by Annette Edwards.

George Haden was born in 1819 in Stepney, London. He was the son of William Haden “a gentleman”. On 10 September 1839 George married Sabina Cousins at the Hatherlow Chapel in Bredbury, Stockport. Sabina was the daughter of William Cousins a clothier and Elizabeth Sims, she was born in Wotton, Gloucestershire and was 12 years older than George.  

Their first known child was Emily Jane who was born in 1843 at Lower Darwen Nr Blacktorn, Lancashire.

George was a school master in Wrexham for many years, he opened the British School on 15 September 1844, and he left in 31 December1847. He had another school on Willow Hill before opening the Madeira House Academy.

A second daughter – Matilda was born about 1849. They all lived at 20 Madeira Hill,

A visitor at the time of the 1851 census was Sabina’s mother Elizabeth who was then 72.

In 1855 he is in charge of the Commercial School on Willow Hill which was established in 1842. Later he has the school in Madeira House Academy. 


George was involved with many Chapels in the area as he is often mentioned in the papers in reports of events and treats for the schoolchildren.

In January 1876 the annual treat and distribution of Bibles and other books, scarves, neck-ties, mince pies, oranges to the scholars meeting at Rhosrobin was held, Mr George Haden presiding.

Apart from his school George had a sideline as a German Barm importer, barm or wheat was an important ingredient in beer making and he probably had a lot of customers in the town.   He also served as a member of the Grand jury on many occasions.


The family remained on Madeira Hill, but in 1876 George was in Matlock Bank, Matlock where he died on Christmas Day, 1876, he was brought back to Wrexham and buried here. His probate describes him as a German wheat merchant.

Looking at this description of Matlock Bank from 1872 it`s possible he was there “for the good of his health”. If so – it didn`t do him much good!

“Matlock Bank – a hamlet near Matlock-Bridge. It has one large hydropathic establishment, three others of considerable size, and four smaller ones, all delightfully situated, and containing excellent accommodation. It has also an Independent chapel and a Primitive Methodist chapel”.

Sabina died at Madeira House on 6 March 1881 aged 74, her probate shows she had a personal estate of £282.  Her daughters Emily Jane and Matilda stayed at their home, but in September the same year some of the household effects were put up for auction.  The list also included items from the schoolroom and the yard, so it seems to have been quite a substantial building. Also for sale were hen pens and a selection of choice fowl.

September 1881

Matilda moved away and was living in St Helens, when she died on 16 July 1883 she was also brought home and buried with her parents.

That only left Emily Jane, last seen in Wrexham in 1881.

Going back to 1861 Emily Jane wasn`t at home in Wrexham, she was in St Helens visting Newton Lacey, a British School Master, and his wife Charlotte (nee Cousins who had married in 1840) she is their niece. Charlotte Lacey died early in 1885. 

The next time she turns up is in 1891 as Emily Jane Cousins Lacey aged 48 wife of Newton Lacey aged 76 a retired schoolmaster.

Newton Lacey died on 18 June 1896, he left effects of £1132, the will was proved by Emily Jane Cousins Lacey – spinster. In the report of his funeral there is no mention of a widow and Emily Jane is not named as one of the mourners. All the ones named were male, but there were a number of “sympathising friends”.

In 1901 she is still in St Helens and still  calling herself  Lacey , a widow living on her own means, her brother in law Henry Lacey aged 85 is with her,

She stayed in the same house in Windle Street, still a widow, and in 1911 she has Nellie Lacey a niece staying with her.   

Emily Jane Cousins Lacey, widow, died on 27 July 1912, she left effects of £1864, and probate was granted to Nellie Lacey.

Emily Jane did quite well financially, but no marriage has been found and the Lacey family seemed to accept the situation, I guess we will never know why the change of name and the reason she was known as his wife. It`s a mystery.

Wrexham Cemetery 04/12/2017

Researched by Annette Edwards. August 2018. Headstone photograph by Graham Lloyd.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery M-03459

Total Page Visits: 743 - Today Page Visits: 1