4th of July at the Benjamin Franklin House

Spend 4th of July at the home of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin!

As the only American statesman to have signed all four of the documents that created the new nation – The Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Paris, and The Constitution – Franklin’s contributions to American independence are unparalleled!

So, come visit us to see a star-spangled Benjamin Franklin House, enjoy refreshments, and pose for a picture with Polly Hewson, who became like a daughter to Franklin during his time at 36 Craven Street.

Through our self-guided tours, walking tours, and our flagship Historical Experience, you will discover what life was like for an American in London while the colonies were on the cusp of revolution!

 

Thursday, 4 July 2024

Join us for timed visits throughout the day!

Self-guided Tours – £12.50 (plus booking fees)
Available from 10-11:30am, 11:30am-1pm, and 1-2:30pm

  • Learn about the 16 years Franklin spent here
  • Discover the rooms as they were when he left for Philadelphia in 1775 to sign the Declaration of Independence
  • See the House dressed for the occasion
  • Be tempted by American-style refreshments to complete your experience

Get your Self-guided Tour tickets here

Books and bifocals on a desk in Franklin's parlour

Walking Tours – £12.50 (plus booking fees)
Available at 3:30pm

  • Step inside the home where Franklin lived and worked for the 16 years prior to American independence before joining Tour Guide extraordinaire Brian for a walking tour of Franklin’s London!
  • Discover the rooms as they were when he left for Philadelphia in 1775 to sign the Declaration of Independence
  • Be tempted by American-inspired drinks and snacks to complete your experience

Get your tickets for the Walking Tour here

Museum Lates – £17.50 (plus booking fees)
Available from 5-6pm, 6-7pm, and 7-8pm

  • Join a self-guided tour and discover the rooms that Franklin lived and worked in for the 16 years prior to American independence
  • See the House dressed in red, white, and blue
  • Enjoy American-style refreshments and alcoholic beverages

Get your tickets for the Museum Late here

 

Friday, 5 July 2024 
Architectural Tours available on the hour between 11am-4pm

Come see the House in all its Independence Day glory, wandering from room to room to explore the fascinating history of 36 Craven Street and Franklin’s long residence here (1757-1775).

 

Saturday, and Sunday, 6-7 July 2024
Historical Experience available on the hour between 11am-4pm

Using a combination of audio-visual display and live acting, the Historical Experience dramatically tells the story of Franklin’s time in London through the eyes of Polly Hewson, the lady of the House.

Please note: the House will be decorated for Independence Day from the 28th of June forward, so pop in for a visit to see 36 Craven Street dressed for the occasion!

The Coronation: 4-7 May 2023

Join us in the heart of Westminster as we celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III, just as Ben would have done for George III in 1761!

Thursday May 4, 3pm

We are relaunching our walking tour, with an added coronation twist! Discover the sights, sounds and smells of Benjamin Franklin’s 18th Century London whilst retracing the steps Ben might have taken as an attendee to King George III’s coronation day!

£12/per person – More information and tickets

Friday May 5, Saturday May 6 and Sunday May 7, 12pm – 5pm 

In honour of the event, we will be enhancing our standard Architectural Tours and Historical Experiences with coronation decorations and fun Benjamin Franklin facts all about his surprising relationship to the Crown.

From £7.50 per adult – Purchase tickets here

Summer Walking Tour: Benjamin Franklin’s 18th Century London

Discover the sights, sounds and smells of Benjamin Franklin’s 18th Century London in the re-launch of our walking tour! From famous thoroughfares to hidden streets, you’ll uncover a layer of London history and learn of its transformation over the last 200 years.

Starting at our doorstep, our expert guide will lead you around our local area to follow the steps Franklin would have taken whilst living and working here just prior to the American Revolution. As a witness to George III’s Coronation on September 22, 1761, we will also be retracing the steps that Ben might have taken on that fateful day!

Thursday 7th September 2023, 2.30pm.

Duration: 1.5 hours (approximate)

Location: Starting from 36 Craven Street.

Tickets: £12 per person

Book your tickets now!

 

Franklin and Collinson: Sowing the Seeds of Revolution

The garden has long been associated with this green and pleasant land. But who knew it could also germinate transatlantic politics?! Our Graduate Researcher in Residence, Alice Hopkinson, presents this online lecture on Benjamin Franklin and Peter Collinson in celebration of Royal Horticultural Society’s National Gardening Week!

Peter Collinson was an accomplished merchant, eager botanist, and one of Benjamin Franklin’s closest friends and allies. What was once initially quite a formal and respectable relationship quickly devolved into something more personal once the two came to realise their personal similarities, as well as their shared ambitions and interests. Throughout his life Collinson outwardly projected a noticeable selflessness, and like Franklin, became deeply interested in the intellectual culture of the American Colonies- seeing great potential in his fellow academics that were beginning to find their feet and settle their own intellectual authority in the evolving American Enlightenment. As such, he became Franklin’s Library Company’s greatest asset and heavily lent himself to supporting Franklin’s scientific pursuits. 

Botany, both as a scientific discipline and hobby, was becoming increasingly popular in the eighteenth century and Collinson, as a merchant and a botanist, was one of the pioneers and instigators of a botany craze that shaped the state of British landscape gardening. By investing in his American colleagues and going to great lengths to promote the botanical prowess of the American Colonies, Collinson curated a reputation himself, and greatly contributed to a scientific correspondence exchange that would later lend itself to the minds of the American Revolution.

