FRANKLAND, Thomas II (c.1685-1747), of Thirkleby, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1708 - 1713
1713 - 17 Apr. 1747

Family and Education

b. c.1685, 1st s. of (Sir) Thomas Frankland I* (2nd Bt.).  educ. Jesus, Camb. 1700; travelled abroad (Italy) 1704–5; Padua Univ., 1705.  m. (1) 5 June 1715, Dinah (d. 1741), da. and h. of Francis Topham of Agglethorpe, Yorks., 2da.; (2) 9 July 1741, Sarah Moseley of Worcs., 1s. d.v.psuc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 30 Oct. 1726.1

Offices Held

Clerk of deliveries in Ordnance and sec. to muster-master-gen. 1715–22; commr. revenue [I] 1724–8; ld. of Trade 1728–30; ld. of Admiralty 1730–42.2


As a young man travelling through Europe Frankland was described in December 1704 as

one of the prettiest young gentlemen I ever saw, and hath a right genius for perfectly understanding architecture, painting, and the curiosities of Rome. The Duke of Shrewsbury says he is the prettiest gentleman he hath seen abroad, because he hath brought more knowledge of his own country and its constitution with him than any of them; he makes a good figure at a small expense.

Such glowing testimony was apt at a time when Frankland’s father was said to be having ‘thoughts of putting up his eldest son’ for election in Harwich on the Post Office interest. These plans gathered momentum by 1707, when John Ellis was warned that his seat was in great danger. On a visit to the borough in April 1708, Frankland was described as ‘a pretty sort of a gentleman, and appears to me to have sense above his years, for he seems to me to be very young’. The united interests of Sir John Leake* and the Post Office, based on the packet-boat service, duly secured the election for Frankland.3

In an analysis of the returns following the 1708 election Frankland was classed as a Whig. His early parliamentary activity also identified him as a Court supporter, like his father. He supported the naturalization of the Palatines in early 1709, and told on 9 Mar. for a motion to appoint a date one month later for consideration of the bill to encourage tobacco exportation. He also endeavoured to take responsibility for his father’s affairs in Parliament while Sir Thomas was absent through illness. In the most significant event of the 1709–10 session he followed the Whig line, and voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell.4

Frankland was returned unopposed for Harwich in the 1710 election. As Harwich was considered a ‘government borough’, Frankland was expected to continue to support the Court. However, he became a member of the opposition to Robert Harley* in the new Parliament, being classed as a Whig in the ‘Hanover list’. As he was not yet an office-holder, even though his brother William held the office of cashier of the stamps in trust for him, Frankland did not have to deal with the conflict of interests facing Whig placemen in Parliament. On 16 Dec. he acted as a teller against the Tory Sir Francis Child* being declared duly elected in the disputed Devizes election. On 18 Apr. 1711 he acted as a teller in favour of an amendment to the General Post Office bill, for continuing the present managers during pleasure, one of whom was Frankland’s father, who had sat on the drafting committee for the bill. In the 1711–12 session, in line with Whig sentiment, he voted on 7 Dec. for the ‘No Peace without Spain’ motion. In the 1713 session he again showed his party allegiance when he voted on 18 June against the French commerce bill. For the 1713 election he transferred to the borough of Thirsk, which his father had previously represented in Parliament, and where the family interest was extremely strong. Returned unopposed, he was classed as a Whig in the Worsley list, and, in keeping with this classification, voted on 18 Mar. 1714 against the expulsion of Richard Steele. On 31 Mar. he told in favour of discharging Thomas Glascock from custody, Glascock having been arrested for refusing the Tory Nicholas Corsellis* access to Colchester borough records while preparing for a disputed election case. On 24 June Frankland acted as a teller against the Tory candidate, Hon. Benedict Leonard Calvert*, being declared duly elected for Harwich. Not surprisingly, Frankland was classed as a Whig on two lists which compared the 1715 Parliament with its predecessor, while at the same time he commenced a lengthy period of office-holding which resulted in his eventual description as a ‘Walpolian placeman’. Described in his later years as a ‘trusted counsellor of Frederick, Prince of Wales’, Frankland continued to sit for Thirsk until his death on 17 Apr. 1747.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. R. W. Gallwey, Ped. Frankland of Thirkleby, Yorks.; HMC Astley, 170; Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, ii. 245; Swift Stella ed. Davis, 131; Her. and Gen. vii. 260–2.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. xxix. 433; M. Noble, Mems. House of Cromwell, ii. 422–3; Liber Munerum Publicorum Hiberniae, ed. Lascelles, i(2), 134; Add. 36129, f. 200; 36130, f. 91; Swift Stella, 131.
  • 3. HMC Astley, 170; Add. 28927, f. 176; 28893, ff. 241, 245, 278, 322, 329; Hist. Jnl. iv. 197–8.
  • 4. Dumfries Archs. Centre, Dumfries burgh recs. RB2/2/41.
  • 5. G. Holmes, Pol. in Age of Anne, 362–3; HMC Portland, iv. 501; Hist. Jnl. 197–8; Gallwey, Ped.; Her. and Gen. 260–2, 268; Swift Stella, 131; PCC 125 Potter.