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Robert Franklin, one of 200 convicts transported on the Albion, 17 May 1823
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 61 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Wilts, Devizes Boro' Quarter Sessions
17th May, 1823
21st October, 1823
|Place of arrival
||Van Diemen's Land
Travelled with 199 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 58
||This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.
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Maureen Withey on 4th July, 2019 wrote:
Committed to the old Bridewell, Devizes. - Robert Franklin and George Franklin, charged with stealing from a cart within the borough of Devizes, a paper parcel, containing a pair of stays, the property of Wm. Knight.
Devizes Gazette, 12 Sep 1822
Robert Franklin and George Franklin, were indicted for stealing a parcel from the cart of Mr Knight, the Enford carrier, containing a pair of stays, the 5th of September. Within the last three years, these notorious characters have been apprehended nearly 20 times on different charges of theft. Each has several times been put to his trial, found guilty, and imprisoned; but neither appears the least reformed. Robert, who we should not suppose is more than 18 or 19 years of age, betrayed during this trial, the most determined hardihood. On being asked by whom he would tried, he replied with great effrontery – By King and my country – he was repeatedly told he must say, by my God and my country, but in vain. Mr Estcourt: - Will you be tried by your God, If no, (he said) you ask who I’ll be tried by, and I tell you I’ll be tried by my King and my country. This, it afterwards appeared, was mere trick, the expectation that a refusal to plead according to the prescribed form, would be the means of putting off the trial; for on the jury being about to be sworn, he exclaimed – Be I to be tried now, then? - Mr Estcourt asked him what reason he could assign, why he should not? He answered, I wish to be tried where I can have some justice done, and there is not a man in that box, knowing that I bear a bit of bad character, but what would take away my life for sixpence. He objected to Mr Watson being one of his jurors, on the ground that Mr W. bore malice against him, for one day enticing away his ?.
At length the trial proceeded, and it was proved on the 5th of September, the two prisoners were loitering about and looking into the cart; that after they had shortly conferred together, Robert turned his back, while George went to the cart, took out the parcel, it was Robert, who placed it inside his coat and walked off. Mr Burt, (ironmonger) watched the proceedings, followed Robert, brought him back to his shop, took the parcel from him, and delivered him into custody. George was also shortly after apprehended. Robert, in his defence, said, that as he was walking towards the Black Swan, George came after him and put the parcel into his hand, and that he know not where George had it from. Mr Estcourt, said to the Jury, entreated them to dismiss from their minds all that they might have previously known of charge against the prisoners into consideration their general character but be guided entirely by the evidence they had heard, and if that evidence, they had the smallest doubt of the guilt of the prisoners, to give them the benefit of that doubt. If they believed what Robert had said in his defence, and that George had taken the parcel from the cart unknown to him, they were bound to find Robert Not Guilty, while they found the other guilty. - The Jury, scarcely deliberating a minute, returned a verdict of Guilty. - Mr Estcourt, in passing sentence on them, said he felt, that from the number of times they had been placed where they then stood, that all he could say to them was the impropriety of their past conduct would have but little effect, or he would address them, the hopes that when their term of punishment had expired, they would live a more honest life, and become better men. Mr Estcourt then sentenced them to years transportation each, and until they were sent off for the purpose undergoing that sentence, to be imprisoned in Fisherton Gaol. - Robert Franklin, in the most hardened manner, left the bar saying – I thank your honour.
Devizes Gazette, 17 Oct 1822
His conduct record in Tasmania states that Robert was aged 20, aoccupation - labourer, and a native of Devizes.
Convict Changes History
Maureen Withey on 4th July, 2019 made the following changes: