Index for Shaw's history   

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


Chapter 6 - Progress of the manufacture from 1700 to 
Mr. Wedgwood's commencement in 1760.


next: Chapter 6 - continuation - manufacture from 1700 to 1760 
previous: Chapter 5 -
The Introduction of Porcelain by Messrs. Elers
contents: index of Shaw's book

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

Manufacture prior to Plott
Egyptian Black
Digging coal & clay in the streets
Development of coal & clay 
Twyford - near Shelton Old Hall
Astbury - Shelton
Thomas Heath - Lane Delph
Astbury's use of calcined flint
The family of Fenton
Graves in Stoke Church
Stoke Old Church
Burslem Church
The route to Hulton Abbey
Mr Willett lived to age 105
The foundation of Hanley Corporation 
Burslem Constable's Feast
General Meetings of the Potteries 



Manufacture prior to Plott

Prior to Dr. Plott's visit, the manufacturers must have had a mediocrity of business, as well as regular methods of  disposing of their productions thro' the country. These were the Coarse Red, mottled and cloudy, black, and yellow wares. A  suitable clay was used tor the body; and other kinds were mixed with water, and the liquid applied on the surface, to produce many shades of colour, and ornaments much similar to old patterns of marbled paper.

The Specimens are some glazed with lend, others witli salt, and some wholly without glaze, or in the vocabulary of our day dry bodies; remarkably varied in kinds and appearance, and the Coffee and Tea pots have shapes varying with the fancy of  the workman ; heart shaped, globose, spheroidal, on feet, conoid, octagonal, and many other whimsical forms, with the spouts  and handles equally singular and curious. 

A spheroidal Tea Pot, which will hold two quarts, has the spout and handle well  fixed on in imitation of a piece of vine branch ; and on the bend of the vessel are leaves and fruit. 

An other Specimen has some embossed work on it. And some smaller Tea pots have leaves in white clay. As none of the surfaces of these have been turned in the lathe, we must regard turning as yet only partially introduced. The Ornaments in relief were formed by  scraping away with the point of an iron nail, the superfluous mass when dry, of either the body or dip, leaving the representations of flowers, &c. a little raised on the same principle as the sculptor cuts away the superabundent mass of  materials. 

Dr. Plott mentions, that at this time a tobacco-pipe maker, of Newcastle, named Charles Rigg, employed to make very good Pipes, three sorts of clay, a white, and a blue, which he has from between Shelton and Hanley green [now Filcher's and Kirkham's marl pits,] whereof the blue clay burns the whitest, but not so full as the white; i.e. "it shrinks more." 

Some of the Red was of the kind now frequently seen in best Flower Pots; of rather a dark teint, but  beautiful grain, because the clay had been passed thro' fine hair sieves.


Egyptian Black

At this time also were made the first attempts at the ware now called Egyptian Black; by employing the black clay only for jugs and tea pots; which being rich with basaltes, and saturated with oxide of iron, became very black when fired. 

Several specimens are ornamented with figures, in other clays, of leaves, and fruit; and a small white tea pot has these in black clay. Some of the black tea pots are glazed, but not all; and the stouking branch seems improved in all the specimens. 

In 1820, very near the front of the Burslem Free School, at the depth of almost ten feet beneath the surface of the then existing highways, which were being lowered for public convenience, were found two Butter Pots, of 1645, and several other specimens of early pottery, in a hole from which clay had been taken formerly, and which had been filled with refuse articles. One is a jet black tea pot, globose in shape, with three mole feet on the bottom, evidently of clay with some manganese, and finely glazed with lead ore; the spout, handle, and feet, fixed in a superior manner. None of these exhibit any of the white dip or wash, so prevalent in 1710; and therefore probably it had not been introduced when they were buried.— This kind of ware was much in request about 1740, and Thomas and Jolin Wedgwood manufactured great quantities long before they erected the Big House.


