J W Beswick (Ltd)


Location and period of operation:

J W Beswick



1969 *

* continued as a trade name under Doulton until early 1989


Manufacturer of Majolica and Earthenware at the Baltimore Works and from 1898 the Gold Street Works, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England

  • James Wright Beswick was originally in the coal-mining industry, but his pits at Chell had to close down in 1892.

  • J. W. Beswick's wife Esther Annie Beswick has been in partnership with Thomas Heath at the Baltimore Works - this partnership was dissolved in October 1893. Thomas heath continued on his own account.  

  • The following year J. W. Beswick's son John, having studied the potter's craft at Tunstall, then joined with his father to start the pottery business as partners at the Baltimore Works, Albion Street, Longton.

  • In 1897 the Gold Street Works came onto the market, they acquired them and moved there the following year.

  • From that date the firm gradually expanded its activities, producing under-glaze, printed dinner, tea and toilet wares as well as hospital wares and fancy goods, such as pots and pedestals, vases in the so-called 'majolica' glazes, toby-jugs, Old-English style figures and animals.

  • In 1918 the Warwick China Works in Chadwick St, Longton was purchased allowing the business to manufacture bone china ware and fancy items in addition to its extensive domestic earthenware.

  • The founder, J. W. Beswick, died in May 1920 and his sons John and Gilbert Beswick assumed control of the business. Of the two sons, John Beswick was the driving force behind the business and on his death in 1934 his son John Ewart Beswick assumed control and his uncle Gilbert Beswick continued as the marketing manager.

  • From 1934 to 1938 the business was controlled by John Beswick’s executors, but in 1938 the business was incorporated as John Beswick Ltd with John Ewart Beswick and his two sisters Dorothy and Gladys Beswick as the Directors. 

  • In 1945 the adjoining premises of H. M. Willamson & Sons were acquired and in 1957 the factory of Thomas Lawrence was purchased to allow further expansion of production.

  • From 1957 the business traded as a public listed company. 

  • John Ewart Beswick had no heir and in June 1969 he sold the entire share capital to Doulton & Co Ltd.   

Doulton, 1969 - 2002

  • After its 1969 takeover, Doulton continued to produce the Beswick animal models and figurines under the Beswick name, although the range was reduced and only a few new models entered production. 

  • From early-1989 Doulton ceased using the Beswick trade name, although the Gold Street factory continuing to produce the same models with a Doulton backstamp. The Beswick mark was briefly resurrected for the centenary of the name 1994. 

  • Doulton ceased production of the ‘Beswick’ models and closed the Gold Street factory in 2002, the site being sold for development in the following year.

UKI Ceramics (2005-

  • In 2004 Doulton put the Beswick ‘brand’ up for sale with an asking price of £1.5 million and, in mid-2005 it was sold to John Sinclair, owner of a chain of antique shops. 

  • The new owner announced plans to re-start production of prestige limited-edition Beswick collectors’ wares in Tunstall and to sell mass-market Beswick figures and ornamental wares manufactured in Malaysia by the giftware company Enesco

  • Sinclair Collectables was continuing to market ‘Beswick’ products in 2023.


significant information courtesy: A handbook of British Pottery Manufacturers 1900-2010, Michael Parry 


at the Baltimore Works....

Previously: L Bentley & Co

Subsequently: Robinson & Jones




J. W. Beswick, Baltimore Works, Albion Street, Longton

The Pottery Gazette - December 1894


J. W. Beswick, Gold Street Works, Longton

The Pottery Gazette - 1st January 1913



- click for information on the Baltimore works -

Beswick operated here from 1894 to 1898



- click for information on the Gold Street works -

Beswick operated here from 1898 to 1969
after Royal Doulton took over the Beswick animals and figurines
continued to be made here until 2002 


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks