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Top British military commander John French (1852-1925) first earned renown as a successful cavalry leader during the Boer War. He was appointed chief of the Imperial General Staff and then commander of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) at the start of World War I. Criticized for his indecisiveness with reserve forces at the Battle of Loos, French resigned his post in late 1915. He was created a viscount in 1916 and an earl in 1922, serving as commander in chief of the British home forces and then lord lieutenant of Ireland during those later years.
John Denton Pinkstone French’s unorthodox early career may explain some of his later difficulty in commanding the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in 1914-1915. He began by training for the navy, but transferred to the Suffolk artillery militia in 1870, and then transferred again to the cavalry in 1874. By these unusual means, French joined the regular army. At the start of the Boer War in 1899, French’s talents fitted the old-fashioned cavalry opportunities of the campaign. Clearing the Cape Province of Boers in 1899, French led the relief of Kimberley.
The Boer War made French’s reputation and led to increasingly senior staff positions, culminating in promotion to field marshal in 1913. Along the way, French’s career had been assisted by various influential officers, including Douglas Haig, who saved him from bankruptcy. This protective system helped French, for despite his resignation from the army in 1914 over Irish home rule, he was appointed to command the BEF in the same year. In France, during the BEF’s retreat in 1914, French’s personality proved vulnerable under pressure and swung sharply between optimism and pessimism. Initially, French acted aggressively, but he became discouraged after Mons and advocated taking the BEF out of the line. He was dissuaded by Horatio Kitchener’s intervention. Then, at Le Cateau, Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien’s Second Corps successfully stood fast, in opposition to French’s orders (French never forgave this and later dismissed Smith-Dorrien.) finally, at first Ypres in late 1914, French at first issued attack orders, but again became pessimistic and once more wished to take the BEF out of the line; this time he was dissuaded by Ferdinand Foch.
With the line stabilized in 1915, a series of stalled BEF offensives led to doubts about French’s competence. False stories about his handling of the reserves at Loos led to his dismissal in late 1915. Subsequently, French commanded the Home Forces and then became lord lieutenant of Ireland. Despite recent attempts to give French’s strategic thought some coherency, he must be judged as unfit to command at the highest level.
The Reader’s Companion to Military History. Edited by Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker. Copyright © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
There are two artists named John French. One was a drummer who played with Captain Beefheart and the other is a singer/songwriter. This bio features the singer/songwriter.
As his music so closely parallels, John’s movement toward this current point in his life has also been a building dynamic. In his earlier days of middle school and high school, his music centered around a rock and roll sound which steadily shifted into an eclectic mix of everything from eclectic genres to folk music. The promotion of this new turn in sound began when John started taking piano lessons sophomore year of high school. Shortly after this, Josh Deramus entered the picture along with the rest of their first band, Pilot Coat. They were a pop-rock, piano driven group, but as John matured, so did the depth of musicality and lyrical content. By early college John made his way into the circle of several respectable, knowledgeable musicians in the Athens music scene, soaking up every bit of wisdom and creative inspiration he could. With new eyes of what music meant to John, he began to collect acoustic songs he had been writing over the past three years in the summer of 2009. They didn’t necessarily fit in the genre of what Pilot Coat had previously produced, so, after pouring over and refining them for several months, Josh, John, Rebecca and a few other close friends began recording “On the Face of It”. Because he had previously recorded two albums on his own (one demo project and an EP for Pilot Coat), this experience and general lack of resources lead to John taking total creative control of the project. Taking his time on it to fully record, produce, edit, and release it, he finished what is presently his most proud accomplishment as an artist in April of 2010 – it was released in May, exploding in popularity amongst friends, the Athens music scene, and elsewhere through whatever connections presented themselves. Shortly after playing several solo shows, it was evident that, to capture the full aesthetic of the record in a live performance, a full band would be needed. Shortly thereafter, the Bastilles were formed. The Bastilles now accompany John for live performances and have already begun work on new material.
