Temple Back Pottery 1

Posted on: September 19th, 2016 by webfooted

(known as the Temple Pottery and the Temple Stoneware Pottery)
Temple Back (originally known as Commercial Road), Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

c1801-1803 Richard Skidmore.
1803-1818 Edward Patience.
1818-1847 Jonathan Flood.
From 1821 to 1826 he was in partnership with John Bright I, trading as Flood & Company.
1848-1851 Charles Webb.
1851-1859 Mrs Leah Webb.
1859-1873 William Hutchings I.
1873-1888 James George Hawley.
1888-1901 George Henry Hawley and James Alfred Hawley, trading as Hawley & Company and Hawley Brothers.

The pottery closed.

Richard Skidmore was a bricklayer and potmaker and in 1801 he was listed as a ‘potmaker for glass houses’, which suggests he was making crucibles for use in glass furnaces.  In 1792 he was located in Thomas Street but by 1801 his address was given as Temple Back.  It is not clear whether he was operating the Temple Back Pottery 1 although it may be more than coincidental that he stopped being listed in the directories in 1803, the same year that Edward Patience started taking apprentices as a potter or stone potter in Temple Back.

Edward Patience may have originally been in partnership with Samuel and Thomas Gough, as their partnership as stoneware manufacturers was dissolved in 1805.  From 1806 to 1807 he was trading as Edward Patience and Company, but from 1808 to 1818 he appears to have been working alone as a brown stone potter at Temple Back.  He seems to have got into financial difficulties as in February 1818 his stock in trade was advertised for auction ‘under distress for rent’ and included ‘all the extensive and valuable stock in trade, materials of two large-size burning kilns, numerous manufacturing implements, some articles of household furniture; and other effects of Mr Edward Patience, stone potter, at his manufactory, Temple Backs’.  In March two further advertisements appeared concerning the auction of ‘an extensive variety of brown stone, and other ware, numerous fire bricks, an assortment of clay and other articles’ and a ‘large quantity of spirit, spruce and ginger beer, soda water, pickling, preserve and other jars; assortment of different kinds of earthenware and numerous other effects’.

The pottery was taken over by Jonathan Flood who was listed as a red ware potter at Temple Back from 1818.  By 1821 he had entered into a partnership with John Bright I and the firm traded as Flood and Company until 1826.  In 1821 the pottery was advertised for sale when it was described as ‘a pottery and warehouse … now in the occupation of Messrs Flood and Bright, stone ware potters. These premises have a frontage, next the Commerical Road, of about 30 feet, and extend 170 feet in depth’.

In 1827 Flood exported earthenware to Jamaica and he continued trading on his own after John Bright I left the partnership.  Between 1828 and 1834 he also ran the St Philip’s Pottery 5 and produced bricks and tiles from premises on St Philip’s Marsh.

He was probably the Jonathan Flood who died aged 73 and was buried at Temple church in February 1847.  The pottery was then taken over by Charles Webb who had married Jonathan Flood’s daughter, Leah, in October 1835.  At that time Webb was described as a chemist.  Charles Webb ran the pottery until 1851, producing red ware, water and draining pipes and chimney pots.  He died in 1851 and the pottery was subsequently run by his widow, Leah, who advertised: ‘Flood’s red ware pottery, and draining pipe manufactory, Temple Back, Bristol. Leah Webb (widow of the late Mr Charles Webb) begs respectfully to inform her patrons and friends, and the public generally, that she will continue to carry on, at the above named premises, the business formerly and for many years conducted by her father, the late Mr Jonathan Flood, and since his death by herself and her deceased husband, with so much success; and she hopes, by the same prompt attention which has hitherto been paid by her to all departments of the business, to obtain future favours as liberally as heretofore’.

