Wedgwood Family Letters : An Overview

One of the most well-known elements of the Wedgwood manuscripts is the collection of almost 900 letters written by Josiah Wedgwood to Thomas Bentley. However this is only a tiny portion of the entire range of personal correspondence that exists within the archives.

 

This brief introduction concentrates on family letters between fathers and their children. The thread of family correspondence stretches through three centuries and five generations of the Wedgwood family and again is just one small section of personal correspondence. The letters reveal that archives can be good entertainment as well as educational.

 

Josiah Wedgwood was the youngest of twelve children and was only nine years old when his father died. Yet despite his extensive writings he appears to have committed nothing to paper about his father. Later during his courtship with Sarah Wedgwood he began to describe his uncle and prospective father-in-law Richard Wedgwood as his pappa[ and his pappa (elect). Richard himself would later sign letters to Josiah as your affectionate father.

 

Writing to his friend and business partner Thomas Bentley in 1773 Josiah recorded: I am just returned from waiting upon Sr Wm Meredith at Derby on a money affair betwixt my father and him. We were to have received 1900l. but have not seen a shilling…He just told my father the money could not be had and sent him to his attorney. This has put my father a good deal out of temper, & caused a little disappointment or two…As my father thinks himself insulted as well as disappointed.

 

It appears that Richard had succumbed to a fever during the Christmas period of 1769. Writing to Bentley from Richard’s house at Spen Green on New Years Day 1770 Josiah informed his friend: My Good Father, in whose room I write, has had some comfortable sleep to night & is much better for it. His fever has in a great measure left him & I hope he is in a fair way of recovering, though we must expect it only by very slow degrees. The following day, still at Spen Green, Josiah again informed Bentley that My father is not quite so well as he was yesterday, but not withstanding these little relapses continues to mend upon the whole.

 

From 1777 Josiah’s letters mention more of Richard’s failing health when he would be cared for at Etruria. In November 1779 he informed Bentley that My poor father, I am afraid, grows weaker & weaker, & though we are very willing to flatter ourselves upon a little recovery from extreme lowness & oppression of his spirits to think him better & recovering, yet I am afraid that upon the whole he is weaker & worse. He has quite given up animal food & fermented liquors of every kind. Doctor Darwin gave us some hopes of his recovery, but was afraid he was weaker than when he saw him before, which was the worst symptom he observ’d in him. Richard lived for another two years and died in January 1782.

 

One of the earliest references of Josiah the father can be found when he recounted a trip to Matlock in Derbyshire to his eldest son John. While in Matlock Josiah visited Darley, Chatsworth, Cromford, and Ashover before spending a couple of days at Derby on his return. John had obviously accompanied his father on an earlier trip to Matlock as Josiah wrote You and I in our journey to Matlock went by Cheadle, but we now chose the road through Leek and Ashbourne and found it a better way and the engines you and I saw [in Matlock] unfinsh’d are now at work and throw up a vast quantity of water, and the ore they raise is pretty considerable. A few weeks later John, then at school in Bolton, replied to his father thanking him for the entertaining account.

 

On a more sterner note can be found the solemn declaration that Josiah wrote out for his son Josiah II on January 16th, 1777 and which the latter was made to sign. Josiah II, then aged 8, had obviously caused some sort of trouble (the source of which remains unknown) for his parents: Yesterday I did a very naughty thing which I am very sorry for. I have asked my Papa & Mamma to forgive me, which they have been so good to do, & being sensible that it is one of the worst things I can do to attempt to deceive my Parents who never deceive me, but are always doing me good, I promise never again to do the same thing I did yesterday, & hope never to be guilty of deceiving my dear Parents any more, & to this promise & resolution I will put my hand that I may the better remember it.

 

Jos: Wedgwood Junr.

