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Old 13th January 2023, 09.06:28   #1207-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The massive Wrexham AFC history thread (The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham

The Volunteer Force was partially self-funded and in 1859, Sir Watkin Williams Wynn appealed for donations/subscriptions, which were used to buy kit/equipment and help to establish a Denbighshire Battalion, which was originally comprised of 9 units from each of the different regions in the county, with its headquarters in Wrexham, although every county in the country also had their own units and battalions of the Rifle Volunteer Corps.
The volunteers would each pay a small subscription to enlist, but much larger donations were often paid by the gentry of a particular region and each community would also arrange social events, with the income that was raised then being donated to their own particular unit or battalion.
In order to maintain and increase marksmanship in the force, each unit would also regularly compete against other units in rifle-shooting competitions, which were provided with cups, trophies and cash prizes that were supplied from community donations. Hence, many of those named above had enlisted as volunteer soldiers in the force, while others contributed through donations and subscriptions, although the majority of people in every community on the mainland at that time would have had some kind of association with The Volunteer Force.
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Old 13th January 2023, 14.00:17   #1208-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The massive Wrexham AFC history thread (The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham

More great work ES
One factor I've had at the back of my mind, relates to the report of the first game played by the club. Which I'm sure passed a comment re foot-ball being played again on the racecourse implying the sport had been played on rhe racecourse.
Wethee it can be proved or not but I'm wondering that during during drill practises on the race ourselves by the volunteermilitary could they have partaken in scratch games amongst themselves during their down time..?
A possibility but hard to prove.
Whilst your work no doubt shows various influences at the end of the day it still requires men with resolve to make things happen...such as Edward Manners.
Putting aside our differences of opinion one thing should be highlighted was how influential a sport administratorhe was...
Secretary to cricket club..influential in changing name to Denbighshire C.C.
Administrator with many roles eg steward for horse and athletic meetings.
First Hon. Secretary of newly established Wrexham FC.
Later appointed secretary of Welsh FA....a position he was so highly thought of in, that when he threatened to resign the FA did everything in his power to persuade him to stay on, which he eventually did.
Whilst Llewelyn Kendrick may be seen as the father of Welsh football in respect of his role of the Welsh FA in 1876.
I still believe more should be do e to recognise Edward Manners 'the original father'.
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Old 13th January 2023, 16.57:23   #1209-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The massive Wrexham AFC history thread (The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham

Quote:
Originally Posted by WasanActonlad View Post
More great work ES
One factor I've had at the back of my mind, relates to the report of the first game played by the club. Which I'm sure passed a comment re foot-ball being played again on the racecourse implying the sport had been played on rhe racecourse.
Wethee it can be proved or not but I'm wondering that during during drill practises on the race ourselves by the volunteermilitary could they have partaken in scratch games amongst themselves during their down time..?
A possibility but hard to prove.
Whilst your work no doubt shows various influences at the end of the day it still requires men with resolve to make things happen...such as Edward Manners.
Putting aside our differences of opinion one thing should be highlighted was how influential a sport administratorhe was...
Secretary to cricket club..influential in changing name to Denbighshire C.C.
Administrator with many roles eg steward for horse and athletic meetings.
First Hon. Secretary of newly established Wrexham FC.
Later appointed secretary of Welsh FA....a position he was so highly thought of in, that when he threatened to resign the FA did everything in his power to persuade him to stay on, which he eventually did.
Whilst Llewelyn Kendrick may be seen as the father of Welsh football in respect of his role of the Welsh FA in 1876.
I still believe more should be do e to recognise Edward Manners 'the original father'.
I would say that it is almost beyond doubt that football was played on The Racecourse, long before the birth of Wrexham Football and Athletic Club WAL.
As you know, football had long-since been a game that had been played by the common-folk, whenever they had a bladder and were congregated in a space that was large enough to kick the bladder about.
The Racecourse had always been so much more than just a place to race horses. It had been used as an encampment for both local and visiting military regiments since the beginning of the 19th Century ‘at least’ and you could be pretty sure that the soldiers would have organised games amongst themselves. But the race-meetings were also like a festival, with beer tents, stalls, shooting galleries and fair ground attractions with a multitude of activities, including foot races and other sporting activities, which entertained the masses between horse races. No doubt that football was played: in fact, an article in The Chester Courant in 1796 had mocked The Wrexham Races, which the editor equated to an old country fair that incorporated the masses in frivolous games and ancient rural sports.
The old course had been used for rabbit coursing, pigeon shooting, boxing and wrestling, agriculture meetings, flower shows, fairs, fetes and concerts etc for many years before it became the home of Wrexham Football and Athletic Club, and John Whittaker- the landlord of The Turf Tavern arranged a last minute replacement to his planned race-meeting at Whitsuntide 1857 by holding an athletic sports meeting on The Racecourse instead. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...68/4586872/27/
I would assume that football was one of the activities that were played on the course on that day too.
There were just so many different communal gatherings on The Racecourse over the years, prior to 1864, that it is inconceivable that football would not have been played innumerable times before the 10 men kicked off against The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade.