Despite his impressive list of achievements, Collinson was Franklin’s lesser known and less celebrated colleague. As such, this talk will acknowledge and give light to his often overlooked contributions, not only to Franklin’s career, but to botany, science and the promotion of American intellectualism as a whole. 

Book Talk: ‘Poor Richard’s Women’ By Nancy Rubin Stuart

Join us this Women’s History Month as we talk to Nancy Rubin Stuart about her book ‘Poor Richard’s Women: Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father’, which reveals the long-neglected voices of the women Ben loved and lost during his lifelong struggle between passion and prudence. The most prominent among them was Deborah Read Franklin, his common-law wife and partner for 44 years. Long dismissed by historians, she was an independent, politically savvy woman and devoted wife who raised their children, managed his finances, and fought off angry mobs at gunpoint while he traipsed about England. Nancy also shines a light on Ben’s relationship with Margaret Stevenson, the widowed landlady of 36 Craven Street who managed Ben’s life in London alongside her daughter, Polly.

Weaving detailed historical research with emotional intensity and personal testimony, what emerges from Stuart’s pen is a colourful and poignant portrait of women in the age of revolution. Set two centuries before the rise of feminism, Poor Richard’s Women depicts the feisty, often-forgotten women dear to Ben’s heart who, despite obstacles, achieved an independence rarely enjoyed by their peers in that era.

Nancy Rubin Stuart is an award-winning author whose nonfiction books focus upon women and social history. These include the acclaimed POOR RICHARD’S WOMEN; Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father published by Beacon Press in March 2022. A paperback version follows in March 2023 in honour of Women’s History Month. Earlier books include DEFIANT BRIDES, named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books on Revolutionary-era women, THE MUSE OF THE REVOLUTION, and the best-selling AMERICAN EMPRESS.  Nancy’s journalistic work has appeared in the New York Times, Huffington Post, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the New England Quarterly and national magazines. She is the executive director of the Cape Cod Writers Center.

Connect with her at www.nancyrubinstuart.com.

Buy your copy of ‘Poor Richard’s Women’ here.

Events Calendar 2023

To view all upcoming events for the year, please check out our Event’s Calendar via the button below!

Being Human Festival 2022

Did you know that this year marks the 250th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s visit to the Lake District in 1772?

Benjamin Franklin House will be teaming up with Keswick Museum, Lancaster University, the Royal Society and The Beacon Museum to commemorate the occasion as part of this year’s Being Human Festival. The event, Benjamin Franklin’s Scientific Adventures in the English Lakes will be taking place in Keswick Museum on Saturday 19th November 2022 between 11am and 3pm.

Interested in the history of science? Fancy learning about influential experiments conducted in the English Lake District hundreds of years ago? Come along for a hands-on exploration of this extraordinary chapter in scientific history. This activity marks the 250th anniversary of the American scientist, printer and statesman Benjamin Franklin’s visit to the Lakes in 1772.  Learn about some of the breakthrough experiments Franklin and his friends were conducting two and a half centuries ago. Explore why oil and water interact in the way that they do, and discover how to grow salt crystals.

Bookable sessions will run hourly. Drop-ins on the day are welcome, but the space for each session is limited. Please reserve places in advance. This activity is suited to family audiences of all ages.

Book Now

Oil on Water: Benjamin Franklin in the English Lakes from Henry Iddon on Vimeo.

After Dark: Christmas at Craven Street

Glistening by candlelight, our 18th century Georgian Home is the perfect setting for a cosy and historical Christmas. Our guided evening tours will take you on a magical journey through our extraordinary history.

  • A rare opportunity to see our home after-dark
  • Step back in time, walk through the rooms Ben knew and loved, and learn of Georgian Christmas traditions and celebrations
  • Snap photos of the House dressed with authentic 18th century decorations
  • Enjoy mince pies and the warming English yuletide drink, Wassail, in the Parlour of Benjamin Franklin

Thursday 8 and 22 December.
Tours will run at 5pm and 6pm. Limited capacity with timed entry. Book now to secure the date and tour time of your choice.

£15 per person (plus booking fee), refreshments included.

Benjamin Franklin House at History Camp America 2022

On Saturday 5th November, we will be taking part in History Camp America 2022! Across the day there will be a series of interesting virtual talks and tours from institutions all over the US. Benjamin Franklin House will be joining from across the pond to deliver a virtual tour of the House and demonstration of Franklin’s Glass Armonica.

To view the schedule for History Camp America 2022, please find the information here; HCA 2022 Schedule.

We expect more than 30 sessions for 2022—including presentations, historic site tours, recipes, session-stretch yoga, and more! Registrants have exclusive access to the online portal on the day of the event as well as one year exclusive access to replay the sessions following the event.

To view previews of the 7 site tours, please follow the like here.

After Dark: Thanksgiving

Looking for the perfect London Thanksgiving? Whether you’re an American expat, former US resident or simply an Americanophile, our museum is the ideal setting to spend quality time with family and friends on this all-important American Holiday.

  • Celebrate with an after-hours tour of the historic House
  • View decorations created by our school and family groups
  • Add a note to the ‘Wall of Gratitude’ in the House’s corridor
  • Enjoy traditional Thanksgiving treats (including the “best Pumpkin Pie” in London) in our parlour

Thursday 24 November 2022.

Tours will run at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. Limited capacity with timed entry. BOOK NOW to secure the tour time of your choice.

£15 per person (plus booking fee), refreshments included.