OF THE FAMILY OF
Of Roydon in Norfolk, and Finningham in Suffolk.
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ARTHUR HOWARD FRERE
THE family of Frere has been settled in East Anglia from very early times, and has always been considered of Norman descent. Although none of the land at present in the possession of the family has been held for more than about three hundred years, yet for seven hundred years the home of the family has always been within a few miles of that of the first bearers of the name of whom we have any record.
The earliest known mention of the name is that of a Henry le Frere, of Suffolk, in the 11th year of King John (1212). (Rotuli de Finibus.)
The name next occurs in a charter of the Priory of Eye, which relates to John le Frere, of Eye, son of Richard le Frere. This charter is of the 28th year of King Henry III. (1244); it is therefore possible that Richard le Frere is actually earlier than the above-mentioned Henry le Frere. (Harleian MS. 639, and Dugdale, "Monasticon Anglicanum," new edition, vol. iii., p. 403, e.)
The next le Frere recorded is John le Frere, who in 1275 was on an inquisition for the hundred of Mitford, Norfolk, together with John de Thurston, Robert de Thurston, and others.
This John le Frere is perhaps identical with the John Frere who is the first from whom we can prove lineal descent; for the latter married a Thurston, and was possibly wrongly described as being "of Thurston" on that account. The Thurstons, or de Thurstons, seem never to have been connected with the place of that name. They were originally of Thetford, and afterwards of Hoxne (see "Supplement to Suffolk Traveller"). The name is an old Saxon one, and not a territorial name.
Hoxne being so close to Eye, it is not unlikely that John Frere who married a Thurston was John le Frere, of Eye, and grandson of Richard le Frere, of Eye, who must have lived in the latter half of the 12th century. We are, however, without any documentary proof of such relationship; and as copyhold tenure did not come into existence until the reign of Henry III., it is always almost impossible to prove the descent of any family in and before the 13th century, unless its members held manors and paid fines to the King. This the Freres did not do until the 16th century.
There are many references to the name le Frere in the Fines, Patent Rolls, and other documents at the Record Office in connection with the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, about the time of John Frere of Thurston, apart from many occurrences of the same name in many other parts of England. It is noteworthy that the name occurs at this date as often in Norfolk as in Suffolk, and almost always in connection with either Dereham or Lynn. In Suffolk it is found also in connection with Aldeburgh, Kirkton, Mendham, and Mildenhall.
In addition to the Freres of Norfolk and Suffolk, there existed the following distinct families, all of whom spelt their name originally " le Frere," and afterwards indiscriminately Frere, Freer, Fryer, Fryar, Frier, Friar, and sometimes Frer, Fryr, Frire, and Freare:--
· The Freres of Warwickshire and Leicestershire, now spelt Freer.
· The Freres of Dorsetshire and Wiltshire, now spelt Fryer.
· The Freres of Sawbridgeworth, in Hertfordshire, now extinct.
· The Freres of Water Eaton, Oxfordshire, and High Wycombe, Bucks, also now extinct.
· The Freres of Sussex and Kent, long connected with the neighbourhood of Lewes, now either extinct or calling themselves Fryer.
· The Freres of Northampton, found also in Lincolnshire and in Huntingdonshire, now apparently extinct.
· The Freres of Clare, in Suffolk, and of Over (or Little) Yeldham, and the adjoining parishes in Essex, now apparently extinct.
There were also Freres of Yorkshire, and of Essex (some seeming to be really Clare Freres and some Freres of Sawbridgeworth), Freres of Cambridge, who disappear in early times; and individual Freres in Cheshire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire, Surrey, and Bedfordshire.
William le Frere, of Warwickshire, is mentioned in a charter of Wroxhall Abbey as early as the reign of Henry I. They bear "Sable, on a chevron argent three towers of the field, between three dolphins naiant, embowed argent." Crest "On a tower yules, encircled by a serpent argent, a cock or."
The Fryers of Dorsetshire and Wiltshire, sometimes found also in Gloucestershire and Devonshire, can be traced by their wills for at least three hundred years; and a Reginald Frere was member for Truro in 1346.
The le Freres of Sawbridgeworth were descended from a Richard le Frere who paid a fine in 1195. (Rot. Cur. Reg., vol. i., p. 170.)
As regards the Freres of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, a Walter Frere represented Wycombe in the Parliaments of 1381, 1386, and 1387. They continued there until the 17th century, and bore, "On a field or, and two flanches yules, three ears of wheat in fess, slipped and bladed, and counterchanged." Crest: "A hind's head erased proper, with a crown about its neck or, holding in its mouth an ear of wheat or."
The Freres of Kent and Surrey existed in 1335, when a John Frere represented Rochester; as also did a William Frere in 1399 and 1403; and they continued, at any rate, until the end of the 17th century.
The Fryers of Northampton are traced by their wills from about 1500 to 1700, and occur in charters at earlier dates.
The Freres of Clare are the only family which seems likely to have been in any way connected with the other Suffolk Freres. If there was any connection, it must have been at an early date, for the wills of the Clare Freres go back as far as 1516, and these appear to be the same Freres who had lived at Mildenhall in the 14th and 15th centuries. No arms are recorded in connection with the Clare family; but the Fryers of Harlton, in Cambridgeshire, who were the descendants of a John Frere, of Balsham in Cambridgeshire (very near Clare), who died in 1510, seem to have recognised a relationship; for a John Fryer, M.D., of Harlton, whose will was proved 21st Nov. 1672 (Prin. Prob. Reg.), left a legacy to John Frere of Worth, brother of Edward Frere of Finningham and Wickham Skeith.
These Fryers of Harlton were in 1602 granted the arms of the Freers of Warwickshire, apparently only because of the similarity of name, and not because of any real connection; and the arms are shown on a fine monument to the Fryers at Harlton.
A certain Francis Fryar, of London, who, there is reason to believe, was related to the above John Fryer, M.D., had already in 1572 had the same arms granted to him, but without the towers on the chevron, and with the addition of a canton ermine. The crest granted to him was an antelope's head issuing from a ducal coronet, very similar to the crest of the Freres of Oxford, and identical with that which has long been used by the Freres of Suffolk; to whom, however, it has never been granted or confirmed by the heralds. The earliest proof of its use by our family is its occurrence (as recorded by Davy) on the monument of Peter Frere of Wickham Skeith, who died in 1615 (see Appendix II.). It is also found together with the family arms, on a whistling tankard now in the possession of the Rev. E. Hanbury Frere. The plate marks are somewhat obliterated, but are certainly earlier than 1678,and the engraving is undoubtedly contemporary. As the arms are charged with a label, the tankard in all probability belonged to the John Frere of Finningham, who died in 1679/80.
The name of Fryer is often found in the wills of seafaring men, many of the name being captains both of King's ships and merchantmen. These Fryers seem to be Bristol men.
