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November, 1991

Volume XVII, Number 2

The Museum of Early Southern

Decorative Arts



Benefactor *

Patron $500 and up

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Supporting $ 50 to $ 99

Family $ 35

Individual $ 25***

*Persons who contribute valuable antiquities are considered Benefactors of MESDA. Once
named a Benefactor, a person remains such for life and enjoys all the privileges of a Member

**A contribution of $100.00 or more entitles the member to bring guests to the museum free
of charge.

***Non-profit Institutions may subscribe to t\\e Journal on\y, receiving two issues per annum
at the rate of $20.00.

Overseas members please add $10.00 for airmail postage.


Members of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts receive the Journal twice
yearly in May and November, as well as the MESDA newsletter, the Luminary, which is
published in February and August. Other privileges include notification of the classes and
programs and lectures offered by the Museum, an Annual Member's Weekend with reports
from the MESDA Research staff, a 10% discount on bookstore purchases, and free
admission to the Museum.

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts is owned and operated by Old Salem, Inc., the non-
profit corporation that is responsible for the restoration and operation of Old Salem, Moravian
Congregation Town founded in 1766. MESDA is an educational institution with the established
purpose of collecting, preserving, documenting and researching representative examples of southern
decorative arts and craftsmanship from the 1600s to 1820. The Museum exhibits its collection for public
interest and study.

For further information, please write to MESDA, Box 10310, Salem Station, Winston-Salem, North
Carolina 27108. Telephone (919) 721-7360.



November, 1991

Volume XVII, Number 2

Published twice yearly in

May and November by

The Museum of Early SoutKern Decorative Arts

Dare I ask about the pot
Emptiness fills my mind
Lost is the day.

How to ask is here

Open your mind and center

Master knows the way.


Copyright © 1991 Old Salem, Inc.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27108

Printed by Hall Printing Company
High Point, North Carolina


John Bartlam, Who Established "new Pottworks in South Carolina"
and Became the First Successful Creamware Potter in America.

Bradford L. Rauschenberg

"A Clay White as Lime . . . of Which There is a Design Formed by
some Gentlemen to Make China": The American and English Search
for Cherokee Clay in South Carolina, 1745-75.

Bradford L. Rauschenberg

Escape from Bartlam: The History of William Ellis ofHanley.

Bradford L. Rauschenberg

Brick and Tile Manufacturing in the South Carolina Low Country.

Bradford L. Rauschenberg

Ceramic Menders and Decorators in Charleston, South Carolina,
Before 1820.

Bradford L. Rauschenberg


Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive

in 2010 witii funding from

University of Nortii Carolina at Chapel Hill

Editor 's Preface-
Since the early 1970s, Brad Rauschenberg, MESDA 's Director of
Research, has done extensive research on Andreiv Duche and John Bartlam,
two of the Low Country's earliest potters. In the May 1991 issue of the Journal,
we featured Rauschenbergs histories of Duche and other Savannah River
potters. It was our intention then to publish Bartlam 's history in this issue,
which we have done. However, while he was writing about Bartlam,
Rauschenberg encountered a number of related stories that he felt should also
be told. Therefore, not only do we present John Bartlam 's history, but also arti-
cles on William Ellis of Hanley, the English and American search for kaolin
among the Cherokee Indians, tile and brick manufacturing in the Loiv
Country, and Charleston ceramic menders and repairers, all of which were
written by Rauschenberg.


The author ivishes to thank all those who contributed to the research for
this Journal, particukrly the late Arnold R. Mountford, former director of the
City Art Museum and Art Gallery, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire,
England. He also extends his appreciation to: Stanley South, Archaeologist and
Research Professor, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology,
University of South Carolina, Columbia; Mellany M. Delhom, founder and
former Director, Delhom Art Gallery, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North
Carolina; William J. Detyens, Detyens Shipyard, Mt. Pleasant, South
Carolina; Peter Laivson-Johnston, Guggenheim Brothers, Neiv York, New
York; Clark Smoak, Cain Hoy, South Carolina, Frank E Horton, Director
Emeritus, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), Winston-
Salem, North Carolina; Forsyth Alexander, former Research Associate, now
Director of Publications, MESDA; Claudia I. Barber, Key West, Florida; the
late Donald Towner, London; J. V. G. Mallet, Department of Ceramics,
Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the District Heritage Camden
Foundation, Camden, South Carolina; Alice Leavell, Sumter, South
Carolina; Cinda Baldwin, Curator, McKissick Museum, University of South
Carolina; George Terry, Vice Provost, University Libraries and Collections,
University of South Carolina; Richard Murdoch, Librarian, MESDA; Owen
Murdoch, Washington, D. C; Wesley Stewart, Photographer, MESDA;
Frances Cumnock, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Richard Starbuck,
Moravian Archives, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; the Neivberry Library,
Chicago, Illinois.



