Monday, 2 December 2019

Benjamin Franklin...Just Saying

The house at 36 Craven Street, Charing Cross in London has one of those little blue plaques which shows that a famous person once lived there, in this case Benjamin Franklin who lived at the address from 1757 to 1762 and then once again between 1764 and 1775.
As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, the House has been opened to the public as the Benjamin Franklin House but in 1998, workmen restoring the building dug up the remains of six children and four adults hidden below the home. The Times reported on February 11, 1998:
'Initial estimates are that the bones are about 200 years old and were buried at the time Franklin was living in the house. Most of the bones show signs of having been dissected, sawn or cut. One skull has been drilled with several holes.'
The organisation responsible for the restoration, Friends of Benjamin Franklin House, explained that the bones were likely placed there by William Hewson, who lived in the house for two years between Franklins stays.
Alarmingly they then note that while Franklin likely knew what Hewson was doing, he probably did not participate in any dissections because he was much more of a physicist than a medical man. Probably didn't participate!!
Not saying he murdered people and stuck them under the patio but he did have a history of killing animals to show the effects of electricity and was a pioneer of electroconvulsive shock therapy, so just saying, after all he probably didn't even participate.

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