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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]