The earliest record of the arms of the Freres of Suffolk and Norfolk, at the Royal College of Arms, is when Richard Frere of Charleston's right to bear "Or, two leopard's faces in pale yules, between two flanches of the latter," was registered at the Norfolk visitation of 1563; his father being given the cadence of a younger son, and his descent being taken back to his great-grandfather, Alexander Frere of Occold.
Curiously enough, the Freres of Wickham Skeith and Finningham, although the elder branch, did not have their right to bear the same arms registered until the Suffolk visitation of 1664. On that occasion the pedigree of John Frere of Finningham (who died in 1679/80) was, as usual, only traced back as far as his grandfather; and therefore it is not officially recorded that he had a great-grandfather, John Frere, who was the elder brother of Thomas Frere, ancestor of the Freres of Occold and Harlots.
John Frere's arms were recorded with the distinguishing mark of a fourth house; the reason being that there were then in existence three of his cousins at Wickham Skeith, descended from his father's elder brother, Peter. However, on their descendants becoming extinct, the Freres of Finningham became the elder branch of the family.
There is no record of any grant of the Frere arms; the heralds only recognised the right to bear them.
Although there is no registration of arms on the part of the Freres of Finningham before the year 1664; still Harleian MS.1820 contains a note of the Frere arms by William Camden, Clarencieux, dated St. Valentine's day 1612, with label and crescent. As this denotes the second son of the elder branch, it must be the coat of John Frere, who settled at Finningham in 1598, and the recognition is at least semi-official.
Sheppard Frere used the arms with the tinctures reversed, and his children and grandchildren followed his example, although there was no authority for doing so; and the error has been perpetuated by John Hookham Frere's verses on the subject. When, however, Sir Bartle Frere's banner had to be emblazoned for the great Durbar at Delhi, on the occasion of the Prince of Wales' visit to India, the College of Arms would not recognise the field "gules"; Sir Bartle therefore reverted to the earlier colouring, which is the only one for which there is any authority.
It must here be mentioned that when John Frere of Finningham recorded his arms in 1664, the heralds became confused among so many John Freres in succession, and took down his grandmother's name as "Angnes Ryvett." This is wrong. The registers of the parish of Wickham Skeith place beyond all doubt that his grandmother was Thomasine Jessop. It is true that his grandfather had married a Rivett; but her name was Katherine, not Agnes, and she was the first wife, while he was descended from the second. Agnes was the name of his great-grandmother, also the wife of a John Frere; which fact led the heralds into the mistake of giving his grandmother the Christian name of his great-grandmother, and the surname of his step-grandmother.
The descendants of John Frere of Thurston lived at Sweffling in Suffolk; and in the 15th century they purchased land at Occold, in Suffolk, and at Wickham Skeith, in the same county, some of which is still in the possession of the head of the family.
The John Frere who died in 1532 left his Wickham Skeith property to his eldest son John, and the Occold property to his second son Thomas, the ancestor of the Freres of Occold, Harleston, and Barbadoes, who were always Parliamentarians in the Civil War. The surviving children of the eldest son of Thomas Frere, of Occold, settled in Barbadoes at about the time of their father's death in 1652, and their descendants lived on there on a plantation known as Frere's or Calverley's until the beginning of the present century.
Returning to the elder branch, from which the existing Freres are descended, the John Frere who was elder brother of Thomas Frere of Occold left an elder son, also called John, who married twice, and by his second wife had two sons who left children. As far as can be ascertained the descendants of Peter, the elder of these two sons, were extinct when Edward Frere, who died in 1710, left the land at Wickham Skeith to the then representative of the younger of these two brothers, John, who died in 1663.
This John Frere, and again his son John after him, bought land at Finningham at various dates in the latter half of the 17th century, including the Hall and manor of Finningham Hall, from the Cotton family in 1657, as did also Sheppard Frere, and John Hookham Frere.
However, his son Edward Frere, who inherited land at Wickham Skeith from his cousin Edward, did not live at Finningham but at Thwaite Hall near by, which he hired from his cousin Mr. Sheppard, and which was pulled down in 1774.
His son Sheppard Frere bought Roydon Hall, near Diss, in 1766, on the death of his father, and that continues to be the seat of the family, as Finningham Hall was pulled down in 1790.
Sheppard Frere was, as far as we can learn, the only Suffolk Frere then alive, with the exception of his sister, who died unmarried, and one or two Freres in Barbadoes. The present members of the family are consequently descended from his two sons, and the greater part of them from John Frere of Roydon, the elder son, who had seven sons and two daughters, whereas the younger son Edward only left one son and a daughter, who was childless. In view of this fact, it is somewhat remarkable that there should have been at least four other branches of the family, two senior and two junior to the present stock, without taking into consideration the possible relationship of the Freres of Mildenhall and Clare, who, as far as we can tell, are extinct.
The earliest branch of which we have any definite record is that of the Freres of Glemham. It is most probable that the first of these, a Robert Frere, who paid a fine to the manor of Sibton, in Suffolk, in 1396, was son of William Frere, second son of Alexander Frere of Sweffling and Joan Glemham; and that his father died in that year. We know of five more generations of Freres of Glemham, and in the 17th century they probably became extinct.
Glemham is the next parish to Sweffling, and the eldest line of the Frere family continued to exist at Sweffling until the 17th century; being the descendants of John Frere of Sweffling, the elder brother of Alexander Frere of Occold. We have no trace of their continuance later than the three sons of a John Frere who died in 1660.
But if two branches of the family died out in that century, two new branches were formed during its latter half to take their place; one again being senior and the other junior to the existing line.
Of these the junior was by far the more numerous, and lasted on to much the later date, besides being the most distinguished part of the family in the 17th century. It was settled first at Occold, and afterwards at Harleston in Norfolk, and in Barbadoes; and came from Thomas Frere, second son of John and Julian Frere, of Wickham Skeith, great-uncle to Peter Frere of Wickham Abbey the progenitor of the senior branch, now extinct.
This Thomas Frere of Occold had many children, but only one of his sons, Richard Frere of Harleston, left any posterity. He married twice, and by his first wife had one son, Thomas, who succeeded to the Occold property, and whose descendants settled in Barbadoes. By his second wife he had two sons, Tobias, his successor at Harleston, and Anthony, whose descendants lived on at Mulbarton, in Norfolk, of which place he had been Rector.
Tobias was twice member for Norfolk under the Commonwealth. His only son Tobias left an only surviving daughter Susanna, who married Francis Longe, of Spixworth, in Norfolk, whose descendants therefore quarter the arms of Frere.
The extinct line of Freres senior to the existing family were the descendants of Peter Frere, of Wickham Abbey, the elder brother of the first John Frere, of Finningham. Peter had four sons and seven daughters, of whom his sons Thomas and William apparently died unmarried, and George, we know, died without children.
