Dr Wall founded the first Worcester porcelain factory at Warmstry
House, on the banks of the River Severn, with 14 other partners
in June 1751.
Wall had developed a recipe for making porcelain with an apothecary,
William Davis the Elder, who undertook the day to day running
of the works. The venture was successful, but began to wane
by the early 1780's.
Thomas Flight 1776-1800
Had been the London agent of the porcelain factory. He bought
out the old proprietors in 1783 and his son John was put in
charge of the factory. King George III visited Worcester in
1788, and granted the factory the first Royal Warrant in 1789
helping to revitalise the company's fortunes. A showroom was
opened in London at the advice of the king.
Robert Chamberlain Snr. 1736-1798
Believed to have been the first apprentice at Dr Wall's factory,
Chamberlain opened an independent decorating factory in King
Street in about 1783. He eventually mastered the manufacture
of porcelain, and extended the factory towards Severn Street.
He was so successful that competition with the original factory
at Warmstry House caused the two concerns to merge in 1840,
concentrating at Chamberlain's which formed the present factory
site, and developed towards Diglis.
Richard Binns FSA 1819-1900
Joined the Diglis factory in 1851 when the company was at a
low point. Binns was ambitious to regain the company's reputation.
He became joint manager and art director and wrote the first
history of the company. He also founded its first Museum. The
"Royal Worcester" title for the works was adopted
Thomas Grainger 1783-1840
An apprentice at Dr Wall's factory, he was also enterprising
enough to create another porcelain factory in Worcester although
there were already two others in existence. The factory evolved
around 1801 in the St Martin's Gate area of the city. His son
George took over the business and was very successful. Grainger's
had a showroom in the Foregate. The factory was eventually taken
over by Royal Worcester after his death.
James Hadley 1837-1903
Possibly the finest ceramic modeller of the 19th century, James
Hadley was trained at Royal Worcester. He went freelance in
the 1870's, and eventually opened his own small factory in 1896.
Hadley's factory produced
ornamental pieces known as Art Pottery using a type of faience. The
factory was purchased shortly after his death by Royal Worcester.
Edward Locke 1829-1909
Formerly a senior artist and master potter at Grainger's factory,
Locke left to produce his own porcelain in 1895. He created his own
purpose built factory in Newtown Road which still stands today. Locke
saw the opportunity of producing inexpensive giftware closely resembling
the products of his former employer Grainger. He styled his wares
"Worcester Porcelain" but a High Court case resulted in 1902, in which
Royal Worcester successfully asserted their right to this title.