Industries: Pottery

Page 141

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 2, General; Ashford, East Bedfont With Hatton, Feltham, Hampton With Hampton Wick, Hanworth, Laleham, Littleton. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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The most famous of Middlesex industries is certainly its pottery, but few traces can be found of any local manufacture before the 17th century. Down to the latter half of that century English home-made pottery was of a very rude kind, and consisted chiefly of common domestic vessels, (fn. 1) such as large coarse dishes, tygs, pitchers, bowls, cups, and other similar articles. Vessels of stoneware of greater durability and more artistic workmanship were imported from abroad. Among these were the bellarmines or grey-beards and ale-pots, which were largely imported from Germany and Flanders.

In 1570 two potters, (fn. 2) named Jasper Andries and Jacob Janson, who had settled in Norwich in 1567, 'removed to London, and in a petition to Queen Elizabeth asserted that they were the first that brought in and exercised the said science in this realm, and were at great charges before they could find materials in this realm. They besought her, in recompense of their great cost and charges, that she would grant them house room in or without the liberties of London by the water side.' A similar petition was preferred to the queen by one William Simpson, (fn. 3) who also asked for the sole licence to import stone pots from Cologne. Patents were granted in 1626 to Thomas Rous (or Ruis) and Abraham Cullyn of London, (fn. 4) merchants, and in 1636 to David Ramsey, esq. for making stone pots, but nothing is known of any use which they made of the privileges granted to them.


  • 1. Llewellyn Jewitt, Ceramic Art (1878), i, 89.
  • 2. Stow, Surv. of Lond. bk. v, 240-1.
  • 3. Lansd. MS. 108, fol. 60; Jewitt, op. cit. i, 90.
  • 4. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1625-6, p. 575.