The Crippen - Crippin Connection - The Oxnoble Inn, Manchester and the Will of William CRIPPIN

The CRIPPEN - CRIPPIN Connection - Contents

  The Oxnoble Inn, Manchester

 The will of William Crippin (ca1777-1835) mentions the Oxnoble Inn, Liverpool Road, Manchester which has been licensed since 1804. A photograph can be seen at though it is unknown if this is the original building.

An extract from a publication called 'A Walk Round Castlefield' by Derek BRUMHEAD & Terry WYKE.

Unlike most of Castlefield's pubs and beer houses established in the nineteenth century, the Oxnoble Inn, along with the White Lion, has managed to survive the loss of jobs and population witnessed locally during this century to become one of the district's oldest licensed premises. Although it is not unknown for public houses to be named after a plant - The Cauliflower, The Cabbage, The Vine, or in the Manchester region, the Cotton Tree - one would have to embark on a lengthy pub crawl before discovering another named after a potato.

The Oxnoble was one of the most popular varieties of potato grown in Georgian England. The need to feed the growing population of Manchester meant that potatoes grown in the agricultural areas of Cheshire and Lancashire were carried in considerable quantities along the Bridgewater Canal where they were unloaded at the Potato Wharfs. By the early nineteenth century, potatoes - baked, boiled, mashed but not yet chipped - were an essential and filling item in the monotonous diet of working-class families.

The pub first appears in the local directories in the opening years of the nineteenth century when it was called the Coopers' Arms. By the 1840s it was known as the Oxnoble Inn. No doubt, given because of its proximity to the Potato Wharfs it because a convenient meeting place for those persons whose livelihoods depended on the buying, selling and transporting of potatoes.

Strategically placed on a corner site, the pub's changing roll call of landlords competed with the custom of passing trade and the resident population. Dispersing warmth, cheerfulness and beer, it was apparently immune to the campaigning of Manchester's well-organised temperance groups. The Knott Mill Fair, until its closure in 1876, no doubt was the commercial high-point of the year for the Oxnoble and other pubs in Castlefield. But whether the opening in the 1870s of Manchester and Salford's main hospital for the treatment of venereal diseases in a building at the rear of the pub affected trade in any way is not recorded.

In 1911 the Oxnoble was purchased by Chesters Brewery Company, the well-known local firm. Like the majority of old pubs, the Oxnoble has seen many alterations, externally and internally, in its history - one might recall that the bar-counter was still a novel feature in many late Georgian public houses. The corner entrance with its well-worn steps has been blocked up. Since becoming part of the Whitbread brewing empire, the Oxnoble has been spared those thorough alterations engineered by energetic pub designers in pursuit of "atmosphere". But, as in the past, pubs need to change to survive. Commercial considerations dominate, and one should not be unduly surprised to find that in the future this pub will be selling blended lagers and microwaved potatoes (not of the Oxnoble variety). Historians, who already have shown a keen interest in the pub and the history of the name, will no doubt be waiting to record changes.

  The Will of William CRIPPIN (ca1777-1835)

The Will of the above William CRIPPIN (ca1777-1835), written "this twentyseventh day of May in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty four" states: "... And I give and devise All that my Plot of Land situate in or near Campfield in Manchester aforesaid with all that my Tavern or Public House erected on part of the said land and called or known by the name or sign of The Ox Noble and Coopers Arms and pointing into Liverpool Road in Manchester aforesaid and in the occupation of James MATHER as tenant thereof ..."

William CRIPPIN was Mike Longworth’s 3x great-grandfather. His daughter Mary (b. c.1803) had married James MATHER on 26 Oct 1831 at St Mary's, Manchester. They had (at least) one child - William Crippin MATHER, born c.Nov 1832. He found an entry for a William MATHER, age 48 living at 2 Worsley Rd, Worsley, LAN in the 1881 Census which might be he.

With special thanks to John RAMSDALE & Mike LONGWORTH, keen CRIPPIN researchers!

This page was first created July 23, 2002 and last updated Tuesday July 23, 2002.

 © John Crippen, 2001, 2002

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