Josiah Wedgwood II (1769-1843)

Second son of Josiah Wedgwood I, and his wife Sarah, and partner in the Etruria factory from 1790 until 1841. He took a copy of the Portland Vase on a promotional tour of the Continent, in the company of Thomas Byerley, in 1790.

Following the death of his father, Josiah II moved to Surrey, leaving Thomas Byerley in sole charge of both the factory and the London based Showroom. It was only following the death of his brother Tom, in 1805, that Josiah II returned to Staffordshire in order to take over active management of the Etruria factory. Following Byerley's own death in 1810, Josiah II was in full charge.

It was Josiah II who took the decision to sell off stocks of tableware at the London York Street Showrooms, prior to disposing of them in October 1828.

In 1823 Jos had taken his eldest son, Josiah III, into partnership in the firm, and four years later his younger brother Francis also joined the firm.

In 1832 he became Member of Parliament for Stoke on Trent, but did not stand for re-election in 1835. By 1841 he had retired from active involvement from the firm, and died two years later. His nephew, Charles Darwin, described him as - '…….the very type of an upright man, with clearest judgement. I do not believe that any power on earth could have made him swerve an inch from what he considered the right course.'

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


Josiah Wedgwood II, © Wedgwood Museum

Josiah Wedgwood II
© Wedgwood Museum