George made money as a merchant in London, and bought the manors of Fingringhoe and Peete, in Essex, where he lived and died; and bread bequeathed by him is still distributed in Fingringhoe church every Sunday, and there is an interesting monument to him there. (See Appendix II.)
He left his property to John Goddard, junior, of Wickham Skeith, the eldest son of his sister Penelope, not absolutely (as the county histories erroneously state), but in trust, with remainder to himself, for his great-nephew George Frere (the eldest son of his nephew Thomas Frere, who was the second son of his eldest brother John), provided that he was apprenticed to a merchant and attained the age of 24. This young George was a child at the time of his great-uncle's death.
Of this John Frere's two other sons and his two daughters we know nothing. The sons, however, probably died unmarried; for in 1647 George Frere was admitted to land copyhold of the manor of Wickham Skeith, his brother John having defaulted two years before; and George Frere left his land in trust for the son of the second son, as stated above, and made a Goddard trustee, and John Frere of Finningham guardian to the boy, which he would hardly have done had the boy's own uncles John and Robert been alive. The boy's father was alive, but probably in Barbadoes as is proved by the Wickham Skeith court rolls describing him as "beyond sea," in 1649; and we know from the administration of the will of his sister, Elizabeth Jackson, that he died shortly before the 21st of March 1666/7. He however returned to England on the death of his uncle George in 1655, for his two younger sons were born at Fingringhoe soon after.
No proof has yet been discovered of the ultimate fates of his three sons; and the eldest was the actual head of the Frere family. This however we do know; that when John Goddard died in 1670, his widow sold her life interest in the land at Wickham Skeith to Edward Frere, grandson of Edward Frere of Cotton, on whom it was to have devolved at her death. On his admission to copyholds of the manor of Woodhall in Stoke Ash, in 1671, he is described in the court rolls as succeeding his "uncle" John Goddard. This is however an inaccuracy; he was really his father's first cousin by marriage. The doubts which used to exist upon this point have now been cleared up by the wills of Joan Frere and Anne Symonds, grandmother and great-aunt to this Edward Frere.
John Goddard sold the manor of Fingringhoe in 1707 to Marmaduke Rawdon; which fact leaves little room for doubt that young George Frere died before attaining the age of 24, which he would have done by the year 1680 at latest. He must have died after 1666, when his aunt, Elizabeth Jackson, mentioned him in her will; but as the Fingringhoe register of deaths only begins in 1778, we cannot prove the exact year.
His younger brothers, having been born after the death of old George Frere, had no interest in Fingringhoe, which at young George's death must have devolved upon John Goddard, junior, absolutely.
Joan and her other two sons must therefore have had to leave Fingringhoe; and they probably went to Barbadoes, where the two sons had inherited property from their aunt Elizabeth Jackson.
Before leaving this subject it is necessary to point out that the Freres of Harleston and Barbadoes used to assert that their ancestor Thomas Frere of Occold was the eldest son of John and Julian, and that their branch therefore was the elder. This claim is now disposed of by his father's will, apart from the fact that the Heralds always gave them the difference of a younger son.
The four earliest generations in the pedigree are the only ones for which wills are lacking; they are known to us from various pedigrees at the British Museum and at the Royal College of Arms.
Harleian MSS. Nos. 1169, 1449, 1552, 1560, and the Davy MSS. at the British Museum, and also the Norris MSS., contain Frere pedigrees; and with the exception of Harl. No. 1449, they all are proved to contain mistakes, as are also those at the College of Arms. There are, however, no discrepancies between them as to the members of the family prior to John and Julian.
The long connection of the family with Occold was apparently caused by the marriage of Alexander (the second) with a Holland; for a messuage called "Holland's" figures in the will of his son Alexander, and of many Freres in after years.
John Frere, the second of Sweffling, is given in the Harleian MS. No. 1449, and in others; but as they are only concerned with the descendants of his younger brother, they do not give any information as to his own descendants, of whom we know from other sources, such as wills. His younger brother, Alexander, is of much importance in the family history, as he is the first Frere recorded at the College of Arms, and was the common ancestor of the Freres of Finningham and those of Occold and Norfolk, Harleian MSS. 1169 and 1560, make the mistake of omitting his children and making his grand-children his children. His elder son, John, is not recorded at the College of Arms for reasons already explained, but the younger son, Thomas, is given in all the pedigrees, because they are all of them (with the exception of the short one of the Freres of Finningham, at the College of Arms) the descents of his descendants, the Freres of Norfolk, only. There are other mistakes in the old pedigrees, such as making the father of Margaret Bacon, Edmund, instead of John, which are refuted by the wills, but are not of sufficient importance to call special attention to.
Having traced the ground plan of the family history, it now remains to fill in the details as far as we can.
JOHN FRERE, of Thurston.--The first Frere from whom we prove lineal descent. We only know his name, and the fact that he was living at the end of the 13th century, and had married Anne, daughter of John Thurston, of Hoxne. These facts are mentioned in two of the pedigrees at the British Museum. He was very likely son of John le Frere of Eye (1244), and grandson of Richard le Frere of Eye, and was possibly the John le Frere who was on an inquisition for the hundred of Mitford, co. Norfolk, in the year 1275, together with John de Thurston, Robert de Thurston, and others (Rotuli Hundredorum, 3 Edw. I.). This hundred comprises East Dereham, in connection with which place a John le Frere is mentioned in fines in 1321 and in 1344.
The Thurstons were not called after the village of that name, with which they seem to have had no connection, but were descended from Thurston of Thetford and his son Ralph, who had a mill at Thetford at the compilation of Domesday Book. They acquired the Abbey and lands of Hoxne (where they had long been settled) at the dissolution of the monasteries and Weston Market in the middle of the 18th century. ("Supplement to Suffolk Traveller.")
ALEXANDER FRERE, of Sweffling, son of the preceding, is stated by the pedigrees to have married Joan Glemham, and to have been living in 1334. Moreover, the court rolls of the manor of Kelsale have the following entry under 13 Edw. III. (1340) --"Petrus de Keleshell cogn se tenent. Alex. Frer " (Peter of Kelsale acknowledged himself as holding of Alexander Frere). He left two sons, John and William. The Glembams sold Glemham to Sir Dudley North who died in 1691; having been impoverished by the devotion of Sir Thomas and Sir Sackville Glemham to the Royalist cause. The last Glemham was a Captain Thomas Glemham, who died at Valladolid in 1711.
Of WILLIAM, the younger son, the pedigrees tell us nothing but his name. He is, however, almost certainly the ancestor of several generations of Freres of Glemham, and probably died in 1396, when the court rolls of Sibton state that "Robt. Frere de Glemham fecit damnum" There is no proof, but the inference is, that William Frere inherited property at Glemham from his mother, Joan Glemham, and that the Freres of Glemham recited below were his descendants.
