Index for Shaw's history   

Shaw's - History of the Staffordshire Potteries - originally published in 1829


Chapter 2 - The Potteries - Stoke, Penkhull and the vicinity


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contents: index of Shaw's book

[these headings are not in the original - they are added for ease of reading]

The Parish of Stoke-upon-Trent
The Church of St. Peter
Epitath to Wedgwood
Sittings in Stoke Old Church
Mainwaring - Rector
National School
Description of Stoke Church 
Rectory House  
Stoke proper 
Other manufactories
The Mount
Thomas Wheildon 
Adams of Bagnall
Fenton Manor House 
Bourne & Baker
Fenton Lane 
Lane Delph
Fenton Park



The Parish of Stoke-upon-Trent

STOKE-UPON-TRENT was long the Parish Town of the district; but now is regarded solely by itself; and has its Market, and Town Hall, a neat structure, well adapted for public purposes; and under it are lock-up, and a place to hold the public Fire Engine.

Erdeswick says, "Stoke being one of the best parsonages in the country, it is a marvel (so many religious houses being near it,) how it escaped in all ages the covetousness of them. — It resting still according to the first institution of parsonages, not appropriated.'"

The Parish of Stoke contains Hanley, Shelton, Penkhull, Fenton Vivian, Fenton Culvert, Longton, and Lane End, Towns in the Potteries; with the Liberties of Clayton, Seabridge, Basford, Botteslow, Bucknall, Eaves, and Bagnall, appropriated chiefly to agriculture.

By Act of Parliament, in 1805, Newcastle and Burslem, and Bucknall with Bagnall, were formed into separate Rectories distinct from the Rectory of Stoke, but receiving from it, a stipulated annual sum.

The Church of St. Peter

The Old Church, dedicated to St. Peter, a venerable and spacious stone edifice, of the later Saxon Style of architecture, and the mother Church of eight surrounding churches, in a circuit of several miles, is doomed to be taken down; and its materials, for many centuries (probably eight) devoted to the worship of the Triune God, may be appropriated to worthless purposes.

On the ground is a stout grave stone with this inscription, Sibil Clarke, aged 112, 1684, Henry Clarke, aged 112.

Epitath to Wedgwood

In the Church are some monuments to the memory of the Fentons, of Newcastle, maternal ancestors of Sir T. F. Boughey, Bart, and the following epitaph commemorates the virtues of the late Josiah Wedgwood, Esq.:

"Sacred to the Memory of
Of Etruria, in this county,
Born in August 1730, 
Died January the 3d 1795:

" Who converted a rude and inconsiderable manufacture 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 misfortune. 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, his 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 them 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."


Sittings in Stoke Old Church

The following account of former sittings in Stoke Old Church, will preserve an evidence of the primitive distribution of seats in regard to rank, age, and worth, as well as the former separation of the men from the women in places of public worship.


April 3d, Anno Domini 1634.
"By virtue of an order made by Robert, (by the Divine Providence of God,) Lord Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, John Mainwaring, rector of the Parish Church of Stoke-upon-Trent, in the county of Stafford, William Allen, and William Hill, Churchwardens; their and others their assistants, with the consent of all or most of the parishioners, have placed the ancient householders of the said parish in the seats in the said church as ensueth.

Lichfield July 12th, 1664.—
"If this be the right copy of the order of my worthy predecessor the Lord Bishop Wright, I confirm it, appointing that the elder parishioners, according to their deserving, be seated and preferred before the younger.

"The names of the parishioners of Stoke-upon-Trent, appointed to place the parishioners in their seats, that have [so done] by common consent, and [whose arrangement was] allowed by my Lord Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, Anno Domini 1668.

"Imprimis.—Robert Clayton, Thomas Tittensor the younger, Thomas Barratt, Thomas Murhall, John Bucknall of the Gate, John Bucknall of Bentiley, Robert Hunt, John Brown, John Hill, Thornas Ames, Henry Brookes, and Richard Meire, who have placed the parishioners as followeth:


"The South Side—Men's Seats.

" 1. Churchwardens for the time being.
2. Thomas Hunt, Gent. John Brown, Gent. Thomas Fenton, John Lovatt, and Thomas Lea.
3. William Bagnall, John Machin, Richard Lovatt, Sir Richard Leveson's tenement, and Robert Bagnall.
4. William Hill, Thomas Hill, and Mr. Bentiley.
5. Mr. Terrick, Richard Broad, and Mr. Keeling.
6. John Malpass, John Boulton's tenement, and William Simpson.
7. Richard Nichols, Thomas Turner, and Roger Dale. 
8. John Brown, John Brown, John Dale, & John Prickett. 
9. John Doody, John Bowyer, and Nicholas Lovatt.
10. Handle Woodcock, Thomas Fenton, and Roger Machin.
11. William Knight, John Proctor, and Benson's Heir.
12. Henry Stevenson, Nicholas Lovatt, and John Wright.
13. Thomas Tittensor. Richard Beech, and Randle Bagnall.
14. Roger Tittensor, Handle Woodcock, & Thomas Machin.
15. Roger Wood, Mary Shaw, and George Hales.
16. John Pattison, Wright's house, John Machin de Lane.
17. John Stevenson, Francis Lycett, Hanley's de Hanley.
18. Richard Boulton, John Barratt, and Dawson's house.
19. John Biddulph, William Hall, and John Crockett.


"North Side— Men's Seats.

"1. Thomas Smith, Gent, and Thomas Bucknall, Gent. 
2. William Allen, Ridghouse, John Hill, and Roger Machin, senior.
3. Thomas Serjeant, Gent. Mr. Bradshaw, John Murhall, and John Wood.
4. At the Wall, Roger Machin, jun. Thomas Rawlins, John Adams, Ottiwell Jolley, and John Machin.
5. George Hanson, John Machin, and Thomas Bucknall.
6. Richard Cartwright, William Beech, and Thomas Pare.
7. Thomas Tittensor, Richard Thorleys, and Brassington's.
8. Richard Meire, Robert Cross, and John Leigh.
9. Thomas Machin, John Boulton, and Robert Whilton.
10. William Allen, for tenement, William Allen de Hulme, and John Beech.
11. Sir William Bowyer, for Craddock's, Watson's, and Anthony Reeling's.
12. Bentiley's de Laund, Richard Walklott, and John Poulson.
13. John Wedgwood, Richard Trevin, and John Smith.
14. John Wood de Ash and tenement, John Bowyer, and John Plant.
15. John Austin, Laurence Naylor, and William Cowap.
16. John Stevenson, Gilbert's house, and John Boulton.
17. Thomas Walklott, John Leese, Jeffry Steel.
18. Lewis o' Land, Hugh Mare, and Francis Pool.
19. Jeffry Meire, Richard Cartwright, and William Beech.
20. John Adams, William Murhall, and Thomas Ames.


" North Side—Women's Seats.

'' 1. Roger Bradshaw, and John Allen, Roger Bradshaw hath the Form end.
2. Thomas Murhall, Wood de Ash, Austens de Ash, and Allen's de Hulme.
3. John Machin de Bucknall, Boulton's house de Bucknall, William Adams de Bagnall, Hanson's house, John Beech de Bentiley.
4. Richard Poulson, Laurence Sherratt, Randle Booths, John Hill of Shelton, Randle Bagnall of Eaves.
5. Robert, Whilton, John Hitchcock, John Bucknall, of the Gate, Thomas Lovatt, of the Hole-house, Richard Walklott, of Berry Hill.
6. Thomas Ames, Thomas Hanley of Hanley, the whole form.
7. Hitchin of Lane, George Fenton, Robert Hill, and Francis Craddock.
8. Richard Meire, German's house, Edmund Vice, Richard Hewetl, and Thomas Pare.
9. Richard Mear, Thomas Turmore, the house of Wright and Hanley, Richard Walklott, for Hanley-hey's; Thomas Tittensor, for the Over-house, Thomas Wood claimeth the same.
10. Parker's house, Boulton's house, John Bradshaw, and Thomas Bagnall.
11. Thomas Fenton of Boothen, Thomas Ames, John Hanley's of the Penkhull.
12. Thomas Barrott, John Rowley, of Shelton, Hugh Wood, and Stephen Fenton.
13. Spooner's house, Richard Tunstall, and John Hankinson.
14. Roger Harrison, William Harrison, Jeffry Meire, and Roger Cowap.


South Side—Women's Seats.

"1. Thomas Bucknall, and Richard Serjeant, George Fenton claimeth the same.
2. Thomas Ames, John Turmore, Brassington of Moor-hall.
3. Henry Brooks, Bartholomew Bowyer, Richard Lovatt, and Widow Bentiley.
4. Robert Clayton, Thomas Dawson, John Lovatt, the house that is holden of Garnitt and Benson a seat, Home's land a seat, John Trinley claimeth the same.
5. Robert Hunt, Roger Bagnall for Longton house, Whiston's house, Roger Bagnall of Clayton, for Longton house, the 4th seat; Richard Aston claimeth for German's land.
6. John Kendall, William Machin, and Thomas Lovatt. 
7. Thomas Machin, John Proctor, Henry Lovatt, of Eaves, John Kendall, Thomas Tittensor claims the same for Fenton's house.
8. John Brown, T. Broad to Hill, and John Brown for his tenement.
9. Widow Hordern, Thomas Tittensor for the lower house, Hugh Machin.
10. Widow Bagnall, Mr. Egerlon, Peter Knight, and John Woodcock the fourth seat.
11. John Hammersley, Richard Kendrick, William Barratt Thomas Machin claims a seat for Bate's house.
12. John Hide, John Hitchin, James Hudson, Ralph Bucknall, and John Pulsbury.
13. Hugh Thorley, Roger Fox, John Simpson of Clayton, Widow Febkin, and John Simpkins.
14. Widow Stevenson, John Bourn, and Roger Dixon. Richard Aston is unplaced and Robert Pyler. Also the young maids are to kneel in the short forms.


"Eccleshall Castle, 26th April, A. D. 1634.

"Being fully informed by such as I have caused and required to survey convenient, and commodious sittings and placing of the parishioners, of the parish of Stoke-upon-Trent, in the county of Stafford, and finding no just opposition against the same, by any of the parishioners aforesaid, I, Robert, (by Divine Providence) Lord Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, do well approve the Order, by parcelling and seating of the said parishioners aforesaid, and by these presents allow, ratify, and confirm the same whatsoever the Rector, Churchwardens, and parishioners have done therein, until just cause shall be shewed to the contrary. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and caused my seal episcopal to be hereunto placed at the time and place abovesaid.


"THOMAS GOODFELLOW, Clayton,      Churchwardens for the Year of our Lord 1772.

Some obscurity in the above document appears at the beginning, by the position of the subsequent confirmations in 1664 and 1668, whether the list applies to the period of 1634, and afterwards 1668; or wholly to the latter : and some sentences are not clearly expressed, which we have taken the liberty of filling up between brackets according to our judgment. Whatever obscurity might exist, originally, or by copying, the article is sufficient, explicit for the purposes already stated, and which induced its insertion. By some it may be considered not uninteresting in furnishing a list of the nnmes of the ancient householders in the parish of Stoke; and in affording a partial means of judging of the comparative state of the parish in regard to the population in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries;.

Mainwaring - Rector

Mr. Mainwaring, whose name appears, as Rector, in the beginning of the above instrument, is remarkable not only as an instance of longevity, but for the duration of his incumbency. The following has been handed to us as being an extract from the Parish Register, though it is evidently imperfect:

" May 1692. Johannes Mainwaring, S.T.P. Rector Ecclesie de Stoke sup. Trent: sepult."
"Johannes Mainwaring cum extitissit Rector Ecclesie Stoke p. spatium Quinquaginta et non'mannor' expiravit die et aunon s'pra diet."

If Mr, Mainwaring was 59 years rector of Stoke, his age, at the time of his death, could not be less than 83 years. He was succeeded by the Rev. John Repton, who was likewise perpetual curate of Norton-in-the-Moors.—Pitt.

National School

In the year 1815, a very handsome and commodious National School, for the education of 500 children of the poor in the Principles of the Established Church, was erected at this place, at an expense of nearly £1000. which sum was raised principally by voluntary contributions. It is situated at the east end of and adjoining the church-yard.

Description of Stoke Church

The Church now erected at Stoke, is of the Modern or Ornamented Gothic style of Architecture. The Architects and Builders, Messrs. Trubshaw and Johnson, of Haywood, in this County, commenced the erection in March, 1826, and it was completed in August, 1829. 