In the Egyptian Black Clay of the present day, a proportion of Car is introduced; it is an oxide of iron suspended in the water drained from the Coal Mines, and procured thus:— 

Being of a specific gravity greater than that of water, it forms a sediment at the bottom of the channel of the stream that conveys it from the mine: when a considerable quantity is thus lodged in a certain space, the stream, to that extent, is diverted from its usual course; and the car is thrown out of the channel, from whence the water has been turned off, upon the adjoining banks; where it remains till dry. Sometimes small pits or ponds aie made on the adjoining banks, and the car is scooped from the bottom of the channel, and thrown into them, without diverting the course of the water. 

When it is sufficiently dry, it is sold at the rate of one guinea per cart-load. 
Being very useful for Busts, &c. Mr. Josiah Wedgwood, prepared it of a superior quality in grain, and blacker in colour; and obtained a patent for its entire application. His numerous beautiful productions of this body remain unrivalled. 

But the patent was given up, in consequence of Mr. Palmer, of Hanley, satisfactorily proving, that the articles had been used some time before Mr. Wedgwood commenced business.


Digging coal & clay in the streets

At the time we are now noticing, any manufacturer who was a Freeholder, in Burslem, without molestation exercised his (then supposed) right of taking clay, or coals, or both, from any uninclosed or unenfranchised land in the liberty, at any time, and in whatever quantity he might require; and this right (which was well remembered by many persons alive in 1803,) was exercised to so great an extent on the Sneyd Estate, (then the property of Parker, Earl of Macclesfield,) that only was a stop put to the practice, by the Earl paying a considerable sum for enfranchising the Estate. 

Prior to using the Salt Glaze and Biddeford Clay, all the clays and much of the coals for the twenty-two ovens, weekly filled with Crouch, Glazed Black, Mottled, Cloudy, Moulded, &c. were obtained from holes in the streets and sides of the lanes; and all of these are not yet filled up with refuse articles.


Development of coal & clay

Coals were known before the arrival of the Romans, who had not even a name for them, though Theophrastus describes them very accurately, at least three centuries before the time of Caesar; and as then known to workers in brass— 

Brand observes that they were not mentioned under the Danish usurpation, nor under the Normans, but were known in the reign of Henry III. In 1366 they were prohibited in London as a nuisance, but used in the Palace in 1321, and became soon after an important article of commerce. 

In 1512 they were not always used, because not having got to the main stratum, people complained 'that they would not burn without wood.'— 

The best were then sold at 5s. a chaldron, a bad sort at 4s. 2d. 
Excepting blacksmiths, they were used in the seventeenth century, under the name of sea coal, by the lower orders, who could not afford to buy wood; and in sacks upon men's backs they were hawked about the streets.

The native clays are all metalliferous, each having a portion of oxide of iron. But the clays from Dorset and Devon, used by the tobacco-pipe makers, have all their impurities extracted before they are vended to the purchasers. 

In the present day, it is well known that every coloured clay has its tinge from a metallic oxide, and that pure clay is white. 

During this period, and a considerable time subsequent, the Clays from the south of England, were called Chester Clay, because received here from that city. They possess every property requisite for their designed purpose; being extremely white when fired, owing to being scarcely impregnated with oxide of iron, which would make the ware yellow or red in proportion to the 
quantity in the clay.

Twyford - near Shelton Old Hall

Mr. Twyford commenced business near Shelton Old Hall, the seat of Elijah Fenton's family; and the only known specimen of his manufacture, is a jug made for T. Fenton. Esq., at this day in the possession of a descendant of the same name, residing at the Lodge; below Penkhull; of whom we may observe that great professional ability is in him joined with philanthropy, and a 
readiness to accelerate every meritorious enterprize.

Astbury - Shelton

Mr. Astbury commenced also in Shelton, near Vale Lane, at first. And both these persons made Red, Crouch, and White Stone Wares; using lead ore glaze for some vessels, and salt for those of more value. 

Mr. Astbury very soon began to employ the Pipe Clay, from Biddeford, mixed with water, with which the inner surface of culinary vessels was washed, and when fired, had a white appearance, different from the smoky hue of those glazed with lead ore, and also from the grey brick-like colour of the others glazed with salt. 

