- FRANKLIN, English family active in communal, public, and economic life. BENJAMIN WOLF FRANKLIN (1740–1785), a teacher of Hebrew, went to England from Breslau about 1763. His youngest son, ABRAHAM (1784–1854), after spending his early life in Portsmouth, settled in Manchester and traded with the West Indies. Of Abraham's 12 children, three gained prominence: BENJAMIN (1811–1888) was a merchant in Jamaica where he was active in public and communal life. JACOB (1809–1877), first an optician and then a West Indies merchant, was a mathematician, accountant, and writer on accountancy. A staunch advocate of religious Orthodoxy, he founded and edited the Voice of Jacob as a mouthpiece against Reform (it was later merged with the Jewish Chronicle, to which he contributed as "She'erit Ya'akov"). Active in many communal organizations, he left the bulk of his fortune for educational projects, including the publication of Jewish textbooks. ELLIS ABRAHAM (1822–1909) moved from Manchester to London in 1842 and joined a banking house. Friendship with Samuel montagu , whose sister he married in 1856, led to his joining the firm established by Montagu and his brother in 1852. A patriarchal figure, he took an active interest in many communal organizations. Ellis' daughter BEATRICE married herbert samuel . His son, SIR LEONARD (1862–1944), senior partner in the family banking firm A. Keyser and Company, was a Liberal member of parliament, and was also active in synagogal administration. Another of his sons, ARTHUR ELLIS (1857–1938), besides his banking interests, was chairman of the Routledge publishing firm, president of the Jewish Religious Education Board, vice president of the Board of Guardians, and vice principal of the Working Men's College. He assembled a memorable collection of Jewish ritual art, now in the Jewish Museum, London. His son ELLIS (1894–1964) was similarly active in Anglo-Jewish communal life. Ellis' daughter, rosalind franklin (1920–1958) was a distinguished chemist, particularly noted for her work on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). She died tragically young, just as the importance of her research was being noted. Her life has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years as an eminent woman scientist cut off in her prime, and who was arguably denied her full credit through the sexism of the time. A commemorative plaque was placed on the building where she lived in Chelsea, London. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: A.E. Franklin, Pedigrees of the Franklin Family (1915); idem, Records of the Franklin Family and Collaterals (19352); J. Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History (19562), index; V.D. Lipman, Century of Social Service 1859–1959 (1959), index. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bermant, The Cousinhood, 281–86; ODNB online for Jacob Franklin, Rosalind Franklin; John D. Watson, The Double Helix (1968); A. Sayre, Rosalind Franklin and DNA (1978); J. Glyn, "Rosalind Franklin, 1920–1958," in: E. Shils and C. Blacker (eds.), Cambridge Women: Twelve Portraits (1996), 267–82. (Vivian David Lipman)
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.