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An Encyclopaedia of Famous Clock and Watchmakers - Details of Famous and World Renowned Watch and Clock Makers

An Encyclopaedia of Famous Clock and Watchmakers - Details of Famous and World Renowned Watch and Clock Makers


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An Encyclopaedia of Famous Clock and Watchmakers - Details of Famous and World Renowned Watch and Clock Makers


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Apr 16, 2013


This little book contains an alphabetical list of world famous watch and clock makers. Each entry signifies the period when the person referred to was connected with the Clockmaker's Company, or known to be in business, or when some example of their work was made. Following the names and addresses of some makers is a description of their work which has been met with, or of some invention or distinguishing trait.
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Apr 16, 2013

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An Encyclopaedia of Famous Clock and Watchmakers - Details of Famous and World Renowned Watch and Clock Makers - ANON




THE dates following the names in this alphabetical list signify the period when the person referred to was connected with the Clockmakers’ Company, or known to be in business, or when some example of his work was made. It does not necessarily follow that he then either began or relinquished the trade. Throughout the list C.C. stands for Clockmakers’ Company, B.M. for British Museum, and S.K.M. for South Kensington Museum. Following the names or addresses of some of the makers is a slight description of their work which has been met with, or of some invention or distinguishing trait. Of the more important men, fuller descriptions are given in the body of the book, and reference is then made to the page where such particulars may be found.

On estimating the age of a timekeeper by a maker the only reference to whom is that he was admitted to the Clockmakers’ Company, it may in the majority of cases be assumed that he was at the time of his admission a young man just out of his apprenticeship; but there are many exceptions. The first members of the Clockmakers’ Company were many of them of mature years at the time of the incorporation; and afterwards, men who had made some mark or whom circumstances had brought into notice were then induced to join. Hon. freemen, elected after 1781, had all made their reputation before entry.

It is easy to understand that the roll of membership of the company at no time represented the whole of the clockmakers and watchmakers within its sphere of action. Many who did not care to join would escape observation, and then those who were free of other guilds at the incorporation made their apprentices free of the particular company to which they were attached.

Although the addresses of the freemen at first are rarely given, it may be taken for granted that they were nearly all within a radius of ten miles, and among the later ones it will be found that very few of them resided at any great distance from the metropolis.

On some of the early clocks and watches the name inscribed was that of the owner; but in 1777 an Act of Parliament required the name and place of abode of the maker to be engraved.

The locality of some of the residences may not in all cases be readily recognized. Sweeting’s Alley, Cornhill, or Royal Exchange, evidently a favourite spot with the craft, was where the statue of Rowland Hill now stands. It was not rebuilt after the destruction of the Exchange by fire, in 1838. Bethlem, or Bethlehem, was in Moorfields. Cateaton Street is now Gresham Street. One side of Wilderness Row now remains; the row was widened and transformed into the thoroughfare which cuts through St. John’s Square, and is called Clerkenwell Road. Union Street, Bishopsgate, or Spitalfields, is now Brushfield Street. The Bishopsgate Street end, with the larger part of Sun Street, was absorbed in building the terminus of the Great Eastern Railway. Wellington Street, St. Luke’s, is now in Lever Street, and King Street, Holborn, is now Southampton Row. Grubb Street is now Milton Street. The Fleet Street end of what was Water Lane in Tompion’s time is now Whitefriars Street.

Hicks’ Hall is mentioned. This was the title given to the Sessions House, which at that time stood in the middle of St. John Street, near Smithfield market. It was afterwards rebuilt on Clerkenwell Green.

Taking into consideration the difficulty of obtaining precise information respecting the early names, added to the vagaries of seventeenth-century orthography, I hope and believe the list is as nearly as possible correct, and tolerably complete, so far as London makers are concerned. Outside of the metropolis I have not attempted to do more than record the facts which happen to be within my reach, and I venture to beg the favour of communications respecting corrections and additions.

