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Buckley Society Magazine Issue Five: Buckley Clay Tobacco Pipes by Bentley, Davey and Harrison"



Buckley Society Magazine Issue Five, October 1979

p.15 - 22

The article is covered in 164.14 - 18. For all the entries, enter in the CAPTION field - Buckley Clay Tobacco Pipes.

The article, reproduced below, consists of :-

Introduction The Makers

The Pipes (A) The Bowls illus 1 - 3

illus 4 - 6 - also at 164.15

illus 7 - 12 - also at 164.16

(B) The Marks illus 13 - 20 - also at 164.17

illus 21 - 28 - also at 164.18

Appendix - Pipe makers called Hayes outside Buckley




by James Bentley, Peter J. Davey and H. Martin Harrison

Illus. 1 to 3 The Pipes The Bowls



Recent excavations on pottery sites in Buckley at Pinfold Lane (Site 2) and Brookhill (Site 1) (1) have produced considerable quantities of clay tobacco pipes. Study of these and their marks, along with the Hawarden parish registers, suggests that the majority were actually made in Buckley at some time between c. 1680 and 1730.


The Makers


So far eight Buckley pipe-makers have been identified from the records, with one family, the Hayes (also spelt Heys or Hays), dominating the industry.

John Heys c.1653 - 1708

Thomas Heys 1676 - 1720

Thomas Heys 1702 -(married 1743; Freedom of Chester 1727)

Jeremiah Hayes 1744 (married Margaret Jones 1782)

Jeremiah Hayes 1783 - 1836


(The second Jeremiah (Jerry) Hayes had two sons Edward (born 1803) and Thomas (born 1808), the latter probably being the same Thomas Hayes who was practising as a pipe-maker at Pen y Brin, Denbigh in 1835 (cf, Appendix below)).


Thomas Fox of Hawarden 1716(Freedom of Chester)

Joseph Monnax of Hawarden 1748(will administered at Hawarden)

Peter Morris c.1850(works near Bistre Church

Closed down) (2)



The Pipes


(A) The Bowls (numbered as illustrations)

1. Clumsily made bowl; local clay; 6/64" stem bore. Almost certainly a NW form (cf,Chester B/F) (3) and quite possibly an early Buckley product,1640-70.


2. Well made bowl; milled rim; polished surfaces; lB stamp on the heel; 7/64", Probably a South Lancashire product, (4) but still quite close to Broseley Type lB, 1640-60.(5)


3. Well made bowl in local clay; highly polished surfaces with fine shining lines; small irregular heel; 6/64". This is a variant of Atkinson's Broseley Type 5, (6) but in view of 4-6 below was probably made in Buckley, 1680-1700.


4. Well-made bowl in local clay with highly-polished surfaces and fine shining lines; square stamp divided into three horizontal bars, marked THO/MAS/HEYS, on a tailed heel; irregularly placed milling; 6/64" Broseley Type 5 bowl. (7) Made in Buckley, 1680-1720.


5. Bowl as 4, marked IERE/HATC/HETT: 6/64"; probably Buckley, 1680-1720.


6. Bowl as 4, marked TH in a simple square frame; 6/64"; Buckley, 1680-1720.


7-10. Well-made bowls in imported clay; all 6/64". These are close to Chester forms G, J, K (8) and are of the type which often had decorated stems.(9) Nos. 7 and 8 are related to Broseley Types 6A and 6B,(10) but nos 9 and 10 are more slender and elegant than published parallels from that source. Made either in Chester or Buckley, 1700-30.


11. Broken bowl and stem with leaf pattern over the moulding on the back of the bowl; pointed spur marked WB; 5/64". This is a product of the factory of William Boynton of Chester which was working between 1870 and 1916. It was situated just outside the Newgate on the site of what is now the Roman Garden.(11)


12. A well-smoked example of a late spurred pipe; 5/64", Made in London either by Adolph or David Posener of Mansell Street, London, between 1866 and 1899. (12) Atkinson (in correspondence) notes the same mark from a rubbish deposit at Bow dating from 1870-80, and similar marks at other sites from 1890-1900.


