Family Event: Fourth of July!

Join us afterschool to celebrate Fourth of July at Benjamin Franklin House! Learn about Franklin’s role in American independence and more!

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Did you know that Benjamin Franklin played a leading role in American Independence. Without him, history would perhaps be very different.

He was the only Founding Father to sign all four historical documents that officially granted independence to America? What were these documents…? Come along to Benjamin Franklin House afterschool on Thursday 6th June 2023 at 4:30pm to find out!

As well as learning all about the history of 4th July, we will explore how the occasion has grown over the years to become one of the biggest celebrations in the USA.

You will also get a chance to craft your very own Independence Day decorations to take home or to donate to the museum for our displays!

This is a FREE family event open to all! However, the recommended age for the activities are 4-14 years old. Book tickets for all attendees to avoid disappointment!

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Our Independence Day Family Event is proudly funded by the Sons of the American Revolution. An organisation that supports a number of our Family Events as well as our fantastic Outreach Programme for schools.

Breakfast Lecture with Mark Skousen

Tuesday June 6 2023, 8:30-9:30am, Benjamin Franklin House.

“Great Scot! How Ben Franklin and Adam Smith Worked Hand in Hand to Create a New Model of Prosperity”

In celebration of Adam Smith’s tercentenary (he was born in 1723), Chapman Prof. Mark Skousen, a direct descendant of Ben Franklin, explores how the American diplomat influenced the Scottish philosopher in writing The Wealth of Nations in support of free trade, laissez faire government, and American independence.

About Mark Skousen

Mark Skousen, Ph. D., is a 6th generation direct grandson of Benjamin Franklin, and has appeared as Franklin on many occasions. He and his wife completed Franklin’s Autobiography from 1757 to 1790 (“The Compleated Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin,” Regnery, 2006). Skousen is known as “America’s Economist.” He is a university professor, investment expert, and author of over 25 books. In 2022, he was appointed the first Doti-Spogli Endowed Chair of Free Enterprise at Chapman University after receiving “My Favorite Professor Award.” In 2018, he was awarded the Triple Crown in Economics in 2018 for his work in theory, history and education. He has the unique distinction of having worked for the government (CIA), non-profits (president of FEE), and several for-profit companies. In 2004-05, he taught economics and finance at Columbia Business School and Columbia University. Since 1980, Skousen has been editor in chief of Forecasts & Strategies, a popular award-winning investment newsletter. He was analyst for the CIA, a columnist to Forbes magazine, chairman of Investment U, and past president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in New York. He is the editor of his own website, www.mskousen.com, and is the producer of FreedomFest, “the world‘s largest gathering of free minds,” which meets every July (www.freedomfest.com). He has written for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Journal of Economic Perspectives, and has made regular appearances on CNBC and C-SPAN Book TV. He is the author of The Making of Modern Economics (Routledge) and The Maxims of Wall Street (Eagle Publishing). Based on his work The Structure of Production, the federal government began publishing in Spring 2014 a broader, more accurate measure of the economy, Gross Output (GO), every quarter along with GDP.

Missed out? Read about it here

Franklin’s Young Scientists: LIGHT

Franklin’s Young Scientists is our FREE science club for aspiring scientists in Key Stage 2/3 (ages 7-14). Participants learn all about the experiments carried out by Benjamin Franklin and his British friends as well as trying their hand at practical investigations. A range of core topics from the science curriculum are covered including electricity, forces, sound and the human body.

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In this session, we will carry out some exciting experiments involving LIGHT. The session will take place on Thursday 18th May at 17:00-18:30.

Where does light come from? How is light made? How does light travel? How do we see light? These are some of the questions we will answer during the session using some interactive experiments to help consolidate learning.

Our Young Scientists will also get an exciting opportunity to learn all about Franklin’s fascinating Bifocals and how he popularised this important invention!

This is a FREE after-school workshop most suitable for KS2 and 3 pupils and anyone else with a keen interest in Science and History! The session will take place on Thursday 18th May at 17:00-18:30.

Please note: Parents are welcome to attend, however there is a cap of one adult per child during busier sessions.

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Family Event: Coronation Celebration!

In 1761, Benjamin Franklin attended the coronation of King George III. 262 years later, London is preparing for the coronation of King Charles III. Join us at Benjamin Franklin House on Monday 1st May at 2:30pm as we take a look at the history of the kings and queens of England.

