Somerville, Frances

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Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Somerville, Frances

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Other form(s) of name

  • Frances Best Somerville
  • Frances Gardner

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Description area

Dates of existence



Frances Somerville was born Frances Vivian Smith Gardner in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on June 5, 1916. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s, Lunenburg – the same church where her parents were married. She graduated from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with a BA in English and Psychology in 1939. She went on garner a Teacher’s Diploma in “Voice, Culture and Singing and Public School Music – Voice” from the Maritime Academy of Music, where she later taught. Always involved in music, she began her performing career as part of the Dalhousie University Glee Club and later went on to perform professionally, both in person and on the radio – with the CBC and Norwegian Royalty as some of her most noted audiences. She performed throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s. In 1946 she married the Reverend Harold James Best of Woodstock, New Brunswick. The couple moved to British Columbia in 1951. In 1985 Frances married Archbishop David Somerville, and the two lived in North Vancouver until their deaths. She was an avid writer. She penned an autobiography of Archbishop Somerville called “David: Archbishop and Friend” and was known for her witty poems and heartfelt prayers. Frances died August 16, 2007.


Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Halifax, Nova Scotia
North Vancouver, British Columbia

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Authority record identifier

D 2011-21

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Archives of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster

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Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

09/19/11 - first draft - MW




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  • EAC

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