This excited him to further endeavours; the pipe clay was levigated until only the finest 
particles were suspended in the water, forming a liquid substance like cream; he also tried this clay and the Shelton marl, for his white ware, with such success, that he soon rejected the native clays entirely, and made White Dipped or White Stone Ware by a very easy transition from the Crouch ware.

Thomas Heath - Lane Delph

Mr. Thomas Heath, of Lane Delph, in 1710, made a good kind of Pottery, by mixing with his other clay a species obtained from the coal mines, which by high firing became a light grey; and his Pottery is of a durable kind, not easily affected by change or excess of temperature. 

Mr. Heath is still remembered by very old persons in Lane Delph.—He lived to a very advanced age, and left behind him the character of being a truly good man, a kind and benevolent master, and a blessing to the neighbourhood. 

His three Daughters wore married to persons who afterwards became celebrated potters.—

Mr. Neale, of London, 
Mr. Palmer, of Hanley, (a descendant of Mr. Palmer, of Bagnall, and the proprietor of a manufactory above the Chapel,) and 
Mr. Pratt, of Fenton; one of whose descendants, at the present day, occupies the premises since erected on the site of Mr. Heath's manufactory. 

He also used the Wash of Pipe Clay, first practised by Mr. Astbury; as is seen on a 
circular fourteen inch dish of the author's, long time the property of a family a Swinnerton, and one of a set made as a specimen of this new kind of ware. The upper surface is tolerably even, and only a very few minute holes (air bubbles) appear in the dip; but the under surface is spotted with them, and exhibits the coarse materials of the body. We cannot help regarding it as a fine specimen of the first attempts at White Ware, and Blue Painting upon the face. 

The effect is pleasing, tho' the outline is very rude. In the landscape; mere lines or strokes form the edifice; (like school boys' first attempts at design.) the clouds seem formed by the fingers' end, and a soft rag or sponge; the two human figures are finely contrasted; a very tall thin woman, in the costume of the time, walking with a low stout man wrapped in a cloak.


About this time also was first made the STONE WARE, (in imitation of the kind made in various places on the European continent,) by mixing common pipe clay with the fine grit or sand from Mole Cob. 

This kind was whiter than any before made; it is very durable, and will bear any degree of heat uninjured; hence, its great demand for chemical purposes: and Macquer's high eulogium, "the best common stone ware is the most perfect Pottery that can be; for it has all the essential qualities of the finest Japanese Porcelain." 

We may here observe, that with the exception of whiteness, whereon depends its semi-
transparency, both appear to have internally the same grain; give similar sounds if struck when properly suspended; have similar density and hardness to give fire with steel; will boil liquids without breaking, and are not fusible;— 

hence we conclude, that if the clay, from which stone ware is made, were free from heterogeneous colouring matters which prevent whiteness and transparency on the ware being fired; were the vessels carefully formed, all proper attention to the various processes of the work paid, and a fine glaze employed over the whole, it is believed that such stone ware would be as perfect Porcelain as that brought from Japan. 

Probably the quantity of silica and argil found in this rock at Mole Cob, (which is an interposed bed of sandstone,) approximating closely to the compound which Potters call Clay, and of which Pottery is made, may be the cause of the fine grit preventing biscuit pottery from adhering while being fired; and also of strengthning some kinds of Pottery, and Saggers. It is brought to the manufactories in a pulverized state; poor children resident nigh where the grit rock crops out, break off masses, and with wooden mallets pound the pieces, until sufficiently fine to pass thro' a sieve of a certain size. Iron hammers would perhaps injure the grit, by the particles which would intermingle during the pulverization.

Astbury's use of calcined flint

A mere accident at this time (1720) caused anther and important improvement. 

Mr. Astbury being on a journey to London, on horseback, had arrived at Dunstable, when he was compelled to seek a remedy for the eyes of his horse, which seemed to be rapidly going blind. 

The hostler of the tavern at which he stayed, burned a flint stone till quite red, then he pulverized it very fine, and by blowing a little of the dust into each eye, occasioned both to discharge much matter and be greatly benefitted. 

Mr. Astbury, having noticed the white colour of the calcined flint,— the ease with which it was then reduced to powder,— and its clayey nature when discharged in the moisturefrom the horses eyes,— immediately conjectured that it might be usefully employed to render of a different colour the Pottery he made. 