The Corner Stones in the East, South, and North Angles at the Chancel End, were laid by the Very Rev. Dean of Lichfield, John Tomlinson, Esq. and the late Josiah Spode, Esq. on the 28th of June, 1826; and in each is an Earthenware Tablet, containing the following inscription, in Bas Relief:


[here in Shaw's book is the Latin inscription and a translation 
- only the translation is recorded here]

This Parish Church, at first well adapted to the feus scattered Husbandmen, who, in early times, composed the Inhabitants of Stoke-upon Trent, having given birth to Eight other sacred Edifices, but at length become inadequate to contain, within her Walls, the New Population, which the Local Manufacture, The Potters' Art, had gathered around her; was rebuilt from the Foundations, on an extended scale, as near to the Spot, where for more than Eight Centuries, Worship to God, in Christ's Name, had been paid, as a regard to the Ashes of the Dead would allow, by means of Resources, supplied;—partly, by the Voluntary Offerings of the Opulent, and among these, most conspicuous a Gift of £3000 from John Chappel Woodhouse, Rector, and of £500 from Josiah Spode, of the Mount; (since deceased) partly, by a Parochial Rate;—and lastly yet most worthy of record, by Contributions arising from the supernumerary Labours of the Working Classes spontaneously bestowed.

The Corner Stones of the Foundations were laid the 28th of June, in the Year of Our Lord Christ, 1826.

Joannes Chappel Woodhouse - Rector
Joannes Tomlinson - Patronus 
Josias Spode, Jun, (now of the Mount) - Æditui
Joannies Kirkham, Penkhulli  - Æditui


The Length of the Interior of the Church, from East to West, is 130 feet, the width, 61 feet; the height to the ceiling, 45 feet; the height of the Tower, from the Ground Line, 112 feet —The Gallery contains 444 Sittings, and Benches for 300 Scholars; — The Body of the Church contains 508 Sittings, and 420 Free Sittings; so that there is ample accommodation for 1672 persons.

The Expence of the Edifice, and additional Ground for inhumation, Organ, Bells, &c. is about £14000; of which Sum, as mentioned in the Tablet, £3000 wan given by the Very Rev. the Dean; besides £700 for a Painted Window in the Chancel, and £500 by the late Josiah Spode, Esq. — To this might be added the Sum paid by the Parish to poor men employed in conveying materials, &c. to raise, the New and the Old Burial Ground several feet higher than its previous level.

Rectory House

The Rectory House, usually called Stoke Hall, is now in a course of alteration, by Messrs. Trubshaw and Johnson, to render it a very elegant and commodious residence for the Minister of the Parish, and an ornament, instead of the curate's truly shabby house. We unintentionally omitted, in its proper place, the elegant, Rectory House recently built at Burslem; but hope this will supply the notice.

Stoke proper

In Stoke proper, are only five houses, including the Hall; and of course only a few inhabitants strictly reside in Stoke. But the name is applied to the Town West of the Church. Stoke is in the liberty of Penkhull, on the high road from Lane End to Newcastle. Most, of the houses in it, are of comparatively recent ejection; and the opening of the New Road to the Black Lion, afforded opportunity for many dwelling houses to be erected on the line; while within the last three years, another range has been raised in the new road to Shelton. We have not been able to obtain information concerning any of the very early potters in Stoke. At the Honey-wall between Stoke and Penkhull, are a number of houses, pleasantly situated on an elevated tract, of land, possessing a fine view of the eastern side of the district.



The Trent and Mersey Canal passes near the Church Yard, along which are a range of Wharfs and Warehouses, for Canal Carriers; and the Canal Company have here one of their principal Offices, and extensive Sheds, &c. Prom Stoke to Lane End they have a Rail Road, on which their Waggons regularly convey materials and packages to the neighbourhood of Kenton, Lane Delph, and Lane End; and return with any Crates, &c. The Canal passes over the Trent at this place, the acqueduet being of three brick arches; and so very level with the adjoining land, as rarely to be noticed by persons passing along that way.

A navigable Canal from the south end of Newcastle town to the Grand Trunk Canal at Stoke-upon-Trent, a distance of four miles, was made, in pursuance of an Act, which passed in 1795, wholly by subscription, and affords great accommodation to the town, although it has not hitherto paid much dividend to the proprietors.


