Thomas ROBERTS 1833-1899

by Annette Edwartds

by Annette Edwards.

Thomas Roberts was the son of was John Roberts and Harriet his wife, he was christened at Dudleston on 5 May 1833.

On 14 October 1856 he married Jane Eleanor Jones at St Giles, Wrexham. Jane was born in Liverpool.  At the time of her marriage she was resident at Bersham, she states her father is Isaac Jones, a gentleman.  Thomas was a grocer in Wrexham, his brother George was a witness.

On 15 October 1859 a notice was published in the papers, Thomas was having to move his business for a while.

NOTICE OF REMOVAL. THE PROVINCIAL WELSH INSURANCE COMPANY having purchased the Premises now occupied by me in HIgh-Street, for the purpose of erecting their new office.   ON AND AFTER FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2ND, The Business will be transferred to my Premises ON THE TOWN-HILL, and there continued till the completion of the Insurance Company’s new Offices.  In making this announcement I take the opportunity of tendering my sincere thanks to my numerous friends and customers for the kind and liberal support accorded to me during the time I have been in business; and to assure them that it will still be  my endeavour to merit a continuance of their patronage by supplying every article favoured of the best  quality giving strict and personal attention to the execution of all orders with which I may be THOMAS ROBERTS. GROCER, &c., HIGH-STREET, WREXHAM

By 1861 he is back in High Street at number 14.

In February 1866 the death of a child was announced. On the 13th inst at 14, High-street, George Frederick, the beloved child of Mr Thomas Roberts, grocer, aged 4 years and 9 months.

Over the years Thomas had quite a few incidents at the shop, in 1861 a man who was working on alterations there stole money from the till, he was sent to Ruthin for 7 days.

In 1864 another man smashed 2 of his windows, Thomas saw him do it and admitted that he had struck the offender.

In 1869 this odd article was printed in the paper.

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.

Also in 1869 Elizabeth Thomas was summoned by Thomas Roberts, grocer, High-street, for using abusive language towards him. The complainant said that last Tuesday week he saw the defendant in the Golden Lion passage, and she used very bad language to him, and threatened to pull his liver out.—The defendant said she only spoke to Mr Roberts, in Mr Ankers’s vaults. She had received two letters from Mrs Roberts to make the case up, but refused. It was said Mr Roberts struck her over the counter in the Vaults.  She was fined 6 d.

In 1870 it was reported that Thomas had shot a “rare bird”

RARE Avis.—A quail was shot last Friday week by Mr Thomas Roberts, grocer, High-street, in the neighbourhood of the town. The bird is a very rare one in this locality, and we have only heard of another instance of its being killed in the district, a quail having been shot by Mr. V. Kyrke in the neighbourhood of Nantyfrith about two years ago.

By 1871 they were still at 14, and two children were with them ,  Charles Edward  5  and Mary J  aged 3,  son Thomas Isaac  aged  7  was with his grandparents John and Harriet in Erbistock.

In 1881 they were at 7 Smithfield Road (Late Theatre Lane) Thomas was now maltster and farmer,  by now there was another son Walter  who was  aged 8.

Later that year Mr Ashton Bradley applied on behalf of Mr Thomas Roberts, for an off-licence for the Smithfield-house, in respect to which the application for a full licence, made at the General Licensing Sessions, had been refused.  It seems that by 1882 Thomas still had his shop on High Street as he was mentioned in the Municipal elections.

MUNICIPAL. The present four members have been re-nominated and no others, so that a contest on the 8 November is thus avoided. They are Mr R. Humphreys Roberts, solicitor, proposer Mr Gold Edwards seconder Mr Thomas Roberts, grocer High Street etc.

In 1891 Thomas was in the Red Lion, Marford, he was a victualler, Jane Eleanor and their son Thomas Isaac were also there.  In April 1895 the licence of the Green Dragon in Hightown was transferred to Thomas,   sadly Jane Eleanor died there on the 14 July, she was aged 64. Sometime later Thomas moved away and died on 11 June 1899 at at the Lord Combermere Arms Hotel in Audlem. He left effects of £4129 18s 7d. Thomas was brought back to Wrexham to be buried in his home town.   Two separate reports give a good account of his life.

WREXHAM. DEATH OF A CELEBRITY. The death occurred on Sunday of Mr. Thomas Roberts, an old Wrexhamite. He began business fifty years ago as a grocer, and afterwards became landlord of the Golden Lion Hotel, Wrexham, and retired from there a few years ago, and dealt extensively in the sale and purchase of licensed property. Recently he purchased an hotel at Audlem, Cheshire, where he went to reside, and died there. He leaves four sons, two of whom hold good positions in Wrexham.


The death of Thomas Roberts took place at his residence after a brief illness. He had been a member of Wrexham Town Council, his grocery business had been bought by C K Benson.

