\W. & A. H. Fry - Brighton Photographers

W. & A. H. Fry - Brighton Photographers

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Walter Henry Fry (born 1841, Plymouth, Devon)  -  Allen Hastings Fry (born 1847, Plymouth, Devon)  -  Clarence Edmund Fry (born 1840, Plymouth, Devon)

The Fry Family of Plymouth

Walter Henry Fry and Allen Hastings Fry, who formed the firm of W. & A. H. Fry in 1867, were the sons of Edmund and Caroline Fry of Plymouth, Devon. Their father, Edmund Fry (1811-1866), was related to the famous Fry family of Bristol. The Frys of Bristol were a prominent Quaker family and included amongst their number Dr. Joseph Fry (1727-1787) the founder of the well known Fry's chocolate company and the owner of an important type foundry, Joseph Fry (1777-1861), the husband of Elizabeth Gurney (1780-1845), who as Mrs Elizabeth Fry became famous as a prison reformer and philanthropist, Joseph Storrs Fry (1769-1835), who established a steam-driven chocolate factory and became the head of the famous chocolate firm of J. S. Fry & Sons, and Edmund Fry (1754-1835), a scholar and designer of type fonts.

Edmund Fry (2) was born in Bristol on 18th September 1811, the son of Edmund Fry (1) and Harriet Windover. Edmund Fry senior (1) appears to have been a bookseller. In 1836, Edmund Fry senior (1) was listed as a bookseller, stationer and artist's colourman at Treville Street, Plymouth. In July 1836, Edmund Fry's house was badly damaged by fire and so he set up a new business in Union Road (later Union Street), Plymouth. During the 1840s, Edmund Fry (2) was working as carver & gilder at 43 Union Street, Plymouth, but around 1845 he appears to have joined his father in his bookselling and print publishing business. From around 1840, Edmund Fry senior (1) had been publishing hand coloured lithographs and marine prints from his business premises at 43 Union Road, Plymouth ( e.g. Four Views of the Royal Steam Yacht, Victoria & Albert, at Plymouth, 1843). The firms of Edmund Fry & Son and Edmund Fry Junior of Plymouth published a number of lithographs between 1844 and 1850, mainly on maritime themes and featuring famous ships of the day ( H. M. Brig Acorn  in chase of the Piratical Slaver Gabriel ; H.M.S. Queen being towed out of Malta Harbour by H. M. Steam Vessel Virago, January 1844 ). Around 1848, Edmund Fry junior (2) entered into a partnership with Henry Lee Fry (died 1857, Plymouth), who was probably his younger brother. Henry Lee Fry, like Edmund Fry junior, was a carver & gilder by trade and had also worked as an artist's colourman. As print publishers, Edmund Fry and Henry Lee Fry, issued a number of lithographs, including a set of 12 views of Plymouth by Phillip Mitchell (1814-1896), a marine and landscape artist and former naval officer who had settled in Plymouth around 1845. A number of the prints published by Edmund Fry junior were from the work of the well known marine artist Oswald Walters Brierly (1817-1894). In 1852, Oswald Brierly married Sarah Fry (c1817-1870), a daughter of Edmund Fry senior (1) and sister of Edmund Fry (2) .

[ABOVE] The Breakwater Lighthouse, Plymouth, looking towards Mount Edgecumbe. This is one of  twelve views of  Plymouth and the surrounding area drawn by Philip Mitchell (1814-1896) and lithographed by William Spreat. The full set of twelve views by Phillip Mitchell were published as coloured lithographs by E. & H. L. Fry of  Plymouth. Edmund Fry published coloured lithographic prints from 43 Union Road (Street), Plymouth from the early 1840s.

   

[ABOVE] Mrs Caroline Mary Fry (1809-1879), school teacher and wife of peace campaigner Edmund Fry. [ABOVE] Edmund Fry (1811-1866), the Plymouth-born print-seller and Quaker peace activist.

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Michael Mollet  and Winterbourne Family History Online]

In July 1837, on the Isle of Guernsey, Edmund Fry junior (2) married Caroline Mary Clarence (1809-1879), the daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Clarence of London. Both Edmund and Caroline Fry were members of the Religious Society of Friends (commonly known as Quakers), nonconformist Christians who held pacifist views. Edmund Fry and his wife Caroline Clarence produced at least five children - Clarence Edmund Fry (born 1840, Plymouth), Walter Henry Fry (born 1841, Plymouth), Hubert Oswald Fry (born 1843, Plymouth), Lucy Elizabeth Laughton Fry (born 1844, Plymouth) and Allen Hastings Fry (born 1847, Plymouth). All five children became associated with either art or photography.

[ABOVE] A portrait of the Brighton photographer Allen Hastings Fry (1847-1931), an illustration taken from the magazine "The Professional Photographer", June 1916.

[PHOTO: Courtesy of The Brighton History Centre]

[ABOVE] Portrait of  Edmund Fry (1811-1866), father of the photographers, Clarence Edmund Fry (1840-1897), Walter Henry Fry (born 1841), and Allen Hastings Fry (born 1847). This portrait was painted around the time of his marriage to Caroline Mary Clarence in 1837.

