Roskells of Liverpool and London

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by John Matthews, Aug 1, 2017.

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  1. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    #1 John Matthews, Aug 1, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2018
    The attached document is my initial attempt to draw together a number of sources regarding the Roskells. It was initiated by a document produced by Allan here and draws heavily on research by Dave Green here
    .
    Allan's document is a synthesis of the entry in Burkes Landed Gentry (1849) and I have subsequently used a copy of the entry in the 1846 edition as the basis of the attached. The two editions contain identical information. To this I have added information by Dave Green and from my initial inspection of trade directories.

    At the outset, I would like to stress that this is an attempt to understand the various members of the Roskell family, who they were, when they were active, where they worked, with whom they worked and in general terms what they produced.

    The document is very much a first attempt, I have more sources to go through and I know that Dave is hoping to provide additional information from his earlier searches. I hope others will find it of interest an be able to contribute to its improvement. As further information is verified, I will update the document.

    I have tried to adhere to the principle of focussing on prime sources and to this end, any information where I have not seen the original source, is in italics. This does not mean that it is less accurate, simply that its accuracy depends on the myself, the source, and a third person. Where possibly I will try and track down the prime source and then remove the italics. To this end if anyone has further or conflicting information, can you please post a clear reference to the source and, if possible, a copy.

    As I mentioned, my prime source was Burkes 1846 edition and I have used this to define the family tree. The latest dates published there are in 1837. This means it does not cover the birth of some of Robert snr's later grandchildren. Their details is taken from Dave Green's posting, as is most of the information in italics, there is also a reference provided by Allan which is identified as such. I have made a start of adding information from trade directories which are referenced. A '?' indicates my uncertainty - mainly used where a reference to a family member is ambiguous.

    I have included all members of the family that I have discovered and emboldened those who were involved in the trade.

    All comments are welcome - new information accompanied by supporting evidence, particularly so.

    Finally, my thanks to Allan and Dave for their help and support.

    John


    Roskells of Liverpool & London (1).pdf
     

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  2. Tom McIntyre

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    Are you sure you want to be factual? The data sounds like a great basis for a historical novel. :)
     
  3. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    #3 John Matthews, Aug 1, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
    Hi Tom - I take it "Roskell Abbey" hasn't cross the pond then .... the cast sailed from Liverpool, but it looks like they were blown off course to South America ...

    John
     
  4. Lychnobius

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    Well done, John, for collecting and presenting this information! I honour you for your concern to distinguish between primary and secondary sources.

    Oliver Mundy.
     
  5. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    #5 John Matthews, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Oliver - my thanks for your comments.

    I attach a second episode of "Roskell Abbey".

    Dave Green has provided notes of his earlier research, that I hope I have accurately incorporated. Additionally, I have extracted the Roskell family information that is in the Liverpool Museum Horological database.- this has substantially enlarged the document. There are surprisingly few ambiguities - but this may be because I missed some! Those I have identified, are marked as such. References to John Roskell, in particular, need further research.

    The document remains in the form of 'research notes' and I appreciate a family tree with a summary would ease understanding - something for the future when I have resolved the outstanding ambiguities … perhaps.

    John

    edit - Allan has pointed out that the link I posted initially is corrupt - here is the correct link to Allan's original document

    Early Single Table Roller Escapements

    Roskell.pdf



     

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  6. John Matthews

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    #6 John Matthews, Aug 5, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2017
    I attach my best effort of the Roskell family tree and a copy of the notification of the dissolution of the Robert snr & John (his brother) partnership - this provided by Allan Purcell.

    With regard to the former, there are outstanding ambiguities that I have yet to resolve, but these mainly relate to family members who were not, as far as I have been able to establish, active in the trade, e.g. short lived children. Direct access to census records, which I don't have, might help.

    I had no idea of the number of Roskells involved in the trade and their relationships, until I started this exercise.

    The second attachment from the London Gazette of 1825, illustrates one relationship that I had not appreciated, namely that when Robert and John went their separate ways, the business was continued, at least initially, with his eldest son, Nicholas and not Robert jnr.

    This leaves me searching for evidence as to which son, was the son in 'Roskell & Son' or was it really '& Sons'?