 

A more light-hearted tone can be glimpsed from a lengthy and fascinating account written by Josiah for his daughter Catherine, then aged 6:

 

A Short History of A Long Journey to London From a papa in Town – to his good child at home, 27 March 1780

 

My dear Kitty,

 

Should you like to have come to London with me? I dare answer for you that you would like to take a journey with your papa, to see new places, and learn many things which you do not know at present, especially when the weather is so fine as it has been since I left home. You would like, I know, to see the hedges and trees beginning to put on their new spring clothes of leaves, buds & flowers, of various colours, green, yellow, red, white, blue, purple, and shades of different hues for which there are no names. You would like to hear the pretty birds singing, and see the little lambs frisking and playing in the fields as you passed along…But as you could not travel with me all this long journey, you will perhaps like, the next to that is to hear how I travelled, & what I met with upon the road .Come along then, my dear little companion, and you may invite your sister Sally to travel with us in this way.

 

The fourteen-page account in Josiah’s Commonplace Book details a journey to Stone, via Newcastle and Trentham. From Stone he continued to Sandon, commenting on the peculiarity of the Dog and Doublet inn sign. The journey continued to Haywood and Ridgeley [sic: Rudgley] a long narrow town with a lane all the way through it…I should call it a street if it were paved. He spent the night at Lichfield but travelled on to Atherstone for breakfast. He mentioned the illiterate landlord of an inn whose sign announced ‘sider sold here’, preferring to take refreshment at the Red Lion Inn of which he gave a detailed description. The journey continued through pleasant countryside to Latterworth and along the course of Watling Street to Welford, where he spent the night at The Talbot. Continuing along Watling Street through fine country to Northampton, the pretty good market town of Newport Pagnel, then onto Woburn, Hockley and Dunstable before stopping at Redburn for what breakfast he could find, concluding there are no good inns.

 

The journey, which ends rather abruptly, is punctuated with advice and anecdotes including the usage of common land, rivers, what makes a good horse, birds feeding their young, gaols and why we have them, and the fable of two young sailors.

 

While Josiah’s eldest son John was away at school in Bolton in 1779 he recorded the incident of a mob rioting to his father: The mob came here about 12 o’clock on Tuesday and first destroyed the engines and windows & then came to that on the bridge & pulled it down & destroyed the wheel, for engines had been des[incomplete word?] carried away. They then went to Mr Kay’s of the folds and destroyed the engines & wheel. They then to breaking the wheels which 42 spindles. All above had they broke & burnt. They are quieter here now than they for there are 100 of the Yorkshire Militia here. They have taken up several and sent them to Lancaster.

 

Four years later Etruria was the scene of corn riots, as Josiah’s son Thomas related to his father then away on business in London: As I thought you would like to hear how the mob went on I will tell you. On Sunday all was quiet. There was a meeting at Newcastle (at which my brother John was present) to consider what was the best way to quell the mob & to keep up the market. John subscribed £10 & a good many others also subscribed. On Monday the mob came to Bilington’s where there was a meeting of the master Potters, Dr Falkener, Mr ____, Mr Sneyd of Bellmont etc harangued to the mob on the bad way they had begun in to lessen the price of corn (as did my brother John and also Major Sneyd) who came with the Militia, was exceedingly active in speaking to them. He said “Why do you rise?” the[n] answer’d him on the same account that your Father went out of the country. This distressed him so much that he cried. All their speaking was to no effect.

 

They then raised a subscription John subscribed £20. This they said would not have been raised without we had risen. This speech pussled[sic] them much. They then read the riot act & said if they did not disperse in an hours time they would fire on them. An hour gone and they did not disperse. Dr Falkener had got the word Fire in his mouth when two men dropt down by accident which stopt him & he considered about it more The Woemen[sic] were bu[t] much worse than the men ; as for example: Parson Sneyd had got about 30 men to follow him he huzzaing & she anall[sic] but a woman cried Nay-nay that wunna do that wunna do & so they turned back again : it was agreed that corn taken in the boat should be sold at a fair price.  Bolton, Barlow are taken up & gone to Stafford the rest of the days have been quiet.  Other letters from the children of Josiah Wedgwood to their father include one from daughter Sarah in 1782 asking him to buy her a watch.

