/ About / Hall Of Fame / Harry Frier

In June 1997 an exhibition of the works of Harry Frier was put on at Fyne Court, Broomfield.

Harry Frier was born in Edinburgh in 1849. Harry would have been influenced greatly by his parents who were both involved in the Scottish artistic scene. His father Robert had his first painting accepted and hung by the Royal Scottish Academy in 1853.

Harry passed his entrance exams to the Edinburgh School of Art in 1867. He had begun to earn small sums for his paintings but not enough to secure commissions by which he could earn a living, so in 1878 he moved to London.

He obtained employment at a London Music Hall as a scenery painter, and it was here that he met Kate (Kezia Catherine) Dyer, daughter of George and Jemimah Dyer of Creech St Michael. George Dyer died in 1872 leaving Kate property including cottages at Bathpool and another called Thornybier at Creech St Michael where she lived with her younger sister, Charlotte. Kate and Harry married at Taunton Registry Office on March 1st 1881.

The couple settled in Somerset some time in 1883. Kate’s mother had moved from Thornybier in Creech to a cottage in Hyde Lane, Bathpool. Harry by this time rented a room in East Reach, Taunton for use as a studio. Harry was a prolific painter and gradually managed to build up his commissions painting many local scenes including several views of Creech St Michael, the river and canal. In 1899 Kate’s mother Jemimah Dyer died and was buried in Creech St Michael.

By the early 1900s shortage of money led to a deterioration in Harry’s relationship with Kate. Gradually he began to drink too much and the quality of his painting and home life with Kate worsened. Kates caught a severe chill Christmas 1912 from which she never recovered and died 31st January 1913 and is buried in the churchyard at Creech St Michael. Harry realised his loss and was inconsolable.

His niece Lottie, wife of George Brass, took Harry into their house in Taunton. His presence in their house soon became intolerable and Harry went to live in the Workhouse in 1917. He found life here extremely miserable and managed to persuade Lottie & George Brass to take him back after only 6 weeks. He was back in the workhouse again on Christmas Day 1917. He was to spend the next few years in and out of the workhouse and he died there on Saturday 19th February 1921 and was buried in Creech St Michael churchyard next to Kate