Posted on: October 9th, 2016 by webfooted

See the Potteries List section for the St Thomas Street Pottery 3, the Redcross Street Pottery, the Bristol Victoria Pottery Company Limited and the Crown Pottery.

St Thomas Street Pottery 3

c1847-49 John Ellis II built and then sold the St Thomas Pottery 3.  He was trading as John Eillis & Co.

John Ellis sold the Pottery, which seems to have closed, and he became an earthenware dealer in Liverpool, returning to Bristol by 1853 to acquire the Redcross Street Pottery.

Redcross Street Pottery

The Pottery had previously been run by William White.  It was advertised for sale in 1851 when White emigrated to America.  It was described as ‘void’ in 1852 but by 1853 it had been acquired by John Ellis II.

1853-65 John Ellis II ran the Redcross Street Pottery.

In 1856 there is a reference to a firm known as Ellis, Hawley & Co. working in Redcross Street.  This indicates a partnership, though perhaps a brief one, between John Ellis II and James George Hawley in the Redcross Street Pottery.

It is possible that John Ellis II was in partnership with Joseph Ellis, the latter apparently having paid rates on the Pottery between 1853 and 1863.  However, as Joseph Ellis probably died in 1854 it is most likely that ‘Joseph’ may have been a mistake for ‘John’ in the Rate Books.

The Redcross Street Pottery was advertised for sale in 1863 but was then operated briefly in 1865 by the Bristol Victoria Pottery Company, the business being fully transferred to their new premises on St Philip’s Marsh by the end of 1866.  When Ellis left the Bristol Victoria Pottery Company in 1869 he may have resurrected the Redcross Street Pottery as it still seems to have been operating when the Crown Pottery opened in December 1870 (Western Daily Press; Bristol Times & Mirror).  It then closed and was finally advertised for sale in 1871 (Bristol Mercury).

Bristol Victoria Pottery Company Limited

1864-c69 John Ellis II was the Managing Director of the Bristol Victoria Pottery Company Limited.

In 1869 Ellis was described as the late managing director of the Pottery and he went on to establish the Crown Pottery Company by December 1870.  The Bristol Victoria Pottery Company continued in production until it went into liquidation and was sold in 1872.  It was purchased by Pountney’s who were operating there by 1873.

Crown Pottery

The Pottery opened in December 1870 (Bristol Times and Mirror).

1870-85 John Ellis II ran the Crown Pottery.

John Ellis II died in 1885 and his son, Arthur, ran it briefly until his death in 1886, when it was acquired by Thomas Bertram Johnston.


Born c1813 in Hanley, Staffordshire, the father of Arthur and Henry Ellis and possibly the brother of Joseph Ellis (61C).

