Talbot or Dog – hostelry

The Talbot was an inn much frequented by the 17th-century Preston diarists Thomas Bellingham and Lawrence Rawstorne, at which time its landlord was William Atkinson, as witness Rawstorne’s entry for 29 March 1688 in which he records being at ‘Will Atkinsons the Talbot’.

A Wm Adkinson is listed at a property on the south side of Church Street next to the present Blue Bell on the 1685 plan of Preston and this is probably the location of the inn. [1] In October 1683 and October 1687 a William Atkinson is listed in the court leet records as one of the two ‘houselookers’ for Church Street. [2]

The diarists also have him as the landlord of the Dog, as for example in their entries for 13 March 1689 in which Bellingham records staying late at ‘ye Dogg’ with a friend from Ireland and Rawstorne describes being at ‘Will Atkinson’s’ with Bellingham and ‘an Irish Gent’.

It seems quite likely that the Talbot and the Dog where one and the same establishment. A talbot is an extinct breed of hunting dog and inns named the Talbot would display a painted sign featuring a dog.

Steve Halliwell on his website suggests that the original Dog, which was across the road from Patten House, was destroyed in the fighting in the town during the 1715 Jacobite rebellion and relocated to the site of the present Old Dog further up Church Street. Mr Halliwell treats the Talbot as a separate establishment, which he locates in Friargate. [3] However, at a court leet in February 1739 the town bailiffs were presented ‘for neglecting their duty in their Offices of Bayliffs in not repairing the Streets in several parts of the Town particularly near the Talbot – before the house late in possession of the Earl of Derby’, which would refer to Patten House in Church Street, across from the Talbot or Dog. [4]

[1] ‘Church Street West, Mainsprit Wiend East. Church Street South’ (plan, Preston, 1684), DDX194/6, Lancashire Archives.
[2] ‘Preston Court Leet Records’, accessed 29 January 2017, http://c5110394.myzen.co.uk/mw/index.php?title=Main_Page.
[3] Steve Halliwell, ‘Preston’s Inns, Taverns and Beerhouses’, accessed 23 March 2017, http://pubsinpreston.blogspot.com/
[4] ‘Preston Court Leet Records’.

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