William Franklin

Colonial Administrator
Born 1731

William Franklin was an American soldier, attorney, and colonial administrator, the acknowledged illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin. He was appointed as the last Colonial Governor of New Jersey (1763-1776). Franklin was a steadfast Loyalist throughout the American War of Independence. As his father was one of the most prominent Patriots and a Founding Father of the United States, their differences caused an irreconcilable break between them.… Read More

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1730 Birth William Franklin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then a colony in British America. His exact date of birth is uncertain, but it was most probably in 1730. … Read More


1750 20 Years Old In 1750 he stated to his own mother that his son was nineteen years old, but this may have been an attempt to make him appear legitimate. … Read More


1760 30 Years Old …  She met Franklin when she was visiting England with her father in 1760. … Read More
1762 32 Years Old 1 More Event
Franklin had one son William Temple Franklin, who was born out of wedlock on 22 Feb 1762 in the County of Middlesex, London, England. … Read More
1763 33 Years Old When the family returned from England, in 1763, he carried a commission from George III to be the Royal Governor of New Jersey, secured in large part based on his father's lobbying efforts with the Prime Minister Lord Bute. … Read More


1778 48 Years Old When finally released in 1778, he moved to New York City, still occupied by the British. … Read More


1782 52 Years Old 1 More Event
He sought a guerilla war and active reprisals against the rebels but was frustrated by British Commander-in-Chief General Clinton. In 1782 Franklin was implicated in the hanging of Joshua Huddy by Loyalist officer Richard Lippincott, which in turn sparked the Asgill Affair. … Read More
1784 54 Years Old William tried without success to reconcile with his father through a letter sent on 22 July 1784.
1785 55 Years Old William saw his father one last time in 1785, when Benjamin stopped in Britain following his return to America from his time in France. The meeting was brief and involved tying up outstanding legal matters. On 14 August 1788 William married Mary Johnson d'Evelin. … Read More


1813 83 Years Old William Franklin died in 1813, and is buried in St Pancras Old Church churchyard. … Read More
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