1813 15 Aug. Probably the John Ellis (born 10 May 1811) baptised at the Methodist New Connexion Bethesda Chapel, Albion Street, Stoke, the son of James and Constance Ellis (Ancestry website).
1841 Pottery presser, Pall Mall, Shelton, Staffordshire (25), living with his wife Elizabeth (25) and children John (4) and Edward (2), all born in Staffordshire (41C).
1847 29 May. Glass and china manufacturer, Temple parish, widower, the son of John Ellis I, he married Ruth Turner a minor, of St Mary Redcliffe parish, the daughter of Joseph Turner, potter (RPR).
1848 John Ellis & Co., stone and red ware potters, 57 Thomas Street (Hunt’s D).
1849 John Ellis & Co., earthenware manufacturers, 57 Thomas Street (MD).
1849 16 Jun. ‘To Earthenware Manufacturers.  To be disposed of, that newly erected Earthenware Manufactory situated at 57 Thomas Street, in the city of Bristol, with immediate possession.  The moulds, kilns and working utensils may be purchased for about one third of their original value.  This is an opportunity that seldom occurs here.  Bristol for potting stands unequalled, being the nearest port for clays, flints and stone.  A saving of 10 to 15 per cent on common goods can be effected, having no carriage on the goods to the western parts of England.  A good wholesale Glass and China Trade is done on the premises. For further particulars, apply to the proprietor, John Ellis.  Or, a respectable partner would not be objected to, who could command from £800 to £900.  One who understands the trade would be preferred.  N.B. There is also a respectable dwelling-house attached to the premises’ (Staffordshire Advertiser, information from Rodney Hampson).
1851 Earthenware dealer, 17 Cleveland Square, Liverpool (37), living with his wife Ruth (25), born in Brierley Hill, Staffordshire, and children John (16), Elizabeth (2), born in Bristol and Henry (4 mths), born in Rumney, Monmouthshire, and Ann MacTere (17), a house servant (51C).
1853-56 John Ellis, Egyptian black and Rockingham tea pot, stone jug and ware manufacturers, Rich’s Buildings (MD).
1856 Ellis, Hawley & Co., Redcross Street (MD).
1857 31 Jan. ‘The best and cheapest house in Bristol for china, glass and earthenware, is Ellis & Company’s, manufacturers of stone and earthen ware, Redcross Street Pottery. Wholesale and retail dealers in British and Foreign china and glass. Export orders promptly attended to. Offices and warerooms, 14 Bath Street’ (Bristol Mercury).
1857 24 Oct. ‘Married Oct 20 by special licence at Kingswood church, John eldest son of Mr John Ellis, Bath Street and Redcross Street Pottery, to Emma Russell, eldest daughter of Mr John Prewett of Kingswood’ (Bristol Mercury).
1860 6 Oct. ‘Died September 27 at 2 Brunswick Square … Mr William Ellis, of the firm of J. and W. Ellis, stay manufacturers, and son of Mr Ellis, earthenware manufacturer, Redcross Street Pottery’ (Bristol Times & Mirror).
1861 Earthenware manufacturer employing 33 hands, 2 Brunswick Square, St Paul’s parish (48), living with his wife Ruth (35), and children including Emily (13), Elizabeth (12), Henry (11), Sarah (8), Solomon (6), Arthur (3) and Eliza (1), all born in Bristol (61C).
1861 John Ellis, Redcross Street Potteries, Redcross Street, earthenware manufacturers (KD).
1862 2 Dec. John Ellis of the Redcross Street Pottery donated 180 mugs and 144 tea pots to the Bristol Cotton Workers Distress Fund (Western Daily Press).
1863 J. Ellis, Redcross Street, earthenware manufacturers (KD).
1863 17 Jul. ‘To potters. To be disposed of, with immediate possession, in full work, Redcross Street Pottery … Principals only treated with. Capital required, about £1,500 to £2,000. Satisfactory reasons will be given for the present occupier wishing to decline the business’ (Western Daily Press).
1864-65 John Ellis, Rich’s Building, House and Pottery £30 (Consolidated Rates).
c1864 Prospectus for the sale of share capital in the Bristol Victoria Pottery Co. Ltd. Capital £20,000; £20 shares.
Directors: George Cole, King Square, Bristol, merchant; Alexander M. Cowan, Westbourne Place, Clifton, gentleman; Edward Halsall, Kingsdown, gentleman; Abraham Levy, Temple Street, merchant; Richard Charles Ring (Messrs R.C. Ring & Co.), merchant; James Smith (James Smith & Sons), Castle Green, merchant; John Ellis, Managing Director (proprietor of the Redcross Street Pottery).
