By John Slaughter
This article was originally published in the December 2013 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
Findmypast have recently released the first batch of records of criminals who passed through the justice system of England and Wales. The first batch covers the period 1817– 1931 but eventually they are planning to extend this back as far as 1770. There are quite a few Sauls listed, and details of the first six are given here with the rest to follow in future journals.
Charles Saul first appears in the records when he is tried on 27th March 1878 at the Norwich Court on a charge of larceny. He is described as being a servant of Thomas Moy and stole from his master one bag and 100 weight of coal and within six months stole another bag. He was found guilty and sentenced to 9 months hard labour. In the records he is stated as 39 years of age and a coal porter.
He does not however learn his lesson as on 24th June 1882 he is again before the Norwich Court on a charge of larceny. This time he is charged with stealing 105 pounds of oats and 2 bags, value 12 shillings, the property of James Wilkin Lacey, his master. He pleads guilty and receives a sentence of 3 months hard labour. His age is given as 45 years and a labourer by occupation.
On the 1881 census Charles was resident at Upper King Street, Norwich, aged 40 years, and described as a carman by occupation and born in Brandeston, Norfolk. The household includes his wife Susan and three children Caroline (8), Harriett (6) and John (3). Charles had married Susannah Charlotte Silom at Norwich on 31st August 1867 and on the 1871 census was resident in Rupert Street, Norwich a coal carter by occupation. There were no resident children. Charles died in 1912 aged 75 years. On the 1911 census it is stated that he and his wife Susannah had been married for 42 years, had ten children of whom five were still alive. We have only identified five of their children to date.
Edmund Saul was tried at the London Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) on 7th July 1856 on a charge of bigamy. He is described as being 53 years of age, a porter, and that he feloniously married Ann Flint, his wife Mary still being alive. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in a House of Correction.
I have not been able to find any further information to identify Edmund.
Edward Saul was tried at the Old Bailey on 2nd July 1878 and was described as 52 years of age and a labourer. He had committed a robbery with violence on Margaret Jones and stole from her 5s 9d. He was found guilty and sentenced to 12 months in the House of Correction, Clerkenwell.
The Old Bailey Online site gives more details about the circumstances. Margaret Jones gave evidence that she was the wife of Henry Jones of 3 Hope Gardens, a bricklayer's labourer and on Saturday 8th June, at about 12.20 she was returning from work and went into a public house in Five Dials. She had with her 6 shillings, being her wages, and out of which she had given her son one penny and a man two pence for tobacco. The prisoner (Edward Saul) was in the public house and had asked her for a pot of beer which she had refused. He left the pub and when she went outside Edward Saul knocked her down and, whilst a young man held her down, Edward Saul took the money from her hand and ran away. On the following Monday the prisoner was again in the same public house, a constable was called and an arrest took place.
In his defence Edward Saul said that he knew Margaret Jones very well and had asked her for a pot of beer. On leaving the public house she had struck him in the eye and another man, who wore a cap, struck her and they tussled on the ground, he did not know that he had robbed her. The cap had fallen off in the struggle and Edward Saul had returned to the public house on that Monday to return it.
I have not been able to identify this Edward Saul.
Another Edward Saul found himself on the wrong side of the law in 1898 and he was tried on 7th June at the Sessions House, Clerkenwell on a charge of indecently exposing himself in a public place. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months hard labour in Wormwood Scrubs.
Described in the court records as 29 years of age and a Clerk it appears highly likely that he is Edward Jefferay Saul who appears on the 1901 census as resident at 136 Cromwell Road, Kensington, aged 33 years and a commercial clerk by occupation. The only other occupant in the property was his wife Ellen Nell. They had married in 1900. Edward Jefferay died in 1908 aged just 40 years. On the 1911 census his widow Ellen was resident at 91 St John's Road, Westcliff on Sea, Essex with her two children Gwenyth (8) and John (4) both born in Westcliff. We can identify Edward Jefferay as being the son of Benjamin Saul who was originally from Sibsey, Lincolnshire.
James Saul was a victim rather than an offender. At a trial at the Old Bailey on 11th September 1896 James Martin was found guilty of committing an act of gross indecency on James Saul and indecently assaulting him. He was sentenced to 14 days in Pentonville Prison. Old Bailey Online does not give any further details, which is probably just as well!
John Saul, a gamekeeper, aged 37, was tried at Norwich on 13th March 1877 for unlawfully and maliciously inflicting, with a stick, grievous bodily harm upon Robert Suffling, at Sustead, on 7th February 1877. He was found guilty of common assault, fined 5 shillings, and to enter into his own recogniseations of £40 and find two sureties of £20 each to keep the peace for one year.
Almost certainly he is the John Saul who in the 1881 census was resident at Keepers Lodge, Hanworth, Norfolk, aged 48 years (sic), a gamekeeper. He was married to Maria (nee Massingham) and had one known daughter Hannah Maria born 1860.
Not guilty was the verdict when Stephen Saul, aged 59 years, a brush maker, was tried at Clerkenwell on 4th May 1891 on a charge of stealing 20 shillings from George Clarke. He was jointly charged with James Hedger who was also found not guilty.
I can identify Stephen Saul as having been born in Spalding, Lincolnshire about 1837 to Stephen Saul and his wife Ruth.
To be continued ...