Radical Roots ❤️✊🏺Josiah Wedgwood

Josiah Wedgwood – English potter, entrepreneur, anti-slavery campaigner, grandfather of Charles Darwin, and founder of Wedgwood pottery.

Born in Staffordshire in 1730 into a family of potters, Josiah himself was a skilled potter by the age of nine. His family were Unitarians and he remained so throughout his life. Josiah became extremely wealthy, building a pottery empire which served the flourishing middle and upper classes as well as royalty, including Catherine The Great of Russia. His factory was progressive for its time, offering decent working conditions and an early form of sick-benefit plan.

Wedgwood was a prominent abolitionist, campaigning against slavery and mass-producing an image of a black slave in chains, asking “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” – a popular image which came to symbolise the struggle for abolition.

He died at his home in 1795 and was buried in Stoke-on-Trent parish church.

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