1838", torn or cut into small pages, and sewn into a cover made from a piece of Sydney Morning Herald dated 17 June 1857. They are digitised and can be seen from the State Library of NSW catalogue[9] [10]

A Petition from the A.A. Co. Flocks at Peel River, In behalf of the Irish Bard (excerpt)
We, the prime of the Company's stock
Fat wethers, rams and ewes
None excepted, all the flock
Peel for the Poet's woes.
Oft he has charmed with his notes
The Plains of fair Killala
To him we owe our fleecy coats
Our flesh, our hides, our tallow.
He ever proved our constant friend
Tis plain from our contrition
In his behalf therefore we send
The following petition.
For the Company Underground Francis MacNamara of Newcastle to J Crosdale Esq greeting (excerpt)
When Christ from Heaven comes down straightway
All His Father's laws to expound
MacNamara shall work that day
For the Company underground
When the man in the moon to Moreton Bay
Is sent in shackles bound
MacNamara shall work that day
For the Company underground
A petition from the Chain Gang at Newcastle to Captain Furlong (excerpt)
Your petitioners are under thy care
In mercy therefore hear our prayer
Nor let us wallow in despair
But soothe each pang
But allow no flogger to prepare
Food for your gang
'Tis said that by your ordination
Our late cook lost his situation
And Duffy is in nomination
His berth to fill
But has not got our approbation
Nor never will
A Convict's Tour To Hell A transcript of the poem

Recitation by Peter O'shaughnessy

Instead of the mines, he was assigned temporarily to the boat crew at Newcastle, but he and the crew of one of the boats absconded on 25 October 1839.[11] The Commercial Journal and Advertiser reported on 6 November 1839:[12]

In a letter from a correspondent at Hunter's River, we are told that four or five convicts belonging to the Boat's Crew attached to the Stockade at Newcastle, took a boat to about a mile to the northward of the entrance of the river, and having beached her took their departure for the bush. A party of the military was, as soon as it was known, sent in pursuit, but returned at night without them. Now, although these men were prisoners only awaiting assignment, having served their sentences in ironed gangs, they have effected their escape from the Stockade and effectually baffled their pursuers in the bush  

That was the third time he had absconded, and when he was apprehended a few days later he was sentenced to 12 months in an Iron gang.[13]

Frank briefly back in Sydney, a poem of his is published, and he joins the road gangs again

He arrived 9 November 1839 at Sydney Gaol from Newcastle and transferred to Woolloomooloo on 11 November 1839.[14] Then he was transferred 5 December to Parramatta Gaol and disposed of 7 December to Parramatta Stockade.[15]

On 8 February 1840, the Sydney Gazette published the poem: Dialogue between two Hibernians in Botany Bay (By Francis Macnamara). [16] Although it has been said that the poem could not have been written by him because it is "anti-Irish", surely lines like the following are meant to be ironic, and are very "Frank the Poet"-ish:

Tell the boys to desist from killing peelers and arson,
But cheerfully pay the tithe proctor and parson;
Why should they, Darby, be left in the lurch,
You know they're the heads of the Protestant Church.
To protect them, faith I'd spill my blood every drop,
And not only the tenth, but the half of my crop,
I'd freely give them without hesitation.
To free me from Botany and vile transportation.

It appears that he returned to Stroud for a while and was then transferred back to Sydney: admitted 15 October 1840 to Newcastle Gaol, from Stroud by Thos Cook, no crime, to go to Hyde Park Barracks.[17]

A some stage he was likely "sent to the Towrang stockade at Goulburn and from there to be put to work building the road from Braidwood to Nowra". [18] Presumably he is working here when he received 50 lashes for mutinous conduct on 4 January 1841.[19]

From an anecdote by a fellow convict Conn Flynn, who was in a road gang:[20]

Harry the forger spoke up:
Faith! Frank, I don't know for sure what you will be remembered most for, your verses or for that natural cross in the rocks, on top of the Devil's Pinch, where you always doff your cap when you pass and which they name Frank the Poet's Cross.

Frank is arrested for forgery, and briefly becomes a bushranger

In 1842 he was under warrant by the Braidwood Bench of Magistrates for forgery.[21] When he was being transferred to Sydney, he and four other convicts overpowered the constables and escaped. Unfortunately they took the constables' firearms - that was an error that would cost them dearly, with incarceration at the prison at Port Arthur in Tasmania.