DNA Test Results for DNA Group 6
Thomas (Chart 1), John (Chart 2) and William (Chart 3) all have the same DNA. John and William were brothers.
This chart shows the English ancestry of FFA Chart #3, John French, which, thru DNA, has proven to be matched with his brother William French, FFA Chart #2, and to Thomas French of Assington , Suffolk, England, FFA Chart #1. William and John were brothers, but the match to Thomas French has not yet been determined. See DNA test results for Group 6.
French, John C. (ca. 1820&ndash1889)
John C. French, businessman, was born in New Jersey or Pennsylvania in the 1820s. He and his brother Samuel moved to San Antonio in the 1840s. French entered the employ of Lewis and Groesbeck, dealers in groceries and banking. The firm became Groesbeck and French in 1854 and later was run by French alone. In 1858 the French Building was completed in 1868 it became the Bexar County Courthouse and in 1879 housed the city government. San Antonio's first regular bank was organized by French and Erasmus André Florian it operated until the Civil War forced French to withdraw from active business, though he still retained large interests in San Antonio. He helped promote the Gulf, Western Texas and Pacific Railway Company (see SAN ANTONIO AND MEXICAN GULF RAILWAY). French married Sally Roberts. He died in Cuero on May 16, 1889, and was buried beside his daughter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Frederick Charles Chabot, With the Makers of San Antonio (Yanaguana Society Publications 4, San Antonio, 1937).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
John D. French
I am a professor of History at Duke University with secondary appointments in African and African-American as well as International Comparative Studies in Durham North Carolina. With a B.A. from Amherst College, I received my doctorate at Yale in 1985 under Brazilian historian Emília Viotti da Costa. Since 1979, I have been studying class, race, and politics in Brazil from UNC Press zil, Latin America, and beyond with 48 refereed articles and four books. My newest monograph is forthcoming in October 2020 under the title Lula and his Politics of Cunning: From Metalworker to President of Brazil. My earlier books include The Brazilian Workers ABC (1992/1995 in Brazil), Drowning in Laws: Labor Law and Brazilian Political Culture (2004 2002 in Brazil), and a coedited volume The Gendered Worlds of Latin American Women Workers (1997).
I have over the years served as Director of the Duke's Latin American Center and the Carolina-Duke Consortium, Treasurer of our national interdisciplinary organization LASA, and co-editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review for a five year term that ended in June 2017. Over the past seven years, I have served as co-director of the Duke Brazil Initiative, the Global Brazil Humanities Lab of the Franklin Humanities Institute (2014-17), and as faculty co-director of Bass Connections Project (2015-19) on "The Cost of Opportunity: Social Mobility and Higher Education in Rio's Baixada Fluminense"
My past grad advisees have completed dissertations on Bolivia, Brazil (2), Chile, Jamaica & Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Venezuela, and southeastern pacific marine environmental history and my cureent advisees are working on Brazil (2) and early modern Spain. My graduate teaching includes the "Modern Latin American History" colloquium, a two semester sequence on "Afro-Brazilian History and Culture," and "The Latin American Wars of Independence." Over the years, I have directed numerous undergraduate theses in a variety of disciplines, eight of which won prizes. My undergraduate offerings include surveys of Brazilian Modern Latin American hisgtory while my newest offering focuses on the political and military history of the Latin American Wars of Independence. In the spring of 2020, I co-taught a course on "Black Lives Matter Brazil/USA" with Mellon visiting professor Dr. Silvio Almeida from Brazil.
John was born circa 1635 in England. He was aged 5 months at time of migration in 1635. John was baptized in Cambridge, Middlesex co., MA in 1635. John married four times. On 21 June 1659 when John was 24, he first married Abigail COGGAN, in Barnstable, Plymouth co., MA. On 3 July 1662 when John was 27, he second married Hannah BURRIDGE, in Billerica, Middlesex co., MA. On 14 January 1667/8 when John was 32, he third married Mary ROGERS, in Billerica, Middlesex co., MA. On 16 January 1677/8 when John was 42, he fourth married Mary LITTLEFIELD, in Billerica, Middlesex co., MA.