    John
    312606.jpg family_tree.pdf
     

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  7. Allan C. Purcell

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    Hi John,

    I found some information on the net here in Germany I thought would clear up your question on Nicholas Roskell- I will post the original document later. For now I will do a quick translation.

    " Nicholas Roskell was in 1798 born the son of Robert Roskell and Elizabeth Tarlton. He was the brother of Robert Roskell Jr. He was trained has watchmaker-and worked in the firm c1820. The firm being run
    by his father Robert Roskell and his uncle John Roskell, the firm name being changed to Messrs Roskell & Co. (I think they are saying "Brothers Roskell & Co. or Roskell Brothers & Co.).The firm Robert Roskell & Son was founded about 1825. This was a partnership between Robert Roskell Sr. and Nicholas Roskell. This then ran to 1832. I will also enclose the document from the "London Gazette of 1832" Dissolving the partnership.

    Foot note.

    Nicholas Roskell was at Gambier Terrace, Liverpool and he married Ellen Taylor, daughter of Thomas Taylor. It is believed Taylor was a watchmaker-jewller-and silversmith. In the marraige with Ellen there were three children. (Could not find this Thomas Taylor in Loomes-though it could be the one from Manchester).??
     
  8. Allan C. Purcell

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    #8 Allan C. Purcell, Aug 17, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2017
    xyzzytom_353928 xyzzytom_353929
    Regards,

    Allan. 313742.jpg 313743.jpg
     
  9. John Matthews

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    Hi Allan,

    Your findings are a useful confirmation corresponding to the information and family tree I posted in #6 above, EXCEPT that I have the maiden name of Nicolas's wife as Ellen Tasker, rather than Taylor. which is probably due to the translation into German. The source of 'Tasker' was the original Burke' Landed Gentry which identified Ellen as the daughter of Thomas Tasker esq of Billinge, Lancashire, which is NW of Prescot, ~ halfway between St Helens & Wigan. At the time of the marriage there were a number of 'Taskers' in the watchmaking trade in both Liverpool and Prescot.

    Regards

    John
     
  10. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi John,
    Pleased to be off help. Another little problem out of the way.

    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  11. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi John-did you look at the little pics-the big ones are wrong??

    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  12. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    #12 DaveyG, Aug 26, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Trawling through my computer stored research on the Roskells from last year and I came across the download below. Sloppy research because I haven't attributed the source but clearly an extract from the Culme book - which at £100 a shot, oddly :chuckling:, I didn't buy.

    "The best book I know of for data on Victorian retailers is CULME. The author of Gold & Silversmiths, Jewellers and Allied Traders 1838-1914. The book is compiled from the London Assay Office registers.

    The book Has: Storr & Co.1819-122. Storr & Mortimer 1822-138. Mortimer & Hunt 1839-1843. Hunt & Roskell 1843-1897 acquired by J.W.Benson 1889. Hunt & Roskell Ltd. 1897-c1965.

    When John Mortimer retired from Mortimer & Hunt on 26/12/1843 the name changed to Hunt & Roskell, listed 156 New Bond Street and their manufactory at 26 Harrison Street. The partners were J.S. Hunt, Robert Roskell junior (formerly a watchmaker and merchant of Liverpool) and Charles Frederick Hancock. When Hancock retired on 1/3/1849 the firm was trading from New Bond Street, Harrison Street and 3 St. Annes Square, Manchester. They employed 35 people at Bond Street and between 80 and 100 at Harrison Street.

    J.S.Hunt died 20/5/1865 so the firm was the owned by John Hunt and Robert Roskell jr. John Hunt died in Novenmber 1878 and the business was then continued by Robert Roskell, Allan Roskell, and John Mortimer Hunt. Robert Roskell died 22/7/1888. The remaining two partners dissolved their partnership on 1/5/1899 and the business was sold to J.W. Benson.

    The new firm of Roskell and Hunt had as partners Alfred Benson, Henry Hugh Webb, and Arthur Henry Benson in 1897 the firm converted to Hunt & Roskell Ltd.
    The same book has an entry for Robert Roskell & Son.

