St Philip’s Pottery 2

Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by webfooted

St Philip and Jacob parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

1749 Edward Rumley.
There is no direct link between Edward Rumley and Joseph Hill.
c1770-1772 Joseph Hill.
1772-1774 Henderson, Rice & Keenes (also trading as T. Keene & Company).
c1780-1804 Josiah Duffett.

The pottery probably closed, Josiah Duffett having moving to the Barton Hill Pottery in 1804.

Edward Rumley was recorded as a potter of St Philip’s parish from 1742 and it is probable that he was the ‘Rumney’, the owner or occupier of a pothouse, who in May 1749 was accused of creating a nuisance and encroaching on the River Avon ‘above the Bridge’ [presumably Bristol Bridge] by depositing ‘a large quantity of potsherds … on the banks of the said river near the glasshouse’.   Edward Rumley wrote his will in March 1759 where he was described as a potter and, although the will mentions his three houses, two of which were in Avon Street, there is no reference to a pottery.

It is not known what happened to this pottery after 1749 but it is possible that it is the same property that was being run by Joseph Hill in April 1770 when he advertised that he ‘takes this method of acquainting his friends and the public that at his pottery in St Phillip’s, Bristol, is made every sort of sugar moulds and garden pots, where merchants and others may be supplie’d on the shortest notice and reasonable terms.  He likewise makes all sorts of chimney moulds for ornament and preventing smoky chimneys’.

He advertised again in August 1771: ‘Joseph Hill takes this method to acquaint the public in general and noblemen and gentlemen who inhabit this and the neighbouring counties in particular, that at his Pottery in St Philip’s, are made his new-invented moulds for the preventing of smoaky chimnies, which very seldom fail, as numbers in and about this city can testify.  Nor is that their only use, for they entirely prevent rain, hail or snow from falling down the chimney. He therefore apprehends no one would chuse to be without them, (even if their chimnies do not smoke) to prevent so great an inconvenience. They are three feet high and made to fit any chimney, of very little weight, and will resist the most violent gust of wind. – Plain sold at 4s, pined 7s.6d and cannister and hooded at 12s a-piece.  Any person may have them at the shortest notice, by sending the size of the chimney’.

Hill offered the pottery for sale in September 1772 when it was described as ‘a large and commodious well built pottery, with a large yard and sheds, landing stank, and every other conveniency, situate on the bank of the river … now let to Messrs Henderson, Rice and Keenes’.    The identity of the individual partners in the firm of Henderson, Rice and Keenes are not known.  However, they were presumably the Thomas Keene and Company who were exporting earthenware to Dublin, Philadelphia and Corunna in 1773.

In 1774 the premises were described as ‘a pottery and building for the purpose of making and manufacturing sugar moulds and pots and other articles with a burning kiln and sheds’.

Joseph Hill had died by November 1775, having previously been declared bankrupt, when his estate was offered for sale, which presumably included the pottery let to Henderson, Rice and Keene, and as there are no further references to that partnership it is assumed that they went out of business.

It was probably this pottery that was taken over by Josiah Duffett in about 1780.  Duffett had obtained his freedom as a potter in October 1780 and was described as a potter of Avon Street from 1780 to 1804.

In September 1804 he was noted as renting the Barton Hill Pottery.  Although the directories recorded him as a potter in Avon Street until 1809, it seems most likely that he closed the St Philip’s Pottery 2 in 1804 when he moved to Barton Hill.

Wares produced

Red earthenwares, including sugar moulds, garden pots and chimney pots.

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