Scottish Pottery and Porcelain Works – circa 1878

Scottish Pottery and porcelain Works – circa 1878


The early pottery of Scotland appears, as a general rule, to bear a 
close analogy to that of England both in form, in intention of use, 
and in ornamentation. The cinerary urns, the food and other 
vessels, and the immolation urns, all bear a marked resemblance 
to those of the sister country, and lead one to the inference 
that the same feelings, habits, and customs obtained in the one 
nation as the other. A cinerary urn found on the Hill of Tuack 
is of identical shape and pattern of ornament with the one en- 
graved on Fig. 15 of Vol. I., while others bear an equally strong 
resemblance to others already engraved. To Professor Wilson 
the antiquarian world is indebted for much valuable information 
concerning the early pottery of Scotland, and to his important 
and standard work, the " Pre-Historic Annals of Scotland," it 
owes most of the knowledge it possesses of this, and other im- 
portant branches of national history. " It is altogether impossible," 
says the learned Professor, " within the limited amount of accurately 
observed facts with which the Scottish archaeologist has to deal, to 
picture and classify into distinct periods the pottery found in the 
ancient tumuli and cairns. Many of the fictilia are so devoid of art 
as to furnish no other sign of advancement in their constructors 
from the most primitive state of barbarism, than such as is indicated 
by the piety which provided a funeral pyre for their dead, and even 
so rude a vase wherein their ashes might be inurned. . . . The 
rudimentary form of the true cinerary urn is that of the common 
flower-pot, still retained as the easiest and simplest into which the 
plastic clay can be modelled. . . . From this simple shape 
was gradually developed the varying forms both of sepulchral and 
domestic pottery found deposited with the dead ; inurning the sacred 
ashes and the costly tributes of affectionate reverence, or placed in 
the grave with offerings of food and drink designed to sustain the 
deceased on his final journey to the world of spirits." Fig. 740 is of 
this form and is almost identical with the English example Fig. 15, 
Vol. I. It is from the Hill of Tuack, near Kintore, in Aberdeenshire, 
and was found in the usual inverted position close to one of the 
monoliths of the stone circle at the place. Another of the same form, 
Fig. 741, ornamented with impressed dots and incised herringbone 
pattern, was dug up in 1855 on the farm of Belhelvie, in Fifeshire. 
It was 4 feet 6 inches in circumference at the mouth, and when 
perfect must have been about 2 feet in height. When found it was, 
as is commonly the case, inverted, as shown in the engraving, and 
was imperfect. Another fine example is engraved on Fig. 742. It 
measures thirteen and a half inches in height, and was dug up at the 
Ha' Hill of Montblairy, in Banffshire. It bears a marked resem- 
blance to many English examples, both in general form and in orna- 
mentation ; it bears encircling lines of herringbone or zigzag 

Figs. 743 to 745 are of different form, the two larger being 
probably food vessels, and the latter an " immolation urn." The 
first two were found in a cist on a farm at Banchory, in Kincardine- 
shire, along with an interment by inhumation, and the latter at 
Arthur's Seat, in Edinburgh. In the next engravings, Figs. 746 and 
747, the larger vessel was found in a tumulus at Memsie, in Aberdeen- 
shire, and the smaller at Rathbo, near Edinburgh. Figs. 748 to 750 
are three interesting vessels from Lesmurdie, in Banffshire, now in 
the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. The largest 
is eight inches in height, and the smallest five inches. Fig. 751 was 
found in one of a group of cists, under a large cairn, at Sheal Loch, 
in the parish of Borthwick, near Edinburgh. It is made of fine 
baked clay, burned to an unusually hard and durable consistency, 
and measures four and a half inches in height by about six and 
a half in diameter. Five perforated projections are disposed at 
nearly equal distances around it, and the interior of the vessel bears 
evident marks of fire. Fig. 752 is from the Montrose Museum and 
was found in that burgh some years back. The other three, 
Figs. 753 to 755, are "immolation urns," as I have before termed 
them, which are respectively from Old Penrith, from Dunbar, and 
from Ronaldshay in Orkney. 

During Scoto-Roman times, pottery, there can be no reasonable 
doubt, was made in Scotland, and many examples that have been 
brought to light are evidently native manufacture; there are, 
however, -no marked peculiarities belonging to them. Of a later 
period, " the last pagan period in Scotland," according to Professor 
Wilson, some remarkable glazed urns were found, one at East 
Langton, the other in Aberdeenshire. They were found in stone 
cists by the sides of skeletons, and were " of rough grey ware, 
ornamented externally with parallel grooves running round them, 
and internally covered with a green glaze." They appear originally 
to have had " two projecting ears opposite each other, which fitted 
into corresponding double ones attached to a lid, by which the 
vessel, when found, was closely covered; and the whole of the 
projections were perforated to admit a pin which completed the 

As of the primitive so of the mediaeval pottery of Scotland ; it 
differs but little from that of England, and indeed, except in a few 
instances, cannot be distinguished from it. Pitchers of the usual 
form, perforated jugs, bowls, dishes and platters all were pretty 
nearly identical with those of English make, and but few seats of 
manufacture existed. The wares were of the commonest and 
coarsest kind. As in Ireland wood was more generally used than 
anything else for such utensils. 

