Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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William Nicholson

Mayor of Bolton: 1891-94, 1898*, 1898-99, 1901*

Born: Blackburn Street, Bolton 3 February 1825

Died: Bolton 29 November 1915

Educated: John Wright's School, Bolton; Bolton Grammar School; Seminary of William Farrand, Bolton

Silk mercer and draper, Market Street, Bolton from 1850 until his retirement in 1891.

Son of Oliver Nicholson, a Radical (Liberal) member of Bolton's first Town Council.

Represented Exchange Ward 1871-73, Derby Ward 1874-75 and 1877-80.

Alderman for Derby Ward from 1880. Magistrate from 1880.

He opened Nelson Park (Nelson Square), Bolton on 23 March 1893.

He was made the first Freeman of the County Borough of Bolton on 6 September 1899 on the same day as William Walter Cannon, Mayor of Bolton 1871-73 and Deputy Mayor at the time. The solid silver Freedom casket he was presented with weighed 224 ounces (6.35 Kilos), cost £55 and was manufactured by Samuel Wolfenden & Co of 44 Bradshawgate, Bolton.

He unveiled the statue of Benjamin Alfred Dobson, Mayor of Bolton 1894-98, in Victoria Square on 17 February 1900.

First President of Bolton Young Men's Christian Association.

President of Manchester District of YMCAs.

Chairman and Treasurer of the Committee of Bolton Infirmary.

President of Bolton Certified Industrial School, Lostock.

President of Queen Street Mission.

Governor of both the Chadwick and Eden's Orphanages.

On 13 June 1907 (then aged 82) he was struck with a hammer by a madman near Dobson's statue in front of Bolton Town Hall. He was knocked to the ground and struck again several times. His assailant, a quarryman called John W Anderson, was later judged to be insane and sent to an asylum.

In 1913 he was still taking a lively interest in the Corporation and was Chairman of the Watch Committee.

Anglican - he was connected with St George's Church and Sunday School for 63 years, serving as Churchwarden and Superintendent of both the Boys and Girls Schools.

Lived at Yew Tree, Sharples.

*Acted as caretaker Mayor in 1898 when he replaced Benjamin Alfred Dobson and again in 1901 when he replaced John Edwin Scowcroft, both of whom had died in office.


Click for larger image Portrait of William Nicholson as Mayor of Bolton.

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Click for larger image Photographic portrait of William Nicholson.

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Click for larger image Memorial postcard for William Nicholson showing date of birth and death.

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Click for larger image Marble bust of William Nicholson by Carl Albetill in Bolton Town Hall, unveiled 7 September 1894. Commissioned by Benjamin Alfred Dobson and purchased by subscription by Alderman Nicholson's friends and admirers.

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Click for larger image Plaque at entrance of Nelson Park (Nelson Square, Bradshawgate) - Ald Wm Nicholson Mayor, Cllr J T Brooks Chairman, Cllr A Lomax Vice Chairman 28 March 1898.

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William NicholsonNicholson Family Tree • pdfClick for larger image

William Nicholson's link on the Mayor of Bolton's Chain of Office.

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Crest - On a wreath argent and azure a demi lion issuant gules.

Motto = JUVANTE DEO (With God's help)

Clan badge and motto of the Scottish Nicholsons but no known connection.


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