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A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

Fra Freddy, Rest In Peace

Yesterday, I was very saddened to hear of Fra Freddy’s death. Fra Freddy was a legendary character whom I was introduced to in my first year at St Andrews. He was invited to speak to the Catholic students most years on some subject or another — an introduction to prayer or a lenten meditation. I was quite pleased when he was so taken with a poster I designed to advertise one of his talks that on his way back to Edinburgh he nipped out of the car at the last minute and grabbed a large copy. Fra Freddy was an old-fashioned stick-in-the-mud with a good sense of humour, but he also had the capability to surprise with a kind word when you least expected it.

Fra Fredrik John Patrick Crichton-Stuart was born September 6, 1940 to Lord Rhidian Crichton-Stuart (son of the 4th Marquess of Bute) and his wife Selina van Wijk (daughter of the Ambassador of the Queen of the Netherlands to the French Republic). He was raised in Scotland and North Africa (where his father was British Delegate to the International Legislative Assembly of Tangier) and was educated first at Carlekemp in North Berwick and then at Ampleforth. He joined the Order of Malta in 1962, later being named the Delegate for Scotland & the Northern Marches. In 1993 he was appointed Chancellor of the resurrected Grand Priory of England. Fra Freddy became Grand Prior himself when his cousin, Fra Andrew Bertie, died in 2008 and was succeeded by the then-Grand Prior of England, Fra Matthew Festing.

Fra Freddy was a devoted follower and promoter of the traditional form of the Roman rite. He joined Una Voce Scotland in 1996 and became secretary in 2000. Two years later he was named councillor and senior vice-president of FIUV, the International Federation ‘Una Voce’, and briefly served as its president in 2005.

Over the past year or so Fra Freddy had been varying ill but seemed to recover. I am told he was found dead yesterday morning, still clasping his breviary. He was well-known in Edinburgh and beyond, and he will be missed by his many friends as well as those who worked and volunteered with him or interacted with him in his charitable activities.

Grand Prior of England
of the
Sovereign Military & Hospitaller Order of St John
of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

6 September 1940 – 14 June 2011

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.

This post was published on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 8:00 pm. It has been categorised under Church Edinburgh Nobility Order of Malta Scotland and been tagged under , , , .
Greg KM
15 Jun 2011 11:03 pm

Thank you! Please remember him in your prayers.

For His Kingdom,

Greg KM

Benedict Ambrose
16 Jun 2011 12:25 am

Jesu, mercy; Mary, pray.

Father M.
16 Jun 2011 11:17 am

I had the pleasure of working with him on a profession of a Knight a couple of years ago. He had deep faith and a profound love of the Church’s liturgy.

M Gousset van Heel
18 Jun 2011 3:15 pm

Fra Fredrik’s mother’s family name was “Gerth van Wijk”, not simply “van Wijk”. Her father, after many years as consul general and then Minister in Tangiers was named Dutch Minister to the Free French, rather than to France, in 1943. He died less than a year later, but was at least able to see a liberated Paris before his demise.

Rhidian Crichton-Stuart
29 Sep 2012 1:42 am

To M Gousset van Heel, my many thanks for your correction relating to my Grandmothers name. As it stood it was akin to calling me Rhidian -Stuart! Your knowledge of my Great Grandfather is very interesting and surprising in its detail. Are you a scholar of the family in some way? and/or a relative? I would be gratefull if you would contact me on the following email address, ending, which I have tried to hide from any ‘phishing’. rhidian DOT cs AT ya hoo DOT see ending above. I hope to hear from you soon.

Rhidian Crichton-Stuart
29 Sep 2012 1:44 am

That should be my Grandmothers maiden name and one l in grateful!

Ken Borthwick
20 Mar 2017 3:58 pm

I was with Freddy in 1/52 Lowland, KOSB Company in Nunfield House Dumfries as Lieutenant when Freddy was Company Commander. Rest in peace Freddy and condolences to family. I have only just seen this.

Ken Borthwick
20 March 2017

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