The Sole Society, a Family History Society researching Sole, Saul, Sewell, Solley and similar names

The Arnside Tree and Bobs the Builders

By Trevor Saul

This article was originally published in the April 2004 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society

In the Sole Society's possession is “The Arnside Tree" of unknown origin, but it is extensive with a lot of supporting information about land ownership around the Kent estuary and Lancashire at the time concerned. John Slaughter thinks that this tree could be from Canada. It is the tree showing Saul links with the Washington Family, i.e. George, U.S of A.


There are two Roberts with a common Great grandfather, both born 1774. One to John Saul = Mary nee Jackson, and one to Richard Saul = Mary Rice Wilson.


It is likely that it is one of these Roberts (a joiner) that married Agnes Mason, at Lancaster St Mary, 19th May 1798. Bond obtained. From the IGI they had a daughter Agnes in 1799 and Richard 6th December 1801 at Lancaster St Mary.


On 22nd July 1812 (The retreat from Moscow ) a Robert, widower, (joiner) married Ann HELM (28) at Preston St John. Bond obtained. This could be the same Robert, Marriage No2 ?


Robert (builder) died 25th Jan 1838 aged 64 (i.e. born 1774). A will left money and goods to James ?Machel? of Selside. His wife ELIZABETH was left £10 per annum. He was buried at Holy Trinity Preston. The will reveals that this man had a builder’s yard in Lawson St. adjacent to Saul Street, and at this period these streets had recently been market gardens. I speculate that this man built Saul Street, Preston. It is still there, mostly University of Central Lancashire student flats. He left money to his daughter AGNES Dixon. Was her mother nee Mason? Are there one, two or three Roberts above?


Moving on to 9th July 1842, Robert Saul married Mary Ann Ainscow at Leyland, both of Full Age, both of Withnell. The father’s name or occupation is omitted from the marriage certificate. Withnell is south of a line between Preston and Blackburn. The first child of this couple was named Ann HELM Saul, suggesting a link with widower Robert marrying Ann Helm. They also had son Robert Edward (joiner) on the 1861 & 1881 census. In 1843 this Robert was foreman joiner of Withnell Fold paper mill which is still there - I think!


This man's obituary from Preston Guardian 17 Aug 1887 says "Death of Mr Robert Saul. About eight o’clock on Sunday night Mr Robert Saul, builder and contractor, died at his residence, Long Lane, Ashton on Ribble. The deceased gentleman, who had attained his 75th year, was exceedingly well known throughout this district as one of the principal members of the building trade. Until a few years ago he carried on an extensive business and had several hundred men in his employ. In his earlier life he undertook some very large works and his name was associated with the erection of several public buildings in Preston and North Lancashire, including Lancaster Barracks. He also built a number of cotton and flour mills in the neighbourhood. In later years, Mr Saul, in common with others in different parts of the country, had suffered severely from the depression which had affected the building trade. He was known as an excellent business man, of sound judgment and discrimination. Mr Saul sat in the Preston Town Council, as a representative of the old St Peter's ward from June 1874 'till towards the end of 1876, but he never took any great amount of interest in public affairs. In politics he was a Conservative. The funeral will take place at Preston Cemetery tomorrow morning."


It may be possible to establish links to these Roberts as the society progresses. As yet 1 have not linked my NJR line to these people.


Addendum The 'Arnside Tree' states that John Saul died 1857, son of Richard born 1773 Arnside area = Mary Dodgson of Manchester. He invented and patented a new spinning Jenny, and worked in cotton in Manchester, but retired back to Milnthorpe. Can anyone tell me how patents are found? Manchester Library will not research.


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