Roskell. Litherland, Johnson, and later Russell´s

Allan C. Purcell

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This thread is for those interested in the stories of old Liverpool and it´s watch industry. It starts with an old building, no longer there. It was the so called Old Post Office Buildings and stood on the corner of Church Street and Church Alley. I believe there is today an Old Post Office Place.

But let me start with a quote from the book "The Memorials of Liverpool" by J.Allanson Picton, M.A.

The Post Office about the middle of the last century (18th.) was situated on the east side of John Street. It was a simple dwelling in which lived the postmaster Mr Thomas Statham, with a little hole in the window for delivery of letters. In 1781, the Post office was removed to Lord Street, where it remained until 1800 when it was removed to the Old Post Office Place, Church Street. In 1775 there was only a single letter-carrier for the whole district, no greater number being allowed for any provincial town.

It is not made clear in the book what the building looked like when the Post Office moved to Old Post Office Place, though below is a drawing of the building c1840, from Smith´s Directory of 1843.

109-21.JPG The coach on the left is on Church Street, the right side of the building going into Church Ally.

109-22.JPG
A closer look at the Church Street side, and the letters on the building. Top Centre "Manufactory" below "Jewellery, Clock, & Watches. This was when the building was owned by Mr W. B. Promoli, and his nephew Mr F. L. Hausburg.

This is what Picton had to say about the ownership of this building.

"The block east of the church, (St. Peter´s) between Church Alley and the Post Office Place consisted, to some extent, of the oldest buildings in the street. They were taken down and the line set back under the improvement of 1866. Here resided in the early part of this century (19th), George Coltman, a surgeon of considerable eminence. He had been a surgeons assistant in the navy but was dismissed the service for striking his superior officer who had given him the lie. He was a rough-spoken fellow, greatly addicted to profane swearing, and radical in politics. (John Arnold was the same)

In 1800 the Post-Office was removed from Lord Street to Post-Office place, Mr Thomas Banning was appointed post-master, in whose family the office remained down to 1875. In 1839, the business having, enormously increased, even before the establishment of the penny postage, (Postage Stamps) the Post-Office was removed to its present locality in the Revenue Buildings. (The good old Customs house)

6079636.jpg The Customs House, before it was lost in the second world war. In Front the Old Dock.

"At the western corner of Post-Office Place and Church Street, visitors to Liverpool were formerly attracted to a rich and varied collection of articles of taste and vertu, know as Woodfield´s Bazaar. (John Woolfield) This existed while as yet Compton House was not, and was the source of considerable wealth to several successive occupiers. It was originally commenced by Mr John Woolfield who opened a jewellers shop in Paradise Street about 1826 and moved to Church Street in 1828. He was succeeded by his brother Thomas, who greatly enlarged the premises and extended his sphere of operations. about 1840 he retired with ample means, and settled at Cannes, in the south of France, to the success of which he has greatly contributed by his enterprise and outlay of capital. He was succeeded by Mr W.B. Promoli, of Paris, who in a few years transferred the business to his nephew, Mr F.L. Hausburg, who after a very successful career was succeeded in 1860 by Mr Tooke, of London. in 1866 the progress of improvement required the widening of Church Street, which could only be accomplished by the destruction of the famed bazaar. The claims for compensation, both of landlord and tenant, were naturally large for breaking up so profitable a concern. After a protracted and expensive inquiry, an award was finally made for 38,800 pounds for the site, 916 square yards, being about 41 pounds per square yard, and 23,000 pounds for the trade compensation and stock.


109-20.JPG This painting by Herdman as the following underneath.


Church Street 1868.

W.G. Herdman. LRO Herdman Collection 304 (curtasy of Liverpool museum)

This is the south side of Church Street, from Church Alley looking towards Ranelagh Street. A Post Office was on the site in 1800, subsequently moving to new, larger premises in 1839. The original building then became known as Old Post-Office Buildings and the Street to the side and rear was named Old Post Office Place. The Liverpool Academy of Arts and later the Liverpool Society of Fine Arts, both held exhibitions in Old Post-Office Buildings, which included the work of WG and William Herdman. When Church Street was widened in the 1860s, this block, by that time probably the oldest in the Street, was demolished. The railings of St Peter´s Churchyard, then the parish church of Liverpool. can just be seen to the right of the picture.