The Manufactories here are Eleven in number; belonging to these Gentlemen:— Mr. Spode, Mr. Minton, Messrs. H. & R. Daniel, Mr. Adams, Mr. Boyle, Mr. Mayer, and Messrs. Ward and Forrister, But, in extent for the number, and in capital employed, they greatly exceed the like number in any part, of the district. Three are void; but they are the smallest in the place.


Along the new road are the Manufactories of T. Minton, Esq. 

The largest is exclusively appropriated to the manufacture of various Pottery; of most excellent quality, for Blue Printing; and has obtained decided preference in many of the home markets.

The other manufactory has been appropriated to the Porcelain departments; and connected with it are a Steam Engine and Mill to grind the materials, and colours. The whole concern is of a regular plan for usefulness, and reduction of labour; and the various articles are entitled to the pre-eminence they have gained. 

The residence of T. Minton, Esq. is a modest edifice in a retiring situation on the road thro' the town; and here in the circle of a numerous and intelligent family, he enjoys the well-earned reward of his ingenuity and perseverance. 

He has been intimately connected with many of the improvements in the manufacture, during the present century; possessed of extensive information on the chemical properties of the earths, and great practical knowledge of the requisite processes, he has been successful in producing a kind of Porcelain and Pottery, which continue to increase in the estimation of the public. Mr. Minton as a private member of the community, ranks very high for urbanity and philanthropy. 

The residence of H. Minton, Esq. is near Hartshill; a very beautiful and compact cottage residence, enjoying a fine and diversified southern prospect.

Other manufactories 

Messrs. Daniel's manufactory is wholly confined to Porcelain of the finest kind , (their Pottery being made at the Shelton manufactory,) and their methods of ornamenting, are second to none in the district. The proprietors are highly respected for their numerous excellencies of character, personal, and as public men.

In one part of the manufactory occupied by Mr. Adams, was erected the first Steam Engine employed to grind Flints. Concerning this engine, we have obtained the following particulars from the person mentioned:—

Mr. G. Cope, of Milton, states, that about 1782, he erected a small Foundry on the bank of the Canal at Milton; and in 1786 constructed a small atmospheric steam engine, with a cylinder twelve inches in diameter, open at the top, merely to work the bellows for his cupola or furnace; he next added a four-feet flint pan, in which he often ground Composition (Growan Stone;) but soon found he wanted more power; and therefore for the flint pan, he substituted one for glaze, which he ground for Messrs. Hales & Adams, of Cobridge, and when the power was not applied this way, he used it to turn a lathe, in which he faced the large iron rollers, by him substituted for others of lignum vitae, in the Printing Presses he made for Mr. Ralph Baddely, of Shelton; twelve inches diameter, by twenty-four inches in length. These were the first iron rollers in presses used by Blue Printers.

—Mr. Cope sold this small engine to Mr. Harding, of Hook Gate, about 1792; at that time busily employed in making rollers and spindles for the Lancashire cotton spinners; and who employed to remove it from Milton to Hook Gate, a person from Colebrook-dale, named Green. 

This person ascertained for what purposes, and how usefully that engine had been employed at Milton in grinding materials and Glazes; and scarcely hud he completed his engagement with Mr. Harding, when he formed another with the late Mr. T. Wolfe, an extensive manufacturer of the common kinds of pottery, at Stoke, to erect a very powerful engine on the same principle, to grind potter's materials; which, on being completed fully answered all the expectations of both parties, and excited others of the manufacturers to grind their own materials.


Nigh to the Church Yard, is the Manufactory of Messrs. Z. Boyle & Son, for Porcelain and Pottery of very excellent quality. Their Residence is a large and handsome edifice on the opposite side of the high road, placed in a small paddock; but most injudiciously situated in the midst of manufactories, whose smoke necessarily proves a continual source of annoyance.

At the top of Stoke, called Cliff Bank, is the manufactory, (now occupied by Mr. Thomas Mayer, a very intelligent potter,) where Mr Daniel Bird first ascertained the exact proportion of Flint required by the several kinds of clay, to prevent the pottery cracking in the oven; and for which he was first called the Flint Potter. His remains lie under a dilapidated tomb at the steeple-end of the old church; and the inscription mentions that he was by accident killed at Twickenham, near London.

