FROHAWK, Frederick William

1861 - 1946

Frederick Frohawk

Frederick William Frohawk was born at Old House Farm, Round the Common, Brisley, East Dereham, Norfolk on 16 July 1861, third son and fourth child of the five children of Francis William Frohawk, a farmer of 140 acres, and his wife Lydia née Drage (c1826-1887), who married at East Rudham, Norfolk in November 1852. By 1871, the family had moved to 15 Pier Terrace, Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, where 50-year-old William was living with his 42-year-old wife Lydia and four of their children, Katherine 16, William Henry 11, Frederick William 9 and Isabel Lydia 7, eldest son Francis Nicholas had died in 1855, aged 1. They later moved to Ipswich where Frederick's interest in drawing and natural history was nurtured by his mother. Frederick was educated at Great Yarmouth Grammar School from 1870 and at Norwood College and during his time at Norwood, contracted typhoid leading to near blindness in one eye. Following the death of their father, in 1880 they moved from Ipswich to South Norwood, Croydon and here Frohawk concentrated on illustration and obtained his first commission for illustrating for ‘The Field’. Frohawk was encouraged in his work by Lord Walter Rothschild (1868-1937), who later bought his water-colours of butterflies. Frederick married at St John the Evangelist, Shirley, Croydon on 5 June 1895, Margaret Annie Grant (1967-1909) and they spent their honeymoon in the New Forest but Margaret died at Rayleigh, Essex on 16 February 1909, leaving him to care for their two daughters, Margaret [Veal] (1896-1974) and Frederica [Poole] (1898-1974), both born at Croydon. On 4 October 1911 he married secondly at St James's, Westminster, Mabel Jane Bowman (21 April 1883-12 June 1981) and he had a third daughter, Barbara Valezina [Bolingbroke] (1913-2000), named after a form of the silver-washed Fritillary. Frederick was elected a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society in 1891 and made a Special Life Fellow in 1926. His major butterfly works include the two volumes ‘Natural History of British Butterflies’ (1924) and ‘The Complete Book of British Butterflies’ (1934). He also illustrated numerous bird books, including Wilson’s ‘Aves Hawaiienses: The Birds of the Sandwich Islands’ (1890/99) and the 1st edition of Coward’s ‘Birds of the British Isles and their Eggs’. In 1927, a need for money forced him to sell his butterfly collection to Lord Rothschild for £1,000 which now form part of the Rothschild collection in the Natural History Museum, London but in 1932 he was awarded a Civil List pension of £100 for his services to natural history. In 1939, an artist, living at 14 Cavendish Road, Sutton, Surrey with wife Mabel. Frederick William Frohawk died at 14 Cavendish Road, Sutton, Surrey on 10 December 1946 and was buried at Headley, Surrey.

Works by This Artist