Frederick Timpson I'Ons

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Frederick Timpson I'Ons (1802-1887)[1] was a painter and a participant in amateur theatre.


Born in Islington, Middlesex, England on 15 November 1802 and became a art teacher, who owned an art school in Marylebone in London, teaching drawing, painting, handwriting and commercial subjects. He married Ann Frazer in 1827 and they came to South Africa to settle in the Albany district in 1834.

Here he was a volunteer in the military during the sixth Frontier War, while developing his career as artist. He became a South African painter of note, whose work is seen as providing important records of life on the frontier, particularly his portraits of the Khoikhoi and Africans.

He died in Grahamstown.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

He appears to have been an amateur theatre enthusiast, for he was presumably the same I'Ons who is mentioned by Laidler (citing a programme for a production of The Rivals) as apparently having helped to "set up" a little theatre as the first performance space for the Grahamstown Amateur Company in 1837, performing under the motto Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense. He possibly helped with sets and may even have participated in the performances for the company.


F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [2]: pp. 388-390

P.W. Laidler. 1926. The Annals of the Cape Stage. Edinburgh: William Bryce: p.

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