the history of the Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent 


Ralph Shaw, Aaron, Thomas & John Wedgwood


Ralph Shaw, Aaron, Thomas & John Wedgwood
Source: "The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent" John Ward, 1843


"Several individuals, soon after this time, engaged in the Earthen Manufactures with spirit, and introduced further improvements....... 

 "In 1733, Ralph Shaw, of Burslem, obtained a patent for making a description of ware, the body of which was of a chocolate colour, the inside lined with a white slip, and glazed with salt; but the other Potters contested his right to such a monopoly, and in an action brought to try the validity of the patent, at Stafford Assizes, it was declared to be void.

A mixture of flint with the native clays was the basis of the white stone ware, which, being washed in a slip of Devonshire clay, and glazed with salt, produced and excellent and durable article, which obtained great reputation and very extensive sale, and became the staple commodity of the district for many years. Vast quantities, even at that time of day, were exported to the British Colonies of America and the West Indies, as well as almost to every port in Europe, and yielded profitable returns to those engaged in the trade."

  "Aaron Wedgwood, of Burslem, who died in 1743, at the age of 76, was successful in this line of business; and his sons, Thomas and John, carried it on and improved it, for about 20 years afterwards, when they retired with ample fortunes.

These brothers erected the first brick-built manufactory roofed with tiles; and in the year 1750, built a handsome house in Burslem, called, from its superior size and elevation, 'The Big House'; a name it still retains."


The Big House - built 1750
The Big House - built 1750



previous: Use of other clays & flint
next: Enoch Booth, Ralph Daniel, Thomas Whieldon

on John & Thomas Wedgwood of the Big House

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