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Albert Edward Fry [f.2.6.8]

Albert Edward Fry was the eighth child of Samuel Fry & Sarah Smeed born September 13th 1856 at Pax Hill, Lindfield, Sussex.

In 1861 Albert was living with his parents, 2 brothers & 4 sisters at Wiggs Farm, Withyham, Sussex

Albert was living at home at Chartners Farm, Hartfield, Sussex in 1871. The family had moved to Chartners Farm by 1867.

Albert married Harriet Annie Grove on April 24th, 1878 at Christ Church, Croydon, Surrey. At the time of the wedding Albert was employed by the gas company. Witnesses at their wedding were Alice Sarah Fry, his younger sister & Thomas Mays, Harriet’s uncle. Harriet was the daughter of Henry William Grove, a builder, & Mary Ann Mays christened November 6th,1853 at Croydon, Surrey. Harriet was the twin of Henry Charles Grove.


At the time of the birth of their first child, Florence Zillah, in 1878 Albert & Harriet were still living at Stanley Rd, Croydon & Albert's occupation was given as lamp lighter at Florence's baptism.

In 1881 Albert & Harriet were living at Brookshill Farm, Hartfield with a daughter Florence Zillah (2) & son Frederick Samuel (6 months). Albert was an agricultural labourer. They were living with Albert’s brother Arthur John Fry, farmer of the 117 acre farm. Also there was Albert’s niece Emily Heasman (14), the daughter of Albert's sister Phoebe Fry & her husband William Heasman.

Albert & Harriet had moved to Chartners Farm by 1889, as Albert is referred to in the ‘Chartners papers, 1889 settlement, plan 22’.

Restored outbuilding at Chartners Farm - 2005

Albert died aged 34 on October 11th, 1890 at Chartners Farm, Hartfield. He died of chronic mitral valvular disease (heart condition). He was buried at St Mary's, Hartfield October 16th, 1890, next to his father, Samuel.

Albert's death certificate

An obituary appeared in the East Grinstead Observer on October 18th, 1890.  An extract of this follows:

Death of Mr A Fry – An event which cast quite a gloom over this village occurred here on Saturday morning – the sudden death of Mr Albert Fry of Chartness Farm.  The deceased, who was only 34 years of age, had been suffering from heart disease, but on Saturday morning he went his rounds on the farm, seeming to be remarkably well.  At breakfast time he seems to have walked towards the house with a pail of milk, which he set down, then walked a few paces and fell dead.  A post-mortem examination showed that the deceased had the above complaint in its worst form.  The family are well known in the neighbourhood, the father of deceased living at Chartness Farm for many years and occupying the position of churchwarden.  The deceased leaves a widow and seven children, the eldest being about 12 years of age, and the deepest sympathy is felt for them by all classes.  The funeral took place on Thursday, and, by the express wish of the Rector, was fully choral.  The coffin, of oak with brass furniture, was coveyed on a wagon drawn by four horses.  At the lych-gates a procession was formed, headed by the choir, and, in addition to the mourners, was composed of large numbers of farmers and others.  Several people, in the meantime, had assembled in church……………………


On December 18th, 1890 widowed Harriet was granted administration of Albert’s personal estate which was the sum of £1,287.19s.

Harriet continued to farm at Chartners, being recorded there in 1891 with daughters Florence, Mary May (8) & Edith Sarah (4), & sons Albert Edward (6), Arthur William (2) & Percy Grove (8 months). Son Frederick was not at home, but visiting Harriett’s uncle & aunt - Robert Hubbard & Elizabeth Mays. They were living at Croydon, Surrey where Robert (60) was a carman & with them was a son William (27).

On November 16th, 1893 Harriet died of cancer at the age of 40 at Chartners Farm. The informant of her death was niece Emily Heasman. Harriett was buried November 21st, 1893 at St Mary's, Hartfield.

Albert & Harriett's headstones at St Mary's, Hartfield

A brief obituary for Harriett was published in the local paper which ended with the following:

By her early demise a large and young family are left orphans.

An advert appeared in the Sussex Agricultural Express of March 3rd, 1894 showing that Chartners Farm on the Buckhurst Estate (owned by the Earl Delawarr) was to be let.  The farm covered 217 acres comprising of arable, pasture, meadow, woodland & orchards.  A further advert in the Sussex Agricultural Express of August 4th, 1894 appeared for the sale of the whole of the household furniture & effects, as well as the live & dead farming stock of Chartner’s Farm.


The children of Albert Edward Fry & Harriet Annie Grove were:

f. Florence Zillah Fry born September 23rd, 1878 at Hartfield & christened November 3rd, 1878 at Christ Church, Croydon; died July 29th,1970 at Whitehanger, Fernhurst, Sussex
f. Frederick Samuel Fry born Oct-Dec 1880 at Hartfield; died 1915 in France
f. Mary May Fry born August 3rd, 1882 at Hartfield; died October 2nd, 1964, at Berwick Manor Rest Home, Rainham, Essex
f. Albert Edward Fry born December 8th, 1884 at Hartfield; died June 2nd, 1954 at St James Hospital, Leeds
f. Edith Sarah Fry born July 12th,1886 at Hartfield; died May 14th, 1966 at Haywards Heath, Sussex
f. Arthur William Fry born Jan-March 1889 at Hartfield; died July 12th 1970 at Concord, Sydney, Australia
f. Percy Grove Fry born August 1st, 1890 at Chartners Farm, Hartfield & christened October 26th, 1890 at Hartfield; died February 26th, 1972 at Kogarah, Sydney, Australia


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