Friday, 28 March 2014

Angel and Woolpack/Woolpack

There were two pubs named the Woolpack in Bolton. Having two pubs with the same name wasn’t unusual – there were two Three Crowns, two Millstones and two Nag’s Heads. What made this particular case worse was that the two Woolpacks stood on opposite corners of Mealhouse Lane.

The 1778 list of Bolton licensing list [1] had both Woolpacks with Mary Holden and William Mawdsley as the respective licensees – which was the licensee of which cannot be determined.

In due course, the two pubs took on fresh names, the Old Woolpack and the Angel and Woolpack and it is the latter which we shall deal with here.

By 1818 the landlord was Nathaniel Wilson (d.1839) and it was known as the Angel and Woolpack. During the early part of the nineteenth century, as in so many of the old-established pubs in Bolton, the pub played host to numerous political discussion groups [2].

Nathaniel was at the pub until the early-1830s. He was succeeded by Edward Wood and his wife Ann, but Edward died in 1834 and Ann took over the running of the pub alone. She remarried in 1837, this time to Geoffrey Taylor, and they ran the pub until the mid-1840s.

The Angel and Woolpack was then taken over by William Green who had previously run the Bay Horse just a few doors away on Deansgate. Given that Ann Taylor’s maiden name was Green there is a chance that William Green was a relative.

The Green family ran the Angel and Woolpack for around 30 years. William was the landlord until he died in 1870. He was succeeded by his 30-year-old son John Edward Green who appears not to have made a good fist of it. The pub closed in 1874 and its full public-house licence was transferred to the Vulcan on Great Moor Street. By 1881, John Edward Green was living with his widowed mother in Arkwright Street and working as a draughtsman at a local foundry.

Marks and Spencer’s store in Bolton town centre now stands on the site of the Angel and Woolpack.

[1] Pubs Of Bolton Town Centre 1900-1986, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (1986).

[2] Leisure In Bolton, 1750-1900, Robert Poole (1982).

NB This article was re-written on 8 January 2016. Updated with information on the Wood and Green families.

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