[PICTURE: Courtesy of  Kate Greenwood ]

[ABOVE] Portrait of  Clarence Edmund Fry (1840-1897), the eldest son of Edmund and Caroline Fry. In 1863 Clarence E. Fry entered into partnership with Joseph John Elliott (1835-1903) to form the famous London photography firm of Elliott & Fry.

[PICTURE: Courtesy of  Kate Greenwood ]

 
Fry Photographers in Brighton

A professional photographer named Samuel Fry (1833-1890) established a studio at 79 Kings Road, Brighton as early as 1858, but, although he too seems to have been a Quaker, he was apparently not directly related to the Fry Family of Plymouth. Samuel Fry left Brighton before 1861, probably after the birth of his son in Brighton during the Third Quarter of 1860.

The Italian photographer Antonio Martinucci (c1830-1880) was in partnership with a photographer named Fry in the mid 1860s and together they ran the studio of Lombardi & Fry between 1864 and 1867. The partner in Lombardi & Fry was possibly Walter Henry Fry (born 1841, Plymouth) the second eldest son of Edmund and Caroline Fry.

 

Clarence Edmund Fry (1840-1897) appears to have been the first son of Edmund and Caroline Fry to become involved in photography. Clarence became a professional photographer and in 1863 he entered into partnership with Joseph John Elliott (1835-1903) to form the famous London photography firm of Elliott & Fry. Clarence Fry's business partner Joseph John Elliott, married Clarence's sister Elizabeth Lucy Fry in Brighton in 1864.

In 1867, Walter Henry Fry joined forces with his younger brother Allen Hastings Fry (born 1847, Plymouth), at that time a photographer with the highly respected studio of Hennah & Kent, to form the photography firm of W. & A. H. Fry of East Street, Brighton.

[ABOVE] The trade plate of the firm of W. & A. H. Fry, Art Photographers of 68 East Street Brighton as shown on the reverse of a carte-de-visite photograph. The partners in the firm of W. & A. H. Fry were Walter Fry and Allen Hastings Fry - two sons of  Quaker pacifist Edmund Fry .

[ABOVE] The reverse of a carte-de-visite photograph produced by the firm of  Elliott & Fry of 55 Baker Street, London. One of the partners was Clarence Edmund Fry, brother of Walter and Allen and son of Edmund and Caroline Fry. The couple's daughter, Elizabeth Lucy Fry, was the wife of the other partner, Joseph John Elliott.

Edmund and Caroline Fry in Brighton

[ABOVE] Mrs Caroline Mary Fry (1809-1879). A school teacher by profession, Mrs Caroline Fry ran a Quaker preparatory school in Brighton during the early 1860s. [ABOVE] Edmund Fry (1811-1866), a Quaker and peace campaigner. A former print-seller, Edmund Fry gave lectures in Brighton promoting pacifism.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Michael Mollet  and Winterbourne Family History Online]

The Fry Family in Brighton

Around 1856, Edmund and Caroline Fry moved from Plymouth to Brighton with their five children. Edmund Fry was now one of the leading members of the pacifist movement in England and spent much of his time giving lectures and delivering talks against the idea of using war as a way of solving political issues. His wife, Caroline Fry, was a school teacher by profession and soon after the family's arrival in the seaside town, she opened Mrs Edmund Fry's Preparatory School at 18 Medina Villas, Cliftonville, near Brighton.

Now absorbed by Hove, Cliftonville had been developed as a distinct residential area to the west of Brighton in the 1850s. Charles Fleet writing in 'A Handbook of Brighton and its Environs' in 1858, commented that: "Cliftonville sprang into existence with the rapidity of a Trans-atlantic town. House after house, and villa after villa seemed to rise by magic." The Illustrated Times of February 1859 reported that " there is now no Hove at all ! - nothing as low or common ! Cliftonville , sir, if you please, the new suburb of Brighton ! filled with new little houses, very pretty and clean to look at, and awfully genteel little houses".

Publicity for Mrs Fry's Preparatory School stated that the School Mistress provided a "maternal education for boys" and a school where pupils could "enjoy all the comforts and considerations of home with the most guarded and liberal education." According to her son, Allen Hastings Fry, Mrs Fry's Preparatory School was run on the basis of Quaker principles.

By 1861, the Fry family had set up home at 25 Gloucester Place, Brighton. Edmund Fry, the Head of Household, is described as a "Lecturer", aged 49. Edmund's wife, Mrs Caroline Mary Fry, gives her profession as "School Mistress". Also living at the house in Gloucester Place was Herbert Oswald Fry, an 18 year old "Art Student" and his sixteen year old sister, Lucy Elizabeth Fry. During the early 1860s, this building also served as Mrs Fry's school. Brighton Directories of the 1860s list Mrs Edmund Fry's Preparatory School for Young Gentlemen at 25 Gloucester Place, Brighton.

