Lucraft and Luckraft One-name Study

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Gladstone for the Million

Here is a picture of a small dish I have just acquired. It was made in 1869, to celebrate Gladstone’s victory. I bought it to go in the Lucraft One Name Collection archives, (which are very small!), as Gladstone figured so highly in Benjamin Lucraft’s life, and this dish commemorates the election of Gladstone in 1867.

I’m not sure yet to what the “for the million” refers. There are at least two theories:

One is that over a million emigrants had left Ireland after the Great Famine. The Great Famine had deeply impacted British politics. The 1 million deaths and the 1 million emigrants who left Ireland - some on so-called 'coffin ships' - had left their mark. In 1858, the Fenian Society was started in America. In Ireland, Fenians committed acts of violence to bring attention to their grievances. In 1868, Gladstone became Prime Minister for the first time. He declared that it was his mission to "pacify Ireland". Gladstone was a man who held strong religious views but he was not a bigot. He was driven by what he considered to be right and wrong and he viewed that many things in Ireland were wrong. Therefore, he set himself the task of righting those things he considered to be wrong.

The second is the Reform Act of 1867 : Disraeli proposed a new Reform act. Despite resignations by some Tories such as Lord Cranborne, the conservatives were supported by Gladstone and his followers and the bill was passed. The "Reform Act" gave the vote to every male adult householder living in a borough constituency. Male lodgers paying over £10 for unfurnished rooms were also granted the vote. Altogether all this was over one and a half million men.

Henry Greener, was born into the glass making industry and became the owner of the Wear Flint Glass Works after being an apprentice at both Pipewellgate and with Sowerby. In 1858, he formed a partnership with James Angus trading under the name of Angus and Greener. When Angus died in 1869, Henry Greener continued under his own name until 1884. The first design to be registered under this was the Gladstone for the Million tea set designs on 31st July 1869 to commemorate Gladstone's appointment as Prime Minister.

The Million plate has a registration of Rd No. 231430 of 31st July 1869. Gladstone had won a landslide election the previous year and the Greener plate proved to be an immensely popular purchase.


  • I too, have a "Gladstone for the Million" dish which has been passed down to me from my late mother's side of the family. I believe it belonged to her father.

    I have often wondered what the "for the million" meant - maybe you have answered the question.

    I was interested to learn that the dishes were made in 1869.

    Do you have any idea how many could be in circulation today? I've never seen one before.



    By Blogger Pete, at 1:03 PM  

  • We too have a glass dish exactly as in the picture & we would also be interested in knowing how many were produced and how many still exist.

    By Blogger Bob, at 3:11 PM  

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