The first encounter with this “unsung hero” occurs in the Wedgwood manuscripts on September 20, 1769. Writing to Thomas Bentley, who had recently become his partner in the Ornamental Ware part of the business, Wedgwood related how he
“… hired an ingenious Boy last night for Etruria as a Modeler. He has modeled at nights in his way for three years past, has never had the least instructions, which circumstance considered he does things amazingly & will be a valuable acquisition. I have hired him for five years, & with Denby & him I shall not want any other constant modeler at Etruria. Palmer, Voyez, & several others wod. fain have hired this Boy but he chose to come to me”.