G L Ashworth & Bros  


Location and period of operation:

G L Ashworth & Bros





Earthenware, and in particular decorated ironstone, manufacturer at the Broad Street Works, Shelton (Hanley), Stoke-on-Trent, England

  • Francis Morley's (of the predecessor Morley & Ashworth) health was failing and in August 1860 George Ashworth (senior) bought the business for his sons (Morley retired in 1863). The business has traded under the name Geo. L. Ashworth and Brothers ever since (until 1968). The head of the firm was George Leach Ashworth, other brothers being James and Taylor Ashworth.

  • Taylor Ashworth was instrumental in extending the scope of the business and, in addition to table wares and kitchen utensils, chemical goods, sanitary wares and electrical insulators were produced. His reign as Director lasted twenty-four years.

  • The involvement of the the Ashworth family suddenly ended in 1883.  The brothers were deeply involved in the collapse of the Lancashire woollen trade at that time. 

  • The pottery business was bought up as a going concern by J. H. Goddard for his son John Shaw Goddard. The trading name Geo. L. Ashworth and Brothers was retained. The Goddards came to the business with experience as pottery factory and colliery owners and the business continued to prosper. 

  • In 1914 it was incorporated as a limited liability company when John Shaw Goddard's son John Vivian Goddard became a director. 

  • Around 1920 John Shaw Goddard retired. 

  • In the 1920s business was absorbed for a time in the Cauldon combine - Geo. L. Ashworth and Brothers became a subsidiary of Harold Taylor Robinson's Cauldon Potteries Ltd, of which John Vivian Goddard was also a director.

  • In 1932 Cauldon Potteries Ltd was placed into receivership and John Vivian Goddard subsequently bought it back and continued as the Managing Director until his death in 1962.

  • Ashworths remained open during the Second World War under the Wartime Concentration Scheme - they were permitted to produce undecorated domestic ware. They also produced canteen ware for the British armed forces

  • The business continued under his son John Stringer Goddard. 

  • In March 1968 the business was renamed Mason's Ironstone China.


Previously: Morley & Ashworth

Subsequently: Mason's Ironstone China


1956 feature article on Ashworth



Geo. L. Ashworth & Bros
 Hanley, Staffordshire Potteries
Real Ironstone-china, earthenware, and ivory ware
of every description
Mason's Patent ironstone - China Patterns & Shapes

 The Pottery Gazette, American and Canadian Edition, January 1st 1880



ironstone meat platter


impressed Ashworth mark 
with crown

The impressed 3/89 is the month/year of manufacture:
March 1889 

photos courtesy:  Leta Cullen



Marks & initials used on ware for identification:

A. Bros

G. L. A. & Bros.




G L Ashworth & Bros

 belt mark incorporating the Royal Arms 

Hanley is the pottery town name where the works were located

1862 to c.1890



A Bros

G L A & Bros

G L A & Bros

G L A & Bros

name of series of patterns



A Bros
Real ironstone china

printed mark accompanied by impressed mark
Real Ironstone China



typical marks 1862 to c.1890

A number of printed marks were used with the name A. Bros or G.L.A. Bros. Often the pattern name is included. 

Sometimes an impressed mark was used, with or without a printed mark. 


this mark has an impressed month/year of manufacturer

 10/87 for October 1887




1862 to c.1890 various designs of the Royal Arms were sometimes used
often with an impressed ASHWORTH / Real Ironstone China 



this printed and impressed crown mark appeared on the same plate


Ashworth Bros


printed mark incorporating the town name 'Hanley'
- when 'England' is included the date is 1891+

Patent Ironstone


The predecessor Francis Morley had bought the moulds of C. J. Mason, inventor of Mason's Ironstone China

Ashworths continued the original mark used by Masons and also added their own name 'ASHWORTHS' to the mark.

Marks with 'England" are dated 1891+



Ashworth Bros

The registration number 6699105 shows that his pattern was registered in 1919

Patent Ironstone
Made in England


South Seas Series
Patent Ironstone China




Canteen ware produced for the British Government 

canteen ware - tureen lid and serving ladle 
with the Royal Cypher  GR VI 
George VI the King of the United Kingdom

Geo. L. Ashworth
& Bros. Ltd

photos courtesy: Nick Coviello



The ware shown was produced for and supplied to the British Government; it was ultimately property of the Crown/Government, hence the GR-VI cypher.

Ashworth Bros (and others) were given government contracts throughout the late 1930s and into the 1940s (WWII) and produced canteen ware - most likely for the armed services.

The ‘W’ within the diamond most likely relates to the products being commissioned and produced for the Office of Works (until 1939) and the Minister of Works (post 1940). This mark is there to distinguish the piece from being normal ‘utilitarian’ ware for public sale or belonging to anyone organisation. 


section of an engraved copper plate, used to make the transfer for the marking

 photo courtesy: The Potteries museum & Art Gallery




G. L. Ashworth & Bros. LD.


impressed marks - the '16' is probably a size mark and the 756 will be the month/year of manufacture - in this case July 1956

Marks on a large white, ironstone platter produced for the British armed services and canteens (hence the E II R Cypher)  

photo courtesy: Lesley Kemp


 - see other examples of ware supplied to the armed service


Information on the Broad Street Works: 


- Broad Street Works - 
dates and description of working conditions



- details of the Broad Street Works


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks