Josiah Wedgwood I | People from Stoke-on-Trent

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Josiah Wedgwood I

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Josiah Wedgwood I - his children and death

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From: "Life of Josiah Wedgwood" - L. Jewitt (1865)

"About midsummer, 1739, when Josiah was barely nine years old, his father, Thomas Wedgwood, died, and was buried a few days afterwards in the churchyard at Burslem."

"ON the 3rd of January 1 1795 as I have stated, Josiah Wedgwood died. 

By this wife, of whom I have before spoken, he had a family of eight children. 

The eldest child, Susannah, baptised at Burslem, on the 2nd of January, 1765, married Dr. Robert Darwin, of Shrewsbury, son of the celebrated Dr. Erasmus Darwin, of Derby (and half-brother to Sir Francis Darwin, M.D., of Breadsall Priory, and Sydnope, Darley Dale. both in Derbyshire), by his first wife, Mary Howard, of Lichfield, and was the mother, along with other sons and daughters, of Charles Darwin, author of the “ Origin of Species,” &c. 

The second child of Josiah Wedgwood was John, baptised at Burslem, April 2nd, 1766. He was of Seabridge, and married ‘Louisa Jane, daughter of Mr. John Bartlett Allen, of Criselly, Pembrokeshire, and by her had four sons and three daughters, viz. , the Rev. John Allen Wedgwood ; Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Josiah Wedgwood, who married Anne Maria, daughter of Admiral Sir C. Tyler ; Charles, who died without issue ; the Rev. Robert Wedgwood, who married Frances, daughter of the Rev. Offley Crewe ; Sarah Elizabeth ; Caroline Louisa Jane; and Jessie, who married her cousin, Henry Allen Wedgwood. 

The third of Josiah Wedgwood’s children was Richard Wedgwood, who was born in 1767, and died in 1782. 

The fourth was Josiah Wedgwood, one of the first two members of parliament for the borough of Stoke-upon Trent. Mr. Wedgwood, who was of Maer Hall , married Elizabeth Alleen, sister to Louisa Jane, wife to his brother John, and daughter of Mr. John Bartlett Allen, of Criselly, Pembrokeshire, and by her had four sons and five daughters, viz., first, Josiah Wedgwood (the third of that name), who married his cousin Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of Dr. Darwin, of Shrewsbury, and had issue ; second, Henry Alien Wedgwood, barrister-at-law, who married his cousin Jessie, daughter of John Wedgwood, of Seabridge ; third. Francis Wedgwood, of Etruria and Barlaston, the present highly respected head of the Etruria firm, who married Frances, daughter of the Rev. J. P. Mosley, of Rolleston Rectory, and has issue three sons, two of whom, Godfrey and Clement, are in partnership with their father-and four daughters; fourth, Hensleigh Wedgwood, barrister-at-law, of London, who married Elizabeth, daughter of the Right Hon. Sir .James Mackintosh, the historian, and has issue; fifth, Sarah Elizabeth; sixth, Mary, who died unmarried; seventh, Charlotte, married to the Rev. C. Langton, of Hartfield; eighth, Frances, who died unmarried; and, ninth, Emma. who married her cousin, Charles Darwin, F.R.S., author of the “Origin of Species,” &c.

The next child of Josiah Wedgwood was Thomas who died without issue, of whom I shall have more to say presently : and the remaining children were three daughters, Catherine, Sarah, and Mary Anne, who all, I believe, died unmarried."

"In the following year (1794) Josiah Wedgwood was seized with his last illness, and on the 3rd of January, 1795, breathed his last."

"The illness which ended in the death of Josiah Wedgwood was a very painful one. Of this illness Mrs. Byerley, the widow of his nephew and partner, Thomas Byerley, who was at the time living near Etruria, wrote:-

"He was seized with a dreadful pain in his face and teeth. A medical man was sent for, and as he had long been a friend of the family, he could not restrain his feelings. He perceived a slough or mortification had began in the mouth ; he told the wife, and ordered immediately an eminent physician to be sent for from a distant county. He applyed what he thought best till the medical friend arrived, and then everything was resorted to, which kept this great good man in existence three weeks, but he then died a poor man would not have lived more than three days."

Tomb of Josiah Wedgwood I 
Tomb of Josiah Wedgwood I 

The ruin arches of the medieval church and the present
day Parish Church of St. Peter Ad Vincula in the background.

In the chancel of St. Peter’s Church, Stoke-upon-Trent, close by the pulpit, is a large and imposing looking tablet to the memory of this great man. The monument consists of a plain slab of black marble, bearing an inscription tablet of white marble, on which rest a Portland vase and an Etruscan vase. These are surmounted by a finely-sculptured three-quarter head of Wedgwood, in white marble, in a circular medallion. The
monument bears the following excellent and appropriate inscription :-

 Sacred to the Memory of
Of Etruria, in this County,
Born in August, 1730, died January 3rd, 1705,
Who converted a rude and inconsiderable mauufacture into an elegant . art and an important part of national Commerce.
By these services to his country he acquired an ample fortune, Which he blamelessly and reasonably enjoyed,
And generously dispensed for the reward of merit and the relief of
His mind was inventive and. original, yet perfectly sober
and well regulated;
His character was decisive and commanding, without rashness or arrogance;
His probity was inflexible, his kindness unwearied; ills manners simple and dignified, and the cheerfulness of
his temper was the natural reward of the activity of his pure and useful life.
He was most loved by those who knew him best,
And he has left indelible impressions of affection and veneration on the minds of his family, who have erected this
monument to his memory.