OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS

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ENTR\NCE DOOR OF MAGDALEN CHAPEL, COWGATE, EDINBURGH.

OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS

From 1453 to ^5°

COMPILED FROM ORIGINAL SOURCES WITH NOTES

BY JOHN SMITH

AUTHOR OF "THE HAMMERMEN OF EDINBURGH AND THEIR ALTAR "MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTIONS IN ST CUTHBERT'S CHURCHYARD, EDINBURGH " (SCOTTISH RECORD SOCIETY SERIES) ; ETC.

SECOND EDITION— REVISED AND ENLARGED

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

EDINBURGH

OLIVER AND BOYD, TWEEDDALE COURT

LONDON: 33 PATERNOSTER ROW

1921

FOREWORD

THE abundance and variety of Clocks and Watches every- where needs no comment here. They are part of our daily life, and it is safe to say that no other article of domestic or public utility has so many enduring associations.

Perhaps these latter are more emphasised in what are commonly termed " Grandfather Clocks," a name which at once suggests honoured ancestors long since departed. Throughout the length and breadth of Scotland they are to be seen, and they are treasured by their possessors amongst the most valued of heirlooms. Although many owners could readily tell to whom their clocks belonged originally, yet how few could give any information about the craftsmen who made and left so many fine specimens of their skill behind them. It is only but fair that the names of these patient and clever men should be held in remembrance. For that purpose this compilation has been undertaken.

In 1903 a first edition of this volume was published, and its instant success made clear that its contents were acceptable to a very large number of people. The names, data, and notes there given were reproduced in numerous papers and magazines all over the country, so much so that the intense interest aroused stimulated me to make further inquiries which are embodied in this volume. It may be mentioned that the occurrence of the Great War prevented its appearance sooner.

The subject is one of some difficulty, as most of the men pursued their daily labours in obscure villages and country districts, and never had an opportunity of being chronicled in written or printed records. The fortunate practice of

vii

974483

viii FOREWORD

affixing their names on their handiwork is the only clue available.

A careful search into likely sources has unearthed a mass of information which is surprising. The printed and documentary notes quoted are in a large number of instances almost the words of the men themselves, and we thereby get a peep into the thoughts and trade customs of the period in which they lived. In addition, several cognate matters, such as parentage, marriage, and other personal details about some of the craftsmen have been inserted, making this issue practically a new and fresh contribution to our knowledge of the rise and progress of one of the most important arts in Scotland. The present volume does not claim to give the name and date of every clock and watch- maker working in Scotland during the period reviewed. In a field of such an unknown and wide range, allowance must be made for omissions and errors. Our aim, primarily, was to rescue and preserve the memory of men who in their day and generation made themselves equal in capabilities to their English contemporaries who lived and worked in more favourable surroundings.

My sincere thanks are due to a number of noblemen and gentlemen who freely granted permission to view and reproduce some of the clocks, etc., in their possession.

A selection of North of England, Irish, and Isle of Man clock and watch makers is given in the Appendix. These are culled from a variety of sources for the purpose of increasing the scope of this work.

JOHN SMITH.

25 ST JAMES' SQUARE, EDINBURGH, 1921.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

No.

1. Entrance Door of Magdalen Chapel, Cowgate,

Edinburgh ...... Frontispiece

2. Clockmakers' Land, Bow, Edinburgh . . Face page \

3. Electro- Magnetic Clock, by Alexander Bain,

Edinburgh . . . . . . ,, 32

4. Parliament Square, Edinburgh, in the Eighteenth

Century ....... 42

{Long Case Clock, in Marquetry Case, by Andrew Brown, Edinburgh . . . . . 58

Long Case Clock, in Walnut Case, by Thomas Gordon, Edinburgh . . . . 58

6. Pinchbeck Watch, with Enamelled Back, by John

Cleland, Edinburgh . . . . 82

7. Eight-Day Clock, in Mahogany Case, by James

Craig, Glasgow ...... 90

8. Bracket Chiming Clock, in Walnut Case, with

Ormolu Mountings, by Alexander Dickie,

Edinburgh. . IO8

9. Movement of Non-Dial Chiming Clock, installed

in St Giles' Kirk, Edinburgh, made and pre- sented by Messrs James Ritchie & Son, Leith Street, Edinburgh . . . . ,,136

{Long Case Clock, in Marquetry Case, by Thomas Gordon, Edinburgh ....,,166

Long Case Clock, in Coloured Marquetry Case, by Paul Roumieu . ' . . !66

11. Musical Clock, in Mahogany Case, by John

Hamilton, Glasgow ... 182

Musical Clock, in Elm Root Case, by Anthony

12. J Jeeves, Edinburgh . . . . 206

Long Case Clock, in Oak Case, by James Cowan,

. Edinburgh ,,206

ix

x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

No.