    Robert Roskell and Nicholas Roskell traded as Robert Roskell & Son, Liverpool and dissolved their partnership om 2/2/1832. The business continued trading name stayed the same,but the partners were Robert Roskell Senior and Robert Roskell Jr. The partnership was dissolved on 26/11/1842. (ie just before Junior went to London. Robert Roskell senior was then in partnership with John Roskell junior until ?/3/1847 when their partnership was dissolved.

    William Roskell and Richard Roskell trading as Roskell & Co. Were in partnership until 29/1/1877 when the partnership was dissolved. The firm became a limited company, Robert Roskell & Co. Ltd at about that time."

    I think this adds information for one of John's outstanding questions at #6 about the chronology of the Roskell partnerships.
     
  13. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Hi Dave - many thanks for this, particularly the clarification of Roskell & Son. I will add the information into the Roskell document and post when it is re-worked.

    Regards

    John
     
  14. John Matthews

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    #14 John Matthews, Aug 27, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2017
    Using the information I currently have, this is my best attempt to identify the Roskell partnerships that were active in Liverpool. I have not included the Roskell & Co dates as I need to re-visit some of the references to resolve possible conflicts.

    John



    Robert Roskell:
    [b. 27/07/1773]

    Home details:

    1818 Liverpool Museum (street directory) - watchmaker Woolton
    1821/24 Liverpool Museum (street directory) - watchmaker Gateacre
    1825 Gores Liverpool - watch manufacturer Little Woolton
    1827 Gores Liverpool - watch manufacturer Little Woolton
    1829 Liverpool Museum (street directory) - watch manufacturer Gateacre
    1832/35 Liverpool Museum (street directory) - watch manufacturer Little Woolton
    1837 Liverpool Museum (street directory) - watch manufacturer
    Little Woolton & 30 St James Road
    1841 Liverpool Museum (census) - watchmaker
    Gateacre House, Wooton age 65
    with Anne (wife), Elizabeth (35), Jennet (30), Anne (25), Mary (18)

    Robert Roskell

    <1798 Baillie - O'Neill & Roskell watchmaker in partnership with William O'Neil (DG - brother-in-law?)
    1798 DG (Baillie) - watchmaker took over William Tarleton (father-in-law)'s business

    Robert & John Roskell (brothers)

    1805/21 Baillie - Robert & John. Liverpool.
    1807 Liverpool Museum - chronometer and watch maker 11 Church Street
    1810 Liverpool Museum - chronometer and watch manufacturer 10 Church Street
    1811 Liverpool Museum - chronometer and watch manufacturer 10/11 Church Street
    1813 Liverpool Museum - chronometer and watch manufacturer 11 Church Street
    1816/20 Liverpool Museum (commercial directory) - chronometer makers Church Street
    1818 Liverpool Museum - chronometer and watch manufacturer 12 Church Street
    1818/20 Pigots Lancashire - watch clock & chronometer maker Church Street
    1821 Liverpool Museum - chronometer and watch manufacturer 13 & 14 Church Street
    1823 Liverpool Museum - watch manufacturer 14 Church Street
    1824 Bains Liverpool - watch & clock makers 13 & 14 Church Street
    1825 London Gazette - 23/03/1825 Robert Roskell and John Roskell partnership dissolved the business to be continued by Robert Roskell and Nicolas Roskell, his son

    Robert Roskell & Son

    1825 (DG Culme) - Robert Roskell and Nicholas Roskell traded as Robert Roskell & Son, Liverpool
    1825 Baillie - Liverpool
    1825 Gores Liverpool - watch manufacturers 11 Church Street
    1827 Gores Liverpool - watch manufacturers 13 & 14 Church Street
    1827/30 Liverpool Museum (street directory) - watch manufacturer 13 & 14 Church Street
    1828 Pigots Lancashire - watch & clock makers 13 & 14 Church Street
    1829 Gores Liverpool - watch manufacturers 12 Church Street
    1832 Liverpool Museum - watch manufacturer 12 Church Street
    1832 (DG Culme) - Robert & Nicholas dissolved their partnership on 2/2/1832
    The business continued trading name stayed the same,but the partners were Robert Roskell Senior and Robert Roskell Jr.
    1834 Liverpool Museum - watch manufacturer 11, 12 & 13 Church Street
    1835/37 Liverpool Museum - watch manufacturer 12 Church Street
    1837 Pigots Liverpool - watch & clock makers 13 & 14 Church Street
    1839 Liverpool Museum (street directory) - watch manufacturer 31 Church Street
    1841/47 Liverpool Museum (street directory) - watch manufacturer 21 Church Street
    1842 (DG Culme) - The partnership was dissolved on 26/11/1842. (i.e. just before Robert jnr went to London)
    Robert Roskell snr in partnership with John Roskell junior
    Loomes has a John Roskell jnr succeeding Robert Roskell & Son
    1843 DG Robert snr retired,
    Robert jnr moved to London & joined Hunt & Roskell)
    1847 partnership between Robert snr and John jnr dissolved.

