Select Potter Miscellany

 

Here are some Potter stories
and
accounts over the years:

 

Potters in Potterton

 

Potterton in Yorkshire, near present-day Leeds, was recorded in the Domesday Book in
1086
and there is archaeological evidence that it was a village of some size
in
medieval times.  Excavation has also
brought
up a medieval pottery kiln which seemed to have been functioning until
around
the year 1500.
Potterton therefore had had potters.  It
also had the surname Potter in parish
records, starting with Thomas Potter, a husbandman who died in 1574,
and Richard
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



John
Potter
was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1737 to 1747.
His son John followed him to Oxford to study and graduated there
in
1734.  The Archbishop then helped him
secure church positions which became increasingly remunerative and
included the archdeaconry of Oxford.

However,
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


John
Potter,
like his father, had a draper’s shop in Tadcaster and all of his nine
children
were born in this shop.  However, he
managed
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
died in
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
their
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 following
year.

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’s Mills

James
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
met with
failure, however.  The three forts he
built in Penns valley in 1774 did little to protect settlers from
Indian
raids.  Four years later
most
of his settlers fled
from an Indian attack, including Potter himself, in an event known as
the Great
Runaway.

The
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
Potter’s
Mills.

His
son James expanded upon the house built by his father and erected three
new houses
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
of Antietam

In
the
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
as the
Battle of Antietam.

The
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
the
regiment across a stone bridge over Antietam Creek and attack the
Confederate
right flank.  Potter and his regiment succeeded in forcing their
way through the
hail of bullets and pushed the Confederates off the hillside – the
scene that
was depicted in the painting.

Colonel
Potter continued to serve after being
wounded at Antietam and was promoted to Brigadier General in March
1863.
Wounded again near Petersburg, Virginia in July 1864, he missed the
closing
campaigns of the war.  At the end of the war he was promoted to
the rank of
Major General
.

 

Clara Potter
in Gympie, Queensland

In
1903 Clara Potter married Frederick Jefferson in
Gympie, Queensland. 

The
young couple was given a dining room clock, a bedroom set, various
silver
kitchen and dining accessories, a china tea set, vases, linoleum, cane
rattan
chairs, and a set of Mrs. Pott’s sad irons.

Presents
from Gympie organizations included: the Gympie Model Band – a
breakfast and epergne; the Gympie Town Band – a morocco writing case;
the Gympie
Orchestral Society – a drawing room lamp; and from the Presbyterian
Sunday
School Teachers – a silver tea service.

Sadly,
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
her body
before the flames could be extinguished by her sister.
She died the following day.

 

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