Figure 1. Map of North and South Carolina in 1783, which includes the locations of
Charleston, Camden, and Salem. Line drawing by the author. MESDA Research File
(MRF) S- 15,445.



John Bartlam, Who Established "new Pottworks in
South Carolina" and Became the First Successful
Creamware Potter in America

Bradford L. Rauschenberg

On 16 July 1758, John Bartlam of Stoke-on-Trent Parish in
Staffordshire witnessed the marriages of William Hollinshead and
Sarah Myott and Thomas Wright and Hannah Finley' This is the
earliest known record of Bartlam, who was to become the first pro-
ducer of creamware in America. He was born in 1735 or 1736, for
he was twenty-four years old at the time of his marriage on 16
February 1760.- The nature of his training is unknown. He may
have begun working as a potter by the time he was fifteen; in 1769
he claimed that he had been in the potting business for eighteen
years. ^ On the day of his marriage, Bartlam, "of Lane Delph in the
Parish of Stoke [fig. 2]" appeared before the Reverend R. Fenton in
the Parish Church in Newcastle-under-Lyme and swore on the
"holy Evangelists" that he was "a Potter & Batchelor aged abt. 24
Years & intends to marry with Mary Allen of Great Fenton in ye
same Parish Spinster aged 21 Years & yt he knows of no
impedim[en]t by reason of any Precontract entered into before 25th
March 1754 [date of proclamation of intended marriage or banns]."
His marriage license, dated the same day, also stated that he was
twenty-four years old, a bachelor, and a potter, and that Mary was
21 and a spinster."*

There is a little more information on Mary previous to her mar-
riage. She was born on 5 May 1738 in Trentham, three miles south
of Stoke-on-Trent, and was baptized two days later. She was the
daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Allen, and she had a sister,
Sarah, baptized 26 February 1736, and two brothers, Thomas and
Henry, baptized 5 August 1739 and 27 April 1743, respectively.'

November, 1991 1



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Figure 2. Detail of kn Improved Map of the County of Stafford by Emanuel
Bo wen, 1749. Stoke-on-Trent (A), Great Fenton (B), Trentham (C), and Lane Delph
(D) are shown. Courtesy of the Newberry Library, Chicago. MRFS- 15.446.


On 2 August 1761, the Bartlams' child (probably daughter)
Honour was baptized.'' About seven months later, on 14 January
1762, John Baddeley, a potter and a proprietor of a flint mill in
Mothersall (Moddershall), just south of Stoke-on-Trent, wrote of
Bartlam in a letter to Thomas Fletcher, a Newcastle-under-Lyme
banker and mercer: "1 sent this Morning to Bartlem [sic], but he
was from home & not before Back till Tuesday as Soon as he Comes
I will Endeavor to get the Money if I Can but am afraid he's obliged
to Shuffle people with such Bills." Bartlam bought flint from
Baddeley between July 1761 and September 1762 but was unable to
pay for it; it seems that he was having trouble with his finances.*^

The Bartlams had another child, Betty Allen, in early 1763, and
on 25 January 1763, she was baptized.'' Shortly after the baptism
and before March 1763, Bartlam left England for South Carolina
(see Appendix 1). Monetary problems were probably the impetus
for Bartlams resolution to leave Staffordshire, most likely made
before Betty Allen was baptized. According to another letter from
Baddeley to Fletcher in March 1763, he discussed his plan with
Baddeley: "1 have just reed this with the Inclos'd Bill for £24 from
Jos. Warburton, I hear Bartlem is gone of [sic] for good at Last So
you have only Share to trust to, Thos Taylor and Carloss
Wedgwood both promise to pay when they come from London." '°

"Gone off for good at last" indicates that Bartlams departure for
the American colonies was not a sudden decision; instead, it seems
he had been considering it for some time. According to Josiah
Wedgwood, in An Address to the Workmen in the Pottery, on the
Subject of Entering into the Seri'ice of Foreign Manufactures^ pub-
lished in Newcastle in 1783, Bartlam had received offers from
South Carolina to set up a pottery there. Wedgwood also wrote that
"Mr. Lymer's family (Mr. Bartlem's brother-in-law) with that of
young Mr. Allen of Great Fenton (whose sister Mr. Bartlem mar-
ried) son ol the Rev. Mr. Allen and heir to a pretty estate," chose to
take their families to join Bartlam."

Wedgwood's Address was one of two pamphlets he published in
1783. A representative of the Staffordshire potteries in the House of
Commons in 1783 as the treaties to end the American Revolution
were being negotiated, Wedgwood turned pamphleteer to express
his concern with America's new freedom and what it meant to the
future survival of the Staffordshire potteries.'' He devoted about
three pages of his address to recounting, with satisfaction, Bartlam's
early failures in South Carolina. Apparently, Bartlam's "colony," as

November, 1991 3

Wedgwood called them, departed from Bristol, ran into bad
weather, and were shipwrecked near an island that Wedgwood was
unable to identify.''' They lost their ship and their belongings, and
most of the sailors drowned. To complicate matters even more, Mrs.
Lymer, pregnant at the time they left Staffordshire, gave birth to a
child on the island after they were shipwrecked. Allen, impatient to
get to their new home-to-be, set off from the island in a vessel
headed for "Carolina" that he had found at the island. Wedgwood
related that he was not heard from again. Lymer and his family
finally made it to South Carolina where all but the newborn infant
died not long after their arrival. Wedgwood claimed that a "Mr.
Godwin" told him that his son was one of those solicited by
Bartlam and that "they fell sick as they came, and all died quickly,"
with his son among them. It appears that Godwin may have also
provided him with the information about the Lymer family and
Allen. Another group of four potters, raised by Bartlam who
returned from England for that purpose after the Lymers died,
made it to South Carolina. One of the four, "William Ellis of
Hanley," returned to England and was the source for that informa-
tion. Aside from these, the names of the workers who first went to
work with Bartlam as well as those who went later are not known.'"*

Information found in a Moravian record substantiated Ellis's
role in the pottery attempts. The 8 December 1773 rriinutes of the
Aufseher Collegium, the church body in charge of the material
affairs, finances, trades, and professions, in Salem, North Carolina,
reported: "In the evening we considered what we are to do about a
stranger journeyman potter by the name of Ellis. He came here of
his own accord with our wagon from Charleston and arrived today.
He formerly was staying in Pinetree [Camden, South Carolina]."' ^
(For a fuller account of Ellis, see "Escape from Bartlam: The
History of William Ellis of Hanley" in this Journal.)

Wedgwood viewed Bartlam's plans to establish a pottery in
America as a threat to English ceramic exports to America, possibly
because he knew of Bartlam's capabilities, as well as those of the
men who left to work for him. Wedgwood also knew that in
America Bartlam had access to good "material there equal if not
superior to our own for carrying on that Manufacture." In a 2
March 1765 letter to Sir William Meredith, a member of parlia-
ment from Liverpool and one of Wedgwood's backers, Wedgwood
revealed his concerns:


Permit me, Sir, just to mention a Circumstance of a more
Public nature which greatly alarms us in this neighbourhood
[Staffordshire]. The bulk of our particular Manufactures
you know are exported to foreign markets, for our home
consumption is very trifleing in comparison to what are sent
abroad, the principal of these markets are the Continent and
Islands of N. America. To the Continent we send an amaz-
ing quantity of white stoneware and some of the finer kinds,
but for the Islands we cannot make anything too rich and
costly. This trade to the Colonies we are apprehensive of
loseing in a few years as they have set on foot some Potworks
there already & have at this time an agent amongst us hire-
ing a number of our hands for establishing new Pottworks
in South Carolina, haveing got one of our insolvent Master
Potters there [Bartlam] to conduct them, haveing material
there equal if not superior to our own for carrying on that
Manufacture; and as the necessaries &c of life and conse-
quendy of the price of Labour amongst are daily upon the
advance, I make no question but more will follow them &
join their Brother artists and Manufacturers of every Class
who are from all quarters takeing a rapid flight indeed the
same way!'^

Therefore, Wedgwood's account of what befell Bartlam's group is
somewhat questionable. It is obvious that he received the informa-
tion second- or third-hand, and there were undoubtedly errors in
the story. Wedgwood had much to gain by exaggerating Bartlams
problems, and it is possible that he did not tell Bartlams story in
proper sequence. His mentions of Lymer and "Young Allen" are also
vague. His identification of Lymer as Bartlams brother-in-law is
puzzling, especially since, at that time, a step-brother was often
called a brother-in-law. Lymer could have been Bartlams step-
brother, or he could have married Bartlams sister, if Bartlam had a
sister. It is also possible that Lymer had married one of Mary's sis-
ters. It is interesting, however, that Wedgwood made a distinction
between Lymer and Allen. He called Lymer Bartlams brother-in-
law, but he stated that Bartlam had married Aliens sister. If
Wedgwood's statement that Allen was heir to an estate was true, it is
possible that he was Thomas Allen, the elder of Mary's two brothers
and the most likely to inherit an estate.

