Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Franklyn, William

FRANKLYN, WILLIAM (1480?–1556), dean of Windsor, was born at Bledlow, Buckinghamshire, probably about 1480, and educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.C.L. in 1504. He took orders, and in 1514 was appointed chancellor of the diocese of Durham and receiver of the bishop's revenues. In 1515 he became archdeacon of Durham and master of the hospital of St. Giles at Kepyer, Durham. In this and the following years Franklyn was active in directing measures in border warfare with the Scotch. His headquarters were at Norham, and it was probably about this period that a grant of arms was made him in consideration of the recovery of the castle at that place by his prowess and policy. In February 1518 he was installed prebendary of Heydour-cum-Walton in the diocese of Lincoln, and before 1522 he was rector of Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, and held the prebend of Eveston, in the collegiate church of Lanchester, in the same county. On Wolsey's accession to the see of Durham he confirmed Franklyn in the chancellorship, with power of appointing justices of the peace, coroners, stewards, bailiffs, and other officers, and the chancellor made himself very useful to the bishop in devising plans for increasing the revenues of the diocese. In one of many letters addressed by Franklyn to Wolsey in 1528 he points out the neglect of certain palatine rights which might be exercised with advantage, shows how collieries and lead mines might be more profitably worked, and suggests that some one else should be appointed chancellor and he himself Wolsey's surveyor of Yorkshire, for, though the chancellorship carried the best pay, ‘I am young and can do more service thus.’ He was still chancellor under Tunstall, Wolsey's successor at Durham, but he already enjoyed marked proofs of Wolsey's favour. He received a salaried appointment as counsellor resident with Henry Fitzroy [q. v.], duke of Richmond, natural son of Henry VIII; was presented to the prebend of Stillington, Yorkshire, in February 1526, and in the same year became president of Queens' College, Cambridge, which office he held only a year and nine months. His name appears in the commission formed, October 1528, to treat for peace with James V of Scotland, and he had a hand in the negotiations which led to the peace concluded 31 July 1534 at Holyrood. In May 1535 he was one of the council in the north executing the royal commission for assessing and taxing spiritual proceedings. On 17 Dec. 1536 Franklyn was by patent appointed dean of Windsor, and in 1540 he exchanged his Lincolnshire prebend for the rectory of Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, the parsonage attaching to which he afterwards let on a lease of thirty-one years to John Storie, LL.D. [q. v.] As dean of Windsor he assisted at the christening of Edward VI and the funeral of Lady Jane Dudley, and his signature is affixed to the decree declaring the invalidity of the marriage of Henry VIII with Anne of Cleves. On 14 Jan. 1544–5 he surrendered to the crown his hospital of Kepyer and most of his benefices, and he also alienated the revenues of his deanery, some temporarily, others in perpetuity. The complaints against him on this score were so loud that after the accession of Edward VI he was compelled to resign. He retired to Chalfont St. Giles, where he died in January 1555–6, and was buried in the church. His will met with disapproval, for a grant was made to one J. Glynne of so much as he could recover of goods, chattels, and money, devised by Franklyn for superstitious purposes (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80, p. 233). A large number of letters addressed by Franklyn to Wolsey, Cromwell, and others are preserved in the Record Office and the British Museum. Franklyn is described by Foxe as ‘a timorous man’ (Acts and Monuments, ed. 1847, v. 469).

[Lipscombe's Hist. of Buckinghamshire, ii. 69, iii. 232; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. ii. 156, iii. 213, 304, 373, 685; Hutchinson's Hist. of Durham, i. 404, 407, 443, ii. 540; Brewer's Letters and Papers of Henry VIII (Rolls Ser.), passim; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 389; Strype's Eccl. Mem. ii. pt. i. pp. 9, 12; Rymer's Fœdera, xii. 282, 541; Camden Miscellany, vols. iii. xxiii.; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 141; Cole's MS. Collection, vii. 129, xiii. 125, 126, xxxii. 112, 113, xlviii. 257. In the place first cited Cole doubts the identity of Franklyn, dean of Windsor, with Franklyn, archdeacon of Durham, seemingly only because he lacked proof of it.]

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