Colin Minton Campbell


Campbell, Colin Minton (1827-85), pottery manufacturer & M.P., Stoke-upon-Trent


Colin Minton Campbell the son of John and Mary Campbell, was born in Liverpool on 27 August1827. 

He came to the Potteries in 1842 to work for his uncle, Herbert Minton, who took him into his partnership with M. D. Hollins in 1849. When Herbert Minton died in 1858 Colin Minton Campbell took over direction of the firm. The partnership with Hollins was dissolved in 1863, Colin Minton Campbell taking the china works and Hollins the tile works. 

Herbert Minton had employed the Frenchman Leon Arnoux as art director and Colin Minton Campbell continued the policy of employing continental artists. Minton majolica was decorated by Emile Lessore, Edouard Rischgitz, Louis Jahn and Antonin Boullemier. Among the technical improvements which Colin Minton Campbell introduced was the acid gold process which made possible the use of gold decoration in bas relief. 
Louis Marc Solon who came to Minton's in 1870, introduced the technique of pate-sur-pate decoration, one of Minton's major contributions to19th century ceramics. The firm won medals at the Great Exhibition in 1851, again in1862, in Paris in1853, Vienna in1867 and elsewhere. 

Colin Minton Campbell also founded the Campbell Brick and Tile Co. in 1875.

He married Louisa Wilmot Cave-Brown-Cave, whose mother was a daughter of
Thomas Minton. They had eleven children of whom a son and three daughters survived to adult life. 

Colin Minton Campbell's business interests other than pottery included the North Staffordshire Railway, of which he was chairman 1873-83, and the Staffordshire Potteries Waterworks Co., of which he was a director.

Colin Minton Campbell served as mayor of Stoke upon Trent 1880-3. He contributed to the building of the public baths, a new sewage system and other public works, and gave the land for a new public library. He presented a fountain to the town in 1859. 



In 1880 Colin Minton Campbell was elected mayor of Stoke-upon-Trent. He was an energetic entrepreneur who played a leading role in the development of the Minton firm in the third quarter of the nineteenth century. He was equally energetic in his public activities and made a major contribution to the development of Stoke-upon-Trent in the 1880s. Between 1839 and 1874 the town was run by unelected commissioners where service was restricted to those who satisfied the property qualification. In 1874 the town was incorporated as the borough of Stoke-upon-Trent with a mayor, 5 aldermen and 18 councillors. Colin Minton Campbell provided the mayoral chain and assisted the work of the new council in a variety of ways. He provided land for the construction of the new municipal library in 1877-8, and contributed to the construction of the new sewage system for the town. He was elected mayor in 1880. 

In the three years during which he occupied that office a range of new public works and buildings were initiated and completed. They included the construction of the new market hall, the extension of the public baths behind the Minton Memorial Building, and the laying out of a new municipal cemetery at Hartshill. When he came up for re-election in 1883 the members of the town council tried to persuade him to continue in office but he pleaded ill-health and pressure of work and stood down. He died two years later and soon afterwards it was proposed that a statute should be erected to mark the contribution he had made to the town and the Staffordshire Potteries. 


He unsuccessfully contested the election for Stoke upon Trent in1868 in the Conservative interest but was returned for North Staffordshire in the uncontested election of 1874. He was a captain in the Newcastle and Potteries Troop of Yeomanry, a captain in the Stoke Rifle Volunteers and a major in the 1st Staffordshire Battalion Rifle Volunteers. He attended the Church of England and contributed to the cost of the rebuilding of Holy Trinity church, Hartshill, in the 1860s and 1870s, and to the restoration of St. Michael's parish church, Rocester. He was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Staffordshire in 1868 and high sheriff in 1869.

He died at Woodseat, near Uttoxeter, on 8 February 1885. 

Statue of Colin Minton Campbell A statue to his memory by Thomas Brock was unveiled in 1887 in Campbell Place, but it was moved in 1954 to a site near the modern factory in London Road, Stoke upon Trent. 

The money was raised by public subscription "from artisans as well as those in better circumstances" which testified to his popularity. Mr T Brock was engaged to design the statute. It was described in a contemporary newspaper report as "made of bronze, eight feet in height, and is erected upon a pedestal of grey Cornish granite nine feet high. 

It represents Mr Campbell standing bare-headed in ordinary dress, his right hand upon a tazza, which is supported on an enriched tripod, having storks at the angles and floral decorations in the panels, indicative of his connection with pottery." The statue was unveiled by the Duchess of Sutherland at a public ceremony in January 1887.

Colin Minton Campbell donated 500 towards the laying-out of the new Hartshill cemetery. In return he was allowed the first choice of a burial site for his family. As one might expect he chose a prominent site immediately adjacent to the main entrance where an imposing memorial was erected after his death in 1885.

Colin Minton Campbell's wife Louisa Wilmot converted to Roman Catholicism and therefore was not buried in the family grave, (which was in the 1st class Church of England area of the cemetery).  Louisa Wilmot Campbell was buried in the 1st class R.C area


 The area directly in front of the main entrance of Hartshill Cemetery
 The area directly in front of the main entrance 
of Hartshill Cemetery 


Rear left
William Kirkham JP
Pottery Manufacturer
Mayor of Stoke 1890-3
Rear centre
Colin Minton Campbell
Colin Herbert Campbell
Pottery Manufacturers


Rear right
Michael Hoole Ashwell
Medical officer of health for S-o-T
Front centre
Henry Charles Faram
Mayor of Stoke 1893-4


His obituary appeared in the Staffordshire Sentinel on the 14th of February 1885 which also provided an account of the burial in the borough cemetery.

In 1968 Minton's became a member of the Royal Doulton Tableware Group.

SOURCES: P. Atterbury, The Story of Minton; J. Barnard, Victorian Ceramic Tiles; M and H; Pottery and Glass February-March 1951; Staffs. Sentinel 9 February 1S85; VCH ii and viii. People of the Potteries;
A. Dobraszczyc notes.