WILLLIAM JOHN CHESTERTON was born in Hereford about 1839; he was the son of Edward Chesterton a Glover, and Harriet Farrington. A brother named George was born in 1841 and another son Edward in late 1845. Sadly, both young Edward and Harriet died the following year leaving his father Edward with 2 young sons. John was still with his father and working as an errand boy when he was 12.
By 1866 he had left home and married Jane Worrall on 30 October 1866 at St Oswalds Chester.
The couple moved to Wrexham and lived in Holt Street Buildings for over 40 years.
At first William John was a fancy jeweller, and late in 1871 he visited Ruabon fair.
PETTY SESSIONS Stealing a Coat. — William Edwards and David Jones, a youth, both employed as colliers at the Rhos, were charged on remand with stealing a coat the property of John Chesterton, jeweller, of Wrexham. Prosecutor stated that on the Ruabon fair day, November 20, he was at the fair. The coat produced was his property, and he estimated its value at 10s. He had it with him at Ruabon, and kept it in a box under his stall. At night, about half-past eleven, he pulled out of the box, and put it on the rails near the Wynnstay Arms Hotel while he was packing up his goods. In five minutes afterwards the coat had been taken away, and he then informed the police.—P.C. Jones, of the Rhos, received information of the robbery from the prosecutor on the night of the fair.
Edwards and Jones were committed to take their trial at the quarter sessions, the Bench intimating that bail would be accepted.
In October 1885 there was an incident which resulted in William John and one of his sons ending up in court.
RIVAL FISHMONGERS. Thomas Davies, a fishmonger, was summoned by James Daley, a lad employed by Thomas Booth, fishmonger, for having assaulted him. Complainant said on Saturday night week he was standing by his employer’s stall selling fish when Davies came to him and struck him in the face. The defendant said Daley went out of the market, and upon coming back struck him first in the mouth. The same complainant summoned Worral Chesterton for having assaulted him at the Great Western Railway Station on Thursday. The complainant said he was near the gate when Chesterton, who was standing in his (the complainant’s) father’s cart, struck him with a whip. Chesterton’s father said the row began about who should get their fish down town first, the
complainant jamming his cart against the others so that they could not move. No blow was struck, but Daley was about to strike his son with a whip when witness went between them, and received the blow which the complainant had on his arm.
Not much more happened to the family that made the news, but by September 1887 their son Edward had joined the RWF.
VOLUNTEER SHOOTING COMPETITION. — The annual rifle contest of A and B Companies of the 1st Volunteer Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers took place at the Erddig Range on Monday. The weather was cold and showery, with a strong, variable wind. The shooting commenced at haU-1 past nine and terminated about half-past four. Capt. Yorke acted as umpire, and Lieut. C. H. Martin was present during the day. Refreshments were as usual supplied by the officers. As a whole the shooting was good, while the winning scores were much above the average.
RECRUITS’ PRIZE, value £1 15s, open to RECRUITS OF both Companies, who joined since November 1st, 1886 and who had never served in any other corps. Seven shots at 200 yards. Private Thomas Powell, A Company, £1. 23 points Private C. Williams, B Company. 15s 21 points. Private E. Chesterton, A Company, 5s 18 points.
In 1892 he was in Peshawar where he passed a training course. Tragically he died on 6th December 1894 after suffering a ruptured spleen while he was playing football.
British India Office Ecclesiastical Returns: for the Quarter ending 31st December 1894.
Died. Edward Chesterton, age 24 years. Corporal, 1st Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Buried 7th December 1894. Cause of death: Rupture of the spleen. Buried by C R Harold Hinckley.
In 1896 their daughter Christina married Thomas Fieldhouse, a publican and in 1897 their son John Henry was born. Sadly he died aged only 4 months at Holt Street and was buried in Wrexham cemetery.
William John Chesterton died 2 April 1889 at Holt Street, he was still a fishmonger and left £178. 5s 4d in his will. He was buried with his grandson John Henry.
Jane carried on running the business, but now she was selling fruit as well as fish. fish she had a fruit shop. By 1911 the family had finally moved from Holt Street to 54 Rhosddu Road, where they had a new fish and fruit shop. Three children John, Jane and Harriet were still helping out. By this time 2 of her 9 children had died.
Jane died at her home in May 1917 aged 77. Her children John and Harriet never married and in 1939 they were still running a fruit shop at 21 Cunliffe Street, Rhosddu. Harriet died there in April 1951 aged 74 and was buried with her parents.
Researched by Annette Edwards. July 2020.
Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery G-01764