Frederic Enock (1845-1916)


Full name and title: Professor Frederic Enock.
Known as: Fred.

Date of birth: Thursday, 17th April, 1845.[1]
Birthplace: Manchester, Lancashire, England.[1]
Date of death: Friday, 26th May, 1916 (aged 71 years).[2]
Place of death: Hastings, East Sussex, England.[2]

Will: Effects: £275. 18s. 6d.[2] (worth £17k in 2017).[24]. Executor: Henry Ernest Dell (nephew).[2]

'I give and bequeath unto my wife Sarah Jane Enock ("Jennie" Enock) for her use & benefit all my estate and effects both real and personal whatsover and wheresover and of what nature and quality soever: cameras, microscopes, optical lanterns, negatives & slides either to keep or sell or dispose of in any way the said Jennie Enock may desire'.[2]

'Think of me Jennie at my best & forgive all angry words. God bless you for all your loving service to me & may we meet again in that realm where there is no sorrow & no bitter tears. May you be rewarded by God Almighty for the noble way in which you have all through our married life worked for me'.[2]




Robert Enock (1811-1855)
Robert Enock
Elizabeth Enock (1810-1867)
Elizabeth Enock
(née Doeg)


Charles Robert Enock (1837-1900)
Charles Robert Enock
Arthur Henry Enock (1839-1917)
Arthur Henry Enock

Amy Jane Dell (née Barter, Enock) (1841-1885)
Amy Jane Dell
(née Barter, Enock)
Robinson Enock(1843-1909)
Robinson Enock

Emma Enock(1847-1868)
Emma Enock

Edwin Enock(1849-1924)
Edwin Enock

Sophia Elizabeth Derrington (née Enock) (1853-1933)
Sophia Elizabeth Derrington
(née Enock)


Sarah "Jennie" Jane Burton

Date of marriage: Thursday, 21st March, 1872.[7]
Place of marriage: Hornsey Road Methodist Chapel (now a police station) in Islington, London.


1845-1846 - 59, Stock Street, Cheetham, Manchester, England.[1]
Original houses demolished in the 1950s. House stood where the Jay Trim factory is now located.

Terraced housing along Stocks Street - 1950s.

1847 - 17, Bath Row, Lee Bank, Birmingham, England.

Number 17 was located near to the Birmingham Canal.

1850-1853 - Stratford Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, England.[6]

According to the 1851 census, the Enocks were seven entries away from the Angel Inn Hotel. By tying this information in with the 1889 OS town plan of Birmingham, the Enocks would have lived next-door to Ladypool School. The house was demolished to make way for St. Agatha's Church around 1898.

1853 - Balsall Heath Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, England.[7]

In the 1861 census, the enumerator lists all the dwellings on the northerly side of Balsall Heath Road between Mount Pleasant and Longbridge Road. The Enock entry is 28 entries from Longmore Road and 19 from Mount Pleasant. Using this information against the 1889 OS map of Warwickshire, the Enock's appear to be somewhere in the middle, possibly Denmark Place.

The area is now barely recognisable. Denmark Place was demolished sometime between 1938-1952 and was replaced by council flats in the 1970s.

1855 - 399, Bristol Road "Sussex Place", Edgbaston, Birmingham, England.

Demolished between 1956-1966.

1868-1870 - 75 Ryland Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, England.

The location of number 75 is now occupied by James Brindley Academy/St. Thomas Centre Nursery.

1871-1872 - 48, Tollington Road, Islington, London, England (with uncle Edmund Wheeler).[8]

1872 - 3, Andover Road, Islington, London, England (road demolished in the 1970s).[5]

1874 - 14, Medina Road, Holloway, London, England.

1876-1882 - 30, Russell Road, Islington, London, England (now Berriman Road).[8]

1882-1885 - 'Ferndale' Bath Road, Woking, Surrey, England.

Bath Road is now Middle Walk Wolsey Place.

1885 - 21, Prospero Road, Holloway, London, England.

