Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,138 pages of information and 233,680 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Wilcock and Co

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of Bumantofts, Leeds

1845 Established by William Wilcock and John Lassey, who intended to mine coal on the site they had bought, which they did for thirteen years, but they also found clay there

1858 They started to use the clay for making bricks and pipes. John Lassey died that year, but his wife carried on in his stead. The company was known as Wilcock and Co.

1863 Margaret Lassey sold her share to John Holroyd

1870 Holroyd passed the management of the company to his son Ernest.

1879 His brother James took over the running of the business.

1880 The company decided to enter the burgeoning British art pottery movement. James started the production of 'architectural faience', and during the next decade the company produced vases, jardinieres, etc. The company drew in pottery talent from local sources and further afield.

The new ranges sold well.

By 1887 The company was selling its wares at Harrods and Liberty’s,

1888 The company opened its own showroom in London and changed its name to The Burmantofts Company.

1889 The new company name was short lived - the following year Burmantofts merged with five other Yorkshire companies to form the Leeds Fireclay Co. The art pottery continued to be sold under the Burmantofts name.

Many workers were taken on from the Linthorpe Pottery in Middlesbrough when it closed in 1889.

1890 James Holroyd died and was succeeded by his son, James junior.

1904 Sales of art pottery were flagging; the company reverted mainly to production of architectural pieces, leaving the art pottery market, having not made a financial success of their venture. More than 2000 different models had been produced .

1957 Production finally ceased.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Antiques trade gazette
  • [2] Studio Pottery