28 August 2012

Happy Birthday Mr Spode III

I was feeling quite pleased with myself yesterday when I spotted it was Josiah Spode III's birthday. However my normally reliable reference book had a typo and so I have missed it by a few days! A good exercise in checking your facts, this has become a belated 'Happy Birthday' to Josiah Spode III born on August 22nd 1777.

Spode III was the second son of Josiah Spode II and the last of the Spode family to be directly involved with the famous Spode manufactory. It seems that although his parents and siblings were in London running the Spode business he came back to Stoke at a young age to train with his grandfather Josiah Spode I - founder of the business. It is possible this tied in with early death of his mother in 1782 when he was just a little boy.
Staffordshire Advertiser, 1829
In his mid-twenties tragedy struck again when Spode III was involved in what would be described today as an 'industrial accident' at the family factory. The excitement of the planning, purchase and installation of a new and revolutionary steam engine from Boulton and Watt in 1802, must still have been fresh a year later when the 'lamentable accident' (recorded in the cutting here) occurred, resulting in the amputation of his arm.

Trained and accomplished in the art of potting and with experience in all parts of the business he opted to retire at quite a young age on his marriage in 1815. But on the death of father, Spode II, in 1827, he came out of retirement and ran the business for just a couple of years until his own sudden death.

He died in 1829 at his home, The Mount, not far from the Spode factory, at the age of 52.

A line drawing by Neville Malkin is shown here of The Mount built by Spode II in 1803/1804. The mansion also features on a Spode vase which is in the V & A collection.
The Mount, Penkhull
Vase featuring The Mount, V & A
As ever thanks to Peter Roden for his detailed, accurate Spode family research, without which I would be lost.