Whittaker & Co of Hallfield Pottery, Hanley, Staffordshire were in business from 1886 to 1892. Your plate appears to be hand-painted rather than transfer-printed, so technically falls outside the scope of this Board, but no matter. I think this is probably the first piece I have ever seen by this maker, so not a lot I can tell you.
Bearing in mind the dates for Whittaker, not sure where 7/78 fits in. I could not see where it appears on the piece from your images. Normally one would expect 7/78 to be a date code for July 1878.
PS For the technically minded I accessed Donald's images using a PC running Chrome as the browser, right clicking on the image symbol in the post and selecting "open in new tab".
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