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CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT MY LICENSEE FOREBEAR?

Q From a couple of snippets on the web, I believe that my ancestor, John Bolton ROGERSON (born 20th January 1809 and died 18th October 1859) was the licensee of the Britannia Inn, Newton Street, Manchester, around April 1857. However, I have so far failed to find any records that would confirm this for me. Specifically I would like to know the address of the pub and the period for which he was licensee. Do you have any ideas on where I might look for such information?

Mark Kelly


A I can suggest three types of source you could try. Firstly, directories. I see from British Directories: a Bibliography and Guide to Directories Published in England and Wales (1850–1950) and Scotland (1773–1950), by Gareth Shaw and Allison Tipper, that there are: History, Topography and Directory of Mid-Lancashire, published 1854 by Manex & Co; and Kelly’s Directory of Lancashire with Liverpool and Manchester, published in 1858 by Kelly & Co. You could also try the Historical Directories website (www.historicaldirectories.org). Secondly, you could examine the electoral registers. Electoral Registers since 1832; and Burgess Rolls: a Directory to Holdings in Great Britain, by Jeremy Gibson and Colin Rogers, shows that these will be held at Manchester Archives and Local Studies (Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester, M2 5PD; tel: 0161 234 1979; email: archiveslocalstudies@manchester.gov.uk). Lastly, licences. The licensing laws changed several times between 1840 and 1872 but there is the possibility that John ROGERSON would have had to apply for a licence. Any surviving details are probably also held at Manchester Central Library.

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