S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Beswick, Mr Frederick (meteorology)

Born: 16 February 1841, London, England.
Died: 26 November 1929, South Africa.

Frederick Beswick, son of Joseph Arthur Beswick and his wife Maria Sayer, qualified as Master of Arts (MA). He served as headmaster of Queen's College, Queenstown (which became Queenstown High School in 1880) from 1867 to his retirement in 1899. He was married to Elizabeth Menzies, with whom he had four sons and four daughters.

Beswick was a regular meteorological observer in Queenstown for the Meteorological Commission of the Cape of Good Hope from 1880 to at least 1908. From 1897 onwards his station was classified as a second order meteorological station.

In 1880 he wrote a 30 page booklet in two parts, I. Outlines of the chief events in the history of South Africa, arranged in chronological order. II. Elementary geography of South Africa... (Queenstown, 1880). This work must have been used in schools with much success, as expanded editions were published in later years, up to a 12th edition in 1899.

In 1881 Beswick was the honorary secretary of the committee overseeing the Queenstown Public Gardens, and wrote the annual report on the gardens for that year. He is also credited with having written an unsigned article on "The climate of South Africa" in the Cape Quarterly Review (July 1883, Vol. 2, No. 7, pp. 482-504). It consists of a general description of the climate of the country, with specific reference to the climate at Queenstown.

List of sources:
Cape of Good Hope. Meteorological Commission. Report, 1880-1908.

Cape of Good Hope. Report on the Queenstown Public Gardens, 1881.

Cape Quarterly Review, 1883, Vol. 2.

Family Tree. http://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/Beswick-Family-Tree-158 as on 2015-10-14.

Mendelssohn, S. South African bibliography. London, 1910.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Frederick Beswick / F. Beswick.

Queen’s College. http://www.queenscollege.co.za/senior/content/beswick-era as on 2015-10-14.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979 (Vol. 1-4); Cape Town: South African Library, 1991 (Vol. 5).

Venter, R.J. Bibliography of regional meteorological literature. Vol. 1. Southern Africa 1486-1948. Pretoria: Weather Bureau, 1949.

Compiled by: C. Plug