 

Correspondence between 1st and 2nd generations (from Josiah I) includes a letter to Josiah II from his son Hensleigh in 1837 about his apprehension of resigning from his post as a magistrate: What you say about my family is very true & would be what I should feel most in the matter. There is no danger of my being led to act in a contrary direction by any fear of being influenced by my interest. I feel that my resignation would be a great plunge in every respect & one in which I could not expect the sympathy of my friends. I know that it must appear a fancy to most of them. My feelings about it however are not in any state of excitement, only I am much perplexed You know I had all but sent in my resignation three years before I knew anything of the Scotts (I don’t mean I did not know him then but he was a mere acquaintance) from whom you may probably think I derived my difficulty, but it was not so. I will certainly follow your advice about not resigning soon as I determine to take that step unless circumstances should render it necessary. I am very sorry to be the cause of so much [?vexation] to you as I am sure I must be in this matter, but I did not like to leave you in ignorance of a thing of so much importance to me.

 

Correspondence between 2nd and 3rd generations includes a letter from Hensleigh to his daughter Frances Julia ‘Snow’ c.1860 showing his disapproval of her novel: I am sorry you take such an uncomfortable scheme of novel, it quite gives me a pain in the stomach. It is a radically false written in which you place Edward and one in which it is very difficult to sympathise with him. It is a man in a womans place and the feelings you describe are more those of a womans than a man. The letter ends pray write something more cheerful next time.

 

A letter from Francis to his son Godfrey in 1868 states Do not let your mother go on spunging [sic] on Mrs [?Havers] for a bottle of wine  – it may be got quite good enough at the inn on paying a proper price. A propos of some talk you & I had riding to Etruria. It would be worthwhile to read through the Gospels carefully, to see whether there is really such a necessary connexion, as you suppose, between Jesus Christs’ doctrine of a future life and the miracles attributed to him, that it is impossible to suppose the doctrine genuine and the miracles gradually added during the 70 years or so during which we have no notice of the Gospels. I have never looked into this because the miracles do not stick in my gizzard as they do in yours, and I find no difficulty in believing they may have been performed in spite of want of satisfactory proof that they were performed. If they may have been performed then the claim to have [?worked] them was not necessarily a false claim, & if not necessarily a false claim no proof of falsehood in the claimant. I do not mean that miracles are to be believed without good proof, but you go father, you not only refuse to believe the miracles without good proof (& quite right too) but you also consider the want of proof (a mere accident) as proof of falsehood in the claimer to work miracles, which is illogical unless you know (which you do not & can not) that they were not worked, or unless you maintain that a miracle is impossible, which is equivalent to saying that you know the [?limits] of Gods power, or you know how he would choose to act not only in ordinary cases but in a case which need only occur once in the history of mankind. This seems to me the state of your argument

 

___ do not believe modern miracles for want of proof

 

___ do not find better proof for the New Testament miracles.

 

Therefore you do not believe the New Testament miracles

 

Therefore the man who claimed to work them must be dishonest

 

Why?

 

Because he claimed to do impossibilities? No but because he claimed to do what there is no sufficient proof that he did. There is no connexion between no 3 & 4 unless you know everything like the pope. I do not want to draw you into ________ like Julia Goddard.

 

Another letter from Francis to Godfrey dated 1870 tells of his mother being given a pot made by Josiah I – five years before he was born!: You must look out for a fresh washer woman when you come back. Mrs ____ is gone to America – she has given your mother a brown mug dated 1725 made of course by the great Josiah Wedgwood – I have not heard what rubbish your mother thought herself bound in gratitude to by Mrs ____’s sale yesterday – and I shall not ask.

