Index for Shaw's history   

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


Chapter 9 - Blue Printed Pottery - Mr. Turner - Mr. Spode (1) - 
Mr. Baddeley - Mr. Wood - Mr. Wilson - Mr. Spode (2) -
Messrs. Turner - Mr. Minton - Great Change in Patterns of Blue printed.    

next: Chapter 10 - Improvements subsequent to 1800 
previous: Chapter 8 - Introduction of Porcelain
contents: index of Shaw's book

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

Fixed Scale of Prices
Pottery for Continental markets 
Chief manufacturers 
Improvements in the quality of the Pottery 
Use of Guilding and Blue
John Turner makes the first Blue Painted Table Service
Printing from a Glue Bat
Improvements in printing
Other Manufacturers making Blue Printed Pottery 
 Josiah Spode I
Josiah Spode II 
 Spode perfects Bone Body Porcelain
Prince of Wales visits Spode
 Progress of the Art of Pottery
Pottery 'slabs' in Stoke New Church
 Death of Josiah Spode II
Adams produces Jasper
 Turner's manufacturing excellence
Turner ruined by French Revolution 
 Enoch Wood at Burslem
Wood installs Steam Engine at Colliery
 Robert Wilson of Hanley
 Thomas Minton at Stoke
 Pearl Ware
 Improved Blue Printing




Fixed Scale of Prices

About 1770 the manufacture of White Stone Ware, Salt glaze, began to decline, and the Cream Colour with fluid glaze obtained the ascendancy. There were, however, some extensive manufactories continued employed therein, as is proved by the following (strictly literal) Copy of a Document, which exhibits the Scale of Prices of the several Articles; and is valuable for exhibiting the state of the Business, and the probable rate of profits:

We whose Hands are hereunto Subscribed do Bind Ourselves our Heirs, and Assigns in the sum of Fifty Pounds of good and lawful Money of great Britain not to sell or cause to be sold under the within specified Prices, as Witness our Hands,

This 4th Day of Feby. 1770.

John Platt, John Lowe, John Taylor, John Cobb, Robt. Bucknall, John Daniel, Thos. Daniel, Junr. Richd. Adams, Saml. Chatterley, Thos. Lowe, John Allen, Wm. Parrott, Jacob Warburton, Warburlon and Stone, Jos. Smith, Joshua Heath, John Bourn, Jos Stephens, Wm. Smith, Jos. Simpson, John Weatherby, J. & Rd. Mare, Nicholas Pool, John Yates, Chas. Hassells, Pr. Pro. of Ann Warburton, &. Son, Thos. War bur ton, Wm. Meir.


Best s. d. Seconds s. d.
10 inches 3 10 inches 2
11 in. 4 11 in. 3
12 in. 6 12 in. 4
13 in. 8 13 in. 6
14 in. 10 14 in. 8
15 in. 1 0 15 in. 10
16 in. 1 4 16 in. 1 0
17 in. 1 6 17 in. 1 4
18 in. 1 9 18 in. 1 6
19 in. 2 0 19 in. 1 9
20 in. 2 6 20 in. 2 0
21 in. 3 0 21 in. 2 6
Worser Second Dishes half price of Best.


Prices of Nappeys and Baking Dishes:

Best s. d. Seconds s. d.
7 inches 1 6 7 inches 1 0
8 in. 2 0 8 in. 1 6
9 in. 2 6 9 in. 2 0
10 in. 3 6 10 in. 2 6
11 in. 4 6 11 in. 3 6
12 in. 6 6 12 in. 4 6




Best s. d. Seconds s. d.
Large 3 6 7 inches 2 6
Middle 2 9 8 in. 2 0
Small 2 0 9 in. 1 6




Best s. d. Seconds s. d.
12 inch 1 4 12 inch 1 0
11 in. 1 2 11 in. 10
10 in. 11 10 in. 9
9 in. 9 9 in. 6
8 in. 7 8 in. 4



Sauce Boats:

Best s. d. Seconds s. d.
Large 2 6 Large 2 0
Mixt 2 0 Mixt 1 9
Less 1 9 Less 1 6
Less 1 6 Less 1 3
Smallest 1 3 Smallest 1 0




s. d.
Best 1 4
Seconds 1 0
Thirds 9
None less than 7
Best plates 2 0
Best Seconds 1 9
Worser Seconds 1 6
A degree worser 1 3
A degree worser 1 0
None Sold under 9d. and not to be Pick'd, but Took as they are put together.



