Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 15, 2019
Webpage updated: September 15, 2019




Frederic (sic) Evans Anthony was born in December 1832 at Hertford, in Hertfordshire.  He was the son of the Reverend Isaac Anthony, an eminent Congregationalist minister.

After receiving his education at Lewisham School, in 1851 he entered the Western College in Plymouth to train as a Congregationalist minister.  He then went to London University, where he graduated in 1854.  He gained his Master of Arts in Philosophy in 1856 and was ordained the same year.  In 1857 the Reverend Anthony accepted an invitation to join the Western College as a classical and mathematical tutor.

In August 1858 the Reverend Frederic (sic) Evans Anthony married Miss Elizabeth Cobley Marrack, the daughter of Mr Philip Marrack, banker, of Penzance, Cornwall.

From then right up until his death he was passionate about education.  When the Plymouth School Board was formed in 1871 he stood as an Unsectarian candidate and was elected to the Board.   He was one of the founders of Plymouth High School for Girls in 1874 and helped to found Plymouth College in 1877.  It was largely his doing that the Truant School was opened in 1882 and that in 1887 Plymouth got a Higher Grade School in Mount Street.   It was also in that year that he was first elected chairman of the School Board, in which post he continued until 1895.   In 1891 he was chosen as an alderman of the Borough but as he was not really a politician he stood down in 1896.  He was re-elected to the chair of the Plymouth School Board in 1898 and was also appointed a justice of the peace.

The Western College was transferred to Bristol in 1901 and but the Reverend Anthony chose to remain in Plymouth and carry on his work in local education.  He was elected professor emeritus in gratitude for his services to the College.

As an active member of the Liberal party since 1868, he had long wanted the administration schools to be with one authority rather than split between the School Boards and the religious bodies.  He saw his dream come true with the passing of the Education Act 1902, when control was vested in the local education authorities.

During his life he had been one of the honorary secretaries of the Plymouth Town Mission and for 40 years had been a deacon and trustee of the Sherwell Congregational Chapel.

The Reverend Professor Frederick Evans Anthony died on Thursday April 15th 1908 at his home, Wingfield Villas, Mannamead, Plymouth.  Sadly, it was a bad year for the family.  His son, Mr Ernest Frank Anthony (1869-1941), lost his wife in the August, and his widow, Mrs Elizabeth Cobley Anthony, died on November 9th.