1886-1894 - 11, Parolles Road, Upper Holloway, London, England.[9]

1895-1897 - 21, Manor Gardens, Islington, London, England.[10]

1897-1915 - 13, Tufnell Park Road, Holloway, London, England.[11]

1916 - 54, St. Mary's Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex, England.[2]


Tuesday 14th August 1855 - Wednesday 1st February 1860 Ackworth School, Pontefract Road, Ackworth, Pontefract, England.[12]

View Larger Map

Admit number: 7639.
Agent: William Southall.
Relatives in attendance: Robinson Enock (brother), Emma Enock (sister), Edwin Enock (brother).[12]

'Unfortunately, the habit of chasing butterflies "out of bounds" did not commend itself to the authorities at Ackworth, and the young entomologist was frequently in trouble.' - Ackworth memorial notice.[12]

‘During this period his natural talent for drawing became apparent, as did fascination for natural history and an impish sense of humour.’' - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

Admission: Graduated scale of payment. Minimum charge £12 per annum [eqv. £517 in 2005], but parents who could manage to pay more were asked to contribute £15 [eqv. £647 in 2005] or £21 [eqv. £906 in 2005], according to their means.[13]

Life at Ackworth.

Between the ages of ten and fifteen, Fred was away from family life for eleven-months of the year, only returning home during the one-month annual summer holiday.[13]

Fred, Robinson, Emma and Edwin, would have only seen one another at meeting for worship or other public occasions. To spend time together, the siblings would have congregated on a path running midway between the two wings known as "The Flags".[13]

Scholars studied during the day, and undertook some manual work out-of-hours.[13]

The curriculum between 1855-1860 consisted of:[13]

Manual work included:[13]

Staff at Ackworth School during Frederick's schooling:[14]

Superintendent: Thomas Pumphrey.
Masters: John Newby (Master of Grammar and Latin), William Pollard, Henry Sparkes (Master of Drawing), John William Watson, William Tallack, Francis William Wood, George Frederick Linney, Thomas Frederick Ball, Wilson Hartley, Thomas Robson.
Master on Duty (outdoor inspection of boys during play-hours): Henry Wilson, Thomas Puplett.
Visiting Reading Master: Thomas King Greenbank (three-weeks in 1856, one-week 1859).
Visiting Drawing Master: John C. Swallow, John White, Charles Ryan.
Housekeeper: Sarah Maddocks.
Boys' Matron: Sophia Gregory.
Nurse: Mary Williamson.
Principal Tailor: George Frederick Linney.
Principal Shoemaker: Isaac Levitt.
Baker: John Walker.
Husbandman (Farmer): William Cammage.
Principal Gardener: James Jones, Samuel Peaker.

Relatives who also attended Ackworth:[15]

Robert Enock (father)
Elizabeth Enock (nee Doeg) (mother).
Robert Enock (grand-father).
Arthur Peters Enock
Joseph Enock (grand-uncle).
Mary Robinson Enock (auntie).
Arthur Gregory Enock (uncle).
Caroline Wheeler (nee Enock) (auntie).
Sophia Kenway (nee Enock) (auntie).
James Lewis Enock (1st cousin, 1x removed).
Sarah Enock (aunt).
William Doeg (uncle) - Scholar: 1814-1816, Apprentice: 1816-1823, Master: 1823-1827
David Doeg (uncle).
Robert Doeg (uncle) - Scholar: 1818-1821, Apprentice: 1821-1828, Master: 1828-1841.
Henry Doeg (uncle).
Priscilla Doeg (auntie).
Jane Doeg (auntie).
Thomas Gilkes (2nd cousin, 1x removed).
William Gilkes (2nd cousin, 1x removed).
Sarah Gilkes (2nd cousin, 1x removed).
Martha Gilkes (2nd cousin, 1x removed).
Richard Gilkes (2nd cousin, 1x removed).

Additional information on Ackworth School can be found here


1861 census - Machinists Pupil?