Those who know their way around Liverpool will also know Tha Robert Roskell was ar 11-14 Church Street, Joseph Johnson at 25 Church Street, PeterLitherland at 70, Church Street, and the room made by the demolishment of the Old-Post-Office building gave room for the building that became Russell´s Watch Factory.

109-23.JPG A rough map, I made. hope it helps.

Allan

 

netsch20

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Very interesting read, thank you! I have only a couple watches from Liverpool, one Litherland Davies & Co. and a beautiful R&G Beesley in a 18k case, which unfortunately isn't working.

20210103_193226.jpg 20210103_193446.jpg

20210103_203427.jpg 20210103_203711.jpg
 

Allan C. Purcell

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netsch20,
thank you for sharing, two very nice watches, from Liverpool. The Beesley should really be seen to, from the look of it there should not be a big repair.
You will enjoy it more when you see it running.

Regards,

Allan.
 
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netsch20

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netsch20,
thank you for sharing, two very nice watches, from Liverpool. The Beesley should really be seen to, from the look of it there should not be a big repair.
You will enjoy it more when you see it running.

Regards,

Allan.
Agreed, I don't think it's anything major. It may just be that the click mechanism is broken as when I try to wind it it simply springs back and doesn't ratchet.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Agreed, I don't think it's anything major. It may just be that the click mechanism is broken as when I try to wind it simply springs back and doesn't ratchet.
netsch20,

I was wondering if there is a chance of seeing the hallmarks on you two watches. I would be most grateful.

Regards,

Allan.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Thank you netsch20, the Litherland is hallmarked with the letter O for Chester 1832, and the case maker was Richard Lucas of Liverpool.

The Beesley is, of course, is an American case. you should be able to find the maker in the encyclopedia of silver marks and trademarks on the net.

Thanks again,

Allan.
 
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netsch20

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Thank you netsch20, the Litherland is hallmarked with the letter O for Chester 1832, and the case maker was Richard Lucas of Liverpool.

The Beesley is, of course, is an American case. you should be able to find the maker in the encyclopedia of silver marks and trademarks on the net.

Thanks again,

Allan.
Thanks for the info!

For the Beesley though, I haven't seen any American "J & C" marks, and while there is one for a Jones & Crompton (the first listing here), both places I've found this mentioned specifically mention it being within the shield shape which is not present on mine. Either way, they are listed as being in 1907/8, well after Beesley.

There is this other thread of what appears to be an earlier Beesley which has a extremely similar case and has the same eagle and 18k mark, but has a "JES" mark which I thought could possibly be related to the "J" in J&C, but I can't find any listings for a JES either.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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There is this other thread of what appears to be an earlier Beesley which has a extremely similar case and has the same eagle and 18k mark, but has a "JES" mark which I thought could possibly be related to the "J" in J&C, but I can't find any listings for a JES either.
Year I agree about the English hallmarks, though I was looking at the American hallmarks, and came out with the same result. Nothing seemed to fit. :(
I have since gone through "American Clocks and Watchmakers Volume 3" All I found of of interest was JOHNSON & CROWLEY: Philadelphia, Penn.CA.1830-33. That is all there is. Maybe more research in America, and advice from Rich Newman would help. Your other watch is a real pleasure to look at, a close up of the top plate and the hallmarks would be nice to see.

Regards,

Allan.
 

John Matthews

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I believe your Beesley case was made by Jacot & Courvoisier who are listed as case makers as well as importers of watches. They were located in New York and the partnership ran from 1839 to 1849. This from a trade directory of 1845/46.

1611757223000.png

The left facing eagle is a mark which is found on their cases.

