Posted on: October 7th, 2016 by webfooted

See the Potteries List section for the Castle Green Pottery.

Champion started taking apprentice potters in January 1772 and was clearly involved in running the Pottery by that date. He certainly took over the Pottery from William Cookworthy and was operating the Pottery alone from 1773.

c1772-81 Richard Champion ran the Castle Green Pottery.

Champion was forced to sell the patent for the manufacture of porcelain to a group of Staffordshire potters and the Castle Green Pottery closed and was taken over by a clay tobacco pipe maker, Israel Carey.  The manufacture of porcelain was transferred to the New Hall Pottery in Shelton, Staffordshire.


1764 17 Nov. A merchant of Winterbourne, Gloucestershire, he was granted a licence to marry Judith Lloyd of Winterbourne at Winterbourne (M).
1765 20 Apr. He became a free merchant as he was the son of Joseph Champion (F).
1765 24 Apr. A still born child of Richard Champion of James Square was buried at Redcliff Pit (QR).
1766 27 Feb. A Richard Champion of Bristol, merchant took out a policy for £1,100, including £600 on his dwelling house, with the Sun Assurance Company (Adams 1976, 21).
1767 9 Apr. He took out a policy for £1,600, including £700 on his house in Old Market, with the Sun Assurance Company (Adams 1976, 25).
1769 17 Apr. A letter was written to Richard Champion by the Society of Friends (of which he was a member) admonishing him for deviating from the paths of virtue and peace, and indulging in the ‘Pleasures of Sensuality’ (BRO SF/A7/1).
1772-73 China Manufacturer, Old Market (Ao).
1772 26 Aug. He insured his house, coachhouse and stable at Henbury, Gloucestershire, for £700 with the Sun Assurance Company (Adams 1976, 36).
1773 7 Jan. An advertisement for Bristol China, produced at the manufactory in Castle Green, included a request for ‘two or three careful boys and a good Enamel Painter’ (BG).
1773 William Cookworthy sold his interest in the factory and patent to Richard Champion who, using money advanced by Dr Joseph Fry, his sister Sarah Champion, Joseph Harford, James Brice and the potter Thomas Frank II, formed the new company of ‘Richard Champion & Co.’ (Selleck 1978, 75).
1773 28 Apr. He insured his household goods for £300, wearing apparel for £250 and printed books for £200, all contained in his house at Henbury (Adams 1976, 37).
1773 2 Sep. ‘China. At the manufactory in Castle Green, Bristol, are sold various kinds of the True Porcelain, both useful and ornamental, equal to the East India and China and will wear as well.  The prices are low to induce the public to encourage a Manufactory, the first of the Kind introduced to England Compleat Tea Sets in the Dresden Taste, highly ornamented, £7.7s to £12.12s or upwards; Tea Sets, 43 pieces of Various prices as low as £2.2s Cups and Saucers from 3s.6d to 5s.6d per Half Dozen, and all sorts of useful ware proportionately cheap. Indian patterns, and all other sorts of useful ware of which there is now a great variety proportionally cheap.  The ornamental ware is very beautiful and the prices low’ (BG).
1774 Merchant, Castle Precincts (P).
1775 18 Mar & 25 Mar. ‘Painting, Wanted several ‘Prentices at the China-Manufactory in Castle Green, Boys of Genius will meet with Encouragement.  Wanted also, in the warehouse, a Woman who understands the sorting of China’ (FFJ).
1775 6 Apr. ‘Patent China at the Manufactory, in Castle-Green, Bristol, where Merchants and Shopkeepers may be supplied with a Variety of Patterns, either in the Indian or European Taste. N.B. Gentlemen and Ladies may be supplied retail at Mr Elliot’s China-Shop, in Corn-Street; or at Mr Godwin’s China-Shop in Castle-green. Wanted – Several Boys, as Apprentices, in the Painting  Branch.  Lads of Genius will meet with Encouragement and have an Opportunity of being instructed by a skilful Painter’ (BG).
1775 Apr. Richard Champion subscribed £1.1s to the Bristol Society for the relief of persons in debt (BG).
1775 8 Apr. China manufacturer, Philadelphia Street (Ao).
1775 ‘Champion, Richard, china manufactory, 15 and his house 17 Castle Green (SD).
1775 12 Aug. Champion wrote to the Marquis of Rockingham: ‘I have been making new Kilns, and several other Alterations. My good friend Wedgewood however declares, that he will produce China next Year … but I have not lost any workmen, though he did clandestinely get into my works …’ (Selleck 1978, 78).
1775 14 Sep. ‘Wanted a woman who has been used to sorting china being to serve in Ware Room.  Or a very steady Boy will answer the Purpose. No one need apply except they can bring a good character – Enquire at the House in Castle Green’ (BG).
1775 15 Sep. Champion’s Patent for the manufacture of porcelain was enrolled (Patent No. 1096).
1775-7 Merchant, Castle Green (Ao).