    1847 Robert senior died

    John Roskell jnr - worked with his father, Robert snr & his half-brother, Robert jnr, prior to continuing the business

    1839 Liverpool Museum - watch manufacturer Fishponds House Kirkdale
    1841 Liverpool Museum (census) - watchmaker Church Street age 25
    1847 Liverpool Museum - watch manufacturer Sandfield View, Linacre Marsh
    1848/49 Liverpool Museum - watch manufacturer 21 Church Street
    1851 Liverpool Museum - watch manufacturer 21 Church Street
    1851 Liverpool Museum (census) - watchmaker Rogerson Green, Halewood age 36
    1853 Gores Liverpool - watch manufacturer Halewood House, Halewood shop at 21 Church Street
    1855 Slaters Lancashire 21 Church Street
     
  15. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    It rankled with me that I hadn't recorded the source of the information posted at #12, so I have bene on a mission to try and locate it again - a mission so far unsuccessful. However, I did come across the confirmation of the detail and the source from a book produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 'here'

    There is, pictured with the text of the book, a Roskell watch not currently on the Roskell numbers list; apparently a rack lever.
     
  16. John Matthews

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    Hi Dave - thanks for publishing the link - which provides a direct quote from Culme's work.

    In reading the account the most interesting comment I found was in footnote 9 (p.239) referring to the museum's accession number 10.24. This is claimed as one of Roskell's earliest watches (#2056) which it is said to be one of his 'detached lever escapements, dated from hallmarks to be 1802. The date would be from the period before Robert snr went into partnership with his brother, John and well before the partnerships with his sons.

    Oh yes, I would really like to see a detached lever of Liverpool origin, dated 1802 - I don't suppose anyone has further information. Perhaps someone a bit closer might investigate ....

    John
     
  17. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    #17 DaveyG, Aug 27, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
    When I looked at the Google book earlier P329 didn't load but, returning now it is there. The footnote that you spotted refers to Shenton pg 77 which shows a Roskell 7 jewel English lever movement dated 1823 (by hallmark) #36429, interestingly with 'Patent' engraved on the balance cock foot. The pertinent part of the reference is, I think, the footnote to this entry which reads:

    "D M W Evans in his letter to the Antiquarian Horology Volume 1, March 1976. p705 concerning numbering of Roskell watches states that Roskell appears to have produced about 1,000 watches per year from 1800 to 1900 - the first recorded serial number 2316 hallmarked 1803 and the last recorded at the time of writing (March 1976) being 101,099 hallmarked 1900"

    Incidentally, with regard to Nicholas Roskell, when he died in 1850 was identified in his will as a 'Sharebroker'.

    Visiting the Met Museum website and searching for Accession No 10.24 ( 'here' ) shows some very nice photographs of the watch in question which appears to be, or at least to have been, a rack lever (the slide is clearly visible)in an 18ct gold pair case.
     
  18. novicetimekeeper

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    Do you think the serial numbers cover the clocks as well? I was looking at one in the 55 thousands range the other day signed Robert Roskell Liverpool.
     
  19. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Very good question Nick, I don't know. Maybe if someone can access the letter from Mr Evans to the AHS we might get a clue :)
     
  20. novicetimekeeper

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    I've bid on Robert Roskell clocks before, haven't won any yet, this is the first time I have been aware of a serial number. It may be more like a watch rather than a pendulum clock which may explain that. Awaiting more details.
     
