Famous Potters of Stoke-on-Trent

The Ridgway Family


The Ridgway Family
- click a name for more information -


Ralph Ridgway b.1726

A potter who moved to Swansea in search of work where his son Job was apprenticed to a potter there.

George Ridgway 1757-1823

George (elder son of Ralph Ridgway) took over the Bell Works in Broad Street, Hanley with his brother Job. This partnership ended in 1802, George kept the Bell Works and Job opened the Cauldon Works. In 1806 he again joined Job in partnership in the Bellevue Pottery, Hull

Job Ridgway 1759-1814

Younger son of Ralph Ridgway, he was born at Chell and when he & his father moved to Swansea he became apprentice to a potter there. 1780 Job returned to Staffordshire but failed to find work and moved to Leeds but only for two years - in Leeds he joined a Methodist society.
In about 1782 Job and his brother George took over the Bell Works in Broad Street, Hanley (now the site of the Potteries Museum). This partnership ended in 1802,  George kept the Bell Works and Job opened the Cauldon Works.  
Job became a class leader in the local Methodists and was one of the founder members of the Methodist New Connexion in Hanley in 1797. They met at a coach house in Albion Street, Hanley until Bethesda Chapel was built on the site in 1789. 
In 1785 he married Elizabeth Mayer (daughter of Elijah Mayer, himself a potter). Job and Elizabeth had three sons (Joseph died as an infant), the other two sons, John and William received equal shares in the business in 1808. Elizabeth died in 1809 and in 1813 Job married a Miss Cadman of Sheffield. 

John Ridgway 1785-1860

First son of Job and Elizabeth Ridgway. John and his younger brother William  received equal shares in the business in 1808 and on their fathers death in 1814 carried on the Cauldon Pottery Works. In 1830 the two brothers inherited the Bell Works from their uncle George. William took the Bell works and John took the Cauldon works. By 1850 the Cauldon works was one of the largest in the area with 500 employees. 
Still at the Cauldon Works, from 1830-1855, John Ridgway traded with partners as John Ridgway & Co.
From 1856-58 the firm was John Ridgway, Bates & Co. (the 'Bates' was John's nephew Thomas Bates) John retired in 1858 and Bates, Brown-Westhead & Co succeeded until 1862 when the company became Brown-Westhead Moore & Co. The works continued in various forms until 1962. In the mid 1960's the works were demolished and Cauldon Collage was built on the site.

In 1857 John was elected as the first mayor of the newly-created borough of Hanley. The camel on the city of Stoke-on-Trent coat of arms is taken from the Ridgway crest. 
John married Sophia Bale of Bristol in 1810, they had no children. 
As his father, Job, John Ridgway was a leading member of Bethesda Methodist chapel. He also contributed to the building of New Connexion churches in Tunstall, Burslem, Fenton and elsewhere.

In the late 1830's or early 1840's John Ridgway purchased Pinfold Meadow from John Baddeley. This 10 acre field, north of Caldon Canal and east of Howard Place was largely developed by executors around 1865-70, after John Ridgeway's death in 1860.

William Ridgway 1788-1864

John and William were sons of Job Ridgway. In 1802 they joined their fathers Cauldon Place works (1802 was when the works were built), in 1808 they became partners and in 1813, when Job died, the brothers continued in partnership. They also had the Bell Works from their uncle George. This partnership ended in 1830 with John taking the Cauldon Works and William retaining the Bell works.
These works he ran on his own and also with his son and other partners, including his son in law Francis Morley.
William Ridgway operate six factories in the Hanley area, including: Cobden Works, High Street Works, Church Bank Works and the Broad Street Works.
He retired in 1854 in ill health and financial difficulty. 
Like many of his family members he was a member of Bethesda Chapel in Albion Street, Hanley.

Francis Morley d.1883 (married Emma Ridgway)

Born in Nottinghamshire. In 1835 he married Emma the daughter of William Ridgway. By 1840 he was a partner in Ridgway, Morley, Wear & Co, Broad Street. In 1845 he became the sole owner. From 1850-58 traded as Morley and Co and from 1858-1862 as Morley and Ashworth.
In 1848 Francis Morley bought the designs of Charles James Mason.   

Edward John Ridgway 1814-1896

The son of William Ridgway, potter of the Bell Works and Church Works. 
As 'William Ridgway, Son & Co' he was in partnership with his father from 1838-1845. In 1866 the Church Works were taken by Powell and Bishop and Ridgway's transferred their production to the newly-built Bedford Road Works, Shelton. 
Edward John Ridgway took his son John into partnership in 1870; he retired in 1872 and left the business to his two sons John and Edward Ackroyd. 


John & Edward Ackroyd Ridgway

John and Edward Ackroyd Ridgway were the sons of Edward John Ridgway (1814-96) , grandsons of William Ridgway (1788-1864) and great grandsons of Job Ridgway (1759-1814). 

Edward John Ridgway of the Bell and Church Works  took his son John into partnership in 1870; when he retired in 1872 and left the business to both his two sons John and Edward Ackroyd, (who were later joined by Joseph Sparks)

The firm continued trading under different names. In 1955 it was named 'Ridgway Potteries Ltd' and was a subsidiary of Allied English Potteries Ltd.




questions/comments/contributions? email: Steve Birks