|Signature of Spode I, 1776|
Some books prior to 1997 do not have the correct information about the early history of the Spode factory.
Important research shedding light on the early years of the Spode company and its founder, and correcting previously published and oft-repeated misinformation, can be found in the well-researched paper by Peter Roden, 'Josiah Spode (1733-1797): his formative influences and the various Potworks associated with him'; published in the Northern Ceramic Society Journal Vol 14 1997*. Roden's research is also summarised in 'Spode & Copeland Marks & Other Relevant Intelligence', by Robert Copeland, 2nd edition, Appendix XI, pages 175-177.
There are some further details about some members of the Spode and Copeland families on my Spode ABC. Look on the C and S pages.
Below is my simplified outline of the company ownership presented in the style of a family tree:
Spode I & Tomlinson partnership
c1767 - 1774 (in Stoke upon Trent)
Mountford & Spode I partnership
1772 - c1779 (in Shelton)
Spode I & Spode II - the (main) factory purchased in Stoke 1776
('traditional' date used by Spode company for start of business is 1770)
Run under Spode I, Spode II & Spode III until 1829
Continues as Spode under 'trustees' until 1833
London business Josiah Spode II c1778, and in 1805 William Spode & William Copeland,
by 1822 known as Spode & Copeland.
The manufacturing business continues at Stoke
After 1833 the name Spode continues as a brand under the ownership of the Copelands as follows:
Copeland & Garrett 1833 - 1847
W. T. Copeland 1847 - 1867
W. T. Copeland & Sons 1867 - 1932
W. T. Copeland & Sons Ltd 1932 - 1970
(Name remains to 1970 but ownership changes in 1966)
Spode Ltd 1970 - 2009 (various ownerships)
(Name changes in 1970 but ownership changed in 1966)
In administration 2008 and closes 2009
Spode brand purchased by Portmeirion 2009