Jesse Boot’s first Nottingham shop honoured with a blue plaque

Jesse Boot, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Boots UK, medicine, plaque

The spot where the Boots empire began in Nottingham now has a blue plaque to mark the contribution of founder Jesse.

The plaque was unveiled Goose Gate by Nottingham Civic Society at what is now the Larder restaurant, the site of the first shop which Jesse took over in the 1880s.

The Lord Mayor of Nottingham was joined at the ceremony by great granddaughter of Jesse Boot and Florence Boot, Emma Houston.

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Goose Gate, Jesse Boot, Plaque

Picture: The blue plaque in Honour of Jesse Boot at Goose Gate. 

Jesse declared in his later years: “It has been a privilege and a duty to do what lay in my power for the benefit of Nottingham’s citizens and for future generations.”

In 1929, Jesse Boot was offered a peerage because of all the work he had done for his community, he chose the title of Lord Trent of Nottingham. 

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, boots, Jesse Boots, medicine,
The building Goose Gate at the time Jesse ran it

Sophie Clapp, Company Archivist, Boots UK, said: “We’re thrilled that Nottingham Civic Society is recognising the significance of the origins of Boots by commissioning this blue plaque.”

Boots UK will also be holding a talk with the University of Nottingham on November 19 at the Larder restaurant discussing Jesse’s legacy.

Emma Houston said: “When we were children my father always used to drum into us what an incredibly hard worker Jesse was.

“His father died when he was only ten and he had to leave school just three years later. He came from nowhere and built up a household name. He made a fortune and gave away the same again. He was an inspirational man.”

Emma Houston, great granddaughter of Jesse Boot

Picture: Jesse’s great-granddaughter Emma Houston in front of the shop as it looks today

Boots on the ground: How a Nottingham shop story went global

-The histories of Nottingham and Boots have been closely intertwined since Jesse’s father, John Boot, first set up a small herbalist store on Goose Gate in 1849.

-John’s mission was to bring healthcare to the working poor in Nottingham, by offering customers an alternative to traditional medicines.

-Following John’s death aged just 45; his business was left to his wife, Mary and young son, Jesse, who was ten at the time. When Jesse turned 21, he became a partner in the business.

-Jesse’s philanthropic attitude towards healthcare solutions for the poor was visible in his care of his workforce, and the business expanded across the city.

-It now employs 55,000 people across the UK and the brand is known worldwide


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