<p>Edward Charles Frome was born in Gibraltar, where his father was a military chaplain. He entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1817 and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1827. During a distinguished career, Frome served as Surveyor-General of South Australia and of Mauritius; Commanding Royal Engineer in Scotland, Ireland and Gibraltar; Inspector-General of Fortifications; and Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey. Frome's hobby was drawing and painting, and from the time of his earliest travels he recorded the places he visited by pen and pencil sketches and water colours. His art work reflects the accurate eye and thorough professional skill of the engineer and surveyor.</p><p> Le Réduit was originally a fortress constructed by the French in 1749, but from 1764 it became the official residence of the governor, a tradition carried on by the British when they took possession of Mauritius in 1810. Today the chateau is the official residence of the President of Mauritius. The botanist Jean-Baptiste Christophe Fusée-Aublet designed a French garden during the 1750s and many rare plants from America, Asia and Europe were introduced. The RCS holds the papers Sir Hesketh Bell, Governor of Mauritius from 1917-24, who significantly extended the gardens (RCMS 36). He established an islet in the middle of the lake, a fountain to the north of the house and imported plants from Kew Gardens and Ceylon [Sri Lanka].</p>
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