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British Industrial History

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Herbert Minton

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Herbert Minton (1793-1858), pottery manufacturer

1793 Born in Stoke-on-Trent, son of Thomas Minton

Educated at Audlem grammar school, Cheshire

c.1811 Became a representative for the Mintons business.

1817 He and Thomas Webb Minton, his elder brother, were taken into partnership. Thomas Webb did the clerical work; Herbert approved design trials, undertook daily stocktaking in the warehouse, ordered bodies and glazes, and checked the factory accounts.

1819 married Anne Hollins of Shelton

Mintons had to overcome the irregular contraction of clays that caused the inlaid pattern to become easily dislodged from the main body of the tile. Herbert found, after many failures and difficulties, a way of producing much better tiles.

In conjunction with Pugin he gained important commissions including the Houses of Parliament; St Georges Hall, Liverpool; and Cheadle church, Staffordshire.

c.1836 Despite having left the business Thomas Webb Minton was named chief beneficiary of his father's estate; Herbert was awarded only the interest on £3000 and a quarter of the profits. Thomas Webb Minton, after family consultation, donated £23,000 to enable the executors of the will to fund a new partnership between Herbert Minton and John Boyle, a local potter, who both contributed capital themselves; however, on 21 November 1841 the partnership ended.

1841 married Mary Brown.

By the 1840s the Minton factory was producing a range of figures, ornamental ware, and encaustic floor tiles.

1845 Herbert was joined by two partners in the factory: Michael Daintry Hollins, his first wife's nephew, and Colin Minton Campbell, his own nephew.

Herbert Minton developed Parian body (named after the Greek island of Paros) for statuary. Developed low-temperature lead glazes that Minton named majolica. Both majolica and Parian were launched at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

1851 Herbert Minton was chosen as Queen Victoria's personal escort at the Great Exhibition.

1856 Married Isabella Stewart Fraser in Lambeth[1]

1856 Patent to James Nasmyth, of Patricroft, near Manchester, Engineer, and Herbert Minton, of Stoke- upon-Trent, China Manufacturer, for the invention of "certain improvements in machinery or apparatus employed in manufacturing tiles, bricks, and other articles from pulverized clay.[2]

1856 Herbert Minton, Michael Daintry Hollins, and Colin Minton Campbell were granted the royal warrant "to be manufacturers of china, earthenware, encaustic and plain tiles and tesserae at Stoke-upon-Trent in ordinary to Her Majesty."

1857 Urged his brother in law, John Campbell, to purchase land available from Mr Spode.

1858 Died in Torquay. Colin Minton Campbell inherited the factory.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. London Gazette 2 May 1856
  • Biography of Herbert Minton, ODNB [1]