THE SUNDERLAND SITE - PAGE 172
THE POTTERIES - PAGE 1
To search for specific text on this page, just press 'CTRL + F' & then enter your search term.
There is now a 2nd pottery page 173, here. And in fact a 3rd pottery, page 175, just for Sunderland verses, available here.
In these pages I will advise such data as I locate about the potteries of Sunderland. As for other pages on this site, this page IS very much a work in progress! Why? Because the webmaster is NOT an expert on the subject & has never been to Sunderland. And, so far, at least, has made heavy weather of learning about the whole subject of potteries.
If you spot errors on this page, big or small, do let the webmaster know so the matters can be corrected.
The image above is almost certainly not of a Sunderland pottery. It is of an English pottery, however, since the image was published in a volume entitled 'The Heart of England' by Ivor Brown. First published in May 1935 & republished in October 1939. But with no indication of exactly which particular pottery was represented. Maybe one from Stoke on Trent, my Sunderland 'reporter/researcher' Andy Dennis thinks. No matter. It gives a very good idea of what a large U.K. pottery might have looked like.
Now Sunderland is famous for its 'lustreware' (or 'lusterware' in North America). Not only Sunderland in the U.K., it would seem, Staffordshire & elsewhere also, but particularly Sunderland. So I had hoped to commence the page with a description of what the word 'lustreware' really means. Even that, to a non-expert in the field of pottery has proved to be amazingly difficult. I have accessed a vast number of WWW sites to try to obtain an understanding that would permit me to explain here exactly what 'lustreware' is, but so far with limited success.
But let me try a start on the subject & readers who are able might care to correct or expand upon my limited words.
Let me start out by saying that 'lustreware' is not a type of pottery at all. Rather it is a type of decoration which can be applied to any piece of pottery. Essentially a metallic sheen, given to the piece of pottery by adding metallic oxides to the glaze. The origins of the 'lustring' technique go back many centuries. It would seem to go back for sure to the 9th or 10th centuries when Islamic potters in the Middle East produced iridescent pottery of great beauty. Fine examples were found at Samarra, I understand. The technique spread throughout the Middle East & especially to Egypt, & later to Moorish Spain & Italy. The 'Islamic' technique does not apparently produce predictable results, so while the large potteries of the world, such as Josiah Wedgwood & Josiah Spode, did use those techniques, their use is today confined to studio potters where unpredictability is perhaps an advantage.
But the ancient techniques are really NOT what is meant when people refer to 'lusterware' manufactured in Sunderland.
Rather the term is applied to more modern techniques where the iridescence is produced by applying a film on top of a glaze, by hand painting or perhaps by dipping, the decorative design being formed from metals, a different metal, such as copper, gold or platinum with other metals also such as tin, according to the intended colour of the finished piece. Those techniques came into usage in England in the very early years of the 19th century.
Now 'Sunderland lustreware' so often features images of places, ships, people & verses, and I understand that such images were applied by means of a transfer. Which perhaps is not lustreing? So a lustre piece would so often incorporate transfer printing as well. Transfer printing is a confusion to me. I read that the designs were created on copper plates, which plates often became owned by other potteries when a pottery failed, moved or was purchased. So the identical transfer design might appear upon pieces produced by different potteries. But by what process an image on a copper plate was transferred to the face of a piece of pottery, I could not for a long while, explain.
There is a site here by 'Antiques Digest' which explains what 'transfer printing' is all about. And I have located other words which further explain the process also. I read that the copper plate is first inked with warm printing ink, & then wiped - which leaves the ink only in the engraved lines. The design is then transferred by pressure to a form of tissue paper which 'picks up' the ink from those engraved lines. The tissue paper is applied to the piece of pottery which is then immersed in cold water - with the result that the ink hardens on the pottery & the tissue paper floats free. Michael Gibson (see next paragraph) describes that process as being relatively easy when transferring the design to a flat surface but rather harder when applied to the typically curved surface of a piece of pottery. And that pieces of pottery often exhibit 'creasing' of the design as a result & sometimes the design was even transferred to a piece of pottery of too small a size. I have seen examples of that on e-Bay! The method would seem to have been discovered by Sadler and Green at Liverpool in about 1750. It could, I read, be applied to glass also. 'Antiques Digest' mention also 'blueprinting', an essentially Staffordshire process, of decorative scenic & oriental scenes. But that probably is a whole different matter.
Examples of the use of lustreware? On most everything. On plaques, on jugs, on plates, on decorative vases, on china animals, on teapots, on whimsical items etc. The list is long & the variety is quite amazing. There are wonderful examples to be found in the museums of the world. May I suggest that you obtain a copy of specialist volumes on the subject. And particularly perhaps a 191 page volume entitled '19th Century Lustreware', written by Michael Gibson, initially published in 1999 by 'Antique Collector's Club', but republished later. It is full of fine illustrations, & many of them are in glorious colour.
