by Annette Edwards.
Benjamin Copleston was born on 8 February 1839 in Maidstone, Kent. He was the son of Thomas Copleston and Olive Honey, his father was a painter and glazier. By 1861 some of family had moved up to Wrexham and were living on Chester Street, and both Thomas and Benjamin were painters and joiners.
In late 1862 Benjamin married Harriet Roberts in West Derby, their first son Henry Edward was born in Liverpool in 1863 so he could have been working there.
In 1869 Benjamin put his name forward as a candidate for the seats that would be vacant at the local election. He also involved himself with many events in the town, he taught a “Tonic Sol-fa class” which was held in King Street Chapel, and after one meeting in 1870 he was presented with a set of fine china as a token of their appreciation. At the National Eisteddfodd in Mold in 1873, there was a conference held by Mr Curwen of London, he was a Methodist minister who had developed the Tonic Sol-fa system Benjamin spoke in favour of this method and said he thought it should be taught in all schools. Harriet died in 1873, she was only 31. In 1874 Thomas Copleston announced that the business that was carried on by himself and his son was dissolved by mutual consent from this 27th day of March, and that his son, Benjamin Copleston, “will continue the same in his own name, and is responsible for all demands. With thanks to the Public for all past favours, he begs a continuance of their patronage on his Son’s behalf “
By 1881 the family were living in St Mark`s Terrace.
This was in a nice part of the town close to Hope Street which was where Benjamin had his shop.
The family later moved to Hill Street and Mary Ann went on to have at least 6 children.
In August 1886 Benjamin’s father Thomas died at Penybryn House, he had lived to the good age of 82 and was buried in Wrexham Cemetery on 25 August. His mother Olive lived till she was 92; she died at 10 Spring Road and was buried with Thomas on 22 July 1899.
By 1901 Benjamin`s daughters Edith and Gertrude have their own business as fancy drapers, later Mary Ann joined them in the same line of work.
They moved again to Penybryn and later to Wellington Road where Benjamin died on 20 April 1922 aged 83.
MARY ANN COPLESTON 1847 – 1926
Mary Ann Bott was born in Chester in 1847, she was the daughter of William Bott and Ann.
Her father was born in Nottingham and was a railway inspector, in 1851 they are living in Rhosddu which was close to the railway, her elder brother had been born in Kent and her mother was from Leicester, so William seems to have moved around with his job.
By 1861 William has left the railway and is now in St Martin`s and a coalmine manager.
On 21 December 1867 there was a report in the Wrexham Advertiser of a terrible accident when Mary Ann`s elder brother James suffered severe injuries and died. He was a booking clerk at Shrewsbury and had been helping a lady who was already on the train to get her ticket. This kind act cost him his life.
The family came back to Wrexham and in 1871 they were living on Wellington Road, William is now a commercial traveller. Ann died in April 1873 aged 53.
On 1 January 1875 Mary Ann Bott married Benjamin Copleston at King Street Chapel.
Her father William lived for a quite a while after this and finally died in 1885.
Mary Ann died on 30 January 1926 aged 78 in Alderley Avenue, Birkenhead. She was brought back to Wrexham and buried with Benjamin.
THOMAS COPLESTON 1870 – 1935
William was the son of Benjamin and Harriet Roberts, he was born early in 1870, but his mother died when he was just 3 years old. Benjamin stayed with his father and his new wife,
but later went to live with his brother Willie and his family. They were in Egerton Street for many years, and last found in 1911 when both brothers were painters. Thomas was still unmarried at the age of 40 and no marriage has been found later. Thomas died 17 December 1935 aged 66 and was buried with his father.
Researched by Annette Edwards. August 2018.
Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery O-05085