Eleanor Frisby formerly Howis (1723 – 1802)

She was baptised 1 February 1723 at Coldred St Pancras, Kent, as Helen Howes, a daughter of Edward Howes and Elizabeth (Bishop/Archdeacon’s transcript).  The parish register has only the year of 1722.


She (Helen Howis) was mentioned in her father’s will of 1750/1 and received 50s.


She (spinster) married Robert Frisby (bachelor) 26 June 1756 at St George Hanover Square.


They appear to have had no children as none are mentioned in their wills.


Robert Frisby witnessed the signing of Stephen Howis’s will on 17 August 1786.


Robert Frisby died 17 November 1788.


From his will of 1782 Robert Frisby stated that he had operated a business as an oilman for many years from his house in Jermyn Street.  (The poet Thomas Gray (1716 – 1771) on his visits to London lodged in Jermyn Street with Roberts a hosier or Frisby an oilman.  A letter of Gray’s survives, written from Frisby’s 24 May 1771.)  He had taken on Edward Howis as a partner, who had operated from a freehold house of Robert’s which Edward occupied in Carnaby Street.  The two houses were run as one business with Robert owning 5/8ths and Edward 3/8ths.  Robert had taken on an apprentice, his nephew Robert Frisby (a son of his brother William Frisby, a greengrocer in Jermyn Street) who was to be taken on by Edward as a partner after the death of Robert, but not until 24 October 1786 (Robert’s coming of age?).  Between the death of Robert and this date Robert’s wish was for Eleanor his wife to operate the business with Edward Howis, and then for her to hand over to his nephew Robert with the business to be called ‘Frisby and Howis’.  For the later history see Edward Howis (1742 - 1817).


Robert Frisby’s will was dated 7 March 1782.  He was an oilman of Jermyn Street, St James, Middlesex.  He mentioned, apart from his own blood relatives, the following: his wife Eleanor, his wife’s sister Judith Howis, his brother in law Richard Lambert of Waldershare and his wife Ann, Edward Howis the eldest son of his wife’s late brother Richard Howis, Edward Howis’s wife Mary and only children Edward and Eleanor, William Lambert of Ludgate Hill the second son of brother in law Richard Lambert and William’s wife Elizabeth, Stephen Howis a minor and second son of wife’s brother Stephen Howis of Waldershare, Richard Lambert eldest son of Richard Lambert, William Howis second son of Richard Howis, Samuel Howis third son of Richard Howis, Edward Lambert third son of Richard Lambert, Edward Howis eldest son of wife’s brother Stephen Howis, Edward Howis wife’s brother of Waldershare and Stephen Howis wife’s other brother of Waldershare.  He mentioned the property that he owned or leased.  There were two freehold houses in Carnaby Street, two leasehold houses in Jermyn Street, one of which he resided in, another leasehold house at Piccadilly and five leasehold houses near Little Marlborough Street.

His executors were his wife, Eleanor and nephews Edward Howis and William Lambert, and his trustees were Thomas Sudbey and William Nettlewell.  The will was proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in London 5 December 1788.


Eleanor Frisby’s will and codicil were both dated 30 January 1800.  She was a widow of Jermyn Street, St James Westminster.  She mentioned the following: “my brother Edward Howis of Timbleston [known to be Tilmanstone], Kent, Richard Lambert of Waldershare, Kent, Ann Frisby widow of William Frisby, my nephew William Lambert of Ludgate Hill London, my niece Mary the wife of (blank) Burnett, Elizabeth the wife of Stephen Castle, my nephew Richard Lambert, my nephew Edward Lambert, my nephew Edward Howis of Jermyn Street, my nephew Stephen Howis of Jermyn Street, Samuel Howis (the brother of Edward Howis of Jermyn Street), Mary the wife of (blank) Castle, my nephew William Howis, my nephew Edward Howis son of Stephen Howis, William Castle of Jermyn Street my great nephew, Robert Frisby son of the said William Frisby, Juliana Simpson (the sister of Robert Frisby) and her children by Anthony Westray her former husband, Edward Howis and Eleanor Howis son and daughter of my said nephew Edward Howis of Jermyn Street, and Mary the daughter of the late Richard Frisby”.

Her executors were her nephews Edward Howis of Jermyn Street, Samuel Howis and Stephen Howis and her witnesses were Henry Naylor, Geoffrey Attley and John Burgess.

The will and codicil were proved at the PCC in London 15 February 1802.

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Posted February 2014