13. Eight-Day Clock, in Mahogany Case, with Seconds

Hand from Centre, by Normond Macpherson,

Edinburgh ...... Face page 232

14. Magdalen Chapel, Cowgate, Edinburgh . . 236

15. The Belfry and Clock-Dial, Magdalen Chapel,

Edinburgh ....... 246

^Chamber Clock, by Humphrey Mills, Edinburgh . 256

16. J Facsimile of Brass Fret on Chamber Clock, by

(^ Humphrey Mills, Edinburgh 256

17. Lantern or Chamber Clock, in Unique Oak Case,

by Humphrey Mills, Edinburgh ,, 268

I Long Case Clock, in Mahogany Case, by James Nicoll, Edinburgh 286

Long Case Clock, in Oak Case, by Thomas Gordon, Edinburgh ...... 286

19. Bracket Clock, in Mahogany Case, inlaid with

Brass, by James Ritchie & Son, Edinburgh . 316

20. Watch, with Silver Dial and Gold Centre, by Paul

Roumieu, Edinburgh 324

2 !• f Elaborate Musical Clock, by J. Smith, Pittenweem ,, 354

22. I ,, Enlarged View of Principal Dial ,, 360

,, Music Dial . 362

,, Procession Dial ,, 364

25. Eight-Day Chime Clock, in Mahogany Case, by

John Smith, Pittenweem ....,, 386

2,

24. ^

INTRODUCTION

THE extent to which the use of clocks and watches prevailed throughout Scotland during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries cannot now be definitely ascertained. That there were a number of public clocks in various parts of the country so widely situated as Peebles, Stirling, Dundee, etc., as early as the middle of the fifteenth century, has now been satisfactorily proved, and gives rise to the surmise that Scotland could compare favourably with England, and even with the Continent, as far as numbers are considered at so early a period.

All the evidence available as to the time of their intro- duction into Scotland shows that the citizens of the larger towns were not only acquainted with such timekeepers, but appeared to be quite familiar with their convenience as compared with sundials. Along with this the provision made sometimes for their purchase, and, in all cases, for their upkeep and repair, shows that they were costly articles to buy, and that their maintenance was a severe tax on the owners. Probably introduced under the auspices of the Church, naturally the attention needed, after their erection, was under the care or supervision of a priest. In a number of the old records of such places as Peebles, Stirling, and Dundee (q.v.), it will be observed how careful the citizens themselves were, both in the purchase of, and attention to, their public clocks.

Possibly if more of these old Burgh Records were looked into, and we can only mention here that a very large number throughout Scotland have not been investigated, surprising evidence would be found bearing on the early use of " knoks." The priestly supervision proves that they were of foreign manufacture, and although the natives at that

xii INTRODUCTION

time were ignorant of their mechanism, this state of matters did not continue long, for towards the end of the fifteenth and the opening years of the sixteenth century native artisans arose who soon became quite competent to manufacture and repair these clocks. Certainly they were not a large number, and what there were appear to have had their hands pretty full. We only mention two William Purves and David Kaye, and in the extracts given from the Burgh Records of Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling and Edinburgh, it will be observed that the services of these men were in great demand. Probably there were more, but their names have not been preserved. All through the sixteenth century the numbers were limited, and not until the beginning of the seventeenth century do they appear to have increased ; and strange to say, the large towns seem to have had the fewer. This is made very clear in the notes on the Magdalen Chapel, Edinburgh, where, in language sometimes quaint and even pathetic, the struggle which the Hammermen of Edinburgh had in settling on a maker, and the trouble and expense incurred, are described. By 1650 clockmakers increased in number and came to be recognised as a branch of the locksmith trade, and as this made them members of the various Hammermen Incorporations, the minutes of their transactions record the progress and encouragement given to the art of Clockmaking.

These Incorporations were of old foundation Edinburgh dating from 1483 and there is scarcely a town or district in Scotland which has not had a Hammermen's Incorporation, some, of course, being of later creation. Each had its independent jurisdiction, and all of them did not at the same period allow clock and watch makers to become members. Among the first to do so was Edinburgh in 1646, Glasgow, 1649, Haddington, 1753, and Aberdeen, by some oversight not till 1800.

