Early Clock and Watchmakers of the Blacksmiths' Company

Author: Keith Bates

490 pages, 400 illustrations

After more than 30 years research into the records of the Blacksmiths' Company of London, the author Keith Bates has produced an interesting and informative account of the development of the clock and watchmaking trade within that company.

In the early 17th century the watchmakers wanted to form their own company in order to control the quality and output of watches but the Blacksmiths' Company was concerned that it would lose many members and also much revenue.

After the formation of the Clockmakers' Company in 1632 the author follows the struggle between the two companies and explains how the trade continued to develop within the Blacksmiths' Company and shows how it expanded with a number of craftsmen moving to the provinces to trade. Some clockmakers also specialised in supplying clock movements to craftsmen in the Clockmakers' Company.

The author illustrates the work of the leading craftsmen working in the late 16th, 17th and 18th century which included lantern clocks, longcase clocks, table clocks, turret clocks and pocket watches.

The book comprises 12 chapters covering various aspects of the trade, shows 23 trade descents in tree form, has more than 400 illustrations and contains 490 pages, including a Directory of more than 1500 clock and watchmakers trained in the Blacksmiths' Company.