John Turner


Location and period of operation:

John Turner


Lane End





 (See sources)

Founder of the New Hall Works

In about 1780 John Turner took his sons John and William into partnership and on his death they succeeded in the business.

John Turner had a few brief associations with other potters but for the main period the basic mark was TURNER.

Turner & Abbott (c.1784-6)

Turner, Abbott & Co (c.1799)   


Initials used on ware for identification:






1756 - 1759 works in Stoke as Turner or Turner & Banks,  (which works were taken in about 1770 by Spode the son (about 16 years old).

1759 - at Lane End.




TURNER, John (1738-87), pottery manufacturer, Lane End (now called Longton) 

John Turner of Lane End was christened 7th Jun 1737 at St Nicholas Church, Newport, Shropshire to parents Walter Turner & Mary Phipps.

Where he attended school is not known but he was sufficiently well-educated to be able to write his pottery chemical formulae in French to guard against industrial espionage. He was apprenticed to a Staffordshire potter, Daniel Bird, in 1753, and was established by 1756 in a partnership with R. Banks, making white stoneware, in a factory on the site of what is now Copeland-Spode, in Stoke upon Trent. He moved to Lane End in 1759. (1762 according to Jewitt).

He was acknowledged as being 'one of the cleverest and most successful potters Staffordshire ever produced.'

The earliest dated piece attributed to him is a 1762 teapot. About 1780 he discovered a vein of fine clay, peacock marl, at Green Dock, Edensor, from which he made a wide variety of ware of a cane colour. He also produced a blue glazed pottery similar to Japanese porcelain. He was both a friend and commercial rival of Josiah Wedgwood

John Turner was one of the six founders of the New Hall Works, Shelton.

John Turner was a pioneer of the atmospheric Newcomen steam engine in the Potteries, installing one in his pottery in 1775. He was appointed potter to the Prince of Wales in 1784 and some of the ware is marked with the Prince of Wales feathers. 

He married Ann nee Emery on 15 October 1759 and by her had three sons and three daughters. His sons William and John later became his partners, continuing the business after his death on 24 December 1787. The firm was declared bankrupt in 1806. William continued on his own until 1829 when the factory was sold. 

Sources: Jewitt's, B. Hiller, Master Potters of the Industrial Revolution the Turners of Lane End, A Lamb 'Mechanisation and the Applications of Steam Power in the North Staffordshire Pottery Industry', in N.S.J.F.S. vol. 17, 1977; ) Mankowitz & Haggar Concise Encyclopedia of English Pottery....; information from Maureen Leese and Rob Fountain.

Date of birth and parents details updated June 2013 - information supplied by Rob Fountain. 



Questions / comments / contributions?
email: Steve Birks