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Old 24th May 2019, 21.19:13   #641-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Originally Posted by Cymru_Am_Byth_WXM View Post
Itís a difficult one to recommend who to send it to as there isnít a historian at the FAW offices in Cardiff. Maybe make it for the attention of the media department when you submit the email so it has the best possible chance?
Thanks CABW, I think that is a good suggestion and will try it over the weekend
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Old 29th May 2019, 21.21:24   #642-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Originally Posted by eastsussexred View Post
A new impetus from the poster named ‘Canary’ has helped to finally confirm the identity of the last unknown player of the 10-man-team who played against The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, in our first ever game on 22nd October 1864.
Joseph Roberts was born in Oswestry, on the 21st May 1837 and he was baptised at The Welsh Chapel on Castle Lane, on 9th July 1837
The son of Frederick Roberts (b- 1804) and Jane Davies (b- 1807) Joseph Roberts had a brothers- Benjamin (b 1843) and two sisters- Jane (b-1833) and Elizabeth (b 1836). His father was a Miller/Flour Dealer and Maltster
The family moved to Wrexham where they were recorded in the 1851 Census as living near to The Racecourse, at 46 Mold Road. Frederick, then 51, was listed as a Miller and Corn Factor (dealer) who lived with his wife- Jane (45) daughter- Jane (17) Elizabeth (15) and Joseph (13). Joseph’s brother - Benjamin (9) is believed to have been living at a boarding school in Chester, at this time.

Frederick Roberts owned a bakery on Town Hill, Wrexham, which was destroyed by fire on 28th November 1853 https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...96/4462500/38/ and he wrote a letter to the directors of The Provincial Welsh Insurance Company, to thank them for their ‘great promptitude and fairness with which they had paid the claim’ which was published in The North Wales Chronicle on 10th December 1853 https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...505/4462506/1/ although the property was only partially insured and the losses incurred as a result of the fire brought a period of financial instability for the family.
By 1861, the family had moved to 5 College Street, Wrexham, where Frederick was described as a Provisions Dealer and Maltster, who lived with his wife-Jane, his son- Benjamin, daughter- Jane and grandchildren- Thomas Howes (1) and Elizabeth G (2 weeks). Jane’s husband, an accountant by the name of Thomas Howes Roberts is also listed as living at the property, as too is Joseph’s wife- Martha Roberts (30) although Joseph is not mentioned, as it is believed that he may have been away on business in America.
Frederick Roberts was later declared a bankrupt; although he was subsequently discharged from bankruptcy at Liverpool Bankruptcy Court on 13th May 1864
https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...16/4446922/49/ and he continued to trade at his shop in Wrexham, as reported in 1868. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...07/4580012/27/ Frederick was then listed as a miller and baker, who lived with his wife and two daughters at 2 Abbott Street, Wrexham, in the 1871 Census, but he died at the age of 76, at Manchester House, in Colwyn Bay, on 26th April 1880. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...65/3559069/34/


Within the context of this general history of the family, it has been possible to determine the events that would lead to Joseph Roberts being employed as an agent or clerk for The Provincial Welsh Insurance Company, where he was enrolled onto their cricket team, and subsequently made the connections that would result in him being one of the 10 founding players of Wrexham Football and Athletics Club, in 1864.

