Bristol Potters and Potteries

Research by Reg Jackson


Extracts from the Bristol Port Books

This appendix gives all the data obtained from the Bristol Port Books on which the statistical analysis contained in Chapter 6 has been based.  The following table lists the Port Books for the period 1662 to 1726, gives details of their survival (and condition where appropriate) and, where the Books have been studied, their Public Record Office reference and the type of record.

Years PRO Reference (E190) Type Comment
1662 1240/6 Searcher
1663-1667 Missing
1668 1137/1 Searcher
1669-1671 Missing
1672 1138/1 Controller
1673-1677 Missing
1678 1139/2 Collector
1679 1140/2 Collector
1680 1141/2 Collector
1681 1142/2 Collector
1682 1143/1 Collector
1683 1146/1 Collector
1684 Incomplete
1685 1147/2 Collector
1686 Missing
1687 1148/2 Collector
1688 1149/1 Collector
1689-1694 Missing
1695 1151/1 Collector Latter part illegible
1696 1152/3 Collector
1697-1699 Not studied
1700 1158/1 Collector
1701 Not studied
1702-1705 Missing
1706 1160/5 Searcher Incomplete
1707 1162/1 Collector
1708-1709 Not studied
1710 1166/3 Controller
1711-1714 Not studied
1715 1177/1 Collector
1716-1720 Not studied
1721 1190/2 Controller
1722-1725 Not studied
1726 1198/1 Collector

The notes below provide explanations concerning the nature of the information contained within the lists of exports:


Although each Port Book covers a one year period, they run from 25 December to 24 December the following year.  Thus the Port Book for 1662 runs from 25 December 1661 to 24 December 1662.

The date given by each entry is the day followed by the month (for example, 10/1 is 10 January).  The date is that on which the duty was paid, not the date of loading the cargo.  As duty could be paid against separate parts of a cargo over a number of days, several dates can appear against the same vessel.


The original spellings of the vessels’ names are given.

Potter as Exporter

For the name of a potter to appear under this heading he or she must have been listed as exporting a shipment of earthenware only under their own name.  In the Port Books studied the first entry of this kind occurs in January 1685 when Edward Ward shipped 300 pieces of English earthenware to Jamaica.


Every individual reference to the shipment of a quantity of earthenware is quoted and there may be a number of entries for each ship/destination depending on when the duty was paid on each portion of the cargo.

The following abbreviations have been used:
p = pieces
pls = parcels
ew = earthenware
Eew = English earthenware
cwt = hundredweight

For example, an entry reading ‘320 pieces of English earthenware’ has therefore been abbreviated to ‘320 p Eew’.


The modern spelling of the destination has been given where the destination can be deduced from the phonetic spelling used by the customs official.  Where no certain identification of the intended destination can be made the name and spelling contained in the Port Book is given in inverted commas, for example, ‘Odierne’.


In order to avoid duplication of information, the Port Book entries used to complete the statistical analysis in Chapter 6, are not reproduced here (as in the original dissertation), but may be studied under the ‘Exports’ section of the Bristol Potters and Potteries website.