FRENCH, William

1832 - 1893

William French was baptised at Little Thurlow, Suffolk on 8 April 1832, son of John French, a farmer, schoolmaster and innkeeper, and his wife Elizabeth Edwards née Salmon, who married at Haverhill, Suffolk on 11 January 1818 and in 1851 were living at Chilton, Clare, Suffolk. In 1851, William an ‘usher’ at Little Thurlow School, which was then kept by his brother Walter Octavius French and ten years later a schoolmaster at Woolpit, Suffolk. William married at Little Thurlow in 1863, his namesake Marianna Frances French (1842-14 December 1888) and in 1871, a 39-year-old ‘schoolteacher’, living at The Street, Woolpit with his 27-year-old wife Marianna and three children, Rosa 4, Helen 2 and newly born William, and they retained two indoor servants. In 1881, living at the same address, but with a further three children, Frank 8, Alice 5 and Harold 3, together with his 60-year-old sister-in-law Sarah French, a servant, and a governess. As Mr French of Woolpit, he exhibited at the Bury St Edmund's Fine Art Society in 1880 and was a member of Ipswich Fine Art Club 1884-1891 and exhibited from Woolpit in 1882, four paintings 'A Bank in Early Spring', 'Tom Brown', 'Lesser Redpoles' and 'Long-tailed Tit Mice and Nest', in 1883 two oils 'Twilight' and 'Cactus and St John's Wort' and four watercolours 'Jack Snipe Flying', 'Jack Snipe', 'Wrens and Nest' and 'Yes Sir, Past Work Now', in 1884 one oil 'Freshman's Paradise, Cambridge' and in 1885 from Wellesley Road, Colchester three works, 'Steps to the Cornfield', 'Morning After a Snowstorm' and a watercolour 'Chrysanthemums'. At Colchester he kept a private school at 58 North Hill and where his wife died in 1888 and where he was living in 1891 with six of his children. William French died at Colchester, Essex in 1893 aged 61.