Much as I would like to, I should not scan examples from Michael Gibson's volume. So below, as time goes by, I will show images that perhaps are acceptable - from say expired e-Bay items. While items come up for sale, every day, on e-Bay, there are very few listings that provide images of the quality I prefer to feature in these pages. Fair enough! The vendors' purposes are clearly not to please me or you, the reader of these pages. So the imagery on the pages may grow slower than the text! Establishing which specific pottery produced which particular piece, is quite beyond my ability, so I will not attempt to indicate that detail unless my source so indicated.POTTERIES OF SUNDERLAND
Why Sunderland? There were local clays. And coal to fire the kilns. And shipping to both import fine clays from elsewhere & to export the manufactured product. All of which gave Sunderland a competitive advantage for a great many years. In the 1850s, a tariff was imposed upon pottery shipments onto the continent, which did not help re exports but maybe more importantly Sunderland's advantages with access to the sea were much reduced by the coming of the railways.
One of the items that intrigued the webmaster, approaching this subject for the first time was a drinking mug, known as a 'frog-mug'. Affixed to the inside of the mug & not visible until you sufficiently drain the contents is a moulded frog. A frog that to me is not, in the images I have seen, particularly appealing in its design & colour. It makes sounds as you drink the contents - a gurgling sound I read! Such jugs are by no means unique to Sunderland, it would seem, but the frog was a prominent feature on many Sunderland items. Hopefully I will soon show you below an example of such a beast!
Michael Gibson advises us that there were 16 potteries in Sunderland. But of those 16, 'only seven are known to have used lustre decoration'. Hopefully, in time we will provide some data on all of those 16 potteries - a project indeed.
Today we have limited information on almost all of the 16. But the data is surely most 'limited'! Hopefully we will have more detail in the future.
The potteries known for 'lustre' decoration The list, in groups of five for ease of reading, looks like more than seven potteries. But it isn't! As a result of multiple names for the same pottery.
Anthony Scott & Co.
Anthony Scott & Sons
Dawson & Co.
Dawson's Low Ford Pottery
Thomas Dawson & Co.
Dixon & Co.
Dixon Austin & Co.
Dixon, Austin, Phillips & Co.
Dixon, Phillips & Co.
Hylton Pot Works
Messrs. Dawson & Co.
S. Moore & Co.
North Hylton Pottery
Olde Sanders Low Ford Pottery
Phillips & Co.
Scott Brothers & Co.
The Sunderland Pottery
Thomas Snowball's High Southwick Pottery
The other potteries
Newbottle Potteries (plural since there were three of them)
Southwick Union Pottery
St. Bede's Pottery
More potteries perhaps - names still to be established.
I suspect that I must stop separating out the seven lustre potteries from the 'others'. And indicate those that produced lustreware in another way. Why? Because Seaham Pottery also produced lustre decorated pottery. And it is surely Sunderland related.
This would seem to be a late entry into the Sunderland pottery trade. And survived rather later than all of the others.
It was started in 1857 by William Ball ('Ball'), who I read received his training & experience at Dawson's Low Ford Pottery. It would seem however, from a guestbook message from Julie Bramwell, a descendant of William Ball, that Ball originated in Staffordshire. And initially made roof tiles & chimney pots. When he died in 1884, his two sons (what were their names, I wonder?) continued to run the business into the 20th century.
To quote Michael Gibson's words - 'William Ball was a business man to inspire respect, for his efficiency and enterprise, if not for his ethics.' He was, apparently, one of the potters most notorious for buying up the copper plates of bankrupt competitors, & using them even though they bore the name of the original owner. Enterprising indeed! Quantity of production was apparently more important than quality.
The pottery was located 'right beside the Penshaw branch of the North Eastern Railway.' The Ordnance Survey maps of 1897 show 'Painshaw' branch as running roughly east-west from Hudson Dock South in the east to probably join up with the Lambton Railway at Millfield in the west. Even at the west end the line is a bit south of Deptford. I cannot spot a pottery marked on either of the three maps. Though it should be there. Can anybody identify exactly where it was? But now, thanks to a kindly site visitor, we can now show you where it was in an 1898 map section (click to see in in a larger size).
Deptford Pottery is also noted for one rhyme which this pottery alone used - 'Jack Crawford - The True British Sailor'. Maybe some day we will find an image of a piece of pottery with that rhyme upon it. Michael Gibson provides the text in his fine volume.
A guestbook message in Aug. 2014 has provided much additional information about William Ball & his family. We sincerely thank Mrs V. C. Downing for her message, which reads as follows:-
Hi. My husband is a direct descended of William Ball born 1817 died 1884 who married Hannah Summerbell born 1811 died 1883. They had three sons i) Thomas Lees born 1844 died 1922 ii) William Richard born 1842 died 1917 iii) Robert Norman born 1850. And one daughter Sarah Jane born 1854 died 1928. William's father's name was Thomas and he came from Staffordshire. He married a Sunderland lass called Catherine Worall born 1797 died 1881. My husband still has cousins called Ball and we have been to the Ball family grave.
'Pallion, 1874-1954 Church and people in a shipyard parish', by C. H. G. Hopkins, from 1939 the Vicar of St. Luke's, Pallion, indicates that a survey of Pallion parish was conducted in 1868 by Johnson Baily, the very 1st Vicar of St. Luke's - a most detailed survey indeed. The Ball family apparently lived in 1868 at number 5, Lisburn Terrace & was recorded in the survey as follows:- 'Ball and wife; Methodist; very respectable family - have a pottery at the back; 3 sons and daughter.' To further identify where Ball's Pottery was situated, the volume states that the pottery stood near the railway line, and further that the site of the pottery was, by 1954, incorporated into the premises of Sunderland Forge, who were, as site visitors may know, manufacturers of switchboards, generators, alternators, electric winches, control & switch gear.
For a long time indeed, I had no information about Burnside's Pottery, except for some few words as to its historical location. Michael Gibson, in his volume, presents an old print of the 1859 Sunderland road bridge viewed from the east. The print shows, just beyond the bridge on the left i.e. on the south bank of the River Wear & to the immediate west of the bridge, a bottle oven which Michael identifies as being 'probably that of Burnside Pottery, not a producer of lustre'. You can see the bottle oven referred to clearly in the 1832 print you will come to by clicking here. i.e. the oven with the plume of smoke arising from it. And in the next image below at that link in a print dating from 1836.
But now, I believe it is clear that the oven visible in those prints, is not of a pottery at all & from the data I have read cannot be Burnside's Pottery. It would seem that there were no potteries on the south bank both east & west of the road bridge.
The webmaster acquired a tiny booklet, 44 or so pages, published by the Tyne and Wear County Council in 1979, entitled 'The Glass Industry of Tyne and Wear. Part I: Glassmaking on Wearside'. It effectively refutes the above data. The 'pottery' to the immediate west of the iron bridge, i.e. 'probably that of Burnside Pottery', was not a pottery at all, but rather was the bottle works of Scott and Horn. It was removed to make way for the later construction of the railway bridge & it, or a predecessor, was at that location since as early as 1769 when 'The New Glass House' existed there, owned by John Hopton from Whitefriars. The 'pottery' to the east of the road bridge was, in fact the 'Bishopwearmouth Panns Glass House', which goes as far back as 1714. So with that data we were back at the very beginning of the matter. Where exactly was Burnside's Pottery?
The webmaster hesitates to state with absolute certainty what existed in Sunderland 150 or more years ago, in a city he has never even visited! All he can do is read the written material he is able to access & suggest what seems to be so based on that data. He now has read a copy of 'Sunderland Pottery' in its 1984 5th edition, revised & extended by John C. Baker, B.A., A.M.A. A splendid volume incidentally. Its data about Burnside's Pottery is not extensive but is most helpful indeed.
Burnside's Pottery was built in 1850 by William Batey Burnside. He was born in Newbottle in 1821, it would seem (or a least a William Burnside of 21 years, a potter, was so recorded in the 1841 census at a nearby location which we will come to soon. I am presuming that William Batey Burnside & the William Burnside in the census are one & the same person). Anyway, the pottery produced roof tiles, chimney pots & similar brown ware. Which would seem, in fact, to match the production of the various potteries located in the village of Newbottle. So indeed, 'not a producer of lustre'. The pottery ceased to operate in 1858, when William Batey Burnside died at what appears to be the most young age of 37. But that data, i.e. William Batey Burnside's date of death, seems to be incorrect. Anne Goodall, of Stockton-on-Tees, (John Burnside, William Batey Burnside's father, was her GG grandfather's (Thomas) half-brother), advises that he died at age 81, in 1901, being described as a 'furniture broker' & then a 'potter' in the later censuses.
But where exactly was the pottery? 'Sunderland Pottery' provides a modest map, which does show Burnside's Pottery located west of the iron bridge and south of the River Wear. But it also indicates that the pottery was located 'on Pemberton's Field, situated on the south side of the River Wear near the north end of Green Street, Sunderland'. How very interesting! The webmaster, who may well prove to be quite wrong in his conclusion, has difficulty in describing the steeply sloped land that runs down to the River Wear from the table land above as being a 'field', which term might better describe more level ground. And Green Street? It ran roughly parallel to the road bridge about 300 ft to the west of it. And ended at Matlock Street which roughly paralleled the river. Or at least in 1895, it did. I conclude that Burnside's Pottery was most probably located on the table land above the River Wear. To the west of the road bridge indeed but not right at the river bank.