Of mediaeval pottery Figs. 756 to 759 are characteristic examples. 
The first of these is a pitcher found in 1792, filled with coins of 
Alexander II. of Scotland and Edward I. 
and Edward II. of England, near Penicuick 
House, where it is preserved. It measures 
three and three-quarter inches in height, 
and is perforated at tolerably uniform dis- 
tances. It is of coarse unglazed earthen- 
ware. Fig. 759 is a mediaeval pitcher 
found near North Berwick Abbey, in East 
Lothian ; it bears a marked resemblance 
to some engraved in Vol. I. 

That china was attempted to be made 
in Scotland in the middle of last century is 
evident from the following paragraph from 
the London Chronicle of 1755: "Yesterday 
four persons, well -skilled in the making of 
British china, were engaged for Scotland, 
where a, new porcelain manufacture is going 
to be established, in the manner of that now carried on at Chelsea, 
Stratford, and Bow." But nothing is known as to the locality of 
the proposed works. 


The first pottery established in Glasgow was, it would appear, 
founded in 1749 as a delft-ware works. It was situated near the 
Broomielaw, in a lane which was called the "Delft-field Lane." 
" Delft-field Lane " is a very suggestive name, and of course took 
its origin from the pot-works. The name was, I am informed by 
Mr. Cochran, " changed to 'James Watt Street' in later years. The 
celebrated inventor of the steam-engine lived in this lane, and it was 
in one of the rooms of the pottery that he was in the habit of 
working at his invention, and it is said, perfected it. The 
ware manufactured at this pottery was delft ware, and was a 
close imitation of the old grey Dutch ware of that name ; but about 
the year 1770 the proprietors began to make 'Queen's ware,' or 
white ware. They also began to make both plain and ornamented 
china, of such excellent quality that they received the compliment of 
being appointed potters to the Prince of Wales. How long this 
pottery lasted I have not been able to ascertain, but it was working 
in full perfection in the beginning of the present century. The next 
pottery which was built in Glasgow was about the year 1801, when 
the " Caledonian Pottery," on the banks of the Monkland Canal, was 
erected. This is the oldest pottery now working in Glasgow, for 
although Verreville was built more than twenty years before it, yet 
earthenware was not made there till the year 1820." 

Verreville Pottery. In 1777, as the name implies, the Verreville 
Works were built for a glass-house, by a Mr. Cookson, of New- 
castle, and a Mr. Colquhoun, of Glasgow. In 1806 they were sold 
to the Dumbarton Glass Work Company, who immediately resold 
them to Mr. John Geddes, with this stipulation, that he was not 
to manufacture crown or bottle glass. Mr. Geddes carried on the 
manufacture of flint glass until 1820, when he commenced making 
earthenware as well as glass. In 1835 the works passed into 
the hands of Mr. Robert Alexander Kidston, who four years 
afterwards added the manufacture of china to that of glass and 

" He began," I am told by Mr. Cochran, " by bringing skilled 
workmen and artists from the principal seats of china manufacture. 
Figures, porcelain basket work and flowers, were produced by work- 
men who had acquired their skill in the old and celebrated porcelain 
works of Derby, while Coalport and several of the most famous 
Staffordshire china works supplied a general staff of potters, together 
with gilders, and flower and landscape painters. Mr. Kidston 
carried on the business for several years and produced a beautiful 
porcelain, and upon his retiring from the business in 1846 was 
succeeded by the late Mr. Robert Cochran, who carried on the works 
with great vigour and success. In 1856 he ceased the manufacture of 
china, and devoted the whole of the works to the manufacture of 
earthenware. Mr. Cochran devoted great attention and spared no 
expense in promoting the introduction of labour-saving machinery. 
He also made great improvements in the kilns or ovens in which the 
earthenware is fired, by which he reduced the quantity of coal used 
to nearly one-half. It was applied successfully in his own works of 
Verreville and Britannia, but was not adopted by other manufacturers. 
This improvement w r as patented in 1852, and it is only now that 
the same principle, with some slight alterations, has been patented 
and is likely to be generally adopted by potters. Mr. Cochran died 
in 1869, and was succeeded in the Verreville Pottery by his son, also 
named Robert Cochran, by whom the works are still carried on. 
The goods manufactured are principally for the home trade, and 
consist of white, sponged, printed, and enamelled ware. No marks 
have ever been used except the initials of the proprietors stamped 
on the ware." Verreville it is said was the first work in Scotland 
where china was manufactured. 

