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John Davenport, born in 1765, is said to have begun potting in 1785, first as a workman, and later as a partner with Thomas Wolfe of Stoke. He acquired his own pottery at Longport for the manufacture of earthenware in 1794. In 1830 he retired, and his two sons Henry and William carried on the firm until 1835, when Henry died. This style of the firm then became William Davenport and Company. William died in 1869, and his two sons took over the direction of the business, which remained in the family until 1887.
The last two numerals of the year of manufacture were sometimes added on each side of the anchor, '42' for 1842 etc.