Thomas Owen

 Not quite sure at the moment were I am going with this.  Thomas Owen was born at Sweeney, Oswestry the son of Thomas Owen who had previously lived at 6 Cross Street Oswestry.  The significance is that Thomas Owen c1838 married Mary Batten, daughter of William and Elizabeth Batten (nee thomas) Veterinary Surgeon and the grand-daughter of Edward David Bennion, Surgeon.

Page 237 of Isaac Watkins book on Oswestry has the following piece:

"Mr. Thomas Owen who married firstly Mary Batten, grand-daughter of Edward D Bennion, of Cyrnybwch, and secondly Mary Sarah, daughter of Mr. William Corney, 15 Church Street, died 1916, aged 78".

The picture below shows The Library with the name Owen clearly engraved and as far as I can tell the other words read "Wedding" and "Presents",  the building to the left also has Owen engraved on the top unfortunately I can not make out the rest.  The photograph was taken from Isaac Watkins book on Oswestry printed in 1920, page 236.

 

Thomas became a Bookseller, Stationer and Printer and had his named engraved above the Library as you can see from the above photograph.  The library was part of the Cross Keys a property purchased by George Lewis who also purchased 6 Cross Street and my understanding is that these properties were all part of the library.  George Lewis and Thomas Owen became "Lewis and Owen", and although George Lewis retained an interest he eventually went on to do other things.  Thomas Owen then became "Thomas Owen and Son" and they published a "Monthly Advertising Circular".

Thomas Owen wrote "Reminiscences of Oswestry", and I have tried to get a copy of this but at the moment I have not had much luck.  In Isaac Watkins book Messrs Thomas Owen & Sons received acknowledgements for 32 of the illustrations printed.

Thomas Owen married Mary Batten 16th August 1866 his address was shown as Oswestry bachelor and his profession Bookseller his age 28, his father Thomas Owen's occupation "Smith".    Mary was a spinster aged 24 and lived in Oswestry Parish her father was William Batten, Veterinary Surgeon.  They where married at The Parish Church, Oswestry by Licence and their witnesses were Edward Owen, Thomas Thomas and Elizabeth Batten.

1871 England Census

On the 1871 census Thomas Owen aged 33 lived with his wife Mary (nee Batten) aged 29, in Victoria Road Oswestry.  They had a daughter Edith Mary Owen aged 7 months and living with them was a General Servant (Domestic)  Isabella Morgan who was aged 12.  Thomas's occupation was described at Book Seller, Stationer and Printer, employing 1 man, 8 boys and 2 girls.  Source: RG10; Piece 2873; Folio 59; Page 7;

Sadly Mary died in 20th July 1876 and was buried on the 24th July 1876 at Oswestry Cemetery, the family where living in Victoria Road.  On her death she was referred to as wife of Thomas Owen The Library.

1881 England Census

1891 England Census shows that the family where living at "Fern Bank", Racecourse Road, Oswestry.  Thomas was still working as a Bookseller, Stationer and Printer and aged 53.  His wife Mary Sarah Owen (nee Corney) aged 45 had seven children to look after.  The children as follows:

Edith Mary Owen aged 20 (mother Mary Batten)

Edward Bennion Owen aged 18 (mother Mary Batten?)

Emily Beatrice Owen aged 14

Herbert Morris Owen aged 11

Arthur Marwood Owen aged 10

Florence Margo Owen aged 6

John Morris Owen aged 4

The family also had a General Domestic Servant named as Mary Walters aged 14.  Source: RG12; Piece; 2116; Folio 128; Page 2;

1911 The family where still living at Fern Bank (Transcribed Fernbonk), Thomas as head of the family was aged 73 and still working as a Bookseller Stationer Assistant.  He and Mary Sarah had been married for 32 years and she was aged 65.  There were three daughters living at home Edith Mary aged 39, Emily Beatrice aged 34 and Florence Margaret Owen aged 26.  Edith and Mary were both described as Bookseller and Stationer Assistants whilst Florence was described as Mother's help.  The family had one domestic general servant Gertrude Jones living with the them who was aged 19.

