On Friday I did a load of washing and, as it was raining, hung it in the utility room to dry then booked our next National Trust outing. We'll be revisiting a favourite property which, much to our utter delight, we've discovered it was the ancestral home of Jon's 9x great grandmother (genealogy, the gift that keeps on giving!). After my Wii Fit workout, I caught up with blogland before joining Jon in the kitchen for breakfast.
Jon did the supermarket run and popped round to Tony's who, after almost four months on furlough, returns to work on Monday when non-essential shops are allowed to reopen. I gave the bathroom a thorough clean before settling down to a bit more ancestry.
My beloved Grandpa (Mum's father), Reginald William Harris (1913 - 1980), bought Stonecroft in 1952. Like generations of his family before him, Reg grew up in Stone in Staffordshire (twenty-seven miles up the road from Walsall), the area is known as The Potteries, so-called as it was the centre of ceramic production from the early 17th century due to the local availability of clay, salt, lead and coal. When his aunt Phyllis (his mother's sister) researched the family tree she followed her father Thomas's branch so I decided to investigate his mother Alice's heritage. Once I'd found her grandmother I noticed that the family members were listed as residing in very grand-sounding houses such as Byrches Head Manor, Fenton Hall and Bucknall Hall. What on earth was going on? Once I got to my 8 x great grandfather, Edward Adams of Bank House, Bagnall (1661 -1727) I discovered why. My family was one of Staffordshire's great pottery dynasties, The Adamses. I didn't have a clue!
|Edward Adams of Bank House, Bagnall (1621 - 1727)|
|Bank House, Bagnall, Staffordshire|
My six times great-grandfather, William Adams of Bank House, Bagnall and Cobridge Gate (1702 - 1775) was, like his father and grandfather before him, a master potter. He was one of three North Staffordshire William Adams potters working around this time, all cousins. The Adams's founded the Greengates Pottery, producing fine jasperware table sets, plaques, medallions and other products stamped Adams & Co. One of the cousins was apprenticed to Josiah Wedgwood where the master noted that he was my favourite pupil. They remained lifelong friends and the family leased their Brickhouse Pottery to Josiah Wedgwood until 1772 when he moved to his premises in Etruria. Greengates Pottery was absorbed into the Wedgwood group in 1966.
|Greengates Pottery, circa 1780|
I knew there was a reason why I love The Great Pottery Throwdown!
|Greengates bottle kilns (circa 1880)|