As part of our Vancouver Island Masonic History Project, with its sections on Vancouver Island Cemeteries – Masonic Interments and Deceased Brethren, here is a page on Lumley Franklin, the second Mayor of Victoria, B.C. and one of ten Charter members of Victoria Lodge, No.1085, the first Masonic Lodge chartered in what is now British Columbia. Lumley Franklin died in 1873 and is buried in San Francisco, California.

Lumley Franklin, 2nd Mayor of Victoria and Charter Member of Victoria Lodge, No.1085, the first Masonic lodge chartered on Vancouver Island
Lumley Franklin, 2nd Mayor of Victoria and Charter Member of Victoria Lodge, No.1085, the first Masonic lodge chartered on Vancouver Island

The ten Charter members of Victoria Lodge, No. 1085 were:

  • James Johnson Southgate, Merchant.
  • George Pearkes, Solicitor.
  • James N. Thain, Merchant.
  • Amor de Cosmos, Editor.
  • Kady Gambitz, Draper.
  • Thomas Harris, Gentleman. (note: 1st Mayor of Victoria)
  • Lumley Franklin, Broker.
  • John T. Howard, Publican.
  • William Henry Thain, Carrier.
  • H. J. McDonell (vocation not given).

Lumley Franklin was elected as Victoria’s second Mayor in 1865. He served with distinction and, although asked to seek re-election, declined to run for a second term. In 1867 he served on Victoria’s first School Board with M.W. Brother Israel Wood Powell.

Lumley Franklin went into business in Victoria as an auctioneer, real estate agent and commission merchant. A few representative advertisements for his business appear below.

Lumley Franklin was a very prominent member of Victoria’s Jewish community and played a leading role in organizing and financing the building of Temple Beth Emanu-el in 1863. Victoria’s Freemasons laid the cornerstone of this building on 2 June 1863, starting a close relationship with Victoria’s Jewish community that still lasts today. On 2 June 2013, the Grand Master, M.W. Brother G. Murray Webster, presided over a symbolic re-enactment of the original cornerstone ceremony as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of Temple Beth Emanu-el.

Here is brief biography of Lumley Franklin taken from various sources:

“FRANKLIN, LUMLEY, businessman and amateur musician; b. probably c.1820 in England, son of Lewis Franklin, a Liverpool banker, and Miriam Abraham; d. 3 Aug. 1873 in San Francisco, Calif.

At least as early as 1857 Lumley Franklin was in San Francisco, where his brother Selim had been in business since 1849, and in July 1858 he followed Selim to Victoria, Vancouver Island. Here the brothers established the firm of S. Franklin and Company, auctioneers and land agents, and 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. In 1863 Lumley was president of the short-lived Eureka Copper Company. Both Franklins were active in the Victoria Philharmonic Society, which was organized at their place of business, the “Anchor Rooms,” on 26 Jan. 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.” He was also active in masonic circles. While in San Francisco he had been a member of the Occidental Lodge no.22, A.F. & A.M., and in 1865 he became worshipful master of Victoria Lodge no.1085 of which he was considered a founding member.

In November 1865 Lumley Franklin was elected 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. In October 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 soon after, leaving a reputation as “a most amiable gentleman . . . always foremost in good works.”

(Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography)

“Ex-Mayor Franklin

It is our painful duty to-day to announce the death at San Francisco, on the 3d inst., of Mr. Lumley Franklin, ex-Mayor of Victoria, after a long illness. Mr. Franklin came this coast in 1849, and arrived at Victoria in 1858. Both here and at San Francisco Mr. Franklin’ was regarded as one of the most public-spirited men. In 1865 he was elected Mayor of Victoria by an almost unanimous vote. He discharged his duty with fidelity and ability, but declined a re-election. About two years ago his brother (Mr. Edward Franklin) died, and it was whilst administering the estate of his deceased brother that the ex-Mayor was stricken down. Mr. Franklin was a most amiable gentleman. He possessed a kind and genial disposition and was always foremost in good works. His loss is greatly deplored by our citizens.”

(Source: British Daily Colonist, 10 August 1873, page 3)

Lumley Franklin is buried in San Francisco, California.

Would you like to leave a comment or question about anything on this page?