See caption
Sir Frederick Becker photographed in 1921

Frederick Edward Robert Becker (1871–1936) was a magistrate and businessman with worldwide interests in the pulp and paper industry. He owned the Ellon Castle estateHistoric ruined castle remains, formerly Fortalice of Ardgith, focal point within a formal walled garden in Ellon from 1919 until 1929.[1][2]

Born on 30 December 1871,[3] Becker’s father was Thomas F. Becker, a master mariner from the Drypool area of Hull.[4][5] In 1891 Becker married Annie (Nancy) Bridger; the couple had three sons and two daughters.[5]

After initially studying law, Becker turned to a career in business, establishing a wood-pulp enterprise in 1893. Within three years the company sold around 13,000,000 tons of pulp with contracts worth around another £1.9 million.[5] His company had offices in several countries throughout Europe as well as America, Canada and the Far East. They owned four ocean-going steamships.[3]

In the early 20th century, when there was a shortage of paper, Becker supervised successful experiments at Donside Paper Mills in Aberdeen, to produce paper based predominantly on saw pulp rather than wood pulp, which had to be imported.[6]

A member of the Admiralty Arbitration Committee, he served as magistrate for Middlesex;[5] he received a knighthood in the New Year’s honours list of January 1922.[3] Becker died in his Maidenhead home on 20 October 1936; his wife pre-deceased him in 1931.[5]



McClellan Wells, George. “Making Paper from Sawdust.” Commerce Reports, vol. 2, no. 152, June 1918, pp. 1229–31.
Staff writer. “Passing of Four Aberdeenshire Mansion Houses.” Aberdeen Press and Journal, 30 Apr. 1927, p. 5.
Staff writer. “Sir F. E. Becker.” The Times, 21 Oct. 1936, p. 16.
Staff writer. “Sir Frederick Becker Dead.” Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail, 20 Oct. 1936, p. 8.
Staff writer. “Sir Frederick Becker.” Pulp and Paper Magazine of Canada, vol. XX, no. 1, 5 Jan. 1922, p. 11.
Staff writer. “Historic Buchan Castle Changes Hands.” Aberdeen Press and Journal, 11 Oct. 1929, p. 8.