Sir John Franklin/Francklin d.1707

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Biographical Note

Second son of George Francklin, of Great Barford, Bedfordshire. The university records are ambiguous but Foster suggests that he may be the man of that name who matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford in 1660, but did not graduate. He became a barrister at Lincoln's Inn and a master in chancery, and was knighted 1675. He inherited the family estates in Bedfordshire from his elder brother Sir William in 1691, considerably encumbered with debt, which he sought to alleviate with property sales.


Armorial stamp of Sir John Franklin (British Armorial Bindings)

A number of books survive with Francklin's armorial stamp, and also books with a contemporary joint inscription of him and his wife. In his will, he bequeathed all his books and manuscripts, excepting such books as his wife Dorothy "shall think fit to take for her own use", to his relation John Francklin, lecturer at Wisbech and rector of Gressenhall, Norfolk, who also inherited some of the Bedford estates. This John died shortly afterwards, in 1710, leaving all his household goods , including "plate linen books stock cattle" to his wife Sarah; his will refers to the need to sell his estate in Mileham to pay debts, noting that "I might have been better if I had carefully and prudently managed it as I ought to have done". The two Franklin books in Cambridge University Library have the Royal Library bookplate indicating their origin in the library of John Moore, d.1714 (q.v.), suggesting dispersal soon after John Franklin's death. Examples: CUL J.9.37, J.14.16; Durham UL Bamburgh H.IV.4; Quaritch list, "Early books and manuscripts", February 2007/11, 24.

Sir John Franklin's inscription (J. Cowell, The Interpreter, 1658, private collection)

Characteristic Markings

Franklin used an armorial stamp, found in gilt on the covers of his bindings; neither of the books in CUL have any inscriptions or annotations. Some books also survive with the inscription "Sr John Francklin/Dorothea Francklin".