James Saul - Philanthropist - Summerhill Road

James Saul was resident in Summerhill Road from sometime prior to 1871 until shortly before the 1891 Census. Throughout this period he lived at number 37 Summerhill Road or Number 1 Wyndham Villas as it was known at that time.  In the 1871 Census his occupation was given as 'Income from Houses' which suggests that  he was either a Landlord or Property developer. In 1871 he was described as the 'Head' of the household where he lived with his sister Ann Boulting, who was said to be receiving an allowance from her husband, and their servant Eliza Bollams.

We have since discovered that his sister Ann Boulting died towards the end of 1881 aged 72 years, and that he subsequently married his servant Eliza Bollans on the 26th April 1889. His occupation at this time was said to be 'Of Independent Means' and it is also interesting to note that one of his near neighbours Charles Hodges from number 43 Summerhill Road (Brunswick Villa) was one of the witnesses. However, his marriage was somewhat short-lived since we now know that he died on the 8th November 1890 aged 75 years, just 20 months after his marriage. His occupation at the time of his death was given as a 'Retired Accountant'

One can only speculate that, since he appeared to have had no previous marriage or any other living family members, he married his trusty servant and also left her his estate. It is also possible that failing health prompted the marriage. Once again it was a near neighbour Elizabeth Bradshaw from number 50 Summerhill Road or 'Holly House' who registered his death.

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Reynardson's Almshouses - Tottenham High Road 1937

However, it is for his role as a local Philanthropist that we have entered his name to the residents section. James Saul was clearly a very wealthy man who donated monies to several local charities. For example we know that he was a patron of the 'Reynardsons' Almshouses that once stood in High Road Tottenham alongside the Police station. Today it is a residential site called 'Reynardsons Court'. From the history of Reynardsons Almshouses we have found the following entry.

" James Saul of Summerhill Road, Tottenham, died 1890, bequeathed 500 each to the Girls Industrial Home, The Pound Almshouses, Reynardson's and Sanchez Almshouses beside various legacies to other national charities and London hospitals.'

Clearly James Saul was a very kind and generous man and much respected in the local community at that time. Along with his near neighbours Charles Hodges (Wholesale Tea Dealer) and Mayfield Bradshaw (Custom House Officer), they all feature in the 1882 Kelly's Directory for Tottenham which suggests them all to be local Professional gentleman of some local standing.

In the 1891 Census we discover that Eliza Saul (nee Bollans) is still living at number 1 Wyndham Villas and described as 'Living on her own means' which is obviously the legacy left by her late husband. It is interesting to note however that she now has her niece 'Eliza Bollans' aged 18, living with her who also shares her maiden name.

Jan 2004

Editors Note: 'The Reynardsons and their Almshouses' was an occasional paper by H.C Hawkes published by the 'Edmonton Hundred Historical Society' in 1980, copies of which can be obtained from Bruce Castle Museum, Tottenham

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