Brown Betty Teapot
History of the Brown Betty
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History of the Brown Betty

The Brown Betty has been very popular since it's inception in the 1800s. I have read on other web sites all sorts of claims as to it's history and origins. Many web sites simply copy somebody elses comments embellishing them along the way and you end up with a rather skewed picture. I will give you my version based on the reading I have done on the subject.

The glaze on the teapot is based on a manganese brown glaze developed by the Marquis of Rockingham on his estate in England in the late 1700s. This Rockingham Brown glaze and the Betty shape was eventually shortened to the affectionate term Brown Betty which we use today. (How the shape got the Betty term I have not yet discovered.) The teapot was one made for the general public as a very utilitarian piece for daily use. It needed to be durable and cheap and so was made from a good terracotta clay which would hold the heat nicely. Todays teapots are still made out of a red clay visible on the unglazed portions of the lid and base of the teapot.