Last edited by eastsussex; 13th January 2023 at 17.06:31..
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Old 16th January 2023, 15.53:09   #1210-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The massive Wrexham AFC history thread (The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastsussex View Post
Of course, it could be argued that the Denbighshire County Cricket Club (and/or Edward Manners) were just continuing a trend that had already been set, some years earlier by other cricket clubs, as the DCCC were by no means the first cricket club to introduce football as an athletic sport for the winter months. But those earlier clubs were distinct from the football clubs that would start to emerge in the 1860’- the game was still in its infancy, but cultural norms had changed.

The idea of athletic sport as a benefit for society as a whole had been gaining traction amongst Church leaders and politicians, in particular, throughout the 1840’s, and towns and cities had started to petition the government for grants of public money to create facilities for physical exercise and rural enjoyment.
Attempts were also made to formalise the rules of the different versions of ball games that were played in the fee-paying schools of England, such as Rugby (rugger) 1845 and Eton (Soccer) 1849, although other schools also had their own versions of these games. But these were elite institutions, and the majority of other clubs in existence at that time where also formed under the governance of similar institutions, or a guild or profession that was exclusive. By contrast, the sports that were played as a pastime by the common-folk throughout the union were generally regarded with contempt in the cultural bastions of middle and upper middle-class England. Be it through wealth or status, there was a social hierarchy in sport at that time and the labouring class were not in that mix. But in February 1850, Dr William Penny Brookes JP created an Olympic class for the benefit of the education of agricultural workers and their families at Much Wenlock in Shropshire, and he announced that the labouring class were also invited to compete in events at his Olympic festival in the town, later that year. Brookes was condemned in some circles for his actions, but the games proved to be a success and set a precedent, which initiated a cultural change that would gradually permeate through the institutions.

In January 1858, an Italian revolutionary by the name of Felice Orsini attempted to assassinate the French Emperor-Napoleon III by throwing three bombs at the imperial carriage. Subsequent investigations by the French authorities found that Orsini had visited England, where he had the bombs manufactured by a gunsmith, before he travelled on to Paris.
This greatly increased the tension between France and Britain, and with a renewed threat of invasion by the French Army, the Secretary of State for War sent a letter to all of the lieutenants in each of the counties of England, Scotland and Wales, authorising the formation of a new citizen’s army of rifle volunteers to defend the mainland and artillery volunteers to defend the coast.
The call to arms was readily accepted and each community responded by forming their own units of the Volunteer Force.
At the peak of the British Empire, the middle and upper classes were often inclined to join the armed forces in order to increase their social standing, but the Volunteer Force was comprised of men from all social classes, who remained in their own communities where their training, manoeuvres and parades frequently attracted large crowds of people who were instilled with a sense of civic pride.
The volunteers were required to attend 8 days of drill and exercise within each four month period, although the war office also provided a series of rules and regulations for the volunteers to follow when they were not on actual service, and a memorandum was sent out to all commanding officers to encourage the uptake of athletic sport in the ranks.