John
 

netsch20

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I believe your Beesley case was made by Jacot & Courvoisier who are listed as case makers as well as importers of watches. They were located in New York and the partnership ran from 1839 to 1849. This from a trade directory of 1845/46.

View attachment 634727

The left facing eagle is a mark which is found on their cases.

John
Ah, yes this does seem a likely candidate. I've mostly been researching English watches recently and so forgot to check pocketwatchdatabase and they have a listing for them with this trademark eagle.

1611766030015.png

Good find!
 

Allan C. Purcell

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The 1832 Liverpool Directory turned up this morning and is full of interesting information. It is going to take quite some time to sort out the many indications on the Samuel families in Liverpool, but am sure it will also clear up the JLS watch-makers mark. First though, and first is the word, the first advertisement in this directory for A (advertisements) Could be called the first page, is in the photographs below.

d1-47.JPG



d1-46.JPG

Allan.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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It would appear there are some people interested in this thread, and I wonder if they have seen this coin on David Penney´s site.

d1-56.jpg d1-55.jpg I wanted to put this on here for some time, though I think they are stuck at the customs house here in Germany. It appears the German customs are overloaded with parcels from the UK, plus they have problems with the charges they make for VAT. Antiques over here are charged the full amount of 19%. Its a pity really, people over here think twice about purchases from the UK now.

Here is what David says about the coin." Issued by Promoli and Hausburg, 24 Church Street, Old Post Building, Liverpool, Jewellers, Watchmakers, Manufacturers of Desks, Dressing case, Lamps, Chandeliers, &c`22.5 mm diameter. NB: Tokens were initially created in times of shortage of official low-value coinage but were also used by firms to promote themselves and their wares."

Anyone here with a watch signed for them? I don´t think they ever made watches, but I could understand them selling watches finished in Liverpool.

Allan.
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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.
d1-55.JPG This one is a true Token. This bearing the coat of arms for Bristol. The outer words read Bristol Token & For XII Pence. The inner, Vertute et Industria.

d1-56.JPG On this side "Issued in Bristol Aug, 12. 1811. To Facilitate trade

In the centre.
PAYABLE by Messers

Francis Garrett
William Terrell
Edward Bird
Lancelot Beck &
Francis H, Grigg

Allan.
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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Today, I did a little research on "WATCHMAKERS TOKENS" and of course found that these little coins are collected in the same way I collect watches, nothing new there. I also found at least seven Promoli & Husburg coins 24 Church Street, Liverpool, and many others. These coins are more expensive than I thought. (Some over 300 pounds). I found one at the British Museum London, for Clockmakers Company, which was nice to look at. I then found this piece on the web about a Mr Mott. It was then I started to wonder why more about these coins were not on the board, (I will search the forums later). I would have thought the American watch enthusiasts would have been all over these coins. I will from now on make some effort to buy a few more, I am sure there are stories here to help to date watchmakers??

The Mott Token - More Than You Ever Wanted to Know

31-4.jpg 31-6.jpg 31-5.jpg Anyway, I then remembered this. HM, ed 1855. Two names on the top plate, but just look at that Golden eagle. Can anyone tell me more about it. Have fun, Thomas Milner was a Wigen watchmaker 1848-58. Abel Bentham could be the American owner who had the Eagle put on the dial??

Allan.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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31-6.jpg 31-15.jpg I thought of putting these two together, it would be easier to say if they are the same eagle. Have they something in common with the Mott eagle. I am finding it a very interesting search as I go one with these coins. Though there are more questions than answers.

There is one of these tokens with clockmakers Company shield of arms on one side, but the other with the shield of Maldon Essex, and have not been able to find out why.

31-10.jpg 31-11.jpg



31-14.jpg 31-13.jpg 31-12.jpg

Above from left to right, the original grant 1671/72 to the clockmaker company, their shield as seen today, and that of Maldon Essex. So what is the connection?

I did though find out that the Promoli & Hausburg can be found with just Hausburg, so it is obvious Hausburg had the coin changed when Promoli retired. Not found one with the last owner Mr Took from London.

