Francis Wedgwood (1800-80)

Third son of Josiah II, Francis (known as 'Frank') joined his eldest brother Josiah III as a partner in the family firm in 1827. After the withdrawal of Josiah II and Josiah III, Frank was left in sole charge of the Etruria factory. However, in 1843 he entered into a partnership with one John Boyle. This lasted for only two years, but from 1846-1859 he was in a longer, more profitable partnership association with Robert Brown.

During the 1840s the Etruria factory was experiencing severe economic difficulties, and the factory, Etruria Hall, and the entire estate were put up for auction. The factory failed to reach its reserve and was withdrawn from sale. In later years Frank was joined in the business by his eldest son Godfrey, and later by his younger sons Clement, Francis and Laurence.

Frank Wedgwood was one of the first pottery employers who actively concerned himself with the reforming of working conditions of children. He retired from the business in 1876.

For further information on the life of Frank Wedgwood and the other family members cited above, see the Lives of the Wedgwoods Discovery Pack.

Images

Francis Wedgwood, © Wedgwood Museum

Francis Wedgwood
© Wedgwood Museum