(B) The Marks

13. THO/MAS/HEYS Square mark in relief in three lines on a tailed heel, thin; no horizontal bars; the E and both Ss are reversed.


14. THO/MAS/HEYS Square mark as 13, panels defined by horizontal lines. Lettering untidy, the first S reversed; M outsized.


15.THO/MAS/HEYS Square mark as 14, but smaller and both Ss are correctly placed; Y written as V; M and second H crooked (on bowl No, 4 above)


16. THO/MAS/HEYS Square mark as 15; E very elongated and joined to the M.


17. TH Square mark in relief on a tailed heel (on bowl No. 6 above).


18. TH (ligatured) Circular mark on a tailed heel (broken).


19. TH Separate letters in relief on either side of the spur.

20. IERE/HATC/HETT Square mark in relief on a tailed heel (on bowl No. 5)


21. IH Circular mark in relief on a circular heel.


22. W gauntlet I Sub-rectangular mark on a tailed heel; a star over letters.


23. C gauntlet I Oval mark on a tailed heel (broken).


24. RD Heart-shaped mark on a tailed heel,


25. Roller-stamped stem with a ? cockerel in an oval frame with lattice decoration, Probably a Chester Inn-Sign pipe of the early eighteenth century. (13)


26.lB Irregular 'indented' circle mark on a circular heel.


27. lB Circular mark on a circular heel, Details of stamp and bowl form (cf. No, 2 above) indicate a South Lancashire origin, 1660-80.(14)


28. lB Semi-circular mark with a crest on a circular heel, This is the most common of the South Lancashire lB marks in the typical frame of that area. (15) Such frames and stamps were designed to go on the backs of the bowls but occasionally, as in this case, are used on the heel, 1660-80.


The problem with the Thomas Heys and TH marks (15-21) is to decide to which of the pipe-makers of that name they belong. It is impossible to separate pipes bearing the full name from those with initial marks on any other technical or typological characteristic. All are on Broseley Type 5A bowls with polished surfaces and irregular milling. Stem bores are invariably 6/64" for both types of mark. This type of bowl would date in Broseley from 1680-1730, but as the Buckley examples are thick-walled and lack the straightening usual in the later Broseley products, it is likely that both Buckley marks in square frames belong to Thomas Heys the first, and were made c.1700-20. The TH mark on the spur (19) might also belong to the same maker as the elegant spurred bowl represented here was already produced in the area by 1700. (16) As, however such pipes were produced well into the eighteenth century, there is no reason why this mark should not belong to Thomas Heys the second. A further problem is posed by the IH mark. Although it is tempting to think of this as being the mark of John Hayes (c, 1670-1708), the discovery of a pipe marked Iere Hatchett (5/20), which may also be a local product, places this designation in doubt.


The attribution of marks 22-24 is even more difficult. All three are in a fragmentary condition, but appear to be on Broseley Type 5 tailed heels, so may either be the products of that or similar centre or of unknown Buckley makers. The source for mark 27 is not known.



The presence in Buckley of a clay pipe-making industry from the late seventeenth century onwards, clearly demonstrated by these finds, poses a number of problems. Why should such a development have occurred so near to Chester (12 kms), which already had its own industry well established by that time? Why were the Buckley pipes made in distinctively Broseley forms? Where was there a market for the Buckley products?


Buckley's relationship with Chester is hard to assess. Whilst finds from excavations confirm Chester as a major consumer of Buckley pottery during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, no Buckley clay pipes have yet been recovered from there. This may be because Chester pipe makers exercised a monopoly over the sale of pipes within the city, and possibly explains why two Buckley/Hawarden makers (Thomas Fox and Thomas Heyes the second) felt it desirable to become Freemen of Chester. Chester's insecurity in this matter was probably due to the fact that the Buckley makers could use their own white firing clay sources and cheaper fuel, and so could undercut their city rivals who were dependant on clay imported from Devon.(17)


The close relationship between Buckley and Broseley is difficult to explain. None of the Buckley makers coincide with, or have the same surnames as those recently published from Broseley, (18) and Buckley is at a considerable distance from that centre (70 kms). The probable answer is that some contact existed between these two similar developing coalfield areas, and that this resulted in a Broseley clay pipe stamp maker coming to Buckley, or being commissioned to make the Buckley stamps. That Buckley itself influenced further newer pipe producing centres is suggested by the apparent spread of Hayes pipe makers throughout the north of England, particularly Lancashire, during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. (cf, Appendix).


