The following reports have been found in old newspapers.
It was the first article on this page that inspired me to create this page. It wasn't until I found this report from March 1880 that I
discovered that my great grandmother, Joan Hamilton, had been jailed for stealing pottery!
Glasgow Herald, 10 March 1880
Wholesale Thefts of Crockery - Four women named Mary Macpherson or Grant, Christina Sanderson, Andrewina Learmonth and Joan
Hamilton, all workers in the Bo'ness Pottery, and residing in Bo'ness, were yesterday severally charged before Sheriff Home, at
Linlithgow, with stealing quantities of delf or crockery at various times from the pottery, the quantity found in the houses of the accused,
and alleged to have been stolen, being sufficient to fill a large basket. The accused each pleaded guilty, and were respectively sent to
prison for one calendar month. It is supposed that the purloining of the products of the factory is a far from uncommon practice among
the employees, and these proceedings were instituted in order if possible to stop such thefts.
Bo'ness Journal, 13 March 1880
Extensive Thefts of Crockery - For some time past extensive thefts of earthenware have been carried on at the Pottery,and the
authorities having had their attention called to this, search was made, and four females employed at the pottery were on Tuesday
apprehended, and charged with stealing a number of articles including tea-cups, and saucers, ornaments, &c. In the course of the day
the parties, whose names are - Mary McPherson, or Grant, (43), Andrewina Learmonth, (23), Joan Hamilton, or Robertson, (22), and
Christina Sanderson, (19), were brought before Sheriff Home, and having pleaded guilty, were each sentenced to a month's
imprisonment. We understand that further searching resulted in the discovery of additional quantities of stolen goods, but that no
further arrests have been made, as it is thought the above cases may prove a sufficient warning. The sentence is considered rather
severe for a first offence.
Falkirk Herald, 17 November 1853
Sheriff Summary Trials - The following cases have been disposed summarily the past week, before the Sheriff Substitute: .....
..... Mary Glen or McAlpine pled guilty to theft of coals from Bo'ness Pottery, and was dismissed with a reprimand.
Falkirk Herald, 29 October 1857
Crime - The following cases belonging to this place (Bo'ness) were last week disposed of by Sheriff Home at Linlithgow, .....
..... Ann Pennycook or Middleton, and Janet Finlayson, for a breach of the Peace in Bo'ness Pottery, fined 3s. 6d. each or four days'
Falkirk Herald, 25 November 1869
Sheriff Court - A Summary Court was held here (Linlithgow) on Thursday last, 19th instant, when the under-mentioned cases were
disposed of, .....
..... George Richardson, platemaker, Bo'ness, was charged with assault at Bo'ness Pottery on the 22nd October. He pled not guilty,
but after witnesses being examined, he was found guilty, and was fined 10s, or seven days' imprisonment; fine paid.
Falkirk Herald, 21 April 1870
Sheriff Criminal Court - The following cases were brought before Sheriff Home here on Thursday last, 14th inst: .....
..... William Lafferty, labourer, Grangepans, and Thomas Cuthill, pottery-worker, Bo'ness, were charged with breach of the peace at
Bo'ness on the 26th ultimo. They pled guilty, and were fined 12s 6d each, or go to prison for 7 days.
Falkirk Herald, 4 August 1870
Sheriff Court - The under-mentioned cases were disposed of summarily before Mr Sheriff Home, on Tuesday, 26th July .....
..... Alexander Stevenson, pottery worker, Bo'ness, was charged with theft of a cricket ball from a toy shop in Bo'ness on 15th July last.
He pled not guilty, and after proof being led, the Sheriff dismissed the accused, finding the case not proven.
Falkirk Herald, 26 November 1870
Sheriff Court - A Summary Criminal Court was held here (Linlithgow) on Tuesday - Mr Sheriff-Substitute Home presiding - when the
under-mentioned cases were disposed of: .....
..... George Hardie, pottery presser, Bo'ness, charged with assault in Bo'ness Pottery on 7th inst., pled guilty, and was fined 15s, or be
imprisoned for 15 days.
Falkirk Herald, 22 November 1877
Sheriff Court - Before Sheriff Home, on Monday, .....
..... Archibald Stanners, miner, Bo'ness, pleaded guilty to having created a disturbance at Bo'ness Pottery, and assaulted James
Middleton, foreman potter, by pulling and jostling him about, and striking him a blow on the head, for which he was sent to prison for 14
Falkirk Herald, 6 April 1878
Sheriff Court - On Tuesday - before Sheriff Home .....
..... George Hardie, Bo'ness, was charged with having assaulted a youth named Brown while working at Bo'ness Pottery. He pleaded
guilty, but in respect of his previous good character, the Sheriff dismissed him with a reprimand.
