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Josiah Spode II: Partnership with William Copeland

When Josiah Spode II returned to Staffordshire spodd IIhe was confident that his business was in the good hands of his eldest son William and his partner William Copeland.   In 1805 , shortly after buying the freehold of the Portugal Street premises,  the London retail company became William Spode and Co. and when William Spode retired to the country in 1811, William Copeland became the major partner in the London warehouse. Under his direction the retail business continued to thrive.

The London premises, in Portugal Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, were in a prime place to take advantage of the shopping habits of English nobility. Accustomed to finding articles of the latest fashion in the city, nobles shopped at the many "warehouses" or showrooms  where they could inspect the latest goods.  Portugal Street frequently welcomed noble and royal visitors, a situation which benefited the Spode business.

In November 1805 London newspapers reported that, in honor of Lord Nelson's Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar there had been an "illumination" in the City.  Many establishments had lit lanterns and lamps-- the Admiralty building, popular theatres, gentlemen's clubs, and in particular the "brilliant illumination at Spode & Co.'s China Manufactory, Portugal-street, Lincoln's Inn Fields."  The Spodes were loyalists and knew how attract the attention of high society.

Queen Charlotte visited the shop in 1817, accompanied by the Princess Elizabeth, to purchase a service and “inspect the premises.” The Queen’s visit had the desired effect. Josiah Wedgwood received a letter noting that,  “Since the Queen went to Mr. Spode’s the stone china is much enquired for, and is got more into repute indeed a dealer cannot be without it, and a great deal is sold.” royal warrant

 The accompanying publicity must have been a valuable endorsement of the quality of Spode productions.  It is not surprising that in 1820 the firm received the Royal Warrant of Potter to H.M. King George IV, and were chosen to supply some pottery for the 1821 coronation banquet.




W Copeland
Engraved portrait of William Copeland
Copeland video link
Robert Copeland talks about William Copeland joining the business

spode stone china mark

Spode Stone China backstamp