044 - Ben Franklin in the Cockpit, Part II

The most famous American in the world was about to have one of the worst days of his life, and everyone who was anyone in London wanted to be there to see it.

Benjamin Franklin had been summoned to the Cockpit, a room King Henry VIII had once used for cockfighting, to appear before the King’s Privy Council in late January 1774. His ostensible purpose for being there was to deal with a petition sent by the Massachusetts colony to have their governor removed, but with the colonists getting all uppity and turning Boston Harbor into the world’s biggest teapot, the Council was going to take out all of its pent-up frustration with their cranky subjects on America’s best-known representative. 

The King's Solicitor General unleashed a tirade on Franklin, taking an hour to ruin his reputation in London. Before the Cockpit, Benjamin Franklin had been working for both sides in the conflict between England and America. After, he was only working for one. 

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