Author Topic: The Clews family of Stoke on Trent  (Read 564 times)

Offline ThumperGT

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Re: The Clews family of Stoke on Trent
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 20 September 17 09:40 BST (UK) »
Apologies for the slow response - my wife and I have been scattering her father's ashes across the mountains of Austria, and my Internet connection wasn't up to much.

Thanks for the additional information Duncan, and apologies for the misunderstanding!

I have another source that suggests John Clews was a hat maker, but I've not been able to find any other references that support this, and being a maltster or brewer seems to make more sense, considering your findings, and the ultimate occupation of his eldest son, Ralph.

Strange how two brothers could have had such differing fortunes, although the fact that Ralph was the victim of an assault on his brother's farm in 1849, possibly while overseeing the estate at a time when his brother was away, suggests they remained in touch. The assailant, Preston Moore Cliff, a neighbouring farmer, was summoned before the magistrates but never turned up for the hearing, and was deemed guilty by implication!

I am not related to the Clews family, but am researching their history (as potters) in relation to an article I'm writing. It would be wonderful to uncover a familial link between the two companies (James & Ralph, c1830, and George, c1901) but with so many Clews living in the Potteries at that time it is both unlikely and tantalising likely.
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Offline ThumperGT

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Re: The Clews family of Stoke on Trent
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 20 September 17 10:57 BST (UK) »
Further to my last post, have been delving into John Clews a little further, and after searching around, found a copy of the Staffordshire General & Commercial Directory, published in 1818 by Parson & Bradshaw. This would have been shortly before John Clews died, and in it, there is a listing for Newcastle-under-Lyme for "Clews John & Son; maltsters and hat manufac. Merrill street."

I had found several references to a "John Clews" of Newcastle in various listings for parliamentary polls, and cited as a hatmaker, but it was not definitive that they were one and the same. In the final such poll, dated 1807, John Clews is listed as "Bailiff" and a "Returning Officer". In the Directory of 1818, John Clews is listed as an Alderman of the town and there's a Ralph Clews "Gent" on the Common Council. So, all ties up quite neatly.

In another similar directory, from 1834 (presumably just before the crash) I find Ralph & James Clews listed as Coalmasters, and owners of Jackfield Colliery. This, then, ties in with other records I have found of Ralph, after his bankruptcy, operating still as a Coalmaster.

Just to add spice to the mix, the earlier Directory lists another pottery manufacturer; Rivers & Clews, of Shelton, but I can't find out anything more about the company. Perhaps it was short-lived? Either way, it's another avenue to explore ....
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Offline Hhistorynut

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Re: The Clews family of Stoke on Trent
« Reply #11 on: Sunday 10 December 17 18:52 GMT (UK) »
Hi hope this is still active. This is my first attempt at doing post so sorry if not done right. I've been researching George Clews as Ive just discovered his name in the deeds for our house as Pottery Manager in Hanley 1875, stated as member of North Staffs Economic Benefit Building Society 1875 when establishing tenants and in 1906 by then Blyth Bridge Earthenware manufacturer   passing property on to wife Harriet. Is that added info? Do you know what Pottery he was manager for?

Offline ThumperGT

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Re: The Clews family of Stoke on Trent
« Reply #12 on: Sunday 10 December 17 19:56 GMT (UK) »
Hi Historynut, and thanks for your reply. Yes, the thread is still active. I have (more or less) completed my research into Ralph & James Clews, and the article is written (but not yet published).

However, I am still trying to unearth further information about George Clews, the founder of the eponymous pottery company (c1901-1961) and, as you've discovered, associated with a number of other manufacturers prior to establishing his own.

I'm interested that you suggest he was already a "pottery manufacturer" as early as 1875. That was the year his son, Percy, was born, and George would have been only 33. He'd married Harriet Swinnerton in 1866, and I believe they were living in Bedford Street around that time ... or had they already moved to Bethesda Street? You probably know better than I do! The family moved to Blythe Bridge in 1905, I think, but the Brownhills works factory was in Tunstall.

I'd be happy to share what I know, but if you prefer to exchange further details via email, please send me a PM. Thanks.
Researching Walton, Agar, Boyes, Kirk and Potts families in East Yorkshire and Cheshire. Also offer look-up and research for North, Middle and Steeple Aston in Oxfordshire.

