W Brownfield & Son


Location and period of operation:

W Brownfield & Son





Brownfield were manufacturers of earthenware and porcelain (porcelain introduced in 1871) at Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent 

  • They were a very sucessful manufacturer, employing 500 people. 

  • From 1836 William Brownfield worked the Cobridge Works with other potters, then on his own from 1850 until 1871 
    when he was joined by his eldest son William Etches Brownfield. 

  • William Brownfield (the founder of the company) died in 1873 - the name Brownfield & Son/s was continued

  • About 1876 one of other sons joined the business. 

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



hand coloured transferware plate in one of the Mediaeval
pattern series


the registration diamond shows that the pattern was first registered
on the 7th February 1877

the impressed mark on the left has 4/77 which indicates that
the plate was made in April 1877 

 the Mediaeval series comprised of a number of views - produced in monochrome and in colour 



Initials and marks used on ware for identification:

'RIPON' is the pattern name 


W B & S 
often including the name of the pattern.


sometimes including an impressed mark of 
the Staffordshire knot enclosing the initials WB


The name BROWNFIELD was also used impressed into the body


from 1871 some marks had "& Son" 

from 1876 some marks had "& Sons" 



Links for Brownfield:



More connections with William Brownfield 


Brownfield & Sons, Cobridge, Staffordshire Potteries
Brownfield & Sons, Cobridge
1886 advert

- click for more details -

Myott Son & Co, Alexander Potteries, Cobridge
Myott Son & Co, Alexander Potteries
Myott's built on the site of the former Cobridge Works of W Brownfield

- click for more details

The goddess Temperantia
The goddess Temperantia
erected by W Brownfield in 1859 when he was Mayor of Hanley

- click for more details -


Biography of William Brownfield:


BROWNFlELD, William (1812-73), pottery manufacturer, Hanley.

William Brownfield was born in Hanley in 1812. He was the son of Ralph Brownfield who was an earthenware manufacturer and Sarah nee Meigh. 

After working as a commercial traveller for his father's firm - in 1836 William joined the pottery company of Robinson and Wood, using a works on Waterloo Road, Cobridge [in between Douglas Street and Arthur Street (renamed Crane Street).

From 1850 Brownfield ran the business on his own account - employing some 500 people - the firm made earthenware, blue-printed and iron-stone ware and hand-painted wares. 

WB exhibited at the major international exhibitions from1862. In 1871 a new china works was built as an extension in Crane Street and a former Minton artist Ludwig (Louis) Jahn was engaged as art director. 

From 1846 WB also operated the New Hall Mills in Brook (now Century) Street, Hanley. 

WB was a Liberal and supported J. C. Ricardo's candidacy in the parliamentary election for Stoke upon Trent in 1841. 

He was also a member of Bethesda Methodist New Connexion church. He served as a market trustee and commissioner for Hanley and was chief bailiff in 1844. He favoured Hanley's incorporation as a borough and 1858 became Hanley's mayor in succession to John Ridgway. He was a borough and county magistrate and later a deputy lieutenant. He was a director of the Staffordshire Potteries Waterworks Company and of the North Staffordshire Railway. 

He gave 500 towards the building of a working men's reading room in the Mechanic Institute in 1859 and in the same year presented the drinking fountain in Fountain Square to the town.

William Brown lived in Market (now Huntbach) Street, Hanley, until his marriage to Elle Etches, daughter of a Derby cheese factor, on 14 January 1847. The family lived subsequently at Chatterley House, Old Hall Street, Hanley, where their seven children were born. 

They moved to Barlaston Hall, Barlaston, about 1869. WB died there on 1 July 1873. 

A red marble obelisk in Hanley cemetery commemorates him.

Sources: Daily Sentinel 17 July '1873; R. and E. Hampson, 'Brownfield, Victorian Potters', in Northern Ceramic Society Journal, 4, (1980-1); Jewitt. People of the Potteries.



Memorial stone laid by W. E. Brownfield
at the Portland Street Methodist Church
in 1876


Links for Brownfield:

  1886 advert for Brownfield

  More info on Brownfield

questions/comments/contributions? email: Steve Birks