November, 1991

Thus, if Wedgwood's account is reliable, Bardam and his family
went to Charleston between February and March 1763, and when
Bartlam was sure of his venture and after locating land, clay, and
fuel, he encouraged the Lymer group to move to Charleston, per-
haps about 1765. The exact date of Bartlam's arrival in Charleston
is not known. The Records of the Public Treasurer of South
Carolina from 1762-65 were examined to see if Bartlam was listed
as a recipient from the ftind for new settlers, and his name did not
appear on any of the lists. However, it appears that before 29
September 1763, individual recipients of cash from the fund for
new settlers were not listed, therefore, it is conceivable that Bartlam
may have received cash from the fund before that date.'''

Wedgwood's 2 March 1765 letter to Sir William Meredith indi-
cated that Bartlam was in South Carolina at that time. A few
months later, the 21 to 28 September 1765 Charleston South
Carolina Gazette carried the following encouraging editorial: "We
are informed, that a gentleman, lately from England, who has lately
set up a Pottery about 9 miles from this, has met with so good clay
for the purpose, that he scarce doubts his ware's exceeding that of
Delft: He purposes to make every kind of Earthen Ware that is usu-
ally imported from England, and as it will be sold cheaper, he
cannot fail to meet with encouragement." Apparently Bartlam was
trying to produce the ceramics he had been trained to make, partic-
ularly creamware, Staffordshire's major export. The statement that
he scarce doubted his ware's exceeding that of Delft suggests that he
also may have initially tried to produce tin-glazed ware and then
shifted to creamware based on clay accessibility. As a skilled potter
he would have an awareness of clay types and, after considerable
tests, he was probably able to produce a ceramic similar to
creamware from the local clays. This would be the logical assump-
tion; however, it is possible that the search for the Cherokee clay
may have led Bartlam to try his hand at making porcelain.'**

The "set up a pottery 9 miles from this" is a reference to the
small village of Cain Hoy located on a bend of the west bank of the
Wando River nine miles from Charleston (fig. 3). Cain Hoy was the
site of the original St. Thomas's Parish church in the parish of St.
Thomas and St. Dennis. Information concerning Cain Hoy is
scarce. In 1735-36 there was a search for a teacher for a school
being built there; all interested were to contact "Lewis Dutarque or
Mr. Michael Darby [Clerk of Court of Wando Precinct], living at
the Upper-part of Caneboy [sic]."'''


AMES '.\ i 1^-4/^

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^" Jf7/- .TJt* //j-A' Mrfnf.jrJiL^fm ,7rv jj^


Figure 5. Detail of K Map of the Province of South CaroHna. . . . by James Cook,
1773, London. Charleston (A) and Cain Hoy (B) are shown. Courtesy of the South
Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia. MRF S-15,447.

November, 1991

On 29 January 1766 Bartlam signed a promissory note to
Robert Daniel for £90 South Carolina currency.^" The reason for
this advance or credit is not known; however, it may have been for
rent of some of Daniel's land. Daniel (d. 1787) was a planter with
considerable land holdings in St. Thomas Parish, as well as sur-
rounding parishes.^' His will revealed that his wife, Elizabeth, had
life use of a lot in Ansonborough and a "plantation at Cainhoy on
Wando River, being two tracts containing in the whole four hun-
dred acres. "^' The 4 May 1790 inventory of his "Cain Hoy"
plantation did not describe the location of this land.'^ The City
Gazette or Daily Advertiser for 6 June 1 79 1 advertised the sale of two
other plantations of Robert Daniel's: Bull Head and Malliott. There
are no records of Bartlam's owning any property at that time; there-
fore, at Cain Hoy, he apparently was allowed to establish a kiln, cut
wood, dig clay, and not only house himself but his family and work-
ers on someone else's property. It could have been Daniel's, but it
also could have been three adjacent tracts of land owned separately
by the merchants and importers Andrew Robertson, John Jamieson,
and George Baillie, who together made up the firm of Robertson,
Jamieson, and Company. Their holdings faced the north side of the
Wando below Cain Hoy, south of an unnamed creek at the entrance
of which is Racoon Island, north of Beresford's Creek and Daniel's
Island. ^^ This possibility was strengthened by an unusual inland bill
of exchange dated 24 July 1767: "£67.15.11 Cain Hoy. . . . Gent.
At Thirty days after sight please to Mr. Robert Daniel! on his order
the sum of sixty-seven pounds fifteen shillings and eleven pence
Current Money of this province for value received and place it to
the account of the Gent. To Messrs. Robertson, Jameison & Co. —
Your most Hble. Sert. John Bartlam." The relationship between
Bartlam and Robertson, Jamieson, and Company is a mystery, but
it may have been related to their Cain Hoy property. There also has
been speculation that they sponsored Bartlam's passage to South