Edmund Fry appears to have earned a living by giving lectures on Quaker ideas of pacifism and how they related to current events such as the threatened war between Great Britain and France and the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Edmund Fry and his wife Caroline later moved from Brighton to Barnet in Hertfordshire to be close to their daughter and grandchildren, but two of his sons, Walter Henry Fry (born 1841, Plymouth) and Allen Hastings Fry (born 1847, Plymouth), were to settle in Brighton to pursue their photographic careers.

[ABOVE] A school group photograph taken at Mrs Edmund Fry's Preparatory School in Cliftonville by Mrs Fry's young son, Allen Hastings Fry. According to Allen Hastings Fry, the photograph was made around 1856 when he was only nine years of age.  In a magazine interview in 1916, A. H. Fry remarked :"How did I come to take up school photography? Strange to say the oldest photograph I have is of a school. I recently came across it between the leaves of a book and here it is, as good as when I made the print  over sixty years ago. It is of my mother's school and I thought that other schools might like similar photographs. As my family were Quakers it was easy for me to get introductions to other Quaker schools and from these my connexion has gradually extended."

 [PICTURE: Courtesy of The Brighton History Centre]

 

[ABOVE] Part of a newspaper report on a lecture given at Brighton's Town Hall in November 1857 by the Quaker and pacifist Edmund Fry (1811-1866), in which he criticised the killing of innocent Indians during the suppression of  the Indian Mutiny.
 

[ABOVE] Edmund Fry (1811-1866), a Quaker and a leading peace campaigner, photographed in the early 1860s.

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Michael Mollet and Winterbourne Family History Online]

 Edmund Fry (1811-1866) - Quaker and Peace Activist

Edmund Fry (left) appears to have been a leading member of the Peace Society in England during the 1840s and 1850s. As a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), Edmund Fry was a pacifist and an opponent of aggressive military action. Edmund Fry was a friend and associate of Elihu Burritt (1810-1879), the American philanthropist and linguist, who was a strong advocate of world peace. After corresponding with British pacifists, Burritt visited England in 1846 and with his fellow peace campaigners, he organized the "League of Universal Brotherhood". Burritt travelled across England, addressing around 150 packed meetings on behalf of the League of Universal Brotherhood and thousands signed the universal peace pledge. It was during this period that Burritt made the acquaintance of Edmund Fry (a letter from Elihu Burritt to Edmund Fry, dated 10th February 1849, giving a report of his meetings in the North of England has been preserved). Edmund Fry was a prominent member of Burritt's League of Brotherhood and a letter signed by Fry on League of Brotherhood stationery, dating from around 1850, has survived.

Following Elihu Burritt's example, Edmund Fry delivered lectures on the subject of pacifism and universal brotherhood. In 1856, Edmund Fry was corresponding with Burritt, who was now back in America. In November 1857, representing the "Peace Society" ( or in the words of a newspaper reporter " the Ultra-Peace Party" ) Edmund Fry addressed a large audience at Brighton's Town Hall regarding the actions of the British Army in India which followed the Indian Sepoy Rebellion earlier that year. At the start of the lecture, Edmund Fry declared openly that he "was a representative of that most unpopular body of men denominated the Peace Society." According to a local newspaper report, "with the exception of a little interruption at the commencement", Mr Fry "was listened to by the large audience (admitted free) with marked attention."

Fry criticised the actions of the British Army in India, and expressed the concern that the English people, in response to the supposed "crimes and cruelties" inflicted in India, would be driven to "feelings of hatred and revenge". It was Fry's view that a Christian would not have "one innocent Sepoy fall for the acts committed by another who was guilty", but he feared that "in the vengeance executed and sought to be executed by the British, many a guiltless Sepoy had been slain." Fry feared that the national newspapers were exciting the public into "feelings of  hatred and revenge", but he was pleased to find that, in going through the country, the English people had "no desire to see the British arms stained with the indiscriminate massacre of the innocent people of that empire."

Elihu Burritt (1810-1879)

Elihu Burritt was born in New Britain, Connecticut, USA, on 8th December 1810. The son of a farmer, Elihu Burritt was apprenticed to a blacksmith at the age of 16. As a young man, Elihu Burritt worked as a blacksmith in Worcester, Massachusetts, where, in his spare time, he studied foreign languages. He became fluent in Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, Italian and German. By the time he was thirty years of age Elihu Burritt was a proficient linguist and reputedly could read in fifty languages. Burritt was nicknamed "the Learned Blacksmith" and he remained loyal to his working class roots. Even after he achieved fame as a scholar and lecturer, Burritt informed the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that he remained a spokesman for the working class - " I shall covet no higher human reward for any attainment I may make in literature or science, than the satisfaction of having stood in the lot of the working man." Burritt was also a strong campaigner for the abolition of slavery.

Burritt lectured throughout the United States and toured Europe promoting his views on universal peace and human brotherhood. He organised a number of congresses in Europe under the title of "Friends of Peace" and travelled across England and Scotland, spreading his humanitarian ideas. From 1865 to 1870, Elihu Burritt served as the United States consul in the English city of Birmingham. Burritt returned to America and died in his home town of New Britain on 9th March,1879, aged 68.

