Thomas Ridgway Bridson
Mayor of Bolton: 1847-48 (Conservative)
Born: Horwich, Bolton 1795
Died: Mornington House, Southport 24 January 1863
As a young man he spent some time serving in the Army in India.
He worked for his father at Wallsuches Bleachworks, Horwich before becoming proprietor of Lever Bank Bleachworks, Little Lever c. 1828.
The works had its own library and reading room - subscription one penny per week in 1850.
In 1840 he invented and patented a way of applying an elastic finish to fabrics.
The cast iron elephants now flanking the Marks & Spencer Charity Canopy between Newport Street and Victoria Square in Bolton originally stood on the gate posts of Bridson's bleachworks in Chorley Street until its demolition in 1977.
He was appointed Boroughreeve of Great Bolton 1839. He accompanied James Greenroyd, boroughreeve of Little Bolton to London in 1840 to present to Her Majesty the Queen (Victoria) the address of congratulation from the inhabitants of Bolton on her marriage to Prince Albert.
Represented Derby Ward 1842-48.
At his first Council meeting he was appointed to the Watch Committee.
Appointed Commissioner of the Peace in 1845 with W F Hulton and Stephen Blair, Mayor of Bolton 1845-46.
Unsuccessful Parliamentary candidate for Bolton in 1849.
He presented the original Mayoral Chain and Seal to the then Mayor, Thomas Lever Rushton, at a Council meeting on 14 August 1850.
President of the Mechanics Institute 1849.
After retiring to Southport in 1855 he was made a Commissioner of the Peace for the county of Lancaster in the West Derby Hundred. The Bolton Journal reported, "While administering justice with impartiality his leaning was towards mercy's side."
He was also an ex officio member of the Ormskirk Board of Guardians and one of the commissioners for the improvement of Southport.
He was also the Great-great-great-grandfather of Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1997-2007.