Cups & Saucers Holland Size.:

Best s. d. Seconds s. d.
Mid. White 10 Mid. White 8
Small White 9 Small White 7
Middle Blue 1 2 Middle Blue 10
Small Blue 1 0 Small Blue 8
Three to Piece ware 1 4 Three to Piece ware 1 0



London Size Cups & Saucers :

Best s. d. Seconds s. d.
Mid. White 10 Mid. White 8
Small White 9 Small White 7
Middle Blue 1 2 Middle Blue 10
Small Blue 1 0 Small Blue 8
Three to Piece ware 1 4 Three to Piece ware 1 0



Best s. d. Seconds s. d.
Holland Ware 1 10 Holland Ware 1 6
Covered toys 6 Covered toys 4
Handled  4 Handled 
Cups & Saucs. 3 Cups & Saucs. 2
Only twelve to doz.



Butter Tubs and Stands :

Best s. d. Seconds s. d.
Large 9 Large 6
Middle 7 Middle 4
Small 5 Small 3



Best Seconds
s. d. s. d.
London Size Cups & Saucers 1 0 9
Irish Size Cups & Saucers 1 2 10
Sortable white ware 1 6 1 2
Covered ware 2 0 1 6
Inlett Teapots 2 6 1 9
Sortable Blue Flower'd 1 10 1 6

No Sortable under 8d. nor Cups and Saucers under 6d.

To allow no more than 5 per cent for Breakage, and 5 per cent for ready money.

To sell to the Manufacturers of Earthenware at the above Prices, and to allow no more than seven and a half per cent, beside Discount for Breakage and Prompt Payment.



Pottery for Continental markets

The manufacturers now experienced a share of the demand for Pottery by the Continental markets; and some of them visited Holland and Germany, where they obtained such patronage, as convinced them their manufacture was becoming an important Branch of the National commerce. 

Foreign Connections always introduce improvement in the manners of the parties, and also in the articles fabricated; the results of differing opinions, and varied tastes; which ultimately cause other desires and opinions. Hence great alterations in the shapes of the Articles made, and many new ones were now introduced; and Agents were fixed at most of the places where merchants resorted to purchase British Manufactures.

Chief manufacturers

The chief manufacturers of the improved kinds of Pottery in Hanley, at this time were 
Mr. Palmer, Mr. Chas. Chatterley, Mr. Wm. Mellor, and Dr. Sam. Chatterley. 

The two former made Cream Colour, with fluid glaze, and also the dry bodied pottery, then acquiring celebrity. The others are known for the black pottery; Dr. Chatterley making excellent Black Egyptian, chiefly for Tea and Coffee Pots; and Mr. Mellor for the Black glazed or Shining Black, for the same Purposes, and kitchen vessels; and also the beautiful Green Glazed Pottery, subsequently in great demand for garden pots, &c. Messrs. John and Rich. Mayer, were making salt glaze Pottery at this time—but only their name remains; the site of their Maunfactory and Residences being now partly occupied by Hanley Market-Place.


A person in Hanley has had more than sixty years in her possession a Specimen of Mr. Palmer's ware. It is a Bread Basket, 15 inches long, 8 wide, and 5 deep; formed to resemble a kind of reticular vessel, the corded part being preserved, and the intervals cut out to form the network. 

It is without any appearance of crazing; the glaze is grayish, and has a surplus of lead. Many extremely beautiful Articles made by Mr. Chatterley yet remain. We have had two Candlesticks, near 60 years made, one of bisquet, finely ornamented; the other glazed, the column very neatly fluted, the circle beneath the bowl well turned, and ornamented with rosettes. A fine vase of extremely white bisquet, pearl I believe, has some blue fern leaf ornaments, on the lower parts, and the cover; and the bands have scrolled work in ihein. The Blue is very fine, and particularly strong in quality.

Mr. C. Chatterley was among the first who fixed, an agent in Holland. The late Elijah Mayer, Esq. was some years Mr. C's representative there. After some time carrying on the manufacture to great advantage, he admitted as a partner his Brother Ephraim, who survived him, and secured the property to the two orphans, left by Mr. C.— The manufactory was continued by Mr. E. C. until about 1797, when he transferred its business to his Nephews, James and Charles Whitehead, Sons of Mr. Whitehead of the Old Hall, one of the early and most eminent Salt Glaze Potters.


Improvements in the quality of the Pottery

The Manufacturers of the district generally were now excited to unremitted exertions, and these with their previous knowledge, produced those varions improvements which have brought the Pottery into repute. 

