Thomas BELLIS 1831-1896

by Annette Edwards.

Thomas Bellis was born in Ruabon about 1831. He was the son of Thomas Bellis who was an Innkeeper, his mother was Mary, and both were from Ruabon. His elder brother Richard was a moulder and Thomas was a smith. His parents were at the “Sun and Dragon” until they retired in 1870. 

In 1857 Thomas married Louisa Belshaw at St Mary’s Ruabon, Louisa was from Huntingdonshire.

He was then a blacksmith, Louisa was a servant, resident at Gardden. Her father was Henry Belshaw a brewer.  

They moved to “Smith House” Brymbo where Thomas was working as a furnace man and later down to Talwrn Road, Coedpeth where he was a lead smelter.

In 1877 the license of The Albion Vaults, Pen-Y- Bryn was transferred from Mr Edwin Williams to Mr Thomas Bellis. This is the first pub where he is found. Sadly Louisa died there in 1884.

DEATHS. BELLIS. – On the 27th ult, Louisa, wife of Thomas Bellis, Albion Vaults, Wrexham, aged 55 years.

Wrexham Advertiser 8 November 1884

Just a few months later, early in 1885 Thomas remarried to Ellen Elizabeth Randles, a widow who was from Presteigne, Radnorshire.

Ellen Elizabeth had been with her husband Edward Randles in Talwrn Road in 1871 not far from Thomas, Edward was a lead mine manager and had been born in Minera. It`s probable the men had worked together.  Edward gave up the lead mines and moved to Herefordshire where he took up farming.  By 1882 they were back in the Wrexham area where Edward died aged 52.

The newlywed couple went back to the Albion and were there in 1885 when they had a bit of bother.

Wrexham Advertiser 14 March 1885

REFUSING TO QUIT. John Stirling, a clogger living at the Rhos, who said he belonged to Edinburgh, was charged by Mr Thomas Bellis, of the Albion Vaults, Penybryn, with refusing to quit his premises when requested to do so on the previous evening.—Complainant said the defendant created a great disturbance in the house, threatening to pitch him (complainant) through the window, and acting altogether more like a wild man than anything else, and he ultimately had to give the man a charge.

They moved to the Smithfield Hotel and in November that year Thomas    moved again to the Mitre.

7th November 1891

LICENSING. GRANTED. Mr Bellis applied for the transfer of the licence of the Mitre, Pentrefelin, and the application was granted. It seems to have been a bad move.

16 January 1892

ALLEGED THEFT OF WHISKY. Thomas Hannan, and James Goring, who said they worked at Messrs Monk and ‘Newell’s Brickworks, Ruabon, as well as Samuel Jackson, a boiler maker, of Wrexham, were in custody, charged by Mr Thomas Bellis, of the Mitre Inn, with having stolen whisky. Mr Bellis said on Tuesday morning, about ten o’clock, while he was away, the prisoners came in and were served by Mrs Bellis with three pints of beer. They were then left alone, and when witness returned he found the spirit top was dripping. He accused the men with having tampered with the tap. Hannan became very insolent. Jackson by this time had become so drunk that he could not move. As they did not seem inclined to move away when requested, witness sent for the police. In the meantime he misled a bottle of whisky, and accused Goring with having stolen it. The bottle was afterwards found upon him. -P.C. Reese, who gave evidence, said Jackson was so drunk that he had to the taken to the lock-up in a handcart. The prisoners were remanded until Monday.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20TH 1892. Before W. Prichard, Esq., and E. M. Jones, Esq. MALICIOUS DAMAGE. John Roan, a, labourer at the Cambrian Leather Works, was charged by Thomas Bellis landlord of the Mitre Inn, with doing damage to the extent of £1 to the bar counter. The prosecutor said on Friday afternoon defendant came in the Inn, and went into the kitchen. He threatened his (prosecutor’s) wife and he had great difficulty in getting him out of the kitchen. The prisoner then smashed the bar counter, and said he would smash prosecutor’s head open with a piece of It.—P.C. Pugh said on Friday afternoon he was told that there was a man creating a disturbance at the Mitre Inn. He went there and found defendant acting more like a madman than anything else.—Fined 10s 6d and costs, and £1 damage, making altogether £1.15s

Thomas died in February 1896 at Alexandra Road.  His obituary states that he was one of the first managers of the collieries in the Denbighshire outcrop and held an influential position with the British Iron Company, before becoming a victualler until he retired a few years before.

Thomas Bellis was buried with Louisa.

Researched by Annette Edwards, with help from Cari Pugh. August 2020.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02712