Prestatyn grave Edmund Hunt

Grave of Edmund Hunt (d.1898)

Photo of grave of Edmund HuntEdmund was “the pioneer of Prestatyn”. His was a moving force in construction of Christ Church but to the Wesleyan church after a bitter legal dispute with a later rector of Prestatyn.

Edmund grew up near Bagillt and farmed for about five years at Nant Hall before settling in Prestatyn. In 1848 he built Laburnum House, where he lived with his wife Elizabeth and their children. He was a grocer, draper, corn and general merchant, farmer and hotelier, and was involved in the Prestatyn Alkali Works. He was said to be the first person to envisage Prestatyn’s future as a holiday and health resort, for which he built suitable houses. Edmund demanded sanitation improvements, which enabled the town to grow and eventually, in 1896, gain its own urban district council.

Prestatyn parish was established in 1860. Edmund and the then vicar, E Rhys James, instigated construction of Christ Church, built by Thomas William Chester of Everton and consecrated in 1863. Edmund and Elizabeth’s eldest daughter Frances married Thomas at the church in 1864.

When their daughter Elizabeth died aged 13 in 1867, they were accorded a family burial plot alongside the church. They also funded a stained glass window in her memory. Elizabeth (senior) died the following year and their son Arthur in 1870, aged seven.

In 1871 Edmund, who was a churchwarden, fell out with the new vicar, Thomas Price, over the value of a crop from a small glebe field. The vicar sued Edmund in the Assizes, where in 1873 the jury decided the case was one of “trumpery” (nonsense). The judge agreed.

Edmund started a rival English Wesleyan cause in the town, providing a room for meetings in a High Street building. He gave the land for a new chapel and helped establish a British School, for children from Nonconformist families. However, it was Rev Price who officiated when Edmund was buried in the family plot in 1898. Edmund’s second wife, Sarah Elizabeth, was buried here in 1909.

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