Fryer, John (d.1733) (DNB00)

FRYER, JOHN, M.D. (d. 1733), traveller, eldest son of William Fryer of London, was a member of Trinity College, Cambridge, from which he transferred himself on 23 July 1671 to Pembroke College in the same university as a fellow-commoner (Pembroke Coll. Register). He took the two degrees in medicine, M.B. ‘per literas regias’ in 1671, and M.D. in 1683 (Cantabr. Graduati, ed. 1787, p. 150), but he was not a member of the Royal College of Physicians as stated in the notice of his death in the 'Gentleman's Magazine.' On 9 Dec. 1672 he embarked at Gravesend for a lengthened tour in India and Persia, undertaken in the interests of the East India Company, and did not reach England again until 20 Aug. 1682. Nearly sixteen years elapsed before he could be persuaded to publish an account of his wanderings. At length, piqued at the frequent appearance of translations of foreign, especially French, books of travel in which English industry and enterprise were decried, and, as he adds, 'there being more than four hundred queries now by me to which I am pressed for answers,' he issued in handsome folio 'A New Account of East India and Persia, in eight Letters. Being nine years' travels, begun 1672, and finished 1681. . . . Illustrated with maps, figures, and useful tables,' London, 1698. This generally amusing book is also noteworthy as affording many curious particulars respecting the natural history and medicine of the countries visited. A Dutch version appeared, 4to, the Hague, 1700. Fryer married a niece of Rose Desborough, wife of Samuel Desborough [see under Desborough, John], who mentions both in her will of 28 June 1698. He died 31 March 1733 (Gent. Mag. iii. 214). In the letters of administration P.C.C., granted 14 April 1733 to his daughter Anna Maria Sanderson, widow, he is described as late of the parish of Allhallows, Bread Street, London, a widower. In 1697 he was elected F.R.S. (Thomson, Hist. of Roy. Soc., appendix iv.), and continued a fellow until 1707 (Lists of Roy. Soc. in Brit. Mus.), but never contributed to the 'Philosophical Transactions' as asserted by Noble (Continuation of Granger, i. 234). Fryer's portrait by R. White is prefixed to his 'Travels.' He himself wrote his name as 'Friar' or 'Fryar.'

[Authorities cited above.]

G. G.