WREXHAM ADVERTISER June 17, 1899 (Edited)

He had been at the Golden Lion for many years, also the Smithfield and the Green Dragon.

Pigeon shooting was his favourite pastime; his remains were brought by train and brought to the New Cemetery where he was buried.  His sons were names as John, Thomas (Isaac), (Charles) Edward and Walter (Henry).

Thomas Isaac Roberts became a joiner; it looks like he never married. He died in March 1918 aged 54 in the Infirmary and was buried with his father Thomas

JOHN ROBERTS 1859 – 1920

Also buried in the same plot is John Roberts, the son of Thomas, Rhoda his wife and three of their children.

John was born in 1859.  He became a veterinary surgeon in Chester Street by 1890 as there were a few articles about him in the newpapers.

May.1890 VETERINARY APPOINTMENT. Mr John Roberts, M.R.C.V.S., 46, Chester-street, Wrexham, has been appointed an inspector under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act by the Flintshire County Council.

May. 1890 WREXHAM MAY-DAY PROCESSION. FRIDAY’S SPECTACLE. Friday’s May-Day procession was a decided advance on those of former years. Although the day was not SJ beautifully fine as some daring this month, still the state of the elements was favourable for such a spectacle. The Beast Market assumed a busy appearance about two o’clock, when the competitors in the usual competitions pertaining to things equestrian commenced to arrive.

The mounted marshals were Messrs T. P. Jones- Parry, Junr., John Roberts, veterinary surgeon, Charles Moore.

July 1890 THE PROPOSED RACES AT WREXHAM.—We learn that it has been finally decided to hold the Races at Wrexham, on Friday, August 29, and there is every prospect of a most successful meeting taking place. The programme, a summary of which appears in our advertising columns, contains seven events, the amount of added money being £ 99. Capt. F. Herbert, secretary of the National Pony and Galloway Racing Committee, has been appointed judge and handicapper Mr W. B. Etches, solicitor, of Whitchurch, will be starter Mr Councillor Charles Murks, clerk of the course Mr John Roberts, M R.C.V.S., veterinary surgeon.

November 1890. THEFT OF A COAT.  James Davies, laborer, was in custody, on remand, charged with having stolen a great coat, the property of Mr John Roberts, veterinary surgeon, Chester- Street  P.C. J. Edwards said on Wednesday afternoon (October 29th), about a quarter to four o’clock, the prisoner was given into his custody, charged with stealing a Newmarket overcoat (produced), the propery of John Roberts, veterinary surgeon, Chester Street. He took the prisoner to the bridewell and charged him with stealing it. He said I’ll say nothing.” The prisoner had been acting as temporary groom for Mr Roberts, and was drunk when arrested.

In 1891 he was at 46 Chester Street and still single.

In 1894 he married Rhoda Knowles Tickle in Wrexham, Rhoda was the daughter of William Tickle and Elizabeth Ford who had moved to Wrexham in 1892 to run the Feathers Hotel on Chester Street.

1895 A VIOLENT ASSAULT. James Fletcher, shoemaker, Wrexham, was charged by Mr John Roberts, veterinary surgeon, with assaulting him on the previous night.—Mr Roberts said he was returning home on the previous night about twelve o’clock, and after going round the yard to see if all the doors were fastened, he went into the house by the back door. When he went into the kitchen the servant told him that there was a man in the scullery. He went into the scullery and saw the prisoner on a table asleep. Witness woke him up and asked him what he was doing there. Prisoner gave him no intelligible answer. Witness took him to the large doors leading to Chester-street, and let him out, and told him to go. As he was bending down to fasten the bolt of the door prisoner rushed at him and gave him a blow on the head, which knocked him down. Prisoner then seized him by the throat, and they had a severe struggle. Witness at last got the best of prisoner, and when Sergeant Roberts came up the prisoner was given in charge. When witness found prisoner in the kitchen he thought he was drunk, but when prisoner assaulted him he thought different. Witness thought that prisoner had made a mistake in the house.—Sergeant Roberts said he received information at about twelve o’clock that a man was assaulting Mr Roberts in Chester-street. He went there, and Mr Roberts gave the prisoner in charge. The prisoner said he remembered nothing. He was fined a guinea and costs, or one month’s imprisonment with hard labour. 

The couple moved to Salop Road and by 1911 they had 8 children but 3 had died.

Walter Stuart aged 5 months in 1899, Thomas in 1902 aged 4 months and Arthur Jollife in 1906 aged 9 months.  

Florence 16, John 15, William 12. Gwendoline 7 and George aged 3 were the surviving ones. By 1920 the family were at 7 Abbot Street, John died in September 1920, Rhoda died in May 1938 and their son William Harold died in February 1942, all in 7 Abbot Street.

They were all buried in the same family plot.

Researched by Annette Edwards with help from Judy Roberts of Chirk. March 2019. Gravestone photographs – Graham Lloyd.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02757.

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