Burslem History (1)

Introduction; Domesday; Hulton Abbey; Population; Maps; Communications; Pottery Industry; Parish Church; Non-Conformity; Local Government; Wakes; Inns and Alehouses.




Burslem has been bestowed with the accolade of ‘the mother town’ for it was once considered to be the most important of the six towns that now collectively make up the district of North Staffordshire known as ‘the Potteries.’ When this term was first used is unknown. During the sixteenth century travel writers began to describe England and the characteristics of the different regions. Many of them included Staffordshire but noticed no special feature about the north of the county. Leyland in 1537, Camden in 1586, and Erdeswick in 1590 said nothing of a ‘Potteries’, and Speed’s list of Shire products in 1625 omitted pottery.[i] The first author to acknowledge the trade was Plot in 1680 and who cited Burslem as the principle place of production. The first time the term appeared was Simeon Shaw’s The History of The Staffordshire Potteries published in 1838 and five years later in John Ward’s history of The Borough of Stoke Upon Trent.[ii]


But until the eighteenth century Burslem was an isolated moorland settlement, away from any major route-way, lying at the intersection of small roads from the scattered villages in the north-east of the county with the market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme, and also an inconsequential road that trickled north-south through the parish connecting the developing pottery towns. The parish, which originally covered about 2930 acres[iii] was divided into the three townships of Burslem, Sneyd and Hulton, and in addition to the town contained the districts of Brownhills to the north, Hot Lane, Sneyd Green, Birches Head and Abbey Hulton to the east, Rushton Grange (later Cobridge) to the south, and Trubshaw Cross, Longbridge (later Longport), Middleport and Newport to the west.[iv]


What follows is an examination of some of the sources generated during the existence of the settlements within the parish together with a re-evaluation of what has previously been portrayed of the history of those communities up to the beginning of the nineteenth century. From this date the history of Burslem has been sufficiently covered by a number of books and the bibliography can be used to suggest further reading.




The first reference to Burslem appears in the Domesday Book in 1086. It had been twenty years since the Norman Conquest and William had been disappointed with the revenue raised through taxation. Faced with the threat of a Scandinavian invasion William needed to finance a large mercenary army. Domesday was commissioned not as a population census but as a taxation list showing the king how much each manor throughout his realm was worth, broken down into its component parts.


The settlement of Burslem, then known as ‘Barcardeslim’, consisted of one villein and four bordars, with one plough on land large enough to support two, and surrounded by two acres of alder or willow trees. A villein was a prominent tenant of the lord of the manor, sometimes with dependent labourers of his own, while a bordar may be thought of as a smallholder. Using the hypothesis of a household size of eight for each villein and four for each border suggests a population of twenty-four for Burslem in 1086. That there was cultivated land enough for two ploughs, although only one was in existence could indicate that some economic misfortune had recently befallen the settlement. Alternatively, this may suggest the practice of communal farming with the plough shared between the inhabitants. Either way, the comparatively small value of only ten shillings for the manor suggests a poor and underdeveloped community.


The neighbouring combined manor of Hulton and Rushton consisted of three villeins and three bordars, and although there was enough cultivated land to support three ploughs only one was in use. The manor also contained woodland one league in length and half a league wide. Both this, and the manor of Burslem, belonged to Robert de Stafford, the Norman standard-bearer of William the Conqueror, who rode with William at the battle of Hastings. Robert however had numerous lands and resided at Stafford when in the county. Although no lord of the manor is recorded at Burslem, having remained vacant since being held by a free man called Alward before the Conquest, one of Robert’s sub-lords called Ulviet appears to have been resident at Hulton and Rushton. This may have been a more prestigious manor than that of Burslem as Ulviet was based here, although like Burslem, it also had the relatively low value of ten shillings. Using the same hypothesis as for Burslem, and proposing a household of twelve for Ulviet, a population of fifty-two is suggested. Ulviet had also been in possession of Hulton and Rushton before the Conquest and with no change of lordship at a local level the arrival of the Normans probably had little if any effect on the people of the district.


Although Alward had lost his holding of Burslem after the Conquest, at the time of Domesday he was in possession of Fenton, the only other of what would later become the six towns that make up The Potteries mentioned in the survey. [v] The land belonged to the king’s theigns and comprised of one virgate of land (approximately 30 acres) with enough land to support three ploughs although the whole was regarded as ‘waste.’ This term however did not mean of no value (although no actual value or tenants were recorded) but rather land that was not being cultivated. Waste was still valuable in communal agriculture as it was used for coppicing and the pasturing of animals, although not rated as highly as arable.


By comparison the neighbouring manor of Norton was assessed at two hides, roughly equally to 240 acres, not necessarily on the ground but the equivalent of for taxation purposes. Before the Conquest Ulviet had held this along with another free man called Godric, although it was now in possession of Robert de Stafford. There was no sub-lord present at the time of Domesday but the six villeins and three bordars suggest a total population of sixty. Although there was land for four ploughs only three were in existence. The estate also contained woodland three leagues in length and two leagues wide. The whole was valued considerably higher than both Burslem and Hulton and Ruston combined at forty shillings.


The most populous and prestigious settlement appears to have been Wolsatnton, in possession of King William himself. Before the Conquest this had been one of the manors belonging to Earl Alfgar, a Saxon nobleman from the royal household of Mercia. In size the manor was comparable to that of Norton with two hides. Although no sub-lord was listed during Domesday two of the ten ploughs were recorded as being ‘in demesne’, meaning owned and used by the lord of the manor. The fourteen villeins and two bordars, along with a resident priest, suggest a total population of eighty-nine. The estate also contained woodland one league in length by one furlong wide. The whole had risen in value during the past twenty years from five to six pounds and the excessive number of villeins as opposed to bordars suggests that this was an affluent community. By comparison, Burslem appears to have been a poor and underdeveloped community, nestling close to a wooded hilltop.


Hulton Abbey


During the early thirteenth century the first ecclesiastical building had appeared within the parish two miles south-east of the settlement of Burslem on the low-lying land near to the River Trent. The Cistercian abbey of St Mary, a daughter-house of Combermere Abbey in Cheshire, was founded in 1219 at Hulton.[vi] Four years later in 1223 it was endowed by Henry de Audley, a fifth generation descendant of Robert de Stafford.[vii]


The Audley’s became an extremely wealthy and powerful family and because of this possessed royal patronage. Henry de Audley sided with King John in his dispute with the barons in 1215 that resulted in the agreement known as the Magna Carta. He was related to Randle de Blundeville, the earl of Chester and Lincoln, and his marriage to Bertred Meisnelwaring (Mainwaring), descended from Saxon earldom, brought Henry even more connections and power.[viii] The Audley family continued to prosper and were granted barony status in 1296[ix] but by the beginning of the fifteenth century the male line had expired and the family became fragmented resulting in the weakening of its power and influence.[x] With their continual benefaction many prominent members of the family were interred within the abbey.[xi]


The north side of the abbey was occupied by the church buildings, the nave and chancel. The remaining buildings, forming a quadrant, would have comprised of a number of two-storey cloisters, housing the dormitories for the monks and any lay brothers, a kitchen and a chapter house. A range of outbuildings would have included an infirmary, guesthouse, storehouse, barn, mill, smithy, bakery, malthouse and brewery,[xii] along with a tannery and fishery.[xiii] By the mid-thirteenth century the thirteen monks were engaged in extensive demesne agriculture at Hulton including sheep farming.[xiv] They appear to have produced encaustic tiles although there is no evidence that they produced items of pottery, despite the existence of the surname ‘Potter’ at Hulton in the early fifteenth century.[xv]


The abbey developed a number of outlying farms called granges. Rushton Grange, comprising of 240 acres, in the district that would later become known as Cobridge, was established by 1235[xvi], and three more were in existence at Sneyd by the early sixteenth century.[xvii] Sneyd was first mentioned in the foundation charter of the abbey when the woodland there, along with the combined manor of Hulton and Rushton, were granted to the monks by the Audley family.[xviii] The township of Rushton was described in the taxation list instigated by Pope Nicholas in 1291 (both Burslem and Sneyd were omitted) with an annual value of 20s and containing three ploughlands, suggesting that since the monks had acquired the land they had cultivated it to good advantage.[xix]


However, by comparison the abbey was poor, and the smallest of any of the Staffordshire monasteries with the exception of the nunnery at Brewood. Towards the end of the fourteenth century there were just five monks at Hulton, including the abbot.[xx] This however does not take into account any lay brothers who would undertake much of the manual labour while the monks dedicated themselves to prayer. Much of the abbey’s income was derived from rents, and after the Black Death of the mid- fourteenth century, its income had fallen to half of what it had previously been.


