Eagle and Child Inn


    EAGLE  & CHILD INN as it is today


1666 HENRY WILSON  Henry Wilson, carpenter, leased an old cottage from the Earl of Derby and in his will of 1701 he left a cottage and shippon with two crofts containing one acre of land to his grandson, also HENRY WILSON.


1707 HENRY WILSON    Henry Wilson junior, innkeeper, came to Rainford with his wife Margaret and four young daughters. He renewed the lease and in 1712 they built a new cottage on the site which became the first Eagle & Child (though not known as this until later). This building can be seen on the photograph above, taken about 1890, and it was replaced in 1904 by the present Betting Office building.

Behind the present sign board lies hidden a date stone salvaged from the old building  


H       M


This stone is the clue to the origin of this public house.


1720 MARGARET WILSON  After the death of Henry his wife Margaret, probably assisted by her daughter Ann, continued the business until she died in 1734.


1737 MICHAEL PARR   The next tenant of the house was Michael Parr, innkeeper, who was married to Ann the daughter of Henry & Margaret Wilson. They did not remain long for by 1743 a new tenant had taken over.


1743 HENRY WOODS  Henry Woods, innkeeper, is recorded as paying the annual rental due to the Earl for this property from 1743. He remained in charge for some 25 years and shortly before his death in 1770 his son John appears to have been the landlord here.


1768 JOHN WOODS  John Woods, given as innkeeper at the baptism of his children between 1768 and 1773, had the tenancy until about 1780. 


1781 EDMUND BARTON    Edmund Barton, publican, and his wife Elizabeth were possibly the next occupants but this is not certain. They were baptising children here until 1786 when they apparently moved to St. Helens. This was the year when a complete change in the ownership of this inn occurred.

In April 1786 the lease granted in 1707 expired and it was renewed in September by WILLIAM HILL the proprietor of the Dentons Green Brewery in St Helens. He promptly introduced his own tenant to the premises. 


1786 RICHARD PINNINGTON  Little is known about Richard Pinington who, although paying the Land Tax on the premises, did not describe himself as innkeeper or publican. Maybe it was his wife who had the running of the pub.

 It was about this time that the name Eagle & Child first appears. 


1797 JOHN MARQUIS   John & Ellen Marquis were again possibly a husband & wife concern for during their short stay here John was consistently described as a schoolmaster. Whether he ran a small private school here or was the master at Holdens Academy at the present Golden Lion we do not know. They left Rainford about 1802 and removed to Liverpool.


1802 ANDREW VALENTINE  Andrew & Mary Valentine came from Eccleston with two young children to start a tenancy which was to last for over 40 years. They raised seven more children during that time.

At this same time William Hill, the leaseholder, died and in 1821 his son William put the Dentons Green Brewery up for sale together with several public houses in St. Helens and the Eagle & Child and the Bottle & Glass in Rainford. The Brewery was sold to Charles Speakman & Co. of St. Helens but the leaseholds of the two Rainford houses were assigned to JAMES BIRCH of Rainford. Birch had recently taken over the brewery at Rainford House across the road from the Eagle & Child.


1835 MARY VALENTINE   After the death of Andrew, aged 66, in August 1835 his widow Mary was to continue the business for several more years.

It was probably during this period that the present building was erected for by 1840 the old cottage, which had served as a public house for 128 years, was now occupied as a saddler’s workshop by JOHN BALL.

John Ball, a saddler from Upholland, had married Sarah the daughter of Andrew & Mary Valentine in 1838 and they were living in a cottage on Ormskirk Road whilst John was working at the old cottage. This situation soon changed when Mary Valentine died in August 1841.


1841 JOHN BALL  John & Sarah left Ormskirk Road and took up residence in the new Eagle & Child with John, now innkeeper & saddler, continuing his saddlery business and Sarah no doubt running the public house at which she had assisted her mother for so long. 

In 1847 James Birch, the brewer and leaseholder of the premises, died leaving his estate to his daughter Mary now married to JOSEPH RICHARDSON. The brewery was to remain with the Richardson family for many years. 

After a reign of 22 years which ended with the deaths of both Sarah and John within four months of each other in 1863 the licence fell to Henry, the eldest of their ten children. 


1863 HENRY BALL   Just twelve months previous Henry Ball had married Harriet Hall a widow with seven children. Harriet was the daughter of Thomas Birchall licensee of the Stanley Gate in Bickerstaffe and she had married Thomas Hall the son of Thomas Hall licensee of the Derby Arms. She would be no stranger to the workings of a busy inn. 


1881 THOMAS HALL  After the death of Henry Ball in 1879 and his wife Harriet in 1881 the licence passed, not to their eldest son John who was only eighteen years old and a saddler but, to Thomas, the eldest son of Harriet’s previous marriage, who was already working at the inn. 

Thomas died in December 1883 and his youngest brother Richard, aged twenty three, succeeded him in the tenancy. 


1883 RICHARD HALL     Richard had previously followed the family occupation as a saddler but was no doubt quite capable of stepping into the position of landlord, a post he held for the next thirteen years. 


1896 JOHN BALL   John Ball, the saddler and eldest son of the former licensees Henry & Harriet, was the next member of this family to occupy the premises. He and his wife Sarah remained there until 1913 when they retired to live in Mossborough Road. (see new Golden Lion for the later life of John) 

 In 1894 the inn was purchased from William Richardson by GREENALL WHITLEY & CO. of the St. Helens Brewery. It was also during this tenancy that the old original buildings were demolished. 


1913 WILLIAM THOMAS BALL   On the retirement of John & Sarah his younger brother William Thomas and his wife Elizabeth left the house next door (now Clegg’s  Hairdressers and Pimblett’s Cake Shop), which they had built soon after their marriage in 1892, and took over the licence of the inn. 

His retirement from the position of landlord during the 1930’s brought to an end about 130 years of continuous occupancy by the same family. 

 Subsequent landlords during the 20th century included :-