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We will explore some of the coronations of the past to uncover what we might expect to see on Saturday 6th May. How much has changed since George III was crowned and what might be new for Charles today?

Learn about the history of this royal occasion and make your very own crown to wear on the big day!

Decipher the art of Charles III’s coronation invitation and create one for your family!

How many kings and queens can you name?

This is a FREE family event. Recommended age is 4-10 years old, but all are welcome!

Book your FREE tickets HERE

Fulbright Lecture: Extinction Rebellion, Eco-Drama, and the Myth of “Saving the World”

Lecture is now available for viewing on our YouTube channel.

Lecture outline:

The climate and ecological emergency is also a crisis of the imagination.  We find ourselves in “a space between stories” (Charles Eisenstein), struggling to find language, symbols, and mythic images with the power to wake us up, clarify our existential situation, connect us with our love for the living world, and orient us toward action.

Coming one month after mass protests around Westminster by Extinction Rebellion and a coalition of environmental groups in late April 2023, this talk will examine the climate justice movement’s use of imagery and narrative to mobilize support and capture the collective imagination.  It will also show how the media and general public often respond to the mythic outline of disruptive actions rather than to the message or intentions of the activists carrying them out.

The talk will take as its central reference point the ancient Greek myth of Erysichthon, the arrogant king of Thessaly who cut down the sacred grove of Demeter.  The dynamics of the Erysichthon story can provide us with the foundation for an expanded definition of “eco-drama,” one that includes protest and nonviolent civil disobedience as modes of socio-dramatic action.  The talk will also examine the rewards and risks in invoking that most potent of heroic narratives: the myth of “saving the world.”

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session.

About the speaker: 

DANIEL LARLHAM is a performance researcher and theatre maker with a PhD in theatre from Columbia University and an MFA in acting from NYU. He has held academic appointments at Yale University’s Theater Studies Program, the Freie Universität Berlin (as a Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow), and Saint Mary’s College of California. Daniel is spending the 2022-23 academic year as a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Roehampton, London. His research project, “Heroism in the Anthropocene,” examines eco-activism in the UK from a mytho-dramatic perspective.

Location:

This is a hybrid lecture, hosted at both Benjamin Franklin House and live-streamed via Zoom. In person-attendees are invited to attend a pre-talk drinks reception in Franklin’s Parlour. Please arrive anytime after 4:30pm.

Tickets:

This lecture is free to attend in person or via Zoom, but a £5 donation is encouraged.

Booking is required.

4th of July at Benjamin Franklin House

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

As a founder of the United States, Franklin was the only statesman to have signed all four documents that created a new nation, including The Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Paris, and The Constitution. The first of these was signed on 4 July 1776, the year after Franklin left this house!

Whether you’re an American expat or a just want to get in on the festivities with our friends across the pond, we are ready to welcome and celebrate with you!

Friday 30 – Sunday 2 July 2023, 11am-5pm

See Benjamin Franklin House decorated for the occasion and join us for our Architectural Tours on Friday and our Historical Experience show on Saturday and Sunday to learn all about the time Franklin spent in London on the cusp of revolution!

From £7.50 per adult – Purchase tickets via Art Tickets here.

 

Tuesday 4 July 2023, 4pm-7pm

Join us for our flagship offering, the Historical Experience, where the house will be transformed into a stage for a drama that tells the rich story of Franklin in London between 1757 and 1775. Available at 4pm, 5pm or 6pm.

  • 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-inspired drinks and snacks to complete your experience

A real Tuesday treat!

£15 per person (plus booking fees) – purchase tickets here

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. 

Family Event: Easter!

Join us on Easter Monday to learn all about Easter in the 18th Century and create some egg-xcellent arts and crafts!

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Date/Time: Easter Monday 10th April 2023 1:30pm-3:00pm

This free family event will explore the history of Easter and how celebrations have evolved over time. We will learn how Benjamin Franklin might have celebrated the occasion in the 18th century as well as some of the popular Easter traditions from the period.

We will then gather in his famous Parlour to create some of our very own Easter decorations, cards and crafts.

If you are looking for a fun-filled family afternoon on Easter Monday, then pop along to Benjamin Franklin House! Recommended ages are 5-10, but all are welcome!

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