Little is known about life at the abbey apart from a few demeanours that were recorded. In 1386 William de Bynnynton, was described as a ‘vagabond, apostate monk.’[xxi] In 1417 the abbot, Richard Billington, was sued by Sampson Meverell for abducting Joan Condale who was in Meverell’s service at Hulton.[xxii] During the late 1520s the abbot (probably John Harwood) was accused of controlling the neighbourhood and preventing justice from being done.[xxiii] In 1534 monk William Chalner was described as ‘very vicious and exceedingly drunken’[xxiv] Considering the sparsity of these demeanours the overall integrity of the monks at Hulton in general should not be questioned. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries the abbot and eight monks present signed the surrender deed in 1538 and the following year the land was leased to Stephen Bagot. Four years later both the site and manor of Hulton were sold with other neighbouring lands of the abbey to Sir Edward Aston.[xxv] This seems to have quickly passed to James Leveson, who again rapidly passed it to Richard Biddulph.[xxvi] Most of the stone was taken away and used in nearby buildings. At the beginning of the nineteenth century a large barn of stone called The Hall Barn still existed ‘to attest to the stately style of even the farm buildings’, and below the abbey were the remains of the fishponds, while on the upper or eastern side remained a large portion of a defensive moat.[xxvii]


Many of the roads around the site of the abbey developed from the monastic tracks used by the monks and lay brothers. One of these is Birches Head Road that ran west from the abbey, crossing the River Trent and proceeding up the hill to Birches Head before turning to skirt Hanley and continuing on to the church at Stoke. Another ran in a north west direction following the course of the Trent before turning into Millrise Road, Milton Road and Sneyd Street that connected the abbey with its outlying farm at Rushton Grange.[xxviii] A track, part of which is now incorporated into Eaves Lane, connected the abbey with the hamlet of Bucknall.




Burslem was originally an independent manor, but became united with that of neighbouring Tunstall by the thirteenth century as the Audley family were lords of both, along with the combined manor of Hulton and Rushton.[xxix] Unfortunately the Muster Roll of 1539 is of little use as a source for establishing a population estimate as Burslem was included in the Tunstall constablewick, which was not divided in terms of townships and is therefore impossible to locate where the individuals lived.[xxx] Just over thirty years later in 1563 there were thirty-two householders in the parish of Burslem[xxxi] and assuming a household size of 4.5 suggests a population of 144.[xxxii]


In 1647[xxxiii] a localised outbreak of plague occurred claiming an undisclosed number of inhabitants. None of the deaths were recorded in the parish register because the victims were not buried in the churchyard. The disease was allegedly brought from Italy by a female domestic employed for educating the children of the Biddulph family then resident at Rushton Grange. The female domestic and several of the children, along with some of the Bagnall family, became the earliest victims. The plague then spread to the lower parts of Burslem including Hole House and Hot Lane. Inhabitants became afraid to go near those infected but supplied them with food and medicines that they left outside their dwellings.[xxxiv] For the same reason the victims were interred in pits dug near to the Grange rather than being buried in the churchyard, with the priest of the family privately administering to them before internment.[xxxv] The burial place is ascertained by tradition as a dell or hollow below the site of the old house and known for many years as ‘Singing Kate’s Hole’ from the Italian domestic as she was known by the local inhabitants.[xxxvi]


Because the parish registers do not record those that died from the plague it is impossible to determine what effect this had upon population figures. However, the plague had a detrimental effect upon the economic status of the community. The Stoke on Trent Churchwardens Accounts for 1647 record a payment made ‘to a messenger to carry a warrant to lay a lune for the infected persons at the Grange.’[xxxvii]An order of the magistrates at the Easter Quarter Sessions in 1648 granted the application of the Burslem overseers of the poor for taxing twelve neighbouring parishes ‘for the relief of the poor that were visited with the plague’, raising the relatively large sum suggested of £12 weekly.


The Hearth Tax of 1666 recorded forty-one properties in Burslem.[xxxviii] The majority of these had only one hearth each, the exceptions being six dwellings with two hearths and three dwellings with three hearths. Unfortunately, due to the system of administration used for compiling the figures based upon the different constablewicks, it is impossible to determine how many of those properties listed as being exempt were in Burslem as these were all listed together at the end of the document. By comparison Tunstall had seventeen taxable properties and the hamlet of Sneyd fifteen.[xxxix] Using the hypothesis of a multiplier of 4.5 for each one-hearth dwelling, seven for each two-hearth dwelling, and ten for each three-hearth dwelling suggests a population for Burslem of 216. Proposing that the number of exemptions fell midway between the lowest and highest national rate, (i.e. between a quarter and a third of taxed dwellings), it is reasonable to assume that a dozen households were considered too poor to pay. Multiplying these twelve by the lowest household multiplier (4.5) produces fifty-four individuals, which added to those who did pay, suggests a total population of the town of 270.


A more reliable guide is the Ecclesiastical Census of 1676, generally supposed to refer to persons over the age of fifteen which records 444 for Burslem, 427 of which were listed as conformists.[xl] Allowing a third (148) for all those under the age of fifteen produces a population estimate of 592, although this figure is representative of the whole parish rather than Burslem itself.


The antiquarian author Robert Plot estimated that there were less than seventy dwellings in 1680[xli], but was probably referring to Burslem itself rather than the whole parish. If this is so then a population of 315 were resident in the town.[xlii] Compared with the figure of 270 derived from the Hearth Tax fourteen years earlier and allowing for natural increase the figures lend credence to each other. They also reveal that just over two-thirds of the population of the parish now lived in Burslem itself. Local historian and author B J Hodgkiss, in his history of Burslem, thought that ‘there was no great wealth in Burslem in the seventeenth century, the value of inventories fairly low, and few were described as ‘gent.’ although a number of yeomen existed.’[xliii]


Sneyd Green, whose principal township was Hamil[xliv] had become built-up by 1775.[xlv] By the end of the eighteenth century it had a ‘considerable population, chiefly of colliers and other cottagers’[xlvi] with ‘the hamlet abounding with mines of coal and ironstone’.[xlvii] Smallthorne, a hamlet within the Sneyd township, was first mentioned in 1569[xlviii] and the first reference to Hot Lane occurred in 1669.[xlix] Cobridge Gate, so called from a gate that used to cross the road on the hilltop to the east of the old abbey farm at Rushton Grange was already an inhabited area by the mid-seventeenth century.[l] There were three or four small houses by 1680 and a century later a community began developing around the small group of potteries there until becoming fully urbanised by the nineteenth century. The name derived from the natural ridge of high ground along which the road from the site of the abbey in the direction of Newcastle travelled. It is worth mentioning that the original name of Etruria, half a mile to the west, was the Ridge House estate. Before the completion of the Trent and Mersey Canal in 1777 Longport had previously been known as Longbridge and comprised only of a few cottages where the road from Burslem to Newcastle crossed the Fowlea Brook.[li] Likewise both Middleport and Newport only developed as a result of the canal.


Population Estimates





Burslem (inc Sneyd & Rushton Grange)










Hanley & Shelton





Stoke, Boothen & Penkhull





















Population Table (from Ward’s The Borough of Stoke Upon Trent, p43).




A number of different maps exist, all purporting to show Burslem in the mid-eighteenth century. The original, on which all later copies are based, was commissioned by Enoch Wood in 1816 and drawn by a land surveyor called McPhayl. The colour map shows the town of the 1750s and from a south perspective rather than being merely flat. It includes roads, footpaths, fields (and field boundaries), pools and watercourses, and makes some attempt at showing undulations, especially in fields. McPhayl also attempted to distinguish the black and white half-timbered buildings, such as those belonging to William Blakely (no.8) and Ann Daniel (no.12). It includes the windmill built by James Brindley in The Jinkins (sic) that was ‘destroyed in a tempest’ although omits ‘The Big House.’ With the exception of Madame Egerton’s (no.101), Hill Top (no.113) and that of William Blakely (no.8) all the dwellings appear to have been single storied structures. Although the majority of potworks usually consisted of only one oven attached, or standing very close to the side of the dwelling, some manufacturers were beginning to invest in ancillary buildings, sometimes forming two or three sides of a rectangle, such as those belonging to John Mitchel (nos. 92 and 94). Thomas Mitchel (no.93) also had a ‘round house to pound flint in.’


Details for the map were taken from Wood’s own recollections as well as a number of individuals, each of who were over the age of eighty, interviewed by Wood himself. The maypole is clearly shown in what would later become the market place, and two trees standing in what would later become St John’s Square had ‘fowls roosted here and were not disturbed or stole.’ Butty furlong, south-west of the town, was an area of communal farming with ‘long strips or butts from the top to the lower end.’ Velvet Croft obtained its name from ‘the earliest grass grew here. From the church it appeared like a field of green velvet every spring.’ In the ‘Big Furlong’ immediately east of the town ‘on shrove Tuesdays this field was full of people throwing at cocks and hens.’ The numbers next to each of the buildings are almost identical to that of the later maps drawn by both Thomas Ryles and Simeon Shaw. The majority of numbers also have an alternative number added in pencil. These appear to have been added later and correspond with the numbers on a map produced by an unknown cartographer supposedly showing the town of 1768.


The limit of the map does not extend to the whole parish, so that the suburbs then existing – Sneyd Green, Smallthorne, Brownhills, Longbridge, and Hot Lane are not shown. It does however show the sites of all sixteen messuages whose occupants had been liable to serve as churchwardens. This suggests that the original extent of the settlement was compact. One theory is that the community was originally located near to the church. This however seems unlikely despite the intersection of two main thoroughfares, as there would have been no reason for the community to relocate to its current position unless land had already become scarce, leaving more visible signs on these maps.


