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Josiah Spode II: Death

spode II

In July 1827 at the age of 72 Josiah Spode II died. While his son, Spode III, may have taken nominal ownership of the factory, it is unlikely he took an active role. In November 1802 the factory purchased a new a Boulton & Watt steam engine to supplement an old 1779 engine that was driving the grinding mill and possibly providing power for throwing wheels and turning lathes.  At the opening ceremony for the new engine Josiah Spode III suffered an horrific accident. He was  "inspecting the operations when a crown wheel struck his hat; in lifting his arm to protect himself, the hand passed between the cogs of the wheels and immediate amputation became indispensable.”  He retired to live as a country gentleman, and on his father’s death, took up residence at The Mount. Sadly, he died suddenly of apoplexy in 1829, two years after his father.

Josiah Spode III's son, Josiah Spode IV, had little to no connection with his family’s business except to inherit his father’s estate at the age of six. Hence the company was subsequently sold to William Copeland and Thomas Garrett. Garrett had been with the company since at least 1829, when he worked as chief clerk in the London retail office.  It is salutary to reflect on the differing circumstances of Spode I-- who was also orphaned age 6 and saw his father buried in a pauper’s grave -- and Spode IV orphaned at 6, whose own father, Spode III, had inherited an estate in excess of £100,000.

tombstone of spode II

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Click here to watch Robert Copeland discussing the introduction of steam engines to the Spode Factory