The court rolls of Sibton further tell us that in 1453, "Robertus Frere de Glemham debt. sect. CIV." The will of a John Frere junior of Great Glemham, dated 5th July 1457, was proved at Ipswich 23rd Nov. 1475. In it he mentions his wife Agnes and his daughter Margaret. Under date 1487, Blomefield quotes, "Prioriss. de Campsey tenet in Glemham inter ten. Johis Frer, sen., extent. man. de Kettleburgh" (The Prioress of Campsey holds in Glemham between the tenement of John Frere senior, etc.). The will of another John Frier, of Great Glemham, dated 20th Jan. 1496/7, was proved 23rd Sep. 1497, at Ipswich, in which he mentions Margaret, his wife, and John, his son. Blomefield again quotes, under date 1487, "Willmus Knyght tenet in Glemham inter ten. Ric. Frer " (William Knight holds in Glemham between the tenement of Richard Frere, etc.). The William Frere whose will, dated 20th June 1463, proved 11th Jan. 1465/6, is at Norwich, may have been a son of the second Robert Frere, of Glemham. He mentions his wife, Mabelle; his daughters, Agnes and Margaret; and his brother, John; but no son.
On 24th October 1579, Judith Crispe disputed with Robert Fryer, son of Henry Fryer, and Joan his wife, daughter of William and Katherine Crispe, lands in Reydon and Wangford, which he had inherited from his mother. His father had died intestate, and his mother had previously sued her son for seizing his father's money (Chancery Proceedings). They would seem to be connected with the Freres of Glemham.
JOHN FRERE, of Sweffling, elder brother of the preceding William, married Joan Brampton (Harl. MS. 1560). She was probably a Brampton of Brampton in Suffolk, and not a Norfolk Brampton, which branch of the family bore different arms, now quartered by Lord Cranworth, their present representative. Sir Richard de Brampton, in 1299, succeeded to the manor of Leyham, in Suffolk, on the death of his cousin, John de Leyham; but his son Thomas, who was possibly the father of Joan, sold it in 1310. The two following references may refer to him:--
A John Frere was on a jury for Plomesgate hundred in 1381 to try the rioters of that year, and Sweffling is in that hundred.
And again, Charters, Brit. Mus. 58 C. 5, 6, 44 Edward III. (1371): "Indenturae duae inter Willm de Wickingham chev., Willm Cursone, et Thomam Ansonn, et Willm Thelnetham, Johem Frere, et Johem Hawke, de obligatione pro 60 s."
ALEXANDER (the second), of Sweffing, son of the preceding.--Harl. MS. 1449 tells us that he was alive in 1394; No.1169 that his wife's name was Holland; and Nos.1169, 1552, and 1560 that he had two sons, John and Alexander. The court rolls of Kelsale tell us that in the 5th year of Henry IV. (1404), "Alexander Frere de Swytheling fug. inf. lib. warr duc. et cep. un. lep " (exercised his right of free warren and caught a hare).
It appears that the long connection of the family with Occold dates from his marriage; for Alexander, of Occold, the child of it, and his son John, both mention in their wills a messuage called "Holland's," and the same messuage is also devised in later wills, in which it is stated as being in the parish of Occold. The Hollands held Kelsale and Mendham in the reign of Elizabeth.
JOHN FRERE (the second), of Sweffling, elder son of the foregoing, is mentioned in Harl. MSS. 1169, 1552, and 1560. As, however, they are only concerned with the descendants of his younger brother, Alexander, they give no further information either as to him or his descendants, the later Freres of Sweffling, of whom we know from other sources.
The names of John Frere and of Isabel his wife occur in the court rolls of Kelsale, 13 Henry VI. (35), and again in 16 Edward IV. (1461), his father's name Alexander being also mentioned.
In the Ipswich registry are the following wills of later Freres of Sweffling:--
JOHN FREYER (will dated 8th March 1517/18, proved 22nd April 1518).--He seems to have been either a son or grandson of John and Isabel. He mentions his wife Agnes, and his son Alexander, whose will, dated 10th Aug. 1530, proved 11th Nov. 1530, is also at Ipswich. In it Alexander mentions his brother James and his children; his sister Jane and her sons; his nephew Robert Fryer; his niece Margaret Fryer; and his brothers Thomas and John. Blomefield has also a quotation under the year 1487, "Alexander Frer tenet in Parham, etc." As Parham is the next parish to Sweffling, and we know of no other Alexander Frere living at that time, the reference almost certainly refers to the same Alexander.
There is also the will of a Robert Frier, of Sweffling, dated 5th June, proved 1st Oct. 1555. He was perhaps son of James Fryer, brother of the preceding. The will mentions his wife Johan, his sons Robert and James, and his daughters Johan and Katherine.
These Freres continued to live at Sweffling and Parham. There is at Somerset House the will of a William Frere, of Parham, Suffolk, dated 3rd Oct. 1655, and proved 22nd March 1655/6. He died unmarried, and left his tenement in Sweffling to Edward Gilbard, who occupied it, and to his wife, and after their deaths to be sold for the benefit of his kinswoman, Susan Tolifer, and her four sisters, to whom he left certain lands in Parham, and other lands there to Edward Hallant, the younger. He made bequests to his brothers, John and James, and to his kinsmen, sons of his brother Robert, deceased, his one-sixteenth share of a ship called the "Owner's Adventure" The will of James Fryer, above-mentioned, is also at the Principal Probate Registry at Somerset House, and was proved 24th June 1659. In it he is described as of Cratfield, Suffolk, and he mentions his nephew Henry Willett alias Fryer, Thomas Bishop, of Thorndon, and Anne his wife, "my kinswoman," the son of Richard Tollifer, " my brother-in-law," Susan and Anne Tollifer, "my kinswomen," Richard Aldus, of Alborowe, "my kinsman," and Margaret and Jane, his sisters. He also mentions his brother, John Fryer, named in the preceding will, and an Elizabeth Tollifer.
There is also at Somerset House the will of a James Fryer of Swefland, yeoman, proved 31st July 1660, in which he mentions his wife Fynitt, his sons James, John, and Robert, all minors; lands in both Swefland and Glemham.
There may exist in the local registries, or at the Principal Probate Registry, after the year 1700, later wills of Fryers of Sweffling and Glemham; but the name Frere, so spelt, does not occur in the Sweffling registers.
ALEXANDER FRERE, younger brother of the preceding, is of importance in the history of the family, as being the earliest Frere recorded at the College of Arms.
