Select Pratt Miscellany



Here are some Pratt stories and accounts over the years:

Sir Roger Pratt


Sir Roger Pratt became one of the leading arbiters of architectural taste in Restoration England, introducing and establishing the astylar 'double-pile' house style, which became the norm during the reign of Queen Anne.  The first house constructed in this style was Coleshill House in Berkshire for his cousin Sir George Pratt. 

Pratt was also a consultant on the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral and the redesign of the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666.  His services were rewarded iby a knighthood, after which he built himself a house at Ryston, retired from architectural work, and spent the rest of his life living as a country gentleman.


Pratt Ware

One of the oldest Staffordshire pottery works was that of Felix Pratt at Fenton, which was in operation continuously from 1775 to 1885. 

Of the many different kinds of pottery made by Pratt and his successors two types are especially popular with present-day collectors. The attractive and colorful cream-tinted earthenware jugs and mugs with relief decoration have long been known as Pratt ware, although they were also made elsewhere in Staffordshire. 

The distinguishing features of this early Pratt ware is the modeled relief decoration and the zigzag and acanthus-leaf borders.  The relief designs were painted under the glaze, and brilliant orange, green, cobalt blue, black or brown, and sometimes purple is characteristic of the ware.  In its deep, strong, and vibrant color it resembles the finest old Italian majolica.  The subject matter on these jugs includes scenes of the sea, hunting scenes, busts of national heroes, genre scenes, and caricatures of the headdresses of the period.


John Pratt from Wensleydale

John Pratt is best remembered for being painted by George Stubbs on the peerless horse Eclipse, a picture which now hangs in the Sheldonian Museum in Oxford.  He was a famous jockey of his day, said to have ridden eleven races in one day at Newmarket, and one who got rich as a result.   He was later one of the founders of the Jockey Club.

In 1767 he built from his winnings a house and stables in his home village of Askrigg.  The house, now the King's Arms, was part of his stud farm and there was a yard at the back where he kept his hunters and a pack of hounds. 


Pratts from Swaledale

Platt Name
Born
Place
Died
Place
Thomas
1630
Grinton
1689

Anthony
1659
Grinton


Michael
1661
Grinton
1717

Anthony
1698
Healaugh
1762
Grinton
William
1741
Grinton


James
1747
Grinton
1824
Reeth
James
1771
Grinton
1839

William
1779
Grinton
1824
Gunnerside
James
1792
Muker
1858
Gunnerside
James
1800
Grinton
1867
USA (Iowa)
Thomas
1805
Swaledale
1875

Christopher
1819
Grinton
1903
Undercliff
Metcalf
1826
Gunnerside
1891
USA (Nevada)
William
1828
Gunnerside


John
1839
Gunnerside
1904
Newfoundland
Thomas
1843
Grinton
1918
New Zealand







Daniel Pratt: Alabama's First Industrialist

Daniel Pratt helped provide cotton gins for Alabama's predominant antebellum economic activity, founded Alabama's most prominent early industrial town, and helped lay the foundation for postbellum development in manufacturing and railroad transportation.

In 1831 Pratt left his home state of New Hampshire for Alabama where he was to bring cotton gin manufacturing to cotton fields.  He purchased land on Autauga Creek in 1838 and it was on that land that he built Prattville as the site for his enterprises.  He established a cotton gin factory, a cotton mill, a grist mill, a woollen mill and a foundry, which employed more than 200 people. 

Later, Pratt's gin business grew so large that he contracted with mercantile firms in six different cities to sell his gins; and, after the Civil War, he was shifting his reliance from the cotton economy to the new industrial order of iron and railroad transportation.



The Cottonwood Ranch in Kansas

The Cottonwood Ranch State Historical Site preserves the story of one family's settlement on the Kansas Plains.

It is the story of an English family, the Pratts, who immigrated there in 1878.  Abraham had sold his interests in England and eventually settled in the area just south of the present Cottonwood Ranch.  The elder Pratt convinced his two sons to move there as well and they settled on adjoining tracts.  John Fenton Pratt would eventually build what would become known as the Cottonwood Ranch and constructed this stone ranch house which has now been restored and converted into a museum.

In 1888 John felt prosperous enough to send for his fiancee in England to join him there.  Jennie Elizabeth Place was said to have cried when she first sighted the edifice.  It obviously didn't match her expectations!  On several occasions she started on foot for the nearest rail station, only to be persuaded to return.  With the birth of her first daughter Hilda, she felt compelled to settle into the ranch lifestyle.  But she vowed that she would never be buried in the Kansas soil.  When she passed away in 1959, the family complied with her wishes.  She was cremated instead and her ashes were scattered over the ranch.

The Cottonwood Ranch is so called because of the grove of cottonwood trees that had been planted near the house.  The ranch is such a well preserved treasure because John Pratt's family was the only family to live there.   Hilda who never married lived on the ranch until 1978.  In 1982 the state bought the house, outbuildings, and 23 of the surrounding acres.



Robert Pratt in British Columbia

Robert Pratt came out from England to Canada around 1890.  He had apparently jumped off a military ship in eastern Canada that was bound for the Far East.  After that desertion Robert settled well away from the eastern shore of Canada at Upper Campbell Creek in British Columbia.  He contacted his brother Henry who joined him in 1894.

Robert married a local widow and he and his family ran a successful farm at Barnhartvale.  His log cabin and the apple trees in his orchard can still be seen today.  His apples were to win a gold medal at an international fair in England in 1911.  He delivered his prize apples there personally and, while there, visited his family in England for the first time in twenty years.

Robert's eldest son was James.  In 1911 James took part in the last long cattle drive in British Columbia - from Ashcroft to Prince George - at the time the railway lines were being built in that area.




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