The Frisby Romsey story

Frisby’s was one of the earliest chains of boot and shoe shops to develop in England. The founder, Joseph Frisby (1848-1902), was the son of an agricultural worker from Frisby on the Wreake in Leicestershire. In 1871 he married Harriett Rowley, whose brother Robert was a hosiery manufacturer in nearby Syston. Joseph Frisby’s shop appeared in Romsey sometime around 1900 and remained in the Town Centre until the 1980s.  The shop was originally based in Church Street as one of the trades in Ashley Terrace and then  subsequently moved to 25 Hundred. Joseph Frisby ended his days in a large house, ‘Stoneleigh’, on Knighton Park Road in Leicester. His son Joseph Rowley Frisby (1879-1929) continued to run the business. His daughter Elizabeth is rather better known, as a suffragette who burned down Blaby railway station. Frisby’s escaped the clutches of Charles Clore in the 1950s and 1960s. It remained a privately-owned family firm until 1982, when it had 156 outlets. In that year it was bought for £6 million by Ward White, which owned Tuf shoes and a chain named Wyles.                
  • Sources
  1. Content from Building our Past – The History of Everyday Buildings posted 2016
  2. Romsey town images courtesy of Romsey History Society
  3. Images from the Web - if anyone owns any copyright to illustrations here please contact the King John’s House museum so that appropriate acknowledgement can be made or the item removed if so