The maps depict a number of pools that drain by sough or gutter into the brook course shown near the foot of the maps. This sough or gutter had been built in 1719 to drain the local coal mines without the aid of machinery.[lii] The pools were probably formed by the excavation of clay and coal, and Ward commented that ‘this open part (the market place) and other vacant spaces in the town, viz. St John’s Square, Swan Square and Green Head, contained the pits from which the early potters dug their small supplies of clay and marl at free cost.’[liii] John Wesley, during one of his visits, recounted falling from his horse into one of the holes ‘deep enough to drown both horse and man.’[liv] The map indicates a large mound (no.105) in what is now the market place. It is described on the original as ‘a large shord ruck called Locketts Cob.’ In the absence of any public control, tipping ‘shraff’ on the nearest waste land would be the easiest and cheapest method of disposal.


The earliest map (chronologically) based on the original is ‘A Map of Burslem, About The Year 1720’ by Thomas Ryles. Ryles, a local printer and publisher, was born in 1825 and therefore drew the map retrospectively. What sources he used is unknown. This is a simple line drawing, keeping the same perspective as the original, and with the exception of numbers next to the dwellings no other text is given. The main difference between this and the original is that this copy appears to show less field divisions suggesting that the majority of enclosures were formed between 1725 and 1750. The absence of the windmill, not being built until the 1750s, is also understandable.


 Another copy of the original was the map commissioned by Simeon Shaw, which was to be included in his book on The History of The Staffordshire Potteries in 1838. Wood and Shaw were friends, and Wood allowed Shaw access to his own extensive collection of documents relating to the history of North Staffordshire. Because of the high cost of publication the map did not appear in Shaw’s book. The main difference between Shaw’s map and all of the others is that Shaw’s shows the buildings only as blocks, whereas in the others they are drawn pictorially and in perspective with a viewpoint from the south, giving credence to them being based upon McPhayl’s original. Shaw’s map also includes road directions and some of the field names, as well as the windmill.


Shaw’s map was eventually published in John Ward’s The Borough of Stoke Upon Trent in 1843. Ward used much of Shaw’s work, along with an edited list of messuages dated 1657 copied from Wood’s collection. The list refers to the properties which were called upon to provide churchwardens for the parish and linking these names to his own time Ward listed in an appendix the comparative dwellings in the town known to have been passed on in the continuity of family habitation.


The most popular copy of the map is the printed version reproduced in A History of The Wedgwood Family by Josiah Wedgwood IV in 1908. This version, rather than having numbers next to each of the dwellings, has the occupiers names printed alongside each property. It is closest in terms of appearance to McPhayl’s original and is the copy that is most commonly reproduced. A further copy, supposedly showing the town in 1768 by an unknown cartographer, has a different sequence of numbers to those of the other maps.




The road running north-south through the Potteries that passed through the centre of the town was not a major highway. The main coaching route ran almost parallel and passed through Newcastle three miles to the west. The condition of the roads was indicated by ‘pains’ inflicted upon inhabitants for ‘every person which have made any pitt whereby the highway is annoyed.’ One such individual was Joshua Leigh, ordered by the manor court, ‘that he doe make the furlong lane to be passable to carry hay and corne through.’ Common offences were failure to scour the ditches and watercourses, whereby the lanes became waterlogged. 


The road that left the town in a southerly direction ran down Bourne’s Bank, then by Cross Hill and pursued an easterly direction over what is now Waterloo Road. From this point all trace of it is now lost, but it continued to Hot Lane and Hanley. Church Street was not built until the late eighteenth century to improve connections between the church and town centre. The road to Newcastle left the settlement along what was known as ‘Pack Horse Lane’ on a course north of the present Newcastle Street, but at a considerably lower level. It dipped into a hollow, now filled up, passed through Dale Hall to Trubshaw Cross and then over the old bridge then called ‘Longbridge’, which crossed the swamp of the Folwea Brook near Longbridge Hayes. This appears to have been built in 1544 when John Adams of The Bruckehouse in Wolstanton bequeathed 3s 4d towards its construction.[lv] Originally this was ‘a footbridge of planks which extended about one hundred yards along the side of a wash or brook course through which the old highway from Burslem to Newcastle passed.’[lvi] By the mid-eighteenth century it was described as of a range of stepping stones making a kind of bridge that ran about 100 yards with the water.[lvii]


The road than ran north to Tunstall followed the present Westport Road (originally Liverpool Road) for a short distance but after leaving Hill Top on the slope of the hill veered to the left down the Black Sytch along which it ran for several hundred yards before emerging and crossing the later turnpike road at a sharp angle. This section can still be traced although in places it is hidden by the tipping of refuse. It followed the natural contour and though quite near the present road it is in some places more than seventeen feet below it. After crossing the road it dipped into the hollow by the millhouse (said to occupy the site of the ancient corn mill) then over the brook course and up a sharp incline to Brownhills.[lviii] The High Lane road that ran through the east of the parish was turnpiked in 1770, and Moorland Road, connecting Burslem with Smallthorne, was built in 1820.[lix]


Although the pits and holes in the roads appear to have been a constant problem some of these would have occurred through wear and tear rather than from the eagerness of early potters, although some entries in the manor court rolls were explicit. ‘It is ordered by the jury that any person who digs clay in a certain way called Wall Lane, which shall be prejudicial to the passage by that way, or if he do not fill up the same well and sufficiently, shall forfeit to the lord [of the manor] 6s 8d.’[lx] In 1549 Richard Denyell was presented to the court ‘for that he dug mud called clay in the King’s way at Bronehills lane and in Burslem.’ John Ward, in is History of The Borough of Stoke Upon Trent retrospectively noted that ‘the public roads through the district…were in a very wretched plight, narrow, circuitous, miry, and inconvenient’[lxi] and Lord Wedgwood agreed that ‘even in 1720 carts could not get to Burslem and the clay must have been brought inland on pack saddles’[lxii] The roads depicted on the early maps of Burslem appear to have no regularity of outline and widen throughout their course suggesting the poor state in which traffic would have been compelled to deviate from the track.


In 1762 a parliamentary petition by the inhabitants of Burslem for the turnpiking of roads mentioned ‘in Burslem and its neighbourhood there are near 150 separate potteries.’ The roads would have been busy with wagons and packhorses transporting both finished goods and raw materials. The road from the north being ‘very narrow, deep and fondrous as to be almost impassable for carriages, and in the winter almost for packhorses.’[lxiii] This caused the import of raw materials and export of finished goods to and from the River Weaver and Liverpool to have to travel the more indirect route via Newcastle.[lxiv] In 1763 this road was turnpiked as far south as Burslem, along with two roads to Trubshaw Cross, one from Brownhills and one from Burslem itself (the latter known as Pack Horse Lane). Therefore both Tunstall and Burslem were linked with Newcastle.[lxv] The course of the road from Burslem to Trubshaw Cross[lxvi] (Pack Horse Lane) was altered during the 1820s and became the present Newcastle Street. Enoch Wood bought that part of the old road that ran through his Fountain Place Works.[lxvii] In 1765 Josiah Wedgwood secured the extension of the turnpike from Burslem along Nile Street and Elder Road to Cobridge and onto Shelton, achieving his original plan for a north-south turnpike road through the Potteries. This road was replaced in 1817 with the building of the more direct Waterloo Road.[lxviii]


By 1790 Burslem was served daily by mail coaches between London and the North. Ten years later the Legs of Man Inn had become the principal inn of the town, and also functioned as the first post office,[lxix] until being replaced by The Leopard Inn during the early nineteenth century.[lxx] Also by the beginning of the nineteenth century, a branch of the Trent and Mersey canal was extended into the town from Newport to meet Navigation Road.[lxxi]


Pottery Industry


With the absence of evidence of Roman pottery the earliest works so far discovered in the Burslem district were at Sneyd Green. Two kilns dating from the thirteenth century along with fragments of pottery from the same period have been unearthed to the north-west of the junction of Sneyd Street and Crossways Road.[lxxii]


The surname ‘Potter’, along with that of ‘Thrower’ and ‘Tilewright’, had developed in Burslem by the early fourteenth century, the latter not only taken by tile-makers but also any whose occupation included the making of earthenware vessels. In 1348 the Tunstall Court Rolls recorded that ‘William the Pottere gives 6d for licence to make earthen pots.’ From then on the name begins to occur more frequently: ‘1353 Thomas the Throgher is amerced for a default at Chatterley’; ‘1363 John Pottere is presented for an affray in Burslem’; ‘1369 Robert le Potter gives 12d for licence to get earth for making pots until the following Michaelmas’; ‘1372 Thomas le Thrower takes up land in Thursfield’; and ‘1405 Robert Potter is recently dead in Burslem.’[lxxiii]


The earliest identifiable potters in the Burslem area were the Adams family who appeared in the Tunstall Court Rolls of 1448 when William Adams, along with his brother Richard, paid a fine, or levy, for obtaining clay in the common road between Sneyd and Burslem for that purpose.[lxxiv] This would have been little more than a pastime for the yeoman farmers and their workmen who produced coarse bowls, jugs and dishes.[lxxv] Thomas Adams, in his will dated 1563, bequeathed ‘to Wyllm my son my best yron chimney and to Ellen my daughter my other chimney.’[lxxvi] What is interesting is that it appears that Thomas had more than one oven at this early period in pottery production. In 1617 William Adams described himself as ‘Master Potter’ in his will, as did his son Thomas in his will in 1629.[lxxvii] Thomas’ will also mentions pot-houses, workhouses and ‘implements belonging to the trade of pottinge’, suggesting that he had been working some early form of factory. Before the beginning of the seventeenth century all the copyhold land in and around Burslem had been converted to freehold.[lxxviii] With this security of tenure came the willingness to invest capital into a hitherto cottage industry, in an area where the raw materials of clay and coal were in abundant supply.[lxxix]


Other potters mentioned in the court rolls included Thomas Danyell senior, potter, who in 1610 petitioned the court to dig for clay in ‘a pasture called Brownehills and another pasture called the Hill in Burslem…ffillinge upe the pitts after him, for a term of 21 years, rendering 4s yearly for all his services.’[lxxx] Application to the court to dig pits for marl became more frequent suggesting that pottery making was already developing on a larger scale. John Colclough, in his will of 1657, left his ‘potting boards and other implements and materials belonging to the trade of potting’ to his kinsman Thomas Wedgwood, the great-grandfather of Josiah Wedgwood. Thomas, as well as two of his brothers, Aaron and Moses also described themselves in their wills as potters. By the middle of the seventeenth century pottery production had evidently become a trade within the parish.