A court case from 1857 showed that Joseph Roberts had worked for a Mr Evans of Queen Street in 1854; most likely due to the financial issues endured by the Roberts family, due to the fire at their Bakers shop, in the previous year.
https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...83/4586986/12/
Another court case relating to the unpaid wages for a thirteen week period from September 1856, showed that Joseph Roberts had also worked as a book keeper for a Maltster in Wrexham, named as Mr Hughes. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...57/4587461/38/
Joseph then became a new member of the Wrexham Cricket Club and played his first match against Hawarden, on The Racecourse Ground in June 1857 https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...08/4586911/12/ and again played for the cricket club against a united team of Wrexham, on The Racecourse in August 1857. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...n%20racecourse
Joseph married Martha Hughes at Penybryn Chapel, Wrexham on 5 May 1859. They had three daughters: Elizabeth Jane (b-1860) Annie Poole (b-1863) Edith Alice (b-1868) and two sons David Frederick Roberts (b-1864) and Frederick E D Roberts (b-1865) although David died in 1864 and Frederick in 1865.
In February of 1863, Joseph Roberts was one of 32 insurance clerks and agents who wrote a letter of thanks (published in The Wrexham Advertiser) to the directors of The Provincial Welsh Insurance Company, after the company had installed a new gymnasium and reading room at their office in Wrexham. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie.../55/Provincial
Most of the clerks identified in the letter would later become founding members of Wrexham Football and Athletic Club, and many would play for the team in the earliest days of football on The Racecourse, including George Rumsey Johnson, who had also partnered Joseph Roberts as a member of the Provincial Welsh Insurance Cricket team in a match against Wrexham Cricket Club on 25th June 1864. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...09/4579214/28/
Four months later, both G. R. Johnson and Joseph Roberts would play for Wrexham Football and Athletic Club, in the clubs first ever game against The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade at The Racecourse Ground, on 22nd October 1864. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...55/4579360/19/


Joseph Roberts later moved to Chester where he was listed in the 1871 Census as living at 11 Pathway, St John’s, Chester with his wife Martha and two daughters – Annie P (11) and Edith A (3). Joseph’s occupation was listed as an “agent and corn dealer employing 1 man and 2 boys”. But by 1881, the family had moved to St Asaph, where they lived with Joseph’s brother-in- law, Thomas Howes Roberts, at Jesamine Cottage. Thomas, who was an accountant by profession, was also the Chairman of The St Asaph Board of Guardians and of the St. Asaph Rural District Council. The census for this year stated that Joseph (43) was a retired victualler whose wife-Martha was aged 43 and his daughter Edith was aged 13.
It is not known when the family moved from St. Asaph, but the 1891 census recorded that Joseph Roberts was living at 85 Huskisson Street, Liverpool, with his wife and two daughters – Annie P Roberts (28) and Edith Alice Roberts (23); his occupation was listed as ‘accountant’.
Joseph Roberts died in Liverpool in 1894, while Martha remained in Liverpool, where she died in 1907.

Joseph Roberts
Born Oswestry- 1837
Died Liverpool- 1894

Charles Edward Kershaw (Captain)
Born Saddleworth (Yorks) 1839. Died Southport 1874.

William Tootell
Born Nottingham 1831. Died Wrexham 1866

Thomas Henry Sykes
Born Huddersfield 1840. Died Nottingham 1910

Thomas Broster
Born Wrexham 1845. Died Bethlehem, South Africa 1921

Thomas Hanmer
Born Overton 1839. Died Wrexham 1887

Edward Ephraim Knibbs
Born Chester 1837. Died Wrexham 1875

Thomas Heath
Born Ramsbury (Wilts) 1824. Died Wycombe 1887.

John Taylor
Born Wrexham 1842. Died Newcastle 1895

George Rumsey Johnston
Born Bangor 1843. Died Denbighshire 1912

This concludes the list of the 10 men who played for Wrexham Football and Athletic Club in the clubs first ever game against 10 men of The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, at The Racecourse, on 22nd October 1864.
I will now forward this list to the club, the FAW and Coflein to seek approval for a plaque to be erected at Y Cae Ras in recognition of these pioneers.