It is interesting to notice that by the middle of the eighteenth century clockmakers reached a high state of excellence in the making of the ordinary movements of a timekeeper ; but instead of endeavouring to simplify parts or make new improvements, a large number of capable men devoted their time and ingenuity to constructing clocks

INTRODUCTION xiii

with curious movements. It may here be stated that there is no account to be found of any Scotsman registering a patent in connection with clock-making during the whole of the eighteenth century. These clocks appear to have been regarded as the " Hall Mark " of a craftsman's ability, and culminated in the productions of John Smith of Pittenweem, details of which are fully given in the notes on clocks of that maker on p. 353.

As the nineteenth century rolled on this class of work fell into abeyance, and out of it arose the manufacture of astronomical clocks, which not only required great ingenuity in their construction, but very accurate calculations for their performance. Fortunately Scotland had men equal to the task of making such clocks, and we need only mention Thomas Reid and Robert Bryson, whose productions in that class of work bear testimony to the great skill and excellence our native craftsmen arrived at.

The period when watches began to be used and made in Scotland, is one of which no authentic information can be given. During the sixteenth century watches in Scotland were undoubtedly of foreign make, and probably regarded as curiosities. Limited in number, they are credited as being mainly in the possession of royal personages. Except David Ramsay (q.v.), who was regarded as being the first Scotsman to manufacture a watch, there is none other who could be named as a contemporary at this period in Scotland. The Edinburgh Hammermen's records are silent as to watches and watchmakers in the sixteenth century, and it is not until the close of the seventeenth century that we find any mention of them. The arrival of the Roumieus, 1677 to 1717, gives us authentic data to go upon, and from this period onwards, the manufacture of watches in Scotland reached a high state of excellence that has not been equalled by any other country.

The adoption of Free Trade and other factors had a direct influence on these old trade incorporations. The consequence was a failure of direct supervision of the workmen and apprentices. This, combined with the im- portation of the cheap American clocks, helped to extinguish an industry and a class of craftsmen who had been as

xiv INTRODUCTION

necessary in every village and town as the doctor or minister. The cheapness of these imported movements made it im- possible for our own craftsmen to compete with them, and a wave of mistaken prejudice having arisen against the preservation of these long case clocks, large numbers were destroyed for no other reason than that they were thought to be old-fashioned.

About 1880, the artistic education of all classes brought about a different state of opinion. The desire of lovers of the quaint and useful to acquire a genuine specimen of these old craftsmen's art soon created a demand which has quite outgrown the supply. In connection with this demand there has arisen a practice that deserves the severest condemnation large numbers of clock cases being spoiled by the introduction of inlays quite foreign to the period when the clock was made. It is perhaps unnecessary to mention these absurdities as they are easily seen on a case that is overdone, the old maker using only lines or banding of the wood, with perhaps a shell or two in the door and base, making a fitness of the whole that appeals at once to the beholder. Of course we do not allude to marquetry, which is a different treatment, but considerable care should be exercised in buying a clock with the case largely and often vulgarly decorated. The same warning applies to cases that are carved, plain oak cases being nearly always selected for this maltreatment. It is not unusual to see a case, beautiful in proportion, of the orthodox Chippendale design, completely disfigured with what appears to be Old Scotch or Jacobean carving, a treatment that belongs to a period long before Chippendale lived, and, to complete the absurdity, with a date added which the maker's name on the dial proves to be a gross fabrication.

This warning was given in the former edition of this work, and it is encouraging to see that it has borne fruit, for the practice has fallen greatly into abeyance. The information in this volume as to when these makers lived makes it a difficult matter to hoodwink those who pay any attention to the subject, and who can at once detect the work of the fabricator.

During the past ten years or so, large numbers of queries

INTRODUCTION

xv

have been received from possessors of old clocks, asking if the maker is considered a good one. Many of these queries have been sent from America, Australia, and other parts of the world. The same answer applies to all, if after a period of one hundred or more years the clock still performs its useful duty well, no better reply can be made than the clock itself gives as to the merits and capabilities of its maker.

J. S.

CLOCKMAKERS' LAND, Bow, EDINBURGH. Now demolished.

House and Workshop on fourth floor of Paul Roumieu, the first watchmaker established in Edinburgh, 1677-94. Drawn by T. H. Walker, Esq., from the measured drawing by the late Thomas Hamilton, 1830. (See p. 323.)

