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Oxford Inscriptions: Irene Frude


Irene Frude

HOC IN LOCO IRENE FRUDE
COLLEGII KEBLENSIS ALUMNORUM BENIGNISSIMA ALTRIX
INGENTISSIMA IENTACULA
XXXV FERME PER ANNOS COTIDIE SUPPEDITAVIT
CUIUS REI BENE MEMORES EIDEM ALUMNI
HOC MONUMENTUM FACIENDUM CURAVERUNT.
A.D. IV KAL. NOV. MCMLXXVI

[In this place Irene Frude, the most kindly foster-mother of alumni
of Keble College, supplied huge breakfasts each day for almost 35 years;
and in memory of this, those same alumni got the making of
this memorial done on 29 October 1976]

The above cast-iron plaque is on the breeze-block wall of an alleyway off the south side of Little Clarendon Street, and shows damage caused by a wheelie-bin fire in about 2008. It is situated behind 130 Walton Street, which was the university lodging house where Mrs Frude cooked breakfasts for Keble students from 1935 to 1969.

Mrs Irene Frude was born on 27 February 1899. She was Irene Langrish (possibly a widow) when in the third quarter of 1934 in the Tetbury registration district she married Albert Edward Frude. Albert, whose first wife Alice had died in the Pershore district at the age of 48 in 1931 was a former coachman and latterly a retired stud groom, born in Aylesbury on 14 January 1875.

Up to 1935 Kelly's Directory listed a man called Gerald Harris running the university lodging house at 130 Walton Street, but from 1936 it is listed as a university lodging house licensed in the name of Irene's husband, Albert E. Frude. He died at 130 Walton Street at the age of 66 on 16 April 1941 and was buried at Wolvercote Cemetery on 19 April.

From 1943 to 1968 Kelly's Directory (in its Commercial section) lists Mrs A. E. Frude thus: “Frude A. E. (Mrs.), university lodging ho 130 Walton Street”.

Mrs Frude died in Oxford in 1977, but is not buried with her husband.

130 Walton Street is inscribed BEDFORD HOUSE over the front door, and from 1873 to 1875 it was the premises of the original Bedford House School.

Stephanie Jenkins, 2013