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A GENUINE COLONIAL ROMANCE
No single individual contributed more generously to King's Chapel than Sir Charles Harry Frankland, the hero of Boston's most charming colonial romance. Frankland's intimate friend Governor Shirley laid the cornerstone of the present building (in 1749) and both gentlemen seem to have felt keen interest that services here should flourish. This we must needs keep in mind about Frankland as we follow the outlines of his life-story. For it serves to prove, in a way, the contention of the Boston Puritans that loyalty to Church of England doctrines did not of necessity influence greatly in the middle of the eighteenth century the private life of those in high places.
When Jonathan Belcher was transferred from the governorship of Massachusetts to that of New Jersey and, by the death of John Jekyl, the office of collector of the port of Boston became at the same time vacant, the choice of these royal favours was offered by the Duke of Newcastle to the nephew of Sir Thomas Frankland, then one of the Lords of the Admiralty. This nephew — who was also heirpresumptive to the baronetcy and to the family estates at Thirkleby and Mattersea – was, however, a young man of only twenty-four at this time and could boast no previous experience in colonial affairs, as could William Shirley, - a lawyer who had already lived seven years in this country. The outcome of the matter was therefore, that Shirley, whose wife had strong influence at court, was made governor and Frankland came to New England as collector of the port of Boston.
Both were well born, highly-bred Englishmen, Frankland resembling both in manners and person the Earl of Chesterfield, whom he had the happiness to count among his friends. He had been born in Bengal, where his father was a colonial officer, and to this fact his sympathetic biographer, the Reverend Elias Nason, attributes the trend of his talents towards art and literature rather than towards politics or trade. In Frankland's face, also, with its noble cast of features and its expression of peculiar melancholy may be discerned that strain of introspection and self-analysis which
not infrequently characterizes the Eastern-born children of English parents.
Both Frankland and Shirley were, of course, bound to count immensely in Boston society of that time. The important question of the day in the highest circles of the town was " How is this done at court?” And here were two handsome fellows who could tell with exactness just the procedure fitting on each and every state occasion. By the Amorys, Apthorps, Bollans, Hutchinsons, Prices, Auchmutys, Chardons, Wendells, and Olivers, who held the money, offices and power in the chief settlement of New England, they were therefore welcomed with the greatest enthusiasm. Nason, who has made a careful if limited study of the society which greeted them, tells us that it is hardly possible for us to conceive what distinction title, blood, escutcheon, and family conferred in that régime. “ Those gentlemen and ladies who occupied the north, or court end of the town, who read the Spectator, Samuel Richardson's Pamela and the prayer-book, who had manors of a thousand acres in the country cultivated by slaves from Africa ... were many of them allied to the first families in England and it was their chief ambition to keep up the ceremonies and customs of the