Offline Hhistorynut

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Re: The Clews family of Stoke on Trent
« Reply #13 on: Monday 11 December 17 02:25 GMT (UK) »
Oooh, how exciting is this forum. (Genuine reaction, I love family history hence user name). Thanks so much for your response. According to 'abstract of title' documents the land (on Bethesda St) was left by Abner Wedgewood to William Allen of Leek in will of 1869, sold property to 'George Clews of Hanley afsd Potters Manager' 27.5.1875, who surrendered use to Thomas Bullock 24.6.1875, by 25.1.1906 3 properties occupied by Messrs Jones, Sandland and Allen surrendered by George Clews formerly Potters Manager then Blythe Bridge Earthenware Manufacturer to his wife Harriet (as said before, its what's in the Abstract title); no mention of any Clews from 1910 when Harriet sold to Annie Allen, wife of George Allen, earthenware manufacturer...     can I ask what you mean by PM though, sorry for green question. Regards, Hhistorynut

Offline Hhistorynut

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Re: The Clews family of Stoke on Trent
« Reply #14 on: Monday 11 December 17 02:56 GMT (UK) »
Note it looks like they owned the property but had tenants rather than living there necessarily. Also George Clews manager in 1875 before starting his own firm in 1906 I thought  (only minimal research though)..

Offline Hhistorynut

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Re: The Clews family of Stoke on Trent
« Reply #15 on: Monday 11 December 17 10:35 GMT (UK) »
Hi just an added thought, if you order birth certificates for Percy Swinnerton and Ada Harriet they will give you George's occupation at the time and family address... search reference details on freebmd and order from GRO (done for my family research and usually fruitful) Have you got already? Would be interested myself...

Offline ThumperGT

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Re: The Clews family of Stoke on Trent
« Reply #16 on: Monday 11 December 17 12:25 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Hhistorynut for the additional information. I am hoping to get around to doing more work on George Clews over Christmas, when I'm not busy doing my regular 'work'.

The date of George and Harriet purchasing a property in Bethesda Street in 1875 makes perfect sense, and concurs with the information I have. Their eldest child, Ada, was born in 1869, when they were in Bedford Street. Two other children died in infancy before Percy arrived in July 1875, a couple of months after their purchase of the house from William Allen. I'm surprised you suggest that George then let the property to Thomas Bullock in June, unless Harriet being close to term in her pregnancy meant they didn't want to move until after Percy's birth. Either way, by the time of the 1881 census, they were definitely living in Bethesda Street, at number 65, and George is cited as being a Potter's "Mould maker", not manager.

I'd be fascinated to know what these 3 other properties were by 1906. In the 1911 census George and Harriet are living with Percy and his wife Annie in Caverswall Lane, Blythe Bridge, which is where Harriet died in 1912. Subsequently, George moved to Romford in Essex to live out his days with his daughter Ada and her husband Frederick. He died there in 1918. Percy stayed on in Blythe Bridge and ran the company, George Clews & Co, until his death. He and his wife Emma never had children.

Interesting that you suggest that it was Harriet who sold the Bethesda Street property to Annie Allen. Somehow this suggests George had given the house to his wife at some stage?

Yes, George set up the company in 1906, but as far as we know, he never actually worked there. It was perhaps established as a career opportunity for the newly-married Percy.

I don't have the birth certificates. It starts to get expensive, but I'll give it some thought.

I'll delve some more. Thanks for the PM. I shall respond.
Researching Walton, Agar, Boyes, Kirk and Potts families in East Yorkshire and Cheshire. Also offer look-up and research for North, Middle and Steeple Aston in Oxfordshire.

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Re: The Clews family of Stoke on Trent
« Reply #17 on: Monday 11 December 17 14:00 GMT (UK) »
Just a small additional observation ....

It appears that George and Harriet had two properties in Bethesda Street. From 1875 through to about 1887, they were at number 65. However, from 1888, they were living at number 69. They would appear to have moved out in around 1905, and set up home, with Percy, in Blythe Bridge.
Researching Walton, Agar, Boyes, Kirk and Potts families in East Yorkshire and Cheshire. Also offer look-up and research for North, Middle and Steeple Aston in Oxfordshire.