The superior kinds now became the medium of ornamental devices; at first in mere outline, and blue painted, rude and coarse; then in imitation of the foreign China, and gradually improved to fine and delicate designs. A specimen is preserved of a quart mug, with a bluish glaze, which was painted by Dan. Steele, in Blue, and well exhibits the defective nature of the process at that time.

But the improvements in the quality of the Pottery, and also in demand for it, caused equal attention or excel in the Blue Painting on the Salt Glaze, and a desire to produce enamelled on the Cream Colour. 

The artists then in the district acquired additional skill; and many young women, of good families, were taught the Art; which is now an important branch of the Manufacture. From different Porcelain manufactories in other parts of the kingdom, came Blue Painters and Enamellers, who increased the celebrity of the Productions. 

Upon the dessert and tea services they copied the designs of the richest Japan and China Porcelain; they also ornamented the relief ornaments of the other articles of taste and fancy. 


Use of Guilding and Blue

For many months no research availed to ascertain by whom, or the exact time when, the method of Gilding in prepared Gold, was introduced; though specimens exist made near fifty years ago, but the gilder and enameller could not be ascertained. 

At length a few days prior to this part going to press, we ascertained that the merit is due to Mr. John Hancock, of Etruria. 

In the early practice of Blue Painting, the Colours were prepared by merely grinding with a muller on a stone, the zaffres, and the Crystals of Cobalt first brought into this Country by Mr. Mark Walklett, and Mr. John Blackwell, of Cobridge, exceeding fine in quality, and readily used as above. 

But, the demand increasing, we are informed, that Mr. Cookworthy (already mentioned,) who had been a Painter, and also a Chemist and Druggist, at Bristol, happening to meet an old acquaintance, Roger Kinnaston, also a painter, in very reduced circumstances, fully instructed him in the process of preparing a Blue from Zaffres; and also the whole Recipe for extracting the pure metal from Cobalt ores. 

At first, the ore was calced in the forebung of the Potter's Oven; but, about 1772, Mr. K. had an air furnace set up at Cobridge, where for some time, he pursued the making of Blue. 

All the advantage Mr. K's. family derived from the practice, was a mere livelihood. In the hands of a prudent person, the instruction Mr. Cookworthy had kindly given, would have proved an invaluable source of opulence; many preparers of Blue, in our day, being possessed of considerable wealth; but with Mr. Kinnaston, it was merely subservient to gratifying his Bacchanalian propensities. He sold copies of the recipe for trifling sums, £10. or £12.; and after living in indolent ebriety, he died without honour and in a state of poverty.


John Turner makes the first Blue Painted Table Service

We do not apoligize for introducing mention of the following gentleman, altho' not a Staffordshire Manufacturer; but he was the first who practised Blue Printing, and doubtless the first who manufactured a complete Table Service, (Dinner,) ornamented, by that process. The late Mr. John Turner, of Caughley, Salop, having acquired competent knowledge of the processes of the manufacture, and some celebrity as an artist, at the Porcelain Manufactory, at Worcester; on the expiration of the term of his engagement, commenced the manufacture of Porcelain at a place named Caughley, near Broseley, Salop. 

The excellence of his ware, and the elegance and novelty of his patterns and shapes, gained him such a share of patronage, that he rapidly arrived at comparative opulence. In 1780, he completed the first Blue Painted Table Service made in England, for Whitmore, Esq. father of the present Member for Bridgnorth. The pattern was called Nankin; and had much similarity to the Broseley Tea Pattern, which in 17S2, was copied from a Nankin pattern, and by Mr. Turner adapted to Tea Services, Thos. Minton, Esq. of Stoke, assisted in the completion of the table Service, and named the other Broseley, by way of compliment to the adjacent town.


Printing from a Glue Bat

The great demand for Blue Painted and Enamelled Pottery, caused an attempt to facilitate the process, by forming the outline on the ware, from a Glue Bat, similarly to Black Printing, which could be readily tilled in by the painter. 

This was first practised by William Davis, for Mr. W. Adams, Cobridge; and from him Mr. Daniel Steele, obtained his knowledge of the process. Davis had learned engraving and copper-plate printing, at Worcester; and had practised Blue Painting and Black Printing in Shropshire, from which he came to the Potteries. 

The method of printing with glue bats was also practised by Harry Baker, for Mr, Baddeley, of Shelton; about 1777, and very little progress was made in the practise for some time. 

The next stage in its improvement was employing paper and transferring it to the Pottery; but in this the printer proceeded very differently from the present method. 

The paper was different in texture and quality, and was applied in a dry state. 

