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Frederick Maitland Freake


. . His Grandfather Charles. . . . His Father Thomas. . . . His Son Charles. . . . Fulwell Park. .

We now come to Sir Frederick (Charles) Maitland Freake.  When I started this page it was very difficult to find out anything about Freddie, as he was universally known. As of March 2013 this is now the largest collection of information about him on the internet. Previously there was just the Wikipedia article, plagiarised endlessly, and a few sites mentioning his part in the 1900 and 1908 Olympics.

It gets a bit confusing here, due to similar names.  Here’s the family.

      • Sir Charles James Freake, 1st Baronet (1814-1884)
      • Sir Thomas George Freake, 2nd Baronet (1848-1920)
      • Sir Frederick Charles Maitland Freake, 3rd Baronet (1876-1950)
      • Sir Charles Arland Maitland Freake, 4th Baronet (1904-1951)

This page now just concerns Frederick Maitland Freake. There are separate pages, which I recommend reading first providing essential background reading for his father, Thomas, and his grandfather Charles, both of whom were fascinating, and world famous for very different reasons.


Frederick twice represented England in the Olympics and won silver medals both times. (We'll probably be getting a Blue Plaque soon).

That Wiki thing tells it like it is, “Sir Frederick (Charles) Maitland Freake, 3rd Baronet (7 March 1876 – 22 December 1950) was a British polo player in the 1900 (Olympic Competitor 542) and 1908 Summer Olympics.”

(See comments extracted from Wikipedia at the foot of this page about amusing events from the early years of the Olympics.)

There is some information on Frederick’s son, also Charles.  As yet I’ve been unable to ascertain why Frederick was also known as (Charles) which really causes confusion.

Baronets are only accorded the title ‘Sir’ on the death of their father. Prior to Sir Thomas George Freakes death in 1920 he was referred to in the press as Mr FM “Freddie” Freake.

Fulwell Park, the family pile is also covered here.

Mr FM Freake 


Sir Frederick Charles Maitland Freake, 3rd Baronet Fulwell. (7 March 1876 - 22 December 1950) was the son of Sir Thomas George Freake, 2nd Bt. (12 October 1848 - 22 December 1920) who held the office of Mayor of Dartmouth from 1897 to 1898. 

      Per fesse sable and azure, two bars engrailed or, each charged with three bulls' heads caboshed of the first, in chief three mullets of six points of the third. Mantling sable and or. Crest- On a wreath of the colours, in front of a bull's head sable, holding the mouth a mullet of six points or, a rock proper. Motto: “Integrity"

LONDON GAZETTE, Feb 3, 1899 YEOMANRY CAVALRY Gloucestershire (Royal Gloucestershire Hussars), The undermentioned Officers resign their Commissions :— Lieutenant T. Stacey. Dated 4th February, ' 1899. Second Lieutenant F. M. Freake. Dated 4th February, 1899.

3rd July 1902 married Alison Ussher (d 23 Sep 1935), daughter of Henry Ingham Ussher, of Gerardstown, Dunslaughlin, Co. Meath, b. 31 March, 1882 and Olivia Ruttledge.

May 14th 1913 - FM Freake arrived at Ellis Island on the SS Oceanic out of Southampton.  He was visiting as part of a polo team. Games were reported extensively throughout the US.

"The County Gentleman and Land & Water” notes for August 1914, "Mr. F. M. Freake and Mr. C. T. Garland, both prominent hunting men in Warwickshire and well-known polo players, have joined the Suffolk Yeomanry at Portsmouth.

Frederick gained the rank of Captain in the service of the Royal Field Artillery. He fought in the First World War between 1915 and 1919, and was mentioned in despatches.

He succeeded to the title of 3rd Baronet Freake, of Cromwell House, Kensington & Fulwell Park on 22 December 1920. He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Warwickshire.

He held the office of High Sheriff of Warwickshire in 1940.

