Powys: A Day in the Life

1891

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Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones
Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones
Powysland Museum and
Montgomery Canal Centre


Brown Patent Euklisia Rug or Blanket
Detail of leaflet for the Euklisia rug
Reality Group plc, Newtown, Powys


Home Life

Pryce Jones and the Royal Welsh Warehouse

Pryce Jones was born on October 16th 1834 in Newtown, Montgomeryshire. He apprenticed to a local draper, John Davies, and took over the business in 1856. In the same year he married Eleanor Rowley Morris of Newtown. The business, renamed the Royal Welsh Warehouse, flourished.

Sample card
Sample card of flannels available
from the Royal Welsh Warehouse
Reality Group plc, Newtown, Powys

In an attempt to sell his goods to as many people as possible he developed the idea of sending patterns of merchandise to local gentry, which then led on to him sending out lists of available merchandise from his own and other factories much further afield, eventually advertising abroad. One of his products was the patented Euklisia Rug - an all-in-one rug, shawl, blanket and pillow. This was used extensively by German troops during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1 and later became known as a sleeping bag.

Large new premises were built in Newtown in 1878 to house the expanding business and it was opened with much pomp and ceremony on 3rd October 1879.

New Premises
Pryce Jones' Royal Welsh Warehouse
Reality Group plc, Newtown, Powys

In 1882, while Pryce Jones was campaigning to become Conservative MP for the Montgomery Boroughs, he met the Post Master General and suggested the idea of developing a parcel post to him. A letter post already existed but parcels had to be sent by road and rail carriers, sometimes at great expense - obviously an important consideration for a mail order business. The Post Master General took up his idea and the Parcel Post was developed as a result.

Pryce Jones did become an MP from 1885-6, and during 1892. He became High Sheriff for Montgomeryshire in 1891. For his services to commerce, he was given a knighthood in 1887 and changed his name to Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones. He also paid for the construction of All Saints Church in Newtown at a cost of £3000.

The Royal Welsh Warehouse had in the meantime acquired its own printing press and in 1890 produced its first illustrated catalogue to replace the simple price lists that had been sent out previously.

The family lived at Dolerw, a large house on the North side of the river in Newtown.

Dolerw
Dolerw
Powysland Museum and Montgomery Canal Centre

At the time of the 1891 census, however, Sir Pryce and his wife were not at home:

1891 Census
Dolerw, Llanllwchaiarn
Name Position in
household
Marital
status
Age Occupation Place of Birth English/ Welsh
speaker
A W Pryce Jones Son S 21   Montgomeryshire Newtown English
C Pryce Jones Dau S 28   Montgomeryshire Newtown English
C C Pryce Jones Dau S 18   Montgomeryshire Newtown English
Herbert Evans Visitor S 22   Monmouth Newport English
Mary Jones Serv M 55   Montgomeryshire Kerry English
Anne Warner Serv S 41 Domestic Servant Germany English
William Woodhouse Serv S 24 Domestic Servant (footman) Montgomeryshire Newtown English
Margaret Trow Serv S 20 Domestic Servant Montgomeryshire Kerry English
Charlotte Stephens Serv S 28 Domestic Servant Montgomeryshire Berriew Both
George H Edwards Serv S 16 Domestic Servant (Boots) Montgomeryshire Welshpool English

As Sir Pryce became increasingly involved in local politics although his experiences weren't always happy ones in this respect. His involvement in company business gradually diminished, and as his health began to fail his son Edward took control of the company in 1906.

Pryce died on 11th January 1920, his son Edward in 1926. However, the Pryce-Jones family continued to be involved in the running of the company until 1938 when it was taken over by Lewis' of Liverpool.

Sir Pryce Edward Pryce-Jones
Sir Pryce Edward Pryce-Jones
Reality Group plc, Newtown, Powys

Victor and Irene Pryce-Jones
Victor and Irene Pryce-Jones
Reality Group plc, Newtown, Powys

His grandson Sir Pryce Victor Pryce-Jones and his wife moved to Norfolk. He died in 1963; she died in 2000. For more genealogical information on the Pryce-Jones', visit Recyclegen.com.



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