Select Fry Miscellany
- A Quaker Burial Ground
- The Fry Quaker Meetings at Sutton Benger
- Joseph Fry and His Chocolate
- Edward Fry and His Offspring
- Charles Fry and The Salvation Army
- The Fry Source of Colon Cancer
- Heinrich Frey and His Descendants
- George Fry The Legend
A Quaker Burial Ground
A Quaker burial ground, visited by members for centuries, lies amid the 1,130 acre Ashcombe estate of Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie on the Wiltshire/Dorset border. The site was established in 1663 when William Fry, the then owner of the estate, became a Quaker. At that time Quakers were being persecuted and they had no other safe place to lay their dead to rest.
Ms. Acton, a member of the Quaker group in Shaftesbury, said: "We are not interested in Madonna's estate as such, we are only interested in the burial ground." The Quakers scatter ashes of the dead during funerals at the site. They also stage a pilgrimage and worship gathering there once every ten years.
The Fry's home in the nearby village of Sutton Benger had been the Quaker meeting house. It is now the Vintage Inn.
The Fry Quaker Meetings at
It was in Sutton Benger that the Fry family established themselves as leading Quakers in Wiltshire. William’s son Zephaniah was the first member of the family to fully embrace the Quaker faith. A record of one meeting held in his house was given in George Fox’s Journals:
However, private meetings of more than five persons were forbidden at that time. Once arrested, Quakers would be ordered to take the oath of allegiance, which they would often refuse to do. Zephaniah was arrested in 1683 and sent to Ilchester jail for three months, but “emerged unscarred."
Joseph Fry and His Chocolate
In 1756 Joseph Fry started making chocolate
at a factory in Bristol. In those days eating chocolate was
unknown. Consumers would make a chocolate drink by placing a
chocolate tablet at the bottom of a cup and adding hot water or
milk. Chocolate production, often handicapped by an inadequate
raw materials, was small. Heavy import duties excluded all but
the richest people from its purchase. One pound of
Fry's famous chocolate retailed for 35p, roughly a week's wages for an
agricultural laborer at the time.
Fry's introduced their first eating chocolate
in 1848. Demand for cocoa and chocolate increased, particularly
after the heavy duty on cocoa was repealed. From 1860 to World
War One, factory after factory was built to meet the increased
trade. By 1907 the company had eight factories in Bristol around
Union Street and two more in Princes Street and Cannons Marsh.
They were employing 4,500 people.
Edward Fry and His Offspring
While Joseph Storrs Fry, the eldest son, headed up the Fry's chocolate business after 1886, his brother Edward was a judge on the British Court of Appeal. He became known worldwide for his skilled work as a negotiator at the Hague Tribunal in 1907.
Sir Edward's children were equally impressive:
- son Roger, artist and member of the Bloomsbury group
- and daughters Joan, Margery, and Ruth, all Quakers and prison reforrmers, pacifists and peace activists.
Charles Fry and The Salvation Army
Brass bands were introduced into the Salvation Army by Charles Fry, a builder from Salisbury. Born in 1837, he led the local Wesleyan Methodist choir and had been a cornet player with the First Wiltshire Volunteer Rifle Band.
his three teenage sons played at an open air Salvation Army meeting in
1878. They performed, it would appear, to deflect the attention
of hooligans from other Salvationists rather than for any musical
reason. However, Booth got to hear of their exploits and the Fry
family subsequently accompanied him on some of his most challenging and
The Fry Source of Colon Cancer
George Fry married in Somerset in 1615 and he and his wife had four children in England between 1615 and 1624. The couple, along with two of their children, arrived in New England some time before 1640. According to a study recently published, this family almost certainly brought with them a unique genetic mutation for colon cancer.
Scientists have traced two branches of the family from the two
children, one in upstate New York and the other in Utah. The
family in Utah, with more than 5,000 people, has been the focus of
scientific study for 14 years because of their unfortunate high rates
of colon cancer. The mutation has not been found in England,
meaning that it most likely originated with either Mr. or Mrs.
Dr. Albert de la Chapelle at Ohio State University's Comprehensive
Cancer Center commented:
Heinrich Frey and His Descendants
According to the historian Abraham M. Cassel, Heinrich Frey and
Joseph Blatenbach were to first two German emigrants to
Pennsylvania. Heinrich came from Altheim in the Palatinate in
Germany and was a wood worker; Joseph came from Bruchsal and was an
iron worker. They arrived in Philadelphia in 1680.
Heinrich and Joseph lived among the Indians at a point where three
Indian trails met. The story goes that the Indian chief took them
to the top of one of the hills and told them he was giving them all the
land they could see. It amounted to 1,000 acres. When
William Penn's agent arrived in 1682 to found Philadelphia, he honored
Heinrich married Anna Levering in Germantown in 1692 and they had
nine children. The family was among the earliest settlers of
Towamencin. They were important citizens and large landowners
there in colonial and later times.
George Fry The Legend
George Fry, Superintendant of the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park, began keeping a daily diary as a 14 year old schoolboy in
Ephrata, Pennsylvania. His writings have resulted in a 329 page
memoir entitled George Fry The Legend.
Selectively edited by his daughter Georgiana Fry Vines, it details
events from his childhood and college days in Pennsylvania until his
retirement in 1973. Most of the manuscript is devoted to
documenting experiences with the National Park Service.
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