Sydney Free Press Thursday 2 June 1842:[22]

It appears these five runaways were notorious characters, and among them " the Poet," who is strongly suspected to be the manufacturer of forged certificates and ten pound notes,

Sydney Herald, Wednesday 1 June 1842, page 2:[23]

CAMPBELLTOWN.
On Thursday, the 26th instant, as ten prisoners on their route from Berrima to Picton under warrants to be forwarded to Sydney for various charges, five of them effected their escape from the two constables in charge by securing them and depriving them of their arms, and afterwards handcuffed them to a tree, where they remained a short time, the other five prisoners gave themselves up to the proper authorities. ... Sergeant Doyle, formerly of Her Majesty's 17th Regt, and two Troopers of the Mounted Police, who passed through here on Sunday, succeeded in capturing them at the bottom of Razorback near Cawdor, ... Their names are Francis Macnamara per Eliza, J. Jones per Lady Faversham, Edwin Allen per Asia, William Eastwood per Patriot, and William Thompson per Asia.

Frank is convicted and sent to Tasmania

Quarter Sessions Sydney 8 July 1842: He and the other offenders were found guilty of "Illegally at large with firearms", and were sentenced to transportation for life. The Bench of Magistrates recommended to Governor Gipps to have the sentence reduced to ten years because they had not committed any "depradations". Unusually the sentence was reduced again in 1844 to seven years. This was because one of the offenders, William Thomas had been told incorrectly by Captain Innes that the sentence had been remitted to seven years, and after Thomas wrote a memorial about this from Port Arthur to the Chairman of the Sydney Quarter Sessions, the mistake of seven years was confirmed and the other offenders got the same reduction in sentence.[24]

He was transferred from Sydney Gaol to Cockatoo Island on July 11.[25]

He arrived Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) 29 October 1842 on the ship Waterlily, and at some stage was sent to Port Arthur. It was noted in his convict record that he had "marks of punishment on back". Hugh Leonard, a convict later recounted how the newly arrived Sydney convicts including Frank the Poet were put into the 'carrying gang' each carrying a load of shingles, and they refused to keep up the pace with a runner who had a lighter load. They were all flogged, then received seven days solitary confinement. Eventually the commandant listened to them and ordered that there was to be no more running in the gang. [Reece p.169]

Martin Cash recounted that there was a performance at the gaol on Christmas Day, where he saw: 

the famed Frank the Poet, who threw off a few extempore verses for the amusement of the company, at the same time giving his coat  of arms, viz.,  
"My name is Frank McNamara,
a native of Cashell, County Tipperary,
sworn to be a tyrant’s foe,
and while I’ve life I'll crow.”

Martin Cash also wrote that "On one occasion when Frank was brought before Captain Murray for getting drunk, the latter sentenced him to fourteen days’ solitary, at the same time asking him what he had to say to that, to which Frank replied,

“Captain Murray, if you please,
make it hours instead of days.
You know it becomes an Irishman
to drown the shamrock when he can." 

Martin Cash wrote "I believe his request was complied with."[26] (Interestingly, this actually refers to the time back in August 1836 at Phoenix Hulk when Frank was punished for drunkenness. Captain Murray was superintendent of the Phoenix Hulk)[27]

Frank is free at last and becomes a goldminer

He received his ticket-of-leave in January 1847, his conditional pardon late that year and his Certificate of Freedom in July 1849.[28]

In 1851 he was described as a "wandering genius" in a newspaper article about the town of Seymour in Victoria: Melbourne Daily News, Saturday 1 March 1851, page 2:[29]

Amongst the paintings and drawings which decorate the walls of one of the elegantly furnished parlours in the Robert Burns Inn, are several specimens of penmanship executed by a wandering genius called Frank, the poet. The landlord of the inn had them neatly framed and hung up, and hundreds have admired their beauty.

One of these drawings apparently is 'A Fine Copy of "Man was made to mourn" which is at State Library NSW (see below)

By 1853 he had made his way to the NSW goldfields, and he was described as a "local celebrity" at Tambaroora. Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, Saturday 3 September 1853:[30]

A local celebrity, who answers to the cognomen of Frank the poet, has added his physical and poetical strength to the former, where his bones and sinews are likely to be of more service than his brains.

He was working the goldfields with Robert Welsh, who later said that Frank had made a great deal of money, "hundreds a week" at Tambaroora, but spent it freely.[inquest]

Frank became popular for his "almost miraculous" penmanship and he was asked to write on the blank leaves of prayer-books, bibles, and other valued books. Two examples were given by a newspaper correspondent of Clarke's Creek Meroo who wrote an obituary about Frank after his death. Frank wrote in his prayer book:

Gift of an Affectionate Mother
[Then follows the name very beautifully written.]
'Tis not a little toy
That I give to thee, my boy,
As your good sense will see,
'Tis a book of prayer
Keep it with fond care
In remembrance of me."  

