Franklin Thomasson

Franklin Thomasson

Descended from a well known family of cotton spinners from Bolton, Lancashire, Franklin Thomasson was born on 16th August 1873 at Alderley Edge, Cheshire, the 3rd child of John Pennington Thomasson, who was a benefactor and MP for Bolton. He married Elizabeth, a daughter of the late Caleb Coffin of New York on 11th July 1895. They had 3 children, John (1898), Marjorie (1901) and Barbara (1903).

Franklin contested the Westhoughton (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary division in 1900, and Stretford (UK Parliament constituency) in 1901, but on both occasions he was unsuccessful. He became Liberal MP for Leicester (UK Parliament constituency) at a by-election in 1906, however, sharing the representation of the double-member constituency with James Ramsay Macdonald. He retired in 1910.

In 1906, Thomasson ventured on a bold but disastrous experiment in newspaper production by founding the Tribune 1906 - 1908.

He played a large part in local political life before he left Bolton for London.

During WWI he commanded the 2-5th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

His wife Elizabeth died in 1927 and he then married Gertrude Prescott. They had three children, Margaret (1930), Christopher (1932) and Jenny (1937).

Franklin died of cancer on 29th October 1941 and was buried at Lyndhurst, Hants.


*Bolton Journal and Guardian 4th August 1933

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