William was probably from Essex and arrived in Boston with Harlakened in 1635, in the "Defence" after a 34-day journey from London. Rev. Hooker was a fellow passenger. He was a freeman at Cambridge 3 Mar 1636, a first settler of Billerica, where he was granted 150 acres in 1652. At Billerica he was a Selectman from 1660-69. He was a member of the committee to examine children and servants in reading, religion and catechism in 1661. He was the first representative of Billerica to the General Court at Boston in 1663. He was lieutenant and captain in the militia.
It was thought William was the son of Thomas French of Halstead, Co of Essex, England bap. there in 1603, but this was disproved by Elizabeth French in her article for the NEHGR, "Genealogical Research in England", vo. 65 (July, 1911). William was the author of the Indian tract "Strength Out of Weakness", London 1652, reprinted in 3 Mass Hist Coll, IV 103. In this letter, written to a "godly friend in England", he details the testimony of an Indian convert to Christianity. He had a brothers, John and Richard, both also of Cambridge and Billerica.
In his will dated 5 Jun 1679 he left bequests to his grandchildren, having provided for his children during his lifetime: "to the eldest son of John ffrench to Wm the son of Jacob ffrench to Elizabeth ye Daughter Richard Ellis to Jonathan ye Son of Jonathan Hides, to ye Eldest Daughter of Jonathan Peake, to Marah ye Daughter of Jno Brackett, which are all my grand children". His second wife, Mary, and son, Jacob were executors. Following his death on 20 Nov 1681 an inventory of his estate was taken by Jonathan Danforth, Sr. and Patrick Hill which amounted to ?231.12.10. His will records him as "aged abt. seaventy & six years" and the inventory as "being in his 78 year of his age" at the time of his death.
B to check: "NEHGR", Vol. XLIV, 1890, p. 367-372, "Lieutenant William French and his Descendants", John M. French
Marriage 1 Elizabeth Symmes b: ABT 1605 in Cambridge, Middlesex Co Birth: Death: Oct. 1, 1712 Billerica Middlesex County Massachusetts, USA
The Genealogical Register,page 56, attached to the History of Billerica, states that CPl. John French was wounded in a skirmish, and was unable to steadily work he was often in the employ of the town. He married (1). Abigail Coggan, 1659, (2).Hannah Burrage, 1663, (3). Mary Rogers, 1667, and Mary Littlefield, 1677/8. He is listed in the vital records of Billerica as having died in Billerica. Being poor, his grave may have never had a gravestone on it.
- Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts. Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co. Volume 1. Page 529
- Citation Information Detail Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots Volume: 2 Serial: 11912 Volume: 4
- Source Citation for Web: Rhode Island, Historical Cemetery Commission Index, 1647-2008
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French Surname Meaning, History & Origin
Early examples of these names were Ebrordis Fraunceys in Bristol around 1240 and Simon le Frensch in Wiltshire in 1273. The De Freyne and French names crossed the sea to Ireland. And Ireland also produced the curious ffrench or Ffrench surname spelling.
French Resources on
England . Neither the French nor Francis name travelled much north. Most by those names were in SE England, with outposts west in Wiltshire and Devon.
SE England. Essex was an early location. Examples were Geoffrey le Franceis in 1205 and Richard Frensh in 1425 in connection with the farms at Little Bardfield and Felsted in the northwest part of the county.
Early French in Essex were to be found there and at Arkesden, Halstead, and Birdbrook nearby. William French was a merchant of Lowestoft in Suffolk in the late 1400’s. Various Frenches from Halstead and Coggleshall in Essex and from across the border in Suffolk left for America and the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1600’s.