In another Prayer-book owned by the same man:

" Presented, April 10, 1859, by the dearest Friend in the world, to —— ,
The Lord hath chastened me sore: but He hath not given me over unto death." Ps. CXVIII, 18 v.

Frank lived for some time with a storekeeper at Clarke's Creek, Meroo. [obit] In March 1861, just 5 months before his death he penned the Calf Family Record at Devil's Hole Creek, Meroo, which shows he had no sign of handshake or mental deterioration.

In July 1861 Frank and his friend Robert Welsh and another man, John McDermid were working at the Pipe Clay diggings near Mudgee. However Frank had not been well for some time and was spitting blood. He was feeling the effects of the cold: "the wind used to annoy him very much in the hut in which be resided". On 27 August Frank and Robert came into Mudgee where they stayed at John Phillip's hotel "The Fountain of Friendship". They were drinking together "off and on" and the following day Frank stayed in bed. Their workmate John McDermid came into Mudgee to see what was keeping them, and asked why Robert was in the tap-room of the hotel when he had apparently made a promise not to drink. Robert replied "how can I help it, Frank is very bad". Just before his death Frank told Welsh to collect some money owing to him at Mudgee and share it with McDermid. [inquest]

Death 29 August 1861 at the hotel "The Fountain of Friendship" at Mudgee NSW. An inquest was held and cause of death was "by the effects of cold and inanition". He had a complaint which caused him to spit blood. He had been ailing for some time according to his death certificate. He was also known by the name Francis Hill, and his death was registered under the name Hill. He was buried at Mudgee on 30 August 1861, no religion.[31]

Inquest

Obituary from Correspondent, Clarke's Creek Meroo, June 1862

A Note About Frank the Poet's Works

Examples of his work (including the ones with debatable provenance) are at Francis MacNamara by Mark Gregory (note that the pages are not in order).

Historians differ in the attribution of poems to his authorship. One end of the spectrum is Meredith and Whalan's book "Frank the Poet", where several works are attributed to him, including the "Moreton Bay" folk song. The other end of the spectrum is "The legend of Frank the poet: Convict heritage recovered or created?" by Brownrigg, which has doubts about the authorship of virtually all his reputed output, including The Convict's Tour to Hell and the three memorials.

Did he write the folksongs "Bold Jack Donohoe" and "Moreton Bay"?
They both date from early Australia. Jack Donohoe was shot in 1830. Are there any features in these songs which could indicate Frank's authorship?

"Bold Jack Donohoe": There are several versions of this song, and it will eventually morph into the famous "Wild Colonial Boy". It is impossible to know what the original words were. A good rendition of Bold Jack Donohoe is by Kitty Donohoe

Consider the words "circular sailing" in the "Moreton Bay" song - could this be indicative of Frank's linguistic style? Also note the Biblical references. A good rendition of this song is by Andy Irvine.

"Convicts Tour to Hell" and the three memorials in the Trimingham manuscript:
(I have given excepts and links above) These are the only poems which can be reasonably assumed to be by Frank. Another copy of Tour to Hell is in the journal of Thomas Whitley. Whitley originally received a copy from Thomas Holdstock of Raymond Terrace, who in 1857 sought out an "old hand" at Stroud who had known Frank the Poet. This man knew the poem from memory and Holdstock wrote it down. Whitley published a version of the poem in 1885 in a small booklet which also included Henry Kendall's "Song of Ninian Melville".[32][33]Tour to Hell, Whitley's "edited and polished' version.[34]

Calf Family Record This is remarkable in its similarity to the "Convicts Tour to Hell" and the three memorials - they have similar calligraphy, and are both very tiny. It was donated to the Mitchell Library by the Calf family in 1928.[35] The small card has: "This family record was penned at the Devil's Hole Creek on the first of March in the year of our Lord 1861 expressly for Mr. John Calf ..." followed by the birth and marriage details of John Calf and his wife Elizabeth Wilson, and the birth details of four of their children, as well as two figures. According to the letter accompanying it, it was "made by a convict well known in the early days as 'Frank the Poet' – I believe his name was MacNamara, –who was transported for forgery".

