William OWEN 1839-1890 – Red Lion, Chester Street

by Annette Edwards.

William Owen was born about 1839 in Erbistock, his father was also named William Owen, a farmer from Dudleston, and his mother Hannah was from Brymbo. The whole family came to Wrexham to live. On 9 December 1866 William jnr married Eliza Clark in Liverpool. They soon had a daughter Louisa and moved down to Staffordshire where William found work as an iron puddler.   A few years passed and the couple returned to Wrexham where son Ernest was born.  By 1880 William and his family were at the Red Lion on Chester Street, but he was still working the land out of town.

 William was advertising for sale. 30 tons of Mangolds.—Apply to Mr WILLIAM OWEN, Red Lion, Chester-street, Wrexham.

On 26th February 1881 it was reported that there was a fire.

FIRE. -About two o’clock on Saturday morning an alarm was given that a straw stack belonging to Mr Owen, of the Red Lion Inn, Chester Street, was on fire a little way from the town. The fire brigade were promptly on the spot and got the fire under with as little delay as possible, the damage done, however, amounting to about five-and-twenty pounds. We understand Mr Owen was insured in the Alliance Office.

In March that year William made an application to the Corporation.

TENDERS. Tenders for the horse and team work required by the Corporation for the ensuing year were sent in by Mr J. Lloyd, Queen-street, and Mr Wm. Owen, Red Lion, Chester-street; the tender of Mr Owen, who—both the Borough Surveyor and Sanitary Inspector stated—had done his work exceedingly well during the past year, being ultimately accepted.

The Red Lion became a popular venue for many societies, and in February 1881 it was reported.

THE SHEPHERDS’ ANNIVERSARY. DINNER AND SPORTS. On Monday, the members of the Rose of Wrexham” Lodge of the Ancient Order of Shepherds, celebrated their eighth anniversary by a public procession, dinner, and athletic sports. About 10 a.m. the members assembled at the club-room, Red Lion Inn, Chester-street and proceeded to the Parish Church for divine service. The route of the procession on the way to church was via Holt-street, Beast Market, Charles-street, Yorke-street, Mount-street, Salop-road, Salisbury Park, Poplar Road, Chapel Street, Bridge Street  Town Hill, and Church Street. After service the procession re-formed and returned by way of Hope-street, Regent-street, King-street, Rhosddu Road, Queen-street, and Lambpit-street, to the Red Lion. Arrived in the Lodge Room, a good company sat down to a most substantial dinner, the respected host and hostess, Mr and Mrs Owen, serving up an admirable repast, the catering leaving nothing to be desired, and the waiting arrangements being in all respects satisfactory the beef and mutton, which was supplied by Mr W. Lee, Hope-street, was highly appreciated, being really of first class quality. The bill of fare also included all kinds of pastry and after dishes.

Of course, there were also the customers who had a bit too much and on one case in 1882 it was the Owen`s who were blamed for selling ale to men who were already drunk.

ALLEGED LICENSING OFFENCES. Patrick Brannan and Thomas Iago were charged by Sergt. Hugh Jones with being drunk on the licensed premises of the Red Lion Inn, Chester- street, on the 9th Sept. Complainant said on the afternoon of the day in question he visited the Red Lion Inn, and saw the defendant Patrick Brannan and two others in the house, and the three were in a staggering state of drunkenness.” Brannan, on being spoken to, said he could drink another barrel without being drunk.” (Laughter.) P.C. McLaren corroborated and said that when the attention of the landlady, Mrs Owen, was called to the state of these men, she admitted that Brannan was drunk. William Owen, landlord of the Red Lion Inn, was then charged by the same complainant with permitting drunkenness on the premises on the date in question.

In 1883 there was another fire, and this report shows that William was also the tenant at Rhosnessney Farm.

DESTRUCTIVE FIRE AT RHOSNESSNEY.-About 9.40 on Sunday evening, an alarm was given at the Engine House that a fire had broken out at Rhosnessney Farm, which is in the occupation of Mr W. Owen, Red Lion. Chester Street. In a few minutes the Fire Brigade were in readiness, and in charge of Cpt Evans immediately proceeded to the spot, where they discovered two large stacks of hay and two straw stacks in flames. The engine was placed opposite an adjoining pit and operations at once commenced, the brigade devoting their attention to saving the hay stacks and allowing the straw to burn. Owing, however, to the large quantity of timber forming the framework and supports of the stacks, the fire had taken such strong hold underneath that the whole of the hay, about 40 tons, had to be removed, a laborious work which was not accomplished before 10 o’clock on Monday morning. The Brigade succeeded in saving the whole of the farm buildings and about Jo tons of hay, the buildings and contents being covered by insurance. The fire is attributed to incendiarism.—We understand that the messenger riding into Wrexham to give the alarm unfortunately knocked down an old man named James Jones, near the White Horse Inn, who has been since confined to his bed.