This company has been formed for the purpose of purchasing of Mr John Ellis, the new erections, buildings and works now nearly completed, in St Philips Marsh, Bristol, called the ‘Victoria Pottery’ and of carrying on there the business of a Pottery in all its branches.  These works, which are freehold and unencumbered, are very extensive, and have been, in the opinion of good authorities, well planned and laid out for the development and carrying on of a large business; they are situated a short distance from the Great Western, Midland and Bristol and Exeter Railway Stations; they have good water accommodation, and immediately adjoining the intended line of the North Somerset Railway. The purchase of these works has been secured upon very advantageous terms, the vendor taking the whole of the purchase money in shares in the company, agreeing at the same time to transfer to the company, without any extra payment, the goodwill of the prosperous business for many years carried on by him in Redcross Street; to become the company’s Managing Director at the Victoria Works, and devote to the company’s interest his whole time and attention.
The situation of Bristol, with its excellent water and railway accommodation, is particularly conducive to the success of a company such as the one proposed. The Dorset, Devon and Cornwall clays are transmitted to Bristol at rates of carriage, showing a saving to the manufacturers of about 10 shillings per ton, or over 60 per cent, as against the potteries in Staffordshire, while a further saving is effected of fully 20 shillings per ton upon the carriage of manufactured earthenware and pottery supplied from Bristol.  These important advantages, added to the cheapness of the coal at Bristol, and the success which has attended the potteries in the neighbourhood in the hands of private individuals, and particularly the very favourable returns obtained by Mr Ellis, at his pottery in Redcross Street, justify the Directors in recommending the ‘Bristol Victoria Pottery Comp. Limited’ to the public, as a safe and highly remunerative investment for their money (BRO 20165/4).
1865 John Ellis, Victoria Pottery Company, St Philip’s Marsh (MD).
1866 7 Feb. ‘For sale, at the Bristol Victoria Pottery Company (Limited), Redcross Street, a high pressure steam engine, of about 20 horse power, lately purchased at the sale of Messrs Chick and Avin’s effects. For price and every other particular apply to the managing director, Mr John Ellis, on the premises’ (Bristol Mercury).
1866 2 May. ‘Redcross Street Pottery. For sale, the above freehold property, well adapted for a stone ware pottery or any other business requiring room, well supplied with water, and adjoining the River Froom’ (Western Daily Press).
1866-69 John Ellis, Bristol Victoria Pottery Company Ltd., St Philip’s Marsh (MD).
1866 Ellis & Co. Ltd., Victoria Pottery (KD).
1867 Ellis & Co. Ltd., Victoria Pottery (Morris D).
1867 6 Jul. ‘To be let, Redcross Street Pottery. Rent £60; or sold £1000. Apply to Ellis & Co., Old Market Street’ (Western Daily Press).
1868-69 John Ellis, Conham Hall (residence) (MD).
1869 28 Aug. It was announced that John Ellis had severed his connection with the Bristol Victoria Pottery Company due to differences between him and his co-directors (Bristol Mercury).
1870 8 Jan. Ellis v. Victoria Pottery Company. John Ellis was a large shareholder in the Victoria Pottery Company and he was also the managing director. It appeared that in the year 1866 Mr Ellis was summoned on behalf of the company by Mr Earnshaw, the sub-inspector of factories, for a breach of certain regulations under the Factory Act. There were in all five summonses against him, and he was convicted on behalf of the company in four instances, the penalties in each case being £2.  The costs were £2.4s.6d, and in all the plaintiff had to pay £10.4s.6d, and he now brought this action against the company to recover the amount of the fines he paid on that occasion.  It was argued that the money had been paid for a criminal offence under the Factory Act, and there could be no ‘contribution’ amongst wrongdoers; there must be nonsuit in this case.  In reply Ellis said that he paid the fines on behalf of the company out of his own pocket … and so he  had acted as servant of the company.  The Recorder said that plaintiff paid the money on behalf of the others, he himself being equally liable, but he did not pay it as their servant.  The plaintiff’s case was dismissed (Bristol Mercury).
1870 7 Dec. ‘Opening of the Crown Pottery at St George’s. Mr John Ellis, formerly the enterprising managing director of the Victoria Pottery, St Philip’s, has just completed a new and very extensive establishment at St George’s and the inaugural dinner was held yesterday evening.  The meal was served in the spacious sale and sorting rooms … and upwards of 120 employees and friends of the proprietor were present … Mr David Johnson then presented to Mr Ellis, on behalf of the employees at the Redcross Street works and the new pottery, a very handsome timepiece’ (Bristol Times & Mirror).
