Joseph Arthur

Mason

Joseph Arthur, mason, of The Laurels, Skelmorlie, has left little documentary trace. He is probably the same Joseph Arthur who first appears in the 1881 Census, living in Annet Lodge, Skelmorlie (in Largs Parish), with his wife and mother-in-law. 1 Skelmorlie and neighbouring Wemyss Bay were nascent holiday resorts, popular destinations by steamer from industrial towns up the River Clyde. Joseph (born c. 1852) came from County Fermanagh in Ireland, his wife from County Down, and he was a journeyman stonemason, possibly working on the numerous holiday villas springing up to cater for the vacationing Glasgow middle classes.

By 1891, he had moved to Beithglass Road, in an area which has panoramic sea views, and is now largely occupied by a golf course. He was now a 'master builder', and may have employed others, rather than working purely on his own account, as a journeyman would be more likely to do. 2 By the early 20th century, he was living in one of a series of neat red sandstone cottages, on the hillside high above the water, on the former Skelmorlie Castle estate.

Notes:

1: Census 1881, Parish: Largs; ED: 1; Page: 29; Line: 8; Roll: cssct1881_192; 1891 Census, Parish: Largs; ED: 1; Page: 36; Line: 20; Roll: CSSCT1891_210, at www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 16 April 2012].

2: Census 1891, Joseph Arthur, Parish: Largs; ED: 1; Page: 36; Line: 20; Roll: CSSCT1891_210, at www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 16 April 2012].