Garnkirk Works. These works were established about half a 
century ago by Messrs. Sprott, by whom and later by Mr. Mark 
Sprott they were carried on. They are now continued by the 
trustees of the late Mr. Mark Sprott (Messrs. Sprott, Gillespie, and 
Cameron), under the style of the " Garnkirk Fire Clay Company.'' 
The goods produced at these works are the ordinary classes of fire- 
clay and terra-cotta articles, including ornamental chimney shafts 
and smoke-valves of good design and excellent mechanical construe- 
tion ; sanitary pipes and other appliances ; architectural enrichments ; 
garden edgings and balustrades of more than average beauty in 
design, of which examples are given in Figs. 760 to 762 ; garden 
vases of great variety in design and of different sizes ; fountains, 
notably an example of five tiers, supported by figures of dolphins and 
cranes, with basin twenty-four feet in height and sixteen feet across, 
erected in the public park at Aberdeen ; busts, statuary, both single 
figures and groups, including Baily's lovely conception of " Eve at 
the Fountain," "Gleaner," "Minerva," "Bacchus," "Atlas," &c. ; 
pedestals, brackets, and every other variety of ornamental goods, as 
well as fire-clay, bricks, blocks, &c. The markets principally sup- 
plied are the home, and those of France, Germany, Russia, and the 
East and West Indies. The mark used is simply the word Garnkirk 
impressed in the clay. 

The Gartcosh Works were established by Mr. James Binnie, in 
1863, and have since then been considerably extended. The pro- 
duce of these works is terra-cotta vases, tazzas, pedestals, foun- 
tains, &c., of remarkably good design and of fine and durable 
quality ; ornamental and plain garden edgings ; gothic, clustered, 
and other chimney tops ; ridge, flooring, and roofing tiles ; cattle, 
horse, and dog troughs ; copings ; sewage and sanitary pipes of every 
description ; glazed and unglazed fire bricks, furnace blocks, and all 
other goods for fire-resisting purposes. The clay is found about 
fifty fathoms below the surface, at Gartcosh ; the strata being from 
eighteen to twenty-five feet in thickness. It is found underlying 
large beds of sandstone in what is called the limestone series, 
which lies between the upper and lower coal series of this dis- 
trict. The following is the analysis : silicic acid or silica, 60*96 ; 
alumina, 37*00; peroxide of iron, ri6; lime, 0*64 ; magnesia, 0-24 ; 
total, 100.00. 

Heathfield Pottery. At these works Messrs. Ferguson, Miller, 
& Co. produced some admirable vases in terra cotta, which were 
shown at the 1851 Exhibition, and are here engraved. One of these 
(Fig. 764) was a vase of large size and excellent modelling ; it bore a 
frieze of figures typical of the great gathering in 1 85 1 . Fig. 765 shows, 
among its other ornaments, a nuptial procession, designed in the 
style of the antique; these figures were modelled with great 
accuracy, and are arranged in an artistic manner. The works 
passed in 1862 into the hands of Messrs. Young (which see) ; the 
moulds, &c., including those of these vases, became the property 
of the Garnkirk Company. 

Glasgow Pottery. These works were established in 1842, by 
Messrs. J. & M. P. Bell & Co., in Stafford Street, Glasgow, for the 
manufacture of white and printed earthenware, and soon rose to the 
first rank among the potteries of Scotland. Particular attention was 
from the first -paid not only to the excellence of body of the ware, 
but to improvement in form and in style of decoration. In these 
particulars they were eminently 
successful, and in 1851 received 
honourable mention at the Great 
Exhibition. Later on the manu- 
facture of china was commenced, 
and later still the fine white and 
pearl granite wares, and white 
and decorated sanitary wares. 
The works are of great extent, 
and produce all the usual varie- 
ties of goods in dinner, breakfast, 
tea, toilet, dessert, and other ser- 
Fig. 770. vices, as well as all the usual 
classes of articles, and in every variety of style, from the plain 
white or cream colour to the most richly enamelled and gilt 
patterns. The earthenware services are of more than average 
excellence of quality, and the china, both body and glaze, of 
superior class. Some of the dessert plates issued by Messrs. Bell, 
with hand-painted groups of flowers and perforated or open-work 
rims, are equal to most English makes ; while some of the tea 
services are of tall classic form and of excellent taste in colour and 
decoration. In parian Messrs. Bell & Co. produce some admirable 
vases with figures in relief, and other ornamental goods ; the quality 
is far above the average. The old marks used by the Glasgow 
Pottery are the following : Fig. 782, an eagle holding a roll, on which 
is inscribed the name of the pattern, and, underneath, the initials of 
the firm, J. & M. P. B. & Co. ; Fig. 783, the Warwick vase and the 
name, J. & M. P. BELL & Co. The later marks are (Fig. 784), a garter 
bearing the initials of the firm, J. & M. P. B. & Co., surrounding the 
trade mark of a bell; the name of the pattern below. These are all 
printed on the ware, while another, impressed in the body, is a bell 
with the initials J. B. (Fig. 785). Another is a bell only (Fig. 786). 
Some of Messrs. Bell & Co.'s exhibits are shown in the 
engravings Figs. 766 to 781. 

