John Salisbury was born in Moreton, Cheshire, England in March 1815 and was baptised at the Church of St Oswald in Bidston, Cheshire, England on March 26, 1815. During the 1830s John was a porter in Liverpool, Lancashire, England. A porter, in earlier times, had a broader meaning referring simply to people who carried things. Before the days of motor vehicles, the transport of goods was a much more involved process than now - especially for short to medium distances. Streets (or storage areas) were not accessible for carts or drays, so people carried goods a lot. Additionally, oxen walk very slowly, and while horses are much faster, they were very expensive to buy, and you had the bother of keeping them. The porter's rates were generally low, they were quick, and you did not have to provide them with lodgings (unless they were the gate-keeper type). John lived at O'Reillys Gardens in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in 1837. Rileys Garden (also known as Rileys Court), was a little street of about 20 small houses off Tempest Hey, which ran between Dale Street and Tithebarn Street in a very poor area of Liverpool, not far from the docks. The nearest water pump was in Stephens Lane, a small back street at the end of Rileys Garden. The whole area is now mostly demolished, and is near the northern end of the Mersey Tunnel.
John married Harriet Jones at St Nicholas' Church in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on September 17, 1837. After their marriage, John and Harriet went back to the Wirral and lived for a time in Newton-cum-Larton, two small hamlets which now form part of the town of Grange, and is only about two miles from the town of Saughall Massie, where John was born. John was working as a farm labourer when their first son, Thomas was born in 1838. After 1840, John and Harriet moved to Saughall Massie and then sometime between 1846 and 1840 they moved to Greasby. The family finally moved to Frankby between 1852 and 1855.
Harriet Jones was born in 1815 in Bodfari, Flintshire, Wales. Harriet died at 21 Elaine Street in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on May 1, 1895 and was buried on May 4, 1895 in the churchyard of St John The Divine in Frankby, Cheshire, England. John died in Frankby, Cheshire, England on January 5, 1892 and was buried on January 9, 1892 in the churchyard of St John The Divine in Frankby, Cheshire, England.
John Salisbury and Harriet Jones had the following children:
Thomas Salisbury (father: John) was born in Newton-cum-Larton, Cheshire, England in 1838 and was baptised at the Church of St Bridget in West Kirby, Cheshire, England on March 18, 1838. Thomas was farm labourer.
Thomas married Hannah Barlow at St Nicholas' Church in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on July 7, 1861. At the time of their marriage, both Thomas and Hannah gave their address as Snowden Street, Liverpool. After their marriage they moved to the Greasby/Frankby area in Cheshire, and the Church of St. John, Frankby, which was built in 1862 and decorated in the English style, became the family church. Frankby lies 5½ miles west south west of Birkenhead railway station. Thomas lived at 'The Nook' in Frankby, Cheshire, England.
Hannah Barlow was born on January 29, 1842 in Frankby, Cheshire, England and was known as Anna. She was baptised at the Church of St Bridget in West Kirby, Cheshire, England on February 3, 1842. Anna lived in Montgomery Hill, Frankby, Wirral, Cheshire, England.
Thomas died at his home in Frankby, Cheshire, England on April 10, 1923 and was buried on April 12, 1923 in the churchyard of St John The Divine in Frankby, Cheshire, England. Anna died in Frankby, Cheshire, England on February 13, 1931 and was buried on February 18, 1931 in the churchyard of St John The Divine in Frankby, Cheshire, England.
Thomas Salisbury and Hannah Barlow had the following children:
Benjamin Mutch Salisbury married Jane Jones at St John The Divine in Frankby, Cheshire, England on March 29, 1886. The wedding was held as a double ceremony and Benjamin's brother, John Salisbury married Jane Griffiths.
A week after their respective marriages, the four newlyweds migrated to Australia. They departed from London on April 5, 1886 in the S.S. Gulf of Mexico, travelling steerage class. The ship was bound for Hobart, Melbourne and Launceston.
It was in Sydney that Benjamin and Jane's first child, Thomas George Salisbury was born on February 16, 1887. Whilst in Sydney, the two Salisbury families both lived in Cleveland Street, Surrey Hills (earlier known as Strawberry Hills).
Benjamin lived at 14 Tyson Street in Richmond, Victoria, Australia after moving to Melbourne in 1888. They lived here for about ten years. This was in a row of cottages, some of which still remained in 1986, however, number 14 had been demolished. Many skilled tradesmen emigrated to Australia during the 1880s due to the English building recession at that time. This may have been the reason for the two young couples emigrating to Australia.
Benjamin then lived at 70 Spring Street in East Prahran, Victoria, Australia in 1898. He and Jane remained here until Benjamin's death in 1939. Their last three children were born there.
Benjamin Mutch Salisbury was a stonemason. He used to push a barrow full of materials (cutting and grinding equipment) to wherever his job was, from his home at 70 Spring Street, East Prahran. He worked on St Paul's Cathedral (1891) and was credited with making the original steps for the Melbourne Magistrates Court building, on the corner of Russell and LaTrobe Streets, although his work has been replaced in recent years. Work on this building was commenced in 1909 under the direction of Mr. Austin, an architect with the Public Works department, which elected to use Australian materials throughout. Yellow stone for the exterior came from Moorabool, and marble from Gippsland. The steps made by Benjamin Mutch Salisbury were a technical feat as the street curves and the steps blended into the curve of the street. Many hours were spent agonising how to do this job correctly. Benjamin also worked on the Trustees and Executors building located at 401 Collins Street, Melbourne and made the bases of the 'Matthew Flinders' statue located at St. Pauls Cathedral, Melbourne, however this too has been replaced by marble in recent years.
Stonemasons had a strong craft tradition. Usually during the 1880s they were employed in large gangs on inner-city building projects. The Operative Masons society were against piecework or the subcontracting of work to individual masons and stood firm during the building boom, although their high standards could not always be enforced. The 1890s saw a depression in Melbourne. By the end of 1891 unemployment on the city building sites where most masons worked had slumped heavily. Wages fell and by early 1893 a mason in full employment could not earn enough to support himself, let alone his wife and family. Benjamin Mutch Salisbury was also actively involved with the Operative Masons society (the stonemason's union), although he did not hold an official post. The stonemasons union was responsible for obtaining the eight hour working day in Australia.
Benjamin died at 70 Spring Street in East Prahran, Victoria, Australia on October 17, 1939 and was buried on October 18, 1939 in the St Kilda Cemetery in St Kilda, Victoria, Australia. After the Benjamin's death in 1939, Jane sold the family home at 70 Spring Street, East Prahran. She then moved to live with her son Leslie, and his wife Ida, at 46 Bradley Avenue, Thornbury and at the time of her death, was living at 2 a'Beckett Street, East Prahran, with her daughter Dorothy Nellie Davidson. Jane died at her daughter's home in East Prahran, Victoria, Australia on August 16, 1946 and was buried in August 1946 in the St Kilda Cemetery in St Kilda, Victoria, Australia.
John Kinsman, born in Greasby in 1915 remembers William Bennett Salisbury and his brother Charles Henry Salisbury as postmen at Frankby in his younger days. They lived with their mother at Montgomery Hill, Frankby.