George ROBERTS – Erddig Under Gardener

George and wife Alice

by Jill Burton.

George was born in 1859 in Erbistock, the son of an agricultural labourer.

On the 1881 census he was a lodger in Bersham and working as a railway plate layer.

He also worked at Cefn quarry, loading and shunting trucks with sandstone.

George married Alice M. Jones (b 1859) of Felin Puleston, daughter of Joseph (a wagoner) and Sarah both b 1825.

In the picture above Alice is holding a picture of her mother Sarah. Sarah had also worked at Erddig and lived in an estate cottage at Felin Puleston (as a housemaid before she was married and when a widow as a ‘feather dresser’ and then for many years as a ‘weeding’ gardener at Erddig)

In 1889 George was an employee of GWR and had a section of track to guard for the 1889 royal visit of Queen Victoria to Wrexham by train.

On the 1891 census George & Alice were living at The Woodlands, Felin Puleston (plus 2 lodgers)

George and wife Alice

In 1896 he was paying £3 rent per half year for the cottage to the Erddig estate. And he was still working on Great Western Railway as a railway plate layer.

Their children were Ethel b 1887 who became a school mistress

          Mabel b 1892

          Sarah Elizabeth b 1894 who died 1921

The 1890s recession meant that George lost his job and so he came to work at Erddig in c1896 as an under gardener, despite no previous experience, no doubt through the influence of his mother-in-law who worked in the Erddig garden.

He also looked after the Erddig dovecot.

On the 1901 census the family were still living at Felin Puleston.

On the 1906 wages sheets George was listed as 4th gardener and was paid 3/- a day for 6 days a week.

George was a Parish Councillor (at Holy Trinity, Esclusham, now Rhostyllen Parish Church) and meetings were held twice a year at his home.

After meetings he would walk Philip Yorke II (Chairman of the PCC) back to Erddig through the park.

George also ran the Sunday School at the church.

On 1911 census he was still living at The Woodlands, Felin Puleston and Ethel (assistant school mistress) was living at home.

In 1921 he was paid for 6 days a week at 5/6d a day (by 1929 it was 5/10d) George worked at Erddig for 20+ years.

There is a probability that George’s wife Alice helped serve at Simon Yorke’s IV 21st birthday party in 1924

George retired at the end of January 1930 when his wife Alice died, and was paid a pension of 10/- a week by Simon IV. Up till this point they were still living at The Woodlands, Felin Puleston.

George died at 40 Bersham Road, (possibly the home of one of his daughters) in 1932 age 73 and was buried 15th June 1932 in Wrexham Cemetery Grave 04301, with his wife Alice and daughter Sarah Elizabeth.

Wrexham Cemetery 30/04/2018

ERDDIG SERVANTS RECORD SHEET

Servants Details

Christian Name(s): George

Surname: Roberts

Date of Birth: 1859

Date of Death: 1932

Job(s) at Erddig: Under gardener

Start Date: after 1895

Finish Date: 1930

Reason for leaving: Retired

Researched by Jill Burton. February 2019. Gravestone photograph Graham Lloyd.