Falkirk Herald, 27 June 1878
Sheriff Court - On Monday week - before Sheriff Home - James Grant and Daniel McGhee, miners, and John Grant, pottery worker,
Bo'ness, were charged with having assaulted William Lafferty at the Salt Pans. James Grant and McGhee pled guilty and were fined 15s
each or 10 days' imprisonment. John Grant pleaded guilty to a breach of the peace, and was fined 12s 6d or seven days' imprisonment.
Falkirk Herald, 18 July 1878
Sheriff Court - On Saturday week - before Interim Sheriff-Substitute A.J. Adie, .....
..... Laurence White, an apprentice glazing kiln worker, Bo'ness, for having stolen three earthenware jugs from Bo'ness Pottery, pleaded
guilty, and was sent to prison for two days.
Falkirk Herald, 25 March 1880
Bo'ness, Accident - On Wednesday afternoon week, an unfortunate accident occurred to a kilnman named John Henderson, jun.,
working in Bo'ness Pottery. It would appear that a mere boy named Alex. Gray, son of David Gray, carter, was in charge of a cartload of
coal for the pottery, and while driving the cart he jammed the poor man to the wall or threw him over fracturing his leg and otherwise
injuring him. At present Henderson lies very ill, as his leg is much torn and otherwise seriously injured.
Dundee Courier, 2 December 1881
Sheriff and Jury Trials - Before Sheriff Davidson and a jury, on Monday, .....
..... William Weldon, pottery worker, Grangepans, was charged with having, on the evening of Saturday, 15th October, assaulted John
Meldrum, labourer, Grangepans, in front of his own house, by striking him on the face and jaw, seizing hold of and compressing his
throat, knocking him down, and when down stabbing him three times on the shoulder and left side with a knife. Panel pleaded not guilty,
but was convicted on evidence, and sentenced to six months' imprisonment.
Edinburgh Evening News, 9 June 1883
Not a Fit Subject for Charity - The First Division of the Court of Session today considered an application by Alexander Sneddon, pottery
worker, Grangepans, parish of Carriden, for admission to the poors roll with a view of carrying on an action of reduction of his late
father's will. The statutory certificate by the minister and kirk-session of the parish showed that the applicant was 32 years of age, had a
family of four, was drawing £3 8s per annum of rent for subjects left to him by his father, lived rent free in other subjects belonging to a
sister, and was earning a weekly wage of 20s. The application was opposed by the trustees and beneficiaries under the will on the
ground that the applicant was not a proper subject for the benefit of the poors roll. The court today, after hearing counsel, refused the
Falkirk Herald,14 November 1883
Serious Accident - On Thursday morning an accident occurred in Bo'ness Pottery which was very nearly proving fatal to a workman
named John Thomson. While engaged at the enginehouse he lost his footing and fell amongst the machinery, fortunately he escaped
with a cut on the head, and a severe bruise on one of the ankles. He was conveyed home and medical assistance procured, and though
much hurt and his nerves much shaken, no serious result is expected.
Falkirk Herald, 4 February 1888
Imprisonment under the Civil Imprisonment (scotland) Act - At the Linlithgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday, William Galloway, a moulder,
residing at Schoolyard Brae, Bo'ness, appeared in answer to a citation calling upon him to show cause why he had not made payment
of the aliment of an illegitimate child borne to him by Catherine King, pottery worker, Grangepans. Galloway, in reply to the Sheriff, gave
as his reason for the non-payment of the aliment that the child was not his. The Sheriff remarked that it was too late to go into that now,
as decree had been granted against him, and he gave an order for Galloway's incarceration in the Calton Jail, Edinburgh, for six weeks.
The agent of pursuer mentioned that fugae warrant had been obtained against the man, but he had evaded the same, it was believed, by
a hurried trip to Liverpool, but had since been apprehended on his return to Bo'ness.
Falkirk Herald, 4 January 1890
Machinery Accident - A girl named Sneddon had her arm badly cut in the machinery at Bridgeness Pottery on Thursday. Medical aid
was procured, and we understand she is progressing favourably.
Falkirk Herald, 26 May 1894
Accident - On Monday a lad named David Dewar, residing in Waggon Road, had his thigh fractured by falling in the packing department
of Bo'ness Pottery.
Glasgow Herald, 23 June 1894
Barrowman v. Marshall & Company - The Second Division ordered issues for jury trial in an action in which Jane Barrowman, gilder,
Main Street, Bo'ness, sues John Marshall & Company, for payment of £500 damages in respect of personal injuries sustained while in
the employment of the defenders. On 4th November the pursuer was working at a stool with her back to a stove, when a flame bursting
from a pot on the stove set fire to her clothes, with the result that she was severely burned. The pot contained a quantity of turpentine
and resin, and the pursuer avers that it was the duty of the defenders to see that such a dangerous and inflammable mixture was
prepared in such a manner and in such a place that no danger could arise to their employees, The defenders deny fault.
