William and John Turner


Location and period of operation:

William and John Turner

Lane End



(See sources)

John and William were taken into partnership by their father John Turner in about 1780, on his death in 1787 they took sole charge of the company. 


Initials used on ware for identification:






TURNER, William (1762-1835), pottery manufacturer, Longton. 

William Turner was born in1762, the son of John Turner. With his brother John he was in partnership with his father in the works at Lane End (Longton). After John Turner senior's death William and his brother continued the business. 

On 19 January 1800 they took out a patent for the manufacture of a new kind of stoneware called Turner's patent, which used Tabberner's mine rock. The rights were sold to Spode in 1805. 

The firm was declared bankrupt in 1806 and William continued on his own until the factory was sold in 1829. 

The firm's productions were among the best wares of their day, equalling Wedgwood's in quality and sometimes being mistaken for them William was in Paris during the French Revolution, was arrested and escaped with his life only by the intervention of the British ambassador, the marquess of Stafford (later 1 duke of Sutherland). The effects of the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars contributed to the firm's financial collapse in 1806. 

William, a rather more public figure than his brother John, was a major in the Longton volunteers in 1803. His bust, by George Ray, is in Stoke on Trent City Museum.

 William Turner died in Longton on 5 July 1835. 

Sources: R Haggar, .Staffordshire Chimney Ornaments; B. Hillier, Master Potters of the Industrial Revolution the Turners of Lane End; Jewitt; .Staffs. Advertiser  11 July 1835 (obit ), information from Maureen Leese.

Turner William and John Turner, whose manufactory was in the High Street, have been previously referred to in this work (page 56). They were among the best and most successful potters at the end of the eighteenth century and early part of the nineteenth century. In about 1756, John Turner and Mr. Banks made white stoneware at Stoke; but in 1762, Turner removed to Lane End, 'where he manufactured every kind of pottery then in demand, and also introduced some other kinds not previously known'. In about 1780, he discovered a valuable vein of fine clay at Green Dock, from which he 'obtained all his supplies for manufacturing his beautiful and excellent stoneware pottery of a cane colour, which he formed into very beautiful jugs, with ornamental designs, and the most tasteful articles of domestic use' (see an article by E.N.Stretton in Apollo magazine of October 1958).

 Turner produced 'a shining blue glazed pottery similar to that of the Japanese porcelain', as well as making many other improvements in the art. He died in 1786 and was succeeded by his sons, William and John Turner, who became, as above mentioned, among the best potters of the day, equalling in many respects Josiah Wedgwood himself. In jasper ware, Egyptian black, and other finer ware there is little choice between Turner and Wedgwood, although the composition of each firm's bodies was not the same and had been obtained by different processes. In 1800, Messrs. Turner took out a patent for a new method of manufacturing porcelain and earthenware by the introduction of 'Tabberners Mine Rock '('Little Mine Rock' or 'New Rock'). The works were closed in about 1805.

The mark used by the Turners was simply the name TURNER, impressed on the jasper and other bodies. On their blue- bordered and printed ware they sometimes used the Prince of Wales' feathers, with the name 'Turner' beneath. On rare ware, often with Japan-style patterns (see picture below) produced under the 1800 patent, the written mark 'Turner's Patent' occurs. From about 1803 to 1805 or 1806 the style was Turner & Co. 

Mr. Bevis Hillier's book Master Potters of the Industrial Revolution The Turners of Lane End (Cory, Adams & Mackay, London 1965) is a mine of information on the Turners.

From Jewitts "Ceramic Art of Great Britain 1800-1900"


Typical specimens of 'Turner's Patent' ware
of the 1800 period. The covered cup is 5 1/2 inches high. 



The following manufacturers used Turners old moulds and much of this ware was marked "TURNER JASPER WARE".

Bates, Elliot & Co (1870-75)

Bates & Walker (1875-78)

Bates, Gidea & Walker (1878-81)

Gidea & Walker (1881-5)


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email: Steve Birks