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Rolles Brothers, Victuallers in London

There appear to be three Rolles brothers who are endemic in the pub scene of London, i.e. Jonathan Rolles, Harry Rolles and William Rolles; the latter does not appear to be part of the Rolles brothers empire, and runs his pubs independantly.

The Rolles story starts with a Nathaniel Rolles, a lighterman. In February 1850, he becomes the licensee of the Admiral Vernon, in Southwark.

In 1871, he is aged 32 and the licensee at the Angel, 60 Upper Ground Street, Southwark.

By 1881, he is now the manager at the Bell, 157 High Street, Wapping; and by 1891 he is again listed as a lighterman, but at the King William IV, 28 Wellington Street, Deptford. *

Moving forward to 1910, we have the son, Nathaniel Rolles at the Bull & Gate, St Pancras; Nathaniel is aged 38 in 1901.

We also have a Harry Rolles, aged 35 in 1901, at the Jolly Anglers, St Pancras

Then we have William Rolles, he is the son of Nathaniel Rolles senior, and is born in 1857. His early life is also as a lighterman, e.g. in the 1891 census when he is living in Limehouse with his wife Annabel. By 1901, he is a widowed licensed victualler at the Rose and Crown, Thames Street, Greenwich until at least 1911. He is also a widower until his second marriage in 1914 to Emma Wilkins, bringing up his two young daughters alone. The marriage lists William Rowles, aged 56, widower, son of Nathaniel Rolles; and Emma Mary Ann Wilkins, widow aged 42, daughter of Kimble Easley. All are licensed victuallers. He continues at the Green Man, Old Kent Road from about 1925 to his death in 1937, when his second wife then moves to the County Arms. He (or an W Rolles) also pops up in the following pubs according to telephone directories -
Off Licence, 135 High Road, Hornsey (1914), Gosterwood tavern,  Gosterwood Street, New Cross  (1915 - 1920) & Moors Arms, Bow Common lane (1916 - 1925), Red Lion Hotel, Coulsdon (1919)

From at least 1911, the Rolles Brothers appear to be running a number of Wine & Spirit Merchants, addresses being 286 Walworth road (Temple Bar), 2 Circus road (later a Grocer), 227 Kentish Town Road (Jolly Anglers), 389 Kentish Town road (Bull and Gate) and 60 Hampstead road (Lord Palmerstone). The latter Lord Palmerstone was still trading as part of their empire until at least 1974.

The Rolles Brothers are listed at numerous pubs in the early 20th century, and here are a few with approximate dates:

Jolly Anglers - Harry Rolles until at least 1915, then the Rolles Brothers until at least 1944.
Bull & Gate, Kentish Town Road - Nathaniel Rolles until at least 1911, then the Rolles Brothers until at least 1969
Princess Beatrice, 55 High Street, Camden Town - the Rolles Brothers from at least 1934 to 1955
Monarch Tavern, 49 Chalk Farm Road - the Rolles Brothers in at least (1928 - 1955)
Duke of Cambridge, 64 Lawford Road - the Rolles Brothers between at least (1928 - 1955)
Lord Palmerstone, 60 Hampstead Road - the Rolles Brothers from at least 1915 to 1974
Mulberry Tree, Holloway Road, Islington - the Rolles Brothers between at least (1928 - 1948)
Wolsey Tavern (Cardinal Wolsey), 180 Kentish Town Road - the Rolles Brothers between at least (1928 - 1969)
Green Man, Southwark (From about 1899  to William Rolles in 1937)
Sols Arms, 65 Hampstead Road - the Rolles Brothers in at least (1944)
Bagnigge Wells tavern, 39 Kings Cross Road - the Rolles Brothers in at least (1935 - 1939)
Locomotive, 31 James Street  - the Rolles Brothers in at least (1928)
Dun Cow, Old Kent Road - the Rolles Brothers in at least (1899)
County Arms Hotel, 345 Trinity Road, Wandsworth

II thought a wander through the Telephone directories may be useful, which lists their head office in 1939 and 1948, for example, as at the Bull & Gate

A few late stragglers are:
Hen and Chickens, 109 St Pauls Road  - the Rolles Brothers in at least (1948 - 1955)
Sols Arms, 65 Hampstead Road, - the Rolles Brothers in at least (1944 - 1955)
Queen, 45 Bellefields Road - the Rolles Brothers in at least (1952)
Swan Hotel, Hammersmith broadway - the Rolles Brothers in at least (1955)



* Provided By John Carnaby

**** Provided By Kevan

And Last updated on: Saturday, 18-Jan-2020 23:58:58 GMT