'On leaving school Fred Enock went to Birmingham, where he became an engineer's draughtsman, and for a time was occupied making the drawings for the present Blackfriars Bridge. But this employment was not congenial to him, and moreover, he found it rather difficult to pursue his nature studies and be in the office at the right hour in the morning, especially after a night in the woods moth-hunting.' - Ackworth memorial notice.[12]

1871 census - Naturalist.
1881 census - Professor of Natural History (microscopic).
1891 census - Scientific Lecturer Natural History.
1901 census - Lecturer in Science School.
1911 census - Science Lecturer.

Fred's Career in Natural History. Beginnings.

'He early developed a love for the study of insect life, and as this was fostered by a devoted mother - herself an ardent naturalist - his progress in that direction was very rapid.' - Ackworth memorial notice.[12]

'In 1865 he joined the Birmingham Natural History Society, going on field trips with them and collecting moths, his interest at that time.' - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

Around 1870 Fred was invited by his uncle, Edmund Wheeler, F.R.A.S., to come and help him with microscopic work in London. Edmund Wheeler was at the time the best known popular lecturer at schools and institutes, and his brilliant experimental lectures greatly delighted a bygone generation. The new work exactly suited Fred's tastes, and he began at once the preparation of all kinds of insects for the microscope

‘Both uncle [Edmund Wheeler] and nephew had a common love of entomology, collecting together on Hampstead Heath and in Epping Forest.’ - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

Self-Employment - Micropscope Slide Mounting.

An example of Fred's mounts.

‘When you first hold a Fred Enock slide in your hand, it is impossible not to notice the skill and precision of the mounting. Whether the label is hand-written or printed, the overall impression is of superlative craftsmanship. Close inspection confirms this. Every part of the insect is prepared and arranged to display it to the very best advantage. No matter how delicate the subject, a Fairy Fly or gnat, it is arranged with a perfection which has never been equalled. It was not a matter of chance whether one bought a ‘good’ Enock slide, no mount was sold which in any way failed to measure up to his standards of perfection.’ - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

Fred is often referred to as the greatest mounter of all time. His slides show insects in spectacular fashion. He is famous for mounting without pressure resulting in the insects having their three dimensional structure preserved. Fred's methods of preparing his specimens are unknown as he kept them secret and all of his papers were destroyed at the time of his death (although there is a paper written by Rev.J.S. Pratt which tries to demonstrate Fred's methods). Few people, if any, people at that or any other time, are capable of such perfection in the mounting of insects. For that reason, his mounts are highly sought after, collectable and valuable.[17]

'It is certainly very difficult for most Zoologists to acquire skill in the ways of preparing Mymarids and Trichogrammatids. However, there has been one man who knew the art perfectly, namely Fred Enock, of London, who, being unfortunately a poor man, had to sell his slides in order to make a living and therefore did not disclose his method of mounting, taking the secret with him to the grave.' - J. P. Kryger.[18]

'Of course, he has done other work, he is a mounter of insects for collectors, and he tells me that according to accurate records he has kept he has mounted no fewer than 200,000 specimens.' - E.L. Scott - 1912.[19]

‘About 1878, Enock commenced in business on his own. The first real evidence of Enock’s commercial progress is to be found in his classified catalogue of Entomological Preparations for the Microscope, ‘Illustrating the structure of insects of the various orders in entomology’.

The catalogue commences with five pages listing five-hundred slides of entire insects, ranging in price from 1s. to 5s. [between £5 and £22 in 2016]. There follow nine pages containing six-hundred parts of insects, priced 1s. to 1s. 6d. each [between £5 and £7 in 2016]. Page fifteen contains opaque preparations, either whole or parts, which are not priced. Also there is a section for whole transparent insect dissections, ten to twenty parts per slide, costing 6s. to 10s [between £27 and £45 in 2016]. each, a considerable sum at the time.