During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries a family with the surname of Burslem became the main landowners within the parish. When John Burslem died in 1596 he owned 650 acres, encompassing what would later become the town centre, which he sub-let to farming tenants.[lxxxi] He occupied Dale Hall on the western slopes of the town on land to the west of where St Paul’s church was later erected in 1828 close to Newcastle Street, although this dwelling was demolished shortly before the church’s construction. John’s grandson, Thomas Burslem, married Mary Ford, and had two daughters, Margaret and Katherine. Margaret married Gilbert Wedgwood in 1612, the great-great-great-grandfather of Josiah Wedgwood, who had come to Burslem from Harracles to join his relations who were practicing pot-making. Lacking a male heir Thomas made his two daughters his co-heiresses. Throughout the next one hundred years the Wedgwood family in a line from Gilbert grew and spread across Burslem.


An indenture lease by Burslem Wedgwood of Dale Hall, the grandson of Gilbert Wedgwood, granted in 1669 to Katherine and Thomas Addams a property in Burslem described as ‘Two Bayes of buildinge now used for pothouses…also one Pott Oven standinge neare…a Buildinge called A Smoakhouse…’ and the right to ‘…gett Clay and Marle’ in and upon the ground. This would have been similar to the type of potworks later described by Plot.[lxxxii] In his Natural History of Staffordshire Plot described the Burslem of 1680 as ‘one of scant houses and thatched buildings’ although commented that ‘it is the seat of the greatest pottery carried out in the county.’ After describing the process of pottery making, where those activities that could be carried out in the open air were done so, suggesting limited investment, Plot noted that the oven was ‘ordinarily above 6ft high and about 6ft wide and of copped form.’[lxxxiii]


The oven would have been surrounded by a ‘hovel’, a wall of turf clods or broken saggars, and roofed with boughs and clods of earth to help retain the heat. Each pot work consisted of a hovel such as this, some thatched open sheds for drying the ware, and an open tank, or ‘sun pan.’ These were between twelve and twenty feet long and about eighteen inches deep, with one section partitioned off, made deeper and lined with flagstones, where the clay was mixed (‘blunged’) with water using a long pole or paddle and afterwards left for the water to evaporate leaving a workable clay.[lxxxiv] There would also be a shippon and a sty as the potter would also still have been engaged in farming. The combination of farming and potting was common practice due to the seasonal nature of farming and the need for income out of season.


The potters of the mid-seventeenth century ‘fired’ and ‘drew out’ one oven a week. The cold oven was drawn on Monday, refilled with new ware on Thursday, and fired on Friday and Saturday, after which it was allowed to cool again until Monday.[lxxxv] The ordinary ware at this time was only fired once, and only to a moderate temperature, just sufficient to melt the dusted lead ore and fuse it into a glaze on the surface of the ware, making it impervious to water.[lxxxvi] Production was still coarse and elementary with no turning lathes to give neatness to the thrown article, no white body or ground upon which to enamel colours, and no moulds for any but the smallest sprigs. Josiah Wedgwood IV, in his Staffordshire Pottery and Its History, stated that a turning point was 1693, when the Elers brothers arrived in North Staffordshire ‘and broke up for ever the placid uneventful course of the old peasant industry.’[lxxxvii]


The business would have been one in which the whole family participated. While the father fashioned the ware his sons probably dug the clay and his wife packed the crates which the packhorsemen would load onto their mules.[lxxxviii] The ware was probably sold immediately after it was drawn.[lxxxix] Production consisted mostly of bowls, cups, jugs, candlesticks, and in addition to domestic wares there was a growing demand for butter pots for the dairy trade. These tubular pots, produced in common local clay, held 14lb of butter and were used at wholesale dairy markets. They were one of the earliest items to be mass produced.


The large dairy market at Uttoxeter was supplied with butter pots from Burslem. As business increased so too did the unscrupulous practice of packing pots with good-quality butter at the top and poor quality, or even devoid of butter, at the bottom. Dishonesty was not confined to the dairymen. Some pots were found with excessively thick bottoms which cast doubts on the integrity of Burslem potters. The size of the problem grew so much that the Government passed an Act in 1661 to standardise trade practices ‘…to regulate the abuse of the trade in the make of pot and the false packing of butter, which was before made good for a little depth at the top, and standing hollow at a great distance from the sides of the pot. The pot should not exceed 6lb in weight and contain at least 14lb of butter. To prevent these little moorland cheats, than whom no people whatever are esteemed more subtle, every potter shall upon every pot which shall sell for the packing of butter, mark the just weight which shall be of every pot which is burnt, together with the first letter of his Christian name and his surname at length upon pain of every pot one shilling.’ A permanent official attended the market throughout the season with an instrument that was capable of checking the depth of the butter and the thickness of the pot bottom.[xc] Fragments of seventeenth century butter pots marked with the Daniels surname have been unearthed to the north of the town hall, and Thomas Daniel, a potter of Burslem, was accused in 1682 of manufacturing butter pots of substandard quality.[xci]


The most common form of decoration during the late seventeenth century was slip-decorated ware, mottled and marbled ware. Thomas Miles of Shelton was by 1685 mixing clay with white sand from Badderley Edge to manufacture what he called ‘stone ware.’ Aaron Wedgwood and his sons Thomas and Richard, along with Matthew Garner, were making brown stoneware and red teapots in Burslem in 1693. This stoneware, afterwards glazed with salt, was to be the most distinctive product of the North Staffordshire Potteries.[xcii]


About 1710 there were forty-three potworks in and around Burslem.[xciii] Twenty-nine were in the centre of the town with a further five on the outskirts, including Bourne’s Bank and the Churchyard Works. Five were in the Rushton Grange/Cobridge/Hot Lane area and four in Sneyd Green. By this period only three of the manufacturers listed appeared to have specialised in butter pots.[xciv] Due to the demands of the potters coal mining to supply the fuel for firing the kilns had also begun on the high ground to the east of the settlement, and bricks and tiles were being produced in the Dale Hall area by at least 1761.[xcv] The first pottery at Longport was built about 1773 by John Brindley, a younger brother of James Brindley, and which had been acquired by John Davenport in 1793.[xcvi]


In 1747 Aaron Simpson, Thomas Lawton (slipmaker), Samuel Parr (turner), Richard Meir (fireman) and John Astbury (painter), all of Hot Lane, along with Carlos Wedgwood of The Stocks (a good thrower), Thomas Ward, and several others of Burslem left to go to work at the Chelsea Porcelain Factory in London. They soon ascertained that they were the principal workers and on whose skills the quality of the product was dependant. Shortly afterwards they commenced business on their own in Chelsea and were, to some degree successful, but after a period, owing to a disagreement among themselves, they abandoned the venture and returned to Burslem.[xcvii]


By the eighteenth century Burslem was still an isolated moorland settlement. The few shops that existed were those of a small agricultural community – four smithies, two butchers, a joiners, a cobblers, and a barbers.[xcviii] By then however the ground plan of the modern town was already distinguishable. It consisted of what are now called Swan Square, Queen Street, St John’s Square, Market Place, Wedgwood Street (originally Shoe Lane and still listed as such on an OS map of 1879), Greenhead Street and Bourne’s Bank running down to St John’s Church.[xcix]


John Ward referred to the ‘towns and villages’ of the Potteries, prior to the turnpiking of roads during the 1760s, inclusive of Burslem, as being ‘mean and poor (with very few exceptions) scattered up and down, and mostly covered in thatch. The manners of the inhabitants were not superior to their habitations; and their pleasures and amusements at their wakes and holidays were gross and brutal, such as bull-baiting, cock-throwing, goose-riding and the like. There were no respectable or regular shopkeepers, all the groceries, drapery goods and most of the butcher’s meat were obtained from Newcastle, which had therefore a manifest interest and appears to have felt a corresponding disposition to prevent that rivalry, which the increased facilities of good roads and better communications through the Potteries would naturally produce.’[c]


Ward observed the dialogue between two elderly inhabitants, John Tellwright and Ralph Leigh, in 1810 who discussed the town of the mid-eighteenth century. The majority of the conversation occurred at The Turk’s Head where Tellwright ordered half a pint of gin and two glasses.[ci] This became a common drink from the 1730s and shows that it was still popular during the first decade of the nineteenth century. Tellwright and Leigh agreed that the Burslem of the previous century was ‘a fearful roughish spot, the housing was of thatch, and before the doors everyone had a bread oven and a midden, and the town streets were full of clay pits.’[cii] The older inhabitants that Wood sought information from for his map also agreed that Burslem had progressively improved from the mid-eighteenth century. Tellwright and Leigh also discussed the group of potters who left for Chelsea and then returned, Josiah Wedgwood and the erection of the bell on top of the Brick House Works, Molly Leigh’s ghost and the possibility that she staged her own funeral as an April Fool’s joke, the windmill built by James Brindley ‘grinding flint like flour until a high wind blew the mill sails off’, and the habits of some of the early potters:

T: The old master potter was a companionable man. Very much one of the boys and part of the crew; men who like a good time.

