Frederick Delius: Life and times in Bradford


Industrial Growth



Bradford in the 1860s



Built on Wool

Delius and Co.

Business In Decline


Homage To Delius


Delius as a schoolboy"At the age of nine Fritz was sent with his brother Max to a preparatory school, kept by a Mr Frankland, just outside the gates of Claremont. The pupils of the school consisted largely of all the little boys who lived in Claremont and the locality. While here Fritz's insatiable love of adventure blossomed, and it often happened that, though he and his brothers set off looking like paragon pupils, they never arrived at their appointed destination. Representations by Mr Frankland led to the subsequent discovery that Fritz and Max had taken refuge in some fields adjoining, and had spent the time there playing at Dick Turpin."

Clare Delius 'Frederick Delius; Memories of my brother', 1935

Bradford Grammar School Fritz attended Bradford Grammar School from 1874 to 1878 but didn't do particularly well in any subject except modern languages. The school had been founded in the 17th century and reopened in 1832 after having been reorganised by the Endowed School Commissioners the previous year. It was extended in the 1870s. Julius Delius was listed as one of the subscribers to the Gymnasium Fund in 1874. Tuition fees were £5.6s.0d per term for the senior school. No music was taught during the time Fritz spent at the school.

Interior of Bradford Grammar SchoolThe artist William Rothenstein, who was a few years junior to Fritz, describes the school as "a dreary building, inside and out. We assembled in a hall of stained pitchpine, its single decoration a framed wooden table, on which were transcribed the names of holders of university scholarships; the classrooms, with their shabby bare walls, ugly stained desks and hot pipes, smelt close and stuffy."

From 'Men and memories; recollections by William Rothenstein'


The young Delius, after a few years attendance at Bradford Grammar School, was sent to the International College at Spring Grove, Isleworth. He had no aptitude whatever for mathematics; the only subjects that interested him were geography and French and German, of which he had already acquired a fair knowledge in his childhood. He was a keen cricketer however, and in his last year won the prize for the best average during the term.

From 'Frederick Delius' by Philip Heseltine, 1923

"It was towards the end of his schooldays at Isleworth that he composed his first song, bringing it home with great pride for me to sing."

Clare Delius 'Frederick Delius; Memories of my brother', 1935