The last page is particularly interesting, illustrating by its content the techniques of specialist clearing and preperation which Enock had perfected. It is headed, Entire insects and parts of insects. Prepared without pressure. The top section priced from 2s. to 10s. [between £9 and £45 in 2016]. of For Polariscope, and under a list of ten whole insects are written: the above insects are prepared for the purpose of showing their internal muscular structure by polarised light; the best and most beautiful effect being obtained with a blue selenite.’ - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

‘Although he was concerned throughout his life with financial problems, they were never allowed to compromise the highest standards of accurate preparation or descriptive information which characterised all his work.’ - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

‘To his extended family he was a kindly, humorous and enthusiastic man, much loved. To his colleagues, competitors and suppliers he was uncommunicative, remote, and generally unhelpful. It is certain that the constant financial pressures were a major contributory factor in his behaviour, and made him guard his techniques with an intensity bordering on paranoia.’ - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

Here, in passing, I would solicit the the forbearance of those critics who may overlook the factor of income and the accompanying need for withholding information on special processes perfected after long and arduous periods of investigation. My uncle told me of an occasion when a "friend" got in to his laboratory and discovered the process he was using on some mounts, other than the Mymaridae. He suffered heavily through this, and it lead to the avoidance of any discussion of his processes in producing those beautiful mounts of microscopic objects which are the joy and pride of those who posses them' - A description of the methods of collection and mounting British Mymaridae, devised and used and used by the late Mr. Fred Enock - John Kemp Enock - 1952.

For many years Fred Enock continued this work, but a time came when the use of the camera began to lessen the demand.

Lecture Tours.

To bolster his income, Fred took to the lecture platform, still utilising his wonderful talent for the production of unique microscopic slides.

‘His lecture tours involved considerable travel, for he visited all the principle cities and towns in the country, some of them many times, and he did two extended tours of Ireland. He also appeared at many important schools, including Winchester, Rugby, Marlborough and Lancing.’ - Frederic Enock - 1845-1916 by Edward P. Herlihy

His lectures, so familiar to many recent Old Scholars, were made up of scientific truths gathered during years of labour and observation. He has many times lectured before the Royal Society, the Royal Horticultural Society and other leading scientific associations' - Ackworth memorial notice.[12]

‘He was often favourably noticed in the press, notably ‘The Times’ and ‘The Daily Telegraph.’ He always spoke extempore and never used notes, which he considered a distraction; the picture on the screen was to him a sufficient reminder of all he wanted to say.’ - Frederic Enock - 1845-1916 by Edward P. Herlihy

‘The records of his lectures are to be found in all the appropriate journals and they show that he must have had a flair for keeping his audiences interested and amused; it is clear that he was fully appreciated.' - Frederic Enock - 1845-1916 by Edward P. Herlihy

‘Enock turned his practical talents in some unexpected directions. In September 1889 he wrote to Youdale and amongst other matters told him that if his lecturing did not pay, he had a most wonderful Punch and Judy, carved all the figures and dressed most of them. He says that he hoped to ‘do a little at evening parties’ - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

A Christmas card showing Fred's Punch and Judy.

Grant Allen Sketches.

A Vegetable Hedgehog by Frederick Enock. Taken from 'In Nature's Workshop' by Grant Allen.

‘We do not know how Grant Allen, came to know about Fred Enock, but it was probably common knowledge that he was the finest insect artist. He [Allen] was a frequent contributor to the Strand magazine and arranged for Enock to illustrate, over a couple of years, a series of his articles on natural history subjects that appeared in the magazine in 1897 and 1898. In all, this involved 250 drawings, many showing a great deal of detail. The articles with the Enock illustrations subsequently appeared in book form under the titles ‘Flashlights on Nature’ and ‘In Nature’s Workshop’ in 1900 and 1901 respectively.' - Frederic Enock - 1845-1916 by Edward P. Herlihy

Later Career.

