FROHAWK, Frederick William

1861 - 1946

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, who married at Docking, Norfolk in 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 7, eldest son Francis had died in 1855, aged only 1. They later moved to Ipswich where Frederick's interest in drawing and natural history was nurtured by his mother but on the death of his father they moved to Croydon. Educated at Norwood College and during this time contracted typhoid leading to near blindness in one eye. In 1880 they moved again this time to South Norwood and here Frohawk concentrated on illustration and obtained his first commission for illustrating ‘The Field’. Frohawk was encouraged in his work by Lord Walter Rothschild, who later bought his water-colours of butterflies. He married in June 1895, Margaret Grant and they spent their honeymoon in the New Forest but Margaret died in 1907 leaving him to care for two daughters. In 1909 he married again, Mabel Jane Hart Bowman and he had a third daughter Valezina, named after a form of the silver-washed Fritillary. Elected Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society in 1891 and made a Special Life Fellow in 1926. His major butterfly works include the two volume ‘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 are now part of the Rothschild collection in the Natural History Museum, London. In 1939, an artist living at 14 Cavendish Road, Sutton, Surrey with wife Mabel (21 April 1883-1981) and he died on 10 December 1946 and buried at Headley, Surrey




Works by This Painter