John FRYER - (Abt. 1695 - 1757)
John FRYER was the third child and eldest son of Richard
FRYER of Overton, which is in the parish of Arlingham in Gloucestershire. He was baptized in December 1695 and the Arlingham parish
registers recorded the event as follows...
"John the son of Richard Fryer of Overton Bapt Dec 10 1695"
Photographs of St Mary the Virgin's
Church in Arlingham
can be viewed in the Gallery.
John was mentioned in his father, Richard's, will dated 1710 as follows...
"...I gift to my Eldest Son John Fryer our bed with the furniture and appurtenances thereunto belonging..."
John's mother, Mary, died intestate and John was responsible for administering the estate in 1721. These documents are written primarily in Latin.
probably inherited much of his parents' estate before his father wrote
John, a yeoman, married Mary KING in Fretherne Parish Church, a neighbouring parish of Arlingham, in 1722. The Bishop's Transcripts recorded the details...
"John Fryer of ye parish of Arlingham & Mary King of ye parish of Frethorn were married June ye 17th 1722"
On 17th August 1756,
John wrote a will as his health was failing him. However, he lived until the following January and the will was proved in December 1757. The will reads as follows...
In the Name of God Amen I John Fryer of Overton in the Parish of Arlingham in the County of Gloucester Yeoman being sick and weak in Body But Blessed be God of a Sound mind memory and Understanding Do make Publish and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament in manner following (that is to say) First I Give and Devise unto my Eldest Son John Fryer All and every my Freeheld Closes Pieces? and Parcels of Arable Land Meadow and Pasture ground with their and every of their Hereditaments thereto belonging situate lying and being in the aforesaid Parish of Arlingham To Hold to my said son John Fryer his heirs and Assigns forever Charged and Chargeable nevertheless with the Payment of the Several Legacies or sums of money by ? hereinafter given to my sons and Daughters Thomas Fryer Elizabeth Fryer Hannah Fryer Joseph Fryer and Sophia Fryer and payable to them in manner following ( that is to say ) To my son Thomas Fryer the sum of Thirty Pounds to be paid to him at his age of Twenty Four Years or day of Marriage which shall first happen To my Daughter Elizabeth Fryer the sum of thirty Pounds to be paid to her at her age of Twenty one Years or day of Marriage which shall first happen To my Daughter Hannah Fryer and son Joseph Fryer the sum of thirty Pounds a piece Likewise to be paid to them at their several Ages of One and Twenty Years or days of Marriage which shall first happen To my Daughter Sophia Fryer the sum of Thirty Pounds to be Likewise Paid to her at her age of One and Twenty Years or day of Marriage which shall first happen Also I further Give and Devise unto my said Son John Fryer after the Death of my dearly beloved wife Mary All that Moiety of and in all That Close of Meadow or pasture ground situate lying and Being in the aforesaid Parish of Arlingham and usually? called or known by the name of Towny Mead with its Hereditaments to Hold to my said Son John Fryer his heirs and Assigns forever Charged and Chargeable nevertheless with the payment of the Sum of Forty Pounds unto my Daughter Sophia Fryer and I Do hereby Accordingly Give and Bequeath unto my said Daughter Sophia Fryer the sum of Forty Pounds Charged and to be paid to her out of the Last devised promise? in Six Months after the death of my Mary my said Wife in case my said Daughter Sophia shall have attained her age of Four and Twenty Years And in case She shall not have Attained her said Age of Twenty four Years at the death of my said Wife Then I do hereby order and direct that her said Legacy of Forty pounds shall not be paid to her till She have Attained her said age of Twenty four Years Provided always and my Will is that in case any or Either of my said sons and Daughters Thomas Fryer Elizabeth Fryer Hannah Fryer Joseph Fryer and Sophia Fryer shall happen to die before their said several Ages or days of Marriage Then I Give and Devise the Legacy of him her or them so dying and unmarried as aforesaid unto my said son John Fryer his heirs and Assigns for ever Also I Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Wife of Robert Knight and to my son Richard Fryer one Guinea apiece to be paid them in Six Months after my death Also I Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Ann the Wife of James Wildy ? the Sum of Five Pounds of Lawful British money to be Paid her in Six Months next after my Death I Do hereby Will order and direct that my Executrix by me hereinafter named do and Shall in Two Years next after my Decease pay to my Sister Hannah Fryer the remaining part of a Legacy of Fifty Pounds which is now due to her from me and given her on? my late deceased fathers Will Also I Give to my said Son John Fryer One Silver Cup All the rest residue and Remainder of my Goods Credits? Chattels and Personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever My debts Legacies and funeral Expenses being first Paid and Discharged I Give and Bequeath unto my dearly beloved Wife Mary Also? I do hereby make nominate Constitute and appoint to be whole and Sole Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament And I do hereby revoke and make void all former and other Wills by me heretofore Either made or declared In Witness whereof I have to this my Last Will and Testament contained in one whole Sheet of Paper and Part of Another Sheet to the first Sheet I have set my hand and to the second or Last Sheet I have set my Hand and Seal this Seventeenth day of August In the year of our Lord One Thousand seven Hundred and Fifty Six
Signed Sealed Published and declared by the Testator himself to be his Last Will and Testament in the Presence of Us And also Attested by us in the Sight and Presence and at the request of the said Testator and in the Presence of each other
[signed] John Fryer
24th Day of December 1757
The above named Mary Fryer Relict & Sole Executrix was duly sworn before me
Tho.s Parker Surr.
