List of English & European Clock Makers
This Comprehensive List of Clock Makers Saved Me Hours & Hours Of Research, and I’m Sure It Will For You Too…
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This list of 4,500 clockmakers has been compiled from a number of sources. Used primarily were the lists from The Old Clock Book (1911 edition) by N. Hudson Moore, and cross-referenced with the watchmakers & clockmakers of the world (second Edition 1947) by G.H. Baillie and Old Clocks and Watches and Their Makers (Fifth Edition, 1922) by F. J. Britten. Those works, in turn, referenced earlier material.
Hudson Moore derived his lists, as he states in his book “from the Books of Clockmakers’ Company in London, from the list arranged by Octavius Morgan, Esq., and published in the Archaeological Journal, from the Catalogues of Sales in London and the United States, from the Catalogues of Collections in many parts of the world, from existing collections private and public, and from the dials of clocks and watches personally examined, or sent by their owners.”
Moore further states, “The dates in many cases refer to the time when the member was admitted to the Clockmakers’ Company. In some cases, it was possible to trace the name through directories, and through records of the Company, or by finding, in the case of watchmakers, the date letter on cases.”
As Moore writes: “In 1344 the Master Clockmakers of Paris were incorporated by statute and in 1627 a proposal to grant letters patent to allow French clockmakers to carry on their trade-in London caused such an agitation in that city that a committee of clockmakers was formed and a petition for a charter was presented to Charles I., which he granted August 22, 1631, as “The Master, Wardens, and Fellowship of the Art of Clockmakers of the City of London.”
Like the other guilds or companies, the clockmakers were empowered by their charter to regulate the trade in London or within ten miles of the city, and to a certain extent throughout the kingdom. Like other companies, they had the “right of search,” which now seems very arbitrary. In order to “prevent the public from being injured by persons making, buying, selling, transporting, and importing any bad, deceitful, or insufficient clocks, watches, larums, sundials, boxes, or cases for the said trade,” powers were given “to enter with a constable or other officer, any ships, vessels, warehouses, shops, or other places where they shall suspect such bad and deceitful works to be made or kept, for the purposes of searching for them.” They might enter by force if their progress was denied. This right of search was in force till about 1700.
About the Accuracy of Names and Dates
Names places and dates must not be relied upon as discrepancies and conflicting data was found when cross-referencing which called into question the accuracy and transcription of the original research used by Moore.
This is most probably explained by the differences in sources he used he may have cited an advertisement contemporary to the clockmaker as evidence of his active dates; or he may have used records from the Clockmakers Company or other official documents, “circa” date is given, meaning the clockmaker was active around that time but that the exact dates of his business activities are unknown.
If a decision is to be made regarding the financial value or disposition of a clock-based in large part on the attribution of its maker, this list should be used as the starting point for further research rather than as the final authority