A pottery is said to have been founded in around 1790, by a William Jamieson. Little is known of this period, but it’s likely it was a small-scale redware pottery, brick and tile manufacturer.
In 1809, Thomas Rathbone, Thomas Yool & John Thomas enter into a 17 year co-partnership to make all sorts of ceramics. The “whiteware” pottery was purchased William Jamieson’s trustees in 1815, and traded as T. Rathbone & Co. In 1825, Rathbone is in full control of the pottery, but he dies in 1826 and it is continued by John Rathbone until 1838.
In 1839, William Hannington & James Anderson are the new owners before William leaves and it trades as Anderson & Co.
In 1840, James Anderson: also leases Yool’s redware pottery.
Between 1844-50, the pottery is with Samuel and Robert Rathbone, trading as Rathbone Brothers .
William Affleck Gray & Co take over in 1856, along with Newbigging Pottery, rebranding the potteries “Midlothian Pottery”.
Affleck dies in 1896; Alexander in 1905 and William in 1921
The pottery closed in 1926.
Prior to Gray’s tenure from 1857, it’s thought that the Midlothian Pottery was a redware, brick and tile maker.
The two potteries, around the same site, were separate in their early days as a redware manufacturer and the ‘whiteware’ pottery; the latter of which would become Rathbone and be unified around 1840 by William Hannington and James Anderson.
Rathbones is known to have produced transfer-printed wares in good quality, with flat back figures carrying attributions of the pottery, but none are known to be marked.
After 1857, W A Gray produced all kinds of stoneware and the more ordinary descriptions of earthenware. In the first are all the usual descriptions of spirit jars and bottles, spirit barrels, bowls and pans, jugs and pitchers, butter, beef, and jam pots, bottles, feet and carriage warmers, etc. Most of these were made for the domestic market.
Articles in SPHR
Typical Backstamps & Marks
“Gray & Sons Portobello” impressed mark