On his return home, he availed himself of his observation; and soon obtained a preference for his ware, which produced considerable advantages. The specimens warrant the conclusion that he first employed the flint, (after it had been calcined and pounded in a morter,) in a mixture with water to a thick pulp, as a wash or dip, which he applied to give a coating to the vessels, some time before he introduced it along with the clay into the body of his ware. For which method, a person, a few years afterwards, obtained a patent, and some time used it.

That Mr. Astbury was eminently successful, we conclude from the comfortable independence enjoyed by Mrs. Smith, his grand daughter, who died at Lane End, in 1816. and her son Thomas Smith, who died therein 1823; and who gave part of this information. 

The old lady, frequently in her garrulous moments, amused the younger portion of visitors to herself, or her son, with anecdotes of the very kind attentions she often received from certain persons who afterwards became opulent manufacturers. 

A widow Astbury, of Lane Delph, was married by Mr. Thomas Bacchus, of that place; who made Cream Colour and Blue painted ware, and after her death, he married a person skilled in painting ware, and an intimate acquaintance of the Miss Mayer, married by Mr. Robert Wilson, of Hanley;— and this Mrs. Bacchus, afterwards resided in a house adjoining that person's manufactory, until her death at an advanced age about the year 1809.

Mr. Astbury died in 1743, Aged 65, and is burled on the south side of the old Church, in the angle formed by the two paths. And at a short distance is the grave of his Son Thomas Astbury, of Lane Delph. 


The family of Fenton

And very near there is the Tomb of Mr. John Fenton, the father of Elijah Fenton, near the Chancel door, of very excellent workmanship; but the epitaph, written by the poet, cannot now be traced. 

The family of Fenton must have been very respectable, for they were possessors of a large 
tract, still called Fenton, bounded by Longton, Botteslow, and Penkhull; and including 1600 acres.—
The portion of property still in the family, came to the present Sir T. F. Boughey, of Aqualate, by his Grandmother, the Lady of Sir Thomas Fletcher.

Graves in Stoke Church

This part of the Church Yard seems to have been especially secured by the elite' of the parish; probably because less affected by the overflowing of the Fowl-Hay-Brook than the northern quarter, for most of the stones register some person of importance. 

And tho' rather out of order here, yet we shall be more easily excused for noticing in this place, than pardoned for wholly omitting, the following observations: — 


Henry Clark, being 112 years of age when he died, in 1684, in the reign of the Abdicator James, and four years prior to the landing of William of Orange, and the Glorious Revolution of 1688; the mind very naturally reverts to the events which occurred from the era of his birth, which must have been in the 14th year of Elizabeth, to that of his demise. 

He lived at the eventful period of the estblishment of the Protestant Faith in England, and destruction of numerous religious Institutions and Monasteries, in the reign of Elizabeth, James 1st. Charles 1st. and the Civil Wars and Commonwealth, (a most critical time, and during which by the fanatics, the Abbey at Hulton was destroyed completely, if not by the agents of Henry VIII; while Stoke Church probably was spared because of its very poor appearance.) 

He witnessed the Restoration and reign of Charles II, and the early attempts of James again to return to the Communion of the Church of Rome. He must have heard of Mary of Scotland's confinement at Tutbury Castle-being about fifteen years old when her decapitation was perpetrated at Fotheringhay Castle. The old Inscription was almost effaced, when two of the parish servants, Josiah Austin and Samuel Davis, paid a stone cutter to sink the letters, which are now very large and deep.

John Machin, Gentlemen, of Botteslow, was 71 years of age at the time of his death in 1713; consequently was born in the year 1642; and probably the Pottery at Botteslow was given up, during the disturbances of the Civil Wars. 

Only on this supposition can we account for Mr, Machin being called Gentleman. His Son Thomas lies near the Chancel door, under a plain slab with a Latin Inscription:—

"Thomas Machin, Nuper de Botteslow, (in hac Parochia) Generosus, Qui obiit. Vicessimo 1 mo de Novembris. Anno (Salutis humanæ 1747, Ætatis ejus 64."

