Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/258

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Fraser
Fraser
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sterii S. Marie de Cambuskenneth’ for the Grampian Club. The following are his works relating to family history: ‘The Stirlings of Keir,’ 1858; ‘Memorials of the Montgomeries, Earls of Eglinton,’ 2 vols., 1859; ‘Memoirs of the Maxwells of Pollok,’ 2 vols., 1863; ‘The Maxwell, Herries, and Nithsdale Muniments,’ 1865; ‘The Pollok-Maxwell Baronetcy,’ 1866; ‘History of the Carnegies, Earls of Southesk,’ 2 vols., 1867; ‘The Redbook of Grandtully,’ 2 vols., 1868; ‘The Chiefs of Colquhoun and their Country,’ 2 vols., 1869; ‘The Book of Caerlaverock,’ 2 vols., 1873; ‘The Cartulary of Colquhoun,’ 1873; ‘The Lennox,’ 2 vols., 1874; ‘The Cartulary of Pollok-Maxwell,’ 1875; ‘The Earls of Cromartie,’ 2 vols., 1876; ‘The Scotts of Buccleugh,’ 2 vols., 1878; ‘The Frasers of Philorth,’ 3 vols., 1879; ‘The Redbook of Menteith,’ 2 vols., 1880; ‘The Chiefs of Grant,’ 3 vols., 1883; ‘The Douglas Book,’ 4vols., 1885; ‘Memorials of the Family of Wemyss of Wemyss,’ 3 vols., 1888; ‘Memorials of the Earls of Haddington,’ 2 vols., 1889; ‘The Melvilles, Earls of Melville, and the Leslies, Earls of Leven,’ 3 vols., 1890; ‘The Sutherland Book,’ 3 vols., 1892; ‘The Annandale Family Book of the Johnstones, Earls and Marquises of Annandale,’ 2 vols., 1894; and ‘The Elphinstone Family Book of the Lords Elphinstone, Balmerino, and Coupar,’ 2 vols., 1897.

Sir William Fraser also did very important work in connection with the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, having drawn up most of the reports on Scottish historical manuscripts from the appointment of the commission in 1869 until his death in 1898.

Sir William made several munificent bequests for educational and charitable purposes, including 25,000l. for the foundation of a chair of ancient history and palaeography in the university of Edinburgh, 10,000l. as an endowment for the increase of the salaries of the librarian and other officials of the university library, and 25,000l. for the foundation and endowment of homes for the poor in the city or county of Edinburgh.

[Obituary notices, especially those in the Scotsman and the Dundee Advertiser; Edinburgh University Calendar; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. F. H.

FRASER, Sir WILLIAM AUGUSTUS, fourth baronet (1826–1898), politician and writer, born on 10 Feb. 1826, was the eldest son of Colonel Sir James John Fraser (d. 1834), third baronet, of the seventh hussars, who was on the staff at Waterloo, by his wife Charlotte Anne, only child of Daniel Craufurd, and niece of Major-general Robert Craufurd [q. v.] Succeeding to the baronetcy as a child, Sir William left Eton in 1844, and after three years at Christ Church, Oxford (graduating later B.A. 1849, M.A. 1852), he was gazetted a cornet in the 1st life guards on 4 June 1847. He left the army shortly after obtaining a captaincy in 1852, and addressed himself to parliamentary life. A staunch conservative, he became a familiar figure at the Carlton Club, where he was known pre-eminently as a raconteur of stories about Wellington and Waterloo, and latterly of Disraeli and Napoleon III. He was a great hero-worshipper, and was especially fascinated by the spectacle of great and successful ambition concealed beneath a mask of melancholy impassivity. On Wellington he gradually became a considerable authority. He practically decided the vexed question as to the place where the Waterloo ball was held, and he preserved many little details of the great duke which but for him would have been lost. His results were printed in a very loosely compacted volume of anecdotes called 'Words on Wellington' (1889; new edit. 1900), which was followed by a small brochure on 'The Waterloo Ball' (1897), Similar volumes of personal gossip, with a large admixture of autobiography promiscuously huddled together in paragraphs, were 'Disraeli and his Day' (1891, two editions), 'Hie et Ubique' (1893), and ' Napoleon III' (1896). The last is very inferior to the preceding collections. A volume upon the stage and some reminiscences of Charles Dickens were promised, but never appeared. His zeal as a collector of old maxims, relics, and bons-mots accorded well with his political views. He believed, with Disraeli, that the Garter and election at White's were the two culminating peaks of human ambition, while he had a veneration for the House of Commons as a school not only of debate but also of a kind of etiquette. He had an admiration for Cobden, and spoke of him as a Don Quixote with John Bright (for whom he had a particular abhorrence) as his Sancho Panza; but his parliamentary hero was Disraeli. The ups and downs of his own political career were somewhat remarkable. In 1852 he was returned as a conservative at the head of the poll for Barnstaple, but the election was declared void for bribery, and the constituency, a notoriously corrupt one, was disfranchised for two years. At the election of 1857 Fraser, who had in the meantime been defeated at Harwich, stood again at Barnstaple, and was again returned at the top of the poll. He was, however, defeated in 1859, coming out this time at the bottom of the poll, the