Shelley Potteries Ltd


Location and period of operation:

Shelley Potteries Ltd




 (See sources)

The firm of Wileman & Co in business at the Foley Pottery, Fenton, Staffs from c.1872 to 1925 when they were renamed Shelley.


1956 Article on Shelley

Article on "Shapely Shelley"


1881 census:

Dwelling: Lightwood
Census Place: Trentham, Staffordshire, England

Joseph Shelley was running the company and the newly graduated Percy was recorded as "unoccupied" - he was to join the pottery company later in the year.


Marr | Age | Sex

  Birthplace Occupation
Joseph SHELLEY  M 45 M Head Longton China Manufacturer
Annie SHELLEY  M 57 F Wife Newcastle  
Adeline G. SHELLEY  U 22 F Daur Longton  
Percy SHELLEY U 20 M Son Longton B.A.London University (No Oc)
Eliza BULLOCK  U 18 F Cousin Newcastle  
Emily B. EVANS  U 18 F  Niece Hanley  
Selina MELSOPP  U 31 F Serv Stafford Domestic Servant
Mary DALE  U 26 F Serv   Domestic Servant


SHELLEY, Percy (1860-1937), pottery manufacturer, Longton. 

Percy Shelley was born in Longton in April 1860, the son of Joseph Shelley and his wife Ann, daughter of George Mitcheson.

The Shelley family had been potting in Longton since at least 1748. 

He was educated at Queen's College, Taunton and Owen's College, Manchester and graduated from the University of London. His father had been a partner in the firm of Wileman and Co. since 1872 and PS joined the business in 1881. On the death of his father in 1896 he took control. 

He employed Frederick Rhead as art director and Rowland Morris also designed for the firm. The firm changed its name to Shelley and to publicise the new name a "Shelley girl" statuette was designed in 1926. At this time the firm were spending 10,000 a year on advertising. From 1926 the firm used the designs of Mabel Lucie Attwell on its children's ware. About 1930 Shelley's produced tea wares in Art Deco designs. 

Percy Shelley incorporated the business in 1929 and retired in 1932. He was involved in argument in 1905 when he suggested that German potters be invited to set up a factory in Longton to teach local manufacturers better techniques. 

He was president of the Liberal Party in North Staffs. and chairman of the election campaign in 1906 which won all five local seats for the party. PS was a supporter of federation and his motion approved by his fellow Longton councillors in November 1905 paved the way for its eventual success, although he failed to gain a seat on the new council. 

He married Emma Jane Mayer in1890 and there were three sons and a daughter of the marriage. 

Percy Shelley was a pioneer of tennis in the district and laid down one of the first private hard courts at his home, Southlands, Trentham Road, Longton. He later lived at Tittensor before retiring to Bournemouth where he died on 28 August 1937. He is buried in Blurton churchyard. 

Sources: People of the Potteries, Evening Sentinel 28 August 1937;  "Shelley Potteries" by Chris Watkins, William Harvey, Robert Senft ISBN 0 091432707 telephone: +44 (0)1873 890545 or e-mail:


Initials used on ware for identification: