Preserving
Australia's
Pottery Relics.

Ozpotterycollectors

Wanted

We are always chasing pre 1930 Australian pottery.
Ginger Beer bottles, demijohns, teapots, water filters, butter coolers, bread plates, and more!
Top prices paid!
Please drop a line to ozpotterycollectors@gmail.com
Or give us a call:
Scott: 0422 479 480
David: 0407 821 767

Further Research

Moreton Pottery, Sydney
Leak Pottery, Sydney
Skinner Pottery, Sydney
Government Pottery, Sydney
McArthur Pottery, Sydney
Field Pottery, Sydney
Fowler Pottery, Sydney
Irrawang Pottery, Hunter Valley



Government Pottery


The history of the Government Pottery has always been difficult to trace with scant records of its activities kept. This was probably due to a lack of interest from authorities, especially during the Bligh period. It appears however that the pottery was most likely run in conjunction with the Government brickworks. Bricks required less skill to make and it was reletaively simple to train non skilled labour to undertake this type of work than to make acceptable quality pottery items. It wasn't until 1819 that the fledgling colony was fortunate enough for skilled potters in Jonathon Leak and Jonathon Moreton to be convicted and sentence to transportation, that the Government Pottery gained some much needed impetus.

Prior to this it was likely that the pottery works were sporadic, similar to the Government Brewery, lacking in officials that took ownership of the enterprise. It appears the pottery may have been leased during this period to a partnership between Simeon Lord and William Hutchinson, with the latter undertaking supervision of the works. These two prominent merchants of the day most likely saw an opportunity to add this product to their many enterprises for exportation and colonial sale but appeared to run into the same problem of a lack of skilled labour and glaze materials.

During 1817 Major George Druitt was appointed as acting Engineer and inspector for all government works at Sydney. One of his projects was the Carters Barracks, which was erected in the heart of the brickfields, most likely at the then current site of the Government Brickworks and Pottery.

Whilst there is no doubt bricks were being made on site at this time, the pottery was most likely inactive until the convicts Leak and Moreton arrived in the colony and were assigned to the pottery.

Advertisement announcing the newly formed partnership between Lord & Hutchinson.
Sydney Gazette & NSW Advertiser Saturday 17th July 1813.



Advertisement for apprentices 1813


Map of Sydney 1836 showing Carters Barracks.
Druitt promptly made use of these highly skilled tradesmen, by 1820 reports appeared of crude pottery being made in the brickfields, by 1821 Moreton had been put in charge of the pottery, Leak striking out on his own in December of that year. Leak and moreton hired the kilns for 20 pound per annum payable in pottery to Druitt, these kilns were located on the corner of Wentworth and Elizabeth Streets (see the Leak Pottery page for more info). Moreton most likely retained the use of the government equipment for processing the clay as well the clay from the government clay pits.

Moreton during his occupation of the Government Pottery appears to have struck a deal with Leak to manufacture higher class items, based on Wedgewood as well as supplying the government with utilitarian items such as pots for government buildings, whilst Leak concentrated on mundane everyday utilitarian ware and bricks.

There have been a few pieces of highly decorated items found impressed New South Wales, some with I Moreton & Sons Potters in addition to this, which are most likely from Moreton's occupation of the Government Pottery. More information on Moreton can be found on the Moreton Pottery page.

Moreton lost control of the Government Pottery when his Ticket of Leave was revoked in 1826, after which David Hayes leased it. Hayes was another convict potter, arriving in 1820, he most likely worked under Moreton at the government pottery. Hayes gained his ticket of leave in January 1825 and had established his New Pottery Warehouse in O'Connel St by this year. By 1826 his shop was relocated to George Street, this may have been the shop Leak and Moreton sold their wares from?

Moreton lost control of the Government Pottery when his Ticket of Leave was revoked in 1826, after which David Hayes leased it. Hayes was another convict potter, arriving in 1820, he most likely worked under Moreton at the government pottery. Hayes gained his ticket of leave in January 1825 and had established his New Pottery Warehouse in O'Connel St by this year. By 1826 his shop was relocated to George Street, this may have been the shop Leak and Moreton sold their wares from?
Advertisement David Hayes New Pottery Warehouse 1825.


David Hayes Colonial Earthenware 1826.

During 1827 the government pottery was sold of with an auction held to disperse of the manufacturing equipment which included a glaze mill, lathe and other apparatus. The government clay pits were retained for their brickworks. These pits and brick kilns were located behind the Carters Barracks.
Hayes removed his pottery to the town of Richmond in 1828 but retained a brick making facility within Sydney.


Above: Advertisement for the sale of the Government pottery equipment 1827

Right: Advertisement for the Government Brick Kilns 1828.