West-Country Clock and Watch Makers

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913. pp. 242-244.


R. Pearse Chope

Prepared by Michael Steer

At the time of writing, the new edition of Britten's "Old Clocks and Watches and their Makers" (1904) had just appeared and in it, the Westcountry made a relatively poor showing. This Note provided some more names of Westcountry clock and watch makers, in the hope that they might be added to those appearing in Britten's text. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Note 169. WEST-COUNTRY CLOCK AND WATCH MAKERS. - Having occasion to consult F. J. Britten's well-known work on Old Clocks and Watches and their Makers (3rd Ed., 191 1), containing a list of 11,000 makers, I was surprised to find how few were located in Devon and Cornwall. It will, I think, be interesting to give a complete list of these, in the hope that readers of Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries will be able to supplement it. It should be noted that "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."

Belling, John, Bodmin, 1780, 1840.
Boney, Caleb, a well-known Cornish clockmaker ; died at Padstow 1827.
Clement, Edward, C.C., 1671 ; the inscription " Edward Clement, Exon," on a lantern clock may apply to him.
Curtiss, Wm., Exeter ; watch, 1805.
Ezekiel, -------- , Exon ; watch, hall mark 1794.
Frost, -------- , Exeter; put Lovelace's clock in order in 1849.
Gatty, Thos., Bodmin, 1790-1820.
Haywood, John, Crediton ; in 1766 he patented (No. 836) a calendar ring.
Hillman, Wm., Plymouth Dock, 1770.
Howard, Wm.; repaired the clock at Exeter Cathedral, 1760.
Jonas, Saml., Exon ; watch, 1783.
Lovelace, Jacob, Exeter; died 1766, aged 60; maker of a famous clock.
Mallett, a Devonshire family of clockmakers; long marqueterie case clock by Peter Mallett, about 1705; John Mallett, Barnstable (sic), 1842.
Morcombe, Jno., made the town clock for Hartland in 1622-23; "new made" it in 1657-58.
Mortimore, --------, Dartmouth; watch, 1825.
Mudge, Thomas, Fleet Street, London; a celebrated maker; born at Plymouth 1715, died 1794.
Northcote, Samuel, son of a Plymouth watchmaker, and elder brother of James Northcote the artist, was sent to London to Mudge to be instructed in watch-making in 1766; a watch by him inscribed "Samuel Northcote, Plymouth," about 1780.
Pilson, Abraham, Plymouth ; watch, about 1700.
Pollard, -------- , Crediton, about 1760.
Roger, --------, clockmaker, Barnstaple; repaired the clock at Exeter Cathedral, 1424.
Routledge, Geo., Lydford, died 1801 ; curious epitaph in Lydford Churchyard.
Sanderson, Geo., Exeter; patentee of tools for duplicating parts of watches (1761, No. 763) ; also a lunar and calendar watch-key (1762, No. 777.)
Thorne, Sim., Tiverton, 1740.
Tickle, Jno., junr., Crediton ; 30-hour clock, lantern movement, about 1730.
Towson, Jno. Thos., Devonport; received Vulcan medal and £10 from Society of Arts for chronometer banking, 1826.
Upjohn, Richd., Exon ; long-case clock, about 1730.
Upjohn, Wm., Exon ; watch, silver dial, raised figures, hall mark, 1741.
Upjohn, Peter, Bideford ; watch, 1780.
Zucker, Jno., Tiverton, 1710.

                                  R. PEARSE CHOPE