Hannah Matlida JONES (Tillie) – Head Housemaid at Erddig

Tillie’s father was John Henry Boulter born 1853 in Warwickshire, and her mother Jane Janet b1855 a local girl from Caernavon.

In 1881 John Henry Boulter was gasman at Plas Glynllifon, the mansion home of Lord Newborough. The house and stables were rebuilt in 1836 to 1849 and presumably gas was installed then. Another gas man at the house was local man William Jones and John married his daughter, Jane Janet. They lived at No 3 School Cottages, Llandwrog.

Their children were:

          Hannah Matilda b 1878

          Paulina                b 1880

          Edith J                 b 1881

          Gertrude L           b 1884

          Rose E                 b 1886

          John Morgan       b 1887

          Frances C           b 1889

          Henry J                b 1891

          Helena M             b 1895

In 1881 age 3 Hannah Matilda & sister Paulina were living or staying with their mother’s parents William and Mary Jones at No 4, The Cottages, Llandwrog which is just a few houses along from their parents home. They are probably staying with their grandparents because their mother had just given birth to Edith. 

Llandwrog is an estate village for Plas Glynllifon and was owned by Lord Newborough.

By 1891 the family were living at “Seaview”, Llandwrog, next door to Church Cottage where the grandparents lived. They also had a lodger who was a gamekeeper on the estate.

John Boulter was now employed by Lord Newborough as Marine Engineer, presumably at Fort Belan where Lord Newborough had a steam yacht, a dock, workshops for repairing vessels, and marine storehouses.

From approx 1895 Hannah Matilda would have been at work, probably going in to service at Plas Glynllifon, and by 1901 her younger sister Edith was Scullerymaid there.

Hannah Matilda Jones

In 1901 Tillie was Housemaid for Sir Hugh Nanney of Plas Gwynfryn, Llanystumdwy where she was senior of 2 housemaids.

She was therefore well placed at the age of 27 to apply for the post of Head Housemaid at Erddig where she came to work early in 1904. The Housekeeper was Miss Ellen Penketh.

In 1906 she was photographed in the garden by the Gresford window cleaners.

She was paid £2.9.4d a month and slept in the Clock Attic.

Tillie was friends with Lucy, the Yorke children’s nurse, and when she went home to Caernarvon to see her family, sent Lucy postcards for her collection.

Mrs. Louisa Yorke recorded that Tillie played the violin and would sometimes join Mrs. Yorke’s father, a cellist, in duets.

In the May and June of 1907 Mr. & Mrs. Yorke took a holiday in Nth Wales leaving Tillie responsible for the spring cleaning at Erddig and for the installation of the metal ceilings in the Saloon and other rooms. Mrs. Yorke and Tillie corresponded on progress.

Lucy and the children Simon and Philip stayed at 52 West Parade, Rhyl and then The Chatsworth, 12 St Georges Crescent, Llandudno whilst Mr. & Mrs. Yorke went for cycle rides and stayed in Bangor, Caernarvon etc. It appears on one of these rides they went to Llandwrog to see Tillie’s parents and letters survive describing the visit, plus one in June from Tillie asking Mrs Yorke if she can have a night away.

Before the end of June 1907 Tillie married Isaac Jones. The wedding took place in Chester.

Issac Jones

However it is most interesting to note that Matilda went on working at Erddig and being paid as ‘Matilda Boulter’ until she left Erddig on January 31st 1908. Did the Yorkes know she got married?

Her new husband Isaac Jones was born 1885. He lived with his parents at Plas Grono cottages and in 1901 was working as a sawyer at Erddig. By 1911 he was an electric tramway worker. The Wrexham and District Electric Tramways began in 1903 and ran from a depot in Johnstown, at the corner of Offa Street and Maelor Road into Wrexham.

In 1911 Matilda and Isaac lived at 20 Victoria Avenue, Johnstown and their only child was Doris Gwendoline born in 1909 (died 1956) They later moved to 18 Princess Street, Wrexham.

Tillie died age 88 in March 1966 and was buried in Wrexham Cemetery on 14th March 1966 grave No 04759 with her husband Isaac who had died just 6 weeks before.

Researched by Jill Burton. January 2019.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery R-04750