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Frances Robinson (c. 1747–?)

Frances Hart (c.1747- ), a mantua maker, was found guilty on 10 September 1783 at the Old Bailey, London, of receiving stolen property. She may have been the wife of David Hart who was hanged a week after his escape from the Swift transport in 1783: both Frances and David were Jewish.

Sentenced to 7 years transportation, Frances was sent from Newgate Gaol to the Mercury transport on 30 March 1784 and was among the prisoners who mutinied on the ship in April. Recaptured, she was sent to the Dunkirk hulk in June 1784. She was discharged to the Friendship in March 1787 and transferred to the Charlotte at Rio de Janeiro. She arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. 

Hart (as Frances Harts) married William Robinson on 13 February 1788 at Port Jackson. The couple were sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in February 1789 and by July 1791 were subsisting on a Sydney Town lot. William Robinson, who was an experienced seaman, left Norfolk Island in late September 1791, probably to return to England. Frances left Norfolk Island on the Atlantic in September 1792. As there are no later records for her in the colony it is likely that she also returned to England.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 164

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Robinson, Frances (c. 1747–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hart, Frances
  • Robertson, Frances

c. 1747

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: receiving stolen goods
Sentence: 7 years