The Viggars Family

by Annette Edwards.

JOHN VIGGARS was, baptised in   April 1832 in Manchester, he was the son of Daniel and Rebecca, at the time his father Daniel was a publican.  The Viggars family moved to Chester where Daniel became a  farmer on Bumpers Lane, Sealand.   They were a large family with at least 8 children.

In 1854 John married Kate Fairbrother at Holy Trinity, Chester.  Kate / Catherine was the daughter of James and Margaret Fairbrother who were also farmers in Shotwick.

The couple stayed in Sealand for a while before moving to Wrexham where they had a fruit and greengrocers shop on Town Hill. They had children. Albert Edwin, George Henry, Harrison John, Arthur Davies (died 1878) Daniel Herbert (died 1870) Martha Louisa, Ada and Frank Austyn.

The family moved to Little Llwyn Onn where John took up farming again. Sons George Henry and Albert remained on Town Hill running the shop. John died on 28 August 1888 and Kate moved back to Wrexham and took over the  greengrocers shop again with George Henry helping out. Eventually she gave up the business and went back to farming at Ty Coch farm in Abenbury.  Her son Harrison and daughters Martha and Ada were there with her. She remained there until her death   in April 1925.

Over the years the Viggars family contributed much for the good of the town, either in  food donations to various schools and organisations to taking part in events held to raise funds.  However it does seem that John was partial to a drink now and again, and had a history of incidents involving horses and carts.

11th February 1871 (edited)

THE JUDGE AND THE CONDUCT OF THE POLICE. During the hearing of the above cause, a person named John Viggars, made his appearance in court, suffering, apparently, from an overdose of alcohol. He first intimated his presence by keeping on his hat, which the High Bailiff ordered him to remove. Viggars however, entertained an inferior idea of the dignity of Mr Vaughan Williams’s Court, and when warned by policeman Johnson to “uncover his upper room” he declined doing so.

His Honour, thereupon, remarked that he knew no place on his circuit where the court was so utterly disregarded as it was in Wrexham.  At this stage Mr Viggars again interfered with the progress of the proceedings by calling out aloud “Archdeacon Manning of Chester,” and making other incoherent remarks.—His Honour: Policeman, put that man in the dock.-P.C. Johnson obeyed the command, and his Honour addressing the prisoner said I fine you 20s., and you will be imprisoned until you pay it. I fine you for appearing before me in a drunken state, and for the great impertinence of which you have been guilty. His Honour: Take this man, policeman, and lock him up.—P.C. Johnson seemed rather slow about carrying out the latter decree, whereupon his Honour added If you don’t take him to gaol, sir, I’ll send for someone to take you there. “Hear, hear” from several parties and considerable laughter, during which Mr Viggars was removed to the cells, where he repented of his folly and paid the fine.

6 June 1874

DRUNK

John Viggars was charged by P.C. Hugh Jones with being drunk whilst in charge of a horse and cart on last Market day, the horse without a bit in its mouth. Fined 10s 6d  and 7s costs.

23rd March 1878

ACCIDENT IN THE HORNS YARD.—On Wednesday morning, as a little boy, named Jonathan Maddock, six years of age, son of Mrs Maddock, a widow living in the Horns Yard, was at play in that locality, he got between a vehicle belonging to Mr Viggars and a wall in the yard. While in this position, Mr Viggars son jumped into the vehicle, and as he did so the horse backed, when the wheel grazed the little fellow’s head, and completely scalped a portion of the left side. He was attended soon afterwards by Dr. Errington, and is progressing favourably.

14th September 1878

A COLLISION ON THE TRAMWAY.—On Friday morning week, as the tram car, which leaves Rhos at 8 30, was nearing the town, opposite the place where the turnpike gate formerly stood, it was met by a cart, driven by a son of Mr Viggars, of Town Hill. The horse of Mr Viggars, which had only been a day or two up from the field, was much afraid of the tram, and immediately began to back; but so near was it to the tram that there was no time to pull up. There was a collision, the consequence of which resulted in the partial wreck of the greengrocer’s cart and the smashing of a panel of the tram car. Neither man nor horse were however hurt. No blame can be attached to either party.

29th February 1884 (edited)

MARRIAGE, OF MISS BAILLIE.—AN EXCITING INCIDENT.-The marriage of Miss Elizabeth Baillie and Mr Henry Edmund Heynes, of Birmingham, was Solemnised at the  Ruabon Parish Church on  Tuesday. The bridal dejeuner was served at Bodylltyn, Wynnstay Park, and the residence of the bride. Thus far, everything had gone on in a most pleasing and happy way, when an untoward accident came to mar the day’s rejoicings. As the bride was in the act of stepping into the brougham to catch the 1.11 p.m. train en route for London the horses suddenly took fright and dashed through the park on to the highroad and down to Ruabon a distance of two miles at a furious pace. The animals galloped through Bridge-street with a fearful dash to the great alarm of the inhabitants and on rounding the corner to face the Wynnstay Arms Hotel came into collision with the cart of Mr Viggars, fruiterer, Wrexham, wrecking both vehicles and killing one of the horses in the brougham. Mr Viggars himself narrowly escaped serious injury and many persons were nearly run over in the journey of the horses from Rhosymedre. Fortunately the bride was thrown back from the step as the horses made chase from the house or the exciting incident must have been attended with most disastrous consequences:

15th October 1892

On Wednesday morning a horse and cart belonging to Mr Nuttall backed into the window of the fruit shop kept by Mrs Viggars on the Town Hill. The glass was smashed, and the frame too was greatly damaged. The loss is covered by insurance.

