Sir Thomas Frankland, 5th Baronet

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Sir Thomas Frankland, 5th Baronet
Born 26 June 1718
Died 21 November 1784 (1784-11-22) (aged 66)
Allegiance  Great Britain
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1731–1757
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Rose
HMS Dragon
Leeward Islands Station
Battles/wars War of the Austrian Succession
Seven Years' War

Admiral Sir Thomas Frankland, 5th Baronet (26 June 1718 – 21 November 1784) was a British naval officer, MP and slave trader.[1] He was the second son of Henry Frankland and Mary Cross. Frankland was born in the East Indies (probably India), his father being a member of the East India Company and briefly Governor of Bengal.

Naval career[edit]

He entered the navy in 1731, serving in HMS York under Capt. Philip Vanbrugh, HMS Scarborough, and HMS Oxford before becoming a lieutenant in 1737. On 23 February 1738, he was sent to HMS Chatham, again under Capt. Vanbrugh, where he served for two years. He was briefly transferred to HMS Cumberland in March 1740 before promotion to captain on 15 July 1740 aboard HMS Rose.

He was promptly assigned to carry the newly appointed Governor of the Bahamas, John Tinker, to the islands, and remained in the Bahamas until 1746, fighting Spanish privateers and taking a number of prizes. He then returned home and was given command of HMS Dragon and sent to the West Indies. On 31 July 1755, he was given command of the Leeward Islands Station[2] as a Commodore, arriving aboard HMS Winchester in October. Able but stubborn and of a difficult temper, he was involved in quarrels with his predecessor, Thomas Pye, and the local authorities in Antigua. He was promoted rear admiral while there, but refusing to accede to the admiralty’s wish to control some of the patronage at his disposal (declaring in a letter to the secretary “I have friends of my own to provide for”) fell into immediate disfavour with his superiors. On 5 May 1757, he was replaced by Commodore John Moore, and returned to England in October, never to return to active duty. His promotions, however, continued in the usual manner as he gained seniority, culminating in the rank of Admiral of the White. During his stay in the West Indies he profiteered actively from slave trade.[1]

He had entered Parliament for the family's borough of Thirsk in 1747, and held the seat until 1780, when he sought the governorship of Greenwich Hospital. Unsuccessful, he returned as member for Thirsk in April 1784, but died in November of that year. He had inherited the baronetcy from his older brother in 1768.

The Frankland Islands off Queensland were named after him.


He married Sarah Rhett (of South Carolina, d. 1808) in May 1743 and had a large number of children, of whom nine survived him:


Other sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Thomas Pye
Commander-in-Chief, Leeward Islands Station
Succeeded by
John Moore
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Frankland, Bt
Frederick Meinhardt Frankland
Member of Parliament for Thirsk
With: Frederick Meinhardt Frankland 1747–1749
William Monckton 1749–1754
Roger Talbot 1754–1761
Henry Grenville 1761–1765
James Grenville 1765–1768
William Frankland 1768–1774
Thomas Frankland 1774–1780
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Gascoigne, Bt
Beilby Thompson
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Gascoigne, Bt
Beilby Thompson
Member of Parliament for Thirsk
Apr. 1784 – Nov. 1784
With: Sir Geoffrey Page-Turner, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir Geoffrey Page-Turner, Bt
Robert Vyner
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Charles Henry Frankland
(of Thirkleby)
Succeeded by
Thomas Frankland