We have only one further task re this pottery. To advise about the earlier pottery experience of William Batey Burnside ('Batey'). Batey's father, John Burnside, was a potter in the 1841 census & in later censuses was a hawker (1841) & a potter (1851) in censuses that indicate he then lived at Newbottle. In 1851, John Burnside was also a china & glass dealer at 8 High Street in Sunderland. Batey's uncle, Robert Batey, inherited in 1819 a property at 3 Church Lane, Bishopwearmouth, which property included 'a yard on the East with a kiln'. 'Sunderland Pottery' states that this was 'probably a pottery kiln, which Burnside worked before setting up at Pemberton's Field'. So far I have not spotted a 'Church Lane' on my 1895 map, but am advised it runs parallel to Low Row & is still there today (early 2009). There was also a John Henry Burnside in 1858 described as an earthenware manufacturer of High Street, Sunderland. He was another son of John Burnside but I am otherwise not sure how he fits into the story.
Can you possibly tell us more about it?
We will probably never have an image on this page of a chimney pot or a roof tile produced by Burnside's - much as I would like to do so. I read that it is unlikely that the pottery's products were marked in any way at all.
JOHN DAWSON, (1799 - 1846)
MESSRS. DAWSON & COMPANY) (1799 - ?)
DAWSON & CO., (about 1800-1864)
DAWSON'S LOW FORD POTTERY
OLDE SANDERS LOW FORD POTTERY
THOMAS DAWSON & CO., (from about 1850)
(OF SOUTH HYLTON)
It would seem that there was a pottery at what would now be termed 'South Hylton' from the late 1790s (the bottom of this page (link no longer works) says 1794, Michael Gibson believes it started at about 1790 & this page says 1798. Just reporting what I read!) to 1864. But 'South Hylton' is a comparatively recent place name & up until the late 18th or early 19th century it would rather have been known as 'Low Ford' or 'Hylton Ferry'. Hence the name 'Low Ford' in the name. Can anybody tell us exactly where it was?
It would seem that John Dawson, who acquired the pottery in 1799, died in 1846. And then, & I quote from the fine South Hylton Local History Society web page 'the pottery continued in the hands of the trustees. As in so many other industries, the firm was badly handled from this point, the skill not being passed on from father to son.' That sounds as though John Dawson's sons or daughters may well have tried to continue the business after he died in 1846. Thomas Dawson perhaps?
A new pottery was built in 1836. The last linked page refers to the grinding of flint in a flint mill built in 1840, flint being used, I understand, in the manufacture of white pottery. I read that the pottery provided employment for 200 men & women.
The plant, copper plates etc. were sold at auction in 1864 & the pottery ceased to exist.
Andy Dennis advised that Ford is on the south bank of the River Wear about a mile to the west of the Queen Alexandra Bridge. The name presumably derives from an early river crossing since at low tide the river is quite shallow there. A little further to the west is South Hylton, and Ford & South Hylton are essentially one community today. But the exact location of the pottery? Probably right on or very close to the river bank. There used to be a paper mill at Ford, quite recently in fact, so Andy advised me. If I am not mistaken, an e-Bay item which was long ago available in fact shows the Hylton Ferry - looking I think eastward. The steps on the left are still there today. The item is a reproduction print of a 19th century painting by an unknown artist. I guess that is a ferry boat in the river? It looks to me like a treed island!
And here is the old Hylton Ferry in two very old images. Looking, I believe east in both cases. Do please advise me if my 'directions' are incorrect. Both images came via a BBC site (this is the image at right, the left image I cannot find at BBC again!) but originate with the South Hylton Local History Society, whom I sincerely thank. The image at left, of the 'chain ferry' which ceased to operate in 1915, is by Sep Collins. Now Sep Collins (1878/1925) who died of pneumonia, was, I am advised (by Douglas Scrafton of the South Hylton Local History Society), a local photographer, who was lamed as a young man in one of the forges & became a barber. He clearly was a very fine photographer also as we can see. Alas, Douglas advises, few of Sep's glass plates have survived. Douglas kindly provided the webmaster with an image of Sep Collins with regalia around his neck provided by the 'then Association of Hairdressers'. The image at right? Not the entire image. And I added contrast for better presentation on this page. I could not spot the right image on the Society website, but it may very well be there. The left image is on their front page, in a size smaller than was on the BBC site.
It would seem that from 1861 to 1865 a company named 'Dawson & Co.' owned a Sunderland built brig named Isabella & at least one other vessel even earlier. Ship ownership may very well be related to the pottery business but it is not necessarily so, obviously.
There are some pottery marks related to the pottery here.
Data about any of the above names would seem to be severely limited on the WWW. I am not sure if 'Olde Sanders' is related, but it sure looks as though it is related. Could the first owner have been named Sanders?
Michael Gibson advises that John Dawson in fact only acquired the pottery in 1799 so we need to establish, if it is possible, a) who actually had started it (Sanders perhaps?) & b) when they started it (varying dates above). The pottery was then a producer of cream-coloured & brown ware. John Dawson, it would seem, increased the range of products & in 1836 expanded the facility by adding new buildings & machinery, 'thus substantially raising the quantity and quality of the wares the factory produced'. Into a wide range of products including lustre ware, rose-coloured teaware, gold coffee sets, a dark blue willow pattern & transfer-printed creamware. One of the transfers depicted, I read, the 'Battle of the Nile'. Can anyone add more to my quite limited knowledge?
