An early American connection for Lyme

An early American connection for Lyme

Posted on: 25th August 2014

Mr Stephen Massil has contacted us with some new information about Lyme and a question. He has been researching the family of Henry Franks Waring who was Lyme Regis Town Clerk in the 19th Century. Although it was known that Waring was of Jewish descent (see Ethnic Minorities: Lyme Regis & West Dorset, Past & Present by Louisa Parker. Judy Ford & Jo Draper – published by Lyme Regis Museum), Mr Massil has now informed us that Henry’s Jewish great-grandfather, Naphtali Franks was born in New York in 1715. His parents from London, Jacob Franks and Aligaill Bilhah Levy, had married in New York. Jacob’s brothers Aaron and Isaac had remained in London and the family’s varied business connections flourished across the Atlantic. Naphtali was sent to London at age 18 in 1733 to join his uncle and cousins and became a prominent figure in the Jewish community and more widely as an F.R.S. (from 1764). Franks married Isaac Franks’s daughter, his cousin Phila, in 1742. Their granddaughter Margaret Franks married Captain Henry Waring and lived in part of the Great House on Broad Street.

An early American connection for Lyme

Naphtali’s and Phila’s portraits were painted by Thomas Hudson and were sold by ‘Miss Waring, a member of the family …’ at Christie’s auction of Portraits in November 1967. Mr Massil believes this Miss Waring to be a granddaughter of HF Waring’s sister Frances who married her cousin Francis. The portraits were bought by Alfred Rubens and donated to the Jewish Museum in London.


At some time these portraits must have hung in a house in Lyme. Was it the Great House, HF Waring’s South Cliff (now Farnham House), Aveline House (53 Broad Street) where Frances Waring is believed to have lived in the 1870s or all three? If anyone has any information about this then please could they contact us by commenting on this post.