The Wrexham Rifle Volunteers were one of two units of The Bromfield Volunteer Rifle Corps that were formed under the command of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn in December 1859. The Wrexham unit was originally comprised of around 60 men from different social backgrounds who trained once a week on The Racecourse, while also serving as a bodyguard for dignitaries and an escort at civic events in the town.
Some of those young men were already members of the Wrexham Cricket Club when the rifle volunteers were founded, but many others soon joined the cricket club, as the Olympic ideal that had been set in motion by Brookes was now becoming mainstream and athletic sport was the new social culture that was sweeping across the country.
Towns and cities began to compete against each other as they scrambled to raise the funds that were needed for the construction of reading rooms, gymnasiums and other facilities that would aid the education, health and well-being of the public.
The construction of a new town hall with an adjoining reading room and gymnasium was already in progress in the nearby town of Oswestry when the Provincial Insurance Company converted their own offices in Wrexham to include a reading room and gymnasium in 1863. But those facilities were only accessible to staff in the insurance office and so a number of residents started their own organisation ‘The United Volunteer Services Club’ which was set up in October 1863, specifically to bring athletic sport to the masses in Wrexham in the winter months, when the cricket season had ended. The inaugural meeting of that organisation was reported in The Wrexham Advertiser and was followed soon after by an article from the editor, who made his own appeal along similar lines. Like a number of those others who had founded The United Volunteer Services Club, the editor was also a member of The Wrexham Cricket Club, and so it was amidst this atmosphere that the Wrexham Cricket Club formed into the new The Denbighshire County Cricket Club in April 1864.
The new club was structured in such a way, so as their matches and club meetings would not interfere with the training of the volunteers who made up the majority of their members.
Less than 6 months later, Edward Manners, who was the honorary secretary of the cricket club, announced his intention to buy a football in the course of the week, which subsequently gave rise to the birth of Wrexham Football and Athletic Club.
The football club was comprised, almost entirely, from rifle volunteers from different social backgrounds who had been infused with the new culture of athletic sport that had originally been inspired from the Olympic ideal of William Penny Brookes in 1850.
The football ‘and athletic’ clubs that emerged from the start of the 1860’s were distinct from those that had formed earlier, which were much more exclusive, for the reasons I have mentioned above. But it was the rise of a new social culture that embraced athletic sport and the introduction of the Volunteer Force in 1859, which would conspire to undermine those class distinctions and propel the game of football into the sport of the masses.
I feel that the significance of these factors have been missed by sociologists and historians alike, but they were evident in the formation of pretty much every football club from that period, including our own.
Temperance was the new virtue of the mid 19th Century and athletic sport was en vogue.

There was a Temperance Society, a Temperance League, a Teetotal Society, a Total Abstinence Society and numerous temperance and prohibition lodges, in and around Wrexham, which also hosted its own Temperance Hotel, while every town and village had its own branch of The Band of Hope Society. Each of these organisations had their own committees that relentlessly lobbied politicians, civic leaders, business owners and the gentry, while also arranging demonstrations, temperance festivals and public meetings for the purpose of spreading their message.
The Church, schools and pretty much every institution in the country were also drawn into a much broader campaign that sought to steer the masses into temperance through the medium of athletic sport.
The temperance movement became so popular across the country that Parliament was forced to introduce the Sunday Closing Bill in March 1863 and this prompted a meeting to be held on 2nd June at The Music Hall in Wrexham, which was attended by 300 residents who unanimously passed a resolution for the Mayor to forward a petition in favour of the Bill to The House of Commons.

https://newspapers.library.wales/view/4587809/4587815

Some of those people who attended that meeting would later argue that the church and teetotal groups all promoted temperance, but they did not provide alternative activities for the masses. The cricket clubs provided an outlet for the summer months, but there were still no facilities for athletic sport in Wrexham in the evenings and in the winter, and so the group formed their own organisation ‘The United Volunteer Services Club’ in October 1863, specifically to address that issue.

https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...80/4587985/24/

A number of that group, including Evan Morris, Charles Edward Kershaw and Joseph Wilbraham Clark were also influential members of The Wrexham Cricket Club and The Wrexham Rifle Volunteers, and so there is a very clear connection between the formation of The United Volunteer Services Club and the birth of Wrexham Football and Athletic Club; especially as those members would later become so influential in the promotion of football and athletic sport on The Racecourse throughout the 1860’s and beyond.

