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Sir Bartle Frere

Who was he?

Wikipedia: Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, 1st Baronet, GCB, GCSI, (29 March 1815 – 29 May 1884) was a British colonial administrator. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in May, 1877. Frere Hall in Karachi was built in his honour. The city also named a road, street and town after him. In 1888, the Prince of Wales unveiled a statue of Frere on the Thames embankment. Mount Bartle Frere (1622m), the highest mountain in Queensland, Australia is named after him.

He was played by Sir John Mills in Zulu Dawn. His portrayal in the film is negative. He is depicted as a corrupt, greedy, deeply racist administrator who casually orders the invasion of Zululand after issuing his unfair, biased, impossibly demanding ultimatum.

Why was he in Bath?

Frere was born at Clydach House, Clydach, Monmouthshire, the son of Edward Frere, manager of Clydach Ironworks. It is thought he stayed in the house shown below whilst attending Bath Grammar School. It may just be coincidental, but a Mr Frere was responsible for overseeing the construction of Bath Spa Railway Station (opened 1840) to the designs of Isambard Kingdom Brunel [Forsyth 2003].

Location of plaque at 8, Norfolk Buildings:

Location of plaque at 6. Norfolk Buildings

Sir Bartle Frere plaque

The text reads

"Here lived Sir Bartle Frere 1829-1832"

Location map of 8, Norfolk Buildings:

Sir Bartle Frere location map



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