If he was alone by choice it would be for writing, to read or invent something, for Benjamin Franklin was a gregarious man. He made friends wherever he lived or traveled. Sometimes the friendship was limited to correspondence. Once begun that way, some relationships grew into something more personal. Franklin kept a number of friends over great distances and considerable time. Among those he could count as close friends in London of 1774 were those who shared the house of his lodging for all the time he lived there, sixteen years in all.
On that Saturday evening in January of 1774 when he returned from the exhausting episode in the Privy Council chamber to his home in Craven Street, it is almost a certainty that he chose to spend the evening in the company of one or more of a small group of intimates who had become his London family. Of all the attachments that Franklin established during his adult life, these would be among the most enduring. Certainly few could have been more personally supportive.
Mrs. Margaret Stevenson, a widow, was both his good and trusted friend and also his landlady, the role in which Franklin first knew her. Knowing that her famous lodger had been before Council that day, she might have prepared dinner for him, trusting that he would not likely go