‘By 1914, his health was failing due to pernicious anaemia, which he felt he had contracted due to time spent in an unventilated dark room, working with oxyhydrogen limelight.’ - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

‘The 1914 War extinguished most of the small natural history societies and it brought a profound change in Enock’s circumstances. Lecture engagements were often difficult to obtain, even the demand for his fine preparations fell off. His prospectus for the 1915/1916 season was small and poor by comparison with the 16-page glossy, eye-catching programmes for earlier years. Moreover, he felt that he was failing, so gave up all his business, sold some of his equipment and, hoping that his health would benefit, moved to Hastings.' - Frederic Enock - 1845-1916 by Edward P. Herlihy Fairy Flies.

'British Mymarida or Fiary Flies whose marvellous instinct & structure have given me so much delight & kept my faith in the Almighty Creator of all things Who has permitted me to see into the secrets of their lives & to show them to others. May he yet spare me for many years to enjoy the study of nature & may I be led from Nature to Natures God.'[2]

Fred is especially famous for his study of, and mounting of Fairy Flies.

A picture of a fairy beetle prepared by Fred.[17] 

'Enock tell us that he first became interested in Fairy files in 1876 and from then onwards he gave up much of his time to studying the family, at first alone and from 1907 in conjunction with Charles Owen Waterhouse (1843-1917) of the British Museum (Natural History). Unfortunately Enock published only a few papers on the family and these included several of a popular nature. Two fragments of his projected Monograph with C. O. Waterhouse exist in the Manchester Museum together with his photographs, negatives and a set of microscope slides. Unfortunately no manuscript relating to the genus Polynema  appears to have been prepared. Enock appears to have mounted all his material on microscope slides which were distributed by him to the four corners of the earth. Many of these are labelled with manuscript names as 'new species' and beat the word 'type'. 

'With regard to the rearing of specimens Enock devised a simple method of obtaining material. This was adopted by him in 1911 and continued for several seasons, to judge him from his rough notebook now in the Manchester Museum. Grass clumps, often mixed with Juncus, were placed in breeding jars and the emerging Mymarids collected from time to time. The following condensed summary of Enock's notes may perhaps prove useful as indicating the scope of his method' - W. D. Hincks.[20]

Hunts 33 years for rare fly - E.L. Scott - American Journals from 1912.[19]

In this interview with E.L. Scott, Fred reminisces of the moment he caught his first male Mymar regalis, his long association with the fairy fly and his mounting/lecture work. 

For more than 33 years, Fred Enock, a London man of science, has been scouring square mile upon square mile of England with a cambric net no bigger than your hat, looking for an insect less than one-twentieth of an inch long. So scarce are some kinds of these insects that there are said to be only two in every 640 acres and the finding of them is so rare a feat that one must go back 60 years to read of a previous catch. Now Enock has landed one, and he is the happiest man in England.

Enock is a fellow of no fewer than four scientific societies and a most learned looking man, with a tall dome of a forehead. He talks like an annual report of the Linnean society. The insects have been popularly christened fairy flies, and, until Enock fell in love with the shape of one under a microscope 33 years ago, men of science had considered them of not enough importance to waste time over. And to this day Enock remains almost the sole authority upon their playful habits.

Surely much ado was never made about less. Here is a man with a more than ordinary brain who spends almost two score of precious years looking for a few insects that will never be of any possible use to humanity or probably to science, and the total result of his long search could be put in a peanut shell. Of course, he has done other work, he is a mounter of insects for collectors, and he tells me that according to accurate records he has kept he has mounted no fewer than 200,000 specimens. In addition, he is a lecturer, in popular style, on natural history subjects, and he travels about England explaining to the rising generation, the evolution of the spider, the wasp, the bee, the butterfly and his lifelong friend, the fair fly. But how many valuable hours have been stolen from more productive fields of effort to spend time with his net, his bottles and his microscope on the invisible trail of the elusive fairy fly only Enock knows. If it were possible to calculate the amount of money wasted by him in his strange quest, it would probably be found that his fairy flies are worth many times their weight in radium. It will be entertaining to let Enock tell of his queer search in his own words, but you must remember that when he speaks of fairy flies as the most beautiful insect in the world he is like a parent describing his favourite child, and prone to exaggeration.

