Comment 4:
Potter: Printers and Publishers

John Theophilus POTTER (born 1746 or 1752), grandson of Dr John Potter (Archbishop of Canterbury) was born in Dublin and took up acting then printing (presumably began printing playbills for a travelling theatre group). He introduced printing to Haverfordwest in 1780 [449]. The Potter printing and publishing company established a reading room and "Potter's Circulating Library" for aristocracy which ran from the mid 1779 to 1861. [196] [198] [890].
Known as Theophilus John Potter [449] [450] or John Theophilus Potter [451] ["About the same time, a certain John Theophilus Potter came with a band of comedians to Haverfordwest and settled there very successfully as a printer." [452]] or ["I just remember old Theophilus Potter, who came to this town with a company of tragedians, settled here." [875]],
John Theophilus Potter was listed in British Book Trade directories in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire in 1785 [Pendred (1785), Bailey (1784), Universal British Directory as a printer & bookseller (1792-98) and in Holden's Directory (1811) as a stationer, printer & bookseller [646]. He eventually established one of the largest circulating libraries in Wales [890]

J.T. Potter's son Joseph W. POTTER was also an actor, with his own company in the 1820s & 30s in south and west Wales, described in Price's 1948 "The English theatre in Wales" (a look at the life and times of the strolling players in the 18th & early 19th centuries [887]. His company disbanded about 1835 However, he also continued the family printing business from 1803 or earlier, as well as selling patent medicines [196]. He set up his press in High Street, extended by his son to include a reading room [870]. In 1844 he published the first newspaper printed in Pembrokeshire, the Pembrokeshire Herald & General Advertiser. His wife, Jane continued the business and even published a pamphlet herself. Their son Joseph POTTER (jr.) continued running the Pembrokeshire Herald and started Potter's Electric News in 1855 (which later merged with the Herald). In 1858 the Pembrokeshire Herald (every Friday) and Potter's Electric News were two of the three Haverfordwest newspapers. Another son Henry E POTTER opened a printing & stationer's firm in 1844 in Pembroke which failed and another in Haverfordwest in 1852 (also failed). A third son, Edward John POTTER (~1830-1868) then took over the Potter printing & publishing business succeeded on his premature death by his wife Elizabeth (1833-1875). She founded the shortlived newspaper Potter's Newspaper & General Advertiser in 1870. [41]

Publications printed by Joseph Potter (presumably J W Potter):

  • 1803 Various announcements from the County Lieutenancy about signalling and responding to any French invasion
  • Occasional Poems by John Bulmer
  • 1820 Occasional Poems by John Bulmer
  • 1821 The Vicar of Llandovery or Light from the Welshman's Candle by John Bulmer of Haverfordwest
  • 1822 Memoirs of Owen Glenower by Thomas Thomas [897]
  • 1824 Memoirs of Howell Harris, Esq by John Bulmer
  • 1826 Memoirs &c. of Rev. Benjamin Evans by John Bulmer
  • 1830 Beaties of the Vicar of Llandovery by J Bulmeer 2nd Edition, London Holdsworth and Ball
  • 1831 A Dissertation on the Evidence of Christianity by David Jones (Baptist Ministyer, Haverfordwest) 2nd Edition
  • 1841 Six Letters on the New poor Law Act by G. H. Leach
  • 1842 Fishguard, South Wales. An Authentic Account of the Invasion of the French Troops by H. L. Williams 1st Edition

After the death of his first wife, John Theophilus POTTER remarried and moved to London in 1807, where his second family continued the printing and publishing business, taking on the Hackney & Kingsland Gazette [196]. This was described as "the most successful newspaper" [in Hackney] and the largest weekly newspaper in London [197]. One son, Charles Potter (Printer) took over the paper and in 1920 his sons formed the limited company Potter Bros, and changed the title to Hackney Gazette and North London Advertiser in 1926.
[Of interest to Blayneys is that this Potter publishing business is virtually in Bethnal Green!]
In 1987 the family merged with North West London Press Group to form Capital Newspapers, which published the Hackney Gazette weekly in 1990.

A grandson, Edwin POTTER (1839-1918) also took up printing (Coggeshall Press, Essex) and was a musician of some account and his son-in law Edward HARRIS ran the Buckingham County Press, Buckingham, UK.

"In 1832 or 1833 John William Potter, a printer from Haverfordwest, in Pembrokeshire, commenced business in Kinsale, and, in conjunction with his sons, issued a publication called The Bee. It was chiefly of local interest, and did not last long." [510] This John was the grandson of John Theophilus POTTER, and son of John Potter (1780-1860).

Well time to...