Allbut People from Stoke-on-Trent

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Allbut Family

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Thomas Allbut b.1777 d.1857

Printer and publisher of the Pottery Mercury newspaper.

Signature of Thomas Allbut on an Indenture declaring a
Trust of a Chapel called Bethesda
Dated: 31st August 1803



father: John Allbut  Mother: Mary
Thomas Allbut
b.1777 d.1857
wife: Sidney Ashford
sons: 4 - 
 William (b.1808);

daughters:   3


Owners and partnerships in the printing business
Tontine Square / Market Sq

1786-88 John Strahan (Straphan?) -founder.
1788-96 John Mort
1796-1800 John Allbut
1800-06 Allbut & Son [John &Thomas Allbut (son of John Allbut)]
1806-1811 Thomas Allbut
1811-1813 Thomas Allbut and George Gibbs
1814 - Thomas Allbut
1832-1852 Thomas Allbut & Son [Edwin Allbut (son of Thomas)]
1848-1850 Thomas & Edwin Allbut & Robert Hobson
1851 Allbut & Son
Dec 1852 Edwin Allbut
1853-1902 Allbutt and Daniel
1902-14 Wiment and Watkins
1914 - Webberley Ltd - in 1924 Webberley moved from Tontine Sq. to Percy Street, Hanley.


Pigot & Co's 1828/9 Directory of Staffordshire
The Potteries


Allbut Thos. High st. Hanley
Amphlett Jas. Stafford row, Shelton
Brougham Steph. Market pl. Burslem
Forrester Eliz. Market st. Lane End
Gibbs Geo. Tontine st. Hanley
Palmer John, Market st. Lane End
Tomkinson Richard Cyples, Newcastle st, Stoke
Tregortha John & Chas. Market pl. Burslem
Watts Chas. Gt. Charles st. Lane E


1898 OS map showing the location of Albut Printing Works (Red)
1898 OS map showing the location of Allbut Printing Works (Red)
The later works of Webberly is shown in Blue

The printing works (right) in Tontine Square when in the ownership of Wiment & Watkins (1902-14)
Note the tram lines on the road.
In the gap (to the left of the printing works) can be seen Market Square
On the corner is The Grapes, then the District Bank (now the National Westminster Bank)
and the shop with the awnings was J.D.Furnival (Dispensing Chemists) (now Boots)
The bookshop and printing works of Webberly Ltd (1914 onwards)
The new bookshop and printing works of Webberly Ltd (1924 onwards)


"We cannot, however, acquit ourselves of passing over, without a distinct notice, the oldest literary institution within the district, established, about fifty years ago, and still kept up under the title of "THE POTTERY SUBSCRIPTION LIBRARY," which is supported by a considerable body of members and subscribers, of the upper classes, in Hanley, Shelton, and the neighbourhood.

This Library contains about 3,000 volumes, and consists of the best publications in history, geography, voyages) travels, novels, and miscellaneous literature, which have issued from the press within the last half-century, with others of earlier date, but excludes divinity, law, and physic.

The property of the Institution belongs to the members, about 60 in number, who are elected by ballot, and pay a premium of two guineas each on admission, and a subscription of one guinea per annum, they choose a committee of management, who decide on the purchase of books recommended.  The rules are framed with proper regard to the character of the books as well as the members.   The Commissioners of Public Records have bestowed on this Library a series of their valuable publications, which are the only antiquarian works it possesses.

The depository is at the shop and premises of Mr. Thomas Allbut, Hanley, who has held the office of librarian and treasurer about forty years, and succeeded Mr. James Straphan, the first bookseller in the Potteries, who commenced the Library in the year 1790."

