Recently my Mum got me to finish researching my grandmother’s side of the family, which I had started and never quite finished. It was a fascinating journey as I discovered unknown links into the potteries in Staffordshire and connections to the Meigh pottery family.
I discovered that Mum’s great great great grandmother was Hannah Meigh (1749~1818), whose brother, Job Meigh (1750~1817), founded Old Hall Pottery in Hanley, Staffordshire around 1790. Their mother was a Lydia Bridgewood whose family were also believed to be connected to Bridgewood Pottery. Job Meigh’s son, also Job Meigh (1783~1862), built the business up and in 1836 bought Ash Hall in Bucknall, Staffordshire. As well as beautiful pottery, Job Meigh the son had a reputation for having a ferocious temper:
“Ten years later the household consisted of Job Meigh, his wife, and three female servants. The Meigh family regularly advertised for servants in the local press. The following is an example from the Staffordshire Advertiser of the 1st of September 1860: “WANTED, a good plain COOK, who can bring a good character from her last place. Also a respectable young woman, as HOUSEMAID, who perfectly understands her duties, and can bring a good character from her last situation. Apply at Ash Hall, Stoke on-Trent, Staffordshire.” The reason for the rapid turnover of servants was that Job Meigh was a tyrannical ogre who terrorized his wife, family and servants with violent swings of mood. Family legend records that when he was returning home with his wife one day, a furious quarrel arose, and in a fit of temper he pitched her out of the dog-cart he was driving and on to the frozen road, causing her injuries from which she never recovered. Needless to say this aspect of his personality was not mentioned in his obituary and his plaque in Bucknall Parish Church refers to him as “a devoted husband!”
Vera Brittain, the famous WW1 author was also connected to the Meigh family and often referred to them in her books:
Some photos of beautiful Meigh pottery: