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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Franklin, Benjamin (1706 0- 90)

A brilliant American, born of British parents, he was the first printer and bookseller in Philadelphia. His scientific experiments led to the invention of the lightning conductor in 1749, and he did some valuable work on the study of electricity. He discovered the Gulf Stream and helped to draw up the American Declaration of Independence. Burns refers to him in his 'Address of Beelzebub' as the kind of leader some Highlanders, who had been prevented from emigrating, needed:
"Some daring Hancock, or a Franklin,
May set their Highland bluid a-ranklin"

Franklin was elected President of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and re-elected 3 times.

In 1757, Franklin came to England to appeal to the British Government to settle the disputed between the Assembly and the proprietors over taxation. (The 'proprietors' were the descendants of William Penn, who lived in England, and by the Charter were privileged to appoint and instruct the governors of Pennsylvania'.) He remained for 5 years. In 1760, a Bill of the Assembly taxing the proprietors' estates, except unsurveyed waste land, was allowed by the King.

Franklin corresponded at this time with Lord Kames, David Hume and Dr Johnson. He visited Edinburgh University and received the degree of D.D in 1759 from St Andrew's University. In 1762, he received the degree of D.C.L form Oxford.

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Robert Burns Store

NEW!! robert burns store View our exclusive range of distinctive Robert Burns related products. Register with our Shopping Club for further offers and unique member offers.Click here...


Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
Search our huge CD and music store for any Burns-related phrase!
Hint: Type "lang syne" or "peck maut" etc. into the Search box there for all artists, titles, descriptions or track listings with the words entered.
Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

ScotwebThe finest Scottish shopping site in the world, with the world's largest choice of kilts and tartans, exclusive jewelry, Highland Dress, Bagpipes and piping supplies, cashmere, and much more. Buying from these sites helps pay for the upkeep of Burns Country! Click here...