Elijah Cotton (Ltd)


Location and period of operation:

Elijah Cotton (Ltd)





Earthenware manufacturer at Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, England

  • Elijah Cotton started his business in 1880 at the Lichfield Street Works, Eastwood, Hanley.

  • He outgrew these works and in 1885 built the Nelson Pottery on the corner of Nelson Road and Commercial Road. This was a large works alongside the Caldon Canal, built on the site of a former pottery established in 1758.

  • The business continued to grow and acquired another works - an existing works on the corner of Broad Street and Victoria Road, Shelton.

  • Elijah Cotton died in 1895. It was later said of him that he was "a man of great individuality who, by his own efforts and the driving force of his strong personality, eventually became one of the leading manufacturers in the Potteries".

  • Elijah Cotton 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 remained in the family and was run by Elijah's eldest son Edward and by 1956 was still actively run by one of Elijah's sons, Arthur assisted by his own son Nigel. 



 1893 journal on Elijah Cotton

 1956 article on the company




Stone and Earthenware
of every description manufactured by
Elijah Cotton
Lichfield Works, Eastwood, Hanley, Staffs

 The Pottery Gazette, January  1880

Elijah Cotton
Lichfield Street Works, Eastwood, Hanley
Earthenware Jugs, Teapots, &c., of every description
Metal Mounter to the Trade

 The Pottery Gazette, May 1880



Elijah Cotton Ltd


The Pottery Gazette - January 1913



London Gazette, April 6, 1894 

notice that the partnership between Elijah Cotton,
Thomas Bond Cotton and Samuel Boden at the
Victoria Pottery, Hanley was dissolved on the 25th March 1894 


London Gazette, 
December 20, 1895

announcement of the death of Elijah Cotton 




Lord Nelson Chintz Royal Brocade cup & saucer



Souvenir jug 



1950's yellow/black butter dish 

Elijah Cotton Ltd
Staffordshire England
Lord Nelson Ware 


Dinner set in SNOWFERN pattern

'Snowfern: A pattern to grace any table, looks expensive but is
most reasonably priced. A delightful white motif on a thames green
background. Available in tea and dinnerware etc.' 


Marks used on ware for identification:

Lord Nelson Pottery




the date of manufacture was sometimes included
such as: 8-70 
which gives the month/year the pieces was produced
 i.e. August 1970.

marks such as: #82 may well be the shape number.


Nelson Ware 


Elijah Cotton Ltd
Hanley Staff





Made in England 

this BCM/Nelson Ware mark
appears in a 1947 directory


BCM stands for British Commercial Monomark



Nelson Ware

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

This mark is there to distinguish the piece from being normal ‘utilitarian’ ware for public sale during the period surrounding the Second World War. 

Elijah Cotton (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 year of manufacturer is generally included.


NOTE: The letter 'C' designated the class under the Wartime Concentration Scheme.







Elijah Cotton Ltd
Staffordshire England
Lord Nelson Ware 


Lord Nelson Pottery


The 1-78 is the month-year of manufacturer - 
January 1978






Lord Nelson Ware
Elijah Cotton Ltd
Established 1758

Advert from Pottery Gazette - August 1956

although the advert says 'established 1758' Elijah Cotton actually started his
business in 1880. He opened the Nelson Pottery in 1885 on the site of a former
pottery works - it was these works that was established in 1758

Elijah Cotton Limited
Nelson Pottery, Hanley
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

1962 advert


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks