In 1851, the Minton family were prominent in Ruyton when Thomas Rowland Minton was listed as a butcher and William Rowland was a machine manufacturer.
Richard Rowland (or Rowlands) was born in Ruyton in January 1823, the youngest son of Samuel and Jane Minton of Ruyton XI Towns. He was baptised on the same day his 20 year old brother, also called Richard Rowland, was buried. This was not unusual in Victorian times, when many children died before their time. Richard`s two older brothers both remained in Ruyton for the rest of their lives, while his sister Mary married and moved to Liverpool.
Richard moved to Liverpool, probably to take up an apprenticeship with a paint and colour firm. In the 1851 census, 28 year old Richard Rowland Minton, born in Ruyton XI Towns, was a successful paint and colour manufacturer in Liverpool. He was married to Anne Powell and they had one child, Francis, who died aged 13. Richard and Anne went on to have 3 more children.
In 1859, Richard took on an apprentice, 19 year old Isaac Morris, also from Ruyton XI Towns, and he married Anne`s sister Jane. His brother Pryce also appears to have joined the firm and in 1877, Isaac went into partnership with his employer.
In the 1871 census, the family were living at The Hursts in Rock Ferry, described as “a very commodious mansion erected by Mr. Minton, with a view unsurpassed by any in that neighbourhood, extending over a wide extent of undulating pasture and woodland”. Richard is described as a Paint Merchant.
In 1877, A piece of land, including the castle remains, on the west side of the church was bought from Mr. Rowland Minton to enlarge the churchyard.
In February 1879, Richard Rowland Minton died at The Hursts. Even though he had left Ruyton XI Towns so long ago and made his fortune in Liverpool and Manchester, his body was brought back to his home village by train, with two first class carriages reserved for dignataries from Merseyside who met with family, farmers, tenants and a detachemet of the Ruyton Oddfellows Friendly Society. Ten carriages transported the family and gentlemen from Baschurch, and the road from Platt Bridge to the church was lined with men with bowed heads, and every house had the blinds closed.
In the 1881 census, Anne, now a widow aged 58, was living with her unmarried sons, Richard and Thomas, who both went into their father`s business. Both died in the next 10 years but their sister Emily was married in 1885 to Albert Matthews, a varnish manufacturer.
Richard and Anne bought several houses in Ruyton so kept in close contact with the village. Back in the early 1980s, a lady who lived on the Cliffe still paid her rent to the Minton family. In 1892, the Church Porch of St. John the Baptist church in Ruyton XI Towns was rebuilt to its original 16th Century design and was paid for by Mrs. Anne Minton of Rock Ferry in memory of her husband and two sons.
Richard, his wife Anne and their son Thomas Powell Minton, each left in their wills an amount to be distributed annually to the poor of Ruyton XI Towns. £5 to each of their tenants who`s rent was less than £20 per year and £200 to be invested and divided among the poor at Christmas. Anne outlived him by 35 years, she died in 1914 aged 92 years. Although they had lived on the Wirral and their businesses were in Liverpool, Richard and Anne were both buried in the churchyard at Ruyton, as was their son, Thomas Powell Minton.
In 1893, Alfred H. Mathews was married to Emily, Richard and Anne`s daughter, and he and his brother, William Y. Matthews, ran the firm of John Matthews & Co, manufacturers of paint, soft soap and whiting etc. They were in Hatton Gardens, Liverpool but had transferred from Wapping in London.
In 1895, R.R. Minton & Co were still listed as Paint, Colour and Varnish Manufacturers, Oil Merchants, Boilers and Refiners. There were nine branches in Liverpool, with warehouses in Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Nottingham and Cardiff, and agencies in London, Belfast and Birmingham.
In 1928, Constance Ann Roberts (nee Matthews) Emily`s daughter, placed a stained glass window in St. John the Baptist church in Ruyton in memory of Anne Minton, designed by her only grandchild, Constance Anne.
I have been unable to discover when R.R. Minton & Co closed, but Irena White has found they were still operating at late as 1955.
Thomas Minton was born in Shrewsbury in 1765 and was almost certianly a relative of the Ruyton Mintons. He was an apprentice engraver at the Caughley Porcelain Works in Broseley. Thomas left in 1785 and set up on his own pottery manufacturery in Stoke on Trent in 1793, creating the English Willow pattern design. His son Herbert developed the Minton porcelain dinnerware.
| Copy of an old painting showing the cottage in the castle ruins before R.R. Minton donated that area to the churchyard
||An advertisment for Minton`s Paints, date unknown|| The Hursts, the grand
house Richard Minton built for his family at Rock Ferry, with a view
across the Mersey to industrial Liverpool where he had his works.
|The Minton Window on the North side of St. John the Baptist church, Ruyton XI Towns
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