Godfrey Wedgwood (1833-1905)

The eldest son of Francis, Godfrey carried on the work begun by his father of reviving the artistic reputation of the Wedgwood company. He first became a partner at Etruria in 1859 and had a special interest in design – becoming a great friend of the eminent French artist Emile Lessore (who was also a notable designer for the Wedgwood company).

In 1862 Godfrey married Mary Hawkshaw who unfortunately died only one year into their marriage. Godfrey was left to bring up their infant son Cecil, and the two moved back to 'The Upper House' in Barlaston, Staffordshire. Godfrey remarried in 1876. His new wife was his cousin, Hope Elizabeth Wedgwood. They had a daughter who they named Mary Euphrasia Wedgwood. Mary's governess Lucie Gibson went on to marry Mary's half brother Cecil. In 1888 Godfrey built a new family home 'Idlerocks'.

Ten years later Godfrey had to have his right leg amputated – just as his great-grandfather Josiah had done. In a letter addressed to the Etruria Workman (whom had sent him an illuminated address) he said that he had now earned himself the nickname of 'Owd Woodenleg'.

Godfrey was a partner in the works from 1859-91, initially with his father, and then with his two younger brothers, Clement and Laurence. During his partnership the manufacture of bone china was reintroduced in 1878, and tile production was revived. He expanded and improved Wedgwood’s range of wares paying particular attention to the newest designs. Unfortunately, he died before the turnaround in the company's fortunes.

Images

Godfrey Wedgwood, © Wedgwood Museum

Godfrey Wedgwood
© Wedgwood Museum