In 1851 she was a red ware manufacturer employing 12 men and between 1855 and 1858 she exported red ware, brown stone ware and clay pipes to St John’s, Newfoundland.  The pottery was advertised for sale in August 1859: ‘To redware potters. To be disposed of, the business of a redware potter, situated on Temple Backs, which has been carried on for the last half century by the late Mr Jonathan Flood, and since his decease by his daughter, Mrs Webb.  The trade is in full work; the stock and plant to be taken at a valuation, and a lease of the premises will be granted. Apply to Mrs Webb, Redware Pottery, Temple Back’.

The pottery was purchased by William Hutchings I who ran it together with the Barton Hill Pottery and the Pipe Lane Pottery.  In 1861 Hutchings was employing 20 men and 11 boys, though presumably spread across his three potteries. He was listed as a red ware, garden and chimney pot manufacturer and between 1861 and 1863 he exported red ware to Guernsey, Jersey and Barbados.

The Temple Back Pottery 1 was advertised to let in April 1873 and it had been taken over by James George Hawley by the end of that year when he advertised for ‘a man to glaze and set kilns, etc., also a haulier. Man used to pottery work indispensable. J.G. Hawley, Temple Pottery, Temple Backs’ and also ‘an experienced man to glaze, etc.’.

Between 1875 and 1888 Hawley was listed as a stoneware manufacturer although it is clear that he also produced red wares as in 1875 he advertised a large quantity of chimney pots in all sizes and a stock of flower pots and stands.  Details of his products are given in the following description of his exhibits in the 1884 Industrial and Fine Arts Exhibition:
‘Hawley, Temple Back, Bristol. At Stand 104 … Mr Hawley exhibits from his pottery, Temple Back, a well-arranged and complete selection of stoneware for all purposes. Amongst it is a small collection of stone rustic ware, fired at a great heat in order to guarantee its resisting the effects of severe weather and constant exposure.  This advantage will be appreciated by those requiring boxes for window sills, jardinieres, vases, etc. Mr Hawley is now devoting special attention to these articles, which he is for the first time introducing to the public. But amongst the general selection of stoneware referred to are specimens suitable for brewers, wine and spirit merchants, dry-salters, wholesale chemists, grocers, oilmen, jam and pickle manufacturers, and numerous articles for domestic purposes including filters, fancy vases, decanters, claret jugs and water bottles. On this stand also Messrs Hawley and Son exhibit pipes from 24 inches long down to two inches, including fancy cutty pipes, plain and coloured in majolica, and enamelled colours, and many other descriptions made for exporting’.

‘J.G.Hawley, Temple Stone Ware Pottery, Temple Back. At Stand 88 Mr Hawley illustrates the different processes of forming shapes, etc. A thrower with an attendant to ‘wedge’ the clay for him is at work at a potter’s wheel, and the ease and skill with which the lump of clay is shaped as the wheel revolves appears to greatly interest throngs of spectators. At the same stand Messrs Hawley and Son, tobacco pipe manufacturers, have workmen engaged in the process of pipe making, and these divide with the thrower the interest of many visitors curious as to the potter’s art’.

James George Hawley died in April 1888 and the firm was then run by his sons, George Henry Hawley and James Alfred Hawley, trading as Hawley and Company and Hawley Brothers.  They carried on the same trade as their father, producing stonewares and clay tobacco pipes.  Part of their premises was advertised to be sold or let in August 1889 when it was described as: ‘extensive freehold warehouses, premises, and yards, known as Harris’s Yard, Temple Backs. The property comprises a warehouse situated at the entrance to Harris’s Yard, with frontage and cart entrance to Temple Backs, now and for some time past in the occupation of Messrs J.G. Hawley and Sons Potteries, at the annual rent of £25’.

The pottery was last recorded in 1901 and probably closed in that year, as in the 1901 census George Henry Hawley was recorded as a commercial traveller and James Alfred Hawley as a wholesale cutler and electroplate factor.

Wares produced

Under Richard Skidmore the pottery produced crucibles for glasshouses.
Edward Patience was a stoneware potter.
Jonathan Flood was a red ware potter and water pipe manufacturer, although there are references to him producing stoneware.
The Webbs produced red earthenwares, including chimney pots and garden pots.
The Hawley family were red ware and stoneware manufacturers.

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