Further north, Frenches in Oxfordshire played a role at the time of the English Civil War.
A French family had been landowners at South Newington since the early 1600’s. Francis French, a constable there in the 1630’s, refused to pay the King’s new tax levy. This resulted in the Sheriff of Oxford attempting to raise the money by seizing his cattle. The case continued to be fought in the courts. It was said to have been one of the small sparks that contributed to the start of the Civil War in 1642.
John French of Broughton meanwhile was supplying malt to the Royalist army at Oxford in 1644 while his son John was then the physician to the Parliamentary army of Sir Thomas Fairfax. This John lived at a time when the new science of chemistry was developing from alchemy and he was an enthusiast in his writings for its application to medicine.
There were also French numbers further south in London, Surrey, Kent, and Sussex.
The Kent numbers included the Anglo-Irish French family from Roscommon who made their home at Ripple Vale near Deal from the mid-1700’s. Their line went to:
- Commander John French of the Royal Navy who fought in the
Portuguese Civil War of the 1830’s
- and Sir John French, a senior British army officer at the onset of the First World War who, under pressure, had to resign his position as Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in late 1915.
These Frenches always regarded themselves as Irish even though their branch of the family had lived in England since the 18th century.
SW England. French was an early presence in Devon. Robert French, a lawyer by profession, was the MP for Totnes in the late 1300’s. He had acquired through marriage the Sharpham manor near Totnes. The French name also appeared in the Ashburton and Widecombe villages on the edge of Dartmoor.
Ireland . The French family in Ireland descended from Sir Humphrey de Freyne who arrived from England around the year 1300 and settled at Ballymacoonoge in Wexford. His descendants were to be an important family in Wexford for the next 150 years, before branching out to Galway and later to Roscommon.
Galway. Walter French who came from Wexford to Galway in the 1430’s was the founder of the French family there, one of the
fourteen Tribes of Galway. John French, known as John of the Salt, accrued great wealth as a merchant there in the mid-1500’s. Their power declined, as with other Tribe families, after the attack on the town by Cromwell’s men in 1652.
The Frenches, who then styled themselves ffrenches, survived the Cromwellian confiscations and held onto their Castle ffrench estate near Ballinsaloe. Charles ffrench was made a baronet in 1779 and ffrenches later prospered in banking and business enterprises in Galway. Castle ffrench was sold by the family in 1851 but then purchased back in 1919.
Roscommon. A branch of the family, starting with Patrick French and his son Dominick, moved to Roscommon in 1650’s and were large landowners there. They also prospered in the Dublin wine trade. Their base was the Frenchpark estate near Boyle which stayed with the family until 1952.
Spain. Patricio French – the son of Oliver French, a Mayor of Galway – was exiled for political reasons and settled in Andalusia in the early 1700’s. He married well and prospered there.
His son Patricio was a merchant who made his home in Argentina later in the 1700’s while his son Domingo became an Argentine revolutionary who took a leading part in the May Revolution and the Argentine War of Independence of the early 1800’s.
America. Many French came from England (mainly into New England), some from Ireland and Scotland, but none from France.
New England. There were four notable early French arrivals into the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Curiously, all four were tailors by trade. Three came from the area of north Essex/south Suffolk:
- the first arrival was Thomas French from Suffolk who came with his sister Alice in 1632, settling in Ipswich three years later. He died there in 1680.
- while William French came from Essex on the Defence in 1635, settling in Billerica. He and his wife Elizabeth had thirteen children (although only six were still living at the time of his death), and his descendants are numerous. William’s brother John came in 1636 and made his home in Cambridge.
Mary Beyer’s 1912 book A Genealogy of the French and Allied Families covered the history of the William French family.
Edward French from Warwickshire came around 1635 and made his home in Salisbury. A branch of his family moved to New Hampshire in the 1750’s and from them came:
- Benjamin Brown French, born in 1800, who gravitated to Washington DC and government service there (and kept a diary of his time there).