There is a photo of Joseph Roberts and his wife Martha, which I have attached to my post on the previous page of this thread. The date of the photo is unknown, although it was obviously taken when they were both in old age.
I have since been in contact with a descendant of Joseph Roberts wife- Martha.
He has kindly forwarded me records relating to Joseph Roberts, which shows that when the couple married in 1859, Joseph was listed as a book keeper, and in 1864, the couple lived at Crescent Terrace, Wrexham, where he was recorded as a writing clerk. In 1866, the couple lived at Roderick Terrace, Wrexham and Joseph was still listed as a writing clerk.
Writing clerk's were usually employed by banks, solicitors and insurance companies; hence his connection to The Provincial Insurance Company.
At the time of his death in Liverpool 1894, Joseph was listed as an accountant

Last edited by eastsussexred; 29th May 2019 at 21.23:08..
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Old 29th May 2019, 23.20:33   #643-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastsussexred View Post
As can be seen from the attached OS maps, the kiosk/pavillion was built sometime between 1898 and 1909. The 1898 map shows no kiosk whereas subsequent maps show the kiosk in place until it was finally demolished. The 1912 map also shows that a gate was added, onto the bowling green. The 1939 attachment confirms that this was the same kiosk seen in later photographs, and strongly indicates that the bowling green was introduced on The Racecourse between 1898 and 1909 (as per Mr Wonderful's earlier suspicion)
More confirmation that The Turf Bowling Club was in existence prior to the commencement of the first world war in 1914

'Lieutenant William Noel Soames died in Minia, Egypt on 18 May 1916
Second and eldest surviving son of Mr Frederick William Soames, Bryn Estyn Hall, near Wrexham. Before the war he was manager of Messrs F W Soames and Co Brewery, Wrexham. Also vice-president of Wrexham Football Club, president of the Turf Bowling Club and a Freemason.'


https://www.shropshirearchives.org.u...916_5_4_345249

https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...51/4242057/35/

Last edited by eastsussexred; 29th May 2019 at 23.25:27..
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Old 1st June 2019, 12.05:37   #644-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Originally Posted by Cymru_Am_Byth_WXM View Post
Amazing work. You should publish your findings so itís preserved forever.
Having spoken to a couple of other people CAB, I think that you are probably correct, and so I will start collating all of the information into book.
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Old 1st June 2019, 13.32:16   #645-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Having spoken to a couple of other people CAB, I think that you are probably correct, and so I will start collating all of the information into book.
Definitely enough information in this thread to sustain one. Would make fascinating reading.
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Old 1st June 2019, 13.41:17   #646-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

In summary would probably be a good interactive display in the museum.
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Old 7th June 2019, 11.09:48   #647-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Originally Posted by jonesfach View Post
Shame we can't see the tents on some of the other photos to tie them in with relation the the turf. It looks to me that in the first pic there are some people on the racetrack(old mold road paddock) before or after a race?? They are definately standing in between 2 sets of fences...

The other thing to note, unless you already have done is that the meeting in in September. Obviously after the cricket season? And before football season to prevent damage?
We know from newspaper reports that the course was upgraded in the latter part of the 19th Century, with spiked railings installed along the boundary of Mold Road, and so from the camera angle of the two photo's taken in the paddock in 1912 we can say that the paddock for horses was located just past the original (1854) MRS on Mold Road- today this would be on the mold road, in the corner of the boundary between the techend and the MRS, as attachment 1. The spectators in the background are on a raised bank and the camera angle shows that this had to be the raised bank behind the Plas Coch end of the football pitch.
We also now know from the photo's that the original start line was located just off Crispin Lane- where the training pitch is today, with the finish post directly opposite the Turf. I have added another attachment to show the layout of course, as it was in 1838.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg OLD COURSE LAYOUT ON MODERN MAP.jpg (262.5 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg THE LAYOUT OF THE COURSE IN1838.jpg (80.3 KB, 42 views)

Last edited by eastsussexred; 7th June 2019 at 11.19:33..
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Old 7th June 2019, 12.40:09   #648-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Originally Posted by eastsussexred View Post
We know from newspaper reports that the course was upgraded in the latter part of the 19th Century, with spiked railings installed along the boundary of Mold Road, and so from the camera angle of the two photo's taken in the paddock in 1912 we can say that the paddock for horses was located just past the original (1854) MRS on Mold Road- today this would be on the mold road, in the corner of the boundary between the techend and the MRS, as attachment 1. The spectators in the background are on a raised bank and the camera angle shows that this had to be the raised bank behind the Plas Coch end of the football pitch.
We also now know from the photo's that the original start line was located just off Crispin Lane- where the training pitch is today, with the finish post directly opposite the Turf. I have added another attachment to show the layout of course, as it was in 1838.
Yes pretty spot on with all the matching evidence you have dug up.

