« PreviousContinue »
wood, of the “Big House," at the annual rental of £10, and here, the Churchyard Works not being sufficient to meet his expanding views and extending trade, he carried on the manufacture of his ornamental goods, his more ordinary ware, I believe, being produced at the Churchyard. At the Ivy House Works he produced many things far in advance of his day, and such as, when he had previously foreshadowed them to his brother, were considered by him and others to be wild and visionary schemes, unlikely to lead to profit, and only to be indulged in at the expense of time, money, and connections.
To the Ivy House itself, too, Josiah brought home his bride, and there lived happily with her for several years. It was after being established here for a little time, and “feeling his way" onwards, that Josiah Wedgwood proposed to purchase the works, and also those of his relatives at the “ Big House,” with which they were connected, but was unsuccessful. The property, therefore, remained in the hands of the “Big House" Wedgwoods until sold by their descendant, Thomas Wedgwood, in 1831 and 1834. In the former year the portion of the property sold for the purpose of enlarging the market-place—the sum paid for which was £1,400—consisted of four buildings on the side of the property nearest to the Town Hall, which were taken down and their site thrown open to the market. In 1834, it was determined by the market trustees to purchase and take down the remainder of the buildings on this part of the Wedgwood property lying between the market place and Shoe Lane, and to erect the present convenient and spacious markethouse on its site. Thus the Ivy House, with its kilns and workshops, the Turk’s Head, and other buildings, were swept away. The price paid for this portion of the estate was £2,600, making in all £3,000 paid for taking away one of the most interesting memorials of Josiah Wedgwood which the neighbourhood possessed.
THE "OVERHOUSE.”—THOMAS COLCLOUGH.—MADAM EGERTON -THOMAS WEDGWOOD AND THE OVERHOUSE
BRANCH. -THE OVERHOUSE WORKS”-OCCUPIERS OF THE WORKS. -ALLMAN, BROUGHTON, AND CO.—JOSIAH WEDGWOOD.JARDINIERES, MEDALLIONS, ETC.—DIFFICULTIES WITH WORKMEN.-MATTHEW BOULTON OF THE SOHO WORKS.-CALLING WORKMEN BY SOUND OF HORN.-CUPOLA AND BELL. THE “BELL WORKS :" THEIR OWNERS AND OCCUPIERS.— WEDGWOOD's “ QUEEN'S WARE.”—PRESENTS A CAUDLE SERVICE TO QUEEN CHARLOTTE. —APPOINTED
" QUEEN'S POTTER.”—THE “ QUEEN'S PATTERN SERVICES.-CREAMCOLOURED WARE.—ENGINE LATHE.—“ QUEEN STREET" TAKES ITS NAME FROM HIS WORKS.
Thomas WEDGWOOD, the elder brother of Josiah, and to whom, indeed, the boy was, as I have already shown, apprenticed, owned and resided at the “ Overhouse," at Burslem. Of this place, to which I have already alluded, it will now be necessary to my narrative to give some particulars. The Overhouse, which is now the residence of Mr. W. E. Twigg, chief bailiff of Burslem-an office almost tantamount to that of mayor in other places-is, a large and somewhat imposinglooking house, opposite to what is now called “ Wedgwood Place.” It stands back from the street, the grounds being enclosed by a wall where, in Wedgwood's time, wooden railings stood. The “ carcase” of the house is, I believe, precisely the same as when occupied by Thomas Wedgwood, but modern windows have been substituted for the old leaden casements, the roof and doorway have been altered, and other changes made, so as to convert it into a residence suited to present requirements.
THE OVERHOUSE WORKS.