At a little distance above, on the road to Newcastle, is Cliff Ville, an elegant mansion belonging to John Tomlinson, Esq. the Patron of the Rectory of Stoke; a gentleman of considerable eminence in his profession, as a lawyer; and whose name will be found among the Benefactors to every valuable institution in the district. From this place, the prospect northward and eastward is one of the most picturesque and interesting, possible to be imagined.


In the centre of Stoke, covering an area of several acres, and adapted for the most commodious progression of the numerous processes, is the Manufactory of Josiah Spode, Esq., (the third of the name.) in extent not surpassed in Europe, and possessing the advantages of canal carriage to its very interior. 

Here the power of a large Steam Engine, on the most improved principle of Boulton and Watt, is applied to grind the materials, and greatly reduce the manual labour of the slip makers. 

The manufacture includes every variety of the finest kinds of Porcelain and Pottery, with all the ornaments and embellishments calculated to gratify the desires of the luxurious, and the taste of the connoisseur. The important material Feldspar, was first introduced into Porcelain, at this manufactory, by the father of the present proprietor, and the Porcelain was, in consequence allowed to be the finest in grain, and most durable in texture, of any in the district. 

The Blue Printed has long enjoyed well merited preference, for the excellence of the Pottery, the great variety of elegant patterns, and the beauty of the shapes of the different articles. The late worthy proprietor, (of whom a brief account is given in a subsequent part,) was reckless of pains and expence to render all his productions deserving of general patronage, and he was so successful, that in comparatively few years, be amassed an immense fortune, the reward of his endeavours to benefit the community at large.


PENKHULL is now the restricted name of the high-land above Stoke, southwestward ; and here are a number of very convenient houses for the working classes, of recent erection. The parish workhouse is on this elevated spot; and will be inspected with pleasure by the philanthropist, for the cleanliness and comfort here afforded, to the aged and the infirm, the weak-minded and the destitute. In fact, all the attentions of humanity are supplied to them.

We do not find direct or indirect mention of Penkhull in Erdeswick, or Plot; yet at Penkhull, in 1600 were three manufactories for Coarse Brown Pottery; one of which belonged to Mr. Thomas Doody; whose descendants now reside in Tunstall. All these are now no longer seen; ranges of dwelling houses occupying the spot, where the poor earth potter was busily employed in fabricating vessels for the neighbouring borough and villages. 

Here died, in Nov. 1828, Mary Broad, at a truly patriarchal age; the first female ever employed in this district as a Transferrer of the impressions from copper plates to Pottery.—

A few very old houses remain in Penkhull; in one of which formerly they held the Copyhold Court for the Manor; and this still meets in the Liberty of Penkhull. This suggests the opinion, that the present name Manor of Newcastle, was allowed at first out of courtsey to the newly created Borough, which was taken out of Penkhull Liberty and Stoke Parish.

Conformably to an anbient custom of the Manor of Newcastle-under-Lyme, within the Duchy of Lancaster, it is essential that the original wills of copyhold tenants, dying seised of copyholds, should be produced and proved in the Manor court, within a limited time after the decease of the testator, or testarix, in default of which the estate is liable to forfeiture.


Below Penkhull, to the south west, is situated the Lodge, where resides Thomas Fenton, Esq., (a descendant of the family of Fenton, of Shelton,) who to extensive professional acquirements as a Lawyer, and a fund of Literary and Scientific knowledge, joins great information concerning the Localities of the Potteries. To the kindness of this gentleman the author is much indebted, for some truly valuable information.


The Mount

In one part of Penkhull, is the Mount; one of the best mansions in the district, a spacious and elegant square edifice, with suitable attatched offices, surrounded by extensive gardens and pleasure grounds, and enjoying a prospect almost unbounded, over the vicinity and the adjacent counties. 

Its proprietor is Josiah Spode, Esq. the third of the name, and the inheritor of all the virtues of his predecessors. In the several relations of civil and domestic society, his character ranks very high amongst the most worthy of the gentlemen with which this part of the country is favoured.

Tho' possessed of vast property, his modesty and affability remain unaffected by the elevation of his condition. With a large fund of good sense, liberality of disposition, and considerable knowledge of the world, his acquaintance with the claims of the lower classes upon his sympathy and benevolence, prevents any ostentatious parade from abashing the friendless suitor, and causing him to feel his degraded condition; while the wretched and houseless child of want, instead of being left to pine in hopeless misery, frequently finds here a benefactor and protector. Long may the district be benefited by his benevolence, and the parish of Stoke experience the advantages of his services.

