Cousin Frank Carr

In Ireland’s letters sometimes names crop up that seem elusive. One of these is ‘Frank’, with whom Ireland negotiated financial assistance for his sister Ethel after her divorce. Frank was another cousin and another of Uncle Henry’s clever sons.
Portrait of Frank Carr Nicholson

The fourth of Uncle Henry’s children was Frank Carr Nicholson (1875–1962), an almost exact contemporary of the composer, who died in the same year. Nicholson was educated in Aberdeen, then at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he studied Classics and graduated with a First in Medieval and Modern Languages. After graduating he joined the staff of Aberdeen University Library, followed by the Library of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh before succeeding Alexander Anderson as Librarian of the University of Edinburgh in 1910. Before that point he published his own linguistic scholarship, a translation of Old German Love Songs from the Minnesingers of the 12th to 14th centuries (1906).

Frank’s long term as Librarian in Edinburgh saw the publication of the printed catalogues of the Library’s collections of Western medieval (1923) and Oriental manuscripts (1925). After his retirement in 1939 he and his wife became friendly with the poet Walter De La Mare. In 1963 Mrs Nicholson presented to the Library over 90 letters from De La Mare to Nicholson.

Another close friend was the writer Georgina Sime (1868–1958). Though originally British she spent many years in Canada and is thus sometimes considered a Canadian. She came from a well-known Scottish family (the Wilsons), including second cousin Margaret Oliphant and uncle Sir Daniel Wilson. Frank collaborated with Mrs Sime on Brave Spirits (1952), her reminiscences which include “Recollections of Mrs Oliphant”.

At his death on 11 March 1962, Frank was back in Cumberland, having retired to Idlethorpe, Lonsties, just outside Keswick.


Who’s Who various years


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