William Frederic Tillotson was born 19th March 1844 in Bolton. He received a commercial education before being apprenticed to his father, John Tillotson. After serving his apprenticeship, in 1867 he began his career in newspaper publishing when he founded the Bolton Evening News, the first daily evening halfpenny paper published outside of London. He began to expand the business in 1871 when he founded the Bolton Journal; in the early 1870s he created the Lancashire Journal Series and Til1otson’s Newspaper Literature Syndicate, the first of its kind in the world. The impressive list of contributors to this syndicate, which serialised contemporary novels, included Thomas Hardy, Wilkie Collins, Sir Walter Besant, Arnold Bennett, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, and Hall Caine. After a brief illness he died at "Westfield” his home in Bolton, on 19th February 1889. One of his employees described him as being "a shade below average height" and possessing “really brilliant blue eyes". He was remembered at his death as a compassionate employer who took an active interest in civic affairs, serving as Borough Magistrate from June 1885 until his death, as treasurer of the local Liberal Council, and as one of the chief advocates of Bolton Infirmary.
(Edited from Professor Charles Johanningsmeier’s entry to ONB)
Family home (1881 Census)
28 Chorley New Road, Bolton