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Frederick Frye

Frederick Frye

Person  Male  Born 1845  Died 20/3/1914

Grocer and Liberal politician. Full name Frederick Charlwood Frye. Started a chain of shops in 1870 and by 1894 was running 50 stores across England and Ireland. Was a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works and then in 1889 was elected a member of the new LCC representing North Kensington. 1892 - 1895 Liberal MP for Kensington North. Retired to Worthing where he died.

Referring to 31-37 Islington High Street {2020: Boots}, British History On-line has: “All this was replaced in 1881–3 by Leverett & Frye Ltd, Irish grocers and 'Italian warehousemen', who had a shop at No. 31. The speculation provided shops with artisans' dwellings above and behind. The architect, for F. C. Frye, was Arthur Vernon, and William Woodbridge of Maidenhead was the builder. The tall triple-gabled front range lifted the scale of this section of the High Street. Between the polished granite and plate-glass windows of the shopfronts a central archway led through to a remade courtyard, Frye's Buildings, giving access to twelve two-room tenements. The back buildings were cleared in the 1940s and the front block was rebuilt in 1986–7 by Greater London Properties (Islington) Ltd as offices over shops, with the 1880s façade rebuilt in facsimile. The building is now known as Lancaster House.”

His wife unveiled the Avondale plaque with him. His daughter, Kate Parry Frye (1878–1959) was an actor and active supporter of the campaign for votes for women, and has a book written about her: The Great War: The People's Story - Kate Parry Frye: The Long Life of an Edwardian Actress and Suffragette.

Our colleague, Andrew Behan, informs that he was born in Saffron Walden, Essex, a son of John Thomas Frye (1812-1887) and Cecilia Susan Frye née Bull (1811-1864) and was baptised there on 22 July 1845. His father was the Treasurer of Saffron Walden Council, an organist and a professor of music. The 1851 census shows him living at Bridge Street, Saffron Walden, with his parents, four brothers, a sister and a female house servant.

In the 1861 census he is shown as a Clerk to Solicitors (General) living at Baileys Lane, Saffron Walden, with his parents, six brothers, two sisters and a female house servant. The 1871 census records him as a junior partner in a grocery business living at Church Street, Greenwich, the home of his brother-in-law and senior partner Frederick Leverett (1838-1880) who was married to his elder sister Constance Cecilia Susan Leverett née Frye (1840-1887), their son and daughter, his brother-in-law's sister, together with a female domestic servant and a nurse.

On 14 May 1972 he was initiated as freemason in the The Belvidere Lodge No.503 that met at The Star Hotel, High Street, Maidstone, Kent until 1882 when it moved to Freemasons' Hall, Brewer Street, Maidstone. At the time of his initiation he claimed to be a wine merchant living in Maidstone.

On 8 July 1873 he married Jane Kerzia Crosbie (1844-1925) in Wooburn, Buckinghamshire. She was a daughter of a grocer. On 11 December 1873 he joined the Lodge of Hengist No.195 that met at The Belle Vue Hotel, The Pier, Bournemouth, Hampshire, claiming to be a grocer living in Bournemouth. (In 1887 the Lodge moved to the  Masonic Hall, St. Michael's Rise, Bournemouth, Hampshire). In 1884 he resigned from the Belvidere Lodge, No.503.

The 1881 census shows him at the home of his wife's widowed sister, Agnes Gilbey née Crosbie (1834-1920) at 15 & 16 Queen's Gate Gardens, Kensington, together with his wife and their two children Agnes Frye (1874-1937) and Kate Parry Frye (1878-1959). Also living there were Agnes Gilbey's seven children and Anne Crosbie who was a sister to both Agnes Gilbey and Jane Kerzia Frye. Also in the household was a butler (called Hudson), a house-keeper, a cook, two footmen, a hall boy, two housemaids, a parlour-maid, a kitchen-maid, a scullery-maid, a nurse and two under-nurses.

The double address seemed odd so we had a look on Google Streetview. Number 15 is between 14 and 17, and is 6 window bays wide, when all the other houses are 3 wide. If there ever was an entrance to a number 16 there is no sign of it now.

On 11 November 1886 he applied to be admitted to the Freedom of the City of London by redemption, giving his occupation as a merchant and his address as 19 All Saints Road, Kensington. This was duly ordered on 16 November 1886 and he was admitted into the Worshipful Company of Glovers. The 1891 census confirms him living at 19 All Saints Road with his wife, their two daughters, a cook, a house-maid and a lady's maid.

The 1895 Post Office London Directory lists him as Frederick Charlwood Frye, JP, MP, of 25 Arundel Gardens, Notting Hill; The Devonshire & National Liberal Clubs; The Plat, Bourne End, Maidenhead. The 1901 census shows him as a Justice of the Peace and a director of Leverett & Frye's Grocery & Wine Stores residing at 25 Arundel Gardens, Notting Hill, with a cook, a housemaid, a serving-maid and a kitchen-maid.

The 1911 census shows him as a retired merchant and a director of an electric lighting company living at The Plat, Bourne End, Wooburn, with his wife, their daughter Agnes, a visitor called John Robert Collins (who would in 1915 marry their other daughter, Kate Parry Frye), a cook and a housemaid.

He died, aged 68 years, on 20 March 1914. Whilst it is believed that his Bourne End home was sold in 1912, probate records confusingly confirm that this was his home address but also that he died at Caer Givent, Wykeham Road, Worthing, Sussex. Probate was granted on 27 June 1914 to a younger bother Ernest Henry Frye (1849-1935) and an Edward Thomas Pars, his effects totalling £4,128-18s-0d.

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Frederick Frye

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Avondale Park

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