Edinburgh Evening News, 3 September 1894
A Bo'ness Donnybrook - At Bo'ness Police Court to-day, Catherine Groggan or Barnet, wife of a pottery worker residing in Grangepans,
was fined 10s, or seven days' imprisonment, for assaulting a neighbour named Jane Williamson, wife of a miner, by throwing a brick at
her and laming her. As a result of this assault, a series of disturbancies ensued, and a number of persons were charged and convicted
of outrageous conduct by throwing stones and pails of water at each other. Various penalties were imposed.
Dundee Evening Telegraph, 13 February 1895
Alleged Bigamy by a Salvationist - At Linlithgow Sheriff Court yesterday - before Sheriff-Substitute Melville - John George Scott, who
had been brought from Aberdeen, was examined on a charge of having, on 25th October 1889, in the house or premises at Victoria
Terrace, Bo'ness, occupied by Thomas Clark, then acting as "captain" of the Salvation Army at Bo'ness, being the lawful husband of
Annie MacDougal or Scott, 35 Duff Street, Macduff, bigamously married Isabella McLay King, pottery worker, Bo'ness. Scott was
committed to prison.
Falkirk Herald, 23 March 1895
Death of a Crimean Veteran - The funeral took place on Saturday to Bo'ness Cemetery of Duncan Rew, an old Crimean veteran, who
died at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, in his sixty-fifth year. He had served in the 46th Lancashire Regiment, and was present at
Balaclava and Sebastopol. He was in possession of the British and Turkish medals and three clasps. He was for several years
timekeeper and engineman in the Bo'ness Pottery, and latterly was similarly engaged under the Kinneil Coal Company. Rew was in
receipt of a pension for about two years. He leaves a widow and grown-up family, who reside at Hamilton Square.
Falkirk Herald, 2 April 1898
Sad Burning Fatality - On Tuesday of last week, a girl, four years old, named Julia Robertson, daughter of George Robertson, pottery
worker, Cadell's Buildings, Grangepans, met with a serious burning accident, which has since proved fatal. It appears that plumbers in
the employment of Mr Dymock were engaged carrying out some improvements on a property in the vicinity of the West Lothian Pottery.
They had a plumber's chaffer on the ground, which they used for melting lead and other purposes. While the workmen were at breakfast,
the children had been playing around the fire, and the dress of the girl Robertson caught the flame. A man who witnessed the
occurrence wrapped his coat round the child's burning clothing. This had the effect of suppressing the flames, but not before the
unfortunate girl had been badly burned about the face and neck, and upper parts of the body. She was taken home, and attended by
Dr Sinclair, and on Saturday, as already indicated, she died from the effects of her injuries.
Edinburgh Evening News, 16 May 1898
The Attempted Wife Murder at Bo'ness - In Linlithgow Sheriff Court to-day, an inquiry at the instance of the Procurator-Fiscal of the
county was held concerning the mental condition of James Gemmell, pottery-worker, Grangepans, Bo'ness, who was arrested on 18th
April on a charge of attempted wife murder. Accused, who has since been confined in an asylum as a pauper lunatic, in the dock to-day
looked very depressed. A number of witnesses were examined as to the attack on his wife. Dr Sinclair, Bo'ness, who examined the
woman at the time, said he discovered no fewer than 28 wounds on her person. She was stabbed on the neck, the loins, and other parts
of the body, and her hands were also severely cut. The Sheriff, after hearing the medical evidence, granted an order for the accused's
confinement as a dangerous lunatic.
Edinburgh Evening News, 3 November 1902
Bo'ness Police Court - At Bo'ness Police Court today, Albert Heath, labourer, Grangepans, was fined £1, or 14 days' imprisonment, for
assaulting the manager of the Bridgeness Pottery, with whom he had had a dispute about wages.
Dundee Evening Telegraph, 21 March 1934
Scotland's Older Potter - The death has occurred at Bo'ness at the age of 85 of Mr George Hardie, who was the oldest retired potter in
Scotland. For 68 years he was employed in the pottery trade, starting work at the age of 11. Apart from a year which he spent at a
pottery in Finnieston Street, Glasgow, George was employed regularly in the Bo'ness potteries, old and new. He made the full Rosebery
dinner set of 72 pieces, which was accepted for exhibition in England. A keen footballer, he played back for the old Bo'ness Club, and
acted as their trainer for fourteen years.
Dundee Evening Telegraph, 4 July 1939
Scotland's Last Pottery Manager - Mr John McNay (78), the last of the old Scottish pottery managers, died at his home in Linlithgow to-
day. His uncle, owner of the original Bo'ness Pottery, gave him his start in life, and for over 50 years, until the decline of the industry, Mr
McNay was actively engaged in the business. He went into retirement in Linlithgow ten years ago.