Thomas Wheildon

Near to Stoke, over the Trent, on the south side of the high road, is the dilapidated mansion of the late Thomas Wheildon, Esq., at no very distant period, one of the most beautiful and interesting of the neighbourhood. 

The spot, once the scene of hospitality and domestic felicity, is now covered with briers and noisome weeds, and exposed to the rude blast of every pelting storm. The outbuildings are now partly destroyed, or transformed into small houses for the peasantry. At Fenton-Low are some cottages formed out of the old manufactory, and at this day the property of his heirs.

Adams of Bagnall

On the north side opscsite the Trent, is the mansion of W. Adams, Esq., of a very early and respectable family at Bagnall, long connected with the manufacture of the district. This gentleman joins with considerable experience, extensive information relative to all departments of the Art; and his productions in Pottery and Porcelain are in deserved estimation.

Fenton Manor House

The Manor House, Fenton, is an elegant and capacious mansion, placed on the summit of a very extensive lawn, and enjoying a delightful and extended prospect to the south and west. The gardens and pleasure grounds are large, and arranged with great taste and elegance. 

There is a beautiful entrance Lodge at the western extremity of the estate, which latter is extremely valuable for its extent and agricultural produce, and the rich mines of coals, Potter's Marl, and Brick Clay, of excellent quality, spread all beneath its surface. 

The proprietor is Philip Barnes Broade, Esq., a young gentleman, whose promising talents have already secured for him, at the age of twenty-five, the appointment and reappointment to the highest authority in the parish. (that of Churchwarden,) with that other gentleman of sterling worth, Josiah Spode, Esq. re-appointed the fifth time.


FENTON has indeed been greatly enlarged in population during the present century; and since 1820 many new houses have been erected. Here on the south side is a neat Chapel, for the Wesleyan Methodists. 

Near is a large Iron Foundry belonging to Messrs. Hancock;—and on the north side and Mr. Felix Pratt's House and Manufactory, on the site where Mr. T. Heath made dipped Pottery: and who is mentioned with proper respect for his virtues, is in a subsequent part. The present proprietor is notable for affability and promptitude in alleviating the miseries of the distressed.

Bourne & Baker

On the south side, nearer Lane End, are the two mansions of Ralph Bourne, and William Baker Esqs. The former is neat; but being only a kind of business-residence is without exterior decorations, the proprietor's home being at Hilderstone Hall, a few miles south-east of Fenton.

Mr. Baker's residence is spacious and commodious, surrounded with gardens and pleasure grounds, and enjoying a tolerably extensive prospect. 

The public spirit and private virtues of these gentlemen, have been long known in the district; and are duly appreciated by all persons of discernment and worth. Ready for every good word and work, their benevolence has been exercised to discover objects of commisseration; and their liberality has been dispensed with most laudable extension and promptitude. 

Almost adjoining are the two extensive Manufactories, and Mill, of Messrs. Bourne, Baker and Bourne; whose productions are in estimation in both the home and foreign markets. 

One of these is on the site of that formerly the property of Mr. T Bacchus; but being mostly new buildings, the curious find some difficulty in ascertaining which, if any, of the present establishment, must be regarded as having resulted from Mr. Astbury's introduction of Flint and Biddeford Clay, at Lane Delph.— It has often been a subject of regret to us, to find that very little if any notice had been taken of persons who had served their generation in an important manner, and of facts, which are known to have occurred by the results yet remaining.

Fenton Lane

In Fenton Lane are several truly elegant Cottage Residences, for persons who have retired from the hurry of business, to enjoy in quiet the honourable reward of their assiduity and genius. 

At the Toll gate is Heron Cottage, a superb tho' small edifice, the property of Charles Mason. Esq. 

At Great Fenton are the spacious mansions of Thomas Allen and Henry Cartwright, Esqrs. —and the unoccupied mansion house, belonging to John Smith, Esq., the owner of very considerable property in Stoke Parish, but now resident at Elmhurst, near Lichfield. 