[ABOVE] A portrait of Elihu Burritt (1810-1879)  taken at the photographic studio of  Elliott & Fry. Edmund Fry's eldest son Clarence Edmund Fry was a partner in the photographic studio of  Elliott & Fry of Baker Street, London, where this portrait of Elihu Burritt was taken around 1864. An American citizen, Elihu Burritt toured Britain between 1863 and 1864 and resided in England between 1865 and 1870.

In 1863, Edmund Fry was able to renew his association with Elihu Burritt when the American peace campaigner returned to England to make a lengthy tour of Great Britain. [ In 1864, Elihu Burritt published an account of his walking tour of Britain in his book A Walk from John O'Groats to Land's End ].

Edmund Fry later moved from Brighton to Barnet in Hertfordshire, where he died on 7th December 1866, aged 55.

Edmund Fry's Family of Photographers

[ABOVE] Clarence Edmund Fry (1840-1897), a photographer who was a partner in the photographic firm of Elliott & Fry of London. [ABOVE] Lucy Elizabeth Fry (1844-1931), the wife of the photographer Joseph John Elliott of Elliott & Fry of London. [ABOVE] Walter Henry Fry (1841-1916), who, in partnership with his younger brother Allen Hastings Fry, ran the photographic studio of W. & A. H. Fry of Brighton. [ABOVE] Allen Hastings Fry (1847-1931).  In 1867, Allen Hastings Fry and his brother Walter Fry established the photographic firm of W. & A. H. Fry of Brighton.

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Michael Mollet and Winterbourne Family History Online]

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Michael Mollet and Winterbourne Family History Online]

[PHOTO: Courtesy of  Erica Moore]

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Lorne Shields of Canada]

       
In the mid 1860s, three of Edmund Fry's sons were working as professional photographers. Clarence Edmund Fry (1840-1897), Edmund's eldest son, was operating a high-class photographic portrait studio at 55 Baker Street, London with his business partner and brother-in-law Joseph John Elliott (1835-1903). [See Elliott & Fry]. Walter Henry Fry (born 1841, Plymouth), Edmund's second son, was probably working as a photographer at the Brighton studio of Lombardi & Fry at 113 King's Road. Edmund Fry's youngest son Allen Hastings Fry (born 1847, Plymouth), was employed by the well known firm of Hennah & Kent, which had been operating a photographic portrait studio at 108 King's Road, Brighton since at least 1854.

In a 1916 interview with the photography journal "The Professional Photographer", Allen Hastings Fry reminisced about working for Hennah & Kent :

"I clearly remember being with Hennah & Kent whose studio was in King's Road, Brighton, where the Hotel Metropole now stands. We worked a salted paper of which the firm was so proud that one of the partners sensitized it at his home in order to guard the secret. We got 21/- ( 1.05p) a dozen for cartes; there was no cabinet at that time [the cabinet format was introduced in 1866]. There was an 8 x 6 which sold at 21/- ( 1.05p) for the first copy and 7/6 for duplicates"

Edmund and Caroline Fry's second youngest son Hubert Oswald Fry (born 1843, Plymouth) was a trained artist and in 1862 he was running drawing classes at his parents' home at 25 Gloucester Place, Brighton. Sadly, Hubert Fry died in Brighton during the second quarter of 1863 before reaching his twenty-first birthday.

Edmund Fry died in Barnet on 7th December 1866 at the age of fifty-five. Edmund Fry appears to have remained true to his Quaker beliefs to the very end, but in 1863 his surviving children turned to the Anglican Church. On 20th October 1863, 21 year old Walter Henry Fry, his fifteen year old brother Allen, and their sister Lucy Elizabeth, aged 19, were baptised at Brighton's Chapel Royal. The following year, on 20th August 1864, Lucy Elizabeth Fry married Joseph John Elliott at St Nicholas's Church, Brighton. Born in Croydon, Surrey on 14th October 1835, Joseph John Elliott was a photographer and the business partner of Lucy's eldest brother Clarence Edmund Fry in the firm of Elliott & Fry. The couple moved to London and over the next 15 years produced at least seven children, including a set of twins. On 7th January1865, Clarence Edmund Fry married Sophia Dunkin Prideaux (born 1838, Modbury, Devon) in Brighton. Clarence Fry's bride, Sophia Prideaux, was a photographic colourist by profession.

In 1867, Walter Henry Fry and his younger brother Allen Hastings Fry established a photographic studio at 68 East Street, Brighton. The photography firm of W. & A. H. Fry of 68 East Street continued until Walter Fry's retirement from the business thirty years later in 1897. Allen Hastings Fry continued his career as a professional photographer and was to occupy the Fry studio in East Street for over fifty years.

[ABOVE] A newspaper advertisement for Hubert Oswald Fry's drawing class at 25 Gloucester Place, Brighton, the Fry family's home ( Brighton Gazette, 27th February 1862). Hubert Oswald Fry was a promising young artist, but sadly he died in 1863 at the age of 20..

[ABOVE] An early newspaper advertisement for Walter and Allen Hastings Fry's photography business at 68 East Street, Brighton. From the beginning, as this advertisement testifies, Messrs W & A. H. Fry specialised in 'outdoor group' photography ( Brighton Guardian, 14th August 1867).

