Elizabeth FRY (nee MAIDEN) 1775-1852 of Weston-super-Mare

Elizabeth FRY (nee MAIDEN) was the wife of Weston-super-Mare investor and hotelier Richard FRY.

1775-1852 Elizabeth Fry nee Maiden
Elizabeth FRY (nee MAIDEN), wife of Richard FRY, of Weston-super-Mare. Portrait taken from a small pendant at one time in the possession of Anne Wolforth, a descendent.

Elizabeth FRY (nee MAIDEN) was born in Southampton, Hampshire, most likely in 1775, to parents William MAIDEN and Elizabeth MAIDEN (nee BOYCE). Records suggest she was Christened on 3rd March 1775, and that this took place in a non-conformist church. It’s therefore likely that her parents were non-conforming, dissenting Christians.

According to records, Elizabeth FRY (nee MAIDEN) married Richard FRY in 1804 at St Michael’s, Bristol. This was most likely St Michael on the Mount Without which is a church on St Michael’s Hill in Bristol now no longer accessible due to its state of disrepair.

The couple went on to live in Clifton, Bristol, where records apparently exist showing they lived in a hotel in Sion Row, Clifton. They had two children while living in Clifton, Richard FRY and Elizabeth FRY, before later moving to Weston.

For a time they ran the first hotel of Weston, then known as Fry’s Hotel, later Reeve’s Hotel, and now the Royal Hotel. They then went on to run Bath Hotel in South Parade, Weston-super-Mare before finally moving into a cottage next door.

By 1832, the couple were living in this dwelling, known as Myrtle Cottage, in South Parade, Weston-super-Mare and they lived there for many years until their eventual death.

1832 Electoral Register showing Elizabeth FRY’s husband Richard is living at Myrtle Cottage in South Parade, Weston-super-Mare.
1841 Census showing the family living at Myrtle Cottage.
1846 Electoral Registers showing Elizabeth’s husband was a Freehold owner of 5 and 8 South Parade, Weston-super-Mare.
1851 Census showing the family living at Myrtle Cottage, South Parade, Weston-super-Mare.

Being a little older than her husband, Elizabeth FRY (nee MAIDEN) died before him, in 1852. According to burial records she was buried at St John the Baptist Church in Weston-super-Mare on 10th November 1852 at the age of 80. However, this age upon the date of her death would suggest she’d been born in 1772 rather than 1775 as her baptism record shows, so it’s unclear as to exactly how old she was when she died. In the 1851 census her age had been listed as 74 so perhaps she was in fact 75 when she died.

Her husband Richard FRY would follow her to the grave three years later and was also buried at St John the Baptist on 18th May 1855.

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