First of all, thanks to Helena for the Derby Mercury quote and thank you to johhnylad for your in depth analysis of John Tunnicliff Sr and Jr [no. 1 and no. 2]. I've been spending the last few weeks gathering information on the John Tunnicliffs but hadn't yet sat down to put it together. And with so much information and misinformation, it's nice to have another set of eyes analyzing the data.
The first time I saw the information on the "Memorial Inscription from Mapleton, Derbyshire- St. Mary's Churchyard" I wanted to dismiss it immediately as a strange coincidence, but your analysis makes perfect sense. All that is needed now is a Christening Record for John Tunnicliff Jr [no.2].
In looking at the "Benjamin Franklin" letters I'm finding more evidence against his sailing to America in 1754/55 and 1758. As the stories go (including "Richfield Springs and Vicinity" by W.T. Bailey, A. S. Barnes & Co. 1874), in 1758 he settled on an estate on the Schuykill River (in Pennsylvania) until 1764 when they removed to New York.
In a letter from John Whitehurst, Derby, 18 Mar 1763 to Benjamin Franklin, John Tunnicliff Sr. was in America at that time looking for land.
"The bearer Mr. Tunicliff, is a farmer of good Credit, from this neighbourhood. He has lived many years at Langley, a Vilage four Miles from hence. He visits North America with a Veiw of Purchasing two or three thousand Acres of uncultivated land, and bringing his family over to Settle there, having too great a Spirit to comply with the terms which farmers in general are now oblig’d to comply with at this time in England. Viz. of occup[y]ing lands at the Will of the Lord. And therefore is determined to take up his aboad in a Land of greater liberty, and to situate himself so, as to carry on some Trade with the Indians." (http://franklinpapers.org/franklin/framedVolumes.jsp?vol=10&...
To John Whitehurst from Benjamin Franklin (in New York) 27 Jun 1763:
"As I was not at home to receive Mr. Tunnicliff and afford him personnally my Advice and Assistance, all I could do was to recommend him to some able and intelligent Friends there, who I am sure will be glad to serve him; and when I return, which I hope will be in about two Months I shall chearfully render him every Service in my Power. "(http://franklinpapers.org/franklin/framedVolumes.jsp?vol=10&...
To Richard Jackson from Benjamin Franklin (in New York) 27 Jun 1763:
"Your Favour by Mr. Tunnicliff reach’d me here. I have recommended him for a Purchase of Land to Lord Stirling, who has great Tracts in the Jerseys out of the Indians way, and says he should like such a Man for a Neighbour, being himself employ’d at present in making great Improvements near Baskinridge where he purposes Building a Seat. I have recommended him also to Mr. Hughes, who is well acquainted with Country Affairs, and capable of giving him the best Advice. When I return to Pensilvania, which I hope will be about the Beginning of September, I shall readily afford him such Assistance as may be in my Power."
From John Tunnicliff Sr., Langley Lodge, Near Derby, 21 Dec 1766:
"I Received your kind Letters for which I return you my Best Thanks. If I can get a good Plantation either in Pensylvania or the Jerseys provided the same, is in a good Neighbourhood and the House High and Ary Sittuation to render it Healthy and near the River Delaware or the River Schoolkill with sufficiant Meadow and Pasture of the White Honey-Suckle, Grass Sufficiant for Summering and Wintering Twenty Milking Cows if such a Plantation should come to your Knowledge Please to let me know of it but I Beg you will give yourself no trouble of making Enquiry as I shall not have it in my Power to render you any Amends, from your Friend and, Humble Servant, John Tunnicliff"
It's interesting he is asking about land for a plantation on the Schoolkill (Schuylkill), when according to other "sources" he settled there in 1758 on a farm he previously purchased.