FRANCKLIN, William. 1763 — 12.4.1839. British Colonial Officer and Historian in India. Son of Thomas Fr. (1721–1784), an academic clergyman, and his wife, née Venables. Educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Cambridge. Cadet 1782, joined the E.I.C.’s Bengal Native Infantry in 1783. In 1786 travelled in Iran, resided 8 months in Shiraz. Long time Captain, Lieutenant-Colonel 1814. After being invalided, from 1815 regulating officer in Bhagalpur. Retired in 1825 and apparently returned to the U.K. (1836 there). In his study on Palibothra he tried to establish an erroneous view of its location in Bhagalpur district.

Publications: Observations made on a tour from Bengal to Persia in 1786-7; with a short account of the remains of the … Palace of Persepolis. 7+142 p. Calcutta 1790, French transl. 1797.

The Loves of Camarupa and Camalata: an Ancient Indian Tale. From the Persian. 8+284 p. L. 1793.

The History of the Reign of Shah-Aulum, the present Emperor of Hindustan. 20+254 p. L. 1798.

Tracts, political, geographical, and commercial on the dominions of Ava, and the north western parts of Hindostaun. 10+281 p. L. 1811.

Inquiry concerning the Site of the Ancient Palibothra. 1-4. 268 p. L. 1815-22.

Researches on the tenets and doctrines of the Jeynes and Boodhists; conjectured to be the Brachmanes of Ancient India. In which is introduced a discussion of the worship of the serpent in various countries of the world. 8+215 p. L. 1827.

– A few further works and articles.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; 3 brief contemporary notes in Br. Biogr. Arch. 1st Series (and Buckland in 2nd Series); G.G[oodwin], D.N.B. 20, 1889, 184f.; Wikipedia.

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