Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Franks, John

FRANKS, Sir JOHN (1770–1852), Indian judge, second son of Thomas Franks (1729–1787), of Ballymagooly, Cork, by Catherine, daughter of Rev. John Day, born in 1770, graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, B.A. 1788, LL.B. 1791. He was called to the Irish bar 1792. He went the Munster circuit, and had a good practice as chamber counsel. He ‘took silk’ in 1823. In 1825 the board of control, on the recommendation of his friend Plunket, then attorney-general, appointed him a judge of the supreme court at Calcutta. He received, as was customary, the honour of knighthood before his departure for India. He held this office till the effect of the climate on his health brought about his resignation in 1834. On his return he resided at Roebuck, near Dublin. He died 11 Jan. 1852. He was thrice married. By his first wife, Catherine, daughter of his cousin Thomas Franks of Carrig, Cork, he had two sons and three daughters. His heir was John Franks of Bally-scaddane, co. Limerick.

Franks was popular, both as advocate and judge. He was an intimate friend of Curran, and one of his executors, W. H. Curran. Curran's son, commemorates his ‘peculiar aboriginal wit, quiet, keen, and natural to the occasion, and, best of all, never malignant’ (Gent. Mag.)

[Gent. Mag. April 1852, p. 408; Graduates of Dublin, p. 208; Burke's Landed Gentry.]

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