North British Pottery. These works on Dobbies Loan, produce 
the ordinary qualities of earthenware goods. 

Saracen Pottery. The Saracen Pottery was established in 1875 
by Messrs. Bayley, Murray, and Brammer, at Possilpark. The firm 
manufacture Rockingham, cane-coloured, Egyptian black, jet, and 
mazarene blue wares on an extensive scale, mostly, in tea-pots, jugs, 
and other useful domestic articles, both for the home and foreign 
markets. The mark used is the initials of the firm and name of the 
B M & Co works 
Port Dundas Pottery Company. These works were established 
for the manufacture of stoneware articles about the year 1819. 
In the earlier years of its existence there were several changes 
in the proprietorship, but for the last thirty years it has remained 
in the hands of, and been carried on by, Mr. James Miller. The 
works, from a somewhat small beginning, have attained considerable 
proportions. In 1856 they contained three salt-glaze ovens, in which 
were manufactured chemical vessels and apparatus of various 
kinds, spirit bottles, jars, &c. ; and about this time many of 
the towns .in the North of Scotland, finding the desirability of 
having a good water supply introduced, had recourse to high- 
pressure stoneware water-pipes for that purpose, which were 
manufactured in large quantities at these works. Several towns 
and many country mansion houses at the present time have their 
water supply conducted through miles of the Port Dundas pipes. 
In the same year a new glaze was introduced, giving to the ware a 
cream-coloured appearance, much purer and cleaner for many pur 
poses than the old brown salt glaze, and with this a great demand 
sprang up for stoneware beer bottles for warm climates, and the 
works consequently have been greatly enlarged to meet the increased 

By far the greatest portion of ware made in Port Dundas is 
thrown on the potter's wheel, the motive power for which was 
supplied, until 1866, by girls, who turned a large driving wheel 
communicating with a pulley under the workman's wheelhead by a 
rope. The proprietor in that year endeavoured to introduce steam 
power for this purpose, but so strong was the opposition of the 
throwers that the machines and accompanying shafting, &c., lay 
aside for three years unused. They were then erected in a distant 
part of the works, and apprentices all but forced to work on them. 
These, however, had not been long fitted up when the workmen, 
seeing the immense advantages to be derived from their use, gladly 
availed themselves of the offer of the proprietor to substitute steam 
machinery for hand-power throughout the whole factory, the imme- 
diate result of which, was to raise the piece-work earnings of the 
workmen from 30 to 49 per cent. ; they had one attendant less to pay, 
a part of whose wages the workman kept to himself, while a pro- 
portion of it was paid to the Company for the use of the steam- 
power and up-keep of the machinery. The speed of the wheel 
requiring to be varied according to the different operations per- 
formed upon it, is now under the complete control of the workman's 
foot, and not as formerly at the will, or according to the strength of, 
the assistant wheel-turner. In this way a complete revolution was 
quietly effected in the stoneware potting of Scotland, and the 
incentive having been given, orders came from many potteries in 
England to the Scotch machine maker for similar steam machines. 

With the introduction of the cream-coloured stoneware glaze 
the ovens had to undergo extensive alterations, the old salt-glaze 
cupboard kilns giving place to much larger sagger ovens, in which 
the ware is now burned. The improvement in the . appearance 
of the ware having brought it into much greater demand, the 
works rapidly extended, until at the present time, in the Port 
Dundas Pottery with its branch work, the Crown Pottery, there are 
fifteen ovens in regular operation. 

The wares produced are beer, ink, and spirit bottles ; preserve, 
acid, butter, and druggist's jars ; chemical vessels and apparatus, 
and every kind of article made in stoneware, water filters, Rock- 
ingham and cane ware. 

All the goods made are stamped with the name of the firm in an 
oval stamp. 

The home markets are supplied with all descriptions of general 
ware, immense quantities of preserve jars, &c. Export bottlers 
in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Liverpool, are supplied with stone 
bottles. Water filters, Rockingham, and cane ware are regularly 
shipped to the colonies and the continent of Europe. Two years 
ago a process of printing on the unfired stoneware body was per- 
fected and patented by this firm, eminently suitable for consumer's 
labels, trade marks, &c., no extra firing in the shape of muffle or 
hardening-in kiln being required. 