This Will was Proved the 24th day of December 1757 before the Worshipful James Benson Doctor of Laws Vicar General in Spirituals of the Right Reverend Father in God James by Divine Permission Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Gloucester and his Episcopal Consistory Official Principal lawfully Constituted by Mary Fryer Relict and Sole Executrix ? to whom ? having first sworn will and faithfully to Administer the said Will and also to Exhibit and Inventory and Render an
...Interestingly, the will mentions land called 'Towny Mead', originally left to John's wife, Mary, and then in turn to their eldest son John who died, seemingly without issue - could this be the same land referred to as Townham Mead in the will of John's son, Richard, which in turn, was left to his son, John (abt 1762-1816)? A field called Towny Mead still existed in 1802 according to a map of Arlingham field names which appears in the book,
Arlingham - A Snapshot in Time, compiled by the residents of Arlingham for the Millenium.
The sister called Hannah, mentioned in John’s will, is most likely the daughter called Anna in his father, Richard’s, will. It was not uncommon for spelling variations to occur. Indeed the gravestone of John’s own daughter, Hannah, was inscribed as ‘Anna’.
John FRYER is buried with his wife and others in a tomb in Arlingham churchyard. There is some discrepancy about the
year of John's death on this tomb. Here are the details.
From photographs (taken by the author), one side of the tombstone reads...
In Memory of
JOHN FRYER of Overton in
this Parish Yeoman who Died
Jan 1st 1764 aged 62 Ys
Also of MARY Relict of JOHN
FRYER who died May 17, 1767
aged 66 Years
Also of JOHN their Son Yeoman
who died April 10th 1772? in? the?
43rd Year of his Age.
Photographs of the tomb can be seen in the
Specific images showing the side of the tomb with
John and his wife's memorial inscription can be seen at the links below:
Ralph Bigland's book, 'Historical, Monumental and Genealogical Collections, relative to the County of Gloucester' states...
John FRYER, of Overtown, Yeoman,
died January 1, 1757, aged 62.
MARY his Relict,
died May 17, 1767, Age 66.
Details recorded in the document, 'Arlingham: Memorial Inscriptions by MLK Curtis - 1993', are as follows...
In memory of / JOHN FRYER, of Overton, in / this parish, yeoman, who died / Jan. 1st 1764, aged 62 yrs. / Also of MARY, relict of JOHN / FRYER, who died May 17, 1767, / aged 66 years. / Also of JOHN, their son, yeoman, / who died April 10th 177., in the / 43rd year of his age. // [Opposite side illegible]. // In memory of / ...., wife of RI.... / ..... , of Overton, who died .....r 20th 18.., / ... years. // ............ Also of / JOSEPH FRYER / who died July 12th 179., / aged 54 years.
(Tomb with flat top ; inscription incised; sides and ends of red and grey sandstone, base and top of shelly limestone.)
...An explanation for the differing dates may lie with the stone possibly being re-engraved at some stage. John senior's date may have originally read as 1757, which corresponds with the parish
burial registers as well as Bigland's book and the timing of his will. The stone was presumably disturbed some time after Bigland recorded the Arlingham monuments because he didn't record John, the son, in his book. Perhaps the stone was damaged in the process and the replacement was incorrect.
John was buried three days after he died and the
Arlingham parish registers recorded the event...
John Fryer of Overton was buried Janry 4
Photographs of Arlingham
and a video clip of the view overlooking Arlingham can be
viewed in the Gallery.
John FRYER's story is included in the document, The Fryer Family of
Overton Arlingham, Gloucestershire, available for download in the
Copies of John's
signature can be found in the 'Resources > Fryer
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