Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Frazer, Andrew

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FRAZER, ANDREW (d. 1792), lieutenant-colonel of engineers, son of George Frazer, a deputy surveyor of excise in Scotland, was probably employed on the works at Fort George after the Scottish rebellion of 1745–6. He was appointed practitioner engineer, with rank of ensign in the train, on 17 March 1759, and sub-engineer, with rank of lieutenant, in 1761. In 1763 he was ordered to Dunkirk, and served as assistant to Colonel Desmaretz, the British commissary appointed to watch the demolition of the works of that port in accordance with treaty obligations (Cal. Home Office Papers, 1760–6). On 18 Oct. 1767 he succeeded Desmaretz in that office (ib. 1766–9), and retained it until the rupture with France in 1778. In the British Museum MSS are two reports from Frazer: ‘A Description of Dunkirk,’ 1769 (Addit. MS. 16593), and ‘Report and Plans of Dunkirk,’ 1772 (ib. 17779, f. 82). A letter from Frazer to Lord Stormont, British ambassador at Paris in 1777 (ib. 24164, f. 172), indicates that he discharged consular functions at Dunkirk. He became engineer in ordinary and captain in 1772, brevet-major in 1782, and regimental lieutenant-colonel in 1788. He designed St. Andrew's parochial church, Edinburgh, built in 1785. Frazer, who had not long retired from the service, died on his way to Geneva in the summer of 1792. He married in 1773 Charlotte, daughter of Stillingfleet Durnford, of the engineer department, and granddaughter of Colonel Desmaretz (Scots Mag. xxxv. 500); by her he was father of Sir Augustus Simon Frazer [q. v.] A portrait of Major Andrew Fraser (sic) is catalogued in Evans's ‘Engraved Portraits’ (London, 1836–53), vol. ii., in which the date of death is wrongly given as 1795.

[Army Lists; Cal. State Papers (Home Office), 1760–6 et seq.; Brit. Mus. Addit. MSS. ut supra; Scots Mag. liv. 413. Some letters from Frazer at Dunkirk are indexed in Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. (i), 9th Rep. (iii.)]

H. M. C.