Samuel Watkinson

Samuel Watkinson was the third son of George Watkinson.

Born in Halifax [9th October 1848].

Baptised in Halifax [24th August 1849].

He was a wool sorter [1871]; a wool merchant [1891, 1901]; a retired wool merchant [1911]; a partner in George Watkinson & Sons [1939]; a large stockholder in railway and shipping companies.

Samuel Watkinson of Priestley Green was a director of the Lima Railway [1899], From 1st January 1933, the Lima Railway became a subsidiary of Lima Light & Power. It seems likely that around this time Watkinson transferred his investments to Venezuela.

Samuel Watkinson of Shelf Hall was a director of the La Guaira & Caracas Railway, Venezuela and the Puerto Cabello & Valencia Railway, Venezuela [1935].

On 14th November 1871, he married (1) Sarah Ann Bottomley.


  1. Annie [1874-1918] who married Rev James  William Naylor
  2. Jane / Janey [1876-1956] who married  John Tordoff
  3. James Bottomley
  4. Samuel
  5. Alfred
  6. Sarah Ellen

The family lived at Holroyd House, Priestley Green [1891, 1899, 1901] and Shelf Hall [1935, 1939].

He, his son Alfred, and his daughter, Sarah Ellen, members of a party attending the International Railway Congress in Washington DC, travelled from Liverpool to the USA on the SS Camponia, arriving on 30th April 1905.

During their stay, they were guests on the Vanderbilts' yacht – a fellow-stockholder with Samuel – in New York.

Around 1906, he bought Shelf Hall from Moses Nathaniel Bottomley.

His wife died in 1913, and he continued to live in just part of the Hall until he died.

On 30th March 1915, he married (2) Sarah Ellen at Buxton.

Sarah Ellen was the daughter of Solomon Priestley, the widow of Albert Eastwood, and the mother of Samuel's daughter-in-law Marion

Sarah Ellen were buried at St George's Church, Lee Mount [Grave Refs: 351 & 352] [17th March 1937]. The burial service was conducted by Canon George Watkinson.

In 1926, Samuel gave £5000 to provide an operating theatre – the Samuel Watkinson Operating Theatre – at Royal Halifax Infirmary, in memory of his father & mother, his first wife, his eldest son James and his daughter Annie.

In 1938, to celebrate his 90th birthday, he paid for installation of electric lights at Coley Church.

He had a fall in June 1939, injuring fracturing his left femur, and died 3 weeks later [28th June 1939].

Probate records show that he left effects valued at £536,256 1/11d Probate was granted to son Alfred, grandson Samuel Watkinson Tordoff, and Ernest Arthur Finlinson (retired bank manager).

It was reported that, between 1900 and 1933, he had given over £400,000 to his children and charities. He bequeathed a further £100 to each grandson called Samuel, £200 to J. W. Brearley (his chauffeur), £100 to Lois Hopwood (his cook)  and £10 to Winifred Dullen (his maid).

His children placed a window in Coley Church in his memory

See Dr F. A. Roberts and Watkinson Memorial Offices, Norwood Green

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 10:16 / 30th April 2021 / 7123

Page Ref: X8

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