L: They were that, Mr Tellwright. Just as soon as they had placed the ware in the ovens off they’d go and make straight for the alehouse on Swan Bank. And there they’d drink and drink until the ware would be ready to be taken out, or so they thought, relying on guesswork and the state of intoxication they found themselves in. The master potters always took their labourers with them to the alehouse and when they were all half-drunk many a row and fight would break out, each man taking his turn in the arena, arguing over whose turn it was to pay. And when they eventually returned to their oven with sore heads, all their pots would be spoiled.

T: Of course the masters are much more sober and industrious these days.

L: Yes, we never see them drunk during the day, beating their wives and spoiling their work as they used to do. They think a great deal more of themselves and their families now.

T: Do you remember how we used to see them tied up to the stocks in front of The Red Lion until they became sober and repented?


Arnold Bennett, the celebrated author of the Potteries, described the town of the 1870s in ‘Clayhanger’, a description that was also probably applicable to the latter half of the previous century. A town which ‘bursts forth out of a damp jungle of careless habit and negligence … ragged brickwork, walls finished anyhow with saggars and slag; narrow uneven alleys leading to higgledy-piggeldy workshops and kilns; cottages transformed into factories and factories into cottages, clumsily, hastily because nothing matters as long as “it will be made to do.”’ Bennett was also a direct descendant of the canal builder James Brindley. Brindley had become intimate with a Mary Bennett of Burslem. On August 31st 1760 their son John Bennett was born, being the great-great-grandfather of the famous novelist.[ciii]


Parish Church


Until 1807 Burslem was technically a chapelry to the larger parish of Stoke on Trent. However, it appears to have always operated independently and appears not to have been a contributory to its ‘mother’ church. The incumbent, or perpetual curate, was nominated by the rector of Stoke, and allowed to retain the tithes, Easter payments and surplice fees for his own use.


The churchwardens were appointed annually with one from each hamlet.[civ] These were the occupiers or owners of certain messuages or farms in the three hamlets (16 in Burslem, 13 in Sneyd and 14 in Hulton) who were called to serve office in rotation. The dwellings of the Burslem churchwardens were all situated around the market place and within 250 yards of the town hall.[cv] The custom was abandoned towards the end of the eighteenth century due to the decay of many of the original messuages.[cvi]


The church, dedicated to St John, is very plain. The date of the tower has for the last fifty years been a subject of debate among historians. This has largely arisen from John Ward who was the first historian to suggest a date for the tower. Ward, basing his assumption gained from ‘architectural judges’ thought the ‘rude and humble stone tower’ to be of Norman origin of the twelfth or thirteenth centuries.[cvii] The repetition of Ward’s statement by later writers has largely been the reason for the misconceived date. The Reverend T H Brookes, in an article on the church published in Staffordshire Life magazine in May 1953 commented that the tower was ‘frequently and erroneously assigned to the twelfth or thirteenth century’ and gave a date of between 1450 and 1550. Michael Greenslade in the Victoria County History series in 1963 claimed that it was ‘almost certainly built c1536. It is entirely late perpendicular in style, and in spite of claims to the contrary, shows no signs of any earlier work.’[cviii] It is interesting that Greenslade’s opinion and that of Brookes both clearly reference Ward’s misjudgement. Both these later writers however were aware of two wills dating from the 1530s. John Tunstall in his will, dated February 14th 1535, left to the church ‘towards the building of the steeple vis viiid’ and Thomas Adams of the parish of Stoke in his will of December 15th 1536 left legacies to several local churches including ‘to Burselem stepull my best jacket.’ It is interesting that both wills refer to a steeple rather than a tower, although the term may have been interchangeable. Adams’ will suggests that the ‘steeple’ was already in existence and the legacy may have been made towards its upkeep.


The debate still continues. Local historians Fred Hughes and Mervyn Edwards are both adamant in their opposing opinions. Edwards agrees with the late perpendicular architectural style and the evidence of the two wills that specifically mention the ‘steeple’ as dating the tower to the third decade of the sixteenth century. Hughes maintains that the building is much earlier, arguing that during the dissolution of the monasteries it was unlikely that a church would have been built while other nearby ecclesiastical buildings were being dismantled. However, this appears to have very little effect elsewhere. In the neighbouring county of Cheshire, for instance, there are more towers dating from the sixteenth century than any other period. If the sandstone tower is of an earlier date then the soft material has weathered particularly well. Hughes theorises that the soot from the nearby pottery kilns would have helped to prevent erosion by acting as a protective layer. However, this would only have been applicable for the last 300 years after production had outgrown its cottage-industry status. Also soot, containing elements of smoke, salt and sulphur are toxic pollutants and would have had a detrimental rather than protective effect.


Churches would normally build to impress and display both their wealth and prominence. The plainness of the tower could be attributed to the time being one of religious upheaval, being the same decade as the dissolution if the mid 1530s is the correct date of the tower. Towers were sometimes later additions to existing churches, and this was probably the case in Burslem, as the body of the church was of timber and plaster until the early eighteenth century. The first reference to the church itself was when Thomas Heath was recorded as the incumbent in 1532.


In the west wall of the tower a low Tudor-arched doorway has a three-light window above. The belfry stage is pierced by three-light perpendicular windows and is surmounted by an embattled parapet.[cix] It is possible, although unlikely, that these windows, along with the doorway, were later insertions replacing earlier ones. The nave, originally of timber and plaster with a thatched roof, was destroyed by fire in 1717[cx] (and according to tradition not for the first time). It was rebuilt in brick with a slate roof and pierced on both sides by tall round-headed windows. The apsidal chancel is illuminated by a Venetian window. The church was enlarged and re-roofed in 1788 and four years later a west gallery added. A brick vestry was added to the south side of the tower in 1794.[cxi]


Few families appear to have had the privilege of burial within the church. Those that did include William Colclouch (1662), and the wording in the wills of Thomas Burslem (1555) and Nicholas Adams (1567) suggest that they may also have been interred. The absence of any memorials to these individuals is probably the result of the fire of 1717. The only ones now remaining are a nineteenth century wall tablet to Daniel Heywood and his wife Sarah, a flat stone in memory of Richard Bentley, a former minister at the church, and in the floor of the vestry a stone commemorating Thomas Wedgwood (1776), one of the two brothers responsible for ‘The Big House’ and his wife Mary. This unusual position is probably a result of these memorials being removed when the floor was re-laid with stone flags when heating flues were installed under the aisles.


The churchyard contains the remains of many notable seventeenth and eighteenth centuries master potters including Adams, Daniels, Malkins, Stevensons, Warburtons, Woods and Wedgwoods. The oldest stone is undedicated and bears the date of 1428.[cxii] Close to the south side of the tower is an open stone coffin thought to have belonged to one of the monks of Hulton Abbey.[cxiii] However, the coffin’s body space is peculiar being six feet and three inches in length but only fourteen inches wide. At the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540, it is possible that this stone, along with others from the abbey were moved for re-internment.[cxiv] Another theory is that it was the burial place of a monk who died in the fields at Rushton Grange which at one time stretched up to the church. A further suggestion is that the coffin was cut into the shape of Elizabeth the wife of Nicholas, the 5th Baron Audley, who bequeathed her body to be buried in the choir of Hulton Abbey.


Due to the rapidly expanding population in the parish the churchyard had to be extended in 1804, 1847 and again in 1878.[cxv] The new road layout of 1992 claimed a large portion of the original churchyard causing the removal of a number of burials and their contents re-interred at Carmountside cemetery near to the site of Hulton Abbey.[cxvi]




The Ecclesiastical Census of 1676 recorded seventeen non-conformists within the parish, accounting for just under 4% of the total adult population. Although Catholicism still continued only two papists were recorded in the parish registers, both burials, in 1747 and 1752.