William Batten Veterinary Surgeon

William the eldest son of the Rev. William Batten and his wife Alice (nee Bennion) was born 17th September 1815 and baptised 2nd January 1816 at the Pentremorgan Wesleyan Chapel of the Llangollen Circuit Denbighshire.  Humphrey Jones performed the ceremony and William's father's profession was Minister.  Source: TNA ref: RG4/Piece 3777/Folio 0

William became a Veterinary Surgeon and in the North Wales Chronicle dated Tuesday 31st July 1832 the following notice appeared under Apothecaries Hall which reads: "Names of gentlemen to whom the court of Examiners granted certificates of qualifications on Thursday last:- William Batten, Oswestry".  I have left the other names out.

he married Elizabeth Thomas on 30th June 1841 at the Parish Church of Oswestry.  Both William and Elizabeth were of "full age" and his profession was Surgeon at this time I can not decipher their addresses.  William's father William Batten Minister of the Gospel and Elizabeth's father Thomas Thomas Farmer.  Witnesses were David Shaw and Edward Bennion Batten.

In 1851 he and Elizabeth where living at Upper Brook Street, Oswestry, William aged 35 and Elizabeth 34 his occupation Veterinary Surgeon.  They had three children in 1851 Mary aged 9, a Scholar, daughter Elizabeth aged 2 and son David 10 months. 

By 1861 life had changed dramatically as William had died, his Widow Elizabeth was living at Summer Hill Cottage, Llanvorda which was close to Summer Hill the home of Edward D Bennion whose sister was Alice Batten the wife of the Rev William Batten.  Elizabeth aged 45 had four of her children living at home with her Edward Bennion Batten aged 18, John aged 14, Elizabeth aged 12 and David aged 9.  Occupations were not known for Elizabeth and Edward in 1861 and daughter Mary had left home.

In 1871 Elizabeth was described as Vet Surgeon and Widow aged 55 and living at Summer Hill Cottage, Llanvorda.  Not shown on previous census documents daughter Sarah aged 18 and her occupation shown as Vet Surgeon and daughter.  It would appear that Elizabeth and Sarah possibly took over the business practise from William.  At the time of the census in 1871 Mary A Pools was staying with the family as a "House Visitor and Annuitant", she was aged 18 possibly a friend of Sarah's.

I have not found the 1881 census but in 1891 William's widow Elizabeth was still living at Summer Hill she was aged 75 unfortunately the return I have is illegible so I do not know if she was working.  Living at home with her was son John aged 44, daughter Elizabeth age 42, her brother Thomas Thomas aged 72, occupation "Late Farmer Retired", and Lodger Charles Roberts aged 64, occupation Grazier.

By 1901 Elizabeth aged 85, occupation Farmer living at Summer Hill with daughter Elizabeth aged 53 also living with them was John Robinson aged 49, occupation "------- Bailiff".

Elizabeth died aged 86 at Oswestry on 23rd December 1902 at Summer Hill Cottage.

Children of William and Elizabeth Batten

In brief more research to be done.

Edward Bennion Batten eldest son of William and Elizabeth died 19th January 1873, aged 30, at Oldham.

John Thomas Bennion Batten died 18th August 1895 at Summerhill Cottage.

David Batten died 18th August 1895 at Summer Hill Cottage, husband of Rose Batten 26 Newcombe Street, Seacombe.

 

 

 

The Rev. William Batten c1778 - 1864

 

 

 

I would like to thank Julian for sending me the above photograph and Paul for sending me a photocopy of the same photograph.  Originally this photograph was found by Joan who has been researching the Batten family a lot longer than I have and recently I had had the pleasure of talking to Joan by telephone.  Hopefully Joan, Derrick her husband and I will be meeting soon.

1.  William 1778 - 1864 born 1778 with no exact date of birth however, his birth year is mentioned in one of the old ledgers of the White Church in Dyffryn and his baptism is recorded as 16th February 1779.  In addition volume 5 of the Denbigh Parish Registers records his baptism on the 16th February 1779 his father recorded as William Beaton his father's occupation was a Skinner and his mother's name Rebeek.  I therefore have two sources showing William's baptism details and recording his father as William Beaton.

William became a well known Wesleyan Minister especially on the North Wales Circuit therefore there is quite a lot of information either in the public domain although some of his history is archived material with different organisations.  The latter being subject to copyright laws if I can get permission to include the information I will do so with acknowledgements.  As I have already said on my home page this is my hobby and I do not gain financially from any of my research. 

