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Robert Fry [f.7.2]

Robert Fry was the second child of Robert Fry & Jane Burtenshaw christened April 5th, 1840 at St. Mary’s parish church, Hartfield.

Robert was living at home at Hart’s farm until at least 1861.

He married Mary Edwards on September 12th, 1866 at St Mary’s parish church, Hartfield. Mary had been born in Hartfield in 1836 & was christened May 1st at St Mary’s. She was the daughter of Robert Edwards & Hannah Cottinton – the 6th child of 12! Her father Robert, a farmer of Limes Farm, Hartfield, was himself one of 14 children!!

Robert & Mary had a son Robert in 1867 born in Fetcham, Surrey.

In 1871 Robert was an innkeeper at the Rising Sun, Fetcham. Living with them was Mary’s younger sister Sarah (25) & Thomas Dean (42) a servant who it was noted had been born ‘on the sea’!

Mary died at the age of 42 on December 20th, 1878, & was buried at St Mary's, Hartfield.

Mary's headstone at St Mary's, Hartfield

The children of Robert Fry & Mary Edwards were:

f.7.2.1. Robert Fry christened October 13th, 1867 at Fetcham, Surrey; died July 4th, 1898, buried July 8th, 1898 at St Mary's, Hartfield

Robert remarried on February 10th, 1881 at Fetcham, Surrey. His second wife was Alice Fuller who was christened May 5th 1850 at Newick, Sussex, the daughter of Frederick Fuller & Elizabeth Gentle. At the time of the census Robert & Alice were living at the Rising Sun Inn with Robert’s son Robert from his previous marriage.

Robert & Alice had a son William in 1882, & another son, Frederick in 1883. Sadly Frederick died January 2nd, 1887, aged 3 & was buried January 7th, 1887 at St Mary’s. 

Alice died on September 4th, 1886 aged 34 & was buried September 11th, 1886 at St Mary's, Hartfield. A report on the inquest in the Kent & Sussex Courier of September 17th, 1886 shows that Alice died in tragic circumstances.  She had been suffering with a liver complaint for a little while & was receiving medication from her doctor.  She had gone to get more medicine from her doctor, but finding him not at home, she visited the chemist to get a bottle.  A few days later she & her 2 sons went to stay with her sister-in-law, Harriet Fry, the wife of William Fry [f.7.6] in Chuckhatch for a change of air.  Harriett stated that Alice seemed quite well but rather delicate when she arrived.  A few days later however she had eaten very little & complained of biliousness & went to bed with her 2 little boys.  The next morning Harriett went to the room to find Alice dead in bed with the children playing around her.  A post-mortem examination showed she had extensive disease of the heart, & on examining the medicine she had been given the doctor found it smelled strongly of chloroform.  He could not say it was responsible for the death, but taken by someone in a weak state & suffering from heart disease it could be fatal.  The inquest jury concluded that death was due to ‘syncope from disease of the heart’.

By 1891 Robert was still a brewer/publican at the Rising Sun with his 2 sons, Robert & William. There was a housekeeper – Sarah Stedman (40) & an agricultural labourer as lodger – Benjamin Sink.

Robert died aged 54 on January 21st,1895 at Fetcham & was buried January 24th, 1895 alongside his second wife Alice & son Frederick at St Mary's, Hartfield. Probate was granted on March 22nd, 1895 in London to son Robert, licensed victualler.  His effects amounted to £1260.1s.4d.

Son Robert died 3 years later on July 4th, 1898 at Hunts Farm, Withyham, Sussex.  Hunts Farm was the home of Robert’s aunt Elizabeth Fry & husband John Hudson.  Probate was granted in London on August 4th, to his uncle John Hudson, farmer, & William John Hodges, solicitor.  His effects were £7,314.16s.2d.

Son Robert's headstone at St Mary's, Hartfield

The only surviving son, William, was living at Hunts Farm, Withyham, in 1901 with his aunt Elizabeth & uncle John Hudson. William was described as a farm student.

The children of Robert Fry & Alice Fuller were:

f.7.2.2. William Fry was born May 25th & christened July 31st, 1882 at Fetcham, Surrey; died May 13th, 1948 at Brook House, East Chiltington, Sussex
f.7.2.3. Frederick Fry was christened December 14th, 1883 at Fetcham, Surrey; died January 2nd, 1887, buried January 7th, 1887 at St Mary's, Hartfield


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