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John Aynsley (engraver, printer, maker)

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The first record of John Aynsley in the Staffordshire ceramic industry occurs in a Spode manuscript of 1790 where he is referred to as an enameller.  The term enameller was loosely used to describe a decorator of ceramics and included the skills of engraving and printing as well as painting. Two dated pieces of his work are known from 1788 and 1793 suggesting he was in business from the 1780s.  From 1796 to he is listed in Staffordshire trade directory as a manufacturer of china at Market Place, Lane End.  Family tradition suggests that he suffered a reversal of fortunes in the early 19th century and newspapers of 1801 show his house and potworks for sale.  By 1804 Aynsley’s property was still for sale, the occupier listed as Robert Beckett and particulars to be obtained from the potters John & William Yates of Shelton.  The local rate records show him owning the factory until 1810.  In Parson & Bradshaw’s Staffordshire General & Commercial Directory, published 1818, in the list of residents is Ainsley John, potter Commerce street Lane end and in 1822 is listed for Lane End,  Ansley (sic) John, engraver, Commerce street.  Whether these last two are the same John Aynsley trying to pick up the pieces of his business is uncertain, we do know however, that the spelling of surname varies from record to record.  The last record we have is his death in 1829.

Almost 30 years later John Aynsley II became established as a china manufacturer in Longton and the firm experienced great success well into the 20th century when the business was bought by a succession of different companies.

Hampson, Rodney. 1990. Longton potters 1700-1865. Stoke-on-Trent: City Museum & Art Gallery.