Benjamin Franklin Papers

City of Edinburgh: Admission as Burgess and Gild-Brother, 5 September 1759

City of Edinburgh: Admission as Burgess and Gild-Brother

DS: American Philosophical Society; two copies: Yale University Library4

Edinburgh The Fifth day of September One Thousand Seven hundred and fifty nine Years

The Which Day In Presence of The Rt. Honorable George Drummond Esquire Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh,5 George Lind, Andrew Simpson, John Learmouth and John Mansfeild Baillies of the said City John Carmichaell Dean of Gild and the Gild Councill Benjamin Franklin Esquire L.L.D. of Philadelphia in Pensylvania in North-America, Compearing,6 was and hereby Is admitted a Burges and Gild:brother of this City, as a Mark of the affectionat Respect which the Majestrats and Councill, have to a Gentleman, whose amiable Charecter, greatly Distinguished for usefulness to the Society which he belongs to, and Love to all mankind, had Long ago, reach’d them, Across the Atlantick Ocean. Extracted furth7 of the Records of the Councill of Edinburgh by me Mr. William Forbes, Clerk thereof. Likeas8 the seall of the said City is hereto Affix’d

Will Forbes

For / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Burges and Gild:brother of Edinburgh / 17599

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The Yale copies are in the Stiles Papers and the College Records, respectively.

5George Drummond (1687–1766) served six two-year terms as lord provost of Edinburgh between 1725 and 1764. During this period the university was under the control of the city and Drummond was largely responsible for its growth and development and particularly for the establishment of its medical faculty. He led in the founding of the Royal Infirmary and brought about many municipal improvements. During the Rebellion of 1745 he actively supported the Hanoverian cause. DNB. The four bailies had functions similar to those of aldermen in English cities and presided in rotation over the Bailie Court with jurisdiction in municipal causes. The dean of gild and the gild council regulated the construction, maintenance, and repair of buildings in the city. Hugo Arnot, The History of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, 1788), pp. 499–502.

6Scottish legal terminology for “appearing,” as in a court of law. OED.

7From; out of.

8In the same way as.

9At the same time George, Lord Lyttelton (1709–1773), his son Thomas, WF, and two other persons were similarly honored. J. Bennett Nolan, Benjamin Franklin in Scotland and Ireland 1759 and 1771 (Phila., 1938), pp. 51–2, 214.

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