Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FRANKLAND, Sir Charles Henry, collector of the port of Boston, born in Bengal, India, 10 May 1716; died in Bath, England, 11 January 1768. He was a lineal descendant of Oliver Cromwell, and his father was governor of the East India company's factory in Bengal. The intellectual attainments of the son won him such friends as Horace Walpole, Henry Fielding, and Lord Chesterfield, whom he was said to resemble both in manners and appearance. On the death of his father in Bengal in 1738, he inherited a large fortune, and was offered the governorship of Massachusetts and the collectorship of the port of Boston. He accepted the latter office, and in 1741 came to Boston with Sir William Shirley, who was given the former. Frankland identified himself with King's Chapel under Roger Price, and contributed toward its support. While visiting Marblehead, which was authorized to erect a fortification for the defense of its harbor, Frankland became interested in a girl of about sixteen who was scrubbing the tavern floor. Although meanly clad, Agnes Surriage possessed great beauty and wit, and Frankland sought permission of her parents to have her educated.
On the death of his uncle, Sir Thomas Frankland, in 1746, he succeeded to the baronetcy. In 1751 he bought a large estate in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, where he built a fine mansion, and furnished it in costly style. The grounds were embellished with walks, fruit trees, rare shrubbery, and hedges of box, which in 1862 had attained a height of ten feet. In 1752 he retired to this estate with Agnes Surriage, and lived in great luxury, following the chase and indulging in various sports. The will of his uncle being contested, he returned to England in 1754, where he attempted to introduce Agnes Surriage to his relatives, one of whom had married the Earl of Chichester. She was treated with disdain, and as soon as his affairs were settled, Frankhmd left England for a continental tour. For some time he resided in Lisbon. On the morning of the great earthquake, 1 November 1755, he attended high mass, and was buried under the ruins of the house of Francesco de Ribeiro, which fell as he rode past. Agnes Surriage, whom he shortly afterward married, rescued him.
He then returned to England, where, as Lady Frankland, his relatives cordially received Agnes. In 1756 he returned to Boston, where Lady Frankland was received into the best society of that City. Frankland bought the Clarke mansion in Garden court, but in 1757 resigned his office and obtained an appointment as consul general in Portugal. In 1763 he visited Boston, and, after spending some time in his house at Hopkinton, went to Bath, England, where he resided till his death. Oliver W. Holmes has versified the story of Lady Frankland, and she is the heroine of "Agnes Surriage," a novel, by Edwin L. Bynner (Boston, 1887). See a "Memoir by Elias Mason (Albany, 1865).
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