1775 9 Dec. ‘Patent China. At the Manufactory in Castle Green, Bristol, where merchants and shopkeepers may be supplied, with a variety of pattern either in the Indian or European Taste.  Wanted several Boys as Apprentices in the Painting Branch.  Lads of Genius will be met with every encouragement and have the opportunity of being instructed by a skilful painter’ (FFJ).
1776 29 Feb. Established by Act of Parliament 1774. The Bristol China Manufactory in Castle Green where useful and ornamental China is sold, wholesale on the most reasonable terms. This China is greatly superior to every other English Manufactory.  Its texture is fine exceeding the East India and its strength is so great that water may be boiled in it.  It is a true Porcelain composed of a native clay and is thus distinguished from every other English China, which being composed of a number of Ingredients mixed together (the principal part Glass) occasions it soon to get dirty in the wear and renders it continually liable to Accidents and is in every Respect only an Imitation and therefore stiled by chymists a false Porcelain’ (BG).
1776 18 Apr. ‘The Information of John Antrobus clogmaker living in the Back Lane, St Philips.  The Informt on his oath saith that Two or Three Days before last St Thomas Day the Man now in Custody (giving his name Joseph Townshend) brought the Box now produced to this Informants House and requested to leave it over till he called for it, and carried it up into the Garrett of this Informants sd house. That last Friday this Informant open’d the said Box and found that it contained China, and the same day said Townshend came for the said Box pretending that he was going to send it to Chepstow and gave Orders to a Man in Company to carry it to Some House on Bristol-Back in order to be sent to Chepstow and thereupon the said Box of China was carried from this Informants House by the said men, the said Townshend being in Company’.  ‘The Information of John Britton Servt. to Mr Richard Champion. The Informt on his Oath saith that the Box now produced contained the following Pieces of Earthen-Ware called China. Vizt. Twelve cups and 12 saucers value £0.10.0, Twelve cups value 3s. Seven Basons value £0.10.0, one Coffee-Pott value 8s Three Tea Pots value 8s & sundry other pieces of China Ware And this Informt saith that having examin’d and considered the same he verily believes that the same are the property of the said Richard Champion and that the same were taken from him by the said Joseph Townshend, he the said Joseph Townshend having work’d for the said Richard Champion as a Warehouse Man at his China Manufactory in Castle Green within this City & County’ (Q).
1776 26 Sep. ‘Left his service, at the China Manufactory in Bristol, Thomas Briand, a China Repairer, an Indentured Servant.  He is about five feet six inches high, and fair complexion – whoever employs him will be prosecuted according to law; and if any Person will give Notice to the said Manufactory where he is to be found, shall receive a handsome reward’(BG).
1777 3 Nov. One of Cookworthy’s partners, Richard Summers, wrote to the Mens Meeting of Friends in Bristol, with a complaint against Champion’s conduct: ‘Dear Friends; George Bush, dec., Abraham Clibborn and myself purchased each separately a share in the China Ware Manfy. as by receipts from time to time will appear And having applied to Richard Champion, the Chief Manager and desired the accounts may be settled he gives us to understand that he does not consider us as partners, having obtained in his own Name from Parliament a Prologation of a Patent granted to Willm. Cookworthy and having purchased Mr Cookworthy’s right, looks on the whole as his own property, subject to account with no man.  This being the case, I do apply to this meeting on behalf of Elizabeth Bush, Executrix of George Bush, Abraham Clibborn and myself, according to the general Rule established among us and desire the meeting will please to interfere in order to obtain justice for us liberty to proceed as the law directs’ (BRO SF/A7/1).
1778 8 Jan. ‘Thomas Edward died 8.1.1778, aged 14 years, of Castle Green, a Negro servant to Richard Champion, merchant, bur: 11.1.1778 at Fryars, not a member’ (QR).
1778 24 Aug. An entry in the minutes of the Mens Meeting states: ‘William Cowles brought here a testimony of last Meeting against Richard Champion as he was not free to deliver it as dated, said Richard being in a Situation before the date of that Testimony which disqualified him for referring the affair, and he hath since as we are informed Assigned his property to Trustees for the benefit of his Creditors …’ (Selleck 1978, 76-7).
1778 24 Dec. He resigned as Treasurer of the Bristol Royal Infirmary, an office which he had held since 6 Dec 1768, having succeeded his father and grand-father.  His letter of resignation still survives.