In 1887 William was buying property in the town.

PROPERTY SALE.—On Monday afternoon Messrs Jones and Son offered for sale at the Walnut Tree Hotel, Rhosddu, three cottages, situated in Park- street, and belonging to the representatives of the late Mrs Rhoden. There was a good attendance, and the bidding was spirited. The property, which was offered in one lot, was commenced at £300, and was ultimately knocked down to Mr Wm. Owen, Red Lion, Chester-street, for £482.

In November the same year his daughter Louisa was married.

A WEDDING.—On Tuesday morning Mr Josiah Hague, son of Mr Hague, of 36, Chester-street, and manager for many years for Messrs Timmis, was married at the Parish Church Miss Louisa Owen, only daughter of Mr William Owen, of the Red Lion, Chester St. The wedding breakfast was served at Mr Owen’s house by Messrs Stevens, and upwards of thirty guests were present. The health of the bride and bridegroom was proposed by the Mayor. Other toasts followed, and after the breakfast Mr and Mrs Hague left for Holywell. The wedding presents were very numerous and costly. Alderman Jno. Jones gave a handsome dinner service, and cheques for very considerable sums were given by Mr Owen, Mr Hague, sen., and Mr Timmis, of Birkenhead. In the evening Mr Owen gave a supper to his workmen and a few friends. Upwards of forty guests sat down to the repast.

Williams death was announced in 1890.

After a long and lingering illness. OWEN— Jan 25th, aged 50 years, William Owen, Chester Road, Wrexham.


 Before the Mayor (Dr. H. V. Palin), in the chair John Bury, Esq., J. F. Edisbury, Esq., and Jno. Jones, Esq.TRANSFERS  

Mrs Owens, widow of Mr William Owen, landlord of the Red Lion Vaults, Chester Street applied for the transfer of the licence to her name.  Application Granted.

Very soon after – TENDERS. —SINGULAR ECONOMY. Tenders were received for team work, tiles, road material, coal, and printing. The teamwork, which was for three years was applied for by Mr Nottall, Vicarage Hill, Mr Thomas Bates, Mr John Lloyd, Queen Street and Mrs Elizabeth Owen, Red Lion (widow of the former contractor. Mr Fred Jones, Mr John Owen, Pentrefelin, eventually the tender of Mrs Owens accepted.

It looks like the authorities thought highly of Eliza and were more than willing for her to continue as before.

MAY DAY 1895. (Edited)

On Wednesday, there was a very interesting competition by highly decorated and well groomed horses and well appointed conveyances for prizes amounting in value to £19 There was a. much more imposing procession than last year, which was due very largely to the fact, that an increased amount of prize money was offered. Unfortunately rain fell heavily during the morning, but this did not delay the procession very much. The judging was done very smartly, and the parade, which was very fine one, got away from the Beast Market about 12.30. It proceeded along Smithfield-road, Rivulet-road, Wrexham Fechan, Salisbury Park, Penybryn, Bridge-street, Town-hill, Hope-street, Regent-street, King- street, Rhosddu-road, Queen-street, Hope-street, High-street, and through Charles-street back to the Beast Market, where it broke up. Mrs Owens, Red Lion, gave as usual to her employees and a few friends a supper, to which about forty sat down, and a very pleasant evening was spent.

Eliza`s daughter Louisa and her husband Josiah came to live at the Red Lion, but Eliza was still the landlady and also running the farm. Josiah died there in 1898, Louisa and her daughter Amy stayed on with Eliza helping with the pub.

Eliza died at the Red Lion in August 1919 at the age of 84, she was buried with William.

Eliza was quite well off and left effects of £4943 16s 5d. In later years the Red Lion was extended, the name was changed and is now known as “The Welch Fusiliers “

Researched by Annette Edwards. Sept 2020.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02708


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