Thomas's Brother Henry Machin, lived at the Yew Tree House, near Longton Hall, and was buried in 1719, aged 73. The family is very ancient, and one of the most respectable in the parish; and for the accommodation of its members, with those of other places contiguous, in their attendance on Divine Worship, a paved footpath was made in the old Road from Stoke thro' Fenton to Bucknall, (Abbey ley or Upper) Abberley, and Hilton Abbey. 

The Mansion is very ancient, and yet, with the application of a comparatively small sum, it might be rendered both picturesque and elegant.


Stoke Old Church

Stoke Old Church, is placed on the gravel bed formed by the eddy of the floods at the junction of the Fowl-Hay-Brook with the Trent; and as the opening of deep graves constantly exposes great quantities of well rounded pebbles, there is reason for believing that the foundations rest on the bed of pebbles left here by different floods. 

Little doubt can be entertained that the whole of this beautiful valley was a huge bason of water, that opened for itself a passage at Handford; and at length below Stone; occasioning the constant recession of the waters, till all were drained, to Knutton Heath and Chesterton in one direction; to Harecastle Hill in another; and in the line of the Trent, to Norton, Endon, Bagnall, and Ubberley. 

If the structure be of the age usually attributed to it, eight centuries; and its heavy and durable style of architecture, proves it to have been erected when it was customary to build Churches equally Strong with Baronial Castles;— its erection to the combined energies of a race of Angles, Saxons, and Danes, or their offspring by intermarriages; and at a time prior to the invasion and consequent partition of Lands by the Norman Banditti. 

We are led to conjecture that its early ecclesiastics were not very literate, and that their few record were transmitted to their superior, by whom the most important might be forwarded to the diocesan, and thence to Rome; and the others consigned to the shelves of a cell in some monastery; for no traces of history afford any clue by which to ascertain the era of its foundation; neither is there on any part of the venerable fabric discernable outline of scroll or tablet for an Inscription; tho' had there been any such, of even moderate depth, the durable nature of the materials would have preserved it for our gratification. 

On the south side of the tower may be seen the breast, wings, and web feet, of a swan or goose; and a small portion of a similar carving is visible on the north side; probably mementos of the great numbers of aquatic fowl then frequenting the ground, and which proved a source of benefit to the persons employed in the edifice. But the absence of every ostentatious relic, warrants the conclusion, that its erection was more with a design to benefit the district, than to gratify the ambition of the founders. 

Concerning the peculiarities of the style, there was a spirited controversy, which instead of eliciting truth, generated personal rancour and dislike. Certainly a little reference to early northern history, would have precluded the supposition of the Goths being brought into England by the Saxons; for the latter were only a small tribe of the vast hordes of wanderers who bore the former name ages prior to the Roman Invasion, and their name became a bye-word for whatever was less polished than the whims of the admirers of Greece and Rome supposed every thing ought to be. 

There appears an overlooking of a material fact connected with the edifice; the outside is of a different style altogether to that of the interior; and of a much more recent date; for which 
we cannot account on any other principle than regarding the outside as having been very much altered during the repairs it has evidently received at different times. There obtained a preference of the style adopted in the architecture of the Saracen's, by those religieuse who returned from the Wars in Palestine; and they made all their repairs of old Churches, as well as their now edifices, some way accordant to this predilection. 

However, the Church is a very excellent specimen, in its present state, of the Parish Church Architecture of the twelfth and two subsequent centuries.

The eastern side of the tower shews that the first roof was very pointed, and the courses of stone work also prove that the present roof, covered with lead, is not of more than two centuries duration. 

The different style of architecture adapted in the Chancel, causes an opinion that it is of a more recent date than the body of the Church; which, entered thro' the south Porch, presents the eye with massive and durable columns supporting the arches of the nave. 

The windows of the transepts have been removed to make room for large square ones, wholly destitute of elegance; and the present vestry is truly shabby. At the west end of the south aisle, the attention is arrested by a massive Font, a rude block of granite, sculptured for the reception of water, in which, during many generations, infants were by immersion or sprinkling (at the discretion of the priests) initiated into the visible Church of Christ; or the vessel of consecrated water was placed, for the devout to dip the finger and sprinkle the brow prior to prostration before the Altar. 