The Plates were so extremely strong that no delicate shades were preserved. The specimens have scarcely any thing deserving the name of a fine part. And unless the printer was very expert in removing the paper from off the plate the instant it came from between the rollers, the greatest difficulty resulted; and while much loss in paper and colour occurred to the master, the workman both lost his labour for that impression, and had additional trouble to clean the plate prior to taking off another. 

The larger plates were in two parts, and the impressions were taken at two distinct times; and lately might have been found among the oldest Blue Printed ware, twenty inch dishes, painted at twice, because the paper could not be extracted off the whole at once with adequate rapidity. 


Improvements in printing

The method of damping paper adopted by Copper-plate printers, suggested another improvement; and various essays were made by different persons, with different degrees of success. Mr. John Baddeley, of Shelton, some time employed Mr. Thomas Radford to print Tea Services by an improved method of transferring the impression to the bisquet ware; which was attempted to be kept secret, but was soon developed; and the glaze prevented the beautiful appearance which attached to the Black printed. 

This caused J. Greatbatch to improve the Pottery and the Glaze; and, for Mr. R. Baddeley he formed an excellent body, with a glaze, containing some growan stone in both, with a little cobalt in the fritt which formed the glaze.

The elder Mr. Turner first employed a Blue Printer, who used wet Paper. His name was Wm. Underwood, from Worcester; and he lived to a very advanced ago. The Pattern Mr. Turner used was the willow, designed by him from two oriental Plates, still preserved, and exhibited to the Author by Mr. W. Turner. The border remains, but the other parts are varied a little : the Cottage is altered in shape, and the Figures are less in the copy than in the originals. 

The workmen who then made four Soup Tureens from two moulds in a day, was considered a fair workman, and received wages of ten to twelve shillings weekly; but now, 1819, a mere common workman will use six moulds, and finish sixteen or eighteen daily. 

Mr. Myatt's thrower, the late Wm. Bridgwood, of Lane End, was expected to average fifteen score dozens daily, for which his rumuneration was fifteen shillings weekly, house rent free, fire, and the keep of a cow.


Other Manufacturers making Blue Printed Pottery

Several other Manufacturers now commenced manufacturing Blue Printed Pottery. 
The late Mr. Jas. Gerrard with Mr. Jas. Keeling, of New Street, Hanley, introduced some improvements in the processes. 

About 1783, James Richards, John Ainsworlh, and Thos. Lucas, an engraver, left the service of Mr. Turner, at Caughley, and engaged with the Staffordshire Manufacturers; Richards and Lucas with the first Mr. Spode (hereafter mentioned) and Ainsworth with the first Mr. John Yates, of Shelten. These two printers first introduced the Composition called Oils, and the method of washing the paper off the bisquet pottery, and hardening on the colours previous to the immersion in the fluid glaze.

Mr. William Smith, an engraver of considerable ability, resident in Liverpool, was engaged to engrave new plates in a superior style for Mr. R. Baddeley, of Shelton and the excellence of the pottery, with the elegance of the embellishments from plates of finer execution, rendered him unrivalled for some time. 

But as the method of printing was very injurious to the plates and by waste of paper and colours, much diminished the profits of the Master. 

Mr. Smith engaged Thomas Davis, of Worcester, to print for Mr. Baddeley, and he introduced other improvements in the operations. The Blue Painters experienced such a diminution of employment and remuneration, that they employed every artifice to prevent its success, but without avail; for the novelty and elegance of the Pottery secured the demand, which has continued to increase; and in this day, 1829, few manufacturers do not practise the art; and many have several presses constantly employed in Blue Printing.


Josiah Spode I

After (the first) Mr. Josiah Spode left the employment of Mr. Whieldon, at Fenton, he was employed along with the late Mr. Charles Harvey, in the manufactory of Mr. Banks, (who resided at Stoke Hall,) on White Stone Ware, and for Cream Colour, Scratched, and Blue Painted. 

But Messrs. Baddeley and Fletcher discontinuing making Porcelain, at Vale Lane, Shelton, Mr. Spode commenced manufacturing the pottery most in demand. Cream Colour, and Blue Painted, White ware; and his productions were of tolerable excellence. 

His family remained resident at Stoke; and Messrs. Banks and Turner separating and Mr. Banks relinquishing business in a short time afterwards, Mr. S. engaged the manufactory, (which subsequently he purchased,) and there manufactured also Black printed, and Black Egyptian.

About 1784, he introduced the manufacture of Blue Printed into Stoke; on the improved methods successfully adopted by Mr. Ralph Baddeley, of Shelton. 

The Patterns were— for Table Services what is now called the Old Willow, with a border of a willow and a dagger; and for Tea Services the Broseley, from the Pattern used at Caughley.