[To face page 1.

OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS

ABERCROMBIE, JAMES. Aberdeen, 1730. j ' *;t\ ; %•

ABERDEEN. Notices regarding the Common,- ClQcks;r)f ; the Burgh of, from the year 1453 to the year 1^92.

22nd May 1453. "The same day has granted the said Aldermen and Council to Johne Crukshanks the service of keeping of the orlage for this year and to have for his fee for the service of it, xls., and has sworn the great oath to do his delligent business to the keeping of it."

22nd November 1493. " The said day the Aldermen and divers of the Council and community present for the time, for the bigin, reformation and upholding of the common knok in the tolbooth, granted to David Theman, goldsmith, forty shillings of the three booths under the tolbooth for the quhilkis [which] the said David and his assigns shall duly big, reform, and uphold the said knok, by sight of the town as efferis."

4th April 1533. "The said day the provest, bailies and council, conducit and feit William Wallace to jule, set, guide and keegjtheir knok of the tolbooth, 7or the quhilkis they promised him yearly during their will four merkis (Scottis), for the payment of the quhilkis they assigned the mails [rents] of the booths under the tolbooth that is to say, ilk booth ane merk and ordained the master of wark to pay him yearly another merk in complete payment of the said four merks. And the said William obliged himself to mend the said knok and make her sufficient and as sufficient as ony man in Scotland can make her, for the quhilkis the town shall pay him xxs., that is to say,

i A

OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS

xs. now in hand, and the other ten when the knok is sufficiently mended and strikes as she suld do."

loth January 1535. " The said day the council present for the time commanded and ordained their provest Andro Cullane to send their Tolbooth knok to Flanders, and cause mend the same, and gif it can nocht be mendit to buy them an new knok on the town's expence."

\2th January 1536. "The said day the provest and council present for the time, ordained Andro Cullane to write for the man that makis the touns knokis and •cause '"him to come home with the same and set her up at the town's expence, and what expence he makes thereon he shall be thankfully paid of the same again."

2-$rd July 1537. "The said day the provest and council present for the time thought expedient and ordained that their own knok, which was reformed and mended by Friar Alexander Lyndsay, should be set and input again in the most convenient place of their tolbooth where she might be securely kept, and that to be done immediately by the advice of the correkar of the same at the tounis expensis."

\$th October 1537. "The said day the council devised and ordained that there should be five merkis given to Friar Alexander Lyndsay for the completing of their knok, quhilk they ordain to be taken up of the readiest of their mails [rents] of Don."

^th October 1538. "The said day the council assigns five merks to be given to David Bruce yearly by the dean of guild for his good service to be done in keeping and tempering of their knok within the Tolbooth for his fee."

27 th June 1539. "The said day the council ordained Mr Andrew Tulidaf, dean of guild, to pay William Purves five merks (Scottis) for the mending of their knok in the tolbooth, the quhilk he delivered to him at command of the provest this day and was discharged thereof (on the quhilk he took note)."

This William Purves is undoubtedly the same clock- maker who was a burgess of Edinburgh in 1540; see notes also on the clocks of Dundee and Stirling Burghs.

OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS 3

July 1539. "The bailies ordained Mr Andrew Tulidaf, dean of guild, to pay Robert Vyschert xs. for the painting of the tolbooth horologe within viij days."

22nd May 1548. "The said day Robert Hovesoun, valcar, is convicted by the sworn assize for the spoiling of the tounis knok of their tolbooth, and the said Hovesoun is ordered to reform and mend the said knok by the aid of craftsmen as far as he hath skaythit [spoiled or damaged] her in any way, and for the offence done the assize ordered him to come on Sunday come eight days and gang sark alane, bare feet and bare leg, afore the procession with an candle of wax of ane pound weight in his hands, and there after to ask the provest and bailies forgiveness on his knees in the town's name and if he commit ony sick lik faut in time to comeing to be burnt on the cheek and banished the town during the tounis willis."

Jth April 1560. "The said day the bailies ordered Johnne Lowsoun, treasurer, to pay and deliver to David Elleis xxxiijs. iiijd. for the keeping of the knok of the tolbooth, from the decease of William Barclay quhill the feast of Whitsunday next to come."

%th December 1582. "The said day the haill council being warned to this day, ratified and approved the contract made between the council and Jon Kay Lorymer, anent the mending of the town's three knoks and buying from him of the new knok, for payment to the said Jon of two hundred merks conform to the said contract and consenting to the lifting and raising of the said sum of the haill burgess of guild and craftsmen of the said burgh, and to be taxed every one according to their power and possession."

