Frederic was born on February 4th 1846 and was named after Frederic Holland, a partner in Richards and Company at Broadford Works. He attended Aberdeen Grammar School from 1859 to 1860 and was listed in the 1861 census as Scholar, Aberdeen University. The University records confirm his attendance from 1860 to 1862 but do not indicate that he graduated.
From 1865 to 1868 he was living at Richmondhill in Aberdeen with his brother Edward and they were partners in the business FHG Watkins & Co., Woollen Manufacturers, which was declared bankrupt in August 1868. Its accounts were finally closed in April 1871, and they revealed debts totalling over £13,000. By 1876 the Canal Road premises were occupied by Alex Milne's jam factory.
Frederics career after the bankruptcy is unknown, but court papers indicate that he spent some time in prison in 1869. He was not traced anywhere in the United Kingdom in the 1871 census. Family records state that he died on February 22nd 1881 aged 35. A notice was placed in the Aberdeen Weekly Journal of May 24th 1881 as follows:
At Volcano, Wood County, West Virginia, USA, of apoplexy, Frederic Holland Gray Watkins, Late Manufacturer, Aberdeen, aged 35 years
Frederic married Alcinda Johnson Allison in 1877 in Wood County, West Virginia. They were listed in the 1880 United States census at Grant, Ritchie, West Virginia. Frederic was aged 34, married and his occupation was Clerk in store. His birthplace was given as Scotland, and his wife's name as Allie Watkins.