"My introduction to the fairy fly," he said, "was at a meeting of the Royal Microscopical society of 1878. A species no larger than a fiftieth of an inch entangled in a spider's web was shown to us, and I immediately lost my heart to it. It had four wings exquisitely shaped and margined with hairs. I determined that I would search out the life history of these insects, and thus began my long quest for some of the rarer species."

"At that time practically nothing was known of them. They were so small that they had escaped the attention of scientists. The first mention of them was in 1797, and then nothing was heard of them for more than 80 years. I soon found out that they belonged to the same order as they honey bee and the wasp - sort of poor relations, so to speak. In size they vary from a twentieth to a ninetieth of an inch in length. Figures as small as they convey no impression to the ordinary mind. Perhaps it might be better if I say that a dozen of these beauties could walk abreast through an ordinary pinhole. They search out the eggs of certain other insects and in them lay their own, thus destroying the host eggs. Each species has a different kind of host egg, and in no circumstance will they lay their eggs in any other way."

"During the 30 odd years I have been searching for these flies, I have discovered eight new genera and at least 150 new species. For the last four years I had the assistance of Charles Owen Waterhouse, formerly a member of the staff of the Natural History Museum, at South Kensington, who, like myself, became fascinated by the marvelous beauty of these fairy flies when seen under the microscope, and decided to devote his time to searching them out."

One can picture these two men, both hovering around the middle 60's, armed with cambric nets, a collection of empty glass tubes and microscopes, both possessed of the enthusiasm that knows no discouragement, trampling over the fields of England day in and day out, content if once in a blue moon either caught a new species.

Enock gave to the writer a description of probably the greatest moment in his life, when he discovered in the bottom of his net the male fair fly of a certain species, for which he had been searching patiently for the whole 30 odd years of his acquaintance with the insects. Females he had landed before, but the male was so rare that 60 years had elapsed since anyone put one between glasses and submitted it to the prying eye of the microscope.

"Waterhouse and I had been sweeping Burnham Beeches with our nets all one Saturday afternoon, " he said. "I intended going home for dinner, and as Waterhouse was staying out we parted, he going to the west and I staying in the field. I determined to have a few more sweeps before leaving, and at their conclusion I examined the bottom of my net with my microscope. I became dizzy with excitement when I saw there the very insect I had given more than 30 years of my life to find - the male of a rare species of which there are only two in every square mile. In honor of King George I immediately christened it Mymar regalis. In my excitement however, I almost lost the treasure. He hopped away, and although I immediately closed the net I thought I had lost him. During the next few minutes I was almost dead with anxiety, but an examination soon convinced me that I still had him captive and in a few seconds he was safely bottled.

"Wonderful as this catch was, it was rendered more wonderful still by the fact that in the same net I discovered a species of a minute insect of which there was no record of any previous catch for 90 years. I soon had it too, safely in a bottle and started as fast as my old legs would carry me after Waterhouse to tell him the great news. I ran and walked four miles that day before I finally found him. 'What do you think this is?' I asked him, trying to remain as calm as possible and show him the Mymar regalis. As soon as he realised, he offered his congratulations. Then I showed him my other find and there were more congratulations. That was a day to remember all the rest of one's life."

"But these fairy flies are not all as scarce as the Mymar regalis. Far from it. Despite the fact that they have been overlooked by the great body of naturalists, they are to be found in every garden and on every window - in houses, in conservatories and in trains. When I was younger and my sight was better I used to catch them with my hands as they flew, like tiny specks of gold across a sunbeam. One of the most plentiful species, that known popularly as the black fairy fly, I have captured in hundreds in the early spring, close up to the horizontal sash bar of an east window. At other times they are to be found in large numbers running up and down grass stems in search of their host eggs."