After 1842 the names are given only of those above mediocrity, or concerning whom some peculiarity is known, and who have ceased to carry on business. Many of those who are traced to 1842 probably continued for years afterwards, but the list is not intended as a guide to clock and watchmakers of to-day.

Aaron, Benjamin, 17, Bury Street, St. Mary Axe, 1840–1842.

Abbis, J., 37, Bishopsgate Street Within, 1807.

Abbott, Philip, admitted C.C., 1703.

——, Peter, admitted C.C., 1719.

——, John, admitted C.C., 1788; charged with making an agreement to go to St. Petersburg to work at clockmaking, and convicted at Hicks’ Hall of the offence. Known as a maker of long-case clocks, 1787–1800.

Abdy, William, 5, Oat Lane, Noble Street, 1768–1800.

Abelling, William, 7, Wynyatt Street, Clerkenwell, 1820; 36, Spencer Street, 1835; 1820–1842.

Abraham, John, 27, Steward Street, Bishopsgate, 1820.

Abrahams, H., 21, Bevis Marks, 1800–1820.

——, Godfrey, 51, Prescot Street, Goodman’s Fields, 1835–1842.

——, Samuel, 23, Little Alie Street, 1840–1842.

——, A., 9, Great Prescot Street, 1840–1842.

——, Elijah, 27, Hanway Street, Oxford Street, 1840–1847.

Absolon, —, London, maker of long-case clocks, strike-silent, sunk seconds, scroll and foliage corners, about 1770.

Ackers, W., Holborn; pair-case watch in S.K.M., early part of eighteenth century; 1700–1720.

Acklam, John Philip, 423, Strand, 1820; 138, Strand, 1840.

——, T., 14, Birchin Lane, 1825–1833.

Acton, Thomas, Clerkenwell, admitted C.C., 1677.

——, Abraham, admitted C.C., 1790.

Adams, John, 1, Dove Court, Moorfield, 1770–1772.

——, C. and J., 10, King Street, Cheapside, 1788.

Adams, Stephen, and Son, 3, St. Anne’s Lane, Aldersgate, 1788.

——, John, 31, Maiden Lane, 1790.

——, F. B., St. John’s Square, Clerkenwell, master, C.C., 1848; 1815–1848.

——, F. B., and Son, 21, St. John’s Square, 1830–1842.

Adamson, Humfry, maker of a clock for Whitehall Chapel, 1682.

——, John, admitted C.C., 1686. A Gold Minute Watch, lately made by Mr. Adamson, over against the Blue Boar in Holborn (London Gazette, March 3–7, 1686).

Addis, William, 3, Birchin Lane; son of Robert A., of Bristol; apprenticed to George Sims, 1738; admitted C.C., 1745; master, 1764; 1753–1788.

——, George, 79, Cornhill, 1786–1790.

——, George C., 3, Birchin Lane, livery C.C., 1787; 1780–1798.

Adeane, Henry, admitted C.C., 1675.

——, admitted C.C., 1705.

Airy, George Biddell, Astronomer Royal, 1840–1881; K.C.B., 1874; died 1892, aged 90; devoted much attention to the perfecting of timekeepers.

Aitken, John, 55, St. John’s Street, Clerkenwell, received in 1824 a prize of twenty guineas from the Society of Arts for a clock train remontoire; 1800–1826.

Alais, M., Blois, maker of watches, about 1680.

Albert, Isaac, admitted C.C., 1731.

Albrecht, Michael George, maker of gold repeating watch in the S.K.M., bearing the royal arms, outer case repoussé; about 1720.

Alcock, Thomas, petitioner for incorporation of C.C. In Kingdome’s Intelligencer, February 4, 1661, was advertised as lost, a round high watch of a reasonable size, showing the day of the month, age of the moon, and tides; upon the upper plate Thomas Alcock, fecit, 1630–1654.

Alderhead, J., 114, Bishopsgate Without, 1783–1788.

Aldred, Leonard, C.C., 1671.

Aldridge, John, admitted C.C., 1726.

——, James, 11, Northumberland Street, Strand, 1830.