The Photographic Studio of Walter and Allen Hastings Fry at  No.68 East Street, Brighton

[ABOVE] A view of Brighton's East Street (c1905). The premises of Allen Hastings Fry, Photographer, at No 68 East Street can be seen on the right. East Street's  junction with Bartholomews can  be seen in the centre of the photograph. Allen Hastings Fry, together with his older brother Walter Henry Fry, opened a photographic studio at No. 68 East Street in 1867. When W. & A. H. Fry  opened for business in 1867, there was already a photography studio next door at No. 69. A photographic portrait studio had been established at No. 69 by artists and photographers William and Alfred White in 1861. The White Brothers sold their studio to Edwin Dalton Smith, also an artist and photographer. The photographic studio at 69 East Street was acquired by Frederick Oakes Devereux in 1874. W. & A. H. Fry survived the competition from the adjoining studio. F. O. Devereux's closed his East Street studio in 1882, yet Allen Hastings Fry was still in business in 1922.

[ABOVE] A map of Brighton (c1900) The location of A. H. Fry's photographic studio at No 68 East Street is marked by a red square.

W. & A. H. Fry of East Street, Brighton

Walter Henry Fry and his younger brother Allen Hastings Fry established a photographic studio at Clarence House, 68 East Street, Brighton in the Summer of 1867. ( An early advertisement for Messrs W. & A. H. Fry portrait studio at 68 East Street was published in the Brighton Guardian on 14th August 1867). Since about 1851, the building at No 68 East Street had been occupied by Madame Louise Mercier (born c1816, Paris, France ), a French milliner and corset maker. Allen Hastings Fry was friendly with the Mercier family and had possibly come to an arrangement with Madame Mercier to use part of the building as a photographic studio. On 4th September 1869, Allen Hastings Fry, then aged twenty-one, married Madame Mercier's daughter, Leonie Angeline Louise Mercier (born 1839, Paris, France), a thirty-year old dressmaker.

The studio of Messrs W. & A. H. Fry at 68 East Street was located in a fashionable shopping street in Brighton and the partnership between the two brothers proved to be a highly successful one. When the 1871 census was taken at 68 East Street, Brighton, Allen Hastings Fry, now aged twenty-three, is described as a "Photographer employing 14 hands". Ten years later, when the 1881 census was taken, Allen's brother Walter Henry Fry is recorded as a "Photographer employing seven men and six women".

The firm of W. & A.H. Fry specialised in taking group photographs out-of-doors. An advertisement in the Brighton Guardian of 14th August 1867 announced that Messrs W. & A. H. Fry had "Special Apparatus for taking Out Door Pictures of School Groups, Cricket Elevens, Croquet Parties, Archery Meetings, Rifle Corps and Country Seats." Having already established a reputation for outdoor group photography, Walter Fry and his brother, Allen Hastings Fry, were keen to take advantage of the mobility afforded by dry plate photography.

 

[ABOVE] A pair of carte-de-visite portraits produced at the photographic studio of W. & A. H. Fry at 68 East Street Brighton around 1867, the year the studio was established by brothers Walter Henry Fry and Allen Hastings Fry.

 

[ABOVE ] The trade plate of W. & A. H. Fry, Art Photographers and Miniature Painters, of  68 East Street, Brighton. This design was used in the early years of the studio. (c1867)

[ABOVE] Portrait of an unknown man. A carte-de-visite portrait by W. & A. H. Fry of 68 East Street Brighton (c1872)

[ABOVE] Portrait of a young woman. A carte-de-visite portrait by W. & A. H. Fry of 68 East Street Brighton.(c1878)  Negative No. 19,701
 

Church Views by Walter and Allen Hastings Fry

[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite view of St John the Baptist's ' Church, Hove, published by W. & A. H. Fry, Photographers of 68 East Street Brighton

[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite photograph of the interior of a church by W. & A. H. Fry of Brighton

When photographing the interior of churches Allen Hastings Fry and his brother Walter Fry went to a great deal of trouble in getting the perfect picture . In an interview given in 1916, A. H. Fry explained to the 'The Professional Photographer' how he photographed church interiors :

"For interiors I take a kind of sail which I use in photographing stained glass windows. I give a long exposure with the sail up outside, in order to get all the detail of the stonework, then I lower the sail and give the necessary short exposure to get the stained glass. The sail measures sixty by twenty-eight feet."

 

Photographic Portraits of Allen Hastings Fry

[ABOVE] Allen Hastings Fry at the age of 31, a detail from a photograph published in 1878. [ABOVE] Allen Hastings Fry photographed around 1890 when he was in his early forties. [ABOVE] Portrait of Allen Hastings Fry, aged 69, an illustration taken from a magazine published in 1916.
     
Allen Hastings Fry  (born 1847, Plymouth, Devon - died 1931, Hove, Sussex) 

Allen Hastings Fry, the youngest son of Edmund and Caroline Fry, began taking photographs at the age of nine. Allen Hastings Fry told a journalist in 1916 that "he worked in several studios both in London and Brighton in his early days", which suggests he might have served his apprenticeship in the London studio of Elliott & Fry under his brother Clarence Edmund Fry (1840-1897), a partner in the firm. In the 1860s, Allen Hastings Fry was employed as a photographer in the studio of Hennah & Kent at 108 King's Road, Brighton. In 1867, Allen Fry formed a partnership with his brother Walter Henry Fry and established the photography firm of  W. & A. H. Fry at 68 East Street, Brighton.

In  September 1869, at the age of twenty-one, Allen Hastings Fry married Leonie Angeline Louise Mercier (born 1839, Paris, France), a thirty-year old dressmaker. It appears that Leonie and Allen Hastings Fry did not produce any children during their long marriage, although in 1891 their home in Hanover Crescent was shared by two young French boys, probably nephews of Leonie. Mrs Leonie Angeline Louise Fry died in 1915 at the age of 76. Allen Hastings Fry died in Hove, Sussex, in 1931 at the age of 84.

1871 Census : 68 East Street   BRIGHTON

NAME

 

OCCUPATION

AGE

PLACE OF BIRTH
Allen Hastings Fry Head

Photographer - Employing 14 hands

23

 Plymouth, Devon
Leonie L. Fry wife

Court Dressmaker - Employing 12 hands 

32

Paris, France
 

1881 Census : 13 Hanover Crescent  BRIGHTON

NAME

 

OCCUPATION

AGE

PLACE OF BIRTH
Allen H. Fry Head

Photographer - Artist 

33

 Plymouth, Devon
Leonie A. L. Fry wife  

39

Paris, France
 

1891 Census : 13 Hanover Crescent  BRIGHTON

NAME

 

OCCUPATION

AGE

PLACE OF BIRTH
Allen Hastings Fry Head

Photographic  Artist 

43

 Plymouth, Devon
Louise Angeline Leonie de Fry wife  

42

Paris, France
Ranew Valt De Wynne    

9

Paris, France
Marcel Charles De Wynne    

6

Paris, France

[ABOVE] Details of consecutive census returns for Allen Hasting Fry' and his wife Mrs Leoni Fry, whose age was gradually lowered over the years. In the 1901 census return,  Mrs Leoni Fry gave her age as 52, ten years less than her actual age.

[ABOVE] A cabinet portrait produced at the studio of  W. & A. H. Fry of 68 East Street Brighton (c1875) Negative No.10,950. Allen Hasting Fry's wife Mrs Leoni Fry, a high class dressmaker, would have produced elaborate dresses like the one pictured above at her shop in East Street, Brighton.

Mrs Leonie Fry - Court Dressmaker

Leonie Angeline Louise Mercier (born c1839, Paris, France) was the daughter of Madame Louise Mercier (born c1816, Paris, France ), a French milliner and corset maker. After her marriage to the photographer Allen Hastings Fry in 1869, Leonie, a former dressmaker, established her own dressmaking business in Brighton's East Street. In the 1871 census, Mrs Leonie L. Fry is described as a "Court Dressmaker" employing "12 hands".

 

Allen Hastings Fry - the enthusiastic cyclist

[ABOVE] Allen Hastings Fry photographed in 1878 with his Salvo-Quadricycle. This illustration appeared in "Cycling" magazine in December 1878. The magazine informed its readers that "the gentleman ...seated on the "Salvo" is Mr Fry, the eminent photographer of Brighton, a member of the Brighton B.C. (Bicycle Club) and a great cyclist".

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Lorne Shields of Canada]

[ABOVE] Allen Hastings Fry photographed in 1916 with his Safety Bicycle

[PHOTO: Courtesy of The Brighton History Centre]

[ABOVE] Allen Hastings Fry photographed around 1887 with Hubert John Elliott and Clarence "Clare" Fry and their respective bicycles. Allen Hastings Fry, who had no children of his own, shared his passion for cycling with his two nephews. In this cabinet photograph  produced by W. & A. H. Fry of Brighton, the heavily bearded Allen Hastings Fry stands in the centre alongside two "Kangaroo" safety bicycles and, in the centre, a full-sized "Ordinary" ("penny farthing") bicycle.

The two young men in the photograph are A. H. Fry's nephews - Hubert John Elliott (born 1867, Barnet), the son of Allen Fry's sister, Lucy Fry and her husband, the photographer Joseph John Elliott. The other young cyclist is Clarence "Clare" Fry
(born 1865, Watford), the son of Allen Hastings Fry's older brother, Clarence Edmund Fry.

