Sir Thomas George Freake, 2nd Bt. (12 October 1848 - 22 December 1920) who held the office of Mayor of Dartmouth from 1897 to 1898 was the father of Frederick. i discovered an interesting article from the Mercury Newspaper, Hobart, Tasmania, dated Wednesday 29 October 1890, about Sir Thomas, involving the theft and destruction of letters from, and a portrait of, someone’s mistress. I then found much more, as the incidents were extensively reported in countries as far away as New Zealand and the US. The longest and most detailed article is here. I came across several reports suggesting that the story was ‘squelched’ in the London Press
The following summary of the case is from Leigh Rayment’s Peerage Page.
On 1 October 1890, Sir Thomas appeared in the Westminster Police Court charged with having, on 29 September, stolen a key, two boxes containing photographic negatives, and a bundle of letters, the property of Mr. Edward Gibson. He was further charged with forging a telegram.
Evidence showed that Sir Thomas Freake and Edward Gibson had formerly been intimate friends, but both had conducted 'immoral relations' with an unnamed lady. It appeared that this lady had written a number of letters to Sir Thomas, and that these letters were now in the possession of Gibson, who refused to part with them. Sir Thomas therefore resorted to 'foul' means to obtain these letters.
On 29th September, Gibson took the letters to the St.George's Club in Hanover Square where, in the presence of a man named Hodson, he deposited the letters in his private locker. Hodson then informed Gibson that Sir Thomas had invited them to lunch at his house. Suspecting nothing untoward, Gibson lunched at Sir Thomas's house. After lunch, Sir Thomas suggested that Gibson might like to view a nearby mansion which had been fitted out for privatetheatrical performances. Once there, Gibson was lured into the basement where he was confronted by Sir Thomas, Hodson, another man named Walker, and the unnamed lady. They demanded that Gibson hand over his keys and the letters. Gibson refused, whereupon "the three men set upon him, took him by the throat, threw him on the ground, and held him in a position of half-strangulation, while handcuffs were put on him by Hodson, and his pockets were rifled for his keys." One newspaper report contains the superb syntactic error that "a man stood over Gibson while he was handcuffed with a drawn sword."
Once his assailants had found his keys, including that to his locker at his club, Sir Thomas went to the local post office and sent a telegram - "To the hall-porter, St. George's Club, Hanover-square. - Send wooden box in my locker by messenger in cab to 87, Onslow-gardens. Have sent key. - Gibson." Sir Thomas was therefore successful in obtaining his goal.
The magistrate viewed this matter as being not too serious, and suggested that the matter be submitted to arbitration. He noted that the letters had subsequently been returned to the lady, who had then destroyed them. ventually it was reported that the matter had been settled out of court by payment of £1,200 plus £100 in costs.
Does the family coat of arms help...?
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"...?
His wife’s ancestry is detailed here. Her father and grandfather were both given the name Frederick.