Josiah Spode

Josiah Spode

Josiah Spode I (1733–1797) (N. Freese)

Josiah Spode (23 March 1733 – 1797) was an English potter and the founder of the English Spode pottery works which became famous for the quality of its wares. He is often credited with the establishment of blue underglaze transfer printing in Staffordshire in 1781–84, and with the definition and introduction in c. 1789–91 of the improved formula for bone china (a form of soft-paste porcelain) which thereafter remained the standard for all English wares of this kind.


1 Early life
2 Spode’s Works
3 Successors
4 See also
5 Notes
6 Sources
7 External links

Early life[edit]
Josiah Spode was born in a village that is now part of Stoke-on-Trent. Spode was a pauper’s son and also a pauper’s orphan at the age of six. In 1745 his elder sister Ann married Ambrose Gallimore,[1] who in 1754 obtained the lease of the Caughley porcelain factory near Broseley. Spode was taken on as a worker by potter Thomas Whieldon in November (Martinmas) 1749, and remained with him until 1754. In that year, on 8 September, Josiah married Ellen Finley at Stoke on Trent, and his eldest son Josiah (II) was born in 1755. It was in 1754 that Josiah Wedgwood became the business partner of Thomas Whieldon, an arrangement which continued until 1759. Spode had worked alongside Wedgwood and with the celebrated potter Aaron Wood[2] (father of Enoch Wood) under Whieldon’s tuition, and was with Whieldon at a high point of production there.[3]
As a family man Josiah Spode was an accomplished violinist, and he and his wife had further children Samuel (1757), Mary (1759), Ellen (1762) Sarah, William (1770), Ann (1772), and Elizabeth (1777). The suggestion that he took over the factory of Ralph Baddeley and Thomas Fletcher during the late 1750s and early 1760s is now discounted.[4] After John Turner (1737–87) left Stoke for Lane End in 1759 or 1762, Spode may have carried on the factory of William Banks, Turner’s partner and former master at Stoke. It is said that Spode took over the Stoke factory in about 1770,[5] and recorded that he bought the rights under a Turner family patent in 1805.[6] The production there was of creamware with blue painted decoration as well as white stoneware in the manner of John Turner: black ware was also made and a printing press for black transfer printing was maintained. Spode was powerfully influenced by Turner’s work. He was engaged as master potter, but it is not known whether his work there was c