The idea that a temperance movement gave rise to the birth of a new breed of football clubs in the 1860’s, including Wrexham Football and Athletic club, would always be a difficult sell, for obvious reasons; which is why, I assume, that historians have failed to make that association. But the situation was not specific to Wrexham and can be found in the histories of all clubs that emerged at the point when the rules of the game were being unified- a period which is now regarded as the birth of modern football.

Last edited by eastsussex; 16th January 2023 at 15.58:33..
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Old 27th January 2023, 08.24:36   #1211-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The massive Wrexham AFC history thread (The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastsussex View Post
Of course, it could be argued that the Denbighshire County Cricket Club (and/or Edward Manners) were just continuing a trend that had already been set, some years earlier by other cricket clubs, as the DCCC were by no means the first cricket club to introduce football as an athletic sport for the winter months. But those earlier clubs were distinct from the football clubs that would start to emerge in the 1860’s- the game was still in its infancy, but cultural norms had changed.

The idea of athletic sport as a benefit for society as a whole had been gaining traction amongst Church leaders and politicians, in particular, throughout the 1840’s, and towns and cities had started to petition the government for grants of public money to create facilities for physical exercise and rural enjoyment.
Attempts were also made to formalise the rules of the different versions of ball games that were played in the fee-paying schools of England, such as Rugby (rugger) 1845 and Eton (Soccer) 1849, although other schools also had their own versions of these games. But these were elite institutions, and the majority of other clubs in existence at that time where also formed under the governance of similar institutions, or a guild or profession that was exclusive. By contrast, the sports that were played as a pastime by the common-folk throughout the union were generally regarded with contempt in the cultural bastions of middle and upper middle-class England. Be it through wealth or status, there was a social hierarchy in sport at that time and the labouring class were not in that mix. But in February 1850, Dr William Penny Brookes JP created an Olympic class for the benefit of the education of agricultural workers and their families at Much Wenlock in Shropshire, and he announced that the labouring class were also invited to compete in events at his Olympic festival in the town, later that year. Brookes was condemned in some circles for his actions, but the games proved to be a success and set a precedent, which initiated a cultural change that would gradually permeate through the institutions.

In January 1858, an Italian revolutionary by the name of Felice Orsini attempted to assassinate the French Emperor-Napoleon III by throwing three bombs at the imperial carriage. Subsequent investigations by the French authorities found that Orsini had visited England, where he had the bombs manufactured by a gunsmith, before he travelled on to Paris.
This greatly increased the tension between France and Britain, and with a renewed threat of invasion by the French Army, the Secretary of State for War sent a letter to all of the lieutenants in each of the counties of England, Scotland and Wales, authorising the formation of a new citizen’s army of rifle volunteers to defend the mainland and artillery volunteers to defend the coast.
The call to arms was readily accepted and each community responded by forming their own units of the Volunteer Force.
At the peak of the British Empire, the middle and upper classes were often inclined to join the armed forces in order to increase their social standing, but the Volunteer Force was comprised of men from all social classes, who remained in their own communities where their training, manoeuvres and parades frequently attracted large crowds of people who were instilled with a sense of civic pride.
The volunteers were required to attend 8 days of drill and exercise within each four month period, although the war office also provided a series of rules and regulations for the volunteers to follow when they were not on actual service, and a memorandum was sent out to all commanding officers to encourage the uptake of athletic sport in the ranks.

