by Annette Edwards.
John Roberts was born about 1810 in Dudleston, Shropshire. He married his wife Harriet and they were still living there in the 1830s when 2 sons were born there. They are found in the “Friendly Tavern” Erbistock in 1851 when he was a blacksmith, publican and farmer.
George their son was with them.
In July 1850 there had been an advertisement in the Chester Chronicle. (Edited) To be sold by auction at the “Friendly Tavern “Twining Bank, Erbistock in one lot or separate lots as agreed. Lot 1 A messuage or Public House known as “The Friendly Tavern” with building land, blacksmiths and a croft of rich land in the holding of Thomas Roberts. Lot 2. Two houses in the occupation of John and James Jones. Lot 3. Three houses occupied by Isaac Brookes, Francis Jones, and John Pugh. It`s not known if Thomas Roberts was any relation to John.
By 1861 they were at Fields Farm in Erbistock, George was still with them. In June 1869 it was reported in the news that John had a bumper crop of mushrooms.
EARLY MUSHROOMS. Mr Thomas Roberts, grocer, High-street, had in his shop this week a large dish full of mushrooms gathered in the Fields Farm, Erbistock, in the occupation of his father. Some of them were as large as an ordinary dinner plate.
In 1871 there was a fire at the farm and John wrote a letter of thanks to the newspaper.
THE LATE FIRE AT ERBISTOCK. Fields Farm, Oct. 26th, 1871. To the Editor of the Wrexham Advertiser. DEAR SIR,—I was too late for your last week’s issue. May I now beg permission, through your columns to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to those gentlemen of the Wrexham Fire Brigade, who so promptly attended the sad fire which broke out here on Wednesday, 18th inst., at midnight, or early on Thursday morning, and rendered such valuable assistance under the able command of Captain Turner. Also, to Mr Rivers Bulkeley for his great exertions and activity in directing the men of the Wynnstay estate with their engine until a late hour on Thursday morning through a drizzling rain. I must not omit to thank Mr Pemberton, and also his men, who worked very hard. At the same time, I am sorry that through not knowing the boy, who was dispatched for the engine to Ruabon and thence to Wrexham, we were deprived of their services at an earlier hour. Thanking all my neighbours for their kindness and sympathy, I am, dear sir, your obedient servant, JOHN ROBERTS.
In October 1875 John was one of the many tenants invited to the GRAND BANQUET TO THE TENANTRY AT WYNNSTAY. when over seven hundred tenants were invited by their landlord, Sir Watkin William Wynn, Baronet, M.P., at Wynnstay.
Harriet died in 1876; her death was announced in many papers.
13 May 1876, aged 64, Harriet, wife of Mr John Roberts, Fields Farm, Erbistock, near Ruabon.
On 10 November 1877 it was announced that on Tuesday, November 20th, 1877 Ruabon Fair Day. An important sale was to held at FIELDS FARM, ERBISTOCK, John was selling the whole of his excellent Dairy Stock, Farming Implements, Dairy Vessels, House- hold Furniture, and other effects. He was also selling all his livestock, cattle , horses, pigs and fowl , Furniture including a Kitchen dresser, mahogany circular table, chimney glass in gilt frame, mahogany sideboard with wine cellaret complete, pictures, mahogany single chairs hair seated, arm chairs, fenders and fire irons, weather glass, mahogany four-post bedsteads with hangings, mattress , bolsters, and pillows, night commodes, bedroom chairs, sundry dressing classes washstands, and dressing tables, towel rails and many other items.
It`s not know where John went after he sold the farm, no census records are a good match and the next time he turns up for sure is in 1901 when he is at 2 Palmer Street, he is with George Morgan aged 50 who was born in Overton. He is a milk dealer, his wife and 3 sons are there as well as John aged 90 who was his uncle, a retired farmer born Dudleston, Shropshire.
John died there soon after and was buried on 25 May 1901 with his son Thomas.
Researched by Annette Edwards. March 2019. Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02757-8.