He married Margaret, daughter and heiress of John Henman of Occold, who, as we learn from the will of her brother-in-law, John Cullum, survived her husband, but died before 1497. By that will, dated "Monday next afore the ffest of Seynt Mihell, 1497," we learn that he left parcels of land "to the towneshepe of Ocolt fundyn yerly a certeyn in the cherch of Ocolt to pr.y euy Sunday for the Soules of Alysaundr ffrere, Margarete his wyff, and Margarete his wyfs fader & his moder sowles and his childern for euyr." His father-in-law, John Henman, in 1449 devised by will three closes in the village of Benningham, called Preste's, Hedges', and Wogate's, to the intent, inter alia, that his anniversary day should be kept in the parish church. In Harl. MSS. 1169 and 1560 the mistake is made of omitting his children and making his grandchildren his children. He is mentioned in 1453 at Occold in a will at Norwich (reference Alleyne 17).
JOHN FRERE, of Wickham Skeith, elder son of the preceding, together with his wife, Julian, is recorded in Harl. MS. 1449, and in Davy's pedigrees she is said to have been the widow of Richard Margery, of Walsham-le-Willows, Suffolk, but they are omitted in Harl. MSS. 1169 and 1560, as already stated, thus making his son Thomas, who died in 1584, the son of his grandfather, who died in 1471! The cause of this mistake is easily recognised; the compiler no doubt mistook his son Thomas for his brother of the same name.
John Frere was executor to Edward Holme, of Wickham Skeith, in February 1505/6 (Stowe charters, 626), and he himself had bought land and settled in that place, where the family still own land. By his will, dated 28th Aug. 1530, and proved 12th Dec. 1532 (see Appendix I.), he left to his younger sons, who were both minors in 1530, the properties which had been the portions of their grandmother and great-grandmother. His house called "Garnous," in Wickham, was probably called after the important family of Garneys or Garnish, first established at Beccles and Heveningham, and later on at Kenton and Mendlesham.
As there is no other record of Robert, he probably died without issue; but Thomas was the ancestor of the Freres of Occold, Harleston, Mulbarton, and Barbadoes.
THOMAS FRERE, second son of Alexander. - Of him we know little for certain beyond his name from his father's will. There is, however, the following entry in the court rolls of the manor of Harboro' Hall, in Aspall, 2 Rich. III. (1485): "Dom. conc. Tho. Frere de Kenton habend. eid. Tho., Margarete ux. ejus, et Edwardo fil. eorund " (The Lord of the manor granted to Thomas Frere of Kenton to be held by the said Thomas, Margaret his wife, and Edward their son). As Kenton and Aspall are so near Occold, and as this Thomas was son of the first Occold Frere, the entry can hardly refer to anyone else. The will of Margaret Freyer of Kenton, dated 27 Aug 1514, was proved at Ipswich 12 Aug. 1515. In it she describes herself as "widow of the Dyer of Norwich." She mentions her daughters Elizabeth and Catherine, and Margaret and Joan her God-daughters.
JOHN FRERE (the second of Wickham Skeith), son and heir of John and Julian, married before his father made his will in 1530, Agnes, daughter of John Bacon of Hessett; and his brother Thomas married her sister Margaret. This branch of the Bacons had been settled at Hesset ever since the reign of Edward I., and at the dissolution of the monasteries Henry VIII granted to Thomas Bacon (apparently the father of John) the lands previously owned there by the abbey of Bury St. Edmund's.
This John Frere is not given in Harl. MSS., nor is he recorded at the College of Arms, as he did not concern the descent of the Freres of Occold, Norfolk, and Barbadoes; and the pedigree of the Freres of Finningham is only taken back at the College of Arms as far as his son. He died in 1558, and his will (Appendix I.) shows that of his six sons only the two eldest can have been as old as twenty-four at the date of his death. He has been wrongly stated to have died in 1585 instead of 1558, on the authority of a pedigree in the Norris collection.
THOMAS FRERE, next brother to the preceding, being the ancestor of the Norfolk and Barbadoes Freres, is given in all their pedigrees, though sometimes erroneously either stated to be the eldest son, or else the son of his grandfather, as already pointed out. He married twice: first, Margaret, daughter of John Bacon of Hessett, and sister to his elder brother's wife; and secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Baxter of Forncett, Norfolk. The pedigrees wrongly give Bacon's name as "Edmund," which his will, cited above, refutes. The descendants of this Thomas Frere must be treated of separately, as they formed a distinct family.
Of the brother ROBERT and the three sisters we know nothing beyond the fact that Robert was a minor in 1530, and that Margaret was married to John Pretyman when her brother died in 1558.
JOHN FRERE, of Wickham Abbey, eldest son of John and Agnes.--None of the pedigrees at the British Museum or the College of Arms record the fact that he was the son of John and Agnes, because (1) he did not concern the Occold Freres, and (2) when, in 1664, his grandson John Frere of Finningham had his arms recorded at the visitation, his descent was only carried as far back as his grandfather. Moreover, great confusion was caused by the Heralds only crediting him with one wife, and calling her "Angnes Ryvett." We know from the registers of Wickham Skeith, and from the will of Thomas Rivett, proved 16th July 1596, and also from other sources, that he married twice; first, on 24th. May 1559, Katherine, daughter of John Rivett, of Rishangles; and secondly, in 1561/2, Thomasine Jessop, of Thorndon; and that the Freres of Finningham are descended from the latter.
The Heralds took down, presumably on John Frere's own authority, the Christian name of his great-grandmother and the surname of his step-grandmother as the names of his grandmother.
Again, in Harl. MS. 1169, he is said to have married "Thomasine Ryvett," through a confusion of the names of his two wives. His children are given in Muskett's collections, Add. MS. 33,865 in the British Museum. His daughter Sara died unmarried, and her will was proved 26th March 1626. His own will cannot at present be found.
Of his brothers and sisters we know nothing, except what their father's will tells us, and that Richard was buried 1st Dec. 1605, unmarried, at Wickham Skeith, and that Valentine Frere, the fourth brother, married Agnes Norman, at Wickham Skeith, on 30th Dec. 1572, and had the seven children detailed in the pedigree; of whom we only know what the Wickham Skeith registers record, and that Thomas's wife was the daughter of George Harrison, of Stonham, whose will was proved 27th Oct. 1614.
The family of Brame, or Braham, into which two of Valentine's sisters married, had long lived at Brame's Hall, in Wetheringsett, which they sold about the end of the 16th century.
The Rivetts were originally of Rishangles; but Andrew Rivett, father of John, bought the manor of Brandeston in 1548, and John was living there in 1570. The family had offshoots at Stowmarket, and at Chippenham, in Cambridgeshire.
To return to the children of John Frere, of Wickham Abbey. The only child of the first marriage died an infant. His three surviving sons by his second marriage all left descendants; but those of the eldest and youngest had apparently died out in the male line by the end of the 17th century, or else had gone to Barbadoes, as has been already pointed out.
PETER FRERE, the eldest surviving son, married Anne, the daughter of John Bacon, of Hessett, apparently his second cousin. The Wickham Skeith register tells us that he was baptised 18th May 1565, and buried 8th Sept. 1615. Davy's description of his monument, now not to be found (see Appendix II.), gives an additional proof that the Freres in Suffolk bore their arms long before they were recorded at the visitation.
