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Samuel Fry [f.2.6]

Samuel Fry was the sixth child of John Fry & Caroline Stephens born at Hartfield & christened July 29th, 1821 at East Grinstead.

In 1841 Samuel was living at home at Bower Farm, Hammerwood, East Grinstead.

According to the copy of the marriage certificate obtained from the General Register Office shown below Samuel married Sarah Mead on February 23rd, 1842 in the church of East Grinstead. Witnesses at the wedding were Samuel’s brother Edward Fry & his sister Elizabeth who had married James Quickenden. The certificate shows Sarah’s father as Samuel Mead, a farmer.

Samuel & Sarah's marriage certificate obtained from GRO

Our investigations however suggested that Sarah was in fact christened Sarah Smeed [sm.5] on September 21st, 1823 at Cowden, Kent, the daughter of Caroline & William Smeed. This was confirmed by obtaining a copy of the original marriage certificate from the Diocesan Archives, Chichester, West Sussex.

Samuel & Sarah's marriage certificate obtained from Diocesan Archives

In the 1841 census of Hammerwood, East Grinstead, Caroline & William Smeed were living at Brooklands Farm with their 10 children which included Sarah, listed as aged 15. At the neighbouring Bower farm lived John & Caroline Fry & their family which included Samuel Fry, listed as aged 15.

Samuel & Sarah’s early married life appears to have been spent at Cowden, Kent where their first 2 children, Emma & Phoebe, were born.

Samuel & Sarah & family moved to 17 Hapstead Green, near Ardingley where they were recorded in the 1851 census. Children at home were Emma (8), Caroline (5), Arthur (3) & Frederick William (1). Samuel was a farmer of 60 acres. Daughter Phoebe Fry (6) was visiting her grandparents at the time of the census, Caroline & William Smeeds, a farmer of 78 acres at Brooklands Farm, East Grinstead. In 1854 little Emma appears to have died aged 11, her death being registered at Cuckfield.

In 1856 the family were living at Paxhill, Lindfield where Albert Edward was born, followed by Alice Sarah in 1860.

The Surrey Gazette of April 3rd, 1860 carried a report of the annual parish meeting at Lindfield for the appointment of parochial officers.  At this, Samuel Fry of Paxhill Farm was reappointed surveyor of the highways for the parish. 

By 1861 the family had moved to Wiggs Farm, Withyham, Sussex where Samuel continued farming. (Samuel was mistakenly listed in as Samuel Bennett, the name of the person next to him in the census!) Children at home were Phoebe (16), Caroline (15), Arthur John (13), Frederick William (11), Louisa (9), Albert Edward (4) & Alice Sarah (1). There was a carter & general servant living at the farm. Sadly Samuel & Sarah lost another child in 1862 – Frederick William who died aged 12. Their last child, Emily Georgiana, was christened in 1862 at Withyham. Emily did not survive long, her death being recorded Jan-March 1863.

By 1867 Samuel was farming at Chartners Farm, Hartfield. There was an entry in the Historical Notes of Hartfield for 1867 mentioning Samuel as church warden & his gravestone mentions him as serving in this office for 19 years.

Chartners Farm - 2005

In 1871Samuel & Sarah were still living at Chartners Farm. This was a large farm of 226 acres employing 6 labourers. All the children were living at home as were 4 labourers – John Heasman, William Baldwin, Jesse Mitchell, William Neighbour.

Samuel attended the funeral at Withyham of Earl Delawarr (Major General Charles Richard Sackville-West) on May 1st 1873. A report in the Cambridge Independent Press mentions Samuel as tenant of Hartfield suggesting that he was a tenant farmer at Chartners for the Earl.

At the Petty Sessions at East Grinstead a tramp was charged with stealing 6 bushels of acorns, value 5 shillings, from Samuel.  The tramp had been sleeping in a shed adjacent to the barn on Chartners Farm from whence the acorns were taken.  The prisoner was discharged however as the evidence was inconclusive.  (Kent & Sussex Courier, November 19th, 1875)

In 1881 they were still at Chartners Farm with daughters Louisa & Alice Sarah & a domestic servant Harriett Read & 2 labourers Walter Knight & John Atherall.

According to Kellys Directory of 1882 Samuel was still farming at Chartners.

In February 1886 Samuel was one of the judges in a ploughing match between 28 teams at Ivy House Farm, Chiddingstone.

Samuel died April 22nd, 1886, aged 64 at St Bartholemew’s Hospital, London & was buried on April 29th, 1886 at St Mary’s, Hartfield.  Permission to administer Samuel’s will was given to widow Sarah on December 4th, 1886 & his personal estate was £1,799.2s.3d.

Samuel's headstone at St Mary's Hartfield

In Kelly’s Directory of 1887 Mrs Samuel Fry, farmer of Chartners farm, is registered. The Surrey Mirror of September 10th, 1887 advertises the sale by auction of the household furniture & effects, as well as the live & dead farming stock of Chartner’s Farm.

In 1891 widow Sarah, was living with son Arthur John at Brookshill farm, Hartfield, where Arthur was a farmer. They had a domestic servant Rhoda Friend.

Sarah died February 15th, 1895, aged 71 at Brookshill farm, Hartfield & was buried on February 22nd, 1895, next to Samuel in St Mary’s churchyard, Hartfield.   Administration (with will) was granted on April 22nd, 1895 in London to son Arthur John & daughter Phoebe Heasman & her effects amounted to £505.1s.10d.

Sarah's headstone in St Mary's, Hartfield

The children of Samuel Fry & Sarah Smeed were:

f.2.6.1 Emma Fry christened October 23rd, 1842 at Cowden, Kent; died Oct-Dec 1854 at Cuckfield

f.2.6.2 Phoebe Fry christened July 7th, 1844 at Cowden, Kent; died August 30th, 1909 at Oxted, Godstone, Surrey
f.2.6.3 Caroline Fry christened April 19th, 1846 at East Grinstead; buried October 18th, 1873 at Withyham, Sussex
f.2.6.4 Arthur John Fry christened May 28th, 1848 at Ardingley; died July 10th, 1925 at East Grinstead Infirmary
f.2.6.5 Frederick William Fry born Jan-March 1850 at Ardingley, buried January 20th,1862 at Withyham, Sussex
f.2.6.6 Louisa Fry born Oct-Dec 1851 at Ardingley, christened July 30th 1854 at Ardingley. died November 5th, 1934 at 27 Wilton Road, Bexhill, Sussex
f.2.6.7 Anne Fry born Apr-June 1854 at Ardingley, christened July 30th 1854 at Ardingley, died April-June 1855 at Ardingley
f.2.6.8 Albert Edward Fry born September 13th, 1856 at Paxhill, Lindfield; died October 11th, 1890 at Chartners Farm, Hartfield
f.2.6.9 Alice Sarah Fry born Jan-March 1860 at Lindfield, died May 29th, 1895 at Sevenoaks, Kent
f.2.6.10 Emily Georgiana Fry born at East Grinstead & christened October 26th, 1862 at St Michaels Withyham; buried March 9th,1863 at Withyham, Sussex


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