Lumley Franklin

by Jody Newton

Member of the Grand Jury that Heard the Trial of Tshuanahusset

Lumley Franklin was born in the British Isles in 1820. He was a successful business man before he emigrated with his brother, Selim, to California to join in the Gold Rush. He stayed in California until 1858 when he then came up to Victoria for the Fraser River Gold Rush. In Victoria, he and his brother became the first auctioneers in the area. He took out full page adds in the daily newspaper, The British Colonist, to advertise items up for auction which usually included properties in the area, furniture, cattle, books, photographs and carriages. In addition, Franklin bought up properties around Victoria for his own ownership, including a cattle sale yard on Fort Street.

Throughout his life, Franklin did not marry or have any children, but he did have other achievements. His most significant success in Victoria was being elected the second mayor of the city in November 1865. He was nominated by the first mayor of Victoria, Mr. Harris. His opponent was Mr. Copland, who he defeated by a vote of 78 to 73. During his term in office, Franklin had the privilege of residing over the installation of the telegraph cable linking Victoria directly to England. He received many congratulatory letters from other cities such as London, England and San Francisco on having Victoria connected via telegraph. He responded to each of these letters with a thank you note in return. Throughout his term Franklin was well liked and "urged to stand for re-election" by his fellow councillors and the general public. He declined the offer because he wanted to travel and enjoy his wealth. Another of Franklin's successes was achieving the title of Esquire. Finally, Franklin Street in Victoria was named after Lumley Franklin which shows he was well respected.

Franklin enjoyed travelling, and frequently travelled by steamship down to San Francisco. It was on a journey down south to deal with his deceased brother's estate, Edward Franklin, that he suffered a severe stroke on July 11, 1873. He became paralysed and eventually died on August 3, 1873 in San Francisco. Since he had no wife, in his will he divided up his belongings among his siblings, and Elise (spelling?) Reynolds and her son. His will left 1/10 of his property to his sister Sarah Franklin, 1/20 to his sister Maria Ashton, 1/10 to his brother P. Lewis of Naples, 3/20 to his brother David Lewis of London, 5/20 to his brother Selim, 1/10 to his brother Walter Lewis, 3/20 to the children of his brother Frank, and 1/10 to Elise (spelling?) Reynolds and her son William. Selim was the executor, and had to settle the affairs in the United States because that was Franklin's place of death.

British Columbia Archives
Government Records and Historical Manuscripts-Old System, NW 645 F8 32c.
Colonial Correspondence-inward, A E C86 C86 F851.
Colonial Correspondence-outward, E B F85, 1867.
Personal Portraits, Box 88 #5583.

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