The Maling (pronounced "may-ling") pottery (which was first named Hylton Pot Works, per John Bedford's volume) was established by William Maling at North Hylton, west of Sunderland, in 1762 & was located right on the River Wear - with fine access to facilities for the export of manufactured product by sea & for imports also. The Maling family were, I read, originally French Huguenots who fled their native country in the 16th century to escape religious persecution, & settled in England where they became prosperous merchants & landowners. William Maling had interests in coal, in timber & in shipping, which gave him coal to fire his kilns & ships to export his product, which ships later returned to Sunderland loaded with timber.
In 1817, Robert Maling, (3rd generation) 'moved the entire operation' to Newcastle where it continued to manufacture. 'Sunderland Pottery' tells us that he moved the business in Jul. 1815 & that it became operational two years later as the Ouseburn Bridge Pottery at Newcastle. The first kiln at the Ouseburn Bridge site was, I am advised, fired on Jun. 28, 1817. This page, a page from the site of the 'Maling Collectors Society', refers to 1817. The copper printing plates including those depicting the Sunderland Iron Bridge of 1796 went to Newcastle & continued to be used there. Maling continued to exist in Newcastle for about 150 more years - through 1963. But Maling, in Newcastle at least, is really not the subject of these pages.
Those quoted words in italics above may well prove to be inexact. Why? Because the pottery at North Hylton, Sunderland, continued to exist after the move under the management of John Phillips who had been the Maling manager. I cannot yet see the name of the North Hylton pottery after the Maling 'move' to Newcastle. A long expired webpage used to advise that 'Some of the original buildings are believed to have been incorporated into farm buildings which now occupy the site.' Douglas Scrafton of the South Hylton Local History Society advises (thank you Douglas!) that Maling Pottery was located on the north side of the River Wear, directly opposite South Hylton. Maybe just a little to the west of the ferry. The site of the pottery now, in fact, forms a part of a major road infrastructure. Douglas even provided me with a very old photograph in which the pottery buildings are visible.
Where exactly was the pottery? It is said that an image is worth a thousand words - so I offer, thanks to Keith Cockerill, an 1826 'John Rennie' map section - with the pottery buildings clearly marked at bottom left. The ferry location is shown in sideways letters written across the river at centre right, somewhat to the right of 'Ferry Boat Sand'. And ... Keith has kindly provided a recent image he took from the heights of the south bank. Available here. Keith notes that Manor House Farm today sits on the site of the old Hylton pottery. Manor House is to the left in Keith's image & the old farm & (perhaps?) some of the old pottery buildings are to the right. The remains of a quay are still there at river's edge. Keith notes that some 10 years ago, a chimney was also present to the right of the photo.
Before I leave the subject of the location of the Hylton Pottery, I am informed that a model of the pottery was in the Sunderland Museum & may very well still be on display there. The model was probably built using the best available historical data about the pottery's buildings. An image of it would be a useful addition to this total discussion. Does anybody by any chance have an image of that model?
John Phillips & his family also ran the 'Sunderland Pottery' located at the mouth of the River Wear. And that pottery, also known as 'Garrison Pottery', was the larger of the two & received the most attention. But the North Hylton facility did continue to operate through about 1850. Manufacturing a full range of pottery and specialising, it would seem, on 'one of a kind' orders, hand-lettered to commemorate a particular family's births, marriages etc. By 1851 it was gone, being described as 'unoccupied and going rapidly to decay'.
I am advised that there are few pieces of pottery that can be specifically attributed to the North Hylton pottery either from the Mailing period thru 1815/1817 or the continued period after then. It was continued by John Phillips or apparently by his son, & was in business certainly thru 1841. By 1851 it was gone, as above.
Keith Cockerill advises (thanks!) that marked pottery pieces for the North Hylton Pottery in its Maling-owned days (1762-1815) are said to be incredibly rare. There are, however, two unmarked North Hylton Pottery pieces from the Maling period on display in the Sunderland Museum. Re the 'Phillips' period, i.e. after 1815, Keith advises that the Sunderland Pottery book (1984) says that 'John Phillips - Hylton Pottery marks are said to occur but as yet, no examples have been identified'. While that may well still be true, a fine example of a 8 1/8 in. tall pink lustre jug, with no pottery mark, but marked 'J. Phillips' & 'Hylton Pottery' and 'George & Ann Nicholes', is available by e-Bay as this page is updated in Oct. 2014. Do drop by e-Bay to view the many fine listing images provided by 'cairngorms-fineart' of U.S.A. Since the piece would seem to be both rare and splendid, composite images of the item follow, available also in a larger size by a click of your mouse. The listing references a similar jug, signed by J. Phillips, Hylton Pottery with the South East View (of the bridge) is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, museum number 3662-1901.
