The Royal Tiger was situated at number 4 Noble Street. Some earlier directory and census listings put it at 1-3 Duncan Street, 1-3 Back Defence Street – as Duncan Street was known for a short time - or even on Pikes Lane, but it was the same building.
The pub was founded in the mid-1830s by James Greenhalgh, a carter by trade who, like so many people after the 1830 Beer House Act was passed, paid a fee of two guineas to allow their premises to sell beer.
The 1841 census shows the 48-year-old James living with his 30-year-old wife Alice. There are six children the elder two of whom, one might think, would have been from an earlier marriage. Thomas (17) and William (14) had both followed their father into business as carters.
The Greenhalghes ran the Royal Tiger for around 50 years from its conversion into a beerhouse right up to the 1880s. Alice Greenhalgh was a widow by 1861 and she lived with two of the children from her marriage to James: Joseph, aged 21, and Sarah, 15. There was a change of address, too. Duncan Street ran off Blackburn Street (now Deane Road), the next street along from Punch Street. Noble Street originally ran from Derby Street. The two streets initially ended a few yards apart from each other, but the waste land between the two was cobbled over in the 1850s and the whole stretch from Derby Street down to Blackburn Street was renamed Noble Street. The Royal Tiger was number 4.
In 1871, Alice Greenhalgh was still running the pub along with Sarah and her husband, a wheelwright named Squire Wolstenholme who was unemployed at the time. Squire and Sarah continued to run the pub after Alice’s death in 1880, but by 1891 they were living in Commission Street, not far from Noble Street, but Squire was back unemployed. He later had a spell as the licensee of the Lord Hill on Sidney Street and by 1901 he was working as a pigeon trapper and living – quite aptly – in Partridge Street.
The Royal Tiger was later run by Robert Buchan Richardson, a Scot who was possibly one of Bolton’s oldest ever landlords. He was at the pub for a decade from around 1894 and was well into his seventies when he took it over. Robert lived there with his wife, Hannah, whom he married in 1887 when he was 58 and she just 33. By 1911 he had left the pub and was living with his son.
The final landlord was Josiah Simons. Born in Norfolk in 1875, he was living with his wife, Hannah, her seven siblings and her parents in Bridgeman Street in 1901. Hannah’s father, Samuel Foulds, was an aquarium manager.Josiah and Hannah left the Royal Tiger for James Street where he set himself up in business as a draper.
The Royal Tiger closed in 1911 and later became a private residence. After the building was demolished in the 1960s Derby Ward Labour Club was built on the site.
Derby Ward Labour Club pictured in August 2008. Noble Street used to end at the right end of the club. They Royal Tiger was the second building up on the right-hand side of Noble Street.