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William Fry [f]

Tree showing Fry lineage from William Fry (1758) to 3x great granddaughter Stella Kathleen Fry (1914)


William Fry was the fourth son of John Fry & Anne Richardson, christened April 28th, 1758 at St Alban's, Frant, Sussex.

William married Hannah Killick on April 21st, 1783 at St Denys, Rotherfield. Hannah was the eighth child of Thomas Killick & Sarah Skinner of Rotherfield, Sussex, christened December 31st, 1760 at St Denys church. Thomas Killick was the second child of 12 children born to Thomas Killick & Mary Cooke. The Killick family have been traced back as far as John Killick born in Horley, Surrey c1500.

In 1785, on the death of their father John, William & his brother Robert were executors of John’s will & inherited the family estate.

The following information is from an article published in the Tonbridge Wells Family History Journal number 41, 2008, written by Nina Teeder, the 3x great granddaughter of William, & reproduced with her kind permission.

In 1786 William Fry is listed on the Land Tax Assesments for Frant living at Eridge and Eridge Mill. His brother Robert was listed at ‘house & land’, a property named as Oakenden in 1783. Robert and William Fry are listed at the same three properties in 1787 but, in 1788 William is listed only at Eridge Mill whilst Lord Abergavenny’s name appears under Eridge. In 1789, William does not appear at all in the Land Tax Assessments for Frant.

Research into the history of Eridge shows that it had been owned by the Nevill family since the fourteenth century when it was used as a hunting lodge; King Henry VIII had stayed there in 1538 and Queen Elizabeth I had stayed there for six days in 1573 during one of her “progresses”. The Nevill family ceased to live at Eridge following the death of George Nevill in 1694/5, and Eridge was subsequently leased out as a farmhouse. When George, 1st Earl of Abergavenny died in 1785, he was succeeded by Henry, who wanted to move back to Eridge and employed James Wyatt, an architect to draw up plans for a grand new house to be built.

This ties in with the evidence of the Land Tax Assessments; clearly William had to move from Eridge when the time came to start building the new family seat for Lord Abergavenny. William, his wife Hannah) and their children, Sarah, John and William, moved to East Grinstead, where he is listed in the Land Tax Assessments from 1789 onwards.

Hannah, aged 70, died at Ashurst Wood & was buried at East Grinstead on February 12th, 1831.

The children of William Fry & Hannah Killick were:

f.1 Sarah Fry christened February 6th, 1784 at Frant, died Jan-March 1849 at East Grinstead
f.2 John Fry christened October 31st, 1786 at Frant; died August 9th, 1861 at East Grinstead
f.3 William Fry christened November 14th, 1788 at Frant, died April 13th, 1863 at Goodwins Farm, East Grinstead
f.4 Elizabeth Fry christened April 15th, 1791 at East Grinstead, died Oct-December 1871 at Frant

f.5 Mary Fry christened November 20th, 1796 at Cowden, Kent; died January 23rd, & was buried January 30th, 1879 at St Giles, Horsted Keynes, Sussex.
f.6 Ann Fry christened April 16th, 1800 at East Grinstead
f.7 Robert Fry christened December 12th, 1804 at East Grinstead; died December 15th, 1875, buried at St Marys, Hartfield

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