Joseph HORTON – Horton’s the Jewellers

JOSEPH HORTON 1859 – 1923

Joseph Horton was born in late 1859 in Sheffield; he was the son of Joseph Horton and Emma Jane Shaw who were married in 1853. Joseph snr had quite a few occupations over the years, a file forger, a grocer and finally a butcher. By 1881 he had retired from being a butcher and his eldest son Joseph was a pawnbroker’s assistant.

In 1887 Joseph married Mary Elizabeth Helliwell in Wortley, Yorkshire. Mary Elizabeth had been born in Derbyshire, and in 1871 she was with her parents John and Ann at Ridgeway Farm, Eckington.

The couple moved to Stockbridge where Joseph set up a business as a clothier and pawnbroker, they had at least 3 children born there but then moved to Wrexham. They were there by 1893 as an accident was reported in the Llangollen Advertiser in October 1893.

“On Saturday as an assistant employed by Mr. Horton, pawnbroker, Church-street, Wrexham, was engaged at work outside one of the windows; he was seized with a sudden illness, and fell through one of the panes. He was fortunately not much cut, and the damage has been repaired”

Llangollen Advertiser in October 1893

Joseph census records have his address as 1 Temple Row, opposite St Giles Church, and probably had his shop on Church Street as in 1895 a John Morgan, assistant in the employ of Mr Joseph Horton, pawnbroker, Church-street was witness in a case of theft by a man who then tried to pawn the items. Over the years there were many similar cases reported.

In early 1896 another son Frank was born, but In April 1897 their 4 year old daughter Florence Beatrice died at the fever hospital. 

1899 was a sad year for the family as in April their daughter Minnie died; she was only 2 months old, then just before Christmas their 11 year old son Joseph also passed away.  Another daughter Ethel was born in 1901, but sadly Mary Elizabeth died in October 1909 in their home, she was only 44.

Joseph remained in Temple Row, and by 1911 eldest son John Percy became an assistant in the business, Frank was a student and Ethel in school.  

John Percy joined the RWF, his records show he enlisted in 1916, by that time he was married with a young daughter.

Frank joined the army in 1916, and in April 1918 he was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry as a second lieutenant with the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment in the Battle of Cambrai. Frank came home on leave in July and for medical reasons was sent to Ireland on 10 October 1918 he boarded the passenger ship RMS Leinster for the return voyage to Holyhead. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank with the loss of more than 500 lives. Frank was among the dead he was only was 23 years old. He is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton. The memorial is dedicated to First World War servicemen and women who have no known grave, most of whom were lost at sea around the British Isles.

Joseph continued with his business at Temple Row until his death, he was buried with his wife and children on the 15 November 1923.

The business continued as “Horton`s the Jewellers” on Church Street for many years.

Researched by Annette Edwards, added details from History Points.  Holyhead Maritime Museum. January 2019. Gravestone photographs by Graham Lloyd. Horton’s the Jewellers photographs wrexham-history.com


Photographs of Horton’s the Jewellers, Church Street, Wrexham.


Wrexham Cemetery 07/03/2018
Wrexham Cemetery 07/03/2018
Wrexham Cemetery 07/03/2018
Wrexham Cemetery 07/03/2018

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02759