William Groves c1777 - 1838

William Groves was the eldest son of Samuel and Margaret Groves (nee Bady) and is my great grandfather x 4 as you can see as this is a direct line there is a lot more detail. 

William Groves married Anne Hotchkiss in the parish of Church Stoke on 21st February 1805.  William was described as a bachelor and Anne as a ‘Minor’.  Witnesses at their wedding were Benjamin Hotchkiss, Mary Groves and Joseph Hotchkiss.  William and Anne as far as I am aware had fourteen children.

The children of William and Anne were baptised in the Parishes of Church Stoke and Chirbury and details below:

Church Stoke Register

Samuel 29th August 1806        Mary 8th February 1808

Sarah 3rd February 1808          Martha 9th September 1810

Hannah 13 January 1812   

New registers started in 1813 and the next three entries showed that the family lived at Pant Hopton and gives William’s occupation as farmer.

William 9th March 1813

Robert 3rd March 1815             Michael 9th May 1817

Chirbury Register

Margaret 3rd Sept 1820            Edward 22nd Sept 1822

Benjamin 30th January 1824    Joseph 11th April 1825

Thomas 22nd November 1827

The Chirbury register shows that the family lived at Timberth and again William was described as a farmer. William and Anne also had a daughter called Anne possibly born in Church Stoke and probably born between 1818 and 1819.  No baptism details have yet been found.  The reason we know that she is their daughter is that she appears on the 1841 census when the family were living in Wortherton, Chirbury, Shropshire.  At that time Anne’s age was shown as 20, as far as I can tell Ann died and was buried on 5th February 1846 at the age of 30.

Two of William’s and Anne’s boys died in childhood.  Benjamin was just two weeks old and buried on 12th February 1824. Thomas died aged 7 years and was buried 4th April 1835.  The address given for both boys at the time of their death was Timberth.

William’s name appears in the Quarter Session Records under the name of Groves of Timberth.  From December 1833 – March 1834 he was described as Juror/Farmer.  From January 1835 – October 1835 he was described as Chief Constable of Chirbury. 

On various online documents William was known as William Groves of Timberth.  Timberth is a place about 1 mile south, south west of the village of Chirbury and about 1 3/4 miles due east of Montgomery Church.  Currently, it probably only has one main farm and a couple of cottages.  The house that stands is the biggest and grandest in the area however, nobody knows if it was at the time of William of Timberth.  In the past Timberth was the smallest of 8 townships in the parish of Chirbury.  Each township had its own Chief Constable responsible for minor law and order and for reporting breaches up the chain and to the manorial court.  The title of Chief Constable at that time William held the post would have been before a police force and normally given to the head officer for the “hundred” who reported to the Hundred Court.

In 1871 the area of Timberth was 257 acres and part of the Chirbury section of the estates of the Earl of Powys, inherited from the famous Lords Herbert of Chirbury.  From the A2A searches it shows that William Groves had several transactions with the Earl of Powys.  So whilst he might of owned the farm he was most likely a tenant farmer of the Earls of Powys however from the details in his Will he owned other freehold properties and land.  William would have been a good farmer and a man of standing in the agricultural community of that time. 

William Groves made his Will dated 20th July 1838 in which he named his executors as Robert Groves his brother and Samuel Groves a relation.  He left all his freehold property at Priest Weston to Robert and Samuel Groves in trust to sell.  (I have a copy of William’s Will and in due course will put the details on this page). Just to clarify things Robert was William’s brother and Samuel a “relation” was William’s sister Mary’s second husband.

William died on the 22nd November 1838 at 4 p.m. at Wortherton in Chirbury Parish.  I have a copy of his death certificate, his age was 61, his occupation Farmer and he died of Hectic Fever.  The description I have of Hectic Fever is one of irritation and debility, occurring usually at an advanced state of exhausting pulmonary consumption.  This would have probably been T.B. or some form of septic poisoning.  His death was registered by the ‘mark’ of Martha Powell who was present at the death, this was probably his daughter Martha.  Source: GRO Index Qtr. Dec Vol 18 page 43

After William’s death there appears to have been mixed fortunes for the family.  In 1841 Anne and some of the children where living at Wotherton and they were there until about 1850.  There are no Groves in Wotherton on the 1851 census.

Burials in Chirbury show that there were several deaths in the family in the 1840’s all show that they were resident at Wotherton.  Now the Monumental Inscription for St Michaels at Chirbury have thrown up a lot of questions and I am still trying to put the families together.


Need to sort the three deaths below into families

Edward was buried on 13th September 1844 and died aged 22.

Page last updated 21st October 2008

All Content provided by Gaynor Leech all the material on these web pages is set out in good faith. Thoughts and interpretations are mine. Every effort has been made to acknowledge sources throughout this web site.  Copyright © 2012.  Photographs displayed on this website are 


In the Groves’ family, there were two stories of real prominence.

1. That we were related to Alderman Thomas Groves Mayor of Shrewsbury it is unclear which my family would have been talking about because father and son became Mayors.  Thomas the elder was Mayor between 1844-45 and Thomas the son was Mayor 1867-68. 

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the link although I do feel this is probably true because my Mum and Aunties where taken to see his picture at Shrewsbury Museum many times when they were little.  Nobody now can remember what the link was. 

2. The second story was that the Groves’ boys attended Shrewsbury School and use to arrive on horseback. They were there at the time of Charles Darwin.  It certainly would not have been my Gt GT Grandfather, as he was not born until 1825. Also, the Shrewsbury School Register Volume 1 1798-1908 editor J.E. Aulden published in 1928 has been checked and there are no entries for Groves so that is a mystery.  The girls I believe attended ‘Dame’ schools this was a great source of pride for my Nan who constantly reminded us that the girls in her family had all been educated.