How to behave on a Sunday - a notice from the Enoch Wood scrapbook

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Date:8th of July 1788

Description:In the 1800s, faith and church played a much more forceful part in everyday life than they do in the 21st century, shaping the way people thought about everyday life - and death.

For pottery manufacturer Enoch Wood, who wished for "a happy eternity", there was an emotional twist in the tale when he looked back on his fellow faithful.

The notice

This notice was originally issued in 1788 by the ministers, church wardens and principal inhabitants of Burslem.

They were concerned about the "irregularities and disorders that prevail in this Parish on the Lord's Day."

All agreed on a series of regulations, and on a way of enforcing them (since there was no formal police force at this time):


  • To pay workmen by 4pm on a Saturday;

  • That no shopkeeper should "be suffered" to sell their goods on a Sunday;

  • That no barbers or hairdressers should keep their shops open after midday on a Sunday;

  • That no public house keepers or victuallers "be suffered" to sell ales on Sundays or after 10pm on Saturday night. Any one found "tippling" in a pub on Sunday, or drunk in the open street, should be punished as the laws allowed;

  • That 12 local people should be chosen every 6 months to help the church wardens enforce the regulations.

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    Several men put their names to the notice, among them Wood.

    A happy eternity

    Around 43 years later, he stopped to cast his mind back:

    "N.B. Am looking over the names upon this paper I perceive the whole have many years pas't been call'd to another world. May God prepare me for my awfull(?) change - to a happy eternity(?)"

    • Henry Babington, Minister, Dead;

    • Enoch Wood;

    • (Dear) Samuel Worthington;

    • John Daniel, potter;

    • William Dawson, potter, dead;

    • Richard Mellar, turner, dead;

    • Jacob Lea, warfinger, dead;

    • Thomas Wedgwood, big house;

    • H. Henshall, (...) canal company, dead;

    • Robert Williamson, potter, dead;

    • Edward Bourne, potter, Longport;

    • D. Haywood, gardener, dead;

    • Theophilus Smith, potter, dead;

    • Walter Daniel, potter Hole House dead;

    • Josiah Wood, potter dead;

    • John Mare, farmer, ditto;

    • Thomas Taylor, potter, ditto;

    • Daniel Morris, potter, ditto;

    • Thomas Wegwood, Etruria, ditto;

    • John Davenport, (....) potter;

    • John Wood, Brownhills, dead;

    • Ambrose Smith, potter, dead;

    • John Rogers, ditto;

    • John Wright, farmer ditto;

    • Samuel Worthington, Senior, dead;

    • Joseph Wedgwood, potter, dead;

    • John Robinson, ditto;

    • William Adams, Cobridge, potter, ditto;

    • Timothy Lockett, white ware, ditto;

    • Thomas Sherwin, builder, ditto;

    • Isaac Leigh, mercer and taylor;

    • Ralph Malkin, potter dead;

    • John Brindley, GB to the engineer dead;

    • William Whitehead, potter dead;

    He also added the following note:

    Decr. 1831 all the above are dead (save and except E Wood by the grace of God)!!!

    Dead also J. Smith, Newcastle, print.


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