Is the following an example of the work of that continuing North Hylton pottery? Maybe not! Indeed probably not! It is not marked so the maker is not known. And it is dated 1852. Which is a little too late. But it is an example of what a 'one of a kind' item made by any of the Sunderland potteries might look like. In this case, a pink lustre pitcher, which the e-Bay vendor believed would have been given as a wedding gift in 1852, re the wedding of John & Racheal Adamson. The pitcher is 8 7/8 inches tall, I read.
There would seem to be a lot of interest in Maling pottery, but very few WWW pages indeed which do not feature Maling items for sale. Data about the early history, for example, seems to be essentially non-existent on line. But ..... In 1981, Tyne & Wear County Council Museums published a 72 page soft cover volume entitled 'Maling, a Tyneside Pottery'. It was republished in 1985. From the modest reference to it I have seen, it may well have only covered, though, the Newcastle history of the company.
This pottery may well have not produced lustre ware. And maybe I have misidentified it. Can you guide me?
On the Ordnance Survey Map of 1897 a pottery, named as I have indicated, is clearly marked on the north bank of the River Wear, about where the lime kilns are visible in the print that follows this text. A large premises it would seem. I understand that the pottery was owned by Thomas John Rickaby & Co. and that it manufactured brown earthenware.
The village of Newbottle is located between Sunderland and Durham & 1 1/2 miles north of Houghton-le-Spring (pronounced 'Hoe-ton'...), about 6 miles south west of Sunderland. The Newbottle potteries (plural because there were three of them relatively recently) were located right in the village of Newbottle.
Data about the potteries? Essentially non-existent on the WWW it would seem - until now that is! All I had read was that a pottery was established in Newbottle as early as 1720, in fact, that such pottery was the very first pottery in the area. Surely not so! See here for a 1615 reference. In fact, the making of pottery is said to have commenced in Newbottle way earlier than even 1615 - in 8th century Anglo-Saxon times. The village name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon. Per Wikipedia, the Anglo Saxon was 'Neop Boel' which means 'new building'. The place was referred to as 'Newbotil' or maybe 'Newbottil' in the Bolden or Boldon Book of 1183 (or 1180). I have read that it was not referred to in the Domesday book.
The '1720' pottery manufactured 'brownwares', which I believe is a type of earthenware made with local clays, of a brown 'baked-earth' colour & generally for utilitarian purposes. I read also that there were not just one but three potteries 'recently' located at Newbottle, which is interesting. Robert Fairbairns was involved with High Pottery. Maybe the pottery was then operating as Fairbairns & Co.?
Now were there three 'recent' potteries in Newbottle? My Sunderland 'correspondent' Andy Dennis came to my help again, before he passed away in late March 2007. Andy's first childhood home was on the site of the 'High Pottery' there & Andy's late mother used to refer to the 'High Pottery' & the 'Low Pottery' areas in Newbottle, then a tiny village. So there were two potteries at least there, that would have closed down in the late 19th century. But we have more data! Andy checked with his sister, Pam Patterson, & with his uncle, Tom Little, (both lifelong residents of Newbottle) about Newbottle history. And as a result I am advised of a local history booklet written by Newbottle historian, Catherine Grant (née Tindale).
The Catherine Grant booklet that I refer to is entitled 'Diary of a Parish - a Village - a People - NEWBOTTLE' - of 39 pages. Published on June 15, 1986 by 'The Church of St. Matthew/Newbottle', but is, I am advised, now out of print. Catherine has kindly permitted me to include two pages of her booklet, which verbatim pages I am pleased to present here next.
Catherine advises me in early 2007 that the 'present day garage' and 'the local fish shop', referred to in her 1986 text no longer exist in Newbottle. She further advises that 3 pieces of Newbottle pottery were, in 1986, in the Sunderland Museum & 8 were in the Victoria and Albert Museum ('V&A') in London. And that there is a bust of Milton in the V&A marked 'Harle' from the New Pottery. But there is more! Catherine advises me that the High Pottery ceased in 1877/8 and was then a jam factory until 1900. The High Pottery buildings remained derelict until 1905 & were then cleared for new housing - small terraced cottages that still existed in 2007. And that the Low Pottery ceased to exist in 1870.
One of Catherine's ancestors, her great, great aunt Elizabeth Wheldon, in fact married George Harle, whose New Pottery, located on the site of 'Harle's Buildings' was located next to the farm owned by Catherine Grant's father, Fred Tindale.
Thanks so much Catherine Grant for your invaluable data, included on this page.