The engraver was named Lucas, and his first printer was named Richards, from Caughley. Specimens of this ware, shew the great strength of the engraving, and consequent deep blue of the ware. 

The first transferrer Mrs. Mary Broad, of Penkhull, (recently buried at Stoke,) informed us that she remembered the first dish printed in Blue, at Stoke, being long carefully preserved as a specimen.— He continued to extend his business until his death, in 1797 or 8; and from persons well acquainted with him we learn, that with his wealth, increased his kindness as a master, and benevolence to the wretched and indigent; and that when he was passed "the Bourne whence no traveller returns," his loss was regretted, as a liberal master, a munificent benefactor, and above all, a truly honest man.

Josiah Spode II

In 1779, his elder Son (the second Josiah Spode, Esq.) married the eldest daughter of Mr. John Barker, of the Row Houses, Fenton Culvert, with whom he received, in the whole, a dowry of £500. 

The parents judging this a proper opportunity to establish a regular London business, alike advantageous to themselves and the newly married pair, the younger Mr. Spode therefore commenced as a Dealer in Earthenware; and subsequently also of Glass and Porcelain; and the assiduity he manifested, to gratify the varying tastes and wishes of purchasers in kinds, quality, and shapes of the various articles, soon gained him extended connections, while the excellent Blue Printed pottery (recently introduced,) supplied by the father, obtained such preference as to produce a considerable increase of business. 

Early in 1797, a very short time prior to the death of his father, the younger Mr. Spode experienced a bereavement, conceivable by those only who have been similarly bereft,

— the loss of an affectionate and beloved wife, in child-bearing of a daughter. He never again married; but to his latest hour cherished the remembrance of her virtues, and remain¬ed consoled for his loss sustained, by the virtues of her offspring.

Mr. Spode now wholly resided at Stoke, to superintend the manufactory. His Blue Printed ware was the best manufactured; his Cream Colour, excellent; and both remain in high estimation; and the various Dry body wares are of superior quality, and the articles made by most experienced and ingenious artists. 

Each year witnessed his persevering attention, and his generosity kept pace with his prosperity. In one year, prior to the demise of his father, the clear profits of the London business alone exceeded £13,000. 

The connections gradually increased, after he settled here; and his satisfaction with the attention to his interest by a confidental servant in town, was evinced, by a most substantial mark—a present of £1000; and as a further reward for his assiduity and integrity, by a share in the London Business; still enjoyed by his son.

Spode perfects Bone Body Porcelain

About 1800, Mr. Spode commenced the manufacture of Porcelain, in quality superior to any previously made in England, and in imitation of that made at Sevres, which it equalled, if it did not surpass, in transparency. For entering on this Manufacture with every reasonable prospect of success, Mr. S. was well capacitated, by the extensive knowledge he possessed relative to those subjects apparently best adapted for public demand, and which seem calculated to ensure quick and profitable returns. 

At this period, the London Dealers were supplied from Worcester, Derby, and Caughley, with the best British Porcelain; having rich embellishments upon most beautiful patterns of the various Articles. 

He therefore now incited the ingenuity of his modellers and other plastic artizans, to produce varied shapes of the articles already in use; and to design other new articles, for the approbation of persons of taste. 

The Bone Body Porcelain, which is very transparent, he brought to considerable perfection. He also first used Feldspar, which by being very carefully prepared, increased the excellence of his Porcelain; which in 1821, he further improved in both body and glaze. 

His enameller, Mr. Henry Daniel, here first introduced, in 1802, the present method of ornamenting Porcelain, in raised unburnished gold, much similar to embossed dead gold, or frosted work, on plate. 

A Porter Cup then made, is a fine specimen, of Mr. Spode's porcelain, and of the artist's ability. The excellent quality of the Porcelain, the taste and elegance manifested in the patterns or shapes, and the beautiful designs so exqusitely enamelled, insured him, in a comparatively short time, a valuable extension of connections. These will convey his name to posterity as entitled to grateful admiration, and long vie with every similar effort in the plastic art, whether produced by the skill of foreigners, or the genius of Englishmen.

Prince of Wales visits Spode

His Majesty George IV. while Prince of Wales, being on a journey of pleasure to Liverpool, in 1806, in company with his Royal Brother, the Duke of Clarence, visited the Marquis of Stafford at Trentham, on the way; where many of the Nobility joined the company. 

Having often intimated a wish to witness the manipulations and processes of the Porcelain Manufacture, the opportunity was embraced, and their Royal Highnesses with the Nobility and suite visited the establishment at Stoke. 