William Batten married Alice Bennion who was born Oswestry 6th May 1791 she was the daughter of Mr. Edward Bennion a Surgeon from Oswestry ShropshireAlice was baptised June 1791 both the records I have for Alice do not show the exact day she was baptised.  William and Alice married on the 13th January 1813 at St. Oswald's Parish Church Oswestry.  Source: details taken from microfiche entry at Oswestry Library, the surname for William looks like 'Bolten' which is possibly why I could not find it on other records.  Thank you to Derek at Oswestry Library for finding these details.

William Batten started his ministry in 1804 at the age of 25.  I have recently found a piece in Ancient and Modern Denbigh page 340 which tells a little of The Wesleyan Methodists and you can read the extract here:

"The Wesleyan Methodists had a Welsh Chapel in Old factory Ward, built in 1801, with an upper room in the chapel yard, adjoining Wesley Place, in which English services were conducted.  They also have a chapel at Henllan, within the borough.  The first 'District meeting' ever covered in Wales was held at Denbigh, in May 1804.  Denbigh was made a separate 'circuit' by the Conference held in London, in July 1805 having been originally served by preachers connected to the Chester circuit". 

Although no names were mentioned I would like to think that William Batten as he started his Ministry in 1804 and his first circuit was at Denbigh would have been at this meeting.

The circuit list below shows where he served, it is taken from Hill's Arrangement which was an alphabetical arrangement of the Ministers, Missionaries and Preachers dated 1862.  The list shows the year, place and length of time William served.

BATTEN, WILLIAM

Place                   Years

1804 Denbigh               1        1805  Beaumaris        2

1807 Merthyr-Tydvil    1        1808  Crickhowell      1     

1809 Llanidloes           2         1811 Llanfyllin           2

1813 Machynlleth        2        1815  Llangollen        2

1817 Ruthin                  1        1818  Holyhead           2

1820 Llanfyllin             3        1823  Merthyr-Tydvil  2

1825 Cardiff                 2        1827  Ruthin                 2

1829 Holywell             2        1831  Llanfyllin             3

1834 Llanwrst            2         1836  Dolgelly              3

1839 Beaumaris        3         1842  Pwllheli               1

1843 Llanfyllin Sup. 19

Thank you to Lorraine at John Ryland’s University for supplying a copy of the above information.        

I have now started a new web page for Alice Bennion's family as I have records back to the early 1600's it is just a question of time. 

In 1815 William's Ministry was in Llangollen. The following reference I found to William Batten dated 16th November 1815 which reads: "Particular Baptist; the dwelling house of John Richards builder situated at Cold Harbour in the hamlet of Gwelog; the said John Richards, David Powell, William Batten, John Godwin, John Probyn, Richard Probyn, Daniel Roberts; No 699 (Endorsed received 1815 November 20th)."  Not worked out fully the interpretation of this.  Source: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/Dissent3.html

I have also found a reference to The Introduction of Welsh Wesleyan Methodism into the Principality, Chapter XV111 which mentions that W. Batten was one of several people as "Circuits formed and Chapels erected".  There is also a reference to Wm Batten and Eichard Bonner circuit ministers 1823-4.  Source: www.archive.org

Below is copy of receipt written by William Batten to UC Holywell 2nd April 1830 unfortunately I have not deciphered all of it but here is the writing I have made sense of:

                                                              Holywell ----, 1830

Dear Sir,

--   Chapel  ------- is £6=7=10.  Inclosed  you will find £5 the £1=7=10 shall be paid at Conference I should have sent these sooner only have been in the Llanfyllin Council Meeting to Llandrillo Chapel. Please -- acknowledge the receipt.

Yours Aff__g

Wm Batten

In 1835 William appeared in Pigot and Co's National Commercial Directory 1835 for North Wales on the page for Llanwrst under the heading Nobility, Gentry and Clergy which reads: BATTEN Rev William, Scotland St.  William served at Llanwrst for two years from 1834-1836.

The 1841 Census for Wales

From 1839-1842 William's Ministry was at Beaumaris the 1841 census shows William aged 60 living at Bodfeirig, Anglesey his occupation given as Minister of the Gospel.  Interestingly his family are living at a different address.  Source: HO107; piece 1359; folio 27; page 4;

It has taken me months to find Alice and the family on the 1841 census and finally found them living at Hermitage Place, Beaumaris and the surname had been transcribed as Batton.  Alice aged 45 was living with possibly four of her children.  Why do I say possibly?  Because I have found another child that I can not find any baptism records for and the only reason I can assume the he was Alice and William's child is that the age range is in sequence.  The children living with Alice at that time were John aged 15, occupation illegible, Alice aged 14, David aged 12 and Sarah aged 9.  At this tme I have know idea were David came from.

