St Philip’s Pottery 4

Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by webfooted

Avon Street, St Philip and Jacob parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

pre-1772 Alexander Edgar.
1772-1795 Earl Pearce I.
1795-1814 Elizabeth Pearce.
[1797-98] Pearce & Quarman (probably a partnership between Elizabeth Pearce and Samuel Quarman).
1815-c1818 Colston Pearce.
[1816] Thomas Pearce I (he was probably in partnership with his brother, Colston Pearce).
1823-1827 George Cox.
1830 Edward Melsom & Company.
1831-1836 Edward Melsom and Francis Melsom I.

The pottery closed when Edward and Francis Melsom moved to the 124 Temple Street Pottery.

It is known that the pottery was in existence before September 1772 when it was advertised for sale as ‘All that pothouse, yard and buildings, situate in Avon Street … now lett to Alexander Edgar, Esq., for a term of twenty-one years, about sixteen years whereof is not to come …’.  This suggests that the pottery was let to Edgar in about 1767 although nothing else is known about Alexander Edgar.

It is known that Earl Pearce I succeeded Edgar at the pottery, having taken his freedom in 1772 and his first apprentice in the same year.  He was variously described as a potter of Bread Street and Old Market between 1773 and 1795 although an advertisement dated September 1782 places Pearce’s pottery ‘on the bank of the River Avon, in the parish of St Philip & Jacob’.

Earl Pearce I died in June 1795 and the pottery was taken over by his widow, Elizabeth, who was listed in the directories as a potter of Avon Street or Bread Street between 1797 and 1814.  Between 1797 and 1798 she seems to have been in partnership with Samuel Quarman, the firm trading as Pearce and Quarman.

In 1815 the pottery passed to her son, Colston Pearce, who was listed in the directories as a potter of Avon Street from 1815 to 1818.  It seems likely that he was in partnership with his brother, Thomas Pearce I, for some of this time as a Thomas Pearce was noted as a brown stone potter in Avon Street in 1816.

It is not known when Colston Pearce gave up running the pottery, although it is known that he continued to own a share of it, given under his father’s will, until he lost it as a result of an action brought against him in 1839 by his married sister, Hannah Wildgoose.

By 1823 the pottery had most probably been taken over by George Cox who was listed in the directories as a stoneware potter in Avon Street from 1823 until 1827.

From 1827 the pottery was being run by Edward Melsom and Francis Melsom I, who were probably brothers.  They were listed in the street directories as stoneware potters in Avon Street from 1830 until 1836.  However in an assessment carried out in 1833 Edward Melsom’s ‘dwelling house and kilns’ in Avon Street and Cheese Lane were recorded as ‘void’, suggesting that the pottery had closed by then.

Certainly it is known that Edward and Francis Melsom took over the 124 Temple Street Pottery in 1836 and the St Philip’s Pottery 4 must have ceased production and closed in 1836 at the latest.

Wares produced

From 1823 they were producing stone wares, including patent water pipes.

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