William Temple Franklin

William Temple Franklin

Birth
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Death 17 Nov 1813 (aged 82)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial St Pancras, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Plot 43 Div., 3 Ligne
Memorial ID 38157262 · View Source
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Last Colonial Governor of New Jersey. The illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin, he remained loyal to England during the American Revolution, leading to a virtually complete break with his famed father. Raised in Philadelphia, the identity of his mother remains a matter of conjecture; she was probably either a prostitute, or Franklin's future wife, Deborah Reed. He was well educated under his father's direction, became a captain of militia during King George's War, and assisted Dr. Franklin in the persuit of land grants, and in the famous kite experiment. While in England to finish his education, William was admitted to the bar, and married Elizabeth Downes (deceased 1777); his only son, William Temple Franklin, was to be raised by, and later become an aide to, his grandfather. William returned in 1763 with an appointment as Royal Governor of New Jersey. While in office, he signed the charter for Queen's College (now Rutgers), and remained loyal to the Crown despite the growing spirit of independence. Arrested in 1776, he was held prisoner in Connecticut for two years, then became active in the Loyalist community of New York City. William fled to England in 1782, never to return. An attempt to patch up relations with his father via letter in 1784 came to nought. The two met for a final time in London in 1785, the meeting devoted mainly to business arrangements; thereafter, correspondence was polite, but scant. William was left little in Dr. Franklin's will, lived out his days in London, and died essentially broke.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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Inscription

CI-GIT William Temple Franklin
NE LE 22 FEVRIER 1762
MORT LE 25 MAI 1823
PETIT FILS DE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

IL FUT TOUJOURS DIGNE D'UN NOM
QUI S'ÉTEINT AVEC LUI

SA VEUVE INCONSOLABLE
LUI A FAIT ELEVER CE MONUMENT
COMME UNSIGNE
D'UNE DOLEUR QUI NE FINIRA
QU'AVEC SA VIE

REQUIESCAT IN PACE

-- translation --

Here Lies William Temple Franklin
Born 22 February 1762
Died 25 May 1823
Grandson of Benjamin Franklin

He has always been worthy of a name
that will disappear [die] with him.

His inconsolable widow
erects this monument to him
as a sign
of a pain that will never end
except with her life.

Rest In Peace.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 10 Jun 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 38157262
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Temple Franklin (22 Feb 1731–17 Nov 1813), Find A Grave Memorial no. 38157262, citing St. Pancras Old Churchyard, St Pancras, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .