William Wilde was born on 11 May 1839 in Kinnerly, Shropshire he was the first child of John Wilde a farmer who married Emma Wilde on 31 March 1838 at St Chads, Shrewsbury.
Johns father was also a John, Emma`s father was Thomas Wilde.
By the time the family moved to Bausley on the Shropshire / Montgomeryshire border John was a butcher. He kept this trade until he died in 1889. William`s mother Emma moved in with her daughter Emma and her husband William who was the Registrar for Births and Deaths. Emma died in 1891.
William married Martha Jane Pryce on 17 July 1860, and the next year he is lodging in Dawley where he is a police constable. Martha Jane is still with her parents in Knockin.
William moved to Denbigh and in 1867 he won 1st prizes for 7 dessert pears and 7 seedling plums in the Denbigh Floral Fete, so that gives a good idea of when they moved.
By 1871 John and Martha Jane are in Denbigh where he is a police constable in the Borough Lockup, which was in Love Lane.
In 1873 he was still in Denbigh as there is a report of him being badly assaulted but the next year he is in Wrexham.
William had his work cut out in Wrexham, with many accounts of drunkenness, vagrancy, assault, neglect, deaths and thefts that he had to deal with, and even a man who was eloping with a married woman. On quite a few occasions he was assaulted himself.
There was an incident when he found on a Sunday night fifteen to twenty young boys and girls ranging from fourteen to eighteen years drinking in a public house.
On one occasion in 1875 he had to travel to Birmingham in search of a missing cow that had been stolen from Sir Roger Palmer, Cefn Park. The thief was sent to trial and it`s not known if the cow came back to Wrexham.
One sad case is that of attempted suicide when William was first on the scene to help, unfortunately the 70 year old man died shortly after.
The list is endless.
By 1881 William has been promoted and is now a Police Superintendant. The whole family is at the County Buildings, which is now the Wrexham Museum.
On 2 January 1892, a meeting was held about some suitable testimonial on his retirement after 25 years’ service, by now he was Deputy-Chief Constable of Denbighshire, It was mentioned that William had been cruelly aspersed by the chairman of the County Council, who had charged him with having been guilty of grave misconduct in the discharge of his duties. This allegation had been disproved, and as a result of the false charges William had gone up in the estimation of the public by the ordeal through which he had passed.
William officially retired in January 1892, he was presented with a marble clock and bronzes, with an illuminated address, by the men of the Denbighshire Constabulary as well as with a handsome clock, subscribed for by a number of collier friends.
In April 1892 William was appointed president of the Penybryn Bowling Club, and in the same year he was asked to resign from his position as inspector under the Explosives Acts, but refused. As it was ruled that inspectors should be police officer then he was given 3 months notice.
In 1894 there was the hearing of an application by William Wilde, late deputy chief- constable of Denbighshire, for the transfer to him of the licence of the Victoria Inn, Minera, whether he did run the pub isn`t known but by 1897 his son John Henry was there.
A little bit more about John Henry is intriguing.
John Henry was known to be running the Kings Head in1895 and then the Victoria Inn by 1897. In that year there was report of “A CANNABALISTIC AFFRAY” at the Victoria when two brothers who were drunk refused to leave. One held John Henry’s wrist while the other gnawed a chunk out of it. The case was dismissed. No wonder he left.
He didn`t stay there long as 4 years later he is in Abenbury as an accountant and farmer and by 1901 he is in Wellington, as a accountant and brewers agent. In 1911 his wife Emily is still in Wellington with her 9 year old daughter stating she is married, John Henry is not found. Emily died in 1912.
John Henry Wilde arrived in Quebec, Canada in 1904 and in 1911 he is in the Canadian census with “wife” Alice Wilde (Boddington) , his occupation is accountant, three of his children by Emily are with them and all have occupations. They all have the same arrival year of 1904. All have been found still in Canada much later.
By 1901 William is a farmer at Acton Park Farm, Martha Jane and his son Harry are also there. Martha Jane died at Acton Park Farm in October 1904,
In 1911 William is with his son Edward Llewellyn and his family at Wood Cottage, Rhosnessney and was still there when he died on 3 December 1915.
Edward Llewellyn and Elizabeth McLeod had married Kensington, London in 1903
Their daughter Rosalie Wilde was born in Wrexham and in 1912 she died at Meadowslea Hospital, Penyffordd, she was buried with her grandparents William and Martha Jane. It`s interesting that in 1939 Edward Llewellyn was a special constable.
MARTHA JANE PRYCE 1842 – 1904
Martha Jane was born in Knockin, Shropshire in 1842, she was the eldest child of William Pryce and Sarah Wilde who married in 1840, and they had their own butchers and grocery business in the town.
Martha Jane married William Wilde in 1860, and was still with her parents in 1861 while he was away.
Her father moved from Knockin after Sarah` s death and moved to Welshpool where he died in 1893 aged 81.
Thanks to the family in Canada for the photographs.
Researched by Annette Edwards.
Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery A-00200
Headstone photograph: Graham Lloyd.