- and Henry Flagg French, born in 1813, who was a prominent figure in agricultural societies in Massachusetts. His son Daniel Chester French was a notable American sculptor, best known for his statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
Also found in New Hampshire were:
- Abraham French who an early settler in the 1790’s in the town of Pittsfield. His grandson Charles French fought on the Unionist side in Louisiana during the Civil War.
- and Augustus French, born in 1808, who was a fourth-generation descendant of Nathaniel French who had come to Massachusetts in 1687. Augustus French was the Governor of Illinois from 1846 to 1852.
Pennsylvania. Thomas French had been a Quaker in England, was persecuted and imprisoned, and in 1680 left his home in Northamptonshire for Burlington, New Jersey. His line was covered in Howard French’s 1909 book Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French.
One of his descendants, Samuel Gibbs French, became a planter in Mississippi in the 1850’s and was a general in the Confederate army during the Civil War.
Another line led to Ohio and a third line to Tennessee and Missouri. Peter French, born in Missouri in 1849, moved with his family a year later to California. He would become a big rancher, the owner of the P Ranch, in Oregon.
Another French arriving in Pennsylvania was from Scotland, Alexander French coming sometime in the 1750’s. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and a member of George Washington’s bodyguard. Although some Frenches stayed in Washington county in Pennsylvania, he moved with his family to new lands in Trumbull county, Ohio in 1800. His son William later moved onto Allen county in Ohio.
Virginia. There were also early Frenches in Virginia. John French came in the 1730’s to the Northern Neck of Virginia. He became through government grants a large landowner in what was to be Hampshire county, West Virginia.
“According to tradition, John was said to have named Hampshire county for the county Hampshire in England where his French estate was located and neighboring Upshur county after the family name of Martha Upshur, his wife.”
John died in 1750. His son Matthew French, in dispute with his mother and her new husband, sold out his family interest and in 1775 crossed the Alleghenies with his own family to settle at Wolf Creek in what was then Giles county. Matthew died there in 1814.
Canada. French’s Cove in Newfoundland was named after the Edward French family. This family is believed to have originated in Devon. They operated a trading company to the Caribbean out of Bay Roberts near Harbour Grace throughout the 18th century. After Edward died in 1783, his son Edward carried on the company until
Two French brothers from Cornwall, James and Thomas, came to Prince Edward Island in 1829, James having eloped with his bride Jemima whom he had married in Liverpool. James left on a sea voyage in 1850 and was never heard from again. His wife died in Detroit.
Australia. William French, a farm laborer, and his wife Elizabeth from Somerset came to NSW on the Maitland in 1856. The family settled at Tenterfield. The eldest son John, born during the crossing, became a hairdresser. A younger son William lost his right arm in an industrial accident, aged eighteen, at Tenterfield in 1893.
Origination of the ffrench or Ffrench Surname. The two small f’s of the ffrench represented the appearance of the capital “F” in Old English script. This had two vertical bars with one horizontal cross over both of them, looking like two lower-case f’s.
The two small f’s was the way in which the 16th and 17th century
calligraphy appeared. When the typewriter was invented, an Irish family chose to keep the two lower-case f’s. And there were also families in the US which kept this tradition.
Early French in Essex. The manor of Frenches was so called from a family of note that flourished in the reigns of the first two Edwards, Kings of England. The manor house was situated on the great common at Felsted and was sometimes called Frenches at the Fairy.
John French, chaplain, and John French, clerk, had been licensed in 1369 and in 1373 to grant lands in the parish to the Priory of Lees.
- William French who was born at Arkesden around the year
- Thomas French held the manor of Pitley in Great Bardfield in the 1530’s.
- Thomas French of Halstead who lived at Stansted Hall around the year 1620.
- and Thomas French of Birdbrook whose son Thomas died in 1629 held the manor of Harsted Hall.
