Looking back on over 130 years of excellence
Every business has a story, and every story has to start somewhere. Ours begins with our founder John Jackson Saint.
John Jackson was an accountant, businessman, and public servant, who was born in 1861, and died in 1918. He lived a busy and eventful life, typified by an entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitude.
When he was just 20-years-old, he moved from Haltwhistle to Carlisle in 1881, and within three years he had qualified as a chartered accountant and had set up his own business. Working from 10 Bank Street, this savvy young man must have known this prime location in the town’s financial district would win him customers. By 1886, he appeared to capitalise on new bankruptcy laws, and in May of that year, he was named in the Carlisle Patriot as a trustee of the estate of a bankrupt firm of builders.
As his business developed, his personal life blossomed too. In 1888 he married Charlotte Boustead, the daughter of a butcher and hotelier, who was 10 years his senior. The following year, they welcomed their first child, a son named John Boustead Saint. Both he and his younger brother, Roland Cyril, who was born in 1892, would go on to become partners in the family firm.
A Life Led in Public
A fledgling business and a young family would be enough to keep most 29-year-olds busy nowadays but, like his Methodist prayer leader father, John Jackson was keen to become involved in public life.
In 1890, having lived in the Border City for just nine years, he won a closely-fought election to represent Botchergate on Carlisle City Council. He was made an alderman (a senior member of the council) eight years later.
His obituary, printed in the Carlisle Journal in October 1918, gives a clear insight into his political leanings. It said:
“…Besides being a busy man professionally, he took an active interest in public affairs…
“He was chairman of the Markets and Tolls Committee, frequently intervening in debates on financial matters. For some time also he was one of the city representatives on the County Council.
“In politics Mr Saint was a strong Conservative, and was for many years chairman of the Carlisle Conservative Club as well as vice-president of the Conservative Association…”
A Growing Business and Personal Troubles
Despite his apparently hectic life during the late 1880s and the early 1890s, John Jackson Saint & Co appears to have gone from strength to strength. Not only did the family have two servants living with them at 4 Cavendish Place, John Jackson had lofty aspirations to relocate and expand his prosperous business.
On July 8, 1892 he published an advert in The Carlisle Journal appealing for tenders to build a new office building in Lowther Street. And within a few short years, John Jackson Saint & Co occupied all four floors of the new building, remaining there for many years. Today the inscription over the door still reads JJS 1892.
However, his life was not without personal difficulties. In 1895, his wife gave birth to a daughter, Charlotte Gladys, who was disabled, and the following year the couple lost their infant son Samuel Aldrick. It must have been a bitter blow.
A Chapter Closes
During the 1890s, John Jackson was in partnership with accountants Arthur Ebenezer Slater Cook and Francis James Livesey and, according to official records, they ran branches in Carlisle, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Workington.
But by 1902 the partnership had been dissolved and John Jackson Saint was in sole charge of his own company.
When he died on October 13, 1918, following a period of illness, tributes appeared in newspapers beyond Cumbria. The Leeds Intelligencer said he was a man “who was known throughout the north of England.”
Despite John Jackson Saint’s death, his name lived on during a new era for the accountancy firm. With his sons, John Boustead and Roland, at the helm following their service in The Great War, the business continued to grow and prosper.