1851 Census for Wales

From 1843 to his death in 1864 William's Ministry was at Llanfyllin for a period of 19 years; this was unusual as a Ministry tended to be for one or two years and occasionally three years.  As we can see from William's obituary further down on this page, it states that "for twenty-two years he bore his infirmities of age with exemplary patience".  The 1851 census shows that William and Alice where living at Garth Cottage, Llansantffraid the surname had been transcribed as 'Ballen'.  William's profession then Wesleyan Minister aged 70 and Alice aged 59 a Minister's wife.  They had three of their children living at home with them Thomas aged 31, profession Wesleyan Minister, daughter Alice aged 34 and daughter Sarah aged 19.  Both daughters profession described as 'at home'.

1861 Census for Wales

William was a Superannuated Wesleyan Minister (this is how it has been transcribed), he and Alice on the 1861 census for Wales where living in the Village of Llansantffraid, he was 82, Alice aged 69 and at that time they had a daughter Sarah living at home aged 29.  As far as I can tell they had eight children.  Sadly their daughter Alice died 2nd February 1856 at the age of 29 and their son Thomas died at the age of 37 on Good Friday, April 10th, 1857. 

From the births of their children we can see that William and Alice moved around Wales with his Ministry.  It is also interesting how William's professional titles change with the different baptisms of his and Alice's children.  William and Alice possibly had another daughter Mary as there is a reference in Isaac Watkins’s book on Oswestry page 237 to "Mr. Thomas Owen, who married firstly Mary Batten, grand-daughter of Dr. Edward D Bennion of Cyrnybwch".  The significance of this is that John was baptised at Cyrn Y Bwch and the Bennion's were mentioned on John's baptism records as maternal parents (grandparents).  However, if Mary was their daughter then Alice would have given birth to her at 50, not sure about this and I have sent for Mary's birth certificate.  Interestingly Mary Batten was the first wife of Thomas Owen, Publisher and Stationer of Oswestry he published a book in 1904 with the title of Personal Reminiscences of Oswestry.  Now that I have split the Batten pages  I will be able to cover Thomas Owen see right hand column.

Rev. William attended a meeting on Wednesday 24th August 1864 at the Chapel and that night he became ill with Pleurisy and took to his bed he died on the 1st September 1864 and was buried at Bwlch y Cibau Cemetery on the 6th September.  Out of respect the Church bells at Bwlch y Cibau tolled all day.

The obituary for William Batten appears in 'Minutes of Conference', 1864 pages 216/217.

WILLIAM BATTEN; a native of Denbigh, who was one of the first fruits of Wesleyan Methodism in North Wales, and there entered on the labours of an Itinerant Minister, in 1804.  After thirty-nine years of faithful toil. he became a Supernumerary in the year 1843.  As a Christian Minister, his course was one of usefulness.  He was for several years Chairman of the North Wales District, discharging the duties of his office with credit to himself, and a satisfaction to his brethren.  For twenty-two years he bore the infirmities of age with exemplary patience.  He possessed great shrewdness and sagacity, was a cheerful disposition, enjoyed a deep acquaintance with spiritual and experimental religion, and closed a life of undoubted piety at peace with God, and honoured by all who knew him.  He died in Llansantffraid, on 1st of September, 1864, in the eighty-sixth year of his age, and sixty-first of his Ministry; saying, in his native tongue, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake with Thy likeness."  Source:  My thanks for Paul and John Rylands University for sending me copies of the above obituary.  Note that his last words were in his "native tongue", which tells us that Wm Batten was Welsh speaking.

Below is an account of William Batten's death and funeral sent to me by Julian the original was in Welsh and appeared in the Baner Ac Amserau dated 14th September 1864.   I would like to thank Julian who had to get a friend to translate the piece into English and kindly sent me a copy.   There are now five of us researching the Batten family.

 

Death and funeral of Rev W Batten Wesleyan Minister, Llansantffraid yn Mechain

 

 

Despite his healthy appearance, his sprightliness and the bodily strength right up to the last week of his life, we have to record the death of the Rev. W. Batten, the oldest minister in the Wesleyan denomination, which occurred at Llansantffraid, September 1st, in his 86th year and in the 61st year of his ministry.

