Brownfield's Cobridge Works in Waterloo Road was built in 1808 and was
occupied by several important firms before it was taken by Robinson, Wood
& Brownfield (c.1836-41) and then by, Wood and Brownfield (1841-50). From
November 1, 1850, we find Brownfield working on his own account: however,
up to 1871 he produced only earthenwares, his best-known products being
perhaps the host of moulded jugs which often bear his initial mark 'WB',
frequently within the Staffordshire knot device.
Brownfield's entry in the 1861 Census returns shows that he was then aged
48, was an Alderman, a Country and Borough Magistrate. By trade he was an
'Earthenware manufacturer' employing 177 men, 114 women, 88 boys and 73
girls, a total of 452 persons. He was also a 'Flint Stone Merchant'.
In 1871 he
took his first son into partnership, giving rise to the new trade style
William Brownfield & Son. In that year two porcelains were added to the
former earthenwares, stonewares: majolica and Parian wares. This new
partnership produced a very good selection of well-designed, high quality
porcelains including tablewares, and novel ornamental wares.
In 1892, the
Brownfield's Guild Pottery Society was formed to continue the former
William Brownfield's concern.
In the bottom
moulded mark the initials W B
are at the bottom of the circle and the pattern name "CASHMERE"
and town name "COBRIDGE" are also included.
in the centre is a faux
interviewed employees from Stoke-on-Trent pottery works for the Royal
Commission on Children’s Employment in 1841. Some of the evidence taken at
Messrs Wood and Brownfield’s works — is reproduced below.
Messrs. WOOD and BROWNFIELD's Earthenware
No. 208. Sarah Morris, aged 28, and
Ann Bradbury, aged 35:
We are the superintendents of the
apprentice girl’s painting department, and have 24 females of all ages
in the same room ; out of that number there are 10 children under 13
years of age. Most of them can read, but few write. They come at seven
in the morning, and leave at six; they - are allowed half an hour for
breakfast one hour for dinner. Some that live away off stay to get their
dinners in the work-rooms ; they cook them on the stove-pots; always
take their hour, and sometimes play before they begin work. Some live
pretty well,—others but middling. Their general conduct is tolerably
good. We keep our eyes upon them, and check anything like misconduct.
They get their regular holidays at wake times. We have no other rewards
except that of putting them forward in their trade. Have no punishments
by making them paint extra pieces, because they do piece-work, and all
try to do as much as they can. They get here half the price of
journeywomen for the first five years. We think that taking an equal
number of girls from the painting-room and from other occupations in the
same sphere of life, in point of moral conduct the painters would prove
No. 209 Robert Humphries,
aged 8 :
I turn jigger for William Massey. Have
been to work about six months. Can read a little, not much—cannot write.
Went to Catholic day school ; go now to Sunday school ; go to the
Methodist Chapel every Sunday. My father has been dead four years. My
mother lives at home ; her does nothing. I have a brother six years old
; he goes to school. I get 10 1/2d. a week ; only work three days a
week. I get for breakfast milk-meat and dry bread ; gravy and tatees for
dinner, - sometimes onions. I come at hafe-past six ; go home at hafe-past
six ; get my supper, and go to bed very tired.
These premises are extensive, rooms better
February 11th. (1841)
Crane Street (off
Waterloo Road) - and part of Churchill Pottery
(on the site of the Brownfield Pottery)
- photo 2001 - now (2008)
demolished to make way for housing
Waterloo Road - on the opposite side of the pottery works
- plaque on house -
Fountain Square, Hanley -
in the background a previous Town Hall
the statue of the Roman goddess
was given by Wm Brownfield in 1859
The statue in
fountain square depicted the statue pouring water from an urn into a vase
(this was a common portrayal of the goddess) - unfortunately these were
lost during the relocations.
Originally the female
figure formed part of a drinking fountain given to the town of Hanley by
the then Mayor, William Brownfield, in 1859. It was sculpted by Willis
During the 1920's it was removed to Northwood Park to enable road
development to take place. When the area was pedestrianised the figure
was restored and in 1974 returned to the original site in Fountain
Following some vandalism the statue was removed and put in store and in
2007 it was moved to Northwood Park for the parks centenary