At a short distance is Longton Hall, the seat of Richard Edensor Ileathcote, Esq., M. P. for Coventry. As great alterations are being effected here, it cannot with propriety be particularized at present.

Lane Delph

The number of old houses in LANE DELPH, shew it to have been long one seat of the manufacture. 

There are now a large number of new houses, of a very convenient size and plan for the working classes. And within the last year, the enterprising spirit of a private person, Charles Mason, Esq., has established a regular Market, with Stalls and Shambles, to accommodate this part; which doubtless will be duly appreciated by all those for whose convenience the speculation was undertaken. 

At the bottom of Ark Lane, nigh Mr. Pratt's, is a Chapel for the Calvinists; and in the New Road is one, commodious and handsome, (with a good school room connected, for the gratutious instruction of children on the Sabbath;) owned by the methodists of the New Connection, formed in 1797. 

In Lane Delph also are entitled to notice, the House and Manufactory, of Thomas Carey, Esq.. also of S. Ginders, Esq,, and of J. Pratt, Esq. 

The manufactory of Messrs. G. & C. Mason, for Patent Iron-stone China, is commodious. Here is a Steam Engine of some peculiarity in its construction, by Holford, of Hanley; but we never could get from him, an explicit statement of the nature of the improvement, certainly with a cylinder only the size of a six-horse power engine, this has always done the work of others rated as equal to sixteen horses. The front Warehouse is four stories high, is fire proof, and has the most beautiful facade of any in the district. The manufactory where Messrs. Barker pursued their avocation, is now converted into cottages and a tavern called the Dog and Partridge.

Fenton Park

On the East is Fenton Park, where is a Colliery of great magnitude and value; in one part of which is a Steam Engine of about sixty horses power, on the best principle, and adapted to work four lifts of Pumps to raise water from the mines

Almost close to this, is Broadfield Colliery, also extremely valuable for the extent and depth of strata of its several mines. 

The spectator may enjoy from the eminence, at Fenton Park, a prospect, at once so rich and greatly diversified, as not to be equalled in this district, and scarcely possible to be excelled in any part of the kingdom. Words will not adequately describe its beauties; they must be contemplated, for the mind to have correct ideas of them. 

In succession the vision is gratified with viewing Caverswall, Lane End, Blurton, Trentham, Swinnerton and Keel Parks, Clayton, Butterton, Great Fenton and Little, Stoke, Penkhull, Newcastle, Silverdale, Knutton, Apedale, Chesterton, Red Street, Talk, Harecastle Hill, Bradwell, Woolstanton, Basford, Shelton, Hanley, Burslem, Newport, Longport, Etruria, Tunstall, Chell, NewChapel, Mole Cob, Biddulph. Norton, Brown Hedge, Stanley, Bagnall, Bucknall, and Ubberley, a circuit rich in its natural productions; and the wealth of its proprietors; thickly populated, and supplying means of support and comfort to the industrious classes settled in it.



The FOLEY has only a few Houses, and three Manufactories in it. 

The Manufactory of Messrs. Elkins, Knight, & Bridgwood, is a new and very complete establishment; having in addition to the customary buildings a powerful Steam Engine and Flint Mill. The productions of this establishment are very superior in their quality, and have obtained celebrity in the markets. The proprietors are gentleman of the most respectable character as tradesmen and members of civil society. 

Opposite are the House and Manufactory of C. Bourne, Esq., the former the best on this side, for excellence of construction, and elegance of appearance. Connected with it are spacious Gardens; and contigous is the manufactory. 

At the southern extremity are the House and Factory of the late Mr. Myatt; one of the first persons who received the Wesleyan Methodist Preachers; and in whose parlour the late Rev. J. Wesley stood, while from the window he preached to a vast congregation, when last he passed thro' Staffordshire only a few months prior to his decease.

Golden Hill House is the residence of Jacob Marsh Esq., long esteemed highly for his numerous private virtues as a friend and parent; and for his integrity as a tradesman and master. — Descended from a family long engaged in the manufacture of the different kinds of Pottery, and of the first flint and salt glaze ware, he alone remains to perpetuate the name in his family, and convey to posterity a memento of one of those branches to whom the district owes its elevation. His very compact and well arranged Manufactory is at the entrance into Lane End.





next: Chapter 2 - Lane End and the vicinity 
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contents: index of Shaw's book