 

He was taken ill on 24th August; therefore his illness was only of the short duration of eight days. We have no accurate record of the date of his birth, but the registers of Whitchurch in the Vale of Clwyd state that a child ‘William Beaton’ was baptized on 16th February 1779. Much has happened since that time when Williams, Pant y Celyn and Ann Griffiths were enchanting the old Methodists, the Bible Society had not then been established, Calvinistic Methodism was then still in its infancy, the country was in a wretched state and the works of the Welsh bards undermined the efforts of those who sought to promote Christianity. John and Charles Wesley were flourishing and Wesleyan Methodism had begun to blossom.

 

The Sunday school had not then been accepted by the church generally and not one per cent of the present chapels had been built when the boy William first opened his eyes. John Wesley had been buried some 13 years before Mr. Batten began his public ministry, but the Wesleyan cause had been established and ‘Little Bryan’ as the old people described him – Rev Bryan Jones, Mathafarn – and Rev Owen Davies were seeking members when Mr. Batten began to preach.

 

In 1803, when in his prime – aged 25 years – Mr. Batten began the important work of his ministry and in 1804, or as he preferred to call it ‘The Great Year’, he preached his trial sermon in the presence of Rev Owen Davies, the Chairman of the North and South Wales District. Although one would have expected the young candidate to feel apprehension the Rev Owen Davies had no doubts regarding his ability, because in the gallery, opposite the pulpit, sat an aged character whose ‘well done’ was the most that anyone could expect, indeed equivalent to a licence granted by the Courts of the Bishop of St Asaph. The old man we refer to was about 65 years old, of a rustic appearance, with a striking and unusual countenance. His eyes were fixed on the young preacher throughout his sermon and his rapt attention showed that he was assessing what he heard with great deliberation. It was not surprising that the presence of the old man wearing a white linen cap sitting at the front of the gallery should be more disturbing than that of the district chairman – he was none other than * Twm o’r Nant. At the close of the service and the young preacher fearing the criticism of the famous poet, was about to leave the chapel in a depressed state of mind, whereupon Twm o’r Nant approached Mr. Batten and putting his hand in a fatherly way upon his shoulder said, ‘Well done my boy, keep up the good work’. The words were but few and may have seemed of little value, but the tone of voice in which they were delivered and the friendly touch of the bard were of great encouragement to the young man and he immediately felt himself to grow in stature having made his mark as a preacher.

 

Soon after this he was appointed to the Circuit which extended from Denbigh to Rhayadr and at that time there were only four chapels – Denbigh, Ruthin, Llanidloes and Rhayadr.  His zeal, perseverance and warm ministry earned Mr. Batten a high placing, not only among his own flock but also among the other denominations, indeed those from all strata of society consistently paid the greatest respect to the old patriarch. He fulfilled his preaching engagements to the end of his long life and occupied the pulpit up to the Sunday before his illness when he preached with much fervor and unusual effect on the text ‘The sower went forth to sow’ Matthew XIII v3. But alas his constitution was not strong enough to withstand the attack of pleurisy on Wednesday 24th August which confined him to his bed. To the end he was perfectly content and the prospect of death did not disturb his peace of mind. Among his last words were, ‘I shall be content when I awake before your image. All is well, all is well.’

 

Thus our old friend departed peacefully

 

 

 

The Funeral

 

 

On September 6th, there gathered, without specific invitation (by request of the deceased) as is usual in the neighbourhood, and despite the inclement weather, a large concourse of mourners.

 

At 2 pm, following a prayer and the reading of a psalm by the Rev. W.H. Evans, Llanfair, a lengthy procession formed in the following order – Ministers and friends in 16 carriages, mourners mounted and on foot, members of Llansantffraid Chapel, the hearse and relatives in carriages. Slowly the cortege moved on to Bwlch y Cibau Chapel where the family grave is located. En route, signs of mourning were manifest and the several women and children at the roadside looked on sadly as their old friend and father was carried to his eternal rest. At the Bwlch, many other friends and admirers had come to pay their last respects to his mortal remains.

