Fonds MC4 - Frances Wren family fonds

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Frances Wren family fonds

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  • 1864 - 1985 (Creation)
    Wren, Frances

Physical description

6 cm

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Biographical history

Frances was born in Seaforth, Lancashire, England in 1906. Her father was Captain Joseph Ranby Wren, her mother was Ina Clark Wren and she was the eldest of four daughters Lelia, Bessie and Josephine. The family emigrated to St Andrews after the First World War. Frances graduated from the Charlotte County Grammar School in 1924.

She helped Grace Helen Mowatt set up Charlotte County Cottage Craft in St Andrews and worked with her until Miss Mowatt sold the business to the Ross brothers. She was a weaving expert, and was accomplished in many of the crafts typically sold at Cottage Craft.

She was a member of the St Andrews Music and Art Club founded by Miss Mowatt in 1935. Miss Wren was of a slight build which often lead her to play parts of a small boy role.

In 1942 she moved to Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue and became the instructor of handicrafts at
Macdonald College, a campus of McGill University. In 1973 she retired and returned to St
Andrews. One of her hand drawn Christmas cards described her “retired but not inactive indeed”.

She was active in the All Saints Anglican Church, Sunbury Shores, Charlotte County Historical Society as well as a volunteer guide at the Charlotte County Museum in St Stephen. She made paper knives from the old roof that was being replaced on the Charlotte County Museum to raise funds for the new roof. The knives had a miniature replica of the museum engraved on the handles.

Tuesday afternoons she spent at the Charlotte County Archives and enjoyed going over old records, microfilm and compiling the information for the monthly newsletter. She was also a volunteer at the Ross Memorial Museum and enjoyed being involved in the many projects during the year and decorating for their open house at Christmas. She taught to the ladies at the Consquamcook seniors club on a Monday afternoon.

She lived at the house built by her grandfather in 1830, which was once used as one of the St Andrews’ Schools. Her back room became her haven for her many talents, wood cravings, pottery, mosaics, Christmas cards, maps and art. She once said, ‘if your hands are adaptable and your designs are good, you can work with anything”.

She passed away on September 24 1990, she never married and is buried in the St Andrews Rural Cemetery.

Custodial history

Fonds were donated to the Charlotte County Archives by Frances Wren 1986, 1987, Joan Marr 2005, Edith Kaye 2005 and Estate of Carol Hibbard

Scope and content

The Frances Wren family fonds includes John Wren papers; Ranby Wren papers; Frances Wren newspaper clippings; pamplets and brochures with illustrations by Frances Wren including Alonquin sketch book and Cottage Craft. John Wren papers include: funeral invoices; Certificate of competency as Master (ships -- 1864). Ranby Wren papers include National Registration Act 1915. 12 page booklet The Early History of St Andrews as shown by the Historical Tableaus Magazine Aug 1942. Various Christmas Cards undated including Christmas Card of the Old Gaol 1985. Newspaper cutting undated of the Nomination Day Metting in 1896. 6 Grammar School Review Newsletters, dates 7 Oct 1935, Oct 14 1935, 21 Oct 1935, 4 Nov 1935 & 02 Dec 1935. Letter from the British Sun Corporation dated 10 April 1916, To Mr Wren confirming appoitment as Chief Officer on the S S British Sun. booklet tittled Proceedings of the second annual communicatio of the M W grand lodge Free & Accepted Masons, held in St john 22 & 23 September 1869. Law Union & Rock Insurance policys for the Private lodge Corporation Lodge # 5, dated 1939 - 1943. Mercantile fire Insurance Policies for the Masonic Lodge of St Andrews Jan 1940 - 1943. British Empire Assurance Company policies for Lodge hall, dates 1940 - 1943. Brochures for the Musical Evening In aid of the Parish library held on 28 April 1904; A story of Cottage Craft dated 1958; the Governor General visit to the opening of Prince Arthur Sports Field at SirJames Dunn Academy; Country 16th 17th centuries local 7 traditional sung at the Farmers Pageant in St Andrews date unknown. Form of Prayer dated 12 May 1937 for the Coronation of King George V1 & Queen Elizabeth from Abbey church, St Peters Westminster. Various Newspaper cuttings

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Charlotte County Archives 1A1

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General note

Acc. 1986.048, Acc. 1987.049, Acc. 2003.013, Acc. 2004.035, Acc. 2005.026

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