Friends

Josiah and Sarah encouraged a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, many of whom were important arbiters of taste and fashion. This attribute was of great importance to Josiah's business: he relied on those of social influence to spread the word of his wares' quality and desirability. Josiah mixed freely with the nobility and aristocracy; he probably met royalty on more than one occasion and was equally at ease with the local Staffordshire families and his work-force. Josiah's closest friends were all men who shared his fascination for enquiry, experiment and invention. Many were members of the Lunar Society, and through that informal group he was able to converse with both notable scientists like James Watt, entrepreneurs like Matthew Boulton and great artists like Joseph Wright (Sir Joshua Reynolds and George Stubbs both painted his and Sarah's portraits). He was also on good terms with leading architects, including Robert Adam and Sir William Chambers.

Images

Josiah's letter to his friend Erasmus Darwin, revealing their shared interest in fossil collecting, © Wedgwood Museum

Josiah's letter to his friend Erasmus Darwin, revealing their shared interest in fossil collecting
© Wedgwood Museum