John Franke (1493-1564)
John Franke was a victualler of Hastings who was regularly involved in business for the crown. His father was Edmund Franke. He was probably the ‘Mr. Franke of Hastings’ for whom in 1536 John Thompson, master of the Maisondieu at Dover, sought a licence from Lord Lisle at Calais: Thompson had admitted Franke as a purveyor of items necessary for the King’s buildings there and sent him to Calais to obtain a great hoy or ‘plate’ with all things necessary at reasonable prices. Between 1545 and 1547 Franke was associated with John Man and Anthony Aucher in providing victuals for Boulogne, and in April 1547 he and others were asked to obtain a flat-bottomed boat needed at Calais. His service to the crown was to be reflected in his will, by which he left £20 to his eldest son John ‘out of the debts the Queen owes me, if he can obtain it’.
This son may have been the John Franke who was serving at Guisnes castle in 1540 and perhaps also the recipient in Mary’s reign of a pension of £4 from Edward Hastings, Baron Hastings of Loughborough. He was of an age to have succeeded his father in Parliament in 1554 and 1559, but the older man’s continuing service as jurat and bailiff makes him the more likely Member. Between 1514 and 1559 Franke had often represented Hastings at Brotherhoods of the Cinque Ports. He served as bailiff to Yarmouth in 1525 and 1530 but was improperly elected for the duty in 1532 and 1533; on the first of these occasions the assembly replaced him by Edmund Jacklin alias Bocher and on the second it ordered Hastings to hold a fresh election.
Franke was a sick man when he made his will on 28 Jan. 1560. It was proved on 13 Apr. 1564.