A Fine Copy of "Man was made to mourn", a transcription of a poem by Robert Burns. The Australian Dictionary of Biography incorrectly places the origin of this in the Mudgee goldfields in 1861. However a photograph of it in the State Library Sydney has the date November 26 1850, which would make it more likely one of the "specimens of penmanship" displayed at Robert Burns Inn at Seymour, Victoria and reported in the 'Melbourne Daily News' in 1851 (see above).[36][37]

It appears that Frank produced several calligraphic pen and ink drawings. Another example mentioned but apparently no longer extant is a loaned exhibit of one of his works to the Victoria Museum in 1892,[38]

Note also that there are other examples of Irish extempore versifiers eg soon after arriving in 1833, the Revd William Ullathorne, Catholic Vicar-General had a "poor ragged Irishman" appear on his doorstep whom he met years later in "fat fine condition", and Marcus Clarke related in 1868 that years before he had met a little Irishman known as the 'Poet' in a pub in Melbourne.[39] Is it possible that in both these incidents the Irish extempore versifier was Frank the Poet? Research needed

Research Notes

Some biographies mention that he had an alias "Frank Goddard". This is not an alias. It was thought (incorrectly) to be Frank's name by the person who recited the "Tour to hell" to Thomas Holdstock.[40]

Research needs to be done to confirm Frank's alias "Francis Hill" at the time of his death.

