My ancestor Richard FRY (1780-1855), one of the 'Weston Worthies', was one of the original four men to finance the building of The Hotel in Weston (now The Royal Hotel) along with PARSLEY and COX the main men behind the project. He went on to manage the hotel himself for a while in around 1818 (and it became Fry's Hotel), then at some point he went on to buy another premises on South Parade which became The Bath Hotel. Then he moved next door to a building called Myrtle Cottage which he ran as a lodging house till his death. He was also one of the early Town Commissioners and his son-in-law, Joseph JAMES, was also a key local figure and builder who worked at Knightstone for Dr Fox for many years. You can read everything I know about Richard FRY already, over on my own blog about him if you're interested, here:
My reason for posting here is that I would love to find out much more about Richard FRY and his life. In particular, I am curious about his role in the establishment of the original hotel. He must have been relatively wealthy but I can't figure out how or what his background was. I also wonder whether there was a company set up to manage the shares in the enterprise, perhaps he only played a small part? I have no idea how he came to be involved in the hotel project in the first place or how he knew the other men involved.
I do know he was living in Clifton before moving to Weston, and he seems to have been living in another hotel in Sion Row there. However, I don't know the name of that and I don't know what he was doing there before he invested in Weston. The Hotel was built in 1808, but he didn't actually go to manage it until around 1818, so I'm curious as to what he was doing all that time.
I basically haven't been able to find out anything else about his earlier life, other than the fact that he was born in Bisley, Gloucestershire, he had a wife, Elizabeth FRY (nee MAIDEN), and they had two children after ten years of marriage, who they named Elizabeth and Richard. Elizabeth married my 3 X Great Grandfather, Joseph James, and Richard emigrated to New Zealand. I have one clue that the FRYs may have been involved in an Odd Fellows organisation, and I know Joseph JAMES was a non-conformist, so they may have been too, but I don't know anything else really.
I would love to know much more about the history of the main Hotel in Weston in general. For example, what it was like when he was there, and also The Bath Hotel too. Apparently this was originally known as 'The Mason's Arms' but I can't find anything at all about that, so I don't know who actually built it or why it then later became known as The Bath Hotel (even later, The Imperial).
I also haven't even been able to locate a will for Richard FRY to see what happened to his property and who it all subsequently went to. If anyone has any ideas on how I can find that, that would be hugely appreciated? I believe Richard and his wife Elizabeth were buried in St John's graveyard, and with me living a long way away from Weston, if anyone is visiting the church or the graveyard and could see if there's a headstone you could possibly photograph for me, I would love to see that? In fact, any information or any further clues that anyone might have for the FRY family, would be very gratefully received! I'd also love to hear from fellow descendants, and I have done my DNA on Ancestry if anyone would like to see if we are a match!