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Phillipe Garner]

Hubert John Elliott

Clarence "Clare" Fry

Hubert John Elliott (1867-1955)
 Hubert John Elliott (born 12th May 1867) was the eldest son of Joseph John Elliott (1835-1903) and Lucy Elizabeth Laughton Fry, the sister of the Brighton photographers Allen Hastings Fry and Walter Henry Fry. In 1863, Joseph John Elliott had entered into a partnership with Clarence Edmund Fry (senior) to form the famous London photography firm of Elliott & Fry. When the 1901 census was taken, Hubert John Elliott was described as a "Photographic Materials Manufacturer"

Clarence Edmund Fry junior (1865-1939)
Clarence Edmund Fry junior  - also known as Clare Fry - was born  in Watford in 1865, the son of Clarence Edmund Fry (1840-1897), the elder brother of Allen Hastings Fry and Walter Henry Fry.  In 1863, Clarence Edmund Fry senior had entered into a business partnership with Joseph John Elliott (1835-1903) to form the famous London photography firm of Elliott & Fry. Clarence Fry's business partner Joseph John Elliott went on to marry Clarence Fry's sister Elizabeth Lucy Fry in 1864. Clarence Edmund Fry junior (generally known as Clare Fry) took up photography and, in his late twenties, entered into a business partnership with his father, establishing the photographic portrait studio of C. E. Fry & Son in South Kensington, London. From 1900, Clare Fry was a Member of The Royal Photographic Society. Clarence "Clare" Fry died in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in 1939.

 

Click on the link below to read an account of the life and career of Allen Hastings Fry after 1897

A. H. Fry

 

Walter Henry Fry and his Family

[ABOVE ] The trade plate for W. & A. H. Fry, Art Photographers and Miniature Painters, of  68 East Street, Brighton, used in the 1870s

[ABOVE] A later, more elaborate trade plate for W. & A. H. Fry of  68 East Street, Brighton. This design was used on the reverse of cartes produced by W. & A. H. Fry shortly before Walter Henry Fry retired from the business around 1897.

[ABOVE] Portrait of Walter Henry Fry (born 1841), partner in the photography firm of   W. & A. H. Fry of Brighton.

[PICTURE: Courtesy of  Erica Moore]

 

[ABOVE] Portrait of  Elizabeth Stammers Fry, the wife of the Brighton photographer Walter Henry Fry.

[PICTURE: Courtesy of  Erica Moore]

Walter Henry Fry (born 1841, Plymouth, Devon - died 1916, Wandsworth, Surrey) 

Walter Henry Fry (born 1841, Plymouth) was the second eldest child of Caroline and Edmund Fry of Plymouth, Devon. Walter Henry Fry and two of his brothers, Clarence Edmund Fry (1840-1897) and Allen Hastings Fry (born 1847, Plymouth), all became professional photographers. In the mid 1860s, Walter Henry Fry appears to have been a partner in Lombardi & Fry, a Brighton firm of photographers, with a studio at 113 King's Road. In 1867, Walter Henry Fry joined forces with his brother Allen Hastings Fry to form the photography firm known as W. & A. H. Fry. The studio of W. & A. H. Fry at 68 East Street, Brighton remained in business for the next thirty years.

Walter Henry Fry married Elizabeth Stammers Bligh at Croydon, Surrey, in 1868 [marriage registered in the Croydon District during the Third Quarter of 1868). Elizabeth Stammers Bligh (born 1840, Stepney) was the daughter of Maria and Samuel Bligh (1805-1885), a London Ironmonger. The couple produced at least eight children - Edmund Fry (born 1869, Brighton), Hubert Ernest Fry (born 1872), Sidney Howard Fry (born 1873), Harriette Mary Fry (born 1875), Allen Elliott Fry (born 1877), Percy Clarence Fry (born 1879), Sophie Caroline Fry (born 1880) and Ernest Charles Fry (born 1882).

Walter and Elizabeth's first three children were born in Brighton. Around 1877, Walter Fry and his family moved to a large house called "Ellensleigh" located in Boltro Road in Haywards Heath, Sussex.

Walter Henry Fry retired from the photographic business of W. & A. H. Fry around 1897. With the partnership dissolved, Allen Hastings Fry continued the business at 68 East Street, Brighton under the studio name of A. H. Fry.

Walter Fry's son Sidney Howard Fry (born 1873, Brighton) became a professional photographer in London. At the time of the 1901 census, Sidney H. Fry was living in Islington and working as a photographer. Sidney Howard Fry died at Hemel Hempstead in 1957. Other children of Walter and Elizabeth Fry became keen amateur photographers. Allen Elliott Fry (born 1877, Haywards Heath), retained an interest in photography but his living came from the lace industry. In 1901, Allen Elliott Fry, then aged 23, was living in Islington and working as a "Lace Warehouseman". He went on to become a lace salesman travelling around Britain and Europe selling lace. Allen Elliott Fry settled in Burgess Hill and married Alice Whatmore in 1902. Later, when Allen Elliott Fry, his wife Alice and their three children moved to Cambridge, he named his house "Ellensleigh" after the residence in Haywards Heath owned by his father Walter Henry Fry.

Walter Henry Fry eventually retired to Cherry Hinton in Cambridgeshire. At the end of his life, Walter Henry Fry settled in Wandsworth, South London, where he died in 1916 at the age of seventy-four.
 

[ABOVE] A portrait of Barbara Alice Fry (right), together with a friend photographed by her father Allen Elliott Fry. Allen Elliott Fry, a son of the photographer Walter Henry Fry, was a keen amateur photographer.