But there is yet more! Some Newbottle gossip! But not current gossip, rather gossip dating from 1613! Catherine Grant, a mine of information about the history of the village of Newbottle, further advises me that one Wm. Watson was 'lured' to Will Surrett's kiln (The High Pottery) on April 2, 1615 by his mistress Mary (Moll) Storey. She stabbed him several times yet he managed to escape her attack. Only to die of his wounds 9 days later. Moll was executed as a result. How very interesting! So the 1720 reference above is way wrong! And it would seem that Will Surrett owned High Pottery for a time. Who says that history is dull!
'Harles Buildings' included, I learn, six cottages at the rear (long gone) & three buildings on the front, all of which are now part of the 'Sun Inn' in Newbottle. A sliver of Sun Inn is in fact visible at the extreme left of the village photograph below. But since it now has a relevance to a page about the potteries, I show the Sun Inn at left, as it is in late 2006, thanks to an unknown photographer.
The 'New' Pottery was short lived ~ operating from 1851 to 1873.
The above photographic image was taken from very close to the spot on which 'Low' Pottery had once stood. All three potteries were, in fact, located within a few hundred yards of one another.
This page, references a G. Harle Senior (there was a G. Harle Junior also) as being a 'prominent person' in Newbottle in 1871. And describes him as being an 'earthenware manufacturer'. And they list a W. W. Broderick as being an 'earthenware manufacturer' also.
The webmaster has no images of Newbottle pottery (yet) to show you. Hopefully we will, one day, be able to show you the local roofing tiles (pantiles) & other pottery examples of Newbottle origin. But today we show you the very next best thing! If you agree!
'Whellan's Directory of Durham' published in 1894, which seems not to refer to potteries in Newbottle at all, references Joseph William Price who then owned the Jolly Potters' Inn. (Actually they list a great many public houses there. Thirsty work, it must have been, living in Newbottle! And it still is today!) And here is the The Jolly Potter Inn as it is now - referred to by the locals as 'Jolly Potters'. At extreme right in the next image. I cannot tell you who took the image below (it has long gone from where I found it) but I sincerely thank whoever it was.
Can you add new data? Or perhaps images of Newbottle potteries items?
Data about the collieries at Newbottle is available here for later use, if and when perhaps I will need it.
This pottery, from the early 1800s, was one of the most important producers of lustreware. What I believe was its location is marked on the Ordnance Survey map of 1895 where the 'Southwick Pottery' is marked north of and within a couple of hundred yards of the River Wear in Low Southwick. The pottery was said to be located in close proximity to the Snowball facility in High Southwick, a little further north of Scott's almost certainly. The company was run, I read, by succeeding generations of the Scott family, mostly with the identical Christian name of Anthony (which must create some confusion). The original Anthony Scott, per John Bedford, had managed one of the Newbottle potteries. I wonder which one that was - there were three of them. (there is a reference that you can read below to a 'Henry Scott' at High Pottery but it may be too early in time.
I have also seen, in an e-Bay listing, a reference to 'Scott and Bell', with a date of c.1850. A related name perhaps? The item was a Masonic mug with two frogs.
The few words I have read about the pottery indicate that they often featured transfer prints on both the outside & inside of their wares. And, due to their longevity, they are notable also because they featured transfer prints of both the iron bridge in Sunderland &, after 1859, of the new bridge also. The company struggled in the 1870s & later and succumbed in 1896.
An eBay item in January 2007, a 5 1/2 inch tall jug bearing 'THE FARMERS ARMS -IN GOD IS OUR TRUST', tells us that the copper plates for that design were originally from Scott's Southwick Pottery & were sold at auction on November 26, 1897. Many of them came into possession of Ball Brothers, of the Deptford Pottery. So we have an auction date now!
There are just two pottery marks related to the pottery listed here. And another mark is shown here. More are listed here.
A 'Crimea' bowl, manufactured by 'Scott' is featured here.
Strangely, perhaps, the webmaster does not wish to own any of the volumes which follow. He has too much 'stuff' as it is & should sensibly divest rather than acquire more at his point in life. But he would like to read items 4 through 5 in the following list, to enhance the information contained in these pages. It would be wonderful if somebody could help in that regard.
1 '19th Century Lustreware' by Michael Gibson.
Initially published in 1999 by 'Antique Collector's Club', but republished 2000 (191 pages) & maybe later.
2 'Old English Lustre Ware' by John Bedford (1907/?)
Originally published Cassell, London, 'Collectors' Pieces No. 5' in 1965. Republished later including 1968 by Walker & Co., N.Y., 66 pages.
3 'Sunderland Pottery' by John C. Baker.
Tyne and Wear County Council Museums. 5th edition published in 1984. An updated, 136 page, version of a booklet originally published in 1951, edited by J. Crawley & republished & edited by J. T. Shaw in 1961 & 1968 (50 pages), & titled 'The Potteries of Sunderland and District'. The 4th edition (different title) & the 5th also include item 5 below re rhymes & mottoes. Book available regularly on e-Bay at GBP 10.50 but often rather cheaper. A copy sold in Feb. 2008 at GBP 3.80.
4 'English Transfer Printed Pottery and Porcelain' by Cyril Williams-Wood.