So far, few Buckley pipes have been recovered from elsewhere. Oswald (correspondence) notes finds of THO/MAS/HEYS marks on a Broseley Type 5 bowl with bars between on a square frame from Basingwerk Abbey, Weston Super Mare and Saffron Walden. If the distribution of Buckley pottery is to be any guide, the most probable markets would be the North Wales coastal and market towns, and overseas to the Isle of Man and Ireland. It remains for the systematic excavation of sites of this period, and detailed study of the Port Books, to establish the precise chronology and detailed economics of clay pipe making in Buckley.






Pipe-makers called Hayes outside Buckley (Reference to Oswald, 1975, unless otherwise stated).



James Hayes1688Colchester


Samuel Hayes1721Liverpool


Jeremiah Hayes 1770Liverpool


Abel Hayes1774Liverpool


Jeremiah Hayes 1780Lancaster


Thomas Hayes1790Liverpool


Edward Hayes1791Liverpool


John Hayes1798-1823Leeds


Joseph Hayes1811-53Leeds


John Hayes1816-39Leeds


John Hayes1822-44Pontefract


John Heyes1827Rainford Parish Registers


William Heyes 1829Rainford Parish Registers


John Heyes1830-48Rainford Parish Registers


James Heyes1832Rainford Parish Registers


Thomas Hayes1835Pen y Brin, Denbigh


James Hayes1848-61Burnley


William Heyes 1849Rainford Parish Registers




The writers wish to record their thanks to the following:


Mr. A. Oswald and Mr. D.R. Atkinson for many valuable comments;

Mr. P. Hayes for information about his family;

the staff of the Record Offices at Hawarden and Preston for much assistance;

Bevis Sale for the drawings.



1. P.J. Davey, 'Recent Fieldwork in the Buckley Potteries', Buckley 4, p. 18.


2. T. Cropper, 'Early Tobacco Clay Pipe-Making at Buckley', Cheshire Sheaf, 3rd series, VI (1906), p.44.


3. P.J. Davey, 'Stem-bore Analysis of Chester Clay Tobacco Pipes', Cheshire Arch. Bulletin 3 (1975), pp. 32-3.


4. P.J. Davey and T. Petch, '17th Century Clay Pipe Stamps from Warrington', Cheshire Arch, Bulletin, 4 (1976), p. 14 fig. 9, lB and RL stamps.


5. D.R. Atkinson, Tobacco Pipes of Broseley (1975), p. 24.


5. ibid., pp. 25-9.


7. ibid.


8. Davey, op. cit. (l975) p. 32.


9. G. Webster and K. Barton, 'An 18th Century Rubbish Pit, Trinity Street 1953', Chester Arch, Society Journal, 44 (1957), p. 24 a-c.


10. Atkinson, op. cit., P. 32.


11. P.J., Davey, 'Finds from the Roman Garden', Cheshire Arch, Bulletin 2 (1974), pp. 36-7.


12. A. Oswald, 'Clay Pipes for the Archaeologist', British Archaeological Reports No, 14, p. 142.


13. Webster and Barton, op. cit., pp. 19-21, 24.


14. Davey and Petch, op. cit., pp. 12-13, lB (i).


15. ibid., pp. 11-14.


16. Davey, op. cit. (1975), P. 32, G.


17. Oswald, op. cit., p. 12.


18. Atkinson, op. cit.



Author: Bentley, J., P. Davey, H. Harrison


Year = 1650

Work = Light Industry

Extra = Pre 1900

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