But we favour the former suggestion, because it can be filled with water by a tube from the roof thro' the Canopy over it; and by another beneath it can be cleansed and emptied into a subterraneous Channel.


Burslem Church

We may also further notice, that, in Burslem Church yard is an old stone coffin, and three Grave stones, on each other, the uppermost having the inscription 1300; and on another 1494. It has been conjectured that these came from Hulton Abbey; but it is equally probable that they are relics of the former Burslemites

No reference has been made to a Cemetry at the Abbey; and the fact of Burslem having belonging to the Lordship, will warrant the opinion that the defunct members of that fraternity, were brought to Burslem for interment.— 

No doubt need be entertained that Burslem Church served as the place of religious resort for the inhabitants of that part of the parish of Stoke; and probably suffered delapidation, at the same time as the Abbey with which it was immediately connected. 

Norton Church, of much more recent date served for that angle; as did Bagnall for the Moorland angle. 


The route to Hulton Abbey

We find Hulton Abbey nearly central in reference to these Churches; it was situated in the vale below the Birches, and between Bucknall and Milton; was founded by Henry of Audleigh. in 1223, for Cistertian Monks; and its value at the Dissolution was £89 10s. 1d. per annum, when its lands were granted to Sir Edward Aston, of Tixal. 

As scoriaceous substances, and very old Pottery have been found among the ruins, it is no great stretch of the imagination, to regard, as very probable, that the Monks were supplied from Burslem with Crockery of different kinds; or that they were occasionally employed in forming it for their own purposes. 

Very near the Abbey, the Coal crops out, and as both clay and coal were close to the spot, they had very little obstacle to indulgence in branches of experimental investigation, very usual among them, and by which society has been much benefitted. 

From this central residence the persons who had to perform the religious services, might readily proceed to the several Churches around, in the paths still marked out by stone Posts, of the same kind, shape, and apparent age. 

From Burslem Church, passing thro' Hot Lane to Sneyd Green, then by the Birches Farm to the Abbey; and marked still by land known as Church or Abbey Lands; of part whereof is the 
grange Farm, where appears to have been a secluded spot, or cell, to which the monks might retire from the Church or the Abbey, on their way to Wolstanton; and probably the origin of the old Chapel already mentioned. 

And their line of road is by Blakelow, Bucknall, Botteslow, Trenthay, to Stoke Church, or thro' Shelton, by Hartshill, to Newcastle. 

On many of the old Stones is a (cross) to call the attention ot the pedestrian to his religious profession, wherever he might be proceeding, and whatever superstition might be in the practice, tbe moral effect could never be prejudicial; as this would interrupt his train of thoughts, and might suggest correct procedure even after previously cogitating improper designs.


Mr Willett lived to age 105

The following instance of longevity is entitled to notice:—

Mr. William Willett, of Little Eaves, near Hanley, died September 8th, 1827, aged 105. He was born in the eighth year of the reign of George the First; and had lived thro' all the very interesting period of tbe establishment of the present dynasty on the English Throne. 

He had witnessed the rise of Burslem, Hanley, Shelton, and Lane End, from a few scattered houses and potteries, to the high eminence of the chief Towns in the county for size and opulence. 

The abortive attempt of the Chevalier, or Pretender, in 1745. he well remembered; also the inhuman act of Mr. Murrall, of Bagnall, in skinning one of the sick Rebels left there, and endeavouring to get the skin dressed as Leather; for which, on the return of his comrades from Derby, they emasculated Mr. Murrall between Biddulph and Congleton; and for which, he never after was known to enjoy a comfortable day. 

Mr. Willett was of some talent as a mathematician; and his chief pleasure in his latest days, was the solution of difficult Arithmetical questions. 

Having lived at the time of altering the Style, in 1752, he often amused friends with the following fact, designed to try their  credulity;— 

when he was thirty years of age, he was one of a party of sixteen couple met at Endon on the third of September, 1752, who commenced dancing early in the evening, while he played on the violin; this amusement was continued by the whole parly without any other intermission than merely for refreshment, he playing and they continuing tripping on the light fantastic toe, till daybreak of the fourteenth day of the same month. 