Hence, the actual football/cricket pitches are fairly protected, from the horses chewing the ground up, as they would be on the inside of the racetrack.

Last edited by jonesfach; 7th June 2019 at 12.42:56..
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Old 8th June 2019, 00.19:09   #649-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

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Originally Posted by eastsussexred View Post
We know from newspaper reports that the course was upgraded in the latter part of the 19th Century, with spiked railings installed along the boundary of Mold Road, and so from the camera angle of the two photo's taken in the paddock in 1912 we can say that the paddock for horses was located just past the original (1854) MRS on Mold Road- today this would be on the mold road, in the corner of the boundary between the techend and the MRS, as attachment 1. The spectators in the background are on a raised bank and the camera angle shows that this had to be the raised bank behind the Plas Coch end of the football pitch.
We also now know from the photo's that the original start line was located just off Crispin Lane- where the training pitch is today, with the finish post directly opposite the Turf. I have added another attachment to show the layout of course, as it was in 1838.
We also now know that the horses ran anticlockwise around course, which I don't think had been realised, or recorded previously.

Last edited by eastsussexred; 8th June 2019 at 00.20:51..
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Old 8th June 2019, 14.31:18   #650-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club

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Another of our founding players was Thomas Broster, born in Wrexham 09/04/1845, the son of Broughton and Hannah Broster.
He was also a member of Denbighshire County Cricket Club.
Thomas was married to Harriet OWEN of Wrexham on 5th May 1868 at St John's Church, Chester.
He lived and worked as a clerk at a post office in Wrexham but emigrated to Queens Town, South Africa in the late 1800’s, where he became a headmaster at an elementary School.
Thomas died on 29.06.1921 in Bethlehem, South Africa.
While I cannot find any photographs of Thomas, I have contacted one of his descendants in South Africa, who may be able to provide one in the future.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastsussexred View Post
Due to additional information received from Thomas Broster's great, great grandson, I have updated his details.

In the 1861 census Thomas Broster was listed as a teacher, and in 1867 he was appointed a trustee of The Old Meeting Baptist Church in Wrexham.
By the time of the 1871 census Thomas and his family were living with his father in law, Jonathan Owen, at 28 Lambpitt Street, and his occupation was recorded as a Senior Clerk at the post office.
Thomas and his family emigrated to South Africa aboard The Windsor Castle Steamer from London to The Cape of Good Hope on 23rd October 1874, although an article in The Wrexham Advertiser 31 October 1874 reported that the ship caught fire and had to return to port for repairs.
His family settled in Queenstown where he became the headmaster of an elementary school and where he also founded The Willows Cricket Club.
He would later serve as a member of staff at The Queenstown High School for Boys for 22 years and was made an Honorary Life Vice-President of the Old Boys Association on its inception in 1912.
Thomas’s wife, Harriet died in Queenstown 9th December 1894 and in June 1912, Thomas left Queenstown with his daughter, Gwladys, to live with his son Charles in Bethlehem in The Orange Free State, where he died on 29/06/1921.
Update regarding Thomas Broster (1845-1921)

Attached is the page of a book, which I believe was written by The Old Boys Association of Queenstown College, South Africa, which identifies Thomas Broster's contribution to cricket in Queenstown.
The second attachment shows the name 'T Broster' carved into a rock overlooking Queenstown and dated '1890'.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Thomas Broster.jpg (181.0 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Thomas Broster carved into a rock overlooking Queenstown SA 1890.jpg (111.2 KB, 15 views)

Last edited by eastsussexred; 8th June 2019 at 14.34:30..
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