1871 29 Apr. ‘To builders, manufacturers & others, about 8500 superficial feet of freehold land, Redcross Street … for sale by auction, the 8 day of May 1871. The following very valuable freehold property: All that messuage or dwelling-house, office, warehouses, kilns, furnaces, and other erections and buildings, and the two large cellars under part thereof, situate in Asher Lane, Redcross Street and until recently used as a Pottery, and known as the Redcross Street Pottery.  The Pottery contains in length, from Asher Lane to the River Froom, by which it is bounded to the northwest side, 170 feet or thereabouts, and has an average width throughout of 50 feet or thereabouts. The arching of the River Froom will give it a double frontage.  It forms a most eligible site for building either a manufactory, warehouse, or cottages, which latter are in great request in the neighbourhood, and always let well.  The bricks and stones at present in the kilns and other buildings are, it is considered, sufficient for the rough stone and brick work for the number of cottages which could be erected on the ground’ (Bristol Mercury).
1871 3 Jun. ‘Large and commodious premises, well adapted for large purposes, where room and rooms are required, either for manufacturing purposes or warehousing. The premises are about 170 feet by 50, five cellars, the whole to be let or sold. Apply to Jno Ellis, on the premises, lately used as a pottery, known as the Redcross Street Pottery, Asher Lane, Redcross Street’ (Bristol Mercury).
1871 Earthenware manufacturer, widower, Crown Pottery, Clouds Hill (57), living with his sister, Eliza (45), house keeper, born in Hanley, and children including Annie (8), born in Bristol (71C).
1871 John Ellis, potter, Old Workhouse, Bath Road (upper), St George (MD).
1872 Ellis, Crown Pottery, St George – earthenware manufacturer (Morris D).
1872 17 Feb. Bankruptcy. Liquidation. John Ellis, earthenware manufacturer, Crown Pottery (Western Daily Press).
1873 25 Jan. John Smith, charged with stealing a quantity of oats, valued 6d, from the Crown Pottery, St George’s, the property of John Ellis, was sentenced to two months hard labour (Bristol Mercury).
1873 8 Dec. ‘Died December 5, at the Crown Pottery, St George’s, Elizabeth Ellis, aged 24’ (Western Daily Press).
1877 19 Jan. In the Alliance from Jersey, 15 tons china stone, for the Crown Pottery (Western Daily Press).
1878 28 Dec. ‘Last night Mr John Ellis, proprietor of the extensive works known as the Crown Pottery, St George’s, entertained at dinner a number of his friends, the members of the choir of St George’s church, and the whole of his employees. The repast was of a substantial character, and was laid out in the biscuit warehouse, which was prettily decorated with evergreens and festoons of coloured paper … Over 100 sat down to a well-spread board and amongst those were Messrs J. Ellis, H. Ellis, Arthur Ellis, Soloman Ellis …’ (Bristol Mercury).
1879 28 Nov. In the Islander from Jersey, 24 tons of china stone for the Crown Pottery (Western Daily Press).
1880 Ellis, Crown Pottery, St George (Slater’s D).
1881 Master potter, employing 19 men and boys, Plummers Hill, St George (67), living with his wife Elizabeth (27), born in St George, and children including Walter (6), born in Bristol, and Louise Fry (29), a domestic servant (81C).
1881 20 Oct. ‘Rare opportunity to purchase building materials at the Old Pottery, Redcross Street, now pulling down, viz: 600 yards capital paving, 200,000 capital bricks, 25,000 pantiles, doors, sashes, coping, capital joist and quarter, which can be had at nominal prices, to clear quick for street improvements’ (Bristol Mercury).
1884 4 Dec. An accident was reported at Messrs Ellis’s Pottery Works, St George, involving a mason who fell from a plank (Bristol Mercury).
1885 6 Mar. He died, an earthenware manufacturer living at Hudds Bottom, St George.  His will was proved on 12 Aug 1885 and he left a personal estate of £563.4s.6d (Ancestry website).
1886 29 May. ‘Re John Ellis, late of the Crown Potteries, St George’s, deceased. All persons having any claims against this estate are requested to forthwith send particulars of such claims to the undersigned, J.E. Parsons, goldsmith, 16 Old Market Street (executor)’ (Western Daily Press).


Comments are closed.