His sight was a little injured; but his mind was vigorous almost to the last, when the weary wheels of life no longer could revolve, and his body returned to its kindred dust.

The foundation of Hanley Corporation

About the year 1783, the towns of Burslem and Hanley began to assume some degree of importance; if we may judge from the following circumstances:— 

There being an intention on the part of the respectable residents of Hanley and Shelton, to obtain a Charter for the Potteries, in anticipation of such a favour, on the 18th September, Ephrain Chatterley, Esq. was appointed Mayor of Hanley and Shelton, and a Corporation was empannelled while the parties were excited by the libations they had sacrificed to Bacchus. 

On this occasion, seventy Gentlemen dined at the Swan Inn, whose Names we have obtained from the Register of the Meetings, which were subsequently presented annually with the side of a Buck by the Marquis of Stafford; and with Game, Fish, and Fruit by Sir Thomas Fletcher.—

This Originated the HANLEY (CORPORATION or) VENISON FEAST; continued to the present day. The initiation of each Member consisted then in swearing fealty to the. body, and drinking a yard of wine, i.e. a pint of port or sherry, out of a glass one yard in length. 

The Register mentions whatever peculiarities distinguished each novice; but these being of trifling importance to that of the List of Names first entered, we preserve the last to gratify the descendants or connections of the parties, who at that time formed the Elite ot our citizens of the district, when the present Towns were mere hamlets, or scattered but enlarging Villages:

E. Chatterley, Esq. Mayor. 
W. Smallwood, Recorder. 
Rev. T. Middleton 
Mr. T. Adams, Newcastle 
Mr. John Heath, Hanley 
Rev. Tomlinson, Newcastle 
Mr. Horwood, Trentham 
Mr. T. Twemlow, Shelton 
Mr. T. Hales, Cobridge 
Mr. W. Fowler, Newcastle 
Mr. J. Yates, Shelton 
Mr. R. Baddeley, ditto 
Mr. S. Hollins, ditto 
Mr. J. Baddeley, ditto 
Mr. J. Mare, Hanley 
Mr. J. Berkitt, Newcastle 
Mr. R. Griffin, New Inn Mill 
Rev. W. Fernyhough, Stoke 
Rev. B. Adams, Newcastle 
Mr. Clowes, Longport 
Mr. R. Badnall, Leek 
Mr. J. Heath, Hanley
* Mr. H. Booth, Stoke 
Mr. J. Hollins, Newcastle 
Mr. C. Cotton, Burslem 
Mr. W. Brittain, Hanley 
Mr. J. Adams, Newcastle 
Mr. Daintry, Leek 
Mr. R. Heath, Newcastle 
Mr. J. Emery, ditto 
Mr. G. Taylor, Hanley 
Mr. T. Payne, Newcastle 
Mr. Payne, Hanley 
Mr. S. Perrey, ditto 
Mr. J. Massey, Newcastle
Mr. Wilson, Newcastle 
Mr. Royle, Wall Grange 
Mr. A. Hassell, Shelton 
Mr. R. Mare, Hanley 
Mr. C. Bagnall, Shelton 
Mr. Caldwell, Newcastle 
Mr. C. Chatterley, Shelton 
Mr. H. Baker, Hanley 
Mr. Bagshaw, Newcastle 
Mr. J. Shorthose, Hanley 
Mr. V. Close, ditto 
Mr. P. Pearce, Teignmouth 
Mr. Dewint, Shelton 
Mr. S. Mayer, Hanley 
Mr. J. Lakin, ditto 
Mr. F. Keates. ditto 
Mr. W. Mellor, ditto 
Mr. R. Sims, ditto 
Mr. W. Tittenuor, Shelton 
Mr. F. Lander, ditto 
Mr. J. Yates, ditto 
Mr. J. Simpson, ditto 
Mr. Endsor, Newcastle 
Mr. C. Whitehead, Hanley 
Mr. B. Godwin, Cobridge 
Mr. Robinson, ditto
* Mr. Adams, ditto
Rev. G. Harper, Macclesfield 
Mr. S. Chatterley, Hanley 
Mr. T. Wright, Shelton
* Mr. J. Glass, Hanley
Mr. J. Whitehead,ditto
* Mr. J. Keeling Perry, ditto 
Mr. J. Mayer, Swan Inn, do. 
Mr. L. Bennet, Dimsdale

Those marked with an Asterisk (*) yet survive, 1829.

