Thomas ROBERTS – Sawyer at Erddig

by Jill Burton.

Thomas was born in 1834 in Wrexham, the son of William (farm Labourer) and Jane Roberts.

He began work as Sawyer at Erddig in about 1858.

He would have worked in the saw pit near the Blacksmiths Shop.

Thomas married Amelia in about 1869.

On the 1871 census he and Amelia were living with his parents in a cottage at Felin Puleston and he earned £1 a week.

On the 1880 “Erddig Weekly Pay Bill” Thomas was paid for working 6 days a week at 3/8d a day = £1.2.0d a week.

On the 1881 census the family were in Felin Puleston. The children were     Thomas                     b. 1870

Charlotte Jane    b. 1875 died 1902

Albert                   b. 1876

Emily                    b. 1878

In 1884 & 1895 he was paid 3/8 a day x 6 days a week (£1/2/- a week)

On the 1891 census the family were still living at Felin. Eldest son Thomas was by now ‘General Gardener’ at Erddig, later to be promoted to Foreman Gardener, and son Albert was a Sawyer at Erddig (and was to work there for 18 years). Charlotte was a dressmaker’s apprentice.

In the 1887 Erddig rent book Thomas was paying £2/10/0d for half years rent of the cottage at Felin Puleston i.e. £5 a year.

When a steam engine was installed in the sawmill at Erddig Thomas became engineer, operating the steam engine to run the saw bench and mortar mill.

By the 1901 census only Charlotte was still living at home with her parents.

On the 1906 “Erddig Weekly Pay Bill” Thomas was paid for 5 days a week at 2/- a day = 10 shillings a week.

But his son Albert was paid for 6 days a week at 3/10d a day = £1/3/0d a week. So it appears that Albert had become Sawyer and his father was semi-retired. In the wage book at this time there are some weeks when Thomas was not at work, presumably ill.

Thomas Roberts

By 1906 Thomas was also receiving a pension from the Yorkes of 10/- a week.

After 49 years work at Erddig Thomas died in 1908 and was buried in Wrexham Cemetery grave 05112 on 25th July 1908 with his daughter Charlotte. Their address as given as Puleston Mill.

On the 1911 census his widow Amelia was still living in Felin Puleston but appears to have moved cottage.

In 1911 Philip Yorke II wrote that her cottage at Felin was at “upper end on right of lane as we descend”.  When she died in 1927 her address was Top House, Felin Puleston. She was buried with Thomas and Charlotte in grave O-05112.

Wrexham Cemetery 2017-12-04

Researched by Jill Burton; gravestone photograph Graham Lloyd.