Currey, Frances Wilmot (‘Fanny’) (1848–1917), artist and horticulturalist, was born 30 May 1848 at Lismore castle, Co. Waterford, the daughter of Francis Edmund Currey and his wife, Anna. Her father, who for many years was land agent to the dukes of Devonshire, was also an early and talented photographer. She was a cousin and close friend of the writer and artist Edith Somerville (qv), and from childhood she was a frequent visitor at Newtown Anner, Co. Tipperary, the home of Edith and Grace Osborne (later, respectively, Lady Blake and the duchess of St Albans). It is possible that during these visits she received some artistic training alongside the Osbornes from visiting watercolourists, and she is known to have assisted Edith in the illustration of envelopes for letters sent to Mrs Osborne throughout the years 1858–68; her illustrations were often of a comic nature.
Currey was an original member of Ireland's earliest sketching club, the Irish Amateur Drawing Society, later the Irish Fine Art Society, which was founded in Lismore in 1870. At its exhibition at Lismore Courthouse the following year, her drawings and watercolours featured among the submissions. She was involved in all their activities, and assisted in the hanging of their 1878 exhibition at the Athenaeum in Cork. At its 1887–8 Belfast exhibition it was renamed the Watercolour Society of Ireland, and for many years Currey acted as its secretary. In 1877 she made her RHA debut, and from then until 1896 was a regular contributor to their exhibitions, submitting mainly flower pieces and landscapes. She went on to have a successful career as an exhibitor in England: her work was shown by the Royal Academy, Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and the Society of Women Artists, of which she was appointed member in 1886. She also exhibited at London's Dudley, Grosvenor, and New galleries, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, and the Manchester City Art Gallery. By the late 1880s it was said of her that ‘she could not be considered an amateur in any sense of the word save one, that she is not dependent upon the pursuit for a livelihood’ (Irish women artists). She travelled widely and painted in England and Wales, and on the continent, while her 1888 contribution to the RA, ‘A bazaar in Tangier’, suggests that she visited North Africa.
In her later years Currey concentrated on gardening, most particularly professional bulb growing. She was proprietor of the Warren nursery in Lismore, which was well known for its daffodil varieties. These were awarded the silver gilt Banksian medal in 1909 by the Royal Horticultural Society in London. In 1901 she was elected member of the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland. Edith Somerville remembered her resisting a proposed local authority drainage scheme that would destroy her daffodil plots by sitting on her wall armed with a shotgun. She also spoke in favour of female suffrage, was an organist in Lismore cathedral, and took a keen interest in fishing, shooting, woodwork, mosaics, and sculpture. Her fairy-tale book entitled Prince Ritto, or, The four-leaved shamrock (1877) included illustrations by Helen O'Hara, who lived with her from 1898. Currey died 30 March 1917 at her home, the Mall House, Lismore.