Of Peter Frere's sisters there is nothing to relate beyond what is stated in the pedigree.
JOHN FRERE, of Wickham Skeith, eldest son of Peter, married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Symonds, of Witford Bridge, Cambridgeshire. There is little known of him but that in 1645 he was a defaulter in the manor of Wickham Skeith, and that he was dead when his brother George made his will in 1655. His eldest son, John, probably died before 1647, when his uncle George was admitted in the manor of Wickham Skeith in his father's place. The probable explanation of the old uncertainty with respect to the fate of Thomas's three sons has already been given.
GEORGE FRERE, of Fingringhoe, younger son of Peter Frere, married a wife named Blanche, who was executrix to her husband, and from her arms on his monument appears to have been a Felgate. In his will (see Appendix I.) the relationships are rather confused. He calls his great-nephew George, and also his niece Elizabeth Jackson, "cousin." His brother Thomas is called his brother-in-law, and one of his brothers-in-law is called, indifferently, Nettleship and Nettleton. For description of his monument see Appendix II.
Of his brothers and sisters, William was alive at the time of George's death, presumably unmarried. No children of the Nettleships are mentioned. Either Mary or Lettice appear from George's will to have married a Mr. Hayes, and the other is supposed to have died unmarried. Penelope, who married John Goddard and succeeded to George's land at Wickham Skeith, had four sons, John, George, Edmund, and Robert; of whom the two eldest are mentioned in George's will, and one daughter named Susan, who married Thomas Chenery, of Wetheringsett. The eldest son succeeded to George's manors of Peete and Fingringhoe, and sold the latter in 1707 to Marmaduke, son of Marmaduke Rawdon, of Hoddesdon, Herts. Susan married Thomas Dawson, and had four sons and a daughter; and Mirabel, or Myrabbilis, married John Barnes, and had a son John.
THOMAS FRERE, brother of George, and described in his will as a "sea chandler," had the contract for supplying powder to the Navy in 1638 (State Papers), and is described as `'ammunitioner, of Tower St." As his cousin Anthony Frere of Aldgate is also described as an ammunitioner, they may possibly have been partners.
JOHN FRERE, the first of Finningham, where he settled in 1598, married Anne, daughter of John Sandwich, or Sandwick, of Finningham, by whom he had an only son, John.
For his will and his monument see Appendices I. and II.
EDWARD FRERE, of Cotton, the youngest brother of the preceding, married Joan Symonds and had three sons, of whom the eldest may be presumed to have married and had a son John, as he is called "senior " in the will of his aunt Anne Symonds. Of Kidby, the youngest, so named after his uncle, we learn from his mother's will that there was some disagreement between him and his mother, and of Edward, from the same source, that he had died before the 24th of April 1648, and in debt. His wife's surname is unknown to us, but by her he left two sons and three daughters. The eldest son, Edward Frere, is the one who died in 1710, and left land at Wickham Skeith to his cousin Edward Frere, of Thwaite Hall. This he did because his own two children were already dead; and he left small legacies to his nephew Charles and his sisters, as well as to the children of his late kinsman John Frere, of Bottesdale. Who this John Frere of Bottesdale was we do not know. If one may hazard a guess, he was most probably a son or grandson of John Frere, of Bacton.
In a deed at Roydon, dated 1st Nov. 1664, Edward Frere is described as "of Finningham;" and by it John Goddard, of Wickham Skeith, and George Goddard, of Bury St. Edmund's, agreed to surrender to him certain copyholds, so that he and his heirs might become entitled thereto in reversion expectant upon the decease of the said John Goddard and Penelope his wife. This George Goddard was the son of John, and married Dorothy Goodman, of Creeting All Saints. By another deed, of the 29th of September 1671, Penelope Goddard sold to Edward Frere her life interest in the lands at Wickham Skeith, of which he had already acquired the reversion by the deed of 1st Nov. 1664. This deed of 29th Sept. 1671 mentions Susan Chenery, and states that George Goddard, the son and heir of John and Penelope, was then dead. For his monument see Appendix II. The following are the references to him in the court rolls of the manor of Woodhall in Stoke Ash:--
" 1666. Johes Day mis. redd. Edw. Frere de Finningham, gen., ten. in Stoke Ash.
1671. Edw. Frere admis. post mort. Johis. Goddard.
1711. Edw. Fryer ob. Edw. Frere, gen., nepos Edw. Fryer, gen., admiss. virtute testi.
dci. Edw. Fryer, dat. Jan. 1709."
The manor of Wickham Skeith was never owned by a Frere. The Abbey Farm, where Peter Frere lived, belonged to the Herveys, and was sold by them to Richard Canning, of Ipswich, in 1716.
JOHN FRERE, of Wortham.--For particulars of his children see his will in the Appendix. We do not know whether his son Charles married or left any posterity; nor do we know what relation to him was a Maude Frere, buried at Wortham on the 4th of Sept. 1704.
John Frere's sister Bridget kept house for her cousin George Frere at Fingringhoe, as we learn from his will. Her sister Sarah married John Carey at Finningham on 10th Nov. 1664, and died before her brother Edward, leaving five sons and one daughter.
From this point there remain no more discrepancies or omissions in any of the pedigrees, with the exception of that of the Freres of Occold, Harleston, and Barbadoes, who remain to be treated of as a separate branch of the family.
Of the children of Thomas Frere, of Occold, second son of John and Julian, the two sons by his first wife died without issue, but the elder seems to be the Alexander Frere who had a Chancery suit with a certain Thomas Fuller about land at Ufford, in Suffolk, in 1590.
The daughter married to John Cullum, of Thorndon, left two sons, Thomas and Edward. (For the will of Thomas Cullum see Appendix I.)
By his second marriage Thomas Frere of Occold left five daughters and three sons. The two younger sons left no issue. Thomas died unmarried about the 1st Nov. 1604, and made no will; but his death-bed dispositions were sworn to by various of his near relations on 18th February 1605/6, and administration was granted to his brother Richard in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. His brother Anthony's will is in Appendix I.
Amongst the Gawdy papers at the British Museum (Egerton MS. 2722, f.54) is an undated letter from Anthony Frere, addressed to the Right Worshipful Bassingborn Gawdy, Esq., at his house in Harling, about his lodging when in attendance at Sessions as a grand juror. It is very badly written, and signed A. Fryre. The wafer seal bears the impression as in margin, which was no doubt made with the ring mentioned in his will.
A quotation from the archives of Thetford, given in the Norfolk "Weekly Standard and Argus" of 11th April 1896, relates, that in 1594 he was £5 for refusing to act as Mayor; which illustrates the allusion in his will to his having a grievance against some of his fellow townsmen.
