Charles Murray, clockmaker London

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by DeanT, Sep 29, 2019.

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  1. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Hi All,

    Does anyone have any information on a clockmaker from early 18thC by the name of Charles Murray. He was apprenticed to Thomas Tompion and is listed in Baillie as 1702 although Loomes simply says "not 1702".

    He was obviously working around 1715-20 in London given the one piece of work I have seen but for someone apprenticed to a very famous maker he it is incredibly difficult to find any information on him.

    Thanks in advance if anyone has anything.

    Cheers
    Dean
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    There is a Murray widow (not a merry widow but who knows) who received income from a charitable fund for clockmakers set up by East, but that is a bit earlier. A father?
     
  3. zedric

    zedric Registered User
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    Not everyone who was apprenticed would have gone on to make clocks under their own name - to do that you needed to be a businessman as well, and have enough money saved to set up your own place. So many went on to be journeymen. Some might have tried to strike out in business only to fail. It might be worth looking at bankruptcy court records or the like to see if you can find him?
     
  4. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    After much searching it turns out Murray was a blacksmith.

    Thomas Dyde bound Charles Murray through the Blacksmith Company in 1680 and he was turned over to Thomas Tompion in 1686. Thomas Dyde died in 1686 so maybe that is why he was transferred to Tompion.


    Charles Murray took at least one apprentice of his own.
    MURRAY. --------- took MIDDLETON. Thomas. tof TAYLOR. John. 7:4:1718 ======
    MURRAY. Charles took GRIFFITH. Thomas or George. tof LATHAM. John. 5:6:1712 4:7:1720
     
  5. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Thanks Nick for the photos.

    Front.jpg IMG_3711.JPG IMG_3712.JPG IMG_3735.JPG IMG_3737.JPG IMG_3740.JPG IMG_3741.JPG IMG_3742.JPG
     
  6. zedric

    zedric Registered User
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    Nice - case looks like it has had a bit of a polish between the first and second photos..
     
  7. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    It comes up a treat. It would be good to hear those bells chime.
    Was Thomeas Dyde, or maybe his father a blacksmith, so that once they were in a company ( read union??), they could then legally make clocks having been properly apprenticed?
    David
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Different lighting, different camera, no polishing. First pic is from the auction house. I use a floodlight for infil and now it is autumn I have to use flash.
     
  9. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    My understanding is the livery companies only had control in the City of London, but yes you had to be in a company to make a clock, so you had served an apprenticeship to become a member of a company and free to trade in the city. It didn't have to be the clockmakers, broderers and goldsmiths also made clocks and watches.
     
  10. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Hi Zedric,

    It hasn’t been touched as yet and the case needs a lot of work. The difference is that Nick takes far better photos than the auction house who took the first photo!
     
  11. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    Dean, Are you going to replace those ordinary looking movement to case brackets with something closer to what was probably there originally?
    David
     
  12. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Tompion took on apprentices from the Blacksmiths and Goldsmiths company to avoid the restrictions on the number of apprentices he could maintain at one time. Murray was originally a blacksmith as Tompion may have been himself.
     
  13. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Maybe. I have seen steel ones before so need to look at them carefully first.
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I don't think he will be allowed not to :) Will do a video this eve if I remember, first day back after half term, may just fall asleep!
     
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  15. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    Good!! Even though he says he will look into it and I am sure he will apply due diligence, they still don't look right.
    ß
     
  16. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It's a fairly early clock with some of its own idiosyncrasies, the first think is to look at the straps and see if the are wrought iron, because that would age them. I'll have a look under the microscope at the structure and how they were made.

    It's Dean's clock, but I know the repairer and he loves a bit of bling. I know he has replaced straps before but the problem then is do you get them engraved? Blank brass even of the correct colour is going to stand out more.
     
  17. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    For sure I appreciate he has the final say over his own clock and I know him well enough to know that he will make the right decision and not do anything thaat he feels is historically inappropriate.
    David
     
  18. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Those brackets are made by a smith. They may be original, they are certainly old.

    The bells aren't fixed very firmly, I had to fiddle with them to get anything approaching a decent sound, they need an expert.

     
  19. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    You can see the brackets have been forged.

    74271757_1389909987799349_7049301909932343296_n.jpg 74209893_386948775545092_4537492373944401920_n.jpg 74575220_2239451742827107_8550732424034648064_n.jpg
     
  20. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    Interesting observation of the brackets from being there "onthe spot" and thanks for the video of the bells; despite their slightly infirm sound, I can hear that they have a really nice sound - or so they sem to me anyway.
    David
     
  21. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    The bells are just a bit loose. I ran it before when I first took it out and it sounded much better, should have done a vid then. I wrapped it to go to the clock repairer then unwrapped it again for the video but all the bells had moved and it just made dull thuds. I had a play and got them back to working sort of. As you say you can hear their potential rather than how they should be.

    I suspect that when it comes back from the repairer all perfect it will again go through this stage as I may be advised by the repairer to remove the bells for shipping, Dean will then have to set it up again. There are already two here that will have the bells removed for shipping. Some clocks don't have the strap at both ends of the set of bells leaving them rather vulnerable. I will, though, take another video before that.
     
  22. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I just looked up this thread because I have the privilege of having collected the clock from the repairer, I had not seen it for a very long time due to Covid and not seen the case since restoration.( I last saw the chap who restored it in February)

    I will take pics for Dean tomorrow but I have to just say, the back of this clock is SPECTACULAR, and the front is no slouch either.
     
  23. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    I can't remember what it looks like. I can recall Peter fretting about it a lot as he restored the clock and he was "okay" with the end result. Given his high standards "okay" is probably fantastic....
     
  24. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It is staggeringly beautiful at the back and the dial has come up really well too. I think the corner frets must be later but the overall look is excellent.
     
  25. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Not my clock but I just have to post this

     
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  26. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Photos of the restored clock thanks to Nick who takes great photos.

    One of the special parts is the pendulum which has engraved regulation numerals on it. This was matched on the pull repeat cord by Peter when he restored it.

    IMG_3896.JPG IMG_3897.JPG IMG_3898.JPG IMG_3899.JPG IMG_3900.JPG IMG_3901.JPG
     
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  27. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    I think you could say that that "OK" is pretty fantastic !! I also love the sharp clarity of the bells.
    David
     
  28. Enavance

    Enavance Registered User

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    This is a very fine clock and it looks beautifully restored. I like it a lot !
    I have a very similar bracket clock, probably made a little later. It is a grande sonnerie. The case is modern, especially made to suit the movement and dial. Here are some photos.

    IMG_0010.JPG IMG_0002.JPG IMG_0004.JPG IMG_0006.JPG IMG_0007.JPG IMG_0008.JPG IMG_0009.JPG
     
  29. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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  30. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    always nice to have the back of the mock pendulum slot engraved too.

    What is the case?
     
  31. Enavance

    Enavance Registered User

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    #31 Enavance, Oct 19, 2020 at 6:40 AM
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020 at 7:42 AM
    The case is made of English oak veneered with walnut. When I purchased this clock, it was already in replacement case and I did not like it. So, I commissionned this new case from an English craftsman from London, after having seen one of his cases in Clocks magazine.
    It looks like the back of the mock pendulum slot and the apron still retain the original gilding.

    IMG_0040.JPG IMG_0042.JPG IMG_0045.JPG
     
  32. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It needs a thread of its own with the maker in the title or nobody will find it if researching the maker.
     

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