Select Potter Miscellany
accounts over the years:
- Potters in Potterton
- The Archbishop and His Sons
- The Potters from Tadcaster
- James Potter and Potter’s Mills
- Robert Potter at the Battle of Antietam
- Clara Potter in Gympie, Queensland
Potters in Potterton
and there is archaeological evidence that it was a village of some size
medieval times. Excavation has also
up a medieval pottery kiln which seemed to have been functioning until
the year 1500.
also had the surname Potter in parish
records, starting with Thomas Potter, a husbandman who died in 1574,
Potter, a yeoman who died in 1638. Maybe
their forebears were potters. But there
were no potters left in the village by their time.
The Archbishop and His Sons
was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1737 to 1747.
His son John followed him to Oxford to study and graduated there
1734. The Archbishop then helped him
secure church positions which became increasingly remunerative and
included the archdeaconry of Oxford.
he had offended his father
grievously by marrying one of his servants. This
could not be forgiven. Although the
Archbishop had given his son John many preferments, he decided to
leave his personal fortune (which was estimated at 70,000 pounds, an
enormous sum in
those times) when he died in 1747 to his second son Thomas. Thomas was a lawyer who afterwards became the
MP for Aylesbury and Oakhampton.
The Potters from Tadcaster
like his father, had a draper’s shop in Tadcaster and all of his nine
were born in this shop. However, he
to save up enough money to fund his sons’ futures.
For the eldest son the money was
wasted. He succumbed in early life to
the temptations of London, then fled abroad to avoid his creditors and
Havana of yellow fever.
William, who had been the prop of his brothers and
sisters, whose wise counsel and stern admonitions were always at their
disposal, and who founded the Manchester business which was to make
fortunes, became a hopeless victim of drink.
He left the Potter business in 1806.
It was two of the other Potter brothers –
Thomas and Richard – who remained in business in Manchester. They prospered on their father’s seed money
as cotton merchants. In 1825 Thomas
Potter commissioned Sir Charles Barry to build him a mansion at Buile
Hill. This was completed in 1827. Thomas was elected the first mayor of
Manchester in 1838 and was re-elected in 1839. He was knighted
The Potters were Unitarians who attended the Cross
Street Chapel in Manchester. They had a
social conscience and were concerned about the welfare of the poor. Starting in 1815, they and like-minded free
traders and reformers would meet up at Thomas and Richard’s “plotting
parlor” at the back of their Cannon Street cotton warehouse. These meetings went on for more than a
quarter of a century..
James Potter and
Potter was a farmer and land developer before he
became a General in Washington’s army.
His first attempt at land development in frontier Pennsylvania
failure, however. The three forts he
built in Penns valley in 1774 did little to protect settlers from
raids. Four years later most
of his settlers fled
from an Indian attack, including Potter himself, in an event known as
settlement in the Nittany valley, developed later, survived as the
Indian tribes had by then practically disappeared from the area. James Potter constructed the first house,
known as Eulaw House, at Potter’s Bank in 1788. Potter also
constructed saw and
grist mills in the area and eventually Potter’s Bank became known as
son James expanded upon the house built by his father and erected three
and a new mill at Potter’s Mills. The
next generation of Potters replaced Eulaw House with a new construction. This building still stands and serves
as a family restaurant.
Robert Potter at the Battle
late summer of 1862, Robert E. Lee had led the Army of Northern
Virginia in an
invasion of the North for the first time in the war, threatening
Pennsylvania. The collision of the
opposing armies was near the Maryland town of Sharpsburg, but is known
Battle of Antietam.
Civil War painter Julian Scott, when depicting Antietam,
made Colonel Robert Brown Potter the centerpiece of his picture. Potter had just been appointed a colonel of
the 51st New York Volunteer Infantry when he was called upon to push
regiment across a stone bridge over Antietam Creek and attack the
right flank. Potter and his regiment succeeded in forcing their
way through the
hail of bullets and pushed the Confederates off the hillside – the
was depicted in the painting.
Potter continued to serve after being
wounded at Antietam and was promoted to Brigadier General in March
Wounded again near Petersburg, Virginia in July 1864, he missed the
campaigns of the war. At the end of the war he was promoted to
the rank of
in Gympie, Queensland
1903 Clara Potter married Frederick Jefferson in
young couple was given a dining room clock, a bedroom set, various
kitchen and dining accessories, a china tea set, vases, linoleum, cane
chairs, and a set of Mrs. Pott’s sad irons.
from Gympie organizations included: the Gympie Model Band – a
breakfast and epergne; the Gympie Town Band – a morocco writing case;
Orchestral Society – a drawing room lamp; and from the Presbyterian
School Teachers – a silver tea service.
three years later, Clara died in a dreadful accident.
She was doing the family washing when the
wind blew a flame from under the copper.
Clara’s apron caught fire. She
was wearing a dress of thin inflammable material which also caught
fire. Clara received burns to the whole of
before the flames could be extinguished by her sister.
She died the following day.
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