Before John Wesley visited Burslem his travelling brethren arrived in 1757 and preached from a horse block in front of The Leopard (now The Legs of Man) inn.[cxvii] Two years later a licence was granted to hold religious services at the home of William Lockett, a potter who lived in Cross Hill near to St John’s Church. This was replaced with a religious house in the town’s open market place before the erection of the market building the following year.[cxviii]


Wesley first arrived in Burslem in 1760 which he described as ‘a scattered town on top of a hill, inhabited almost entirely by Potters.’[cxix] While preaching he noted that ‘five or six were laughing and talking ‘til I had near done and one of them threw a clod of earth which struck me on the side of the head.’[cxx] Yet this did not deter Wesley who visited the town no less than twelve times in thirty years. On a visit in 1781 he recorded ‘I returned to Burslem. How the whole face of this country has changed in about twenty years! Since which, inhabitants have continually flowed in from every side. Hence the wilderness has literally become a fruit field. Houses, villages, towns have sprung up, and the country is not more improved than the people.’[cxxi]


Methodism expanded and a small house was found in Hot Lane in which to meet. This quickly became inadequate and Job Ridgway, a master potter from Chell, purchased a plot of land ‘nineteen yards by twelve yards’ known as Kiln Croft on which the old Zoar chapel was built in 1798[cxxii], immediately dubbed ‘the salt box.’ Methodism thrived in Burslem faster than elsewhere in the Potteries[cxxiii] and became splintered with offshoots resulting in more chapels being built. By the end of the eighteenth century it had become Burslem’s most prominent faith. Other denominations included St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church erected at Cobridge in 1780[cxxiv] and Burslem Baptist chapel in 1791.[cxxv]


Local Government


Local government before the nineteenth century was largely instigated by the church who were responsible for a number of secular duties. These included the upkeep of roads within the parish and the relief of the poor. Other demeanours were dealt with at the manor court.


Like churchwardens, the overseers of the poor were chosen with one from each of the three townships of Burslem, Sneyd and Hulton.[cxxvi] In the early eighteenth century the main form of relief was a monthly or weekly payment.[cxxvii] In 1707 there were twenty-four individuals in the parish receiving poor relief, fourteen in Burslem, four in Sneyd and six in Hulton, the largest individual weekly payment being 1s 3d. Occasionally relief took the form of payment of rent. There was a parish workhouse by 1741[cxxviii] with a capacity for sixty[cxxix] which was replaced by a new workhouse at Greenhead in 1780.[cxxx]


In 1789 the Vestry created a new office for the prevention of ‘disorders and irregularities that arise from children playing in and daubing the seats in church on Sundays and at other times’ with a weekly wage of 2s paid out of the church rates. An official for ‘keeping good order in church on Sundays’ was still being appointed in 1792.[cxxxi]


The Manor Court rolls of the seventeenth century reveal that common offences such as ‘breaking the assize of bread and beer’ and ‘encroachments on the lord’s waste’ still occurred frequently.  A number of interesting entries shed some light on the more unusual demeanours. In 1606 it stated that ‘every person within the domain shall ring his pigs against the feasts of Philip and James next, and so continue them ringed till the next court held at Burslem.’ In 1611 a widow was heavily fined for placing ‘hemp in the common water where beasts were accustomed to drink.’ In 1678 it was ordered that ‘Burslem hamlet repair their shooting butts before 10 May on pain of 1s 6d.’[cxxxii] It is interesting that Burslem is still described as a hamlet towards the end of the seventeenth century.


An example of the local governance falling upon the churchwardens can be observed from a statement jointly issued by the minister and churchwardens in July 1788. The purpose of the statement highlighted ‘the many irregularities and disorders that prevail in this parish on the Lord’s Day’ with the intention of ‘the prevention of such abuses.

The list included the payment of wages on Saturdays at 4pm, hoping that this would be early enough to see any drunken or orgiastic behaviour curtailed before Sunday began. The order also instructed that all shops, with specific reference to butchers, should be closed on Sundays, and that no hairdresser should conduct his business after midday. The most severe regulation was applied to victuallers of public houses who were prohibited to sell any intoxicating liquor after 10pm on Saturdays and were to remain closed on Sundays, with full punishment of the law applied to those who refused to comply. The order was extended to anyone found drunk in the streets on Sundays. To assist the churchwardens and constables in effecting these resolutions twelve of the principal inhabitants were to be elected every six months.[cxxxiii]


As well as the church being responsible for local government, so too were many of the pottery manufacturers in the town. At the time the statement was issued Enoch Wood was also one of the churchwardens who placed his name on the document, along with thirty-one of the principal inhabitants, many of who were also pottery manufacturers. These regulations would also have been beneficial to the manufacturers. The closure of public houses on Sundays and the threat of those found drunk in the streets on that day was to help prevent workers from turning up for work on Monday still drunk from the day before, and to help eradicate ‘St Monday.’ The enforcement would have been easier in factory-owned pubs but these were in the minority. The rapid growth of Burslem during the second half of the eighteenth century was largely due to the pottery manufacturers. It is understandable therefore that these manufacturers felt responsible for local governance. The inhabitants, previously dealt with adequately by the church, now became unmanageable due to the enormous increase.




It is possible that the wakes originated shortly after the establishment of Christianity and may even have derived from an older custom connected with paganism. Its original objective was to celebrate the consecration of the church or the birthday of the patron saint to who the church was dedicated. Parishioners made tents or canopies with the boughs of trees adjoining the church in which they would celebrate the feast with thanksgiving and prayer. Keates’ Directory of the Staffordshire Potteries 1889-90 dealt in detail the history of the custom: ‘As early as the tenth century the wakes had lost much of their religious significance and had become mixed up with scenes the opposite of those which should have characterised them. A Canon established by King Edgar ordered those who came to the wakes to “pray devoutly and not to betake themselves to drunkenness and debauchery.” In obedience to this pious mandate good people assembled at the churches at night before the saint’s day and kept vigil – “comynge toward night to the churches with candellys burnying and would wake in theire devocion.” An old chronicler describing the wakes at that period says “the pepul fell to letcherie, and songs and dances, with harping and piping, and also to glotony and sinne; and so tourned the holiness to curayduess.”


As the wakes deviated from their original intention they became more popular and changed from a religious festival of prayer and dedication into a secular fair or holiday they were now composed of athletic games, music and dancing, eating and drinking, and gambling and quarrelling. Keates’ Directory of the Staffordshire Potteries 1889-90 continues the story: ‘After the reformation the church attempted to eradicate much of the merriment associated with the wakes. A writer during the Elizabethan period described the wakes as “sources of gluttonie and drunkenness” adding “many spend more money at these wakeses than in all the year besides.” Addison, writing in The Spectator, gave a description of a wake at which he was present in 1708. He first came upon a ring of cudgel players, who were “breaking one another’s heads in order to make some impression on their mistresses hearts.” He saw a football match, and afterwards a ring of wrestlers, in connection with which later it is recorded “the squire of the parish always treated the company every year with a hogshead of ale, and proposes a beaver hat for him who gives the most falls.” There were many other games. One was a whistling match, in which “he that could whistle clearest and go through his tale without laughing, to which he was provoked by the antic postures of a merryandrew who stood upon the stage and played his tricks in the eyes of the performer” received a reward of one guinea.’


Because the church is dedicated to St John the Baptist, the celebratory feast day is the Sunday after June 24th. The custom of decorating the church with the branches of trees or shrubs on this day survived until the beginning of the eighteenth century.[cxxxiv] It became the first day of ‘Burslem Wakes’, which is why the annual ‘Potters Fortnight’ was always the last week in June and first week in July. The wakes were held in the Market Place and included amongst many other activities bull-baiting, cock-fighting, dog-fighting and goose-riding. The bull was decorated with ribbons and led through the town on the Sunday evening and baited the following day at Swan Square.[cxxxv] Games included day-long battles of ‘Prison Bars.’ This ancient game seems to have originated in Cheshire or North Staffordshire. One district would play another, the game sometimes lasting a week and the whole populace would turn out to watch the contest and encourage their side.[cxxxvi]


The following two newspaper reports on the Burslem wakes date from the early nineteenth century, although no doubt echo the festival of the previous two centuries: ‘The wakes commenced in the Potteries on Sunday, a series of which succeed each other for several weeks at this season of the year, in the different districts of that populous place and neighbouring villages, and we fear are productive of much evil. We lament to be informed that nearly a dozen persons at Burslem have been much injured by an infuriated bull, (brought forward by barbarous custom to be tormented for the amusement of the populace) two or three of whom so seriously, that their lives are despaired of. An inhabitant of Burslem had his thigh lacerated several inches deep; a man from Chesterton two ribs broken and his head cut in a dreadful manner, and a person from Longport, so much hurt, that their recovery is doubtful.’[cxxxvii]


‘I inquired how the bull was procured? They told me that the money was raised by subscription with which the bull was purchased, that it was to be conducted to its place of destination amidst shouts of joy, and after being so long worried with dogs, that its bellowings and fury could no longer furnish the delighted populace with diversion, it was killed and sold to any that would purchase, at two pence per pound. They concluded by observing that they expected four bulls to be baited at this wake, and that they would be rare fun…The weather, when we entered the town was exceedingly warm, which caused the windows of the public houses to be open against the street. The rooms within were nearly filled, although it was only about ten o’clock in the morning. In some the fiddlers played to companies of dancers; in other the fumes of tobacco half concealed the interior….The town was evidentially in confusion, through the preparations that were making for that disorder which was expected. Shops were decorating, windows were cleaning, and carts, wheelbarrows, boards, hampers, and poles crowded the streets. In every direction the sound of the hammer was heard. Awnings were erecting; limits were fixing, adverse parties were contending for their respective rights, and mutually reproaching each other with encroachments. In one department was an exhibition of wild beasts; and in another rope dancing and feats of agility by a French company of tame ones, invited the notice of the spectators. Almost every minute presented something new. Exhibition followed exhibition, and crowd succeeded crowd. The children that were suffered to parade the streets were in full employ, running from place to place, and in every corner discovering new objects of wonder and admiration. Valuable articles, in their estimation, were everywhere preparing for sale, and they only seemed to want money to make them completely happy.’[cxxxviii]


With the coming of the industrial era attempts were made to restrict the wakes. Josiah Wedgwood wrote in 1776 that ‘our men have been at play four days this week, it being Burslem Wakes. I have rough’d and smooth’d them over and promis’d them a long Christmas, but I know it is all in vain, for wake’s must be observed though the world was to end with them.’[cxxxix] This demonstrates the importance that the workers attached to the wakes, as these were unpaid, paid holidays being unknown before the twentieth century. The manufacturers attempted to stop them, or at least have them coincide with Stoke wakes (first week in August). Reformers attempted to introduce Bills in the House of Commons during the 1790s. Each time one was presented it was rejected by the Members of Parliament as it was said that the wakes were traditional entertainments. Eventually by 1834 the more blood-thirsty aspects of the event including bull-, bear- and badger-baiting became outlawed.


