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Eric Fowell, 2007
Charles Bull 1854 – 1902
High Street South - the cottage centre picture c1905

Chareles Bull the company founder
Charles Bull c1900
Charles was born in a cottage that stood at the junction of Little Street and Bedford Road, in 1854, son of James Bull of Wymington & Eliza (nee Wells) his wife from Souldrop. In 1861 they were living in Linnitts Lane with their growing family of Eliza, Charles, Henry John, Martha and baby George just two months old. They added two more children to their family, John in 1863 and Mary in 1864. In about 1866 the family moved to No. 19 Little Street, opposite the Old Baptist Chapel or ‘Top Meeting’.

The factory in Park Road taken in 2007
The factory in Park Road 1893-1908
Charles married Hannah Wrighton, daughter of John who had come from Wellingborough and married Ann Cox in 1850 at St Mary’s Church in Rushden. In about 1893 Charles built a factory in Park Road making boots and shoes.

Charles was a supporter of the Liberal Party and a loyal supporter of F. A. Channing M.P., an active member of the Temperance movement in Rushden, a prominent member of the Wesleyan Church where he was also a Sunday school teacher and a member of the Band of Hope.

He was an all-round sportsman and belonged to several clubs including the Independent Wesleyan gymnastic club and the Fosse Sports club where he played football, hockey and cricket. He once took 9 wickets without conceding a run! Both Charles and his brother George played for the Northamptonshire Cricket Club when J. P. Kingston was captain.

The cricket ball used in 1880
The cricket ball used in 1880
The two brothers died from T.B. as did many other shoe workers; Charles at 48 years old in 1902 and his brother at just 32 in 1893.

The cottage where Charles was born was demolished and the plot of ground was later was made into a memorial garden to Fred Knight in 1908/9.

memo heading
A memo from 1920

Notes: Charles had retired by 1901 suffering from consumption and died in 1902 but the factory was continued by his son, Charles, in partnership with Alfred Clayton and they traded as 'Bull and Clayton'. In about 1910, as 'Charles Bull & Co.' they built another factory in Manton Road where they remained until about 1925. The building in Park Road was later used by the Echo & Argus as their printing works. The Manton Road factory was later used as one of the John White factories.

26 September 1902 - Northampton Mercury

DEATH OF A RUSHDEN CRICKETER. Many local cricketers will regret learn of the death of Mr. Charles Bull, which took place early on Thursday morning. He was at one time familiar figure on cricket field, being brother of the late Mr. George Bull, county ......

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