FRANKLAND, Thomas (c.1665-1726), of Thirkleby, nr. Thirsk, Yorks. and Chiswick, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



3 Dec. 1695
Feb. 1701
Dec. 1701
1710 - 7 June 1711

Family and Education

b. c.1665, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir William Frankland, 1st Bt. educ. Camb. 1680-1; L. Inn 1683. m. lic. 14 Feb. 1683, aged 18, Elizabeth (d. 20 July 1733), da. of Sir John Russell, 4th Bt., of Chippenham, Cambs., 8s. (5 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 2 Aug. 1697.2

Offices Held

Commr. for excise Apr.-Oct. 1689; jt. postmastergen. 1691-1715; commr. for customs 1715-18.3

Commr. for assessment, Yorks. (N. and W. Ridings) 1689-90; j.p. and dep. lt. (N. Riding) by I701-d.


Frankland’s political career began at the age of 13 when he was chaired at a Thirsk election by the supporters of the victorious country candidates as a substitute for his father, who was crippled with gout. A few months later he was sent south and placed in the charge of his childless uncle Lord Fauconberg, who found him ‘a little soft and very studious’, wanting assurance more than learning. On his early marriage he took up residence near Fauconberg’s house at Sutton Court. When his father deemed it prudent as a known exclusionist not to stand for re-election at Thirsk in 1685, Frankland was returned in his absence, unopposed. Danby seems to have meant to list him among the Opposition. But he feared that he might have some difficulty in discharging his trust to the electors without displeasing the King, and took no known part in James II’s Parliament. The royal electoral agents correctly reported in September 1688 that he would be re-elected, but they were ‘doubtful’ of his attitude to the King’s religious policy. In the Convention he was sent to the Lords on 17 Apr. 1689 to ask for a conference on the removal of Roman Catholics from the metropolitan area. But he was named to no committees, made no recorded speeches, and lost his seat on the excise board through inability to subscribe to a government loan. Though doubtless a Whig, he was not listed as a supporter of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, and he told his father that the House was more inclined to mercy than sacrifice. His moderation stood him in good stead in 1691, when he and Sir Robert Cotton were appointed postmasters-general. He remained a court Whig in the Commons until the post was declared incompatible with a seat in 1711. He died on 30 Oct. 1726 and was buried at Thirkleby. Two of his sons sat for Thirsk between 1713 and 1749.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: P. A. Bolton / Paula Watson


  • 1. New writ.
  • 2. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ii. 245-6; HMC Astley, 44-45, 52.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 82, 1037; xxix. 390, 407; xxxii. 666.
  • 4. HMC Astley, 41, 42, 44, 59, 63, 71, 73; H. Robinson, British Post Office, 78.