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FRYER, Edward

b.1865 – d.1909

Early Life

Historians believe that Shoreditch got its name from water that ran across the area’s marshland. It was originally known as Soersditch, or Sewer’s Ditch.

Edward Fryer was born in 1865 to Charles and Emma.

In the 1871 census the family was living in Ware Street. Head of the house, Charles Fryer 45, a brass finisher with his wife Emma 40 and their children. Charles 19, Emma 16, Matilda 11, Caroline 21, George 12, Edward 8, William 6, Alfred 3, Frederick 4 months.

1871 census

Census 1881 (split across two pages) the family are now living in Lee Street, St Leonards, Shoreditch. Several of Edward’s brothers are also brass finishers like their father, and two of his sisters are boot fitters. Edward is listed as a tea packer.


We lose Edward but he reappears sixteen years later in the Workhouse – 1890s.

Unable to find Edward in 1891 census.

On 23 November 1897 Edward is admitted to the Hackney Workhouse, and discharged on the 8th January 1898.

1898 on the 14th January Edward was admitted to Hackney Workhouse and discharged on the 14th February. He was listed as single and having no home. March 1st Edward was again admitted to Hackney Workhouse and discharged on the 15th March he was listed as a labourer. 22nd March Edward was once again admitted to Hackney Workhouse and discharged on the 4th April.


1900 finds Edward admitted to the Hackney Workhouse on 12th June and then sent to the Infirmary. Edward is discharged from the Infirmary on the 2nd July.

1901 Census, unable to locate Edward.

1905 Edward, 40, is admitted to Hackney Workhouse, reason for admission is destitution.

1906 21 August Edward was admitted to Hackney Workhouse and goes into the infirmary, on 23 August, Edward was discharged from the infirmary.


Edward is admitted to Long Grove Hospital on the 12th July 1907 and dies there within two years – 1907 to 1909

Edward died age 44, on 20th July 1909 and was buried in Horton Cemetery in Grave 465A on 23rd July.

Author’s thoughts

In the last 20 years of Edward’s life he suffered great hardship and destitution. One wonders if Edward was in the Workhouse when the 1891 and 1901 census were recorded.

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