 

Letters between 3rd and 4th generations include the regular correspondence of

 

Godfrey to his two children – Cecil and Mary Euphrasia – many of which are illustrated with amusing sketches. Of those written to Cecil the earliest dates from January 1866 when Cecil was just two years old and is a story of two family pets Wooley the donkey and Admiral the horse. Many contain accounts of animals and news of relatives, including Uncle Lawrence’s trip to Ireland. In February 1870 Godfrey wrote from Mentone describing a donkey ride up into the hills near Castellan illustrated with sketches of himself and his companions on donkeys and picnicking at lunchtime. Many of the letters make reference to Godfrey’s fatherly instincts towards Cecil, such as It is very dull here on Sunday without you so I am writing you a letter which is the next best thing to seeing you.

 

A natural change in style can be detected over time to reflect Cecil’s increasing age. In one such letter, written while on holiday Godfrey describes the art of sea-bathing, complete with illustrations. It is very odd the first time one meets a lady in one’s bathing costume but one soon gets used to it.  In another from1875 Godfrey gave a detailed account of Election Day violence that ensued within the pottery towns: Tuesday was the day of the election. There was a squadron of lancers, two Companies of infantry and 300 extra police brought into the Potteries to keep order. When I went to vote all was quiet enough. I only found two little boys at the door by way of mob, who shouted out when they saw my Tory card “Turn him out, turn that youth out” at which I felt very much pleased. I got into a Longton train at Stoke instead of Barlaston, and had to walk home from Longton. There was a great crowd in the market place as I went through it, & boys were throwing dirty rags and wisps of straw about. I hear that an hour later they had got to throwing stones at any man in respectable clothes so I was lucky to get through when I did. We did not hear until next morning that Kenealy had been returned. It was a horrid blow, I felt quite sick at it. I went to the works at 12 o’clock next day and was just in time to see Kenealy & his wife go off to London from Stoke. They were so pleased they were grinning at one another all the time and all the porters were cheering, the beasts. If I were you I would not confess to having anything to do with Stoke on Trent now that it has disgraced itself. In the same letter he also tells of an amusing story he had heard while at the works: A certain man was always late, for dinner, for breakfast, for the train, in fact he got to feel that he always should be late. He went on a journey to Italy & fell ill at a monastery where he got worse and worse until he died, or appeared to die as he fell into a trance. The monks put him into a shell coffin & put him in the mortuary until the grave was ready. The cold brought him to himself & sitting up he saw he was surrounded by a number of empty coffins. “Good gracious” he said, “my usual luck, I am too late for the resurrection.”

 

Similarly, Godfrey would explain such things as his dealings in protecting their preference shares in the North Staffordshire Railway Company by opposing the amalgamation with the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln Railway.

 

A particularly amusing letter from Godfrey while staying in London tells of a séance he attended in which Josiah I was supposed to have spoken: On Thursday Uncle Hensleigh had a medium in and had a spiritual séance. Hope went to it, I was too tired. While they were sitting in the dark lights appeared which flickered all about the room and came before anybody who asked them. The medium, Mr Laurence, a cab conductor, but Hope said a nice man, then went in a trance and preach them a long sermon which was very dull. At the end of about 2 hours sitting the medium said an old gentleman wanted to speak but the words were too long & difficult for him to say. That he was lame, had a cork leg and that one word he said was E-T-R-U-R-I-A (old Josiah Wedgwood had a wooden leg). However he said nothing more. So it was not very interesting. But how an omnibus conductor came to know that much about old Jos Wedgwood I don’t understand.

 

Other letters touch on subjects closer to home such as attending a farm sale at Dilhorne to bid for a rick cloth. Although not successful, he did buy an old solid mahogany table and an old carved oak chest. Godfrey tells of haymaking in their fields and describes coming out in my new character as the British Farmer complete with illustrations. Two days later he wrote describing the problems of organising a party at Dilhorne for the foremen at Etruria and their wives with salmon, lobster and hamper after hamper totalling £3 or £4 worth of food. This letter contains two beautiful sketches of the house and garden at Dilhorne which were copied in ink and printed by a local printer.

