Saturday, 10 May 2014

Cottage/Jolly Huxter, 58 Cannon Street

Female customers outside the Cottage circa 1950s.

The Cottage was situated at number 58, Cannon Street, not far from Emmanuel Church.

In his study of the Whittle family, who lived in the area in the nineteenth century, John Partington states that in the 1861 census James Whittle lived with his family at 58 Cannon Street and worked as a cordwainer - or shoemaker – and provision dealer. [1] The Bolton directories for 1836, 1843 and 1853 all list one James Whittle as a beer seller in Cannon Street and while there is no note of any number it is likely that this would have been at the premises that became known as the Cottage.  [2]

Only it wasn't initially known as the Cottage. The 1849 of beerhouses in  Bolton lists James Whittle as the proprietor of a pub named the Jolly Huxter on Cannon Street. This was likely to be the Cottage. A huxter - or 'huckster' - was a deal in small goods so if James Whittle was a provision dealer - or 'huxter' - it suggests that the Cottage was used as more than just a drinking house. It was probably also a grocery store and even a cobbler’s.

James doesn’t appear on the 1841 census but his 70-year-old father - also named James - appears that year as a farmer living on Cannon Street, a reminder that other than a few houses on the street much of that area of Deane was a largely agricultural community.

The Whittles had gone by the time of the 1871 census and by the end of the 1880s the Cottage was owned by Henry Greenwood. Henry grew up in the licensed trade. His father was the landlord of the Hand And Banner on Deansgate, while Henry himself had run the Lower Nag’s Head before taking over as the proprietor of the Swan Hotel in 1886. He was also a brewer and lived in Crown Street off Deansgate.

Greenwood sold the Cottage after a few years, this time to Wingfield’s Silverwell Brewery, whose story we dealt with when we looked at the Queen Anne on Chancery Lane. Wingfield’s sold out to the Manchester Brewery Company in 1899 and Walker & Homfray’s of Salford took over the Manchester Brewery Company in 1912. Walker & Homfray’s were taken over by another Manchester brewery, Wilson’s of Newton Heath, in 1949.

Six years after this final takeover, in 1955, the Cottage closed down for good. [3]

The lower part of Cannon Street, pictured in April 2012 (Copyright Google Street View). The older-looking houses in the foreground on the right-hand side are the only older houses now left on the street. The Cottage was situated further up  on the right-hand side.

[1] Whittle family history – John Partington. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
[2] Bolton Directories 1821/2, 1836, 1843, 1853. Reprinted by Neil Richardson (1982).
[3] Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).

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