131 Temple Street Pottery

Posted on: September 19th, 2016 by webfooted

Temple Street, Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

c1775-1779 Thomas Fletcher.
c1781-1811 John Hope.
1812-1822 John Hope and John Bright I, trading as Hope and Bright.
1822-1830 John Bright I.
1831-1840 John Bright I and Joseph Bright I, trading as J. and J. Bright.
1840-1848 Joseph Bright I.
1848-1852 Jane and Ann Bright.
1853 Jane Bright, trading as Bright & Company.
1853-1863 Charles Price II and Joseph Read Price.
1864-1869 Joseph Read Price, Charles Price III and Samuel Newell Price and Alfred Newell Price, trading as Joseph and Charles Price and Brothers.

The pottery is not mentioned after 1869 and production was transferred to the St Thomas Street Pottery 2.

The pottery was established by Thomas Fletcher in about 1775 when he was listed in Sketchley’s directory as a potter with an earthenwarehouse at 131 Temple Street.  He was paying rates on his property in Temple Street until March 1779, but subsequently the rates were being paid by his widow, Sarah.  Sarah Fletcher was granted a licence to marry the potter, John Hope in December 1780 and it is assumed that Hope acquired the pottery through this marriage.

John Hope was paying rates on the pottery by 1781 and by 1783 was listed in the directories as a potter in Temple Street.  Over the following years he was variously described as a stoneware potter and a patent water pipe manufacturer.  In May 1811 John Hope insured his property in Temple Street which consisted of ‘his dwelling house … not exceeding £100 … contents therein … not exceeding £200. Pottery adjoining but not communicating, a brick wall between, not exceeding £400’.

In 1811 John Hope entered into partnership with John Bright I, the firm trading as Hope and Bright.  John Hope died in 1822 and in April 1823 notice was given ‘that the partnership … between John Hope and John Bright, of Temple Street, carrying on the trade of potters, stoneware and patent water pipe manufacturers, under the firm of Hope and Bright was dissolved and determined from the 31st day of December now last past [1822] … Mrs Hope returns her sincere thanks for the favours received by her deceased husband; and informs her friends and the public that the business will be carried on in future, in all its branches, by his late copartner, John Bright’.

Between 1810 and 1831 Hope and Company, Hope and Bright and J. Bright exported stoneware (including garden pots and earthen pipes, stone pots and bottles) to Guernsey, Jersey, Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Oporto, Lisbon, Grenada, Barbados, Jamaica, St Vincent, Antigua, St Thomas, Demerara, Newfoundland, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York.

From 1831 John Bright I entered into a partnership with his brother, Joseph Bright I, the firm trading as J. and J. Bright.  They were listed in the directories as stoneware and patent water pipe manufacturers, and between 1831 and 1840 they exported stoneware to Dublin, Guernsey, Jersey, Quebec, Newfoundland, Barbados, Jamaica and Antigua.

In October 1840 Joseph Bright I advertised that the partnership with his brother had ended and he also advertised that ‘the original stoneware pottery and patent water pipe manufactory, opposite Temple church, Temple Street … in returning thanks for favours received whilst in partnership with his brother, Mr John Bright, begs to inform his friends and the public, that he intends continuing in the business of a stoneware potter in all its branches on his own account and respectfully solicits continuance of their patronage and support. 131 Temple Street’.

In April 1843 the pottery was advertised for sale, when it was described as ‘All those truly desirable and extensive freehold premises, situate in Temple Street … comprising a capital shop, with dwelling house and offices, and having a frontage towards the street of forty feet or thereabouts and extending in depth backwards about one hundred and eighty feet, with an excellent hauling-way thereto, and for about one hundred feet running behind the adjoining premises, where the width is about sixty feet. Together with the warehouse and lofts, four large brick kilns, sheds, drying rooms, workshops, and every other conveniences for carrying on the brown stone manufactory to a great extent; the whole now in the occupation of Mr J. Bright, brown stone ware manufacturer, by whom and his predecessors the said manufactory has been lucratively carried on upon the said premises for a long period of time’.

Joseph Bright I died in February 1848 and the pottery was taken over by his daughters, Jane and Ann Bright, and they carried on the business together until 1852.  They were described as stoneware and patent water pipe manufacturers and later as improved glazed stoneware, closet-pan, eject and water pipe manufacturers.  In 1851 Jane was described as a stoneware manufacturer, employing 6 men, 3 boys and 1 clerk, while Ann was listed as having no occupation.  This suggests that Jane was probably the working partner.  In 1852 Jane and Ann Bright exported 3,500 pieces of red and stoneware to Adelaide in Australia.

Ann left the partnership in 1852 and Jane carried on alone until 1853 when the pottery was taken over by the Price family.  This comprised Charles Price II and Joseph Read Price and, later Joseph Read Price, Charles Price III, Samuel Newell Price and Alfred Newell Price.

In October 1853 Charles and Joseph Read Price advertised that they were ‘manufacturers of the improved stone ware, having purchased the premises, with the entire stock-in-trade, fixtures and plant of the late firm of Messrs J. Bright & Co., 131 Temple Street, beg to inform their friends and those of the late firm that they are enabled, by the addition and enlargement of their works, to meet most effectively the demand for the home trade, and increased requirements for exportation …’.

In 1869 Charles Price II died and the Price family closed the 131 Temple Street Pottery and concentrated their production at the St Thomas Street Pottery 2.

Wares produced

Stoneware vessels of all kinds, including patent water pipes and, later, closet-pans.

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