 

Godfrey also wrote and illustrated letters to his daughter (and Cecil’s half-sister) Mary Euphrasia. An undated letter, probably from early 1880, describes Godfrey’s despair at the noise of the workmen carrying out alterations at home: Four and twenty carpenters when the doors are open (at 6 a.m.) begin for to bang – and do not leave off making every abominable noise you can think of till 8 o’clock at night & two or 3 bricklayers & plumbers add to the row. Even my deaf ear is not deaf enough to save me from them. When we sit down to meals a bricklayer chooses the wall next to us to hammer at & pull down. When I go to the rest 3 or 4 stout carpenters hammer away at the oak wainscote in the room beneath me. Many of the letters tell of family news, such as a visit from Cecil accompanied by his two dogs and the trouble of taking them home again by train. Accounts of excursions included Tutbury Castle and Bagot Park, Keswick, and further afield Athens and America.

 

Many of the letters are more humorous than those written to Cecil. One particular letter that describes the illustrations it contains: a curious portrait I have found of a lady and gentleman who to judge by their costume must belong to the latter end of the 19th century and to judge by the weather must be the latter end of the 4th week of January…From another sketch evidently intended for the same gent and his dame of the latter half of the 19th century it appears from the curiosity manifested by the cattle that they look on the same gentleman & gentlewoman with some suspicion – and it is quite clear that the latter are glad to be able to shut the gate between them & the cattle…We have had a storm here last night and today. I wonder how you find it at the seaside. I should think it would be well for Lily & Miss Cobbett to take out 2 balls of twine & fasten them to you & Geoffrey kite fashion so that in rounding the Orme’s head you may not be lost. I am your nonsensical old Round Head.

 

While in London Godfrey visited a Tudor exhibition and commented on Anne of Cleeves physical appearance: We went to see the Tudor exhibition, chiefly pictures of Henry VII, VIII, Elizabeth & Mary, and other relics besides. There were a dozen pictures of Henry VIII all one more like a fatted pig than  the other. Not one the handsome man he was said to be. However he seems to have been quite as good looking as his wives, or else his ideas of good looks were very different from mine, not a bit of hair showing round the face – all bandaged up at the back. The only one I should have liked to have married for her looks was Anne of Cleeves – and she was the one he sent back or wanted to because she was not as pretty as the picture of her to which he had been married before he saw her. Another letter describes the problems of Elizabethan dress sense.

 

Sometimes Godfrey would write in the character of one of Mary’s pets to tell her how much she was being missed such as her cat Mrs Tommy, one of the puppies, Woolley the donkey, or as one of the newly-born rabbits:

 

The Rabbithutch,

 

Caverswall,

 

3rd day of our era

 

Our dear Granbunny

 

You don’t know us. We are an addition to your family & only 3 days old. I don’t suppose you even know of our births, unless you see it in The Times. Though we are afraid in the excitement of the Parnell trial The Times must have forgotten to put our births in because we understand that when 3 children are born at once the Queen usually sends a present to their mother and the Queen has not sent anything to our dam though we are 8 all born at once and the Queen is so good it must be The Times fault for not letting her know. Well here we are and it is great fun playing hide & seek under mother’s fur. Good Mr Charles Howell brings her a big bowl of bread & milk everyday – and she promises if we are good children for 3 weeks to give us a little. We are very glad to hear you are coming home tomorrow though probably you will not be here till after our bedtime. Mother bunny is awfully strict about putting us to bed this cold snowy weather – so I do not expect to see you till Sunday morning when we shall be ever so old, 5 days we think. That proud great gran bunny who came home yesterday has not come to see us. So we shall punish him by hiding under mother bunny when he wants to see us. We are, dear your affectionate gran.

 

Nb. Please christen us – we don’t know one from another & get so mixt up being all of one age.

 

Some letters were, as Godfrey stated at their beginning, a ‘fairy story’. One of these tells the tale of Godfrey falling off the cliffs at Bourne and into the sea until reaching the seabed, where he has encounters with mermaids, a mereboy, a dogfish and an octopus.  Another is written to Ye damosel Mary Wedgwood of Caverswalle castel, adopting medieval spelling and prose: Greeting. How fairest thou without any tidings of Wilfred of Ivanhoe & the fair lady Rowena. Trust thou will not have forgetten the sore plight that thou leavedst them in, in the castle and power of the caitiff Reginald FrontdeBoeaf. I myself have had to make myself acquaint with ye story of the unfortunate disinherited knight up to ye point at which thou hast arrived in ye booke – and sore angered I am with the villain de Bracy for his treachery – I trust he will come by his deserts for his villainy before we enden ye story. Hast thou told thy aunt Amy ye history of Ivanhoe – I marvel if she call it to mind it must be many lustres sine she heard it. She will be well pleased to hear thee tell it, as far as thou hast gotten.  Fain would have thee back that we moighten read farther the marvellous history. I am, dear damosel, Thy loving sire Godefroi de Weggewoode.

 

Correspondence between 3rd and 4th generations continued with Cecil’s letters to his father, the earliest which survive being from his school days at Clifton College, Bristol. The first of these, from 1880, is a response to news of the birth of his half-sister Mary Euphrasia: Dear Father, I am glad to hear the good news & above all that mother is going on well. I am very glad too that the baby is a girl, it will be so nice having a sister to look after & take care of.

 

Correspondence between 4th and 5th generations includes Cecil’s letters to his daughter Phoebe, some written during Cecil’s participation in the South African War: Captain Bull has lost his “Brer Terrapin”. He was put out on the grass to feed and he scuffled off when no one was looking. I have no doubt he is somewhere with Brer Rabbit, smoking a cigar and chuckling at having diddled those stupid English soldiers.

 

Many, including the above, contain sketches such as Cousin Oliver catching a lizard, a mole and tabaqui, a snake, Cecil on horseback and in his arbour and being attacked by a skeeter while sleeping. Another, illustrated with an appropriate sketch, tells of one of Cecil’s companions, Captain Sheldon: He saw that some elephants had been pulling down trees to get at the leaves. So he sat down on one of the tree trunks. As he sat down he heard a movement under the tree and on looking over his shoulder he saw it was a lioness who had been asleep under the branches of the fallen tree. Of course he jumped up and ran as hard as he could but when he looked over his shoulder he saw the lioness running just as fast in the opposite direction.

 

Other letters appear to have contained gifts such as the one that enclosed a necklace and two bracelets sent for her birthday: They are made by the black people here out of ‘sweet mallard’ seeds. Cecil was stationed at Wellington over Christmas 1900 and wrote to both his daughters enclosing two deer skins suggesting they use them as mats by their beds or to sit on in the nursery: I hope you will both have a very happy Christmas and lots of fun. I do wish I could be with you but they want me out here yet.

 

Later letters, after Cecil’s return and while Phoebe was away at boarding school, contain amusing anecdotes such as the state of football fans: I met mother at Stoke on Saturday & was very glad I did for the place was a pandemonium, with excursion train after excursion train of small, hollow-chested, round-shouldered ruffians coming to see a football match. That is what the nation is coming to, they barked along the platform like wild things.

 

Who’s who in the letters?

 

Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795). Married his cousin Sarah Wedgwood in 1764.

 

John Wedgwood (1766-1844) eldest son of Josiah. He married Louisa Jane Allen of Cresselly (Pembroke), the younger sister of Bessie Allen, already married to his brother Josiah (II). John worked at the Etruria factory between 1790 and 1793 but shortly afterwards became a partner in the London and Middlesex Bank. Lived at various residences including Seabridge, Betley, Cote House (near Bristol), and Hertfordshire. While at Cote House he devoted much of his time to gardening which culminated in the founding of the Royal Horticultural Society.