The Wrexham Rifle Volunteers were one of two units of The Bromfield Volunteer Rifle Corps that were formed under the command of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn in December 1859. The Wrexham unit was originally comprised of around 60 men from different social backgrounds who trained once a week on The Racecourse, while also serving as a bodyguard for dignitaries and an escort at civic events in the town.
Some of those young men were already members of the Wrexham Cricket Club when the rifle volunteers were founded, but many others soon joined the cricket club, as the Olympic ideal that had been set in motion by Brookes was now becoming mainstream and athletic sport was the new social culture that was sweeping across the country.
Towns and cities began to compete against each other as they scrambled to raise the funds that were needed for the construction of reading rooms, gymnasiums and other facilities that would aid the education, health and well-being of the public.
The construction of a new town hall with an adjoining reading room and gymnasium was already in progress in the nearby town of Oswestry when the Provincial Insurance Company converted their own offices in Wrexham to include a reading room and gymnasium in 1863. But those facilities were only accessible to staff in the insurance office and so a number of residents started their own organisation ‘The United Volunteer Services Club’ which was set up in October 1863, specifically to bring athletic sport to the masses in Wrexham in the winter months, when the cricket season had ended. The inaugural meeting of that organisation was reported in The Wrexham Advertiser and was followed soon after by an article from the editor, who made his own appeal along similar lines. Like a number of those others who had founded The United Volunteer Services Club, the editor was also a member of The Wrexham Cricket Club, and so it was amidst this atmosphere that the Wrexham Cricket Club formed into the new The Denbighshire County Cricket Club in April 1864.
The new club was structured in such a way, so as their matches and club meetings would not interfere with the training of the volunteers who made up the majority of their members.
Less than 6 months later, Edward Manners, who was the honorary secretary of the cricket club, announced his intention to buy a football in the course of the week, which subsequently gave rise to the birth of Wrexham Football and Athletic Club.
The football club was comprised, almost entirely, from rifle volunteers from different social backgrounds who had been infused with the new culture of athletic sport that had originally been inspired from the Olympic ideal of William Penny Brookes in 1850.
The football ‘and athletic’ clubs that emerged from the start of the 1860’s were distinct from those that had formed earlier, which were much more exclusive, for the reasons I have mentioned above. But it was the rise of a new social culture that embraced athletic sport and the introduction of the Volunteer Force in 1859, which would conspire to undermine those class distinctions and propel the game of football into the sport of the masses.
I feel that the significance of these factors have been missed by sociologists and historians alike, but they were evident in the formation of pretty much every football club from that period, including our own.

A fantastic win today COYR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastsussex View Post
Temperance was the new virtue of the mid 19th Century and athletic sport was en vogue.

There was a Temperance Society, a Temperance League, a Teetotal Society, a Total Abstinence Society and numerous temperance and prohibition lodges, in and around Wrexham, which also hosted its own Temperance Hotel, while every town and village had its own branch of The Band of Hope Society. Each of these organisations had their own committees that relentlessly lobbied politicians, civic leaders, business owners and the gentry, while also arranging demonstrations, temperance festivals and public meetings for the purpose of spreading their message.
The Church, schools and pretty much every institution in the country were also drawn into a much broader campaign that sought to steer the masses into temperance through the medium of athletic sport.
The temperance movement became so popular across the country that Parliament was forced to introduce the Sunday Closing Bill in March 1863 and this prompted a meeting to be held on 2nd June at The Music Hall in Wrexham, which was attended by 300 residents who unanimously passed a resolution for the Mayor to forward a petition in favour of the Bill to The House of Commons.

https://newspapers.library.wales/view/4587809/4587815

Some of those people who attended that meeting would later argue that the church and teetotal groups all promoted temperance, but they did not provide alternative activities for the masses. The cricket clubs provided an outlet for the summer months, but there were still no facilities for athletic sport in Wrexham in the evenings and in the winter, and so the group formed their own organisation ‘The United Volunteer Services Club’ in October 1863, specifically to address that issue.

https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...80/4587985/24/

A number of that group, including Evan Morris, Charles Edward Kershaw and Joseph Wilbraham Clark were also influential members of The Wrexham Cricket Club and The Wrexham Rifle Volunteers, and so there is a very clear connection between the formation of The United Volunteer Services Club and the birth of Wrexham Football and Athletic Club; especially as those members would later become so influential in the promotion of football and athletic sport on The Racecourse throughout the 1860’s and beyond.