\Jth December 1595. "The said day the provest and council considering that the two common knokis of the burgh, to wit, the kirk knok and the tolbooth knok, since Martinmas last has been evil handled and ruled and hes nocht gane during the said time, therefore feit Thomas Gordone, gunmaker, to rule the said two knokis and to cause them gang and strike the hours rightly

OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS

both day and night quhilk the said Thomas promised faithfully to do, for the quhilk the council ordained him to have for his pains in ruling both the said knokis weekly six schillings aucht pennies."

2$t/t January 1597. "The quhilk day the provest, bailies, being conveened upon the supplication presented to them by David Andersone, younger, bearing that he had devised an instrument of his own ingenuity to draw and make dials or sun horologes, and that he was willing to make one on the fore wall of the said burgh which should show hours very justly by the sun with every month of the year the langest, shortest, and equi- noctiall dayis and when the same should be perfect and ended he would refer his recompence for his pains to the guid discretion of the provest, bailies and council at their pleasure ; the which supplication being thought reasonable they allow David to upput one dial or sun horologe on the tolbooth on sic pairt thairoffas sail be thocht meit and expedient."

30^/2 September 1618. (i The said day in respect the town's common knokis to wit, the kirk knok, tolbooth knok, and college knok, are out of all frame and order and are not sufficient and able to serve the town pairtlie because they are auld and worne, and pairtlie for want of skilful men to attend them, therefore, it is thought meet that the magistrates write south with all diligence and try quhair the best knock- macker may be had and cause bring him upon the town's charges to this burgh and visit the knokis thairof, that such of them as may be mended be accord- ingly done and sic as will not mend be made new as soon as the same can be conveniently gotten done."

ist December 1630. "The council grants forty pounds of fee yearly to Robert Mailing for his pains in rewling of the town's three clocks, to wit, the Kirk clock, Greyfriars Kirk clock, and Tolbooth clock, and ordains the town's treasurer to answer him of twenty merks and the master of kirk work of forty merks yearly, in complete payment of the said sums during his service at the two usual terms in the year Whitsunday to

OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS 5

Martinmas in winter by equal proportions beginning the first term's payment at Martinmas last, and so forth, thereafter aye quhill (until) he be discharged by the council."

igth September 1632. "The provest, bailies and council nominates and appoints Alexander Willox, wricht to be keeper and rewlar of the town's common clockis, to wit, the tolbooth clock, the clock of the high kirk, and college kirk, as likewise to ring the town's common bell in the tolbooth steeple at five hours in the morning and nine hours at even and ilk Wednesday to the Council at aucht hours in the morning for the space of an year next after the date hereof, and grants to the said Alexander for his service and fee during the said space the sum of one hundred merks (Scottis) to be paid to him quarterly by the master of kirk wark. Likewise the said Alexander being personally present accepted the said charge in and upon him and promised to do honest duty therein."

nth June 1645. "The quilk day anent the suppli- cation given in to the provest, bailies and council by Robert Melvill, son to umquhill David Melvill, stationer burgess of this burgh, making mention that quhair his said umquhill father being but an cautioner for Edward Raban, printer of this burgh, for payment to the master of mortified moneys of this burgh of the principal sum of five hundred merks (Scots), yet by his own consent before his death allowed that such a number of books should be given to their honours of the council for satisfaction of the said sum ; likewise it pleased their worships of the council to give the credit of the selling thereof ay and until they were sold without any definite time, because the supplicant could not take upon him to be comptable (accountable) for the money and prices thereof, but according as the occasion should serve that the books were bought by several persons who were pleased to buy, which might postpone the full payment many years and that not through any fault in the supplicant, because he never bargained other ways but to give

OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS

payment as he should receive it, beseeching therefore the council to take to their consideration how more certainly and shortly their worships might be satisfied if it would please them to consider the supplicant's good offer, which was that he might be employed for ruling of the clocks and bells within this burgh ay and quhill the time that the payment which is termerlie for such a work may exhaust the full sum of the books which as yet are to the fore, and would be a most sure and certain payment to the town and that within a definite time. Ouilk being read and considered by the Council, the said Provest, Bailies and Council nominates and appoints the said Robert to enter presently with the keeping and ruling of the town's common clocks, to wit, the tolbooth clock, the clock of the kirk, and college kirk and ordain the fee due to him therefore to be allowed in payment of the two hundred and seventy-eight pounds fifteen shillings and fourpence restand by the said Robert to the said master of mortified money conform to the desire of the said Robert's supplication, and if he shall be found deficient to be removed upon his first fault. Likewise the said Robert being personally present accepted the said charge and promised to do honest duty therein, and instantly received from Alexander Willox, late ruler of the said clocks and bells, the key of the baras and steeple of the Grayfriars kirk, quhilk opens also the door of the clock, and the key that opens the Grayfriars door. Item, the key of the kirk door of Saint Nicolas kirk with ane key for ye doors of the laich and high tolbooth."