For several years there has been a search for the site of Bartlam's
Cain Hoy manufactory; however, to date, the actual location has
eluded researchers. The investigation has been hindered by the large
number of brick kiln and habitation sites in the areas adjacent to
the Wando River and its adjoining creeks. Eighteenth-century
newspaper notices indicate that Cain Hoy's clay was particularly
suitable for brickmaking. In 1753 "a kiln of brick at Cainhoy ready
for burning" was advertised, and in 1763 an announcement of land
for sale in St. Thomas's parish described the property as adjoining


"Beresford's Bounty (or more properly the Free-School) . . . only
one mile distant from the parish-church, not far from Cainhoy
meeting . . . good shade for making bricks, very good clay, and
plenty oi wood to burn." This land apparently bordered, to the
south, part of Robert Daniel's land.'^' These advertisements indicat-
ing the abundance of clay in the Cain Hoy area may have been what
led Bartlam to set up his kiln there. During the final preparation of
this article, an important discovery was made on the land once held
by Robertson, Jamieson, and Baillie which strongly suggests that
their property may have been the site of Bartlam's kiln. The results
of the find will be discussed later.

Bartlam's connection with Daniel did not end with the loan of
£90, for on 1 May 1766 Bartlam failed to repay the promissory
note. However, legal action was not taken until 5 April 1768.'^
Meanwhile, Bartlam continued his pottery work as well as his accu-
mulation of debts. At some point after 24 July 1767, Robertson,
Jamieson, and Company refused to acknowledge the bill of
exchange and Bartlam was forced to promise that he would repay
Daniel himself Bartlam's debts matured, and by 4 April 1768, he
owed Daniel £157.15.1 1. On 5 April 1768, Daniel and his attorney
Charles Pinckney filed a plea of trespass against Bartlam, claiming

the said John Bartlam his several promises and assumptions
aforesaid not regarding but contriving and fraudulently
intending — the same Robert Daniel in this behalf craftily
and subtilley [sic] to deceive and defraud the said several
sums of money or any penny thereof to the said Robert &
altho' to do it, the said John by the said Robert afterwards to
wit the fifth day of April in the year last abovesaid [1768] at
Charleston aforesaid was required hath not paid the same to
him to pay have hither to hath altogether refused and still
doth refuse to the Damage of the said Robert Three hun-
dred and twenty pounds current money of the Province.'^

On the same day, it was ordered that Bartlam appear the following
July and answer Daniel's accusations. It is unfortunate that the
nature of the debt was neither explained nor recorded. An attempt
was then made to find Bartlam and inform him of the proceedings,
but on 7 May 1768, Roger Pinckney, the bailiff of St. Thomas
Parish, stated that his deputy, Mathew Knight, could not locate
Bartlam, and that a copy ol the 5 April 1768 writ was left at the
"most notorious place of the Defendants Residence. " Pinckney's

November, 1991 9

statement was filed on 29 July 1768. The money involved was listed
on this document as "Writ Gave £320."^'' It is not known why
Bartlam could not be found or where he could have been unless he
was hiding or searching for clay.

On 26 April 1768, Bartlam, identified as a potter of St. Thomas
Parish, Berkeley County, South Carolina, mortgaged two male
slaves, Fortune and Hector, a canoe, two horses, two carts, four bed-
steads, three feather beds, four mattresses, nine pairs of sheets, two
tables, the rest of his household and kitchen furniture, and "five

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Online LibraryMuseum of Early Southern Decorative ArtsJournal of early southern decorative arts [serial] (Volume 17, 2 (1991)) → online text (page 1 of 10)