French Among the Fourteen Tribes of Galway. Between 1450 and 1650 the town of Galway was run by fourteen merchant families, known as the Tribes of Galway. Among them were the Frenches.
Walter French was the founder of the line of the French Galway family. He came from Wexford and settled in Galway around the year 1440 when his name appeared on a writ of Henry VI concerning “divers disputes.”
The best-known of these Frenches was John French, born in 1489, who was Mayor of Galway from 1538 to 1539. He was known as Seán an tSalainn (John of the Salt) because of the immense wealth he accrued as a merchant. A large stone building, known as John French’s Chamber, was erected on arches just outside the town walls.
Four of his sons later became Mayors of Galway – Dominick (1568–69), Peter (1576–77), Robuck (1582–83), and Marcus (1604–1605). After Peter French died, the sum of £5,000 was spent on a marble tomb for him at St. Nicholas church.
However, when Cromwell’s men arrived in 1652, this tomb was destroyed. The power of the Tribes of Galway was also destroyed
at this time.
The French Family at Frenchpark in Roscommon. Patrick French who died in 1667 had six sons. It was from his second son, Dominick, that the main line of the family was descended.
Dominick was succeeded by his eldest son, John, who in turn was succeeded by his eldest son, John (called Tiarna Mor or the Great Landowner). His successor was Arthur, his eldest son, who was elected Knight of the Shire for Roscommon in 1721.
His successor was John (Shane Dhu), the MP for Roscommon from 1743 until his death in 1775. In that year he and his brother Robert were drowned while crossing by boat to England (he had been on his way to London to be called to the House of Peers as Lord Dungal). Shane Dhu was succeeded by another of his brothers Arthur who also became an MP.
Arthur’s successor at Frenchpark was his son, named Arthur again. This Arthur was elected the MP for Roscommon in 1783.
Although popular in Roscommon, he incurred the wrath of the Chief Secretary of Ireland Robert Peel who called him “an abominable fellow” for his incessant demands for offices and favors. He died in 1820. One report at the time stated that he had died “from excessive fox hunting.”
Arthur was in turn succeeded by his son also called Arthur, the third Arthur in a row. He was ennobled as Baron De Freyne in 1839.
Charles French’s Civil War. Charles French was a farmer and bootmaker in Pittsfield, New Hampshire when he enlisted in the Fifteenth New Hampshire Volunteers in October 1862. He served in Louisiana.
In May 1863 he was detailed to the ambulance corps as a driver. He became the driver for General Neal Dow, the celebrated apostle of temperance, who had been wounded. The General commenced speculating in cotton and French drove him all over that section of the country so that he might secure a large quantity of that staple.
One day they came very near running into a large party of the rebels but escaped, as they supposed, unnoticed. After leaving General Dow at his quarters, a house far to the rear of the lines,
French drove to the place where the ambulances were encamped. That night the rebels captured General Dow and took him to Richmond where from neglect his wound grew so bad that his leg had to be amputated.
During his service French lost the Testament that had been presented him by the good people of Pittsfield. This book was picked up by a member of a New York regiment who, a quarter of a century later, wrote to the address found on the fly-leaf. In this way a correspondence was opened that led to the book being restored to the former owner. Of course Charles French prized the book very highly, owing to its history.
Pittsfield sent 147 men into the army during the war. Of these, fifty-nine either died or were discharged as permanently disabled, making over 40 per cent of the whole number.
John P. French’s Life in Missouri. John P. French was born at Greeneville, Tennessee in 1836. He married there in 1854 and the next year they moved to Missouri settling in Franklin county.
In 1866 he left his home there and started on a prospecting tour of Texas. For nearly two years not a word was heard from him, and his wife concluded that he must have been killed by Indians, that had at that time been attacking whites traveling throughout the state. Having given up hope of seeing her husband alive again, she moved to Carroll County where she had relatives.
