Sarah 'Sally' Wedgwood (1734-1815)

Josiah Wedgwood married his distant cousin, Sarah (or 'Sally' as she was known by the immediate family), who was the daughter of Richard Wedgwood, cheese factor of Spen Green, Cheshire. The couple married in January 1764 at Astbury Church (Cheshire), and Sarah became not only Josiah’s beloved wife, but his indispensable 'helpmate'.

Sarah was to prove an invaluable partner to Josiah. Not only did she nurse him through his leg amputation(1768) but she also wrote up his experiments, acted as his secretary, and on occasion advised Josiah with practical advice on shapes, and decoration of his ceramic wares. On writing to his partner Thomas Bentley, Josiah commented – "I speak from experience in Female taste, without which I should have made but a poor figure among my Potts, not one of which, of any consequence, is finished without the approbation of my Sally".

It is likely that the fortune brought to the marriage by Sally helped to finance the building of the Etruria works, and the family home, Etruria Hall (which - to Josiah’s amazement - Sally and the children had moved in to while he was away on business). Sally suffered greatly from rheumatism, but had a sound constitution other than this. She bore a total of eight children, one of whom (Richard) died in infancy. She outlived her husband by twenty years, and in 1802 she moved to Parkfields, Tittensor (not far from the site of the present factory at Barlaston), where she died in April 1815.


Sarah Wedgwood, © Wedgwood Museum

Sarah Wedgwood
© Wedgwood Museum