[Either may be argued to be an appropriate reading - AJ]
2. (Law) A particular privilege conferred by grant from a sovereign or a government, and vested in individuals; an immunity or exemption from ordinary jurisdiction.
4. Magnanimity; generosity; liberality; frankness; nobility.
``Franchise in woman.'' [Obs.] Chaucer.
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)