In 1890 there was a terrible fire at Ty Coch farm.

14th July 1900 (edited)

DESTRUCTIVE FARM FIRE AT LLWYNONN. Shortly before ten o’clock on Monday morning some servants were engaged in burning greasy paper at Ty Coch Farm, Llwynonn, occupied by Mrs Viggars, when a sudden gust of wind caught the burning paper and blew it in the direction of a straw stack. This at once caught fire, and before any means could be adopted to prevent the progress of the flames they had shot still further leeward, and had ignited a large stack of oats. A messenger was promptly despatched to the Wrexham Fire Station, and the brigade quickly turned out with the manual and four horses, Captain Scott following a little later. The  distance from Wrexham to Llwynonn was quickly covered, and when the brigade arrived on the scene it was a fine sight that presented itself. The two stacks presented the appearance of seething cauldrons, from which the flames shot high above the farm buildings in the air. The burning stacks roared like a furnace. The heat was terrible. It was impossible to approach anywhere near the conflagration. With this state of things, and with a scanty supply of water, the Brigade set to work. It was obvious that all they could hope to accomplish was to save the farm buildings. The manual had to be dragged down a steep declivity, where there is a stream some 200 yards away, and when the pumps were working one line of hose was directed on the farm. The Brigade worked on for hours, and meanwhile the fire was spending itself on the stacks, but was prevented from seizing the buildings, although the wood- work was badly scorched.

Catherine was still at the farm the following year.

In 1901 George Henry Viggars married Caroline Lucy Smith in All Saints Edmonton, their sons John Clifford and Charles Henry were born in Wrexham.  George and Caroline had a fruit shop on Hope Street.  They were still there in 1921 when their eldest son John Clifford died aged just 19. George Henry also died there in March 1936.  Caroline Lucy died in 1947; they are buried with their son John Clifford.

Albert Edwin Viggars married Mary Ann Pruett in 1884. He became a farmer and potato merchant.

They had children but sadly Henry John died aged 7 months in 1886.  In 1887 the couple had twin sons  Albert Edgar and Stanley Horace, and again in 1890 another set of twins were born.

Sadly John Arthur only lived for 16 days, his sister Mary Louise died in the same year  aged 8 months.

By 1901 Albert and Mary were with their 3 remaining children Albert, Stanley  and Gwendoline  and  running their potato merchants business. Gwendoline married Archibald J MacDonald in 1920, but died in 1922 in Liverpool,  she was brought back to Wrexham and buried  with her siblings.

Albert Edwin died in 1926. Mary Ann lived to the aged of 97 and died in 1959. They are buried with their children.

Another of John`s sons was Frank Austyn Viggers, he married Mary Isabella Fox in August 1901

Llangollen Advertiser.16 August 1901.

At the Parish Church, Marylebone, London, by the Rev. J. C. Wood, Frank Austyn, fourth son of the late Mr. John Viggars, Llwyn Onn, Wrexham, to Mary Isabelle (Queenie), eldest daughter of Mr. Oswald Fox, Savings’ Bank, Oswestry.

They returned to Wrexham where he  ran  a business as a  florist and fruiterer, they lived in Crispin Lodge where he died aged 43.

Llangollen Advertiser 29 June 1917.

THE LATE MR. F. VIGGARS.—We regret to announce the death of Mr. Frank Viggars, which took place ay Crispin Lodge, Wrexham, on Thursday. Aged 43. and the youngest son of Mrs. Viggars, Llwyn Onn, Wrexham, Mr. Viggars was a well-known Wrexham tradesman, and conducted a successful business as a fruiterer in Regent Street. He leaves a widow and six children.

In 1922 his widow Mary Isabelle remarried to Thomas K Ferguson.

Frank Austyn is buried with his daughter Dorothy  who died in 1921, and his wife Mary Isabella Ferguson  who died in 1957. His sister Martha Louisa moved to Rhyddyn Hill , Caergwrle and died there in 1946.  She was buried with Frank Austyn.

Harrison John, Ada and Martha Louisa never married.  By 1939 Ada had moved to Minera and died there  in 1955.  She and her brother Harrison John are buried with their parents John and Catherine.

Martha Louisa moved to Rhyddyn Hill,  Caergwrle  and died in 1946 she  is buried with her brother Frank Austyn.

Researched by Annette Edwards. May 2020.

VIGGARSHENRY JOHN PRUETT18867M13 TALBOT ROAD64809/03/188602499J
VIGGARSMARY LOUISE18904M13 TALBOT ROAD140120/08/189002499J
VIGGARSJOHN ARTHUR189016D13 TALBOT ROAD133003/05/189002499J
MACDONALDGWENDOLINE19222825 PRINCES AVENUE1183018/02/192202499J
VIGGARSALBERT19266963 ERDDIG ROAD1315721/07/192602499J
VIGGERSMARY ANN195997MAELOR GENERAL HOSPITAL2570403/06/195902499J