Frederick is pictured several times in the March-Aug 1912 edition of the Polo Monthly Magazine.  The magazine also includes an advert for that ever-popular holiday vessel, the Titanic.

Jan 26, 1920 - FM Freake arrived at Ellis Island on the SS Mauretania out of Southampton.  He probably stayed with his friend, Frank Joseph MacKey (March 20, 1852 - February 24, 1927) in Miami, Fla.  He was an American polo player in the 1900 Summer Olympics. He was part of the Foxhunters Hurlingham polo team which won the gold medal. The ship’s manifest records that he had a tattoo on his right arm.

In 1920 he succeeded to the Baronetcy of Cromwell House and Fulwell Park, created on 23 May 1882 for his grandfather. 

In March 1922 he took delivery of a 1922 Bentley 3 Litre.

The Freake Cup

The Freake Cup, presented by the initial freehold owner of the land on which Fulwell Golf Club was formed, the Freake Estate, Sir Frederick Freake was President of the Club between 1931 and 1938 with the original cup first played for in 1928. (The current trophy, which is of grand art deco design, is from the 1960s after the original trophy was lost in a fire at the house of the then holder, Mr Peak in 1965.)

1st February 1935, London Gazette, “The following land is about to be registered. Objections (if any) should be addressed to "H.M. Land Registry, London, W.C.2," before the 15th day of February, 1935. FREEHOLD.Sir Frederick 19-22 (all), Nassau Street, 18, Mortimer Street, 5-9 (all), Union Mews, W.I, by Sir F. M. Freake, Halford Manor, Shipston-on-Stour, Worcester.

Now we were told,  when we moved into this house in 1995, that the architect of this block of four bijou residences lived at the one two doors along, which has a balcony (like the Pope has) because he wanted his house to be slightly different to all the others.  From memory, we were told about this by our vendor, who may have once discussed it with the residents of the house with the balcony, now long deceased.  What isn’t clear is just who was the architect? Sir Charles died at least 20 years before this house was built, which would seem to rule him out, unless an old drawing was used...  Did Sir Thomas follow in his father’s footsteps?

The title Baronet Fulwell became extinct on the death of the Sir Frederick without issue in 1951. I am thinking about reinstating it, I like the sound of 'Sir Martin, Baronet Fulwell'.

Early years of the Olympics - While researching the Olympic polo career of Sir Frederick, the following Wikipedia articles were of use.  Reading these articles will surprise you that many of the somewhat Pythonesque events ever caught on.  Early events included art and literature.

  • 1896 Women were not allowed to compete at the 1896 Summer Olympics.
  • 1900 Most of the winners in 1900 did not receive medals, but were given cups or trophies.  One event was the swimming obstacle race...
  • 1904 The several stories about that year’s marathon are quite unbelievable...For example, it included the first two black Africans to compete in the Olympics: two Tswana tribesmen. They were not in St. Louis to compete in the Olympics, however; they were actually part of the sideshow. They had been brought over by the exposition as part of the Boer War exhibit (both were really students from Orange Free State in South Africa, but this fact was not made known to the public). They finished ninth and twelfth. This was a disappointment, as many observers were sure one could have done better if he had not been chased nearly a mile off course by aggressive dogs.
  • 1908 These games were originally scheduled to be held in Rome, but were re-located due to volcanic eruption.  At the 1908 Summer Olympics, a polo tournament was contested. It was the second time the sport had been featured at the Olympics, with 1900 being its first appearance. There are pictures here, including a lady archer in a full-length dress.
  • 1912 The games were the first to have art competitions. Electric timing was introduced in athletics. A Japanese marathon runner, went missing during the race. He stopped at a party taking place in a villa on the marathon route in order to quench his thirst, then caught a train to Stockholm and left the country the next day. He returned to Japan without notifying race officials. 50 years later, after being invited back by the Swedish authorities, he completed the race with an (unofficial) time of 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes and 20.3 seconds.

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