The Company exhibited their manufactures at the Chilian 
Exhibition held in Santiago in 1875, and there received the first 
prize gold medal for the general excellence of their wares. The 
clay from which this stoneware is made is obtained only from the 
Devonshire mines, is very free from iron, and burns a light buff 
colour. Somewhere about 10,000 tons are annually used in Glasgow, 
nearly the whole of which is brought by sea from the port of 
Teignmouth to the Clyde. Very little preparation and no mixing 
with other ingredients is required before passing into the hands of 
the workman ; after being milled it is ready to be fashioned into all 
kinds of articles. It is also singular in this respect that the articles 
are glazed before being burned ; and by one process of firing to a 
very high pitch of heat higher than that to which any other kind of 
pottery ware is subjected a hard, vitreous, and very sonorous ware 
is produced, glazed inside and out with a transparent glaze, which 
allows the buff colour of the clay to be seen, and which is quite 
proof against the action of both alkalies and acids, rendering vessels 
made by this ware highly suitable for storing and transporting acids 
and other chemicals. For many years London and Bristol were the 
chief seats of the stoneware trade, and workmen had to be obtained 
from the south to carry on business in Scotland ; but apprentices 
were speedily trained in Glasgow to supply all wants, and in turn to 
feed largely the southern potteries. At present there is more pure 
stoneware manufactured in Glasgow than anywhere else, so that it 
has really become the seat of the stoneware pottery of the kingdom. 

Hyde Park Potteries. This manufactory was established about 
1837 by Mr. John McAdam. His productions are ordinary stone- 
ware bottles, jars, spirit casks, feet and carriage warmers, pans of 
various kinds, and all the ordinary classes of stoneware goods. 

Britannia Pottery. These large works at St. Rollox, Glasgow, 
belonging to Messrs. Cochran & Co., produce all the usual varieties 
of ordinary earthenware goods in granite and cream-coloured ware 
for South America ; and printed, enamelled, painted, and gilt wares 
for the home markets. The works were established in 1855, by 
Mr. Robert Cochran, the senior partner of the Verreville Pottery 
Company (which see), and the present partners are Mr. Alexander 
Cochran (son of the above) and Mr. James Fleming. The works 
contain six biscuit and seven glost ovens. 

Annfield Pottery. Messrs. John Thomson and Co., at the Ann- 
field Pottery, Gallowgate, formerly manufactured both china and 
earthenware goods for the home and foreign markets. The works 
have been closed some time. 

Bridgeton Pottery. The " Bridgeton Pottery " was built in 1 869 
by its present owner, Mr. F. Grosvenor, who for some years previous 
to that time had been a partner in the "Caledonian Pottery" at 
Glasgow. The goods manufactured are the usual classes of articles 
in stoneware, including chemical wares, bottles for various uses, 
spirit jars, bottles, &c., and Rockingham ware tea-pots. In 1870 
Mr. Grosvenor took out a patent for the manufacture of bottles and 
jars by machinery, and he has also invented an improved bottle 

Barrowfield Pottery. Established by their present owner, Mr. 
Henry Kennedy, in 1866, these extensive works produce in large 
quantities all the usual classes of articles of " glass-lined stone- 
ware," including "glass-lined bottles and jars" for domestic and 
other purposes, both for home and foreign markets. The mark 
used by Mr. Kennedy is three Bottles side by side beneath a ribbon 
bearing the words "Established 1866." 


Glenboig Star Works. The Glenboig Star Fire Brick Works 
produce bricks, retorts, furnace-blocks and similar goods. 

Glenboig Fire-Clay Works. These works belong to the Glenboig 
Fire-Clay Company, and produce sewage and sanitary pipes, &c., 
retorts, fire-bricks, &c. 

Cardowan and Heathfield Works. The first of these works, 
belonging to Messrs. John Young and Son, was built in 1852 by 
Messrs. John Hurll and John Young, previous to that time of the 
Garnkirk Company. The clay is the Garnkirk seam, and is of much 
the same character as the Stourbridge clay. The Heathfield Works 
were acquired about 1860 from Messrs. Miller and Ferguson (which 
see), and were largely extended and altered, and improved machinery 
introduced. The clay was won at 350 feet, passing through a solid 
bed of freestone of 120 feet, giving off much water; the seam itself 
is known as the Glenboig seam of clay, as it was first wrought at 
the " Glenboig Works," with which Mr. Young was also till quite 
recently, a partner. At the "Cardowan Works" the firm manu- 
facture the usual varieties of fire-bricks, blast-furnace blocks, gas 
retorts and fittings, vases, garden edgings, and plain and ornamental 
chimney shafts. At the " Heathfield Works " they produce fire-bricks, 
and vitrified salt-glazed pipes for sewerage and water purposes, 
and invert sewer blocks and all the usual salt-glazed articles. 
In 1874 Messrs. Hurll and Young dissolved partnership; Mr. Young, 
along with his sons John and Robert, being now the sole pro- 
prietors. The product of these works when in full work is about 
20,000 fire-bricks per day and about 1,500 yards of pipes weekly. 


