This line is traced back to Francis FRANKLIN (1) of Sibsey, borne about 1689. Descendents lived in various parts of the region thereafter.
Willingham FRANKIN (1739-1824) married Hannah WEEKS (1751-1810)
This couple raised a large family in Spilsby. It is noted for their ninth child Sir John Franklin, arctic explorer and discoverer of the North-West Passage. The entire expedition was lost in the process – a matter of great public concern in the years following. His statue graces the town square in Spilsby and is, perhaps, its claim to fame.
However, his fame rather overshadows other members of this remarkable family. Richard Voss argues that the achievements of brothers John and James in military campaigns, surveying and science were similar.1 As so often, the daughters have received less recognition but they had important descendants.
- The first child Thomas became Lieutenant-Colonel of the local militia. He co-founded the Boston & Spilsby Bank which failed in 1804.
- The fourth child Hannah married John BOOTH of Spilsby. Their daughter Mary married Sir John RICHARDSON who was surgeon and naturalist on most of Sir John Franklin’s expeditions and his close friend – see RICHARDSON of Dumfriesshire. Their granddaughter was Jane Margaret BOOTH, who married into the ALINGTON family.
- The fifth child became Sir Willingham FRANKLIN, Chief Justice of Madras, India. His grandson was Rev. Canon Hardwick RAWNSLEY, a noted naturalist and co-founder of the National Trust.
- The seventh child became Major James FRANKLIN FRS of the 1st Bengal Cavalry. He conducted a major survey of Bundelkland, India and the first survey of Singapore. He was an ornithologist and taxonomic authority of six Indian bird species. A substantive biography has recently been published2.
- The tenth child Sarah Jane married Henry SELLWOOD and their first daughter Emily married Lord Alfred TENNYSON. Their third daughter Louisa married Lord Alfred’s elder brother Charles Henry TENNYSON
An overview chart of the ALINGTON BOOTH FRANKLIN REYNOLDS RICHARDSON lines is available as a .pdf diagram here.