1779 28 Jan. ‘Genuine China. Established by Act of Parliament. Now on Sale, Wholesale and Retail, at the China Manufactory in Castle-Green, all sorts of Useful and ornamental Ware, enamell’d, and blue and white of the latter Tea Cups and Saucers, from 2s 6d to 4s 6d per Set, and of beautiful Nankeen Patterns – This China not being sufficiently known, it will not be improper to remark, that the Reason of its having received the Sanction of an Act of Parliament was, its having no one imperfection, which all other English China is subject to, being in every respect, stronger and of so hard a Polish that it is not liable to Scratches, wearing badly, Cracking by hot Water or change of Weather – The public have also another Advantage, that what they buy is directly from the Manufactory, therefore they cannot suffer as they do by Public Sales, which consist of little else than refuse Ware’ (BG).
1779 22 Apr. ‘Bristol equal to Foreign China Continues selling at the Manufactory in Castle-Green, Wholesale and Retail – The Assortment both of Blue and White and Enamel is now compleat’ (BG).
1779 21 Oct. ‘Wednesday died Miss Eliza Champion, eldest daughter of Mr Richard Champion, of Henbury’ (BG).
1780 28 Feb. ‘A Catalogue of a valuable Collection of the Bristol Porcelaine consisting of an Extensive Variety of Elegant Patterns in Desert Services, Tea and Coffee Equipages, Cabinet & Caudle Cups, etc. etc. in the newest and most approved Taste; Likewise an Assortment of Medallions of curious China Flowers, accurately model’d and highly finished; which will be sold by auction by Mess. Christie and Ansell, At their Great Room, next Cumberland House, Pall mall, on Monday, February 28, 1780 … (Nightingale 1881, 101).
1780 Nov. Josiah Wedgewood wrote to Bentley that: ‘Amongst other things Mr Champion of Bristol has taken me up near two days.  He is come amongst us to dispose of his secret – His patent, etc., and, who could have believed it – has chosen me for his friend and confidante!  I shall not deceive him for I really feel much for his situation.  A wife and eight children (to say nothing of himself) to provide for and out of what I fear will not be thought of much value here – The secret of China making.  He tells me he has sunk fifteen thousand pounds in this gulf, and his idea is now to sell the whole art, mystery and patent for six …’ (Selleck 1978, 80).
1781 A group of Staffordshire potters purchased the patent and the services of Champion and started the New Hall Pottery at Shelton in 1782 (Selleck 1978, 82).
1782 Mar. He was made Deputy Paymaster to the Forces (Selleck 1978, 82).
1782 27 Apr. ‘To be sold by hand on Monday, 29th April inst, at the Manufactory in Castle Green, the remaining stock of Enamel, Blue and White and white bone china.  The manufacturers being removed to the North …’ (FFJ).
1782 31 Aug. ‘Israel Carey, Tobacco-Pipe Maker … is Removed from Lewin’s Mead, to the late China Manufactory in Castle-Green … The remaining Part of the Stock of Bristol China to be disposed of’ (BMBJ).
1783 11 Jan. ‘China for Halfpence. Israel Cary, Tobacco-Pipe-Maker, at the late China Manufactory in Castle Green, begs leave to inform the Public, that he has a large Quantity of the Bristol China to dispose of …’ (BG).
1786 ‘House, Yard, warehouse, and stables, etc., late in the Poss.of Rd. Champion China-manufacturer and now of Israel Cary, pipemaker’ (BRO 04243(2)).
1791 24 Dec. ‘On the 7th of October died near Camden, South Carolina, Richard Champion, Esq.; late Deputy Paymaster General of his Majesty’s Forces, and proprietor of the China manufactory, formerly carried on in this city’ (BMBJ).
With his wife Judith:
Henry Bone, 23 Jan 1772 (A, Ao) – 9 Feb 1781 (F, G)
William Stephens, 23 Jan 1772 (A) – 17 Feb 1781 (F, G)
John Hayden, 23 Jan 1772 (A, Ao) – 22 Feb 1781 (F, G)
Samuel Daw, 23 Jan 1772 (A, Ao)
John Mates Young, 23 Jan 1772 (Ao)
Samuel Andrews Lloyd, 31 Dec 1772 (A, Ao)
James Alsop II, 19 Jan 1773 (A, Ao)
John Garland, 19 Jan 1773 (A, Ao)
James Banford, 19 Jan 1773 (A, Ao) – 9 Feb 1781 (F, G)
William Wright I, 8 Mar or 8 Apr 1775 (A, Ao)
John Parrot, 22 Nov 1775 (A, Ao)
Benjamin Lewis, 5 Dec 1775 (A, Ao)
Samuel Beynon, 29 Jan 1776 (A, Ao)
Thomas Williams I, 19 Sep 1776 (A, Ao)
John Jones, 19 Sep 1776 (A)
Samuel Fiander Peglar, 24 Oct 1776 (A, Ao)
John Webb, 28 Jul 1777 (A, Ao)
William Webb, 26 Jul 1777 (A, Ao)
James Saunders II, 27 or 28 Jul 1777 (A, Ao)
Rate book entries:
Property 1:
Castle Green Pottery
29 Sep 1772-29 Sep 1780 China Warehouse & Co/China Manufactory Castle Green (Castle Precincts-Wa)
[21 Dec 1773-24 Dec 1775 R. Champion & Co. China warehouse Castle Green (Castle Precincts-LS)
25 Mar 1776-25 Mar 1780 Richard Champion & Co. Castle Green (Castle Precincts-W)
1773-1780 Richard Champion & Co. Castle Green (Castle Precincts-PR)
(These Poor Rate entries are taken from Owen, as they are not among the records held by the Bristol Record Office).Property 2:
25 Mar 1776-25 Mar 1779] Richard Champion Castle Green (Castle Precincts-W)


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