Alfred PHOENIX 1851 – 1925

by Annette Edwards.

ALFRED PHOENIX 1851 – 1925


Alfred Phoenix was born in Gresford in 1851 he was the son of James Phoenix who was from Gresford, his mother Mary Ann Owens was from Manchester. In 1851 he is with his family in Pentwmpath, Llay but by 1871 they had moved to Chester Street in Wrexham, where James had his own business.

On 13 April 1875 Alfred married Mary (Ann) Douglas in Harefield, Middlesex.  Alfred was a joiner, his father James was also a joiner. Mary Ann was born in 1848 and was the daughter of Henry Douglas, a wood dealer and Charlotte Bray.

In 1861 she was with her parents and siblings in Harefield, but by 1871 she was working away from home as a servant for Alice Toller in Marylebone. Alice was the widow of Edward William Toller Esq who was a very wealthy man. After her marriage Mary came to Wrexham and by 1881 the family were living in Acton Cottages on the Acton Road, they had 3 daughters, Edith Mary 4, Emily 2 and Nellie aged 9 months.  By 1891 they had 4 sons, James Henry 8, Alfred 3, Herbert 2 and George aged 1. The family stayed in the area for many years.

In 1909 their son James Henry died while swimming in the Dee. Farndon was a popular place for people to visit for picnics and to swim.

BATHER DROWNED NEAR CHESTER. Mr. J. C. Bate, West Cheshire Coroner, held an inquest at Farndon, near Chester, on Saturday week, concerning a distressing bathing accident. The evidence showed that a young linotype operator named James Henry Phoenix, of Rhossnessney, Wrexham, and his brother Herbert were boating on the Dee, on Saturday, and had a bathe about half a mile below Farndon, Herbert, who could swim a little, teaching his brother how to swim. The latter got out of his depth and into difficulties, and his brother immediately swam to his rescue, but James caught hold of him round the neck and struggled so violently that Herbert felt himself drowning. It was with great difficulty that he freed himself, and he reached the bank in an exhausted and distracted condition.


Mr. W. H. E. Green, who lives at a bungalow near the spot, cut his boat loose and with one scull went to the rescue, but the young man sank in his sight. Mr. Green could see the body in the water, but owing to the great depth could not reach it. It was stated that the spot was one of the most dangerous in the river. A verdict of accidental drowning was returned. The Coroner suggested grappling irons should be kept at the local police station, and that a notice board should be placed at the spot warning bathers of the danger.

By 1911 only 2 sons were at home, Herbert was a school teacher, and George was a clerk for the Triplex Motor Company. The family was now living at Bleak House, Rhossnessney Lane.

Herbert died in July 1917, he was aged 33, and was buried with his brother James. Edith Mary died in November 1922, she was aged 45 and had never married, and she had stayed at her home.

Alfred died at Bleak House on 20 August 1925 aged 74, Mary Ann lived until she was the great age of 96 when she died in February 1944 at Cromar Crescent, Rossett.

They were buried with three of their children.  

Researched by Annette Edwards. May 2019.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery A-00435A

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