William Griffiths was born about 1830 in Wrexham, he was the son of George Griffiths a printer, he had a brother George Charles Griffiths who was also in the same trade.
William hasn’t been found in the census records before 1871, but in 1851 his father George aged 53 is in Henblas Street, he is a letter press printer and was born in London. His daughter Frances E Griffiths aged 23 and a grandson Edwin W Griffiths aged 1 are with him.
George’s death was announced in the Wrexham Advertiser 29th December 1860. There is no mention of William.
“On the 22nd inst, at Henblas Street, Wrexham, aged 63, Mr. George Griffiths, printer, father of Mr. George Charles Griffiths, proprietor of the Wrexham Telegraph.”
William was in Wrexham in 1863, he is mentioned in the list of persons who supplied the decorations on the Town Hall, High Street on the occasion of the Royal Wedding. Mr Griffiths, printer, Union Jack, evergreens and a number of small flags.
The next couple of years weren’t good for William.
In March 1867 he had premises in Temple Row but was taken to court for refusing to pay the rates.
The same year in May 1867, it was reported in the Chester Chronicle and other papers that William and his brother had quarrelled.
ASSAULT. William Griffiths was summoned by his brother George Charles Griffiths, for an assault. George had been to the Chester races, when he was coming from the railway station, he felt a blow and found it was his own brother, he hit him again and he unconscious for about half a minute. It was said that when he has drink, he is very violent. —In reply to the clerk, defendant said he acknowledged the offence, and added that he came to Wrexham as a straightforward, honest man, to do good for himself and his brother. The bench fined defendant 5s. and costs. Defendant said he did not feel disposed to pay it. He was then committed for seven days.Chester Chronicle May 1867
Again in 1868 William had to take a man to court over unpaid debts, Mr Jones of Mold stated that he had given the money to George Charles Griffiths, at the Bull, in Abbot-street. William said his brother had no connection with him in business, the business was entirely his own.
On 15 February 1869. William aged 39 and a widower married Margaret Phoenix at St Mary, Edge Hill, West Derby, Margaret was aged 25 and the daughter of James Phoenix a builder. In 1871 William had to sue a Mr Dashwood Parry of Hope for nonpayment of bills and later that year William was in trouble with the Wrexham Loan Company over his account, he stated that he had been unable to pay because of illness and bad trade. It seems he wasn`t very successful in his business.
William and Margaret were living in 10 John Street in 1871, he was a general printer. There were no children with them.
William Griffiths died in Chester Street on 19 May 1877, he was 47.
MARGARET GRIFFITHS 1846 -1899
Margaret Phoenix was born in Llay about 1846; she was the daughter of James Phoenix; her father was born in 1815 in Gresford. Mary Ann Owens his wife was born in Manchester,
In 1851 the family were living in “Pentwmpath” Llay,
James is a carpenter and has 7 children.
By 1861 they have moved to Chester Street, Wrexham and have another 4 children.
In 1869 Margaret married William Griffiths. Her parents had moved to Holt Street and after her husband’s death in 1877 she went to live with them. Margaret and her sister Mary were dressmakers, another sister Emily was a school mistress. Her mother Mary Ann died on 2 February 1889 aged 69, and in 1891 Margaret was still with her father in Holt Street; he was now a wheelwright and a coal merchant. Margaret died there on 14 January 1899 aged 53.
Her father James died aged 89 in 1905.
THOMAS PHOENIX 1827 – 1907
Thomas Phoenix was born in Gresford in 1827, he was the son of James Phoenix and Lettice Jones. He was a step brother to James Phoenix, the father of Margaret.
By 1861 he had moved to Audenshaw, Ashton under Lyne, and was employed as a coachman by John Holt, a watchmaker.
On 31 December 1861 Thomas married Lucy Ann Rushforth at St Anne`s, Sale, she was the daughter of Thomas Rushworth and had been born in Halifax. The couple moved to Cross Street, Sale. Thomas was still a coachman, and from the occupations of his neighbours it seemed to be quite a well to do area. Thomas must have been good at his job, and in 1881 he was in Raby Hall Lodge on the Wirral. His employer was Edwin Bamford, a provision merchant.
By 1891 Thomas had changed occupation and was a gardener, he and Lucy had also moved again and now living in Aigburth, Garston.
They didn’t stay there as in 1901 they were in Ambleside, Kendal. Thomas was still working as a gardener at the age of 73, they were living in Waterhead Range, which was not far from the lake.
Thomas died on 25 May 1907 at 146 Ruskin Road, Crewe, he was 80 years old. After all those years away, he was brought back to Wrexham and buried with his niece.
It`s not clear where Lucy Ann went to live, but in 1911 she was visiting a widow Luisa Moller, who had been born in Valpourais, Chile, she was on private means and was living in Birkdale Southport. Lucy Ann was noted as having no children.
Lucy Ann Phoenix died at the age of 84 in 1922 in Ormskirk. She was not buried in Wrexham.
Researched by Annette Edwards. January 2019. Gravestone photograph by Graham Lloyd.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF WILLIAM GRIFFITHS, PRINTER, WHO DIED MAY 19TH, 1877, AGED 47 YEARS.
(NOT LOST BUT GONE BEFORE)
ALSO OF MARGARET GRIFFITHS, WIDOW OF THE ABOVE, WHO DIED JANUARY 11TH, 1899, AGED 55 YEARS.
(NOTHING IN MY HAND I BRING, SIMPLY TO THY CROSS I CLING)
ALSO OF THOMAS PHOENIX, WHO DIED MAY 25TH, 1907, AGED 80 YEARS.
Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02906