1808 - 1873
Lumley Franklin was born in 1808 in Liverpool, England, the son of a successful banker Lewis Franklin and Miriam Abraham. He emigrated from London to New York City in 1845 to establish his career in the U.S. and was a successful business man before he moved to San Francisco in 1854 to join his brothers Edward and Selim during the California Gold Rush. Lumley stayed in California until 1858 when he and younger brother Selim moved up to Victoria for the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. In Victoria, Lumley and Selim established Franklin & Company, Auctioneers and Land Agents, at the foot of Yates Street. They were soon recognized as among the most able and highly respected members of the Jewish business community, whose growth had been stimulated by the gold rush to the Fraser River. Since they were English citizens, they were appointed by Governor James Douglas as the first government auctioneers for British Columbia. Franklin & Company took out full page adds in the daily newspaper, The British Colonist, to advertise items up for auction which usually included properties in the area, furniture, cattle, books, photographs and carriages. In addition, the Franklins bought up properties around Victoria for their own ownership, including a cattle sale yard on Fort Street.
In 1863 Lumley was president of the short-lived Eureka Copper Company. Both Selim and Lumley were active in the Victoria Philharmonic Society, which was organized at their place of business, the "Anchor Rooms," on January 26, 1859. Lumley is said to have "had the advantage of an Italian musical education" and was a composer as well as a performer: at a concert in 1865 he sang his own setting of Byron's "Adieu, adieu my native shore."
In November 1865 Lumley Franklin was elected as the second mayor of Victoria, and when the laying of the Atlantic cable was completed in July 1866 he signed the city's telegram of congratulation to the mayor of London. Urged to seek a second term he declined, but continued to take an active interest in public affairs, serving on the board of education for Vancouver Island and as president of the Mechanics' Literary Institute, and advocating the removal of the capital from New Westminster to Victoria.
1871 he left for England and returned a year later, after "a lengthened
tour of Europe and Canada." In 1873 he was in San Francisco administering
the estate of his brother Edward when he had a paralytic stroke; he died
on August 3, leaving a reputation as "a most amiable gentleman."
Franklin did not marry or have any children, but he did have other achievements.
Lumley achieved the title of Esquire and was also active in the Freemasons.
While in San Francisco he had been a member of the Occidental Lodge, and
in 1865 he became worshipful master of Victoria Lodge of which he was
considered a founding member. Franklin Street in Victoria was named after
Obituary. Victoria Daily Standard, [Victoria, B.C.] (August 11, 1873)
Reid, Robie L. Grand Lodge of British Columbia, A.F. & A.M.: Historical notes and biographical sketches, 1848-1935. Vancouver, B.C.
The first two years: A record of the Jewish pioneers on Canada's Pacific
Coast, 1858-1860. Montreal, Quebec. 1942. p.51-52.
Blakey-Smith, Dorothy. "Lumley Franklin." Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Volume 10. University of Toronto Press. Toronto, Ontario.