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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 8 months ago

Robert Wright, Potter of Cove, died 1596


page in preparation by Peter Tipton


Robert Wright's will is the earliest we have of a potter dying in Cove. It now appears that Richard Dee, the Lambeth potter was almost certainly working in Cove in 1571. Cove was a very small hamlet at the time -- said to be just three houses when the Manor was sold in 1580 -- so it may be that Robert Wright took over Richard Dee's pottery when the latter moved to London.


That Robert Wright had been working in Cove for many years can be deduced from the fact that he was not bequeathed the pottery in Farnborough owned by Richard Wright, his father when the latter died in 1582. Robert did inherit six loads of clay, which sounds like an enormous volume, and testifies to the size of each of their businesses.


The two Wrights were working in the Blackwater Valley at a crucial phase in the industry so it is important we find out as much as we can about their family and working backgrounds. Father Richard owned a kiln whereas son Robert had two potting wheels. Does this have any economic significance? Is six loads of clay and the ability to turn them into unfired pottery more profitable than owning a kiln? Or was there another close family member with a kiln in Cove, and part of the production system? Cove and Farnborough are contiguous so how close physically were the potteries in each village? It does not seem to be a good idea to send unfired pottery a mile down the road on a cart. Further investigation of family relationships may provide vital clues.


Click these links to read transcriptions of Robert Wright's will and probate inventory:

Robert Wright's Will

Robert Wright's Inventory


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