Ferguslie Fire-Clay Works. These extensive works were esta- 
blished in 1839, and are carried on by Messrs. Robert Brown and 
Son. The productions are mainly chimney shafts in great variety 
and of good design, sewage pipes and sanitary goods of all kinds, 
garden vases and tazzae, flower boxes, suspenders, fern and flower 
stands, &c. of various designs ; statuary, both single figures and 
groups, architectural enrichments, pedestals, brackets, garden 
edgings, fire and other bricks and tiles, copings, finials, &c. 

Shortroods and Caledonia Works. These are brick and tile works 
connected with the Ferguslie Works of Messrs. Robert Brown and Co. 

Paisley Earthenware Works. Messrs. Robert Brown and Co. 
established these works in 1876, and at them produce white 
enamelled earthenware goods of a similar quality to those of Stafford- 
shire. Their principal productions are cabinet stands and lava- 
tories of every requisite shape both for domestic and shop fittings, 
plug basins, pans, and other sanitary appliances, baths of every 
kind (a speciality being the larger baths, five feet six inches in 
length, a size rarely attempted in earthenware), washing tubs, sinks, 
&c., plumber's fittings, washhand-table tops, with and without toilet 
ware, plain and coloured pavement and wall tiles, &c. 
Crown Works. At the Crown Crucible Works, belonging to 
Messrs. Robert Brown and Son, plumbago crucibles and kindred 
goods are manufactured. The marks are a crown and name, 

BROWN PAISLEY, and a crucible within an oval border surmounted by a crown. 


Fire-brick Works. These works, belonging to the Grangemouth 
Coal Company, were established in 1842. The clay, which is 
of good quality, is got at a depth of about forty-eight fathoms, 
under lease from the Earl of Zetland. The productions of the 
works consist of ornamental vases, and tazzse of various patterns ; 
statuary, both single figures and groups ; fountains, vases and 
plinths ; flower-stands and pots ; chimney shafts, some of which 
are highly decorated in relief; pedestals, brackets, &c. ; and salt- 
glazed pipes, grate backs, bricks, tiles, &c. The company received 
honourable mention for their goods at the Exhibition of 1851, and 
at the Hamburg Exhibition of 1866 had a medal awarded to them 
for their vases and ornamental figures. 


The Clyde Pottery. The "Clyde Pottery" works were built 
and established by Messrs. James and Andrew Muir and others 
in 1815, and it is still the property of the Muir family, the present 
proprietors being the daughters of the late Andrew Muir. The 
business was first carried on by the proprietors under the style of the 
" Clyde Pottery Company," with Mr. James Stevenson as manager. 
Mr. Stevenson was succeeded in the management by Thomas 
Shirley, to whom the business was transferred, and who altered the 
name of the firm to Thomas Shirley & Co. In 1857 the Messrs. 
Shirley were succeeded by the " Clyde Pottery Company (Limited)," 
with James Brownlie as manager. This company acquired the 
ground adjoining the pottery known as the " Blubber Yard " (from 
the fact that formerly the blubber obtained at the whale-fishing was 
boiled there), and this piece of ground gave ample scope for extend- 
ing the works. The " Clyde Pottery Company (Limited) " existed 
for five years, and was then succeeded by the present firm, who carry 
on the business under the old style the " Clyde Pottery Company " 
and who, in taking over the lease, also acquired the ground adjoin- 
ing already referred to, and have extended the works so as to do 
double the business of any of their predecessors. The firm consists 
of three members John Donald, Robert Gibson Brown, and John 
McLauchlan the two last taking the active management of the 
concern. The goods produced are the ordinary qualities of cream- 
coloured, sponged, painted, printed, pearl-white, enamelled, and gilt, 
suitable for the home trade, and various kinds of ware also to 
suit particular foreign markets. The mark used upon goods is 
"C. P. Co." (Clyde Pottery Company). The markets supplied are 
the Home, Scotch, and Irish ; and considerable business is done 
abroad with Calcutta, Mauritius, Rangoon, Java, Newfoundland, and 


There were pot- works at Dumbarton in the latter part of last and 
the beginning of the present century. About 1800, or thereabout, 
Anthony Amatt, originally of Derby, and afterwards with Champion, 
of Bristol, worked at Dumbarton. He afterwards returned to Bristol, 
and died there in 1851, aged ninety-two. 


