Wood & Brownfield


Location and period of operation:

Wood & Brownfield




 (See sources)


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)


more on the Scriven report



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The above information may not be available
for all potters - if you have information to
help complete the records then I would be
happy to include it.

email: Steve Birks