yd September 1651. "The said day Patrick Wanhagan and Wm. Cook was received and admitted by the Provest, Bailies and Council for ruling of the kirk and tolbooth clocks and to the ringing of the council bell weekly on Wednesdays and the said tolbooth bell and kirk bell on preaching and lector days and to the ringing of the five hour bell in the morning and the nine hour bell at evening, and to use all other duties belonging to the said office as freely in all

OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS 7

respects as umquhill Robert did use the same at any time heretofore for payment of such sums of money and fees as the said umquhill Robert received for his service in the said office ; to wit, four score merks of money yearly from the treasurer, aucht pounds money yearly from the dean of guild, and forty merks money yearly from the master of kirk wark, during the will and pleasure of the provest, bailies and council allanerlie."

\6th April 1672. " The said day anent the supplica- tion given in to the council by Patrick Kilgour, knock- maker in the said town, mentioning that quhair he being desired by some of their number to come to this burgh for going about his employment therein, he held it his duty to obey their desires and that if they should be pleased to accept of his service and to admit him freeman of his calling and grant him freedom of public burdens for his lifetime for what might concern his employment and give him assurance thereanent he should endeavour to carry and behave himself dutifully as becomes ; and withal in further testimony of his respects for the credit and good of this burgh he should oblige himself to make and deliver unto them before Lammas next ane knock of brass about the bigness of ane house knock, which should be ane pendulum of the best form which should go for aucht days at one winding up and should strike the hours punctually, and should have a good bell with the motion of the day of the month, and should have an pais, and should stand no higher from the floor than the height of an man and he should oblige himself that the knock should be as sufficient and handsome as any knock made elsewhere and that he should uphold the same good and sufficient during his abode in this burgh as in the said application was contained, which the Council having heard and considered they agree and condescend that the petitioner shall have free liberty for going about his calling and employment within the said burgh and that he shall be free of any taxation or impositions within the same, in so far as may concern his calling during his lifetime he always giving assurance

OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS

for performance of what is above mentioned to be done by him betwixt and the time above expressed in manner above set down and no other ways. Likewise Patrick Moir, bailie, Alexander Gordon, master of Kirk wark, John Andersone, William Thomsone and Robert Clerk, persons of the Council dissanented that the said Patrick Kilgour should be free from taxation with the said burgh for his calling for any time coming."

gth November 1692. "The said day William Soupar, master of kirk wark, having presented to the provest, bailies and council his condescendence and agreement with Patrick Kilgour, watchmaker in the said burgh, anent the ruling of the kirk clock and ordering the better ringing of the bells which is as follows : That the said Patrick shall bind himself by contract to trans- late the said clock into ane pendulum work conform to the newest fashion and invention done at London for regulating the motion of the said clock and causing her to go just.

" Item, to make some new stangs and nuts for the movement of the four hands for the making of them go all equal alike ;

" Item, to rectify the motion of the globe with a new screw wheel of iron for turning the said globe about ;

"Item, to make an engine to cause the pendulum and the four hands be in constant motion as well in the time that the paces are a drawing up as at other time, so that the clock shall not at any time stop her motion ;

"Item, to cause the said clock strike the hours swifter that the people may not weary in telling of them ;

"Item, to bush the privat holes which are worn in the said clock to the effect the wheels may run the easier and not stop, and to help the stopping of the half hours and cause them ring at their due time ;

"Item, to raise the great bell in the said steeple and to cast and found two new cods of bell metal for the said bell to hang and ring in them, and to renew the two gudgeons of the said bell and to do all and sundry other things necessary for the causing the said bell and other bells in the said steeple ring more easily.

OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS 9

"For which he is to have two hundred merks after finishing of the same. And likewise represented to them that he had agreed with the said Patrick Kilgour to maintain and uphold the said clock of Saint Nicolas Kirk well going and in good order, as also the motions of the globe and movement of the four hands, and also to furnish oil for the said clock and three bells in the said steeple on his own proper charges during his lifetime and residence within this burgh, and to have therefore forty merks yearly. The present bailies and Council grant warrant to the said William Soupar to enter in contract in the terms above written." Aberdeen Council Register and Btirgh Record.

ABERNETHY, SCOTT. 96 Kirkgate, Leith, 1836-50. ADAIR, JAMES. Charlotte Street, Stranraer, 1820. ADAIR, STAIR. Castle Street, Stranraer, 1820. ADAM, JOHN, n Smith Hills, Paisley, 1820-38. ADAM, JOHN. Candle Street, Alloa, 1837. ADAM, JOHN. High Street, Lanark, 1835. ADAM, JOSEPH. Clock Dial Maker, Glasgow, 1837. ADAMSON, CHARLES. High Street, Montrose, 1820-37. ADAMSON, JOHN. Crossgate, Cupar-Fife, 1837. ADAMSON, . Anstruther, 1818.

" WATCH LOST.— There was lost in the neighbour- hood of Colinsburgh about ten days ago a Silver watch, maker's name, T. Birness, London, No. 4006. Whoever has found and will return it to Mr Adamson, Watch- maker, Anstruther, will receive one guinea of reward." Edinburgh Advertiser, 2Oth March 1818.

ADAMSON, . Kilmarnock, 1850.

AITCHISON, ALEXANDER. Edinburgh, 1765.

" One of the boys educated in George Heriot's Hospital was bound apprentice to James Cowan, 2Qth January 1765." E. H. Records.

AITCHISON, JOHN. 27 South Bridge, Edinburgh, 1850.

10 OLD SCOTTISH CLOCKMAKERS

AITCHISON, ROBERT. Edinburgh, 1756-90.

" One of the boys of George Watson's Hospital, booked apprentice to James Cowan, Edinburgh, 24th July 1756."

He appears to have been the first apprentice this celebrated maker indentured.

" Discharged of his indentures by James Cowan 23rd July 1763. Presented a bill craving an essay and essay masters to be appointed in order to his being admitted a freeman Clock and Watch maker in Edin- burgh Hammermen, 7th May 1768. Admitted on I2th November 1768, his essay being a horizontal watch movement, begun, made and finished in his own shop in presence of Alex. Farquharson, William Downie and James Sibbald, essay masters, and James Cowan, landlord."— E. H. Records.

Was in partnership with William Turnbull (q.v.) at this date, the firm being known as Turnbull & Aitchison.

" A WATCH LOST. That about four weeks ago or thereby a Metal Watch was lost in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, having a tortoise-shell case stained on the outside of a lightish coloured ground, with a variety of figures painted thereon, in particular the figure of a butterfly, maker's name, Woods, Shrewsbury. There was a steel chain at the watch and a pebble seal having thereon a lion rampant. Motto, Courage, and J. C. under it. Whoever has found the said watch will please restore it to Robert Aitchison, watchmaker, opposite the City Guard, Edinburgh, who will give a handsome reward therefor, or in case the said watch may have been sold to or pledged with any person, it is requested that they will immediately restore it to the above R. A., who besides paying what may have been given or advanced upon the watch will give a guinea of reward and no questions asked." Caledonian Mercury ^ 23rd January 1783-

" A GOLD WATCH CASE LOST. Yesterday, the 26th current, there was lost betwixt the hours of one and three afternoon a plain gold watch case between Edin- burgh and the Botanic Gardens. Whoever finds the same and will return it to Mr Robt. Aitchison, watch- maker, back of the City Guard, shall be handsomely

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rewarded. It is entreated that goldsmiths and others to whom it may be offered for sale will please retain it and give information as above." Ibid., 26th May 1783.

" A WATCH LOST. There was lost on Sunday last at Leith, or in passing over some ships to go by boat, a remarkably neat silver watch, maker's name, Robt. Aitchison, No. 503. If any person has found the same and will return it to Mr Aitchison, watchmaker, High Street, Edinburgh, they will receive a reward of two guineas and it is entreated that if the watch is offered for sale she may be stopt and information given to Mr Aitchison." Ibid., I5th September 1788.

Sale of the Stock of Watches, etc., and utensils which belonged to the deceased Robert Aitchison, watch- maker in Edinburgh, advertised in Caledonian Mercury^ 3 ist December 1790.