Aldworth, Samuel, C.C., 1697.

Alexander, W., 10, Parliament Street, 1830–1840.

——, A., and Co., 25, Bedford Street, Bedford Square, 1840.

Aley, Thomas, 18, Park Side, Knightsbridge, 1840–1842.

Allam, Andrew, Grubb Street, admitted C.C., 1664; maker of lantern clocks, 1664–1685.

——, William, Fleet Street, 1780.

—— and Stacy, 175, Fleet Street, 1783.

—— and Clements, 119, New Bond Street, 1790.

——, John, 119, New Bond Street, 1798.

—— and Caithness, 119, New Bond Street, 1800–1804.

Allan, Robert, London, known as a maker of repeating watches, 1780–1790.

Allaway, John, admitted C.C., 1695.

Allcock, William, watch-hand maker, 36, Allen Street, Clerkenwell, 1820.

——, Elias, admitted C.C., 1653; master, 1636; 1654.

——, John, admitted C.C., 1653.

——, John, admitted C.C., 1720.

——, John, 42, Poultry, 1772–1775.

——, George, 9, New Bond Street, hon. freeman C.C., 1781; 1770–1783.

——, James, 76, New Gravel Lane, an ingenious watchmaker to whom the Board of Longitude awarded £105, for engine dividing, 1790–1800.

Allen, John, watch-case maker, Barbican; convicted in the Mayor’s Court for refusing to become a member of the C.C., although he was at the time free of the Goldsmiths’ Company; 1785.

Allen, George, Fleet Street, liveryman, C.C., 1776.

Allen, George, watchmaker, 14, Red Lion Passage; elected hon. freeman of C.C. at Devil Tavern, 1781–1842.

Allet, George, admitted C.C., 1691.

Alling, Richard, admitted C.C., 1722.

——, James, 22, Red Lion Street, Whitechapel, 1842.

Allsop, Joshua, Northamptonshire, admitted C.C., 1689.

Almond, Ralph, admitted C.C., 1646; master, 1678; 1646–1679.

——, John, admitted C.C., 1671.

——, William, Lothbury, maker of a clock for Hall, Bishop of Exeter, C.C., 1633–1635.

Ambrose, Edward, apprentice of Elias Voland, 1634.

——, David, admitted C.C., 1669.

Ames, Richard, admitted C.C., 1653; died in 1682, after election as master; a clock of his make has dolphin frets and bob pendulum working between going and striking, 1653–1682.

——, William, admitted C.C., 1682.

Amyot, Peter, Norwich, maker of lantern clocks, about 1660.

Anderson, —, sued in 1777 by Cabrier, for putting his name on five watches, 1777.

——, Edward C., Newington Butts, a successful watchmaker who carried out the not unreasonable rule of making a charge for furnishing a repairing estimate if it involved taking down a watch, 1835–1842.

Andrew, J., 14, Queen Street, Ratcliff Cross, 1820.

Andrews, John, Leadenhall Street, admitted C.C., 1688; 1688–1710.

——, Richard, admitted C.C., 1703.

——, Thomas, admitted C.C., 1705.

——, Robert, admitted C.C., 1709.

——, James, admitted C.C., 1719.

——, William, admitted C.C., 1719.

——, Abraham, Bank Coffee House, Threadneedle Street, 1759.

——, Richard, 124, Leadenhall Street, 1775.

——, Eliza, 85, Cornhill, 1800.

Angel, Richard, repairer of clock at Wigtoft, Boston, Lincolnshire, 1484.

Anness, William, 102, Cheapside, 1798–1820.

Ansell and Son, watch-spring maker, 22, Whitecross Place, 1798–1820.

——, H., 17, Colchester Square, Savage Gardens, 1830.

Anthony, —, clockmaker to Henry VIII., 1529.

——, William, 55, St. John Street, Clerkenwell. In the S.K.M. is a magnificent long oval watch by him. It is rather a large size, back enamelled and decorated with diamonds and pearls; but the peculiar feature is that the dial is also oval; the hands are jointed, and automatically lengthen and shorten as they travel round; 1770–1790.

