The son of Thomas Smith was placed as an apprentice with John Emerson of Bristol and his wife, Judith, in 1823 - for 7 years.
John Emerson - cooper - the Emerson family of Bristol and the Gregory connection ...
Butland Watts - Bristol Researcher - stated:
"Fra[nci]s Smith, son of Thomas Smith of Bristol,
cooper, put &c to Jno.
& Judith his wife, for 7
years. Friends to find App[arel] and
"Bristol Friends of Humanity Society of Coopers" (Solves the note that "Friends" are to find apparel.)
By 1823 John Emerson would have been a respected cooper with several years spent in the training of apprentices.
Onward research - 04/03/03 - courtesy of the family of Amanda (Smith) Gregory.
The Gregory family, from their sources in Britain, has these details to add to the Emerson note above:
"[We have] the original documents for all of our Emerson ancestors dating from when they signed the oath to become Freeman of the City of Bristol. The one for John Emerson, cooper, is dated 13th December 1810 and [there is also] an apprenticeship document for an Earl Duffett, dated 1812, mentioning both John and Judith."
Further information (site edited) comes as follows:
Site Note: The 1812 signature of John Emerson (who married Judith) on the document above differs slightly from a second one (Page Title) taken from an 1813 Indenture document of one William Rouch, whose father, Isaac Rouch was a Cordwainer. Cordwainers were originally workers in 'cordwan', a type of shoe leather which takes its name from the Spanish town of Cordoba, the main source of such leathers in medieval times. As a Guild they were particularly strong in York until about 1808 when they seem to have disappeared. During the heyday of the Guild - and later Company - in that city, "senior officers, known as Searchers, were entitled to inspect all leather and shoes coming into York and reject any they found to be of inferior quality." (Source - S.M. Burn, York) It is believed that the Routh family was connected through marriage with the Pocock and Fripp families.
The Gregory line from Emerson: -
Writing in June 2004 with new information, Amanda Gregory outlines the Will details of John Emerson.
The document is dated 4th February, 1837 (probate 2nd May 1837) and in it, John Emerson leaves a legacy "to my dear wife Dinah" - a second wife - since he is noted as having a wife, Judith, in earlier documentation. His children are noted in the Will as being young and named as follows: Mary Ann Emerson, John James Emerson and Elizabeth Field Emerson. John James Emerson would have been about four years old in 1837. The Executor - and a beneficiary - was "my friend" Thomas Fyson who, it seems, was also a cooper. The witnesses were John Goolden and Isaac Smith. John James Emerson is a Great Great Grandfather of Amanda's husband.
Amanda points out that possible candidates for the witnesses to John Emerson's Will may be found in Pigot's 1830 Bristol Directory:
The questions may then be asked - was Isaac Smith perhaps a brother of Thomas Smith, the cooper - or to Francis Smith, apprenticed to John Emerson? A relative?
It would appear, therefore, that current Gregory family descends from the Master and current (Drew) Smythe from the Apprentice - another stroke of serendipity! It is believed that the Emerson family is no longer of Bristol.
Josiah Duffett - father of Earl Duffett, apprenticed above - became a free potter in 1780 and in the same year was working in Avon Street, Bristol. He was a 'brown stoneware' potter. After 1809 he established a pottery in Barton Hill, which was run by James Duffett, until 1836.
Other Bristol potters of the late 18th and early 19th centuries were the Maynards - William and Mary - who had a son, also William, who operated as a potter in Counterslip. The younger William Maynard had an apprentice named Earl Pearce; it is likely that the name Earl in the Duffett family originates from the Pearce family. Earl Pearce became a potter in Bread Street. He probably died in about 1776 since it is recorded that his business was run by his widow between 1796 and 1814.
In the meantime John Duffett ran the stoneware pottery at 124 Temple Street from 1805 to 1821. In 1817 he had a redware pottery in Pipe Lane. He had taken an apprentice in 1808 and at Pipe Lane took on two of his sons, John in 1822 and Charles in 1829. He died in 1831 aged 50. The pottery continued as Susannah Duffett and Son. In 1856 it was bought by William Hutchings, who also had a pottery at Barton Hill (1856-64), and who would later have a factory in St Phillip's Marsh and Temple Back. The Temple Back pottery had been operated by Jonathan Flood from 1818 and by the Webb family from 1848. It was near the Bristol Pottery. In 1891 the firm made "Garden and Fancy Pots and Red Ware". The Pipe Lane pottery closed in 1907. The Pipe Lane site was partly excavated in 1994; jugs, jars, flowerpot and various other shards were found.
A semantic aside - some of the pottery shards recovered within the Bristol area were 'gorges', which are globular single-handled drinking vessels, the handle having a rat-tail. A Gorges family son married a Smyth widow of Ashton Court, Bristol, in the 17th century!