Seventy-Six Years In The Town
Her Cricketing Sons
By the death, which occurred on Wednesday, of Mrs. Eliza Bull, Rushden has been robbed of its oldest and one of its most respected inhabitants. Mrs. Bull, who was 96 years of age, came to Rushden 76 years ago, at a time when it was no more than one of so many thousands of straggling country villages.
Born many years before compulsory education was even dreamed of, and before advancing industrial conditions made necessary the restriction of child labour, Mrs. Bull did not receive a day’s schooling. Despite this she was a great reader, having by her own efforts taught herself to read. The early death of her father made it necessary for her to commence work, and at the age of five she started pillow-lace making. Herself a native of Souldrop, when 19 she married Mr. James Bull, a Wymington man, and immediately removed to Rushden, into one of two houses which once stood on the three-cornered piece of land at the junction of Little-street and High-street South. Thence with her husband she went to the other end of Little-street, and some 62 years ago she moved to the house which is now the home of her daughter, Mrs. W. Stapleton.
Of her family of seven only her three daughters are living, for none of her four sons survive. All her sons were prominent athletes, and two, Mr. George Bull and Mr. Charles Bull, made names for themselves in the cricket world. George played as a professional for Northamptonshire, and his brother also played for the county for many years. Both were bowlers of exceptional merit and Charles had numerous bowling achievements to his credit. Of the three daughters, the eldest, Mrs. J. Mackness, is in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Mrs. W. Stapleton resides in Little-street, Rushden and the third, Mrs. T. Stapleton, in Stafford.
Beginning of The “Co-op”
Mr. James Bull, her husband, was one of the founders of the Co-operative movement in Rushden, and with Mr. David Darnell and Mr. George Perkins he opened the first Co-operative store 52 years ago in the front room of Mr. Darnell’s house in Green’s-yard, now better-known as Albion-place. Mr. Bull was a strong advocate of the temperance cause, as was also his wife. He died 18 years ago, at the age of 78.
Mrs. Bull was an ardent supporter of the Independent Wesleyan Church and was its oldest member.
Despite her great age, she retained most of her faculties and was possessed of a wonderfully clear memory. She continued to make pillow-lace until after her 90th birthday, when failing eyesight made it difficult for her to pursue her favourite pastime.
With the death earlier this year of Mrs. Samuel Knight Rushden has now lost its two oldest inhabitants.
The funeral of Mrs. Bull takes place to-morrow.