"Alexander Aitchison, medical student, Edinburgh, served Heir General to his cousin, Robert Aitchison, watchmaker there, dated 22nd June 1790. Recorded 2Qth June 1790." Services of Heirs.

AITCHISON, WILLIAM. 91 South Bridge, Edinburgh, 1807.

AIKEN OR AITKEN, DAVID, sen. Carnwath, 1790-1845. " David Aitken, watchmaker at Carnwath, served Heir General to his father, John Aiken, Tailor there, dated 4th March 1803. Recorded 9th March 1803."- Services of Heirs.

AIKEN OR AITKEN, DAVID, jun. Carnwath, 1840-75. AITKEN, ALEXANDER. 98 Queen Street, Glasgow, 1836.

AITKEN. GEORGE. Parliament Square, Edinburgh, 1781-85.

" Compeared on 3rd November 1781 and presented his essay, being a clock timepiece with dead seconds, begun, made and finished in the shop of Samuel Brown, in presence of Samuel Brown, landlord, David Murray, Robert Clidsdale and Thomas Sibbald, essay masters, as they declared." E. H. Records.

"WATCH AND CLOCK MAKING. George Aitken, Parliament Square, returns his grateful thanks to the public and his customers in particular, at the same time

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takes the liberty to inform them that he has on hand at present for sale a good assortment of watches and clocks at very reasonable prices. Such as please to favour him with their orders may depend on having their commissions punctually attended to.

" N.B. Repeating watches and all other kinds of watches properly repaired." Edinburgh Evening Courant, 1/j.th November 1785.

AITKEN, JAMES. Markinch, 1837.

AITKEN, JAMES. 64 Broomielaw, Glasgow, 1841.

AITKEN, JOHN. Edinburgh, 1750-1779.

"Son of John Aitken, wright in Canongate, booked apprentice to John Steil, Edinburgh, 28th July 1750. Transferred to James Cowan and discharged of his indentures by him on 24th July 1756. Presented a bill to be admitted a freeman clock and watch maker in Edinburgh Hammermen, 6th May 1758. Compeared on 3rd February 1759 and presented his essay, being a watch movement made and finished in his own shop, as James Cowan, his landlord, Daniel Binny, and George Aitken, his essay masters declared, which was found a well wrought, etc., and the said John Aitken was admitted a freeman clock and watch maker of this Incorporation." E. H. Records.

11 HOUSES AND GROUND IN CANONGATE TO BE SOLD. All and whole that tenement of land lying in the Canongate and on the north side thereof, a little above the Tolbooth, consisting of three stories, a cellar, a garret, a bowling green, summer house and garden, which belonged to John Aitken, late watchmaker in Edinburgh, arid paid of rent yearly preceding Whit- sunday last £27, IDS. stg.

"Creditors of the said John Aitken are requested to meet in John's Coffee House upon Monday, the 25th January at 12 o'clock midday." Caledonian Mercury, 4th January 1779.

Admitted a member of Lodge St David, Edinburgh, I4th June 1758.

AITKEN, JOHN. New Street, Dairy, Ayrshire, 1850. AITKEN, PETER. 96 Argyll Street, Glasgow, 1841.

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AITKEN, ROBERT. Island, Galashiels, 1836. AITKEN, WILLIAM. Haddington, 1805-37. ALCORNE, JAMES. Edinburgh, 1733-60 (see below).

ALCORNE, RICHARD. Edinburgh, 1694-1738.

" Son to Mr Henry Alcorne, essay master of his Majesty's Mint, Edinburgh, booked apprentice to Andrew Brown, Edinburgh, loth November 1694. Compeared 25th September 1703, and presented his essay, viz., a pendulum clock with alarum and short swing, a lock to the door with a key, which was found a well wrought essay, etc. His essay masters were Andrew Brown and Murdoch Grant ; his essay was made in Richard Mill's shop. He paid the boxmaster [or treasurer] fifty-three pounds six shillings and eight pennies (Scots) as the half of his upset [or entry money] and the other half was paid to William Herring."

^rd February 1740. " A motion being made to score Mrs Alcorne out of the quarterly pension roll in respect of her litigious humour, and refusing the composition offered to her by the Earl of Home. The house ordains her to be informed of this motion, and if she accept not of the offer made her by the said Earl they will next quarter day score her off." E. H. Records.

" James Alcorne, son of Richard Alcorne, clockmaker, Edinburgh, served Heir General to his grandfather, Henry Alcorne, Essay Master to the Mint in Scotland, recorded I5th March 1733."