The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster
 

People on board

Louisa Frend

FREND, Louisa

Louisa Frend was born about 1850 at Lacrough, Boher near the village of Caherconlish in Co Limerick. Her parents, William Frend and Charlotte Keays had seven children, four boys and three girls. When William died in 1861 he left the farm to his brother-in-law until his eldest son Thomas came of age. He also stipulated that any of his children, male or female, who did not marry a Protestant would forfeit all but £100 of their inheritance.

Two of the sons, John and George, qualified as doctors. John emigrated to Rosario in Argentina, and George died in 1887. This followed the death of the eldest daughter, Frances, in 1868. In 1889 the third son, William, who had followed his brother to Argentina, died there of typhoid fever, aged thirty-one. The eldest son Thomas, who had inherited the farm, died in 1891 and their mother Charlotte died in 1899. This left Louisa and her younger sister Arabella, though the latter is nowhere to be found in either the 1901 or 1911 censuses.

Louisa Frend appears to have taken over the property as she is described as a Farmer in both censuses, with only one servant with her in 1901 and two in 1911. John’s family of seven children and Argentina-born wife were in London in 1911 though John himself appears to have remained in Rosario and died there in 1929.

In October 1918, according to a report in the Limerick Leader and Limerick Chronicle, Louisa Frend travelled to Dublin on the 4th on her way to visit relatives in Eastbourne. She stayed for some days with a Mrs B Wilson in Rathgar and wrote to her sister Arabella, who was then living in Chester, to meet her there as the train passed through. On the evening of the 9th she went to Kingstown with Mrs Wilson, and having said goodbye, boarded the RMS Leinster and settled in her sleeping berth overnight.

Louisa Frend did not survive the sinking the following day, nor was her body ever recovered. She is remembered on a plaque in the small church at Abington near her home in Limerick. Also commemorated is the life of her nephew, 2nd Lieutenant John A Frend of the Royal Field Artillery, eldest son of Dr John in Rosario, who was killed in action in France in January 1917. Arabella lived on in England, dying in 1941 at the age of ninety.

 

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