Stoke-on-Trent - Advert of the week

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Brownfield and Sons, Cobridge

Brownfield and Sons, Cobridge
Advertisement showing typical shapes of the mid-1880s

Reproduced from the Pottery Gazette, 1886


William Brownfield's Cobridge Works in Waterloo Road was built in 1808 and was occupied by several important firms before it was taken by Robinson, Wood & Brownfield (c.1836-41) and then by, Wood and Brownfield (1841-50).  From November 1, 1850, we find Brownfield working on his own account: however, up to 1871 he produced only earthenwares, his best-known products being perhaps the host of moulded jugs which often bear his initial mark 'WB', frequently within the Staffordshire knot device. 

William Brownfield's entry in the 1861 Census returns shows that he was then aged 48, was an Alderman, a Country and Borough Magistrate. By trade he was an 'Earthenware manufacturer' employing 177 men, 114 women, 88 boys and 73 girls, a total of 452 persons. He was also a 'Flint Stone Merchant'. 

In 1871 he took his first son into partnership, giving rise to the new trade style William Brownfield & Son. In that year two porcelains were added to the former earthenwares, stonewares: majolica and Parian wares. This new partnership produced a very good selection of well-designed, high quality porcelains including tablewares, and novel ornamental wares. 

In 1892, the Brownfield's Guild Pottery Society was formed to continue the former William Brownfield's concern.

In the bottom moulded mark the initials W B
are at the bottom of the circle and the pattern name "CASHMERE"
and town name "COBRIDGE" are also included.

in the centre is a faux registration diamond.


Samuel Scriven interviewed employees from Stoke-on-Trent pottery works for the Royal Commission on Children’s Employment in 1841. Some of the evidence taken at Messrs Wood and Brownfield’s works — is reproduced below.

Messrs. WOOD and BROWNFIELD's Earthenware Factory, Cobridge.

 No. 208. Sarah Morris, aged 28, and Ann Bradbury, aged 35:

We are the superintendents of the apprentice girl’s painting department, and have 24 females of all ages in the same room ; out of that number there are 10 children under 13 years of age. Most of them can read, but few write. They come at seven in the morning, and leave at six; they - are allowed half an hour for breakfast one hour for dinner. Some that live away off stay to get their dinners in the work-rooms ; they cook them on the stove-pots; always take their hour, and sometimes play before they begin work. Some live pretty well,—others but middling. Their general conduct is tolerably good. We keep our eyes upon them, and check anything like misconduct. They get their regular holidays at wake times. We have no other rewards except that of putting them forward in their trade. Have no punishments by making them paint extra pieces, because they do piece-work, and all try to do as much as they can. They get here half the price of journeywomen for the first five years. We think that taking an equal number of girls from the painting-room and from other occupations in the same sphere of life, in point of moral conduct the painters would prove superior.


No. 209 Robert Humphries, aged 8 :

I turn jigger for William Massey. Have been to work about six months. Can read a little, not much—cannot write. Went to Catholic day school ; go now to Sunday school ; go to the Methodist Chapel every Sunday. My father has been dead four years. My mother lives at home ; her does nothing. I have a brother six years old ; he goes to school. I get 10 1/2d. a week ; only work three days a week. I get for breakfast milk-meat and dry bread ; gravy and tatees for dinner, - sometimes onions. I come at hafe-past six ; go home at hafe-past six ; get my supper, and go to bed very tired.

 These premises are extensive, rooms better than common.

 February 11th. (1841)

Crane Street (off Waterloo Road) - and part of Churchill Pottery
(on the site of the Brownfield Pottery)
- photo 2001 - now (2008) demolished to make way for housing


Brownfield Terrace
 Waterloo Road - on the opposite side of the pottery works


Brownfield Terrace 1889
- plaque on house -


Fountain Square, Hanley - in the background a previous Town Hall
the statue of the Roman goddess Temperantia
was given by Wm Brownfield in  1859

The statue in fountain square depicted the statue pouring water from an urn into a vase (this was a common portrayal of the goddess) - unfortunately these were lost during the relocations.

Originally the female figure formed part of a drinking fountain given to the town of Hanley by the then Mayor, William Brownfield, in 1859. It was sculpted by Willis Bros.
During the 1920's it was removed to Northwood Park to enable road development to take place. When the area was pedestrianised the figure was restored and in 1974 returned to the original site in Fountain Square.
Following some vandalism the statue was removed and put in store and in 2007 it was moved to Northwood Park for the parks centenary celebrations. 


contents: 2009 adverts


click for the index page for William Brownfield