The idea that a temperance movement gave rise to the birth of a new breed of football clubs in the 1860’s, including Wrexham Football and Athletic club, would always be a difficult sell, for obvious reasons; which is why, I assume, that historians have failed to make that association. But the situation was not specific to Wrexham and can be found in the histories of all clubs that emerged at the point when the rules of the game were being unified- a period which is now regarded as the birth of modern football.

Contemporary writers were aware of the role that the Volunteer Movement played in the formation of a new breed of football clubs in the 1860’s.


‘According to a writer in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, it was the Volunteer Movement of 1860 and the impetus thereby given to open-air exercises that have caused the revival of football’.

https://www.google.co.uk/books/editi...sec=frontcover

A New Book of Sports 1885.


‘About the year 1860, when the great volunteer movement and institution of amateur athletic sports gave a great zest to many kinds of exercises, there came a revival of football amongst old public school and university men.’

https://www.google.co.uk/books/editi...sec=frontcover

(Encyclopaedia Britannica 1891.)


‘The game was kept alive almost entirely at public schools for 30 years before the great athletic revival that followed the Volunteer Movement in 1860.’

https://www.google.co.uk/books/editi...sec=frontcover

(Robert Macgregor-1881)


‘The Volunteer Movement is usually put about as the explanation as the outburst of athletic spirit throughout the kingdom during this period.’

https://www.google.co.uk/books/editi...sec=frontcover

(Montague Shearman, Viscount Richard Everard Webster Alverstone and Walter Rye 1889.)


‘Lord Palmerston expressed his approval of elementary drill in public schools as an auxiliary to cricket, football, leaping poles and other sports’.

https://www.google.co.uk/books/editi...sec=frontcover

Volunteer Drill in Public Schools 1870



The formation of the rifle volunteers in 1859 gave rise to a new breed of football and athletic sport clubs that were founded in the 1860’s, although the impetus that led to these changes had originated in the Olympic festivals that had been established by William Penny Brookes in the small town of Much Wenlock, Shropshire in 1850.
The Much Wenlock festivals were so successful that the Temperance Movement started to use the same format for their own Grand Demonstrations in the villages, towns and cities throughout the country.
The Temperance Demonstrations usually consisted of a procession through the streets to a large field where the organisers hosted a fete that was comprised of music competitions, gymnastic exercises, archery, cricket and football matches as well as a variety of other sporting activities.
Then, in June 1862, the city of Liverpool hosted its first Grand Olympic Festival under the auspices of local philanthropist Charles Pierre Melly and local athlete and gymnast John Hulley.
Melly had previously paid for water fountains to be installed around the city in order to alleviate the labouring class from their thirst and avoid the need to visit ale houses. He also provided playgrounds for the city’s inhabitants and together with Hulley, they founded the Liverpool Athletic Club.
The Olympic Festival of 1862 attracted huge crowds of spectators and was widely reported in the press.
The 1863 festival in Liverpool attracted even more people and in February 1864, the Temperance Club of Street in Devon hosted its own Olympic Festival as part of its annual Temperance Demonstration. Liverpool hosted another Olympic Festival in July 1864 and the Shropshire Olympian Festival was held in Shrewsbury in September of that year. A few weeks later, the Wenlock Olympian Society presented John Hulley with a silver medal for his services in the cause of physical education, at their fifteenth annual festival in Much Wenlock. Hulley then organised another Olympic Festival, which was held at the seaside resort of Llandudno, North Wales from the 22nd to 24th July 1865, and on 6th November he chaired a meeting in Liverpool with William Penny Brookes and seven other Olympic enthusiast to form the National Olympian Association, which was the forerunner of the present-day British Olympic Association.
The Olympic ideal that had been set in motion by William Penny Brookes in 1850 was now mainstream.

All of these factors had coalesced into a new socio-culture, which embraced athletic sport and spurred a new breed of football clubs that started to emerge in the 1860’s, including Wrexham Football and Athletic Club.


From my perspective, this thread is a kind of public notebook, which intends to provide ‘mostly’ previously unknown or long-forgotten information about the history of the town, stadium, football club, and sometimes, the sport.

Again I would ask that if you do use the information on this thread, then please add a link or reference back to this forum.