Caledonian Pottery. The "Caledonian Pottery" at Rutherglen, 
near Glasgow, was established at Glasgow about 1780 by a joint 
stock company, and from the company was acquired, about 1825, by 
the grandfather and father of the present head of the firm of Murray 
and Co., by whom the manufactory is carried on. In 1870 the works 
were removed from Glasgow to Rutherglen, about a couple of miles 
from that city. At first fine porcelain and china were made ; then 
cream-coloured printed ware, with Rockingham and salt-glazed 
wares. In 1851, the demand sprang up for stoneware ale and other 
bottles, and this has become one of the staple trades of Glasgow and 
the surrounding district. The goods now produced are the usual 
classes of " Bristol " glazed stoneware, salt-glazed stoneware, cane 
ware, and Rockingham and Egyptian black wares. In these classes 
of goods all the usual domestic articles are very extensively made, 
both for the home and continental markets. The quality produced 
is much above the average in excellence, and the goods of this firm 
are in much repute. A speciality of Messrs. Murray and Co. is their 
patent " spongy iron filter " which has been officially recommended 
by Royal Commission and has been awarded a medal. It is one of 
the most perfect and useful of filters, and its principle of construction 
is thoroughly good. The mark used by Murray and Co. is a lion 
rampant.  Click here 


Midlothian Potteries. The Midlothian Stoneware Potteries at 
Portobello and Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, were established 
about 1857 by Mr. W. A. Gray, for the manufacture of general stone- 
ware goods, but they had, I am informed by him, been in existence 
as earthenware works for upwards of a century before that time. 
They are now carried on under the style of " W. A. Gray & Sons." 
The goods produced are all kinds of stoneware, and the more 
ordinary descriptions of earthenware. In the first are all the usual 
descriptions of spirit jars and bottles, spirit barrels, bowls and pans, 
jugs and pitchers, butter, beef, and jam-pots, bottles, feet and 
carriage warmers, &c. ; and in earthenware many useful articles. 
They are principally supplied to the home market. 

1870 - 1871 - W.A Gray - Midlothian Pottery, Yool's Place, Portobello. P 50 and Pipe Street, Portobello. P 62 and Newbigging Musselburgh. P 116

Portobello Pottery. These old-established works at Portobello, 
near Edinburgh, were established in 1770, and are now carried on 
by Messrs. A. W. Buchan & Co. For a number of years they turned 
out ordinary white earthenware and Rockingham ware, but since 
1842 the manufacture has been entirely confined to stoneware. In 
this ware bottles of various kinds, jars, jugs, feet and carriage 
warmers, spirit bottles, and all the usual classes of goods, are 
extensively manufactured, principally for the home markets. The 
mark of the firm is a star. 

1870 - 1871 - Murray & Buchan, Portobello Pottery. P 64


Sinclairtown Pottery. Messrs. George McLachlan & Son were 
manufacturers of ordinary earthenware at this place ; the works are 
now closed. 

Other manufactories are, the Kirkcaldy Pottery belonging to 
Messrs. David Methven & Son, 

1825 - 1826 -  David Methven & Son, Brick and Tile Maker, The Links, Kirkcaldy

and the Gallatown Pottery belonging to Messrs. Robert Heron & Sons. 


The Boness Pottery, as it is now called, dates from 1766. It was 
originally planned and partly constructed by a Mr. Roebuck, an 
enterprising Englishman, largely engaged in the coal and iron 
trade in this district, who for some time lived in Kenneil House, 
belonging to the Duke of Hamilton. For some cause Mr. Roebuck 
left for England, and the pottery came by purchase into the posses- 
sion of a Mr. Cowen, and afterwards, in 1799 of Mr. Alexander 
Gumming, who carried it on successfully for a number of years ; then 
his nephew James Gumming carried on the business, and although 
it only consisted of three kilns it became one of the largest potteries 
in Scotland, if not the very largest. Earthenware and brown ware 
were manufactured in all their branches. The firm had another 
manufactory, called the " South Pottery," where brown ware was 
made for the home markets. In the possession of the present firm 
is a punch bowl manufactured in these works with the following 
inscription painted upon it : 

" What art can with the potter's art compare ? 
For of what we are ourselves of such we make our ware." 

It was made in the time of Thos. Cowen, and bears the date 1794. 
They have in their possession also other, but undated, specimens 
of the productions of the early manufactory. At the death of James 
Cumming the works passed into the hands of his nephew, William 
Gumming, and being sold in 1836 were bought by James Jamieson, 
and carried on for a number of years, under the firm of James 
Jamieson & Co., and afterwards by the son of Mr. Jamieson under 
the same style ; the proprietors being John Marshall and James 
Jamieson. After Mr. Jamieson's death that part of the works 
belonging to him was, in 1854, bought by Mr. John Marshall and 
carried on, on his own account, until 1867, when he was joined 
by Mr. William McNay as a partner, under the style of John 
Marshall & Co. These works were the first in Scotland to adopt 
Needham's patent for manufacturing clay. The productions are 
the ordinary useful classes of earthenware goods in dinner, tea, 
toilet, and other services, and all the usual domestic articles ; these 
are produced in white, sponged, printed, painted, enamelled and gilt 
styles, and are supplied both to home and foreign markets. 


