Frederick Perkins (1826-1902) was born in Southampton in 1826, the son of Richard Hopkins Perkins of Cumberland Place and the older brother of Walter Perkins. Frederick became a successful brewer and a wine and spirit merchant in both Southampton and London. A member of the Liberal Party, he was elected town councillor for All Saints ward in the 1850s. He was mayor on five occasions between 1859/60 and 1869/70 and represented the town in parliament from 1874 to 1880. He was a member of the Harbour Board and a Justice of the Peace. In 1863 he donated to the town - in memory of his mother - the avenue of lime trees running the length of East Park and Palmerston Park. In 1872 he was elected Sheriff of London and Middlesex and knighted the following year. In 1877 he presented the town with a statue of Prince Albert, by William Theed, which was erected near God’s House Tower.

He died on 8 November 1902 at his residence, 2 Grosvenor Square, London.

The following description of his wine vaults is taken from George Measom's The official illustrated guide to the London and South-Western Railway, [1864], pages 395-403:

The wine vaults of Mr Frederick Perkins, Above Bar, Southampton

Lovers of the generous vintage – of the wine that cheers the soul, revives the aged, inspires the young, makes weariness forget his toil, and fear her danger – will be repaid by a visit to the large vaults of Mr Frederick Perkins, the thrice Mayor of Southampton.
We assume that strangers and townsmen are alike privileged (by the kindness of the proprietor) to visit the premises. Upon a recent occasion we had that honour. Passing through the counting-house we descended to the long Port Wine vault, more than 100 feet in length. The first feeling was surprise at the extent of the vault and the largeness of the stock; but this feeling was superseded by wonder at the money value and choice of wine. All the best vintages – 1820-34-40-47-51-58 (the last will be the best) – were to be seen here; for this is one of the secrets of the success of Mr Perkins – he not only is careful to have only wholesome wines, but the graduated scale of charges (according to the vintages) enables him to cater for all classes of consumers. At the end of the Port wine department we turned to the right and ascended to the large vault for Sherries, Clarets, and Madeira, all of the finest vintages.

Sir Frederick Perkins

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Photograph from the Southern Reformer, 18 September 1880

Newspaper clippings:

Sir Frederick Perkins - (Southern Reformer, 18/09/1880)
Sir Frederick Perkins. His death and funeral - (Southampton Times, 15/11/1902)
Death and funeral of Sir Frederick Perkins - (Hampshire Advertiser, nd - 11/1902?)

Further reading:

Southern Reformer, No. 17, September 18 1880.


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