The most famous of Middlesex industries
is certainly its pottery, but few traces can be
found of any local manufacture before the
17th century. Down to the latter half of
that century English home-made pottery was
of a very rude kind, and consisted chiefly
of common domestic vessels, (fn. 1) such as large
coarse dishes, tygs, pitchers, bowls, cups, and
other similar articles. Vessels of stoneware
of greater durability and more artistic workmanship were imported from abroad. Among
these were the bellarmines or grey-beards and
ale-pots, which were largely imported from
Germany and Flanders.
In 1570 two potters, (fn. 2) named Jasper Andries
and Jacob Janson, who had settled in Norwich in 1567, 'removed to London, and in
a petition to Queen Elizabeth asserted that
they were the first that brought in and exercised the said science in this realm, and were
at great charges before they could find materials in this realm. They besought her, in
recompense of their great cost and charges,
that she would grant them house room in or
without the liberties of London by the water
side.' A similar petition was preferred to
the queen by one William Simpson, (fn. 3) who also
asked for the sole licence to import stone pots
from Cologne. Patents were granted in 1626
to Thomas Rous (or Ruis) and Abraham
Cullyn of London, (fn. 4) merchants, and in 1636
to David Ramsey, esq. for making stone pots,
but nothing is known of any use which they
made of the privileges granted to them.
||Llewellyn Jewitt, Ceramic Art (1878), i, 89.
||Stow, Surv. of Lond. bk. v, 240-1.
||Lansd. MS. 108, fol. 60; Jewitt, op. cit.
Cal. S.P. Dom. 1625-6, p. 575.