Bull-baiting, bear-baiting and cock-fighting were popular sports at Burslem not only during the wakes but throughout all the year until they were eventually banned by law in the nineteenth century. The baiting took place in St John’s Square early on Sunday mornings, while cock-fighting was held on ground south-east of the town where the brewery was later built. Bull-baiting and cock-fighting also took place outside The Bulls Head at Sneyd Green.[cxl] The maypole formerly stood in the centre of the space later to be Burslem market place but had been removed by 1760. This would have been where the medieval festival of May Day was celebrated each year marking the return of spring. Although without the severity of the wakes, the public holiday included mummers plays, archery contests and the crowning of the May Queen. The maypole itself would have been a tall slim tree with its branches removed, painted in bright colours and decorated with garlands.


Inns and Alehouses


The Leopard Hotel in the market place has a double-bay frontage that was re-fronted during the Victorian period. In the main front room Josiah Wedgwood and James Brindley dined in 1765 and discussed the proposed Trent and Mersey Canal. At the bottom of twenty-odd stairs that turn 180 degrees in their descent stand two doors that lead to the old and new beer cellars. Behind the left-hand door that is kept permanently locked are six Georgian brick-lined dungeon rooms. These were originally stooping rooms, each one reaching out under the pavement of the street above. A tunnel also supposedly exists that once connected the inn with a brewery and was used for transporting the barrels of beer.


The Bulls Head in St John’s Square was known by the mid-eighteenth century as The Bear. It had acquired its present name by the beginning of the nineteenth century. It was rebuilt during the 1930s with a mock-Georgian frontage behind which were original flat mullioned windows fixed into the original seventeenth century town house.


The George Hotel was formerly an eighteenth century building with a pair of two storied semicircular bay windows. During its rebuilding in 1828-9, in which it encompassed several adjoining properties, an even earlier structure was found on the site.


The original Red Lion Inn stood immediately to the right of The Big House and was in existence from at least 1675. The building was one of half-timbered walls with cross beams and a thatched roof. The front carried an embossed tile dated 1675 with the initials RDS.[cxli] In 1875 it was altered to mock Tudor style and a wing added to its western end.[cxlii] In 1963 the building was demolished and the current public house of the same name erected upon the site.


The Turk’s Head stood immediately to the left of the Ivy House. An engraving by Edward Brookes which appeared in Ward’s book in 1843[cxliii] showed the building to be a two-storied half-timbered dwelling roofed with thatch. The front was spanned with three leaded casement windows on the ground floor with three smaller windows above set into the eaves. The building contained two chimneys and an almost central front entrance which suggests a ground floor plan of at least three rooms. It was finally demolished to make room for market buildings in 1835.


The Mitre has been suggested as being the oldest inn in Burslem. Standing close to the church and at the intersection of two roads, it has in the past been known as both The Crown and Mitre simply The Crown. The deeds supposedly reveal that the original name was The Mitre. If this was a Tudor inn, at the time of the dissolution the name would have been changed to The Crown to show allegiance to the monarch rather than the church. Upon acquisition of the inn by Parker’s brewery during the mid-nineteenth century when the original name was discovered it reverted back to The Mitre. The only peculiarity is its absence on the early maps of Burslem.


It appears more probable that the dwelling was built as a private house about 1780 by Joseph Wedgwood, a second cousin to Josiah Wedgwood.[cxliv] By 1795 it was occupied by Thomas Green who had also purchased the Churchyard Works. Bankruptcy forced Green’s departure to Longport sometime before 1814, and a decade latter the dweling was occupied by the Moseley family. By 1830 John Steel, a maltster and victualler, occupied the property which was then known as The Crown and Mitre, the name being shortened to The Mitre twenty years later.[cxlv] The lease of the property was eventually taken by Parker’s Brewery towards the end of the nineteenth century. This explanation of the dwelling having been built as a private house appears more plausible, especially when considering its absence from the early maps and its omission from the 1802 Burslem Rate Book and contemporary trade directories.


The following is a list of alehouses included on Wood’s map and therefore presumed to have been established before 1750:

1. Jolly Potters (Wood ref. 2; south side of Market Place). Remained a pub and by 1801 was known as ‘The Legs of Man.’ Demolished 1958, site now occupied by the Britannia Building Society.

2. Bear (Wood ref. 21; s/w side of St John’s Sq.). Later ‘The Bull’s Head. See main text above.

3. Court House (Wood ref. 24; s/e side St John’s Sq at the south end of Queen St). In 1740 it was also known as ‘The Croft House.’ By 1801 it had become ‘The Star’ or ‘The Star of Bethlehem.’ Demolished 1967, site now occupied by craft shop.

4. Talbot (Wood ref.27; Queen St). Demolished 1967, site now occupied by Boots Chemists.

5. Shoulder of Mutton (Wood ref. 56; north side of the head of Nile St). Known as ‘The Blue Ball’ in 1801. Ceased trading in 1933. Converted for commercial use it was occupied by Playland toy shop until 1989 when demolished, the site then being incorporated into The George Hotel.

6. The George and Dragon (Wood ref. 57) kept its name until becoming a hotel in 1929.

7. The Red Lion (Wood ref. 72). See main text above.

8. The Packhorse (Wood ref. 120; head of Packhorse Lane). Incorporated into Enoch Wood’s Fountain Works in 1825.


Un-named alehouses included on Wood’s map:

1. (Wood ref. 13; Brickhouse St). Alehouse owned by Isaac Noden, known as ‘The Cock Inn’ by 1801. Later became ‘The Wedgwood Inn’. Closed 1946 and demolished in 1992 after a fire.

2. (Wood ref. 22; St John’s Sq). Alehouse owned by Joseph Adams, known as ‘The Freemason’s Arms’ by 1801. Demolished 1965, now a video rental shop.

3. (Wood ref. 34; Bourne’s Bank). Alehouse owned by Thomas Harvey and still un-named in 1801. Became ‘Victoria Inn’ c1830, demolished 1946.

4. (Wood ref. 37; Bourne’s Bank). Alehouse owned by Elizabeth Harvey and still un-named in 1801. Became ‘The Royal Express’ c1824, aka ‘The Jig Post 1930-55. Became the Unity Club 1965-73, and the Summerhouse Club 1975-95. Still standing but derelict.

5. (Wood ref. 103; Market Place). Alehouse owned by Paul Sheldon and still un-named in 1801. Became ‘The New Vaults’ in 1840. Demolished 1956 and is now part of a private forecourt to James Sadler’s potworks.

6. (Wood ref. 104; Market Place). Alehouse owned by Timothy Lockett. Still un-named in 1801. Became ‘The Millstone’ c1830 and renamed ‘Lloyd’s Tavern’ 1985.

7. (Wood ref. 125; Packhorse Lane). Alehouse owned by John Hurd. Unknown in 1801 as an alehouse, possibly reverting to a dwelling. Now part of the rear of the former Burslem Co-operative offices.

8. (Wood ref. 128; St John’s Sq). Alehouse owned by William Allen. Became ‘Duke William’ by 1801.

9. (Wood ref. 137; stood in a meadow near today’s Furlong Lane). Alehouse owned by Stephen Cartlich. Known as ‘The Bowling Green’ by 1801. The site now derelict.

10. (Wood ref. 140; Market Place). Alehouse owned by Mary Marsh. Known as ‘The Bluebell’ in 1801, demolished 1835.

11. (Wood ref. 144; Market Place). Alehouse owned by Jane Bagguley. Had become ‘The Turk’s Head’ by 1801. See main text above.


There were a number of omissions of inns and alehouses from Wood’s map, such as the Leopard Hotel in the market place and The Foaming Quart on Greenhead Street. In addition to these and the ones shown on Wood’s map, by the beginning of the nineteenth century a further twenty inns and alehouses had been established in and around Burslem. John Mollart (Wood ref. 41; top of Bourne’s Bank, site now occupied by The Queen’s Head) is described as a farmer but transactions revealing the purchase of yeast from a nearby baker, suggest that he was also engaged in brewing. Two of the Wedgwood family were also innkeepers. Dr Thomas Wedgwood (1655 – 1717; grandson of Gilbert Wedgwood) occupied The Red Lion, while his own son Carlos became the licencee of the Duke William.


