A recently discovered picture of my great grandfather, William Salthouse.
I would guess that this picture of William Salthouse was taken between 1900 and 1912. It shows a successful, but not rich, businessman, well clothed and well presented. William Salthouse was born at Soss Moss Farmhouse in the Cheshire village of Nether Alderley in 1845. His father, John Salthouse, was a master boot and shoemaker and also a smallholder. Gardening and smallholding was very much the natural way of life in Cheshire villages in the mid 19th century and many young men found work of that kind on the Stanley estate. A surprising number of young men made a different choice - to join the police force.
When William first left home he went to Birkenhead where he worked for a nurseryman but, as soon as he was old enough, he applied to join the Lancashire police force. His application was successful and he was posted to Kirkdale in Liverpool. His police records show that he was a diligent constable and when he asked his superior for permission to marry Janet Braidwood, permission was granted. William and Janet were married in 1871. At about that time, William and another constable were sent on plain clothes duty to try and apprehend some notorious and violent burglars who were terrorising residents of the larger houses in the area. William noticed a light in a house and, on investigation, discovered the burglars. A fight ensued between him and both burglars, with William Salthouse and one of the burglars being badly injured before help finally arrived. The burglars were arrested and charged. The residents were so relieved to be saved from these criminals that they arranged a collection for William, and he was awarded the sum of £25.
Shortly afterwards William Salthouse left the police force in order to "enter into business on his own account". I have never discovered the name of the business and, in the census returns, William is always described as an employee. But by the manner of his appearance in this photograph and from the stories handed down, it is likely that William Salthouse may have bought into a business as a partner.
Hilary Hartigan 2010