In February 1962, Mr. Charles Frears, a member of the University Council and of the Gardens Committee, presented to the Library one of the very few sets of John Sibthorp's Flora Graeca, 1806-40. The sets of Flora Graeca are one of the rarest and most splendid botanical works ever produced in England, and still today the outstanding item is among the Library's notable collections of floras.
Charles Frears’ grandfather, John Russell Frears (Senior), had established the family bakery firm of Frears Bakeries in Leicester, which was greatly developed by his son John Russell Frears (Junior), who was a prominent figure in the civic life of Leicester. In 1924, Charles Frears took over the running of the biscuit business. Frears biscuits became an important national and international producer, laying the foundation for Leicestershire’s present-day international position within the biscuit and snack food industry.
Alongside this, Charles Frears also played a key voluntary management role in health provision in Leicester, particularly with the hospitals. The Charles Frears School of Nursing and Midwifery on London Road, Leicester, was named in his memory.