Old Hertfordshire News

From the Royston Crow of September 1874

Thomas Savell of Barley




Sale of Household Effects, Livestock, etc.



Are instructed by the Exors. of Mr Thomas Savell, deceased, to sell by Auction, on Thursday, September 3rd, 1874, at 10 for 11 o'clock, the whole of the well-made Modern


 ... ... ...

This advertisement suggests a significant establishment and a look at the 1871 census confirms that Thomas Savell was a major employer in Barley. His occupation is described as "Builder emp. 25 men 3 boys; Farmer employing 3 men 1 boy - 50 acres, Landowner." He is shown as living in the High Street, Barley, (between the Fox and Hounds and the King William public houses) with his wife, an unmarried daughter and two resident domestic servants. In the 1851 census he is recorded as "Builder employing 36 men; Farmer 90 acres 4 men."

  1841 1851 1861 1871 Born
Thomas 32 42 52 62 Barley
Mary Ann 30       Hertfordshire
Esther   32 42 52 Henham, Essex
William Jas 7 17     Barley
Martha 6   25   Barley
Mary 4 13 24   Barley
Ann 3 12     Barley
Elizabeth 1 11     Barley
Rebecca 7 m 10     Barley
Thomas     18   Barley
John F   3 13   Barley
Catherine   1 11   Barley
Agnes   2m 10 20 Barley
James     6   Barley

Thomas had a large family, as the table of ages in the censuses shows. He married Mary Ann Prime at Barley on 26th April 1833 (familysearch). Mary  Ann died and was buried at Barley on 20th February 1844 (Herts Burial Index). He married Esther Dorrington in East London in July-Sept 1846 (FreeBMD).

The business stayed in the family on Thomas's death as in 1881 Thomas Savell junior was living in the High Street as a "Builder - Master employing 10 men 2 labs".

Clearly Thomas's business as a builder was out of all proportion to the size of the village of Barley and he must have been involved in building work elsewhere - possibly buying land and building houses for sales. A search of A2A shows that HALS holds Architectural plans (coloured) and elevations for two new houses to be built [at Royston] for Hale Wortham for 350 with estimate of materials and specification for the building of them by Thomas Savell of Barley circa 1850.

The search also shows that the auctioneer's sale books are in the Cambridgeshire Records Office and the sale of "furniture and cattle at Barley" fetched 770 15s 2d while another sale of a "Villa, beer shop, grocer's and draper's shop, 3 tenements, Barley and 10 cottages at Great Chishill for Executors of Thos. Savell" raised 1915 at an auction on 3rd March 1875.

Thomas Savell, Barley, 1863   Ester Savell, Barley, 1863
Thomas Savell - Barley - 1863   Esther Savell - Barley - 1863

Photographed by Lock & Whitfield, 178 Regent Street, London

Thomas & Esther Savell's grave in St Margaret's Graveyard in 2013

Pictures provided by abdu'Rashid Craig, May 2013

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

Page updated May 2013