The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent  John Ward, 1843

1777 Thomas Allbut (son of John & Mary Allbut) born 31 March 1777 at Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.
1796 John Allbut (Thomas's father) bought the printing business of John Mort of Hanley (the printing business was founded by John Strahan the first bookseller in the Potteries)
1798 Thomas Allbut married Sidney Ashford on 27 February 1798 at the church of St.Martins-in-the-Bull-Ring, Birmingham.
c.1800 John Allbut became the proprietor of Meriden Academy, Warwickshire and his son Thomas took over the Hanley printing business.
1800 Thomas Allbut published "A view of the Staffordshire Potteries" - this volume consists of a descriptive chapter "The History of the Staffordshire potteries", followed by "A Directory Containing and Alphabetical List of the names and Places of Abode of the Gentlemen, Tradesmen, Shop-Keepers, etc, etc in the Staffordshire Potteries"- it only contains six pottery manufacturers.
1802 Thomas published "The Staffordshire Pottery Directory". The publication was announced in the Staffordshire Advertiser dated 27 March 2002.
- this volume is essentially just a reprint of the 1800 publication with the important addition of a detailed map of the Potteries together with a key list of the potters titled 'Names and Residences of the Earthenware Manufacturers'.
1803 Thomas Allbut [b. 1803 d.1867] - first son of Thomas & Sindey Allbut (he became the Vicar of Dewsbury.)
The Reverend Thomas Allbutt was the father of Sir Thomas Clifford Allbutt (born 185-Dewsbury Yorkshire. Died 1925 Cambridge), A very well known Victorian medical man, Regius Professor of Physics, Cambridge University. He was considered by some as the "Father of Modern Medicine". He invented the "short" clinical thermometer.
The Rev. Thomas Allbutt married Mary Ann Wooler, sister to Margeret Wooler. Margeret Wooler was head of the Roe Head High School, attended by the Bronte sisters. Rev. Thomas taught there.
c.1808 William Allbut born (son of Thomas)
1824 Thomas Allbut founded a newspaper The Staffordshire Mercury (later named The Potteries Mercury). The Rev. Leonard Abington was the first editor.
  Much of Allbut's printing was for the local Methodist churches .
For 50 years he was a local preacher at the Bethesda Methodist New Connexion Church where he was also a trustee.
As well as printing and bookselling Thomas Allbut also sold a range of toiletries and dealt in tea for a time.  He was listed as a Printer and Druggist
1833 By this date William Allbut was the proprietor of The Staffordshire Mercury newspaper.
William Allbuts first wife, Anne née Shirley, died in childbirth in 18 February 1833 (age 22)
c.1834 Thomas Allbut. operated a post office.
  Thomas succeeded his father a the librarian and treasurer of the 'Potteries Subscription Library' which was housed in his shop in Market Square, Hanley. (When Thomas retired the library was merged with the Mechanics' Institute.
1837 William Allbut married his second wife, Sophia Mort, who had opened a school for young ladies in Northwood, Hanley.
(Perhaps Sophia Mort was related to John Mort - the previous owner of the printing business Thomas Allbut bought)
1844 Previously living at Northwood, Hanley; William Allbut moved to the Mount, Penkhull in June 1844.
The ladies school also moved to the Mount and was open by the Autumn term of 1844.
1852 31 December 1852, Thomas retired and his second son Edwin continued with the business.
c.1853 William and Sophia Allbut left the Potteries to live in Cheshire.
1857 Thomas Allbut died 29 Dec. 1857. He was buried in Bethesda churchyard.
1879 William and Sophia Allbut had retired to Middlesex. William died at Downhurst, Hendon on 15 February 1879.



The Mount, Penkhull - built 1803
The Mount, Penkhull - built 1803
originally the home of the master potter Josiah Spode
from 1844 the home and Ladies School of William and Sophia Allbut


Young Ladies School - The 1851 Census return for the Mount

Name Position Age Employment Place of Birth
William Allbut Head 41 Newspaper Editor & Farmer of 43 acres Hanley
Sophia Allbut Wife 40 Principal of Ladies School Nottingham
Elizabeth Ann Allbut Daughter 11 Scholar Hanley
Thomas Henry Allbut Son 8 Scholar Hanley
Sophia Jane Allbut Daughter 6   Penkhull
Mary Dorothea Allbut Daughter 3   Penkhull
Elizabeth Mort Sister-in-Law 35 English Teacher Kingston-upon-Hull
Helen Mayer Ridgway   29 Teacher of Music Hanley
Amee Alexis Samson   29 French Teacher Native of France

full 1851 census for The Mount