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Frank The Poet’s 200th Anniversary
4pm, Sunday 28th August 2011

By Miguel Heatwole
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2011

A presentation of songs, verse and narrative by Miguel Heatwole

Emoh Ruo
52 John Street
Erskineville

Free of charge - but please RSVP to Miguel (02) 9810 4601

“My name is Francis MacNamara
A native of Cashel in the County Tipperary
Sworn tyranny’s foe
And while I’ve life, I’ll crow!”

Known to his fellow prisoners and his many admirers as Frank the Poet, he was an Irishman with a provocative wit and a stubborn inclination to refuse penal servitude. ‘Convicted by the laws of England’s hostile crown’, he arrived in Australia in 1832 and spent fifteen years under the lash in Sydney, Newcastle, and Van Diemen’s Land. Throughout the ordeal his defiance found a ready outlet in the many songs and poems he composed.
A fragment of text possibly written by Francis MacNamara

This year marks the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 150th of his death late in August 1861. Miguel’s performance will give a detailed account of Frank’s life and will include his known works - many of which have been set to music. The result is a moving, rebellious and often humorous testament to a man whose skill with words made him an articulate champion of the wretched, and an important figure in Australian convict history.

I am a native of the land of Erin
And banished now from my native shore
I left behind my aged parents
And the girl I adore...

…Fellow prisoners be exhilarated!
And your former sufferings don’t bear in mind,
For it’s when from bondage we’re extricated
We will leave those tyrants far, far behind!
 

Frank MacNamara's death

Thanks to Mark Gregory for image collection.