William Banks
William Banks was born in Uttoxeter, close to the eastern border of Staffordshire. He was a dealer in pottery and in partnership with John Turner, purchased a potworks in Stoke-upon-Trent in November 1759. Turner transferred his part ownership to Banks in December 1763. William Banks sold the pottery in February 1764 but continued as a tenant until 1775 when Josiah Spode I took over the business, purchasing the factory and concluding the sale in 1776. This pottery was expanded over time to become the centre of Spode pottery production.
William Copeland
The first member of the Copeland family to be involved with Spode was William, born in Lane Delph (Fenton) Staffordshire in 1765. It is likely that he began working at the Spode Works in the warehouse, before he began working at the London retail establishment at the age of 19, in 1784. Copeland travelled on behalf of Spode carrying samples and seeking orders. When Josiah Spode II left London to return to the Spode Works in Stoke, Copeland was a crucial part of the London business and in 1805 became an equal partner with Josiah II’s son William Spode. William Spode retired in 1811, leaving William Copeland managing the business and owning 75% of the shares. William Taylor Copeland joined his father in 1824 and after his father’s death in 1824 entered a 7 year agreement as an equal partner with Josiah Spode II. Following Josiah II’s death in 1827 the executors of the Spode estate continued this agreement until 1833 when W.T. Copeland bought the Spode shares and took Thomas Garrett as a partner to administer the Stoke works while he remained in London.