Published in 1981 by Faber & Faber. 249 pages.
5 'Rhymes & Mottoes on Sunderland Pottery' by James Crawley
Published by Sunderland Museum and Art Gallery in 1960. 32 pages, with a pamphlet of amendments & additions in the front of the booklet, perhaps. 192 mottoes & their sources. But be aware that the content of this volume, updated & expanded, is now a small part of item 3 above.
1 'Mate Sound the Pump...'
Interested in Sunderland plaques? A website by Stephen Smith with many plaque images by type & subject. The webmaster particularly enjoyed the 'Maritime' sections of Stephen's site.
Myrna Schkolne, author of 'People, Passions, Pastimes, and Pleasures: Staffordshire Figures 1810-1835' alerts the webmaster to a page on her site which page, distressing as it is, is interesting reading indeed. A page which you yourself should read if you are a buyer via e-Bay of Sunderland Lustre pottery. Myrna indicates her concerns as to the practices of e-Bay vendor '1079edmund' (E. B. Edmunds of Pontypool, Torfaen, U.K.) & wrote to e-Bay about it. Alas with no response.
Below is a before & after pairing of images. Of an item (left) bought by '1079edmund' in Dec. 2008. And beside that image is an item (right) that he (or she) offered for sale in Jan. 2009. Both are, Myrna believes, of the very same identical item, the lustre splashes on the border, Myrna indicates, being as unique as a fingerprint. The purpose of course was to over-paint the plaque to improve & enhance its apparent value.
Read all about it here. Thank you so much, Myrna. How unfortunate it is that e-Bay would seem to have taken no action on the matter. 'Buyer Beware' must be your constant thought whenever you buy via e-Bay or any of the other WWW auction sites.
As this page is updated in Oct. 2009, '1079edmund' has no items for sale. Nor via the other two monikers to which Myrna makes reference. Do, for your interest, look at this e-Bay page - one of Myrna's other '1079edmund' monikers, who has 12 items of positive feedback - all from the very same purchaser i.e. '1079edmund' & not a single feedback item from anybody else!
But ... It may very well be that '1079edmund' has established other e-Bay monikers in the interval & today conducts activities via those new names instead. So .... never forget .... 'Buyer Beware'.
'1079edmund' has indeed created one other e-Bay moniker at least. If, via e-Bay, you try to find '1079edmund' as I did on July 16, 2010, you are directed by e-Bay to 'toby-20'. With 47 feedback references, all of which are positive. But no items that day for sale or at least none visible via 'view items for sale' on that page. But, in fact, he had 4 pottery items available for sale that day, all 'private listings'.
In Apl. 2010, 'matesoundthepump', the website of a collector of Sunderland Lustre Plaques, listed an item on e-Bay. It was not the normal e-Bay listing since absolutely nothing was for sale. Rather it was an attempt by 'matesoundthepump' to draw attention to the scams that are commonplace respecting Sunderland lustre plaques - i.e. over-painting them to enhance their apparent value. 'Tarting them up' as I have seen it described. The e-Bay listing has now expired & will soon be permanently gone. But it lives on on this site, as a 'need-to-know' service to folks who collect such items. Here.
May I suggest that you navigate the site via the index on page 001.PRIOR PAGE / NEXT PAGE
To Sunderland Pottery pages 173 & 175
To Thomas M. M. Hemy Data Page 41. All of the other Thomas Hemy pages, including image pages, are accessible though the index on page 05.
To the Special Pages Index.
A SITE SEARCH FACILITY
THE GUEST BOOK - GO HERE
I read that Christopher Thompson Maling, the son of Robert Maling who moved the facilities to Newcastle, was the prime mover in the development of the firm when he took over the business in the early 1850s. It is his initials, in fact, which form one of the company's early factory marks - the letters CTM inscribed vertically inside a triangle. Later, this was extended into the trade name "Cetem Ware" when the company adopted its well known trademark of a castle. Frederick Theodore Maling, the last family member to be actively involved in running the pottery, died, I read, in 1937. However, the Maling name continued to be used as a trademark until the factory finally closed in 1963.
I encourage you to visit the 14 history pages at the 'Maling Collectors Society' site - the first such history page is here. But an e-Bay vendor has advised 'The outbreak of war in 1939 marked the beginning of a long decline. Many of the factory's workers were called up for military service, and wartime restrictions prevented decorative ware being produced for the home market. The factory was eventually sold to new owners, but struggled to compete against foreign competition because of its depleted workforce and outdated equipment. The contract to supply crockery to the London and North Eastern Railway Company was lost to a Japanese firm who were able to undercut Maling's price by 75 per cent. Finally, the factory lost their contract with Ringtons, a north eastern tea company for whom Maling had produced tea caddies and other items since the 1920s. When the factory closed its doors for the last time in June 1963, the headline in the local Newcastle "Journal" told the story - "Competition kills city firm".'