——, William, 55, Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, 1823.

Antt, G., 158, Strand, 1769–1788.

Antram, Joshua, London, maker of a long walnut-case clock, square dial, cherub corners, circles round winding holes, about 1700.

Apelyne, Francis (French), C.C., 1687.

Appleby, Joshua, apprentice of Daniel Quare; admitted C.C., 1719; master, 1745; 1719–1746.

——, Edward, admitted C.C., 1677.

Applegarth, Thomas, C.C., 1674.

Appleton, Henry, 50, Myddleton Square, 1840–1842.

Archambo, —, Prince’s St., Leicester Fields, maker of a fine marqueterie case clock, arch dial; also of a repoussé case verge watch, hall mark, 1730; 1710–1730.

Archer, Henry, admitted C.C., 1630; subscribed £10 for incorporation of C.C., and was the first warden, 1630–1649.

——, John, admitted C.C., 1660.

——, Edward, admitted C.C., 1711.

——, S., junior, 35, Leather Lane, 1794; 33, Kirby Street, Hatton Garden, 1810; 1794–1830.

——, Thomas, 6, Long Lane, Smithfield, 1820.

Ariell, James, watch movement maker, 10, Wilderness Row, 1815–1820.

——, John, 10, Percival Street, Northampton Square, 1822–1830.

Arland, Benjamin, maker of a large silver repeating watch in the B.M., about 1680.

Arlandi, John, chain-maker for watches, Red Rose Street, Covent Garden, 1680.

Armitage and Co., 88, Bishopsgate Within, 1798.

Armstrong, John, C.C., 1724.

Arnold, Thomas, admitted C.C., 1703.

——, Henry, 46, Lombard Street, 1769–1783.

——, John, Devereux Court, Fleet Street, 1760; 112, Cornhill, 1780 (see p. 127).

—— and Son, 112, Cornhill, 1798.

——, John Roger, Bank Buildings, 102, Cornhill, 1804–1830.

——, John R., and Dent, 84, Strand, 1830–1840.

——, John R., 84, Strand, 1842.

Arnoltt, Richard, 18, Red Cross Street, Barbican, 1820–1825.

Arthur, William, C.C., 1676.

Ash, —, subscribed £2 for incorporation of C.C., 1630–1632.

——, Ralph, admitted C.C., 1648.

Ashbourne, Leonard, at the Sugar Loaf in Paternoster Row, next Cheapside, inventor and maker of a clock lamp, 1731.

Ashley, J. P., 99, Bache’s Row, City Road, 1800.

—— and Mansell, 34, Rosomon Street, Clerkenwell, 1835.

——, Edward, 9, John Street, Pentonville, 1842.

Ashurst, William, C.C., 1699.

Ashwell, Nicholas, C.C., 1649.

Aske, Henry, admitted C.C., 1676; George Graham was apprenticed to him in 1688; 1676–1696.

Askell, Elizabeth, apprenticed in 1734 to Elinor Moseley; 1734.

Aspinwall, Thomas, maker of small oval watch (see p. 58), about 1630.

——, Samuel, maker of a clock watch in possession of Lord Torphichen, about 1655.

——, Josiah, brother of C.C., 1675.

Atchison, Robert, apprenticed to Robert Harding, 1753; admitted C.C. 1760; 1760–1819.

Atkins, Samuel, and Son, Palgrave Court, Temple Bar, 1759–1763.

——, Robert, Palgrave Court, Temple Bar, 1769.

——, Francis, 35, Clement’s Lane; apprenticed to Joshua Hassell, 1746; admitted C.C., 1759; master, 1780; clerk. 1785; 1760–1809.

Atkins, George, son of Francis, 35, Clement’s Lane, warden, C.C., 1809; afterwards clerk, 1800–1838.

——, George, and Son, 6, Cowper’s Court, Cornhill, 1840–1842.

——, Robert, 20, Salisbury Street, Strand, 1770–1788.