Anne, the eldest sister of the foregoing, left one son, Thomas, by her first husband, John Packer and by her second, Coxon, left a daughter Anne, who married Thomas Wick.
The Morphews had six children.
Thomasine Frere died before her mother.
Grace left four children by her first marriage with Richard Humphrey, and her son Richard and May his wife are mentioned in the will of their cousin Richard Frere, who died in 1645/6. Another son, Charles Humphrey, in his will, dated 25th April 1644, proved 11th Feb. 1644/5, mentions his sister Grace Damatt, widow, and her two children, Elizabeth and George, also Grace Damatt, his mother, then deceased.
Elizabeth Adamson had a son John, as appears from the will of her mother Elizabeth Frere, in Appendix I. Her husband's name is stated to be John in Harl. MS. 1552, and Geoffrey in Jermyn's pedigree (taken from Norris MS.) Add. MS. 8208.
RICHARD FRERE, of Harleston, eldest son of Thomas Frere, of Occold, by his first marriage, was the father of Thomas Frere, of Bressingham, ancestor of the Barbadoes Freres.
The name of the husband of his daughter Elizabeth is given as Westboth in Sir John Fenn's pedigree of the Frere family, on the authority of the Suffolk visitations, but Wells is the name in the Norfolk visitations, and also in Charles Humphrey's will.
As regards the descendants of his second marriage, there is not very much to add to the information given in the pedigree and appendices.
The name Tobias, which occurs in each subsequent generation, was a common name in the Blosse family, and was copied by the Barbadoes Freres, although they were not actually descended from Alice Blosse.
THOMAS, son of Anthony Frere, of Mulbarton, seems to be the same as Thomas Frere, of Dickleboro', whose daughter and heiress Prudence married Edmund Tirell, one of the Queen's Privy Chamber. (Harl. MS. 1136, a copy of the Suffolk visitation of 1662.) His brother, Anthony Frere, is almost certainly the Anthony Frere whose widow, Mary, administered his estate in 1676. (Prin. Prob. Reg.)
THOMAS FRERE, of Bressingham, eldest son of Richard, of Harleston, married (as we know from his will in Appendix I.) Anne, sister of Roger Stone, whom the old pedigrees ascribe to his son of the same name, saying that his mother was Anne "Wallis." They also call the first Thomas "Citizen and Skinner," which we know was the description of the second Thomas (from his will in Appendix I.). It is therefore plain that the authority from which the compilers drew up the pedigrees had got these two Thomases and their wives in reverse order. This mistake is partly excused by the fact that the Barbadoes pedigree tells us that the youngerThomas married no less than four times; and of the four wives two seem to have been named Anne, and the first, whom we know from Harl. MS 1169, to have been Anne, daughter of Ambrose Browne, of Milton, Kent, died many years before her mother-in-law of the same name, the wife of a husband of the same name.
Thomas' second wife is stated by the pedigree to have been .... Gauden, and the third to have been Anne Stone; but, as we have already seen, his mother being Anne Stone, not Anne Wallis, his third wife was probably Anne Wallis, and not Anne Stone. (Monument in Appendix II.)
His fourth wife, Barbara Robinson, of Stanmore, survived him.
His will (see Appendix I.) mentions his daughter Barbara, who afterwards married a Mr. Scott, of Kent; and his son William, a merchant in Barbadoes, who married a wife named Margaret in 1664, and apparently also Martha Carnsew in 1673, and, again, Rose Lettuce in 1683. (These dates, and also other subsequent ones, are taken from the registers of St. Michael's Cathedral, and Christchurch, Barbadoes.) He left a son Thomas, who died without issue, and two daughters. The elder, Anne, married Clement Bowcher, of Barbadoes, in 1669; and Martha, the younger, married Judge Thomas Terrill, also of Barbadoes, in 1701.
There was, however, another William Frere of Barbadoes, as is shown by the list of the inhabitants of Christchurch given later on; and as there was no other William Frere of the Occold stock, as far as we can judge, the other William may have been the brother of George Frere of Fingringhoe, of whom we know nothing beyond his name.
RICHARD FRERE, eldest son of Thomas Frere, of Bressingham, is stated in the Barbadoes pedigree to have married Margaret, daughter of .... Cremour, and widow of .... Gauden.
We know the date of his baptism at Occold, 18th April 1605; and his will (see Appendix I.) was dated 2nd Feb. 1645/6, and proved Feb. 10th 1647/8. His monument (see Appendix II.) shows that he died the very day he made his will, in his 42nd year.
He had a son TOBIAS, who married, first, Audrey, daughter of Patrick Carey, of Holborn, and by her had a daughter, Anne, who died unmarried. His second wife was Lucy, daughter of Jonas Jesse. There is a monument to her, and to her elder daughter, Elizabeth, who died unmarried, in Writtle church, Essex. Their younger daughter, Mary, married Joseph Pilgrim, of Barbadoes.
By his will, dated 23rd Jan. 1699, and proved 8th July 1700 (see Muskett's Collections, Add. MS. 33,869), Tobias Frere, late of London, but then of Barbadoes, left to Lucy his wife lands and houses in Occold, Thorndon, and Russlings, free and copy; to his dear daughter, Anne Frere, a lease in Cheapside, which came to him on marriage with her mother, also £1,000; bequests to his sisters, Margaret Harrington, Anne Elderidge, Alice Jeffreys; to the Hon. Tobias Frere and his children; and to his three daughters, when twenty-one, his real estate in Barbadoes not already settled on his wife.
The younger children of Richard and Margaret were:
THOMAS (see will of his uncle Thomas), who was, perhaps, the Thomas Frere who was at King's College, Cambridge, and took his degree in 1663. He died unmarried in 1684. (Administration by his brother Tobias Sept. 4th, Prin. Prob. Reg.)
ANNE, who married William Elderidge, of Oxfordshire.
MARY, who married John Hayward, of Diss.
ALICE, who married Jabez Jeffreys, of London.
MARGARET, who married .... Harrington. (Will of her uncle Tobias.)
RICHARD, buried at Fersfield in 1647.
ALEXANDER, second son of Thomas, of Bressingham, died without issue in his father's life-time.
THOMAS, the third son, has already been dealt with.
TOBIAS, the fourth son, was baptized at Occold 23rd July . He sailed to Virginia on the 15th May 1635, on board the " Plaine Joane," Richard Backlum, master ("The original List of Emigrants who went to America, 1600-1700," by J. Camden Hotten); but he left there for Barbadoes, as we see in a list of the inhabitants of Christchurch, Barbadoes, dated 22nd Dec. 1679. (Ibid. p. 477.)
FRERE, TOBIAS, Esq. Acres 395, Servants 5 Negroes 150.
Frere John, Esq. Acres 180, Servants 0 Negroes 80.
Frere William, Esq. Acres 120, Servants 0 Negroes 40.
