Built in 1846, it is named after the pub’s longest-serving landlady, Mary Egerton, who ran the pub – then called The Eagle – from the 1930s, staying in the Egerton family until the 1960’s.
In the first half of the twentieth century the Lime Street area of Liverpool resembled London’s West End and Piccadilly Circus, bustling with Theatres, Picture Houses and other related film and entertainment businesses, and Ma Egerton’s was a well-known theatrical hub. As well as running various pubs in Liverpool, Mary Egerton was a registered theatrical agent for the Variety Theatrical Association. A close friend of the Music Hall star Marie Lloyd, she entertained many of the visiting performers from The Empire Theatre, The Royal Court, The Shakespeare and The Paramount. Indeed Ma Egerton’s became a favourite haunt of many stars visiting and performing in Liverpool, a selection of which can be seen on our Ma Egerton’s Hollywood Wall of Fame.
Ma Egerton’s was also the very first place in the UK to use a cash register. An American salesman had docked in Liverpool, and made his first sale here in this pub with a new machine then called the Incorruptible Cashier. At Ma Egerton’s, barmaids were not allowed to handle cash and give change; Ma would perch on a barstool during busy times alongside the till with the barmaids handing her the money to ring through and work out the change. Another fascinating piece of history surrounding this pub is that observations made and provided by its landlady led to the conviction of the Victorian mass murderer Dr Crippen.