FRANKLIN from Lincolnshire

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.

  1. Richad F Voss, Brothers in exploration and science in Lincolnshire Past & Present (117), pp3-6, Autumn 2019
  2. Richard F Voss, Major James Franklin, FRS (1783 – 1834) in Soldiers of the Queen: Journal of the Victorian Military Society (177), pp 18-27, Spring 2020

5 thoughts on “FRANKLIN from Lincolnshire

  1. Hi,
    My great great great grandfather was a Thomas Danby Franklin who lived in Kirton-in-Holland, Lincolnshire, married to Sarah Crawford.
    Do you know if he is related to the same Franklin’s of this line and if so, who his father is?

    Many thanks,
    Darren Franklin

    Tony has responded:
    I have no record of a Thomas Danby FRANKLIN or Sarah CRAWFORD.
    However, there was a Thomas Adams FRANKLIN buried in Sibsey (just north of Boston) in 1807 and his GGrandparents Francis FRANKLIN & Mary YATES had a son Thomas who died aged 9. So it is quite likely that the Franklins were using the name Thomas and, given the proximity, that there is a relationship to my lines.
    If you turn up any connection, do please let me know.

  2. My further research has determined that Thomas Danby Franklin was the illegitimate child of a Thomas Danby and Mary Franklin. Born in Kirton-in-Holland in 1809, Mary died due to his childbirth.

    He assumed the name of Thomas Danby Franklin but I do not know who raised him or where. I do know he had a son Henry Franklin who travelled to Australia to start the Franklin lineage there. What is of importance to the Australian Franklins is “who” Mary Franklin was. We are trying to determine if she is from the Lincolnshire or Northampton Franklins.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Darren Franklin

    1. Hi Darren, I’ve done years of work on this but come up with nothing. But I think I found Thomas Danby.

      1. Thanks great Karen! That would be our Thomas Danby who had Thomas Danby Franklin (junior) with Mary Franklin.

        Thank you!


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