The Lord Nelson was the first pub on Derby Street and was situated on the corner of Shaw Street. It was certainly in existence by 1800 some 30-odd years after Derby Street was built and it pre-dated by about three years the second pub, the Pilkington Arms. The Corinthian masonic lodge were meeting at the Lord Nelson in 1800. 
The first landlord we have on record is John Stones who was at the pub in 1818. By 1836 it was under the control of Abraham Entwisle who had previously run the Cross Keys on Cross Street. However, by the time of the 1841 census it was occupied by Alexander Hardie. He sold the pub to William Maude in May 1842.  Maude was a brewer who ran the Derby brewery across the road from the Lord Nelson just a few doors up from the Derby Arms. But he didn’t last very long at the Lord Nelson. The 1843 Bolton Directory shows that Jonathan Kershaw was at the pub. Maude was declared bankrupt in 1849, though by 1853 he was back in business running the Britannia on the corner of Derby Street and Moor Lane.  Meanwhile, Hardie moved into Back Derby Street where he manufactured cotton for a while, but he was hounded by his creditors and hauled before a debtors’ court in 1843. 
Jonathan Kershaw died in 1847 and his wife Betty took over as licensee, but she was up in front of the judge the following year after being found guilty of serving beer on the morning of Good Friday, 1848. Good Friday was treated as a Sunday – as it was until only fairly recently – and pubs were not allowed to open in the morning. Mrs Kershaw was fined £1 – the equivalent of over £100 today. She left the pub shortly afterwards. 
By 1861 the landlord of the Lord Nelson was James Flitcroft who in 1854 had applied for a full public house licence at a previously unlicensed building on Derby Street. Not only was Flitcroft a pub landlord but he owned a construction business. He had eight children and all those old enough worked in his various businesses. Three of his sons were bricklayers while one of his daughters worked as a barmaid at the Lord Nelson.
For almost a decade from c 1875 onwards the Lord Nelson was run by Joseph Ashton, the son of the landlord of the nearby Halfway House. Joseph was to die in 1883 at the early age of just 41.
Frederick Morton Barker was at the Lord Nelson by 1900. Born at 33 Moor Lane in 1875, Fred Barker moved to the Lord Nelson shortly after his marriage to Hannah Brockbank in December 1899. He had moved across the road to the Derby Arms by the time Hannah died in 1914 at the age of 39 and he continued at the Derby for some years afterwards. Fred died in 1943 at the age of 68 by which time he had retired and was living in Harpers Lane. One of his daughters, Madeline Wadsworth (1903-1987), was Bolton organiser of the WRVS and was awarded the MBE in 1972.
By 1924 the Lord Nelson’s landlady was Emily Briggs. She had recently succeeded her late husband John Briggs (1869-1922). The couple had previously been at the Farmers Arms in High Street, Turton and were farmers at Entwistle before that. 
The picture at the top of the page was taken in the late-1920s one of a series of images of Bolton pubs that had been taken over by the Leigh brewer, Shaw’s. In 1927 they had taken over Sharmans who owned 58 pubs in the Bolton area including the Lord Nelson. Shaws were bought out in 1931 by the Liverpool company of Walker Cain who also owned a brewery in Warrington. It was from this Warrington brewery that the Lord Nelson was supplied for the rest of its existence.
The Lord Nelson was demolished in 1966. The whole of those properties on Derby Street from Shaw Street to Hammond Street were cleared as part of slum clearances. More housing was built in its place.
 Lane’s Masonic Records. Accessed 15 January 2016.
 Manchester Courier, 7 May 1842.
 Manchester Courier, 20 October 1849.
 The London Gazette, 1843.
 Manchester Courier, 29 April 1848.
 There’s a great story about Doris Ann Lee, the daughter of the landlady who succeeded Emily Briggs in 1924. The story is on the Manchester Archive Plus website. Click here. [Link accessed 16 January 2016).