In 1868 he returned to his old home in Franklin county and learned that his wife and children were in Carroll county. He at once went to be with his family there. For more than forty years he made his residence at the Sugartree and Cherry Valley townships and then at Norborne in Carroll county. In later life he was considered to be one of Norborne’s best citizens.
However, in February 1911 John French was stricken with partial paralysis, his tongue and vocal cords being so badly affected that he could not talk enough to be understood. This seemed to worry him greatly and he grew morbid taking but little interest in things around him.
His constant brooding probably unbalanced his mind and in September 1912 he committed suicide by hanging himself in the barn at his home.
William French Losing His Right Arm. The following article appeared in The Australian Town and Country Journal in April 1893:
William French met with a painful accident on Saturday while feeding a barkmill at Whereat’s tannery, having had his right hand mangled in the cogs of the machine. A lad named Westbury saw the accident and pulled off the bolt, saving French’s life.
The unfortunate lad was taken to the hospital, where Dr. Morice deemed it prudent to amputate the arm below the elbow. The youth is doing as well as can be expected.”
However, William was not defeated by this accident, as shown by this report in the Maitland Mercury in December of that year:
“A few months ago a young man named William French, a resident of Tenterfield, met with an accident which deprived him of his right hand. However, through the exertions o£ some friends, sufficient money was raised to enable him to start a small business. Since then French has mustered the mysteries of wood-carving, fret work, etc, and some specimens of his talent are said to be splendidly executed. He has also with his left hand alone constructed a richly carved chiffonier. The steady pluck and industry which he has shown all round in overcoming trouble and pain is worthy of all commendation.”
William, a carpenter, later moved from Tenterfield, NSW to Thornville, Queensland where he married in 1903.
- John French , known as John of the Salt, accrued great wealth as a merchant in Galway in the mid-16th century.
- Domingo French took a leading part in the May Revolution and the Argentine War of Independence in the early 1800’s.
- Sir John French was a senior army officer of the First World War who. under pressure, had to resign his position as Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in late 1915.
- Daniel Chester French was an American sculptor of the early 20th century, best known for his statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
- Dawn French is a popular comedian, writer and actress on British TV, best known for her work in the BBC comedy show French and Saunders .
French Numbers Today
- 27,000 in the UK (most numerous in London)
- 29,000 in America (most numerous in California)
- 15,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)
French and Like Surnames
These were names originally given to outsiders in the British Isles that became surnames. Thus Walter the Scot became Walter Scott. Outsiders could also have been Welsh, Irish, French or Flemish. These are some of the “outsider” surnames which are covered here.
A distinguished cavalry officer during the Second Boer War, Sir John French became commander of the BEF in August 1914. Initially overly optimistic, after the battle of Mons, he despaired over heavy losses and enforced retreat.
Out of Depth
French failed to cooperate effectively with the French generals or with his own subordinates. Heavy pressure from the war secretary, Kitchener, made him commit British troops to the crucial first Battle of the Marne in September, when he would rather have withdrawn for recuperation. During the trench warfare of spring 1915, French publicly blamed failure at Neuve Chapelle on a shortage of shells, precipitating a political crisis in Britain. He could not, however, avoid responsibility at Loos in September, when his failure to commit reserves quickly after a successful initial attack led to disaster. Replaced by Haig in December, French was relegated to the home front, overseeing the suppression of the Irish nationalist Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916.
(Leonard) John French (1 March 1907–21 July 1966) was an English fashion and portrait photographer.
Born in Edmonton, London, French originally trained and worked as a commercial artist, becoming a photographic director in an advertising studio just before World War II, during which he served as an officer in the Grenadier Guards.
In 1948 he set up his own photographic studio.
Working originally with the Daily Express he pioneered a new form of fashion photography suited to reproduction in newsprint, involving where possible reflected natural light and low contrast. He also undertook portrait photography.
French himself devoted much attention to the set and posing of his models, but left the actual triggering of the shutter to assistants, amongst whom were Terence Donovan and David Bailey.