Sources

  1. Tipperary and sister in Tasmanian Indent CON16-1-1 https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON16-1-1$init=CON16-1-1P223 Native place recorded as Wicklow in ship Eliza's indents, but Cashel or Tipperary are in most of his many gaol admittance records.
  2. Kilkenny Journal, and Leinster Commercial and Literary Advertiser Wednesday 18 January 1832, page 3 https://search.findmypast.com.au/bna/ViewArticle?id=BL%2F0001311%2F18320118%2F011%2F0003&browse=true
  3. Quoted in Reece p.157
  4. Records relating to Francis Mcnamara's time in Sydney:
  5. Assigned to John Jones, Sydney. I have assumed he is the same John Jones Sydney boatbuilder who had another Eliza convict, John Davis, assigned to him. See https://remembering-the-past-australia.blogspot.com/2017/04/nsw-convicts-assigned-1832-II.html
  6. Extract from the Bunyip (Gawler, South Australia), Saturday, October 7, 1865, quoted in 'The day I will be free: A rediscovered courtroom effusion by Frank the poet', Gregory, Mark : Quadrant Magazine Company, Inc, Quadrant, 2013-09, Vol.57 (9), p.86-87, accessed via State Library of NSW e-resources
  7. 1865 'ON FREEDOM.', Bunyip (Gawler, SA : 1863 - 1954), 7 October, p. 4. , viewed 02 Jan 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97205205
  8. There are no records that place Frank at this time working for the Australian Agricultural Company at Calala, or at Stroud, or ordered to work at the mines at Newcastle. This part of his life has been surmised from the content of his poems in the Trimingham manuscript (Meredith and Whalan p.7). There is one record that places Frank in Stroud in 1840 (see below)
  9. Digitised copy of the three memorials and "A Convict’s Tour to Hell", at State Library of NSW: MacNamara, Francis. Francis MacNamara - A Convict's Tour to Hell..., 1832. https://search.sl.nsw.gov.au/permalink/f/1cvjue2/ADLIB110321727
  10. "A Convict’s Tour of Hell" is also in Whitley's, 'Some Personal Reminiscences – Lower Hunter River, N S Wales, Personal, Topographical, Poetical and Otherwise. 1855 – 1857', Cat. B 388, Mitchell Library, Sydney. This is a hand written copy.
  11. Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office,October 29, 1839. THE undermentioned Prisoners having absconded ...M'Namara Francis, Eliza (6), 28, Wicklow, miner, 5 feet 4¾ inches, ruddy comp., light brown hair, grey eyes, scar outer corner right eye, features broad and full, from Boat's Crew, Newcastle, since October 25. 1839 'Government Gazette Notices', New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), 30 October, p. 1214. , viewed 03 Jan 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230384822
  12. 1839 'PRISONERS' COUNCIL BILL.', Commercial Journal and Advertiser (Sydney, NSW : 1835 - 1840), 6 November, p. 2. , viewed 03 Jan 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226453433 
  13. LIST OF RUNAWAYS APPREHENDED DURING THE WEEK. ...M'Namara Francis, Eliza (6), Boat's crew, Newcastle.  1839 'Government Gazette Notices', New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), 13 November, p. 1282. , viewed 03 Jan 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230385023 . Third time absconded is in one of the gaol entrance records 
  14. New South Wales, Australia, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930 for Fras M Namara, Entrance Book Sydney 1837-1841 https://www.ancestry.com.au/imageviewer/collections/1783/images/32245_223268-00376?pId=90668 This record has his birthplace 'Cashel'
  15. Returns of the Woolloomooloo Stockade, and Entrance book Parramatta Gaol, quoted in Meredith and Whalan p.12 (these records are not appearing in Ancestry.com search)
  16. A poem "Dialogue between two Hibernians in Botany Bay", published in the Sydney Gazette - but was it by him? Interestingly, Brownrigg considers it was written by someone else because it is "anti-Irish" and was a satire directed at Frank because by that time he had a "reputation". Brownrigg, p.22.
  17. New South Wales, Australia, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930 for Francis Macnamara, Entrance Book Newcastle 1840-1852 https://www.ancestry.com.au/imageviewer/collections/1783/images/40799_294152-00400?pId=245036
  18. Reece p.167
  19. 50 lashes for mutinous conduct on 4 January 1841 comes from the Tasmanian conduct book
  20. Quoted in Reece p. 167
  21. Colonial Secretary's letters quoted in Meredith and Whalan p.15
  22. 1842 'BERRIMA.', Sydney Free Press (NSW : 1841 - 1842), 2 June, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jan 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226358947
  23. 1842 'CAMPBELLTOWN.', The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), 1 June, p. 3. , viewed 31 Dec 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12875481
  24. Several letters regarding the remission to ten years then to seven years are transcribed in Meredith and Whalan pp. 17-23
  25. New South Wales, Australia, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930 for Francis Mcnamara, Entrance and Description Book Sydney 1831-1847 https://www.ancestry.com.au/imageviewer/collections/1783/images/32246_223271-00201?pId=201751
  26. Martin Cash, the bushranger of Van Diemen's Land in 1843 : a personal narrative of his exploits in the bush and his experiences at Port Arthur and Norfolk Island, Hobart : J. Walch & Sons, 1870, pp.69-70 https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-2826836032/view?partId=nla.obj-2826844932#page/n68/mode/1up I added the line breaks in the 'solitary confinement' epigram - Heather 
  27. Meredith and Whalan, p.xi
  28. List of convicts, Expiration of sentence, 1849 'Family Notices', The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880), 21 July, p. 737. , viewed 02 Jan 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65977230
  29. 1851 'SEYMOUR.', The Melbourne Daily News (Vic. : 1848 - 1851), 1 March, p. 2. , viewed 02 Jan 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226518088
  30. 1853 'TAMBAROORA.', Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 3 September, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jan 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62049302
  31. Death certificate, NSW BDM online index HILL FRANCIS 3796/1861 AGE 54 YEARS DIED MUDGEE MUDGEE. He was born in Ireland according to his death certificate.
  32. Meredith and Whalan, p.xi, xiv
  33. State Library NSW, Thomas Whitley papers, 1903-1910, B 388 Some reminiscences, lower Hunter River, NSW 1855-1857, 1910 https://search.sl.nsw.gov.au/permalink/f/1ocrdrt/ADLIB110364127
  34. see Meredith and Whalan p.51
  35. State Library of NSW: Papers relating to Calf family, 1928 Ac 92 http://archival.sl.nsw.gov.au/Details/archive/110351035?_ga=2.9796406.2052706462.1609528654-1521096011.1571961216
  36. A photograph was in Thomas Whiteley's papers at Mitchell Library but had disappeared by the time Meredith and Whalan looked for it in the 1960s. There is no mention of Mudgee in the provenance in Meredith and Whalan p.65. However John Meredith donated photographs of it to the State Library in January 1989; unfortunately the NSW State Library catalogue does not give the provenance of the photographs.
  37. Man was made to mourn, 3 photos, in State Library NSW Catalogue http://archival.sl.nsw.gov.au/Details/archive/110351104?_ga=2.109606790.2052706462.1609528654-1521096011.1571961216
  38. see https://frankthepoet.blogspot.com/2011/03/victoria-museum.html
  39. from Reece, p133 and p170
  40. Meredith and Whalan p.xi
  • John Meredith and Rex Whalan, Frank the Poet (Melb, 1979)
  • Bob Reece, ‘Frank the Poet’ in Bob. Reece (ed), Exiles from Erin (Lond, 1991).
  • Brownrigg, Jeff, "The legend of Frank the poet: Convict heritage recovered or created?", in Journal of Australian colonial history, 2016, Vol.18, p.1-22, accessed via State Library of NSW e-resources
  • Tasmanian Archives, Convict Conduct Book https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON35-1-1$init=CON35-1-1P411

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