William WILSON of the Walnut Tree Hotel


 William Wilson was born in Scotland about 1817 , and by 1861 he and his wife Ann were living in Cefn Mawr, he was working as a colliery steward.  Ann had been born in Cleator, Cumberland and was about 12 years younger.

In September 1874 William applied for a spirit licence for the Walnut Tree tavern, he had only been there 3 months and had previously been a manager at the Wrexham colliery.


 Mr William Wilson applied for a spirit license for the Walnut-tree Tavern, Rhosddu. Mr Acton appeared on behalf of the applicant, and Mr John Jones appeared to oppose. If Mr. Wilson was already doing a good business, why did he want more? The necessity of a spirit license could only exist in his imagination, for it could not be grown cut of his experience of the house in which he had only been about three months.

As to the fitness of Mr. Wilson, if respectability meant fitness, he would say that he was a very proper man to have a license but it was an odd thing that the great ambition of a man who wanted to change his walk of life, as a rule, was to keep a public house.

During the time Mr. Wilson was manager at the Wrexham Colliery he had had a conversation with him respecting this house being a temptation to the colliers. The bench retired, and returned in a few minutes.  The Chairman said the application would be refused, although the magistrates were not unanimous in their decision.

30th October 1875. William was called upon to administer first aid.

ACCIDENT AT STANSTY FORGE, On Thursday night, about twelve o’clock, a man named John Thomas, employed as a shingler” at Stansty Forge, had occasion to place a gag under the hammer, and from some cause or other the gag slipped, when the hammer came down and took two of the poor fellow’s fingers off. He bled profusely, and was conveyed to Wrexham in a faint condition. On the way those who were conveying him called at the Walnut Tree Inn, and knocked the landlord up to ask for a drop of brandy. He responded to the call, but the spirits did not, being too far buried in the vasty (sic) deep. The sufferer was next conveyed to the surgery of a medical man, but neither the surgeon nor any of his assistants were at home. He was then taken to the police station, and one of the officers acted the part of the good Samaritan by calling up an innkeeper, who poured oil and wine into the unfortunate man’s wounds.

( I think the brandy was the best medicine )

While William and Ann were at the Walnut many events, inquests and suppers were held there. It was also used for football club meetings.  On 30th August 1884 an obituary was published which tells much about William and his life.

DEATH OF MR W. WILSON.—We have to record this week the death of Mr W. Wilson, landlord of the Walnut Tree Hotel, which took place early on Tuesday morning, at the age of 67. Mr Wilson, who is a native of Stirlingshire, came to this neighbourhood about 1856 and was successively manager at Acrefair under the New British Iron Company, and the Black Park Colliery. From the last works he removed to superintend the sinking of the shafts of the Wrexham and Acton Collieries, the workings of which were opened under his direction. Mr Wilson quitted the employment of the Company about 12 years ago to take possession of the Walnut Tree Hotel where he has lived until the time of his death. The deceased gentleman leaves a wife and a sorrowing circle of friends to mourn his loss.


Ann retained the licence for the Walnut and continued to run it herself.

On 25th January 1890 it was announced that Mrs Wilson was retiring  and was selling the whole of her modern household furniture, bedroom requisites, kitchen and culinary articles, and our door effects. There was a drawing and sitting room, a clubroom, entrance hall and staircase, kitchen and back kitchen and outdoor effects. It all sounds like a   comfortable place.

Auction of The Walnut Tree 1890

Ann hasn`t been found after this and it seems there were no children, William is buried alone.

Researched by Annette Edwards. June 2019.


Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02311

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