Frere William, Esq. Acres 1.
(Ibid. p. 328 :) "Capt. Tobias Frere had handed over to him as servants Thomas Townsend and John Hugens, two out of 90 persons transported to Barbadoes for their part in Monmouth's rebellion."
There is an entry at the Record Office to the effect that in 1638 a William Fryer had more than 10 acres in Barbadoes. This date is so early that it appears probable that this William Fryer, elsewhere spelt Frere, was the brother of George Frere, of Fingringhoe.
However, to return to Tobias. He married a Miss Middleton, and left a son Tobias, who married, in 1681, Susanna, daughter of John Beeke, of Barbadoes, who died in January 1759 and has a monument in St. George's, Barbadoes; he also died in Barbadoes, having had one son, Tobias, who died young, and a daughter named Elizabeth, who married, in 1686, Francis Draycott, of Barbadoes.
ANTHONY, the fifth son, was baptized at Occold in 1608. He was a merchant and "ammunitioner," and lived in Aldgate, and was probably a partner of his cousin Thomas Frere, son of Peter. He married Anne Sandys, by whom he had a son named Renould, and a daughter named Anne, who married William Gregory, of "Belsetter " (i.e. Billiter) Street, London.
ANNE, the elder sister of the preceding, was baptized at Occold 2nd Dec. 1611, and married John Piddock, and had a son named William.
ALICE, the younger daughter, baptized 23rd March 1615/16, married Benjamin Payne, of Diss, and left a son, and a daughter named Alice, who married John Hill.
JOHN, the youngest of the family, was baptized 21st Oct. 1626. His children by his first wife, Anne Pearson, of Creake, Norfolk (sister of Bishop Pearson of Chester), were:
Tobias, baptized 27th May 1655.
Anne, baptized 24th April 1658; married 1678 John Dawn, of Barbadoes.
Elizabeth, baptized 5th Oct. 1660; married 1682 Thos. Townes, M.D., and afterwards Jonas Hudson, of Barbadoes.
Joane, baptized 1st Oct. 1663; married in 1687 Thomas Lewis, of Barbadoes; 2ndly, Samuel Crispe, of Wimbledon; 3rdly, Robert Carleton, of Carleton; 4thly, Robert Lowther, of Westmorland, twice governor of Barbadoes.
He had also a daughter Rachel, baptized 8th Nov. 1659; and a son John, baptized 2nd Dec. 1656, who must have died in childhood, as another son called John was baptized 14th Feb. 1662/3.
Some of these children are mentioned in the will of their uncle Thomas, Citizen and Skinner.
By his second marriage he had three daughters; Martha, baptized 21st Oct. 1672, who married John Price in 1703; Mary, baptized 28th May 1674, who married Thomas Wiltshire in 1692; and Frances, who married Jeshuram Jones in 1691.
TOBIAS, son and heir of John Frere of Barbadoes, baptized 27th May 1655, married in 1676 Abigail, daughter of John Turnor, of Turnor's Hall, and was a member of the Council of Barbadoes in 1680. He had the following children:--
JOHN, President of the Council of Barbadoes.
Mary, who married in 1698 Alexander, son of Sir Alexander Walrond, Knt., of Barbadoes.
Anne, who married in 1713 Richard Adams, of Barbadoes.
Abigail, who married in John Pickering, of Barbadoes.
JOHN FRERE, son and heir of the said Tobias, was born in 1674, and was member of the Assembly for St. Philip's in 1706, and President of the Council of Barbadoes in 1720. He married, first, in 1699, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Spiar, of Barbadoes. She died in 1707, and by her he had a Son and heir, John, and two daughters, Esther and Mary. By his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John Brome, of Kent, he had Anne, who married Sir Wolsten Dixie, Bart., of Bosworth, Leicestershire; Samuel, who died young; Rebecca; Elizabeth; and a son, Tobias, who was a member of the Assembly in 1741, and married in 1757, Charlotte, daughter of Sir George Trevelyan, Bart. John Frere, the President of the Council, died of smallpox in England in 1721.
His son and heir, JOHN FRERE, was born in 1706, and died in 1766 (monument in St. George's, Barbadoes), having married Susanna, heiress of Thomas Applewhaite, of Barbadoes. She died 21st Jan. 1759, aged 48; and by her he had seven children:--
Alexander, died young.
Henry (of whom hereafter).
Tobias, born 1738, died 1763.
Elizabeth, born 1738, died 1766, having married Samuel Estwick, of Barbadoes.
(Their only daughter, Elizabeth Susanna, married Robert Burnett Jones, of Barbadoes, and their third daughter married, as his second wife, on 18th Sept. 1806, James Everard, ninth Lord Arundel.)
Susanna, born 1739, married Patrick Lynch, of Barbadoes, and died in 1764.
Abigail, died young.
Applewhaite (of whom hereafter).
HENRY, the second son, married, 13th Sept. 1756, Dorothy, daughter of Richard Scudamore, of Kentchurch Court, Herefordshire, who was born 26th Jan. 1734/5, and died 11th June 1789, and has a monument in St. George's, Barbadoes. Henry Frere was Member of Council in 1773 and 1780; and was Governor of Barbadoes in 1790; he died 25th May 1792 of injuries received in getting out of his carriage.
APPLEWHAITE, the youngest son, and last survivor of the family, was born in 1752, was member for St. George's in the Assembly of Barbadoes in 1783, and died in London in 1830.
The many wills of Freres and Fryers, however spelt, in the Principal Probate Registry at Somerset House, have been searched, from the earliest times up to the end of the 18th century. There remain only two, besides those given in this book, which may be those of members of our family, viz.:--
Nicholas Fryer, of East Bergholt, Suffolk, proved 30th August 1543.
Thomas Fryer, of Great Yarmouth proved 9th February 1657.
Neither of these wills alludes to any relations other than wife and children; there is therefore no clue to the testators' connections beyond their place of abode.
There are also various administrations which appear to be those of members of the family; but they give no information, and are not easy to identify with any certainty.
There remains one unexplained entry in the registers at Wickham Skeith: "John Fryer, son of William Fryer and Katherine his wife, baptized 26 April 1576."
ARTHUR HOWARD FRERE.
TO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON FRERE
TO ANTIQUARIAN JOHN FRERE
TO OBITUARY OF RICHARD FRERE OF THE ROYDON FRERE GROUP
TO BARON ALFRED FRÈRE INTERVIEW
CORRESPONDENCE WITH RESEARCHER JOHN FRERE SCOTT
TO JOHN OF SWEFFLING FRERE PEDIGREE (BURKE'S)
TO BARBADOS FRERE INFORMATION
TO JOHN OF SWEFFLING FRERE AND BARBADOS PEDIGREE
TO BLABY FREER PEDIGREE
TO FREER FAMILY RESEARCH DIRECTORY