Allan.
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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1615731875841.png 1615731899035.png

I found this at the British Museum, and they say that on the rim it says paid to W. Draper Maldon. Loomes says William Draper watchmaker Maldon 1791/95. Not yet seen one of these, side-on, that will be the first thing I do when mine arrives. Look at it side-on.

Allan
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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31-37.JPG

It turns out, that after Promoli left the business F. L. Hausburg had the coin re-made with only his name on it. See above. The Hausburg coin is thinner and not so well pressed as the original coin.

31-38.JPG

There could be a third with the last owner, I will have to wait and see.

Allan.
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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I bought another coin, on the coin edge it says I think, that the coin can be used in Birmingham and at Liverpool. That part is not so clear.

I also cleaned the coin, because it was black and dirty, sorry to the Numismatists. The history of John Horne Tooke is above. This then fits in with the scandalous misuse of the workforces of the period. "Prescot Watchmakers and the "Truck System" for example.

To be cont........

000-27.JPG 000-28.JPG
 

Leigh Extence

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I wrote an article for chapter 195 in which I describe how a carriage clock I own can be positively attributed to the well-known maker Paul Garnier. What is of interest is the dial is signed for F.L. Hausburg, Paris to be retailed in Liverpool and it came with the Hausburg token. Near the end I have put in some interesting history of Hausburg that I unearthed.
If anyone is interested it can be read via my website, the page for the articles, and is called: Attributing a Carriage Clock through Research.
I also have a skeleton clock by Roskell, and worked on by Litherland, Davies, that may be of interest.
 

shinytickythings

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This is all really cool, Allan. I'm a big fan of Liverpool watches and the history you are sharing is just spectacular!
The coin info though, really blows my mind.
I grew up with an avid coin collector. I learned a lot about it, but never really caught the bug. (shame on you for cleaning that ;)).
I never imagined there would be trade tokens for watchmakers, though in retrospect, now that you bring it up, I can't imagine why it never occurred to me. I've seen a lot of tokens. I even have a few tokens for mustache taxes. Why wouldn't there be watchmakers tokens?
You can bet, when/if life starts returning to normal again and my dad is dragging me along to his coin shows, I will be on the look out!
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Leigh,

Thank you for putting the information on Hausburg on here, wonderful to know how things turned out for the family. I had no idea about the people in the Old Post office building, till I bought that Promoli & Hausberg coin and read what I could on the net. I did though know quite a bit about Church Street, Liverpool, through the watchmakers. and the paintings by Hardman. Sorry to say I had not read your articles since the Cutmore collection. I will try to keep up in future.

Best wishes,

Allan.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Why wouldn't there be watchmakers tokens?
You can bet, when/if life starts returning to normal again and my dad is dragging me along to his coin shows, I will be on the lookout!
Nice to know there is someone else out there looking for these little tokens, I was watching German TV last week, and a Russian coin made of platinum went for €5,500.00. Keep close to your dad, he could point you in the right direction, and thanks for the kind words.

Good Hunting,

Allan.
 
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Leigh Extence

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Thanks Allan...
You've just reminded me that I need to go through the Cutmore catalogue and redo parts of it. When I uploaded to the new website some lines seem to have been missed off. I also want to check some of the facts as everything on there was from his own notes and I'm sure there's areas that could be updated. Up until I acquired his collection my interest in watches was fleeting. I also still have nearly 4,000 movements and watches from him that I need to finish sorting and cataloguing for future reference.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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mm-36.JPG mm-37.JPG This was posted on the 13th of March in America, it arrived this morning. I hope my last watchmakers token, but you never know. Around the edge of the coin " PAYABLE x AT W. DRAPER´S x x WATCHMAKER OF MALDON ESSEX" also on the front of the coin "SUCCESS TO THE BOROUGH OF MALDON" and on the rear the coat of arms of the Watchmaker's Company. William Draper had little luck, Loomes lists him with 1791-95. Draper´s coins are made of bronze or copper and would have shined like gold when new.

Allan.
 
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