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Josiah Spode I: Origins

stoke churchOn March 25th, 1733, Josiah and Ellen Spode christened their son Josiah at St. Peter ad Vincula, the parish church of Stoke-upon-Trent.  His early life  is shrouded in mystery. Almost nothing is known except for two small facts -- that he was born in 1733,  and that he  was orphaned at the age of six. Josiah’s baptismal record shows the family living in Lane Delph, an area near to Stoke-upon-Trent.  In 1739, along with his mother Ellen, and his three older sisters,  Josiah Spode saw his father buried in a pauper's grave.

Presumably Josiah continued to live with his mother after his father's death. Ellen Spode later moved to Lower Lane, where she remained until her death in 1761.  Lower Lane was a district on the road that ran east from Stoke-upon-Trent through Fenton to Longton.  It was very close to the pot works and lands acquired by Thomas Whieldon in the late 1740s where, at age sixteen, Josiah Spode went to work in 1749.

spode & whieldon site
Map of 1800                                                                                        Map of 1832
Thomas Whieldon's pottery was very close to Stoke-upon-Trent  and to Lower Lane.  In 1780
Thomas Whieldon married for the 3rd time and demolished his factory to build pleasure grounds around 
his  house, Whieldon Grove.  He owned all the property seen to the east of the River Trent.


spode 1
detail from an engraved portrait of
Josiah Spode I

detail from an engraved portrait of
Thomas Whieldon 1717-1795


 Josiah Spode I: Early Pottery Experience