Last edited by eastsussex; 27th January 2023 at 08.28:58..
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Old 29th January 2023, 20.02:24   #1212-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The massive Wrexham AFC history thread (The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham

Is it possible one wonders, did Jonathan Pearce read this thread regarding some of the historical facts he was giving out during his commentary..
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Old 30th January 2023, 14.54:30   #1213-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The massive Wrexham AFC history thread (The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham

Quote:
Originally Posted by WasanActonlad View Post
Is it possible one wonders, did Jonathan Pearce read this thread regarding some of the historical facts he was giving out during his commentary..
I don’t know WAL: I didn’t hear what he said.

The earliest evidence for horse racing in the immediate area is inferred from a Parliamentarian cavalry regiment that set up a garrison in the adjoining fields in 1648, before the annual races were established/re-established at Rhosnesni after the Restoration in 1660. The Rhosnesni races appear to have been relocated to another part of town in the 1730’s and there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that a new racecourse was laid out in the present location of the stadium in 1738. This phase of horseracing was promoted by the Williams Wynn family for a couple of years, before the races returned to the more rustic kind of event that had been organised by farmers at trade fairs since the Medieval Period, although it is not known where those races would have been held. Even so, horseracing would have persisted in one form or another, probably at various locations around the town throughout the second half of the 18th Century, and it would appear that the Williams Wynn family started to promote the annual races again in the late 1780’s/early 1790’s.
This phase of the races received a new impetus when Sir Watkin disbanded one of his cavalry regiments in 1800 and the former cavalry officers also started to subscribe and promote the races.

In 1991, the racing journalist Arthur Shone wrote a book ‘Wrexham Races- The Forgotten Welsh Racecourse’ in which he stated that Sir Watkin Williams Wynn (5th baronet) was regarded as the founder of the Wrexham Races in 1807, although I have since found that the baronets predecessors had been promoting the races since first adopting the name of Wynn in the 1720’s, before a new course was created in 1738/39. Prior to this, the Myddletons of Chirk Castle had been the one of the most prominent families in the area and it was Thomas Myddleton who established the Parliamentarian garrison in the fields next to the current location of the stadium in 1648. The Myddleton family had also been subscribing to the Wrexham Races at Rhosnesni since the latter half of the 17th Century and it is likely that those races were established or re-established after the ban on horseracing was lifted when Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660. Public race meetings had been banned during the British Civil Wars, and so is possible that the Rhosnesni races had been established by the Jeffreys family of Acton prior to the onset of the civil wars in 1642.


As far as I am aware, it was Arthur Shone’s research, which first indicated that the Wrexham Races were established by the 5th baronet at the current location of The Racecourse in 1807, although he also stated that the records were vague due to the lack of newspapers in Wrexham at that time. The 1807 date appears to have been derived from the Jockey Club registration that was required for inclusion in the Weatherby Racing Calender, with the first Wrexham meeting being recorded in the calendar of 1807. However, the earlier races in Wrexham had not subscribed to Jockey Club rules and therefore were not recorded in the Weatherby archives, despite the fact that Wrexham race meetings were centuries old before they were first recognised by the Jockey Club and Weatherby’s. The history of The Racecourse is further confused by the fact that Sir Watkin did indeed create a new racecourse in the current location in the first decade of the 19th Century, although it is not known if he was just reusing the location that had been laid out by his predecessors in 1738/39.

I am aware that journalists and historians sometimes use the information from this thread, which is why I ask that the information used is then linked or referenced back to this thread, because most of the posts that I write are related to earlier stuff that I have posted and together they provide the correct context.

Last edited by eastsussex; 30th January 2023 at 15.08:05..
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Old 30th January 2023, 15.27:27   #1214-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The massive Wrexham AFC history thread (The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham

He certainly referenced horse racing to 1807..
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Old 30th January 2023, 15.40:54   #1215-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The massive Wrexham AFC history thread (The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham

Thanks WAL. That is also the construction date for The Racecourse, which is promoted by the club, although I also believe that it is accepted by some at the club that The Racecourse may be much older than officially recognised.
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