——, S., watch-case maker, 14, Bridgewater Square, 1810.

——, W., watch-case maker, 7, Upper Ashby Street, Clerkenwell, 1820.

——, William, 71, High Street, Poplar, 1835–1842.

——, W., 3, High Street, Hoxton, 1835.

Atkinson, James, admitted C.C., 1667; assistant, 1697; 1667–1697.

Atis, Leonard, London, maker of lantern clocks, about 1660.

Attbury, J., watch movement maker, 15, York Street, St. Luke’s, 1835.

Atwood, George, 17, Leonard Street, Shoreditch, 1820.

——, born 1746, died 1807; an eminent mathematician; studied watchwork, and reported to Parliament on Mudge’s timekeeper, 1793.

——, Richard, 41, Poultry, 1800–1810.

Atwell, William, 11, Pitfield Street, Hoxton, 1825.

Auber, Daniel, Whitefriars, 1750.

Aubert and Klaftenberger, 157, Regent Street, 1835–1842.

Auld, William, Edinburgh, friend and partner of Thomas Reid, 1790–1818.

Augier, Jehan, Paris, maker of large watches, about 1650.

Ault, Thomas, 34, Prince’s Street, Leicester Square, 1820–1825.

Austen, John, Shoreditch, admitted C.C., 1711; maker of a clock with square dial, pull-chime, black bell-top case, 1711–1725.

Austin and Co., 176, Oxford Street, 1820.

——, John, 136, Oxford Street, 1830–1840.

Aveline, Daniel, died 1770, when warden, C.C., 1760–1770.

Avenall, a family well known as clockmakers in Hampshire for over 150 years, 1640–1810.

Avenall, Ralph, Farnham, maker of a balance escapement clock, about 1640.

Avenell, Thomas, admitted C.C., 1705.

Avery, —, Cheapside, 1774.

——, Philip, Red Cross Square, 1790.

Ayeres, Richard, admitted C.C., 1680.

Aynsworth, J., Westminster, maker of lantern clocks, 1645–1680.

Ayres, Thomas, 160, Fenchurch Street, 1800–1830.

—— and Bennett, 160, Fenchurch Street, 1820.

Ayscough, Ralph, St. Paul’s Churchyard, 1759.

——, Ralph, 18, Ludgate Street, 1768–1775.

Bachoffner, Andrew, 112, Shoreditch, 1775.

Bacon, John, admitted C.C., 1639.

——, Charles, admitted C.C., 1719.

Baddeley, Phineas, C.C., 1662.

Badger, John, admitted C.C., 1720.

Badollet, John, 50, Greek Street, Soho, 1842.

Baggs, Samuel, 3, South Street, Grosvenor Square, 1820–1835.

Bagley, Thomas, admitted C.C., 1664.

Bagnall, W. H., 42, Union Street, Bishopsgate, 1835–1840.

Bagnell, William, C.C., 1719.

Bagshaw, William, C.C., 1722.

Bagwell, Richard, 3, Queen Street, Cheapside, 1790.

Bailey, Jeffery, at ye Turn Style in Holburn, admitted C.C., 1648; master, 1674; maker of lantern clocks, 1648–1675.

——, Jeremiah, admitted C.C., 1724.

——, Catherine, watch-case maker, 22, Clerkenwell, 1790.

—— and Upjohn, 12, Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, 1798.

——, W., 19, Radcliff Row, Clerkenwell, 1835.

Bain, Alexander, Edinburgh, inventor of electric clocks (see p. 187), 1838–1858.

Baird, John, 190, Strand, 1770–1783.

——, W. and J., 4, Hatton Garden, 1810–1830.

Baker, Richard, admitted C.C., 1685; maker of an eight-day clock, ebony marqueterie case, square dial, cherub corners, no door to hood; also a similar clock in oak case, fine hands, 1685–1710.

Baker, Richard, admitted C.C., 1726. "A silver Minute Pendulum watch with a silver outcase and a coat of arms engraven on it (A Lyon

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