 

Josiah Wedgwood (II) (1769-1843) 2nd son of Josiah (I). Almost entirely educated at home by his father and his secretary, Alexander Chisholm. In 1790 his father gave him a share in the Etruria factory and three years later took over the shares of his brothers John and Thomas. On the death of his father in 1795 he succeeded to sole ownership. He then left Staffordshire and went to live at Stoke House, Cobham, Surrey, only visiting Etruria two or three times a year. In 1800 he leased Tarrant Gunvile in Dorset from his brother Thomas and lived there until 1806. Although he bought Maer Hall Estate in 1802 it was not until 1807 that he took up residence. Economic downturn caused by the Napoleonic Wars forced his return to Etruria in 1812 and it was not until 1819 that he returned permanently to Maer. In 1831 he stood as MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme and although defeated the following year he was returned as a senior member for the new borough of Stoke-on-Trent.

 

Thomas Wedgwood (1771-1805) 3rd son of Josiah (I). A celebrated chemist and often cited as the father of photography due to discovering the action of light upon silver nitrate although was unable to fix the picture. His continual poor health meant that he was unable to apply himself to work although he has been described as ‘the most brilliant of the three sons.’ He was a great friend of the poet Coleridge. He died unmarried at the age of 34.

 

Catherine Wedgwood (1774-1823), daughter of Josiah (I). Spinster. She and her sister Sarah were actively involved with the anti-slavery movement. Died at Parkfields, Barlaston.

 

Francis Wedgwood (1800-1880) son of Josiah II. Educated at Rugby and Cambridge. He joined his father and brother (Josiah III) as a partner in the Etruria factory in 1827. Married Frances Mosley of Rolleston in Derbyshire in 1832. His father and brother, who had taken little active part in the business had both retired by 1842 leaving him in sole charge. In 1844 he sold a large portion of the Etruria Estate including the Hall. Shortly afterwards he purchased a 100-acre estate in Barlaston and built the Upper House. In 1859 he was joined in the business by his son Godfrey, and later by his other two sons. He was a strong Unitarian and also a JP and there are many stories of him riding about the county in search of blocked rights-of-way with a saw in his pocket to cut down any offending gate. He retired from active business in 1876 and devoted an hour each afternoon to teaching his grandchildren maths, French or the art of flying kites.

 

Hensleigh Wedgwood (1803-1891) son of Josiah II. Educated at Rugby and Christ’s College Cambridge where he was elected a Fellow. He was called to the Bar and made a Stipendiary Magistrate in 1831. He married his first cousin Frances, daughter of Sir James Mackintosh in 1832. He was a well-known philologist. His first work was ‘On the Development of the Understanding’ (1848) and others included his ‘Dictionary of Etymology’ (1859).

 

Francis Julia ‘Snow’ Wedgwood (1833-1905) daughter of Hensleigh. Novelist and writer of philosophical works including ‘Framleigh Hall’ (1858), ‘Life of Wesley’ (1870) and ‘The Moral Ideal’ (1888).

 

Godfrey Wedgwood (1833-1905) son of Francis. Partner in the firm from 1859. Married Mary Hawkshaw in 1862 who died following the birth of their son Cecil the following year. That same year he married his first cousin Hope, the daughter of Hensleigh Wedgwood.  From 1876 until 1880 he lived at Dilhorne and from 1880 until 1887 at Caverswall Castle, after which he built Idlerocks at Moddershall near Stone. He was also a JP for the county and a director of the North Staffordshire Railway.

 

Cecil Wedgwood (1863-1916) son of Godfrey Wedgwood by his first wife (Mary). Educated at Clifton College near Bristol and became a partner in the firm from 1884. Married his step-sister’s governess Lucie Gibson in 1888. He was made chairman of the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce in 1906. Other positions held included chairman of the Committee for Federating the Pottery Towns and Councillor for Hanley, both in 1907. He served as a Major of the 4th North Staffs Militia in the South African War, commanded a column in Cape Colony in 1901 and received the DSO the following year. Retained an interest in the military and was a member of the Territorial Forces in 1908. He was killed during the First World War in 1916.

 

Mary Euphrasia Wedgwood (1880-1952) daughter of Godfrey Wedgwood by his 2nd wife (Hope). Lived at Idlerocks. Married into the Mosley family.

 

Phoebe Wedgwood (1893-1972) daughter of Cecil Wedgwood.