ELIZA LEWIS 1817-1901 – Erddig Housemaid

by Jill Burton

by Jill Burton.

ELIZA LEWIS 1817-1901

Eliza was the 2nd child of Erddig carpenter Thomas Rogers and Sarah.

She was born December 26th, 1817 at Bryn Goleu on the Erddig estate.

In 1844 Eliza was in service at 58, Upper Parliament Street, Liverpool. Harriet her younger sister wrote to her there with all the family news.

In 1847 (age 30) Eliza was employed as Nursemaid by Simon III and Victoria Yorke to look after their first-born child, Etheldred (Lily) b 1847 followed by Philip II b 1849.

She appears on the 1851 census, (stating her age was 30!), living in Erddig.

In 1852 she was photographed with the servants and family of the West Front steps of Erddig. (see photo above)

She left Erddig at the end of 1852 to get married and was replaced as nursemaid by her younger sister Harriet.

Eliza married Edward Lewis in the Jan to March quarter of 1853. He was born in Ruabon in 1825.

Throughout much of her life Eliza states her birth date was 1821, 4 years younger than that stated in the Rogers family Bible.

She appears to be 4 years older than her husband Edward but in fact was 8 years older.

Edward Lewis was a Sergeant in the Denbighshire Militia

On the 1861 census Edward was a Spirit Merchant of 29 Hope Street, Wrexham. Living with him was wife Eliza, and children

  • Harriet b 1854,
  • Edward b 1856,
  • Emily Maria b 1857,
  • William b 1860.

They also had a House servant Mary Ellis aged 17.

Edward died in 1862 of TB. He was nursed at Bryn Goleu by his mother in law Sarah Rogers. Eliza was widowed after 9 years of marriage.

In 1871 age 50? Eliza was a “Wine & Spirit Merchant” still at 29 Hope Street, Wrexham. Living with her was son Edward age 15 now a solicitor’s clerk and Amy (Emily) M, age 13 a scholar. There was also married daughter Harriet age 17 with her husband Walter Mason who was “Assistant Wine Merchant” for his mother in law Eliza, and their new baby Walter 2 months old. They also had a servant, 19 yr old Mary Sudley.

By 1881 age 62? Eliza was “Inn keeper” at the Red Lion in Marchwiel. The Red Lion was owned by Erddig. Living there with her were 2 grandsons, Walter and Frederick Mason, (sons of Eliza’s daughter Harriet) plus a general servant Elizabeth Roberts.

In 1889 Eliza was billing Erddig for the tenants’ dinners.

In 1891 age 75 – her true age – Eliza was still “Licensed Victualler” at the Red Lion, Marchwiel. Living with her was her daughter Emily and her husband Herbert Newell (a railway clerk) and their 5 children, Herbert, Amy, Beatrice, Adeline and Mary.

In 1897 Eliza was receiving a pension of £6/6/- per half year from Erddig.

Eliza died aged 84 on January 23rd, 1901, at the home of one of her sons in Coedpoeth.

She is buried in Ruabon Road cemetery to the right of the main gate, in the same grave as her sister Harriet Rogers.

Sources: Researched by Jill Burton. March 2018.

Photo 1852 & PYII Poem 1912

“Servants Hall” p 82

1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 census

1889 & 1897 bundle Chest in Agents Office

Beryl Jones, great great niece

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery M-03637

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