Photo courtesy of Bolton Museums
1873 June 24th
Last night, the Golden Lion, Kay St, kept by Robert Atherton, was entered
by thieves and some £450 in money stolen. It appears about half-past
ten o'clock a man went in and asked for a glass of ale, for which he tendered
a sovereign. In order to get change, Atherton had to go upstairs and empty
the contents of a bag, containing about three pounds in silver and a half-sovereign.
He put the money back into a box, on which he piled a quantity of lumber,
and went down with the change. Shortly afterwards two other men entered,
and looked round the room, but the first-mentioned fellow had left, and
after remarking 'He's not here', the two men went off. They returned again,
however, very shortly, and each had a glass of beer, after which they
left. At that time, there were five persons, including the landlord and
his wife, and three neighbours. When Atherton and his wife went to bed,
the latter, seeing that the lumber was lying around the room instead of
being in its usual place, asked her husband why he had left it there.
He replied that he had placed it on the box before he had gone down. On
looking at the window, they found it half open, and Mrs Atherton exclaimed:
'They've taken the money'. The box was searched and it was found that
the money was missing, together with a bag containing a number of medals,
in copper and iron. The money was in two bags, one of which had in it
300 sovereigns, and £9 in crown pieces, and the other, which was
inside the first, £140 in gold.
The Kay family
were, in the year 1779, manufacturers in The Folds, and when the machine
breaking riots were in progress the famous potter, Josiah Wedgwood, who
was in Bolton at the time recorded that the mob "next proceeded to
Mr Kay's, of The Folds, and destroyed the machine and water-wheel."Later
(1817), Robert Kay, of the same family, was a local attorney and a clerk
to the magistrates.His sister married John Horrocks Ainsworth, of Smithills
Hall. He was a joint secretary to the committee which founded the Bolton
Exchange (1824) later the Public Reference Library.It was after this family
that Kay St was named.
The street seems to have been the first natural outlet from Bolton in
the direction of Blackburn. It was not deliberately planned as were Bridge
St and Higher Bridge St.
It's lower end was formerly named Manor St, because the Little Bolton
Manor House stood there on the site that later the Co-Operative Society's
In 1839 John Musgrave commenced
the well known engineering firm Musgrave and Son in the street by taking
over the Globe Works and considerably extending them.
In 1846 the firm of Dobson
and Metcalfe later Dobson and Barlow (in photo), transferred their machine
works to the street. Both firms disappeared after the first world war,
but they made Kay St. one of the most prosperous centres of industry in
the town for a great number of years.
Ex St Marks School/Church
Josephine A Stansfield,