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he was in the indenture described as “ of the Churchyard,” because at those works, where his mother resided, it was intended that Josiah should serve his time, and thus, with nearly the whole of her large family, continue under her roof, and consequently under her careful and watchful eye.
The “CHURCHYARD WORKS," at which the boy Josiah was apprenticed, are, in their present state, shown in the preceding engraving, from a drawing recently made by myself. The sketch is taken from the large graveyard which surrounds the old church of Burslem. The manufactory, it will be observed, forms the boundary of the churchyard on its north-east side. The building with the bell-turret, seen above the works, is the National Schools.
Since the time of Wedgwood, these works have, naturally, been much altered and enlarged; but the site is the same, and some of the buildings now there are what stood and were used in his day. The house in which he was bornwhich, as I have said before, there is reason to believe stood near where the present slip-house now stands-has been taken down many years, and the site has since been occupied by fresh buildings. New hovels and other conveniences have recently been added to the establishment, which is now a very complete and commodious manufactory.
These historically interesting works, which seem for several generations to have belonged to the Wedgwoods, are described in 1698 as belonging to Thomas Wedgwood,“ of the Churchyard House," to whom they appear to have passed on his father's death. His son Thomas, eldest brother of Josiah, inherited this property on his father's death in 1739, and three years later, on his marriage with Isabel Beech, by marriage settlement dated 12th October, 1742 (in which he is described as Thomas Wedgwood, of the Over House, Burslem, Potter), the “ messuage, with the appurtenances situate and adjoining the churchyard, Burslem, and all outhouses, nork houses, &c., then in the occupation of the said Thomas Wedgwood, or his under tenants," were settled upon the children of this
THE CHURCHYARD WORKS.
marriage. On the death of Thomas Wedgwood, in 1772, this property, and the other he had acquired, descended to his son Thomas, of the Over House, subject to portions to his younger children, under the settlement of 1742. The works were for some time carried on, along with the “ Bell Works” and “ Ivy House Works,” by Josiah Wedgwood. On his removal to Etruria, they were occupied by his second cousin, Joseph Wedgwood (brother of Aaron, and nephew of the Aaron Wedgwood who was partner with William Littler in the first manufacture of porcelain in the district), who lived at the house now the Mitre Hotel, near the works. This Joseph Wedgwood, who made jasper and other fine bodies under the direction of, and for, Josiah, occupied the works until the time of their sale to Mr. Green, when he removed to Basford Bank. About 1780 “ the Churchyard premises were sold to Josiah Wedgwood, then of Etruria, who, in 1787, conveyed them to his brother John, also of Etruria, who, in 1795, sold them to Thomas Green, at which time two newly-erected houses near the pot-work were included in the sale." Mr. Green manufactured earthenware at these works, and for some time resided at the house near the works, now known as the “Mitre Hotel," which had been built by one of the Wedgwood family. The property remained in Thomas Green's hands until his bank. ruptcy in 1811, when it appears to have been purchased by a manufacturer named Joynson, or Johnson, from whom it again passed, some years later, to Mr. Moseley, its present owner. While in his hands, the pot-work has been held by various tenants, and until about seven years ago it was let off in small holdings to different potters. About that period Mr. Bridgwood, of Tunstall, became the tenant of the premises as a general earthenware manufacturer, and was
, soon afterwards joined in partnership by Mr. Edward Clarke, whose large practical experience has tended much to increase the reputation of the works. This firm, having taken a lease of the premises, remodelled many of the buildings, and erected others, and greatly improved the whole place, by bringing to bear many improvements in body unknown and unthought of by their predecessors. Since Mr. Bridgwood's decease, which took place in 1864, these works, and the large establishment at Tunstall, have remained in the hands of the surviving partner, Mr. Clarke, who is gradually withdrawing the manufacture from them to Tunstall, where his operations will be concentrated. The productions of the Churchyard Works at the present day are like those of the Tunstall works, principally intended for the American market, where they very successfully compete with the French porcelain, and where, being opaque porcelain of the finest and hardest quality, they are known by the name of “white granite.” Many of the goods, as services, &c., are embossed in excellently designed patterns, and the greater proportion are sent off white, and are then decorated, on the glaze, in the States.
One of the most notable features in the manufactures at these works, is that of artists' materials, for which they rank deservedly high. Their palettes, tiles, slabs, saucers, &c., possess all the requirements of hardness, evenness, and durability of glaze, and are consequently much esteemed. Another prominent feature of the productions is that of door furniture, which is here manufactured to a large extent both in black and in white, and highly gilt and decorated porcelain, the peculiar hard and fine nature of the body being well adapted for these useful and elegant articles. The firm gives employment to nearly four hundred hands. They have lately turned their attention to the home markets, in addition to the American trade, and are gradually extending their connections, and producing services faultless in style and material. The body, which is remarkably fine and compact, is of good colour, the glazing hard and fine, and the decorations of elegant design and artistic finish. My readers who see the impressed mark of “ Bridgwood and Clarke," or the printed mark of a royal arms, with the words “ Porcelain Opaque, B & C, Burslem,” will be gratified to know that these are made at the works at which Josiah
JOSIAH'S EARLY LIFE.
Wedgwood was born, and at which he served his apprenticeship.
Having traced, briefly, the history of the works in which Josiah Wedgwood was born, at which he was apprenticed, and at which he grew up to man's estate, down to the present day, it will be necessary to again revert to the time when he there learned the “art, mistery, occupation, or imployment of Throwing and Handleing.” Of the period of his apprenticeship, of the habits of the boy, of his occupations when away from the wheel, or of his progress at the wheel or the mould, but little is known. It is not mere conjecture, however, to say, that his boyhood, and the years which he passed in growing up to man's estate, were spent in the most exemplary manner, and that he grew up a credit to himself, an honour to the place which gave him birth, and a blessing to his friends and relatives. I have heard it from those best able to know-from some of the oldest inhabitants of the place—that in their boyhood, at the end of the last century, they were continually admonished by their parents and grandparents to be good, as Wedgwood had been, and to lead such a life as he, as a youth, had done before them. It is pleasant to put this fact on record, and to hear this kind of testimony given to the character of this great man, even when young, that he was held up to the youth of his native place as a pattern for emulation.
BOYHOOD OF JOSIAH WEDGWOOD. - ATTACK OF SMALL-POX. —
MR. GLADSTONE'S NOTICE OF THIS ATTACK. – AMPUTATION OF
AARON WEDGWOOD. —
During his apprenticeship, probably about his sixteenth year, Josiah Wedgwood was seized with illness-a violent attack of the small-pox, it is stated and was laid up for a considerable period with that complaint. By this illness, and the weakness which followed it, he was incapacitated from following, to any extent, one branch of the art to which he had been bound—that of a thrower—and thus, fortunately, his ever active mind had more time, and more opportunity, to develop itself in the other and more ornamental branches of his trade. The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, in his able and truly eloquent address at Burslem, on occasion of his laying the foundation stone, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, of the Wedgwood Memorial Institute in that town, thus strikingly and pleasingly alludes to this affliction—or, rather, blessing—which visited the boygenius :-“ Then comes the well-known attack of smallpox, the settling of the dregs of his disease in the lower part of the leg, and the amputation of the limb, rendering him lame for life. It is not often that we have such palpable occasion to record our obligations to the small-pox;