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Benjamin Franklin, Earl of Franklin (1705 - 1790), was a noted British-American writer, scientist, political theorist, statesman and diplomat who was a major influence in spreading Enlightenment ideals to the colonies.
As a respected activist, in 1774 he was nominated by the First Continental Congress to represent American interests in Westminster and to present a petition to the King. The petition found favourable response, leading to the passage of the America Act 1775 which was designed to resolve the New England Crisis. Following this, he served as the senior Member of Parliament for Pennsylvania from 1775 to 1782, before entering the House of Lords after being raised to the peerage. In 1785 he was appointed Governor of Pennsylvania, remaining in office until his death.
Prior to these events, however, he had already become renowned for his scientific discoveries, particularly in the emerging fields of electricity and meteorology. He was also responsible for creating the first volunteer fire brigade in Philadelphia, and from 1753 served as deputy Postmaster-General of North America.