Frank Hird

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Frank Hird, by Henry Scott Tuke, commissioned by Lord Ronald Gower (1894)
Frank Hird (Robert Francis Hird, 1873–1937)[1] was a journalist and author of several books, including a biography of the explorer H M Stanley.[2] He was the companion and lover, and later adopted son, of the sculptor and writer Lord Ronald Gower.

Frank Hird was born in Hull[3] and became secretary to the Parliamentary Counsel Lord Thring. He was suffering fron rheumatic fever when Lord Ronald first met him in 1893. In 1898, by then Rome correspondent for the Morning Post, he accepted Lord Ronald's invitation to live with him as his adopted son,[4] and they stayed together until Lord Ronald's death in 1916.[2]

Published works

Frank Hird wrote a number of books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the following.[5]

  • The Cry of the Children: An Exposure of Certain British Industries in Which Children are Iniquitously Employed (1898)
  • Rosa Bonheur (1904)
"The most popular artist of nineteenth-century France, Rosa Bonheur was also one of the first renowned painters of animals and the first woman awarded the Grand Cross by the French Legion of Honor. ... Bonheur lived in two consecutive committed relationships with women."[6]
  • Victoria the Woman (1908)
  • Lancashire Stories: Containing All That Appeals To The Heart And The Imagination In The Lancashire Of To-Day And Of Many Yesterdays (c.1912)
  • The Bannantyne Sapphires (1928; also serialised in The Examiner, Launceston, Tasmania, 1930)
  • H. M. Stanley. The authorized life. With plates, including portraits by Frank Hird and Henry Morton Stanley (1935)

Frank Hird shares Lord Ronald's grave in St Paul's Churchyard, Rusthall.[7]


  1. The FictionMags Index
  2. 2.0 2.1 Item under "Tuke and his boys" on the Koymasky website
  3. Allen J Hubin Crime Fiction IV: A Comprehensive Bibliography 1749-2000
  4. Raleigh Trevelyan, Princes under the Volcano: Two Hundred Years of a British Dynasty in Sicily New York : Faber and Faber, 2012
  5. Some of these are listed in Dearly Beloved Friends: Henry James's Letters to Younger Men edited by Susan E Gunter and Steven H Jobe, footnote on page 18
  6. Virtual Library on the Ringling Museum
  7. "Frank Hird", Find A Grave