Mr. Spode had so arranged, that all the persons employed, of both sexes, were all their best attire, to manifest their respectful and loyal attachment to the Heir Apparent, and the Family on the throne; and as the Royal and Noble visitors passed thro' the different apartments, the appearance and demeanour of the working classes, drew forth repeated eulogiums. 

The Large warehouse, (117ft. long,) was then visited, where were arranged every variety of Pottery and Porcelain, in the most elegant and curious productions, manufactured by Mr. S. whose loyalty and respect were so highly appreciated by the Royal visitor, that Mr. S. received the appointment of of "Potter to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales."


Progress of the Art of Pottery

At the commencement of 1823, Mr. Spode was engaged to manufacture a splendid Porcelain Vase, valued at £100, as a present from the Middleton Hill Mine Company to his Majesty. 

This was completed in April, and was exhibited several days in the large China Warehouse of the manufactory, to some thousand of visitors. Its chasing and enamelling are executed in the first style of the Art; and the whole is conspicuous for its unblemished beauty, the purity and delicacy of the material, the simplicity of the style, and the splendour of its ornaments. 

In July, the same year, Mr. Spode completed for the Hon. East India Company's Factory at Canton, a most splendid Table Service of Porcelain, of thirteen hundred pieces, valued at £400 to replace the service destroyed by the Fire. The Porcelain was of the finest body made at the manufactory, alike distinguished for its beautiful Parian whitness, and delicate transparency. 

The larger articles are perfect in the manufacture, and prove that perseverance has overcome the difficulties formerly regarded as insurmountable in producing large specimens of the best Porcelain. The first style of embellishment has not been employed, but a second grade; yet the appearance is rich and splendid, and equal to any specimens of Dresden Pocrelain.

Would it have been believed thirty years ago, that China would receive again specimens of her chief manufacture, from England, where in the course of less than one generation, it has been brought to a state of perfection, almost if not wholly equal to that of the Chinese and Japanese, and certainly superior in ornament to any made in Europe. 

Thus within little more than the life of man, how great has been the progress of the Art of Pottery. Such an article, as in our day would be made by numbers of workmen for a mere trifle; and for the low price of one shilling, in a much superior style, was once a subject at which the Beau Monde were called to wonder and admire. 

An elegant Teapot, of Pottery, gracing the side board of Lady Isabella Montague, was the genius of inspiration, anticipating new honours for our country, in Sir Chas. Hanbury William's Poem 'Isabella;' where after describing her Ladyship's morning occupations, and visitors; he introduces one of her admirers, a Mr. Bateman, from Staffordshire:—

'To please the noble Dame, the courtly Squire,
Produced a TEAPOT made in Staffordshire.'
So Venus look'd, and with such longing eyes,
When Paris first produced the golden prize.
'Such works as this, (she cries,) can England do?
It equals Dresden, and excels St. Cloud.'
All modern China now shall hide its head,
And e'en Chantilly must give o'er her trade;
For Lace, let Flanders bear away the bell;
In finest Linen, let the Dutch excel;
For prettiest Stuffs let Ireland first be named;
And for best fancied Silks, let France be famed ;
Do thou, thrice happy England, still prepare
Thy Clay, and build thy fame on EARTHENWAKE.'


Pottery 'slabs' in Stoke New Church

The several Slabs, about 16 by 12 inches on the superficies, which were deposited in the respective Corner Stones of Stoke New Church, 

(viz. one of the BEST PORCELAIN, glazed, to which, in addition to the bas relief Inscription, is a Landscape, in the finest style of enamelling, with an excellent drawing of Stoke Old Church, the Winton's Wood Field, Hanley Church Steeple, and other conspicious objects; with a very elegant embossed border richly gilded and enamelled; laid in the Stone of the North East corner, after the very Rev. the Dean of Lichfield, had placed the stone; one of rich Brown Porcelain, with embossed border and foliage, in the South East corner Stone, laid by Mr. Spode; one of Jasper similarly ornamented, in the Chancel Stone, laid by Mr. Tomlinson, the Patron; one of the Patent Stone Porcelain, in the South West Corner Stone, laid by the senior Churchwarden Mr. J. Spode; and one of the best Blue printed Pottery in the North West Corner Stone, laid by Mr. Kirkham;) were manufactured by Mr. Spode, to transmit to generations far remote, invaluable memorials of the perfection to which the Potter's Art in this neighbourhood had arrived in the early part of the nineteenth century; of which they are characteristic Specimens.