Prestonpans Pottery. There were, until 1838, two old potworks, 
each more than a century old, in Prestonpans ; in that year they were 
both closed. In 1836 Messrs. Belfield & Co. established the " Preston- 
pans Pottery," which they still carry on ; the goods produced being 
Rockingham tea-pots, cane jugs, &c. 


Alloa Pottery. These works were established in 1790 by Mr. 
James Anderson, and were afterwards carried on by Mr. William 
Gardner; in 1855 they passed by purchase into the hands of the 
present proprietors, Messrs. W. & J. Bailey. At first the works, 
under Mr. Anderson, produced common brownware pans and crocks, 
and by Mr. Gardner the addition was made of Rockingham ware 
tea-pots. By the present firm this branch of manufacture has been 
considerably improved, and so greatly extended that at the time I 
write, I am informed, no less than twenty-six thousand tea-pots can 
be produced by them per week. Majolica and jet ware goods are 
also largely made and are of good quality, and a speciality of the 
firm is its artistic engraving of ferns and other decorations of -the 
finer qualities of tea-pots, jugs, &c. The productions of the Alloa 
Pottery, besides a home trade, are exported in large quantities to 
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, France, America, &c., 
and medals have been awarded to them at the Paris and Philadelphia 
Exhibitions. The excellent quality of the Alloa goods "arises 
from the nature of the clay got in the neighbourhood," and the 
density of colour and softness to touch of the glaze are highly 


Hand-made pottery is still made, and used, in all its primitive 
simplicity. The following letter, which I am permitted to print, is 
so full of interesting matter concerning this curious phase of fictile 
art, that I give it entire. It was addressed by W. Morrison, 
Esq., M.P., to my friend, Mr. W. H. Goss, and dated from the 
House of Commons. It runs as follows : 

"The circumstances under which I came upon the hand-made pottery were as follows. 
In conversation with a Scotch friend on archaeological matters, he happened to mention that 
hand-made pottery is still used in the Hebrides. Taken in connection with the fact that 
the inhabitants of some of the islands still, I believe, live in the same circular dry stone huts, 
with their cattle under the same roof, of which so many traces remain on Dartmoor, Ingle- 
borough in Yorkshire, the Yr Eifel Hills in Carnarvonshire, and with the curious speculations 
contained in the introduction to the popular tales of the West Highlands, by Mr. Campbell, 
this fact seemed to be of some archaeological interest. Mr. Tyler, in his ' Early History of 
Mankind,' gives many instances of the old savage instruments having lasted to our times, e.g., 
the flint knife used to cut cabbages by some old woman in Orkney, the bone ' barker ' from 
Cornwall, in Christy and Blackmore Museums, the stone hammer for breaking the shells of 
whelks in Brittany, and so on. 

" My friend gave me an introduction to Mr. D. Munro, the chamberlain of Sir James Matherson, Bart.,
 at Stornoway, in the Lewes, and Mr. Munro promptly sent me a complete tea-service 
consisting of teapot, milk-jug, sugar-basin, slop-basin, egg cups (or probably dram cups), cups 
and saucers, and marmalade pot ! which he had purchased for the magnificent sum of ios. from 
an old woman at Stornoway, who was actually using them in the year of grace 1868 at her 
tea table. The pottery is evidently hand-made, and is of a very rough quality and form, baked, 
but not turned on the wheel. I gave half the set to the Blackmore Museum at Salisbury, and 
half to the Christy Museum, at 103, Victoria Street (visible on Fridays between 10 and 4 p.m. 
by ticket obtained at the British Museum ; no doubt a letter enclosing stamped envelope would 
save the trouble of an application to the British Museum). The pottery is in a case in the 
secretary's room. I am not sure if this room is shown to the public, but of course it would be 
shown to any one having an object in view. 

" The remarkable thing is, that the pottery is distinctly copied, rudely enough, from modern 
pottery. The forms are ordinary Tottenham Court Road forms, and their continued use in an 
island with a regular steamboat service from Glasgow strikes me as very curious. 

"Of course the view of the pottery is open to you, and all the information contained in this 
letter. I should prefer, however, not having my name published, unless to substantiate any 
statements I have made." 

Manufactories of brown ware, of delft, of common earthenware, 
and fire-clay goods, have also existed, or exist, in other parts of 


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