 

In the chapel, The Rev. S. Davies, Llanrhaiadr read portions of the 90th Psalm and from the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 15. Following a prayer, the hymn, ‘Drawing towards Eternal Life’ was sung. The Rev T. Aubrey then addressed the congregation and the Rev J L Richards, Llansantffraid offered a prayer. This was an impressive oration by Rev Aubrey, an old friend and fellow labourer in the vineyard speaking under great emotion with the remains of his old companion lying before him.

 

At the graveside the burial service was read by Rev Aubrey and all present sang the hymn ‘My friends no longer seek for peace’.

It will not be easy to forget the sad scene as the mortal remains of our old father were lowered to the earth to join his dear ‘Aili’ and children.

 

We cannot conclude our report without recording the fact that on the day of his burial, every family in the township showed the greatest respect towards the late Rev W. Batten on the day of his interment. Although he was a nonconformist minister, the church bell was tolled throughout the day showing the high regard in which the Wesleyan minister was held in the community. 

 

*Thomas Edwards, bardic name Twm o’r Nant, is one of the best known names in Welsh literature. 

There was also a piece from (Histories) held by University of Wales and this was also printed in Welsh and I have had this translated by Howard of Montgomeryshire Genealogical Society.  I would also like to thank Hilary his wife for the emails with regards to this piece of work.  The account below is very similar however, it does give one or two more facts and both accounts tell us the sort of man the Rev. William was.

Obituary of Mr William Batten

On the 1st September, Llansantffraid, Llanfyllin circuit, the Rev. William Batten in the 86th year of his age, and the 61st of his travelling ministry, of which he spent 21 years of the above.  He was the youngest Wesleyan minister in Wales.  Mr Batten was a man of cheerful nature and very friendly, of this he kept until his last days.  He spent his whole ministry in constant hard work but nobody ever heard him complain he was tired.  As a minister he was powerful, fiery, and very effective.  He was possessed with an exciting gift in his preaching and was popular; in his day he was very successful in winning many souls.  Over the time he was overseer, he showed that his care and his love for the cause of the Lord stayed strong in his breast.

A big loss is felt for him in this district as well as for his public labours.  On Wednesday night, the 24th of August he went to the meeting of the  ‘committee’ ( probably a meeting of chapel elders) in the chapel, that same night he was struck ill; and the second Thursday after that, after only a week and a day, he breathed his last.  The following Tuesday a big crowd of respectable men gathered to accompany his remains to the cemetery in Bwlch y Cibau. 

In the mournful procession there were eighteen vehicles beside the numerous horses and the hearse carrying ministers, preachers, leaders, church leaders and noted friends from the circuits of Llanfyllin, Llanrhaeadr and Llanfair.  Before starting from the home the Reverend W. H. Evans read and said a prayer.  At Bwlch-y-Cibau chapel the Rev. Samuel Davies read appropriate pieces from the scriptures; then the Rev. T. Aubrey gave an appropriate and effective speech, then he called on the Rev J. L. Richards to pray.  After this we moved to the cemetery, where the mortal remains of the once lively Father Batten was laid in the grave the service was terminated in the usual manner by Mr Aubrey. “The Fathers where are they?”

Burial details of William and Alice

Alice Batten died 19th July 1861 aged 70 and is buried at the Ebenezer Wesleyan Chapel, Bwlch-y-Cibau her Inscription reads "Sacred to the memory of Alice, the beloved wife of the Rev. William Batten".  Buried with Alice is the Rev. William Batten and his Inscription reads; "Here resteth the remains of the Rev. William Batten, Wesleyan Minister who died at Llansantffraid on 1,day of September 1864, in the 86th year of his age, and the 61 (st) year of his Ministry".

Burial details of Alice and Thomas

In the grave next to William and Alice is their daughter Alice and son Thomas.  The Inscription reads; "In Affectionate Remembrance of Alice, wife of Mr. John Thomas, daughter of the Rev. William Batten, who departed this life February 2nd, 1856, aged 29 years. // To the memory of the Rev. Thomas Batten, Wesleyan Minister, who fell asleep in Jesus, on Good Friday April 10th 1857, aged 37 years.  Source:  MR/MI/59 Parish of Bwlch-y-Cibau produced by Montgomeryshire Genealogical Society.

Note there is a difference in the age of William's daughter Alice from the 1851 census and the age given on her MI, need to check this.