Ale or beer houses, unlike inns and public houses, could be established by almost anybody and run directly from the front room of any dwelling. Often it was a secondary business of the household, typically the male head often continuing with whatever employment he was engaged in while his wife would have catered for customers. Beer was either brewed on the premises, obtained from a brewery, or even just bought from a nearby pub and re-sold.

[i] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p7.

[ii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, pvi.

[iii] White’s Gazetteer & Directory of Staffordshire 1851 (William White, 1851, Sheffield).

[iv] John Ward, in his History of The Borough of Stoke Upon Trent listed the following township acreages: Burslem 730 acres (p205);  Sneyd hamlet 550 acres, including some detached portions in the Burslem township (p207); Rushton hamlet 420 acres (p274); & the lordship of Hulton 1400 acres (p288)

[v] Only the church at Stoke was mentioned as partly belonging to Robert Caureswell who held Caverswall.

[vi] VCH vol.iii, p236.

[vii] Hughes, Fred, MotherTown, p11.

[viii] Hughes, Fred, MotherTown, p11.

[ix] Hughes, Fred, MotherTown, p11.

[x] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p140.

[xi] VCH vol.iii, p235.

[xii] Cooper, Gary, Farmers & Potters, p25.

[xiii] VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xiv] SHC, xi, p306. Cal. Chart. Roll 453. Hulton appears in a Florentine list of wool exporters of c1315 in VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xv] VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xvi] VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xvii] VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xviii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p208;VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xix] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p274.

[xx] VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xxi] VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xxii] SHC, xvii, p57, in VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xxiii] SHC, NS x, p174; SHC 1912, p25-26; VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xxiv] VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xxv] VCH vol.iii, p236.

[xxvi] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p275.

[xxvii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p295.

[xxviii] Greenslade. Burslem, p107-8; Cooper, Gary, Farmers & Potters, p27.

[xxix] Greenslade, MW, The History of Burslem. (Being an extract from The Victoria History of The County of Stafford Vol.VIII – Jenkins, JG, ed. VCH reprint 1983 Staffordshire County Library, p116); Ward, John, History of The Borough of Stoke Upon Trent, p209.

[xxx] SHC, vol.XV, 1894.

[xxxi] Greenslade. Burslem, p108. Unfortunately Greenslade does not cite his original source for this figure; Hughes also mentions this but simply states ‘Church Records’, Hughes, Fred, Mother Town, p26.

[xxxii] The population estimate valid assuming this obscure list to be correct.

[xxxiii] 1647 was also a plague year in London. Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p218.

[xxxiv] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p216.

[xxxv] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p216.

[xxxvi] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p216.

[xxxvii] Hilton Johns, A., A Series of Churchwardens Accounts for The Parish of Stoke Upon Trent from 1596 to 1702 in Trans. NSFC vol.1939-40, pA93.

[xxxviii] SHC, vol.1921, p158.

[xxxix] SHC, vol.1921, p158.

[xl] Steel, HJ, Social Conditions in Burslem During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Trans.NSFC lxxviii., p20.

[xli] SHC, vol.1919, p259. This figure doubtless applied to the whole Burslem area excluding Cobridge which is mentioned separately. Greenslade, p105.

[xlii] 70 Dwellings multiplied by 4.5 = 315.

[xliii] Hodgkiss, BJ, Mother Burslem – A Burslem History.

[xliv] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p210.

[xlv] Yates, Map of Staffordshire 1775.

[xlvi] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p283.

[xlvii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p209.

[xlviii] Tunstall Court Rolls.

[xlix] Tunstall Court Rolls; Greenslade, Burslem, p107; Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p27.

[l] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p273.

[li] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p155; Greenslade, Burslem p106.

[lii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p209.

[liii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p237;Greenslade, Burslem, p226.

[liv] Hodgkiss, Mother Burslem, p15.

[lvi] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p155.

[lvii] Greenslade, Burslem, p109.

[lviii] Steel, Social Conditions in Burslem, p31-2.

[lix] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p238; Greenslade, Burslem, p108.

[lx] Wedgwood, Staffordshire Pottery, p6-7.

[lxi] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p28.

[lxii] Wedgwood, Staffordshire Pottery, p5-6.

[lxiii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p29.

[lxiv] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p29, 237.

[lxv] Greenslade, Burslem, p108.

[lxvi] Trubshaw Cross takes its name from the ancient stone cross that stood there. Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p156.

[lxvii] The eastern end of this stretch, running from Westport Road down towards Longport still retains the name of Pack Horse Lane.

[lxviii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p238; Greenslade, Burslem, p112.

[lxix] Demolished during the 1950s.

[lxx] Greenslade, Burslem, p109.

[lxxi] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p237;Greenslade, Burslem, p110.

[lxxii] Greenslade, Burslem, p131-2.

[lxxiii] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery & Its History, p4-5.

[lxxiv] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p5-6.

[lxxv] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p5-6.

[lxxvi] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p5-6.

[lxxvii] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p5-6.

[lxxviii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p205;Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p5-6.

[lxxix] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p4.

[lxxx] Hughes, Fred, MotherTown, p7.

[lxxxi] Hughes, Fred, MotherTown, p13.

[lxxxii] Steel, Social Conditions in Burslem, p24-5.

[lxxxiii] Plot, Robert, Natural History of Staffordshire, p___

[lxxxiv] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p22.

[lxxxv] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p22.

[lxxxvi] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p22.

[lxxxvii] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p26.

[lxxxviii] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p26.

[lxxxix] Steel, Social Conditions in Burslem, p24.

[xc] Hodgkiss, BJ, Mother Burslem – A Burslem History.

[xcii] Wedgwood, Josiah C, Staffordshire Pottery, p24.

[xciii] Wedgwood, Josiah, Commonplace Book, ‘Potworks in Burslem, Hot Lane, Cobridge & Sneyd Green About The Year 1710 to 1715. There were 35 at Burslem (2 not worked), 4 at Cobridge, 2 at Sneyd Green, & one each at Rushton Grange, Holden Lane & Brownhills.

[xciv] Only 33 of the 43 manufacturers were listed. 4 were not being worked with a further 6 where their type of ware was unrecorded.

[xcv] Greenslade. Burslem, p140.

[xcvi] Greenslade, Burslem, p136.

[xcvii] VCH. Middlesex, vol. II, p150-155.

URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=22167strquery=Burslem (28/08/2006).

[xcviii] Greenslade. Burslem, p130.

[xcix] The appearance of the town centre was considerably altered during the 1830s when the second market hall & an extension of the market place replaced cottages & the Ivy House Works, worked by Josiah Wedgwood between 1759 & 1762.

[c] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p31.

[ci] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p226-32.

[cii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p231.

[ciii] Bode, Brindley.

[civ] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p213; Greenslade, Burslem, p122.

[cv] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p226.

[cvi] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p213.

[cvii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p212.

[cviii] Greenslade, Burslem, p122.

[cix] Greenslade, Burslem, p122.

[cx] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p221.

[cxi] Greenslade, Burslem, p122. The north-west vestry not being added until the 1930s

[cxii] Hughes, Fred, MotherTown, p10.

[cxiii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p223.

[cxiv] Greenslade, Burslem, p122; Hughes, Fred, MotherTown, p10-11.

[cxv] Greenslade, Burslem, p122.

[cxvi] Greenslade, Burslem, p122; Hughes, B. A number of chapels-of-ease were also erected later in the nineteenth century. St Paul’s Church at Dale Hall was built 1828-31, Christ Church at Cobridge 1839-41, & Holy Trinity at Sneyd 1851-2, the area of Sneyd being created a individual parish in 1844. This in turn had its own chapel of ease by 1895 with St Werburgh’s Church in Hamil Road.

[cxvii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p245.

[cxviii] Hughes, Fred, MotherTown, p30.

[cxix] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p32.

[cxxi] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p33.

[cxxii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p246.

[cxxiii] Hughes, Fred, MotherTown, p30.

[cxxiv] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p285;

[cxxvi] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p213.

[cxxvii] Greenslade, Burslem, p129.

[cxxviii] Parish Register.

[cxxix] Greenslade, Burslem, p130.

[cxxx] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p270-1.

[cxxxi] Greenslade, Burslem, p122.

[cxxxii] Steel, Social Conditions in Burslem, p21-2.

[cxxxiii] Organisation of the market was undertook by a body of trustees c1761[cxxxiii] but it was not until the body of commissioners set up in 1825 that policing, lighting & aspects of town planning occurred.

[cxxxiv] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p269-70;

[cxxxv] Keates’ Directory of the Staffordshire Potteries 1889-90.

[cxxxvi] Steel, Social Conditions in Burslem, p36.

[cxxxvii] The Staffordshire Gazette, 5th July, 1814.

[cxxxviii] The Staffordshire Gazette, June, 1820.

[cxxxix] Letter from Josiah Wedgwood to Thomas Bentley, 5th July, 1776.

[cxl] Greenslade, Burslem, p141.

[cxli] Greenslade, Burslem, p110.

[cxlii] Greenslade, Burslem, p110.

[cxliii] Ward, History of Stoke Upon Trent, p232

[cxliv] Jewett, Ceramic Art in Great Britain, p439.

[cxlv] Jewett, Ceramic Art in Great Britain, p439.