"Even after spending the better part of my life in the study of these insects I am compelled to acknowledge that I know very little of them. Of the 21 genera now comprised in the British fairy flies, I have been able to work out the life history of but two. Of course, I know considerable about others of the remaining nineteen, and year by year I am adding links that I hope will eventually complete the life cycles."

"The common black fairy fly lays its eggs in those of a small water beetle, found on stems of plants below the water line. In order, therefore, to get to its host eggs this fairy fly must dive beneath the water. The Alaptus, another common species, searches for the eggs of a fly resembling the common green fly, the pest of the gardener. The tiny Camptopera papavis, one of the smallest of fairy flies, sometimes appears in hundreds on windows, and at my home in Woking I have captured no fewer than 600, all female, all at one time."

"One of the most extraordinary little insects is that known as Caraphractus cinctus. It is aquatic in its habits, using its delicately fringed wings for 'flying' through the water. Its legs are kept perfectly still during the operation and the fly progresses with a jerky, zigzag motion."

"These insects appear in early spring - some of them in March - and I have captured them as late as December. They are difficult to breed because of the difficulty of discovering their host eggs."

"Of all insects, that popularly called battledore wing fly is without doubt the most wonderfully formed and most beautiful I have ever looked upon. It is less than one-twentieth of an inch in length, with its two front wings shaped like long-handled battledores, surrounded by a fringe of long hairs. The hind wings, so tiny that even under a powerful microscope the ordinary observer does not see them, are armed with three minute hooks on the upper edge, which fix into grooves on the upper wings and so form a strengthening bracket. My first capture of the battledore wing fly was made 33 years ago and it was only last year, after constant efforts, that I was able to breed it."

Speaking generally, Enock had high praise for the work of the bureau of entomology of the United States department of agriculture. He constantly corresponds with Dr. Leland O. Howard, its famous chief, for whom he has great admiration. 

"If we only had the brains in this country that you have in the United States," remarked Enock sorrowfully, "we might be able to give something worth while to science. We know absolutely nothing about the life history of the majority of crop pests, and there is no organisation such as your bureau of entomology to advise the farmers of Great Britain. The trouble is there is no money available for field work, and when a government grant is made the money is spent in some ineffective way that is of absolutely no practical use to the farmer. Some day I suppose we shall wake up."

Fred's interview from 1912 (click to enlarge).


Fred was a Fellow of the Linnean, the Entomological, the Royal Microscopical, Birmingham Natural History Society (joined 1865) and many other societies.[12]


Fred named a number of species:[21]

Cleruchus Enock
Dicopus Enock
Enaesius Enock
Erythmelus Enock
Neurotes Enock
Oophilus Enock
Parallelaptera Enock
Stephanodes Enock
Stethynium Enock Equipment.[2]


‘The family can only be glimpsed from the letters to his nephew [Jack], and seen in the very few remaining photographs of large family gatherings. He kept in contact with them, and visits were not infrequent and clearly gave him considerable pleasure.’ - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

John Kemp Enock

Fred was in regular contact with his nephew Jack.

‘In June 1907 Fred wrote to his nephew Jack, telling him where to look for Fairy Flies on the windows, their appearance and how to catch them. A letter sent a fortnight later shows that Jack was mounting these tiny insects, but though encouraged by his uncle, the result was not up to Fred’s exacting standard.

Enock describes part of the process of preparing and mounting, but follows these details with: ‘Now my dear Jack – what I have confided to you as to my method of doing these flies, is among microscopists altogether unknown to anyone else but you and me – and all I ask of you is that you will not disclose it to any one, not even any female – my reason for this is that a slip of the tongue might let the one simple discovery out. So keep it Jack – to and for yourself. Whenever anyone asks me how I did them - I replied – the Flies must speak for themselves’.

The standards that Enock set himself in every detail of his mounting, are illustrated in another letter. He says: ‘It is possible that one leg or wing may get loose – if so – in all such mounts - clean off or smash – never show them.’