Death of Josiah Spode II

We have already mentioned, that Mr. S. contributed the liberal sum of £500 towards erecting the Parish New Church, at Stoke, but he did not live to see it covered in; his death occurring in July, 1827. Possessed of the highest excellence of character in the relations of civil and social life, volumes concerning his worth were indicated by the grief-worn cheeks of the spectators at his Funeral Obsequies.

While the Printer was arranging the Types of this part, and almost of this identical page, the Author received the distressing intelligence that (the third)  JOSIAH SPODE, Esq. had suddenly expired. His invaluable worth as a Friend unaffected by the caprices of fortune, and his integrity as a Tradesman of the highest class, are not surpassed by any survivor; as is well known to those persons best acquainted with him. The numerous personal and pecuniary sacrifices he made to aid the suffering Poor in times of peculiar distress, will cause his memory to be embalmed by all who can and dare extol real philanthropy; and to the Author his demise is an almost irreparable loss.


Adams produces Jasper

About 1800, Mr. Benj. Adams, of Tunstall, was successful in the manufacture of Jasper, and which would have been more highly esteemed had it been alone before the public; but, in this, as well as most other instances, the imitation very rarely equals the original. This Jasper is deficient in the brilliancy of teint, fineness of grain, and excellence of workmanship, obvious to every beholder, of that fabricated at Etruria, and that by Mr. Turner. We have not been successful in obtaining any personal notice of Mr. Adams.

Turner's manufacturing excellence

Messrs. John and Wm, Turner, (sons of Mr. Turner, before noticed,) of Lane End, for some years with considerable success continued the manufacture of the excellent Pottery for which their father was celebrated. Mr. Turner succeeded in making a Shining Blue glazed Pottery, similar to that of the Japanese Porcelain; an imitation of which had been attempted by Mr. Cookworthy; and was pronounced by Mr. Wedgwood, as a desideratum

The specimen preserved is a pint Cup, which, had the ability of the Gilder been as well employed in preparing his gold, as in the execution of the Pattern, would have equalled any of the rich Gilding at this day of the Artists employed by Mr. Spode, Mess. Daniels, Mess. Ridgways, or Mr. Minton. Their Jasper was second to none but Mr. Wedgwood's, and they were not despicable rivals as potters, and in the respectability of their foreign connections. The Black Egyptian made by Mr. Turner as the plinths for his Jasper Ornaments, will bear the polish of the lapidary's wheel, to a degree of exquisite fineness, only to be credited by the persons who have inspected the specimens.

One Cup made by them for the late Viscount Creamhorn, has never been equalled in the district; tho' formed of the common Clay of Lane End. This was once produced by the late Jacob Warburton, Esq. at a meeting of Potters, to shew to what a degree of perfection even common pottery may be carried. 

It became so estimable in the opinion of its owner, that to prevent the possibility of injury, he had a proper sized mahogany box made for its reception, and in the door is a pane of glass, thro' which alone he permits it to be inspected.


Turner ruined by French Revolution

Their principal modeller was Mr. Jas. Luckock, a person of great skill, and most extensive acquirements as an Artist. But their further progress was prevented, and themselves completely ruined, by the political convulsions in France, at the era of the reign of terror; their principal market was destroyed, their property confiscated, and themselves unexpectedly reduced, from a near prospect of great affluence to a state of comparative indigence. 

Mr. W. Turner happened to be in Paris when the reign of terror was most awful; and the application for Moneys due to him, was returned by incarceration and several examinations— not very pleasant to the free-born Englishman.— 

Indeed, he acknowledges, that he owes his liberty, and most probably his life, to the interference of the present Marquis of Stafford; whose Physician, Dr. James, and Secretaries, Messrs. Erskineand Hutchinson, were most busily employed to obtain his liberty. And, when, subsequently, the gens d'arme' brought his Passport, he witnessed the infatuation of a bastard freedom, in the most haughty rejection of the douceur Mr. Turner liberally offered to the bearer of so welcome a document.


Enoch Wood at Burslem

In 1784, Mr. E. Wood commenced business at Burslem, and continues to the present time. 

At that time, the best mould maker and tureen maker in that part, was John Proudlove, who was hired by Mr. W. for three years, at twelve shillings per week. 

This gentleman has justly obtained the character of Father of the Pottery. Wecan say of him, what is not known to apply to any other Gentleman in the district; that 'he has earned his daily bread by working in every branch of the Manufacture.' 

There are still remaining proofs of his skill in the more ingenious departments; and his ability as a Modeller and Sculptor, has long been widely indicated in the very correct Bust he produced of the late Rev. John Wesley. 

