William Biggs

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William Biggs, Boat & Engine, 20 Bath Lane, Leicester, Leicestershire.

Chris Jenks, writing about the lost pubs of Leicester in the local CAMRA newsletter, gives a more detailed story of the Boat.

The area which had been laid out as pleasure gardens, and named Vauxhall Gardens after the London pleasure grounds, was developed in the 1790s, with the building of warehouses and wharves. In 1803 the Vauxhall on Bath Lane had a brewhouse. The Boat and Engine was first listed in 1822, but with the address shown as Vauxhall Wharf.

In 1835 to at least 1846, Elizabeth Frisby was the victualler at the Boat & Engine, whilst a Jonathan Biggs kept the Bull’s Head, Oxford Street. However, in 1846, Thomas and William Frisby were porter and ale dealers 2 Market Street.

In 1870 John Orme was the victualler at the pub, whilst John Biggs was the victualler at the Crown & Anchor in Millstone Lane, but with a home in West Street.

The Boat and Engine was for sale by auction in 1873, when William Biggs was the licensee. The licence was held by William Biggs from 1873 to 1877. He was shown as the brewer at the Boat from 1877 to 1884, although, Thomas Fidler and various others were the licensees in the latter period. The pub was renamed the Bath Hotel around 1877, with the address as No 7.

From May 1887 to January 1898, the Bath was owned by the Plant family, before it was bought by Everard, Son and Welldon. From 1907, the pub was kept by Bill Sherriff, a local champion boxer, and at some point became owned by All Saints Brewery, before closing in 1958.