Recently I have been corresponding with Julian whose brother Glynne visited Bwlch-y-Cibau Ebenezer Chapel this is what he said:  "When he got to the chapel which is now disused the cemetery was terribly overgrown.  He fought his way through the brambles and weeds and cleared the graves of William and Alice and also the Rev. Thomas and his sister Alice, so that he could take the photographs for us all to see". 

I find it sad that there is no one to look after this place, that a man like the Rev. William lies in a chapel yard cemetery that is neglected and overgrown.  Not a fitting memorial to a man whose hard work along with others was responsible for the growth of the Wesleyan Faith on the North Wales Circuit from 1804-1864 .

Ebenezer Wesleyan Methodist Chapel Bwlch-y-cibau

The above is a good photograph of the Chapel in the photo centre you can see more photographs in the Batten and Bennion folder including those that show the grounds in their derelict state.  The photographs of the Batten graves and the Chapel were taken by Glynne and sent to me by his brother Julian, thank you both. 

William and Alice's children

Elizabeth born 25th October 1813 her baptism took place on 28th October 1813 at the Wesleyan Chapel in Oswestry the ceremony performed by James Fussell.  The family address then Llanfordan, (Llanforda) Oswestry.  Source: TNA ref: RG4/Piece/3248/Folio 8

William the eldest son was born 17th September 1815 and baptised 2nd January 1816 at the Pentremorgan Wesleyan Chapel of the Llangollen Circuit Denbighshire.  Humphrey Jones performed the ceremony and William's father's profession was Minister.  Source: TNA ref: RG4/Piece 3777/Folio 0

William attended Kingswood the Wesleyan School between 1824-30.  He became a Veterinary Surgeon and he married Elizabeth Thomas on the 30th June 1841 (see bottom right hand column for details of Williams's family and life).

Edward Batten baptised 1st June 1817 at Pentremorgan Wesleyan Chapel Llangollen Denbighshire.  The ceremony was performed by John Jones and Edward's father's profession was a Preacher.  The IGI shows that Edward was baptised 2nd June 1817 therefore there is a discrepancy between the TNA and the IGI.  Source: TNA ref: RG4/Piece 3777/Folio 9 

He attended the Kingswood Wesleyan School between 1828-31.  The school's records shows his entry as Edward Bennion Batten 1828-31 M.R.C.S. Eng. Dead.

Although his birth record shows his name as Edward Batten I believe he was actually called Edward Bennion Batten.  As far as I can tell this was the Edward Batten that was recorded on the 1841 Census for England living at Llanvorda with his Grandfather Edward Bennion aged 80 and his Uncle Edward David Bennion aged 45   This census information caused some confusion as this census gave his year of birth as 1821, however, he died at the age of 32 which confirms his year of birth as 1817 . 

The occupation of Edward Bennion Batten given in 1841 as 'At Surgeon' if this information is correct then this is the Edward Bennion Batten who was mentioned in the Medical News (London England) on Thursday 23rd April 1846 under the heading of Apothecaries Hall which reads: "At last meeting of the Court of Assistants, the following gentlemen were admitted licentiates, viz; Edward Bennion Batten".  I have left the other names out. 

Edward Bennion Batten died on 3rd November 1849 at Summer Hill Oswestry aged 32 his occupation given as Surgeon.  He died of Consumption which was certified and his death was registered 7th November 1849 by the mark of Mary Jones who was present at his death.

Thomas was born 13th August 1919 Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey.  Interestingly Thomas wasn't baptised until 12th June 1821 at the Wesleyan Chapel in Oswestry the ceremony was performed by William Davies.  The family address shown as Llanfordan, Oswestry the correct name should be Llanforda.  This was the home of Thomas's maternal grandparents Edward and Alice Bennion.  Thomas's father William's profession was Methodist Preacher.  Source: TNA ref: RG4.Piece 3248/Folio 10 . Thomas also became a Wesleyan Minister.

Thomas like his two older brothers attended Kingswood between 1830-3, the schools records shows he became a Wesleyan Minister in 1844 and the he died in 1857. 

Below is a photocopy of a letter Thomas Batten wrote Saturday 14th June 1845:

The letter reads:

                                     Llanfyllin N Wales

                                            Saturday June 14th

Dear Sir,

I have ---- a letter from Mr. George this morning intimating your wish that I should ------(supply?) Mr Overton's place; & I respectfully to state that I have written to Mr. George & also Mr. Griffiths of M---oham, aspiring them that I shall be in Devises /Dv?/ tomorrow week.