At this day, his manufacture embraces almost every kind of article required by the European and Trans-Atlantic Markets; and his large establishments present the philosophic enquirer with all the processes and manipulations of the Art, in the most improved methods, on a scale of magnificent grandeur. 


Wood installs Steam Engine at Colliery

By his acuteness and philosophic comprehension, which rank him among the chief mechanical geniuses of this age, he has so increased the power, successfully obviated the difficulties and inconveniences attending the operation, and so well accommodated to peculiar circumstances the construction of the Steam Engine, at the Bichers Colliery, as to effect an astonishing economy in steam and fuel, while preserving the Power so requisite for the operations. The Newspapers of December, 1827, stated that Mr. Warner, of Loughborough, had offered his Engineer £1000 to divulge his discovery of a method of doubling the power of the Steam Engine. What merit then attaches to Mr. Wood's leaving his discovery accessible to all mechanical geniuses.

The explosive Steam's dense Columns here aspire, 
Like gathering Clouds, wing'd by Caloric ire; 
Thro' Valves' alternate, over and below, 
To fill each vacum, they swiftly go;— 
Resistless to the Valves' successive calls, 
The well-packed Piston slides 'twixt iron walls; 
The balanced beam with quick librations, moves 
The Sun and Planet Wheels' revolving grooves; 
Until the' expanded Vapour, as a drop 
Sinks, by the gelid stream's effective step.


Robert Wilson of Hanley

About this time Mr. Robert Wilson, of Hanley, at the manufactory previously occupied by Mr. Palmer, a short distance above the Church, brought to perfection that kind of Pottery, which had long prevented the general use of Porcelain, and from its composition was called CHALK BODY; of very excellent quality for fineness of grain, and smooth beautiful glaze, of a fine cream colour, but not so durable as some of the other kinds of pottery. 

For some years this kind obtained the preference in the Dutch Market; and the manufacture was very advantageous to the parties, who realized considerable property by it; but the improved quality and mode of ornament of the Blue Printed in the present day, has superseded most, if not the whole of this kind.

Thomas Minton at Stoke

About 1793, Mr. Thomas Minton connected himself with a Mr. Pownall and Joseph Poulson, and at Stoke commenced the manufacture of Blue Printed Pottery, of much excellence of quality, and with additional elegance of Patterns, which speedily secured considerable celebrity. A few years afterwards, the manufacture of Porcelain was connected with the other, and has been attended with success. 

The manufactory is now the property of Mr. M. alone. The Porcelain there fabricated possesses great excellence for fine texture and elegant ornaments; and his Blue Printed Pottery was, in 1826, so much improved in its various properties, as to place it at the summit of the scale of excellence, and secure for it an unprecedented share of patronage. 

Mr. Minton has been closely connected with most of the improvements of the last forty years; and we have already mentioned his excellent character as a Parent and a Gentleman.


Pearl Ware

About 1795, a new kind of Pottery, a dry body, or without glaze or smear, was introduced into the market by Messrs. Cheatham and Woolley, of Lane-End. It is to the white Pottery, what Jasper is to the coloured. Not being affected by change of temperature, but very fine in grain, durable in quality, and of a most beautiful and delicate whiteness, it received the name it still bears, of Pearl, from Mr. J. Spode, at that time resident in London. It is used, like Jasper, for the finest description of ornaments; and is in general estimation among all ranks of society. Very few of the different attempts made to produce Pearl of equal excellence to the inventors, have been attended with any success.


Improved Blue Printing

About 1802, Mr. Wm. Brookes, engraver, then of Tunstall, now of Burslem, suggested to Mr. J. Clive, a new method of ornament by Blue Printing. The border of the plate was engraved from a beautiful strip of Border for Paper Hangings of Rooms; and many of ihe manufacturers approved of the alteration. 

The New Hall Company instantly adopted it for some of their tea services. 

The following improvement is likewise by the same person;— a certain ornamental border is employed for all the plates, whatever be their size; but every plate has a different Landscape, or Group of Flowers, for the dishes, soups, plates, &c. 

Indeed, the finest oriental Scenery has recently been transferred to Pottery, by Mr. James Keeling, of Hanley. In the latter part of 1828 he produced a most beautiful dinner service, ornamented with views from the Illustrations of Mr. Buckingham's Travels in Mesopotamia; and the principal manufacturers followed by completing Services of interesting Views of remarkable subjects in Turkey, Persia, and Hindostan.




next: Chapter 10 - Improvements subsequent to 1800 
previous: Chapter 8 - Introduction of Porcelain
contents: index of Shaw's book