When Roebuck died, Thomas Cowan was already managing the daily running of the pottery and it came as no surprise when he
purchased the pottery in 1795.
The following year, he took over the lease of the nearby Brownware Pottery at Bridgeness from George Allan, a shipmaster from
In September that year, Cowan asked one of his potters, James Anderson, to work at Bridgeness. Anderson considered the request
unreasonable, since his house was in Bo’ness, and taking meals into account, would have to walk 6 miles each day. A dispute arose
between the two men resulting in the potter being dismissed. A legal battle followed with both parties stating their cases and by 7th
February 1797, Lord Craig found in favour of Cowan with expenses. Anderson immediately appealed and following another round of
legalities, Anderson won his case on 11th March 1797 when Cowan’s counter appeal was refused. It is not known if James Anderson
returned to work at the Bo’ness Pottery.
By 1798, Cowan’s problems were mounting. Being unable to pay his debts, actions were being raised against him by Messrs. Walker,
Fishwick & Co, of Newcastle and Anthony Scott, Earthenware Manufacturer of Durham, to name but two.
In 1799, the Edinburgh Gazette advertised the sale of the pottery as follows…..
SALE OF SUBJECTS
In the Town and Neighbourhood of Borrowstounness
To be SOLD by public roup, within the Pottery ware-house
at the east end of the town of Bo-ness, on Monday the 11th
day of November, at 12 o’clock mid-day, and entered to at
the term of Martinmas next.
THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS which belong to Thomas Cowan,
merchant and manufacturer of stone ware in Bo-ness.
The LEASE of that Valuable and Extensive POTTERY
of STONEWARE, at the east end of the town of Bo-ness, 86
years of which are to run from the term of Martinmas next,
with leases of sundry other subjects therewith connected.
The LEASE of a POTTERY of BROWN WARE at Bridgeness,
within little more than a quarter of a mile of the former, about
14 years of which are likewise to run, from the said term of
Martinmas, together with the materials, utensils and apparatus
belonging to said potteries.
The situation of these Potteries is extremely well adapted
for carrying on the business to considerable extent, as at the
port and harbour of Bo-ness, the advantages arising to the
manufacturer, both in the importation of the clay and other
materials, and the exportation of the manufactured goods, cannot
fail to be very great.
Also, The LEASE of a PARK at Gauze, near Bo-ness, consisting
of about 9 acres or thereby, 11 years of which are yet to run.
Immediately after the above are disposed of, there will be
sold within the foresaid ware-house, a very large and valuable
ASSORTMENT of STONEWARE.
For further particulars, application may be made to Alexander
Cuming at the Pottery, or George Napier, writer in Edinburgh,
who will shew the articles of roup.