Your very obed_tly

Thos Batten

Thank you to Lorraine at John Ryland’s university for finding and sending this copy to me.  The letter was addressed to Rev'd J Bunting D D, 30 Myddleton Square, London, the post mark was Oswestry dated 15 June 1845

Minutes of the Wesleyan Conference 1857 honoured Thomas with the following obituary.

Thomas Batten.  He was the son of William Batten, one of the early race of Welsh Wesleyan Ministers; and was born at Beaumaris, in 1820.  In addition to the careful instructions and fervent prayers of his parents, he had the advantage of early training at Kingswood School.  In the fifteenth year of his age he was powerfully awakened, and sought the pardoning love of God with an agony of soul seldom evinced in one so young.  His conversion was clear and decided.  In his pulpit-ministrations it was obviously his aim to save those who heard him.  His sermons had point and power, and never failed to interest, impress, and profit his hearers.  His attachment to Methodism was strong.  Firmly, but without ostentation, he defended its principles and polity; and the meekness of his spirit gained the respect of all parties.  At one time, when he needed help, a handsome pecuniary present was sent to him; but in the list of subscribers he found the names of several who had taken part bitterly attacking his brethren; on which he immediately sent back the amount, stating that he could not receive such favours from men who were openly slandering his brethren.  In 1851 his health failed.  During the long and painful affliction which terminated his valuable life, he exercised a most calm and submissive resignation; and in the nearer approach of death his mind was keep in perfect peace.  "I have not yet," said he, "as far as I am conscious, yielded to a single impatient thought.  If God spare me, I shall be grateful; but absolutely,

'I ask not life, but let me love

And lay me down in peace.'

He quietly fell asleep in Jesus, on Good Friday, April 10th, 1857, aged 37.  Thank you to Paul for sending me a copy of this information which appeared in the 'Minutes of Conference 1857.  I also received the same information from Lorraine at John Ryland’s University a copy of which appeared in Religious Intelligence of Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine, 1857, pages 845/6. 

There was an announcement in the Border Counties Advertizer dated 15th April 1857 which reads:  '10th, at Llansantffraid [sic], after a long protracted illness, aged 37 the Rev. Thomas Batten, Wesleyan Minister'.

John born 24th September 1823 at Cyrn Y Bwch, Merthyr Tydfel, he was baptised 4th November 1823 at Cyrn Y Bwch and the family address was Denbigh Row.  John's baptism details have more information than his siblings as there is a registration date of 19th August 1824, the registration town shown as Paternoster Row London.  The baptism record shows his maternal parents, in other words his grandparents as Edward and Alice Benwin this surname should be 'Bennion'.  Source: TNA ref: RG4/Piece 4677/Folio 178

Alice was born 10th January 1827 Cardiff Glamorgan and baptised 12th March 1827 at the Welsh Wesleyan Chapel in the parish of Cardiff St John.  The ceremony was performed by Humphrey Jones and the family lived at Llandaff.  Source: TNA ref: RG4/Piece 4118/Folio 24

Alice married John Thomas on 10th June 1853 in the district of St Pancras  in the County of  Middlesex.   John was aged 26 a bachelor and his occupation was Cabinet Maker.  At the time of his marriage he was living at -- Upper North Place his father was Rowland Thomas a Woollen Manufacturer.  Alice also aged 26, a spinster with no profession and at the time of her marriage living at 1 Tottenham Street.  They were married at Chapel Tonbridge Place according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Independents.  Their witnesses were John Batten and Charles Worrell (followed by two words I cannot read), however I think he was possibly a chapel worker as John Worrell was the Registrar. Unfortunately for Alice and John their life together was short because Alice died 2nd February 1856 at the age of 29 years, they were together three years.    At this time I do not know if they had children.  Alice is buried with her brother Thomas at Bwlch-y-Cibau.  Her parents are in the grave next to her.

Sarah was born 10th August 1831 Holywell Flintshire her baptism took place 7th September 1831 and the family address was Pry Mais Holywell.  Her father William's occupation then Minister of Gospal (Gospel) and her maternal grandparents Edward and Alice Bennion was also shown on the record.  The ceremony was performed by M. Griffith at Chester Road Wesleyan Chapel, Holywell.  Source: TNA ref: RG4/Piece 3946/Folio 53

Please note:  Welsh spellings have been been written as I found them in the documents I have researched.

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