[PICTURE: Courtesy of  Kate Greenwood ]

[ABOVE] Portrait of Allen Elliott Fry (born 1877, Haywards Heath, Sussex), a son of the Brighton photographer Walter Henry Fry (1841-1916).

[PICTURE: Courtesy of  Kate Greenwood ]

 

 

 

[ABOVE] A portrait of Barbara Alice Fry, photographed by her father Allen Elliott Fry. Allen Elliott Fry, was a son of the photographer Walter Henry Fry.

[PICTURE: Courtesy of   Erica Moore ]

 

[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite view of St Wilfred's Church, Haywards Heath published by W. & A. H. Fry, Photographers of 68 East Street Brighton (c1884). As Walter Henry Fry resided in Haywards Heath in the 1880s, it is likely that he took this particular photograph.

1881 Census : Ellensleigh, Boltro Road  CUCKFIELD

NAME

 

OCCUPATION

AGE

PLACE OF BIRTH
Walter Henry Fry

Head

Photographer - Employing 7 men & 6 women

39

Plymouth, Devon
Elizabeth Stammers  Fry

wife

 

40

London
Hubert Ernest Fry

son

scholar

9

Brighton, Sussex
Sidney Howard Fry son scholar

7

Brighton, Sussex
Harriette Mary Fry daughter scholar

5

Brighton, Sussex
Allen Elliott Fry son  

3

Haywards Heath, Sussex
Percy Clarence Fry son  

1

 Haywards Heath, Sussex
Sophie Caroline Fry daughter  

8 months

 Haywards Heath, Sussex

[ABOVE] The 1881 census return for Walter Henry Fry and his family, who were then living at "Ellensleigh", Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, Sussex. Walter Henry Fry's eldest son, Edmund Fry (born 1869, Brighton) was living away from home at a boarding school in Eastbourne, Sussex.

   

Portraits of the Fry Family

at Winterbourne Family History Online

(The website of Frenchay Village Museum)

Edmund Fry and his photographer sons Clarence Edmund Fry, Walter Henry Fry and Allen Hastings Fry were all descended from the the famous Fry Family of Bristol. The Frenchay Village Museum website Winterbourne Family History Online, at the request and assistance of Michael Mollet (a member of the larger Fry Family), has made available on the internet a wonderful collection of portraits depicting members of the Fry Family who are connected to John Fry of Wiltshire and Dr. Edmund Fry of Bristol. The original collection of Fry family portraits were gathered together by Priscilla Anna Fry (1837-1916) of Tower House, Cotham, Bristol, the daughter of the chocolate maker and bible collector Francis Fry (1803-1886). Miss Fry collected over 200 portraits of Fry Family members and published them in three volumes in 1901. Amongst the 200+ portraits are silhouettes, engravings and photographs of the following notable members of the Fry Family:

Dr. Joseph Fry (c1728-1787) Chocolate Manufacturer & Type Founder
Dr. Edmund Fry (1754-1835) Scholar and designer of type fonts.
Joseph Storrs Fry (1769-1835) Head of the famous chocolate firm of J. S. Fry & Son.
Mrs Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) Philanthropist
Clarence Edmund Fry (1840-1897) Photographer of Elliott & Fry of Baker Street, London
 
To view the Fry Family Portraits on the Winterbourne Family History Online website click on the link below:

Portraits of the Fry Family

[ABOVE] Wearing a Scottish costume,  Edmund Fry (born 1869, Brighton), Walter Henry Fry's eldest son, sits at the feet of his grandmother, Mrs Caroline Fry (1809-1879). Seated on the other side of Mrs Fry is another grandchild,  Mary Stuart Elliott ( born 1871, Barnet), a daughter of  Lucy Fry and Joseph John Elliott.

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Michael Mollet and Winterbourne Family History Online. Thanks to Ray Bulmer for his assistance. ]

The life and career of Allen Hastings Fry is continued from this link - A. H. Fry

Click on the link below to view the photographic work of Walter and Allen Hastings Fry

W. & A. H. Fry of 68 East Street, Brighton Gallery One 1867-1880

W. & A. H. Fry of 68 East Street, Brighton Gallery Two 1880-1897

Click on the link below to read an account of the life and career of Allen Hastings Fry after 1897

A. H. Fry

Click here to return to home page

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Kate Greenwood for providing the Fry family portraits and supplying information on her great grandfather Allen Elliott Fry, the fourth child of Walter Henry Fry, photographer and partner in the firm of  W. & A. H. Fry of 68 East Street, Brighton. Thanks to Erica Moore (nee Greenwood), a grandchild of Allen Elliott Fry, for providing the portrait of Walter Henry Fry and other members of the Fry Family. I am also grateful to Phillipe Garner and Lorne Shields for providing the portraits of Allen Hastings Fry. I am indebted to Michael Mollet, the Frenchay Village Museum and Ray Bulmer of Winterbourne Family History Online for making the wonderful collection of Fry Family Portraits available on the internet and for allowing me to feature a number of the portraits which relate to Edmund Fry and his family on my Sussex PhotoHistory website. I am grateful to Marcel Safier of Australia for drawing my attention to the Fry Family Portraits featured on Winterbourne Family History Online.