Burslem Constable's Feast

On the celebration of the Election of Chief Constable of Burslem, November 8, 1824; K. Wood, sen. made the following observations;—


He first adverted to the increase of the town in wealth and population, within his recollection, having commenced Business in 1784. 

In reference to the Public Market, and the Hall, he remembered well the place when it was without either; the first attempt at a Butcher's stall, was the loan of a door unhinged and placed on two old saggers at either end; and for some time this was continued, until an improvement took place, by boards being placed on crates; next a set of shambles were erected, but very weak in materials, though covered over; which caused them to become a complete nuisance; and many of the boards having been at sundry times pilfered, on the occasion of the celebrated battle of Copenhagen, the stalls were pulled down and destroyed. 

The towns people next used more eligible stalls; and the Market had risen into a state of equality with any in the county. 

He mentioned that at their early Constable's Feast, the regulation dish was a boiled Leg of Mutton and Turnips, which custom continued many years; (and was at this meeting resolved on being continued at all future Dinners on this occasion;) but with the improvements in the markets came the improvement in the feast; and some truly ominous indications of forthcoming ruin were, in the opinions of some sage and cautious persons, connected with the extravagance of a Roast Goose, in addition to the Leg of Mutton, with the Giblet Pye in the Centre of the Table. 

Up to this day, however, ruin had not yet prevented their partaking the blessings of the season at this Anniversary; there was a dinner of equal abundance to all their wishes, and which might vie with the social board of a Nobleman: the various luxuries of Flesh, Fish, and Fowl, a remove for delicacies of game; a desert crowned with pine apples, garnished with grapes, spread on capacious tables in a most elegant public Room, and waiting to be enjoyed by the most respectable Inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood.*

General Meetings of the Potteries

The following Resolutions will shew the Manner of convening a General Meeting of the Potteries for Public Purposes:—

At a very numerous Meeting of Inhabitants of the different Towns in the Potteries, held at Hanley, December 12, 1817, John Edensor Heathcote, Knt. Chairman.

"In order to obviate the difficulty which now exists, in regard to the mode of calling Public Meetings of the Inhabitants of the Potteries at large; —

It is proposed, resolved, and agreed, that in future, all Public Meetings convened by, and in the joint names of the Majority of the Head Constables for the time being of Burslem, Hanley and Shelton, Stoke, Fenton, and Lane End, shall be understood and considered as regularly convened: and that such Head Constables be recognized as the authorized organs on such occasions, and as the proper persons to whom Requisitions may be addressed lor calling Public Meetings from time to time; the same to be held at Hanley, as the most central, and usual place of Meetings for the Potteries at large."

But in Hanley, we want a large Room adequate to receive the probable number of Persons on such occasions. Most public meetings have taken place in the market-place; and the weather has not been always favourable.

* The following genuine anecdote may illustrate the emphatic mention of the roast Goose:
On swearing in of different special Constables for the Township of Tunstall in 1823, one of the worthies present on the occasion, and who was honored wilh the title of "King of Tunstall," thus addressed their worships, (Geo. Toilet and F. Twemlow, Esqrs.) 

"Tunstall, your worships is the head of Burslem; and yet it so happens that Tunstall Court is held at Burslem; and the Court dine at Burslem: but we have lost nothing but our dinners—our honor remains. 

I'll tell your worships how it happened. We had bad Cooks at Tunstall, who boiled the goose instead of roasting it; and we have been roasted on this subject ever since; but, blow me tight, your honors, if Tunstall is not the head of Burslem still!"




next: Chapter 6 - continuation - manufacture from 1700 to 1760 
previous: Chapter 5 - The Introduction of Porcelain by Messrs. Elers
contents: index of Shaw's book