Bourne family, of Belper and Denby

William Bourne (1747-1823) was an entrepreneur with business interests in pottery, canal building and road making. A devout Anglican, he was converted by a Methodist preacher in Belper market place in 1782. In 1806, during the construction of the turnpike road from Derby to Alfreton, a rich seam of high-grade clay was recognised by him as ideal for potting and he took out a lease on the land. He built a pottery at nearby Denby in 1809 and in 1812 put it in charge of his youngest son Joseph Bourne (1788-1860), a master potter of high repute and a WM local preacher, who built chapels at Denby (c.1816) and at nearby Street Lane (c.1841).

Joseph's sister Eliza was the wife of William Griffith, who was expelled at the Conference of 1849. Joseph eventually withdrew from WM, taking with him the Denby and Street Lane chapels (which he owned) and two others, to form a UMFC circuit. By the will of his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Bourne, in 1898 the Denby chapel passed to the UMFC and Street Lane chapel to WM; she had been the only woman leader at the Denby chapel. Robert Dale, a senior employee, was the Street Lane organist and his son Christopher wasSunday School Superintendent, organist and choirmaster.

  • WHS Proceedings, 43 pp.166-68
  • Graham and Alva Key, Denby Stonewares (Torrington, 1995)
  • Irene and Gordon Hopwood, Denby Pottery 1809-1997 (Shepton Beauchamp, 1997)


Entry written by: DHR
Category: Person
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