Amongst our collection of Antique Sussex Pottery we have an important documentary Rye Flagon inscribed with the name Moses Roots and dated 1846. This pot would have been made at the Cadborough pottery, Rye by William Mitchell or one of his sons Frederick or Henry; it is inscribed underneath Rye pottery.
It is a known fact that these so called ‘ Harvest wares’ were filled with either beer or cider and on long hot summer days when there was arduous reaping to be done were taken to the field and used to quench the thirst of those working there.
Sometimes such vessels were borrowed from the local pub and some had witty rhymes inscribed upon them reminding the borrower that they needed to be returned at the end of the day. (This on behalf of the landlord was a creative way of drumming up business!)
My initial impression of our Flagon was that it was so elaborate that it must have had some sort of commemorative meaning. So it was a surprise to learn that Moses Roots was listed in the 1841 census as living in Wish Street, Rye where his occupation was given as an agricultural labourer.
Moses was married in Rye on the 21st July 1839 to Caroline Burchett who was the daughter of William Burchett. They had a daughter Victoria Harriett Roots who was born in 1840 – Moses died in 1854.