Tillotson’s Fiction Bureau was created in the 1870’s when the Bolton Evening News owner W F Tillotson wrote letters to authors inviting them to syndicate their stories in newspapers.

 This meant that the authors were paid for their stories by Tillotsons who then sold them on to other newspapers including those published in America.

 Many of the replies to these letters are held in Bolton Museum and The Bolton News Library holds copies of these..

 Numerous famous authors wrote for the bureau, including, Thomas Hardy, Wilkie Collins, H G Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, E Nesbit, George Bernard Shaw and Arnold Bennett.

 In 1889 Tillotsons commissioned a story written by Thomas Hardy.  However, it was rejected on the grounds of blasphemy and obscenity – the book turned out to be Tess of the D’Uubervilles.