Brother Potters!

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Date:1800 - 1830 (c.)

Description:The early 1800s brought hard times for potters in Stoke-on-Trent. Costly wars disrupted trade abroad, while poor harvests caused hunger at home.

"One word with you, afore yo gon to do any moore mischif..."

Government and senior members of the community both feared riot and disorder, and this was often a predictable consequence of hard times.

With no police force yet in existence, it was essential, but difficult to maintain order.

The author of this notice, pen-name Thomas Trueman (probably not a potter!), pleads with potters to stop the 'mobbings' and return calm to the streets.

"Times bin hard shure enuff..."

Trueman symapthises over some truly hard times - but the message is clear; that the potters should settle for the best they can get. After all, "half a loaf is better than no bread..."

"Dunna go to be judge, and jury, and all..."

By taking to the streets, local people risk flogging or hanging, when they should really just inform a local Justice of the Peace. As the Bible reminds them, "honest poverty is better than vicious affluence..."

About this document

Burslem pottery manufacturer Enoch Wood collected this document, and it is now among the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.


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