Franks, John

A Mr Franks appears frequently in the Bellingham/Rawstorne diaries, the first occasion being in Thomas Bellingham’s entry for 21 September 1688. An entry in Bellingham’s diary for 19 October 1688 mentions his having a house in the town. Lawrence Rawstorne records visiting Franks’s house in Friargate and describes him as ‘cousin’ (6 May 1689). A widow Frank is recorded in October 1731 at a house in Friargate. [1]

He is likely to have been John Franks for there is only one Franks family in the parish records of St John’s, Preston [2]: that of Mr John Franks. His first appearance is at the record of the death of his son James in May 1689; Rawstorne records attending the funeral, adding that he borrowed £50 from him (8 May 1689). The baptism of James is not in the records, and all other family records occur after that of his death. There are no Franks in the 1682 guild rolls, or in any earlier. [3] These facts suggest that Mr Franks and his family arrived in Preston in the later 1680s. He does not seem to have taken part in local affairs: the only appearance of a John Franks in the court leet records is in October 1717 when he is fined for not appearing at court. [4]

[1] ‘Preston Court Leet Records’, accessed 29 January 2017,
[2] ‘Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk Project – District of Preston’, accessed 9 February 2017,
[3] W. A. Abram, The Rolls of Burgesses at the Guilds Merchant of the Borough of Preston, Co. of Lancaster, 1397-1682 (Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 1884),
[4] ‘Preston Court Leet Records’.