The Sauls of Foxholes, Loversall, Norton & Doncaster
By Peter Charles Saul
This article was originally published in the December 2006 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
My grandfather was William Thomas Charles Saul who was born in 1894 at ‘Foxholes’, Loversall, South of Doncaster in Yorkshire. His sister was Frances Saul who was born in Doncaster in 1893.
Grandpa lived at the ‘Travellers’ Rest Farm’, Norton, North of Doncaster, with Grandma, Helen Ann (nee Hayes). As the name implies the farm had a dual function, it had an ‘Ale House’ as well. Grandmother’s family had a mineral water factory in Doncaster so they also sold lemonade on the farm.
Grandpa’s father was Charles Saul (my great grandfather) who was born at Loversall in 1856. He had a sister, Elizabeth, born in 1853 and a brother, William, born in 1857. It was Elizabeth and her husband Edward Kenny, a gardener, who left the Travellers’ Rest to my grandfather. Charles Saul, my great grandfather, was married to Elizabeth Fulwood born in Loversall but in the 1881 census dwelling at Kinsley House, Hemsworth, near Pontefract.
Charles father was Thomas Saul, my great great grandfather, who moved to Loversall as a farmer but came from Walden Stubbs. We had trouble finding the baptism of Thomas! The Sauls were a Catholic family but his baptism wasn’t in the records for the Pontefract Tanshelf Catholic chapel but we eventually found him in the Burghwallis Catholic records.
Unfortunately we could not prove that this was my great great grandfather until a Thomas Saul was found in the 1881 census for Loversall. This was my great2 grandfather at last. However his home was know as Springwell Grange and not Foxholes. I was of the opinion therefore that Foxholes was a family endearment as I have not found it in writing or on a map.
However I was wrong! My brother, Michael, who still lives at Norton in the parish of Campsall, gave me a newspaper cutting which he had found in an old cottage in Campsall village. This newspaper was stuck to a nail on a rafter up in the roof space!. Being a very inquisitive chappee he kept and read the paper.
The newspaper was ‘The Doncaster, Nottingham and Lincoln Gazette’ dated May 10th 1878. The opening relevant sentence being “Young rake, the property of Mr William Saul, Foxholes, near Doncaster will serve mares this season at….. etc”. So Foxholes must have been a known place reference. William Saul was my great grandfather’s brother who eventually moved to Sheffield.
There were a number of Sauls who lived in Campsall, so maybe it was one of them who had an interest in William’s stallion even though they were not in my direct family’s line.
The coincidence of my brother finding this information relating to our ancestor and Foxholes in the place and time and situation must be quite unusual.
To continue my great great grandfather’s story. John Amos got me his marriage certificate. Thomas Saul married Elizabeth Gibson at Doncaster Parish Church in 1847. Elizabeth was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, but lived in New Street, Doncaster.
The wedding certificate gives the name of my great3 grandfather as Silvester Saul of Walden Stubbs. Walden Stubbs is only a mile from Norton, so grandpa at the Travellers’ Rest had returned back to the family’s home area.
Silvester Saul married Anne Blyde of Penistone in 1791. I wonder how they ever got to meet as Silvester’s family as Catholics would have had their movements very restricted during this era. Now to find Silvester’s roots!
Seated: Thomas Saul and Mary Elizabeth Saul.
Great Grandfather Charles Saul (right), his son William T.C. Saul (far left), daughter Frances (at back), unknown lady next to Charles
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