Frances Keswick was born in Whitehaven in Cumberland in 1792. Her death certificate says that her parents were David and Mary Keswick. She married Edward HODGSON when she was nineteen years old and had borne him seven children, two of whom had died in infancy, when he was convicted and transported in 1827.
In August 1829, he applied for his wife and family to join him in Van Diemen's Land. It was eighteen months after he had arrived and two years after he had been convicted for uttering forged notes.On 3 May 1830, the Secretary of State's Office at Whitehall, sent a letter to Rev. Stanley at the Rectory House in Cumberland notifiying him that the family should be on board the ship Mellish at Woolwich on or before the 15th May, cleanly and properly clothed and with additional articles of wearing apparel for the voyage. The letter arrived on the afternoon of the 7th of May.
Rev. Stanley duly dispatched Frances and her five children aged from 3 to 15 years and they arrived in time for the ship's departure. They travelled on board with 115 female convicts, 13 other free women [convict wives] and 40 more children, arriving in Hobart four months later.
Her husband served as an overseer on the roads and may well have been transported for his road building experience. Once he received his full pardon in 1841, it seems likely that the family moved to Victoria.
Frances died from asthma at Belfast [Port Fairy] in 1856. She was living with her daughters, one of whom had married a solicitor. She was a widow but all five children were still living.