By 1908 Jack was utilised mainly in the increasingly important task of collecting Fairy Flies and posting them to Fred, who writes: ‘I can arrange one in twenty minutes on average’

He also says that what he knows about Fairy Flies has taken him thirty years of close observation. The enormous enthusiasm and delight in collecting and observing never waned. In June 1910 he wrote to Jack: ‘I have been much excited this week in breeding from eggs – a male and female battledore wing fly! For the first time on record – I have also bred one of my new genera – Cleruchus panis by name, meaning ‘biscuit wing’.’ - Fred Enock - 1845-1916 - The Man and His Work - B. M. Davidson

Jack revealed Fred’s methods in an article entitled ‘a description of collection and mounting British Mymaridae, devised and used by the Mr. Fred Enock’, which was published in the Microscope in 1969.

‘I knew Joan’s father, J. K. Enock fairly well – he enjoyed recalling his youthful night collecting trips with his uncle and the comical adventures they got into, which often related to Fred’s ability to see the humour in ridiculous or even disastrous situations.’ - Frederic Enock - 1845-1916 by Edward P. Herlihy


'Poor uncle Fred. I went on Wednesday to his funeral. May God rest him. He had a difficult life, and the strain of living must have tended to shorten it. I do not know what his widow will do. She was (?) nice to me for coming. There was a "service" in the Friends Meeting Hall afterwards (I think I prefer the Church of E service), but it was very earnest. Saw most of the Enocks & Dells etc. Glad to meet them again, also dear dad.' - Charles Reginald Enock

'I still have some of his natural history drawings. He made these very large things to be reduced, and I’ve got quite a wad of these, they’re about so square, and if they’re going to be reproduced rather carefully he took the top off, how he did it I don’t know, they’re beautifully mounted on very good quality paper with linen backing so it’s got some substance to it. But all that to photograph, but of course, what he was photographing, many people would never be able to manage anyhow, peering for hours, waiting for some insect to immerge from a chrysalis maybe. His wife put up with a great deal.' - Joan Enock


1. Manchester, England, Non-Conformist Births and Baptisms, 1758-1912 - Society of Friends Hardshaw East Monthly Meeting - page 69.

2. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966. Name: Frederick Enock - Probate Date: 3 Aug 1916 - Registry: London, England - Death Date: 26 May 1916 - Death Place: Hastings, Sussex, England.

3. Taken from the 1911 English census, edited by Adam Enock.

4. Siblings found via census returns.

5. England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 - Name: Frederick Enock - Registration Year: 1872 - Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar - Registration district: Islington - Inferred County: London - Volume: 1b - Page: 471.


London, England, Non-conformist Registers, 1694-1921 - Name: Frederick Enock - Birth Year: abt 1846 - Marriage Age: 26 - Marriage Date: 21 Mar abt 1872 - Marriage Place: Islington - Church: Hornsey Road Methodist Chapel.

6. 1851 English census.

7. 1861 English census.

8. 1871 English census 

9. 1881 English census & London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965.

10. London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965.

11. 1901 & 1911 English census & London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965.

12. Information taken from documents provided by Celia Wolfe, Archivist at Ackworth School. Logo taken from Ackworth School's website. 

13. Information taken from 'Ackworth School' by Elfrida Vipoint.

14. Taken from 'Superintendents, Teachers, and Principal Officers of Ackworth School'. Can be read online here: 

15. List of Ackworth Scholars 1879-1930.

16. Taken from

17. Taken from 

18. Taken from: The European Mymaridae comprising the genera known up to c. 1930, which can be read here:

19. Hunts 33 years for rare fly - by E.L. Scott. Found in a magazine available on

20. - Notes on some British Mymaridae - 19th October, 1950. Can be read here: 

21. Found via 

22. Image taken from U.S. and UK, Quaker Published Memorials, 1818-1919.

23. Information and excerpts taken from Charles' diaries (held by the Imperial War Museum).


25. Image taken from:

Page updated 4th April, 2017.