Frederick Antrobus

Frederick Antrobus

A carte-de-visite portrait of the priest and diplomat Reverend Frederick Antrobus (1837-1903).

Born 4 August 1837, he was a younger son of Sir Edmund Antrobus, 2nd Bt. He joined the diplomatic service and held postings in Paris (3rd Secretary), Washington and St Petersburg (2nd Secretary). One source describes him as 'a man of commanding presence and a first-rate linguist.' He later joined the Roman Catholic church and became one of the first priests at the Brompton Oratory, where he eventually became Superior. He died unmarried on 12 July 1903.

According to the Isle of Wight Observer (7 July 1900): 'The Rev. Frederick Antrobus, whom the Brompton Oratorians have elected as their new Superior, in succession to the late Father Gordon, served from 1857 to 1869 in various of our Embassies abroad. Beginning as an attaché in Copenhagen, he proceeded to Constantinople, Dresden, Vienna, Paris, Washington, and St Petersburg. He had risen to the post of Second Secretary when he resigned, joined the Roman Catholic Church, and took Holy Orders. He is a well-known figure at the great and beautiful Brompton basilica, and is the author of a learned work on the history and characteristics of the Oratorian Order.'

On his death a brief obituary appeared in The Graphic (18 July 1903): 'The Very Rev. Frederick Antrobus, Superior of the Brompton Oratory, died on Sunday last, at the age of 65. He was born in 1837, being the fifth son of Sir Edmund Antrobus, second baronet, who married a granddaughter of the fifth Earl of Balcarres. He was one of the earliest Fathers of the Oratory of St Philip Neri, founded by Cardinal Newman, and had for some years been Superior of the Order. In early life he was a second secretary in the diplomatic service.'

Photographed by Ludwig Angerer of Vienna.

An inked inscription in the lower margin is dated 7 February 1861.

Code: 126741
© Paul Frecker 2023