The “ Overhouse Works” are situate at the back and to the side of the house, with entrance in Wedgwood Place, where that place joins the Scotia Road. Since the time when they were occupied by Thomas Wedgwood, of the Churchyard, they have been, of course, much altered, but it is pleasant to know that a considerable part of the buildings,
as they now stand, stood in his day, and that here were produced by him such an amount of earthenware goods as must have helped to secure to his family the handsome competence which they enjoyed. A part, at all events, of the premises now used as pot-works were, I believe, formerly the farm buildings belonging to the Overhouse. They were connected with the house by a doorway in the old brick wall, still remaining, which forms an interesting link between the present and the past. This doorway is shown in the vignette on the preceding page. It is surmounted, as will be seen, by a cleverly carved stone tablet, of remarkably good design, and has evidently been intended to bear an inscription. The Overhouse estate appears for a long time to have belonged to the Wedgwoods. From 1620 to 1657 it was held by Thomas Colclough, who married Catherine, one of the co-heiresses of Thomas Burslem, and sister to the other co-heiress, Margaret, married to Gilbert Wedgwood. Mr. Colclough had an only son, who died without issue, when most of his estates passed to his second cousin, Burslem Wedgwood. Mr. Colclough (who at one time was constable of the Manor of Tunstall) and his wife, Catherine Burslem, resided for many years at the Overhouse, and he is described as its occupier in 1662. In 1678, as appears by the will which I have already given on a preceding page, Thomas Wedgwood, who had married Margaret Shaw, died, seized of the “Upper or Overhouse, with all barns, outhouses, stables, cowhouses, yards, fields, orchards, and gardens thereunto belonging, with the fish-pond and fish, and also the Oxley Crofts, the great Old Field, the little Old Field, the Oxley Croft Meadow, the Kill Yard,” &c., along with a considerable estate in land and houses. The Overhouse and kilns, and other appurtenances, he devised to his widow for life, or so long as she remained single, and at her death, to his son John Wedgwood. This John Wedgwood had a daughter, Catherine, who married her relative, Richard Wedgwood. In 1718, Richard Wedgwood, by will, gave to his wife, Catherine (daughter of John Wedgwood), all the messuages, lands, &c., in the holding of Samuel Malkin, with a piece of land, called the “ Town Croft,” and several closes, called the “Brown Hills,” for her life, and after her decease, to his son John, in fee; and to his said wife he mave a work house, and one parcel of ground, called the
MADAM EGERTON.—THOMAS WEDGWOOD.
“ Service Yard,” for her life, with remainder to his son John. This son, John Wedgwood, was a minor, and died under age, and so never came into possession. Catherine Wedgwood, after the decease of her husband, Richard, married secondly Thomas Bourne, and thirdly Rowland Egerton, Esq., and the Overhouse became their chief residence after the decay of Dale Hall. This lady, usually known as Madam Egerton, died at the Overhouse, at an advanced age, in 1756. Catherine Egerton gave to the parish of Burslem the Communion plate, which is still used, and which bears the inscription recording that it is her gift. The property had already passed to Thomas Wedgwood, brother of Josiah, as heir-at-law of her deceased son, John.
Thomas Wedgwood—who married first Isabel Beech, and had by her two sons, John and Thomas, and three daughters, Catherine, Sarah, and Mary-married secondly Jane Richards, by whom he had issue two sons, William and John, and a daughter, Jane. He died, it appears, in 1772, when the property passed to his son Thomas, who, having married Mary Alsop, had two sons, Thomas and John. He died in 1786, and was succeeded by his son Thomas, who occupied the Overhouse until his death, in 1809, when the property was sold by the trustees under his will to Christopher Robinson, who sold it to John Wood, in whose hands it has remained until recently purchased from his representatives by its present owner, Mr. Challinor.
The “Overhouse Works" were occupied early in the present century by Messrs. Goodfellow and Bathwell, who were succeeded by Mr. Challinor, by whom they were carried on for some years. They next passed into the occupancy of a manufacturer named Pointon, who in turn was, in 1856, succeeded by Messrs. Morgan, Williams, and Co., and Morgan, Wood, and Co., by whom the works were carried on until 1861, when they passed into the hands of the present occupiers, Messrs. Allman, Broughton, and Co. The productions of these works are the ordinary description of earthenware goods, in services of various kinds, and in the usual classes