Sarah Smeed was the fifth child of William Smeed & Caroline Turner born August 11th, 1823 & christened September 21st, 1823 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent.
In 1841 Sarah was living with her parents & 9 brothers & sisters at Brooklands Farm, East Grinstead where her father was farming. At the neighbouring Bower farm lived John & Caroline Fry & their family which included Samuel Fry [f.2.6], listed as aged 15. Sarah was to marry Samuel the following year.
According to the copy of the marriage certificate obtained from the General Register Office shown below Samuel married Sarah Mead on February 23rd, 1842 in the church of East Grinstead. Witnesses at the wedding were Samuel’s brother Edward Fry & his sister Elizabeth who had married James Quickenden. The certificate shows Sarah’s father as Samuel Mead, a farmer.
Samuel & Sarah's marriage certificate obtained from
Our investigations however suggested that Sarah was in fact christened Sarah Smeed on September 21st, 1823 at Cowden, Kent, the daughter of Caroline & William Smeed. This was confirmed by obtaining a copy of the original marriage certificate from the Diocesan Archives, Chichester, West Sussex.
Samuel & Sarah's marriage certificate obtained from
Samuel & Sarah’s early married life appears to have been spent at Cowden, Kent where their first 2 children, Emma & Phoebe, were born.
Samuel & Sarah & family moved to 17 Hapstead Green, near Ardingley where they were recorded in the 1851 census. Children at home were Emma (8), Caroline (5), Arthur (3) & Frederick William (1). Samuel was a farmer of 60 acres. Daughter Phoebe Fry (6) was visiting her grandparents at the time of the census, Caroline & William Smeeds, a farmer of 78 acres at Brooklands Farm, East Grinstead. In 1854 little Emma appears to have died aged 11, her death being registered at Cuckfield.
In 1856 the family were living at Paxhill, Lindfield where Albert Edward was born, followed by Alice Sarah in 1860.
By 1861 the family had moved to Wiggs Farm, Withyham, Sussex where Samuel continued farming. (Samuel was mistakenly listed in Ancestry.co.uk as Samuel Bennett, the name of the person next to him in the census!) Children at home were Phoebe (16), Caroline (15), Arthur John (13), Frederick William (11), Louisa (9), Albert Edward (4) & Alice Sarah (1). There was a carter & general servant living at the farm. Sadly Samuel & Sarah lost another child in 1862 – Frederick William who died aged 12. Their last child, Emily Georgiana, was christened in 1862 at Withyham. Emily did not survive long, her death being recorded Jan-March 1863.
By 1867 Samuel was farming at Chartners Farm, Hartfield. There was an entry in the Historical Notes of Hartfield for 1867 mentioning Samuel as church warden.
In 1871 Samuel & Sarah were still living at Chartners Farm. This was a large farm of 226 acres employing 6 labourers. All the children were living at home except for Anne & Frederick whose whereabouts is unknown. Living with them were 4 labourers – John Heasman, William Baldwin, Jesse Mitchell, William Neighbour.
In 1881 they were still at Chartners Farm with daughters Louisa & Alice Sarah & a domestic servant Harriett Read & 2 labourers Walter Knight & John Atherall.
According to Kellys Directory of 1882 Samuel was still farming at Chartners.
Samuel died April 22nd, 1886, aged 64 at St Bartholemew’s Hospital, London & was buried on April 29th, 1886 at St Mary’s, Hartfield. Permission to administer Samuel’s will was given to widow Sarah on December 4th, 1886 & his personal estate was £1,799.2s.3d.
In Kelly’s Directory of 1887 Mrs Samuel Fry, farmer of Chartners farm, is registered.
In 1891 widow Sarah, was living with son Arthur John at Brookshill farm, Hartfield, where Arthur was a farmer. They had a domestic servant Rhoda Friend.
Sarah died February 15th, 1895, aged 71 at Brookshill farm, Hartfield & was buried on February 22nd, 1895, next to Samuel in St Mary’s churchyard, Hartfield. Administration (with will) was granted on April 22nd, 1895 in London to son Arthur John & daughter Phoebe Heasman & her effects amounted to £505.1s.10d.
Sarah's headstone in St Mary's, Hartfield
The children of Samuel Fry & Sarah Smeed were:
f.2.6.1 Emma Fry christened October 23rd, 1842 at Cowden, Kent; died Oct-Dec 1854 at Cuckfield
f.2.6.2 Phoebe Fry christened July 7th, 1844 at Cowden, Kent; died July-September 1909 at Godstone, Kent
f.2.6.3 Caroline Fry christened April 19th, 1846 at East Grinstead; died 1873 at East Grinstead
f.2.6.4 Arthur John Fry christened May 28th, 1848 at Ardingley; died July 10th 1925 at East Grinstead Infirmary
f.2.6.5 Frederick William Fry born Jan-March 1850 at Ardingley, died Jan-March 1862 at East Grinstead
f.2.6.6 Louisa Fry born Oct-Dec 1851 at Ardingley, christened July 30th 1854 at Ardingley
f.2.6.7 Anne Fry born Apr-June 1854 at Ardingley, christened July 30th 1854 at Ardingley; died April-June 1855 at Ardingley
f.2.6.8 Albert Edward Fry born September 13th, 1856 at Paxhill, Lindfield; died October 11th, 1990 at Chartners Farm, Hartfield
f.2.6.9 Alice Sarah Fry born Jan-March 1860 at Lindfield; died May 29th, 1895 at Sevenoaks, Kent
f.2.6.10 Emily Georgiana Fry born at East Grinstead & christened October 26th, 1862 at St Michaels Withyham; died Jan-March 1863 at East Grinstead