  21. gmorse

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    Hi Dave,

    The letter mainly consists of a discussion of Liverpool watchmakers and concentrates on Peter Litherland, but includes the following:

    'Robert Roskell, a less inventive but consistently
    more prolific manufacturer than Litherland, produced
    serially numbered watches from around
    1800, his firm's production exceeding 100,000 a
    century later.'


    Mr. Evans also lists Roskell serial numbers of watches in dated cases.

    Regards,

    Graham 314576.jpg
     
  22. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Hi Dave - thanks for turning up the appropriate watch from the Met Museum.

    My point was that the footnote was in error " The Metropolitan Museum also has one of his watches with a detached lever escapement numbered 2056 and datable from the hallmarks to 1802" - it was never going to be a 'detached lever' - referring to the list of numbers produced by Alan, here ...

    Robert Roskell Liverpool movement...perhaps later 1880s?
    it was almost certainly going to be a rack, as your link confirms.

    John
     
  23. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Wouldn't Allan have been happy had it been ;). My thought was that it may have been a conversion.
     
  24. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Dave,

    He wouldn't have been the only one!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  25. John Matthews

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    This morning I spent time trying to better understand the origin of Roskell & Co and Roskell & Co Ltd.

    It would appear that after the death of Robert snr in 1847, John Roskell jnr continued to work at 21 Church Street. In parallel, William Roskell, the son of Robert snr by his second marriage to Anne Kaye, was operating independently in Wavetree. In 1857, William is listed at the Church Street address and subsequently, in 1864, a company variously identified as William Roskell & Co and Roskell & Co, is listed at the same address. The company is consistently described as a chronometer maker.

    Dave Green has William & Richard Roskill trading as Roskill & Co until 29/1/1877. I assume Richard to be the William's son, but I have been unable to find any references for William's sons, neither Richard nor William Leeming, working from the Church Street address. Similarly, I have been unable to find any further references to the limited company, other the reference in the Liverpool museum database for 1893.


    A few additional references that may be of interest -


    David Penney in an article of 2007 (AH Vol 30 no 1 p. 59) illustrates a letter dated 1897 from Roskell & Co that has 'established 1789' printed on the letterhead. This is possibly the best evidence of when the activities of Robert snr began.


    There has been forum discussion as to whether the Massey patent were sold on and to whom. I have just found the source, which relates back to the quote above as to the possible production figures of the Roskell family.

    From David Glasgow (1885) 'Watch & Clock Making' following immediately on from previous paragraph discussing the Massey patents ...


    "Robert Roskell, a Liverpool manufacturer, purchased some of these patents and commenced making watches on a large scale, and, being a man of energy and enterprise. established agencies for their sale all over America, Mr. Roskell told me his father had sent 30,000 watches to South and Spanish America alone. Other makers followed his example, and watchmaking for export became an important business in Liverpool."


    John
     
  26. Allan C. Purcell

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    #26 Allan C. Purcell, Aug 28, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Hi to all those above.
    I have been away for a good week, I spent my time searching for the Lock Ness Monster-I was told the monster liked fish and chips-cost me a lot I might add-it was only when I was leaving they told me "You have throw in the peas too". (Scotish accent).Well I can see all those above were working hard on the Roskell story and unlike me were getting somewhere. From Grahams list I notice there are two numbers missing from my lists, I will correct them. Also the tip from Dave on the gold watch 2056. ( Yes it would have changed the way we look at Roskell if it had been an STR)(It's a RACK with Slides). Plus mister Evens list got me thinking if 2316 was HM 1803, when was 172 made? This is the movement starting my Roskell lists-I would say after his partnership with his brother -in- law. It is just signed Roskell. So off I go to alter my lists. " I will throw in the peas too"

    Regards,

    Allan
     
  27. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Your further delving into this raises some interesting questions John. My notes show William Leeming dying in 1883 and Richard in Argentina in 1882. Additionally, in the 1881 census record William Leeming is described as a 'watchmaker's assistant'. Making the assumption that the brothers quit the Company at the point of the partnership dissolution who was it who took control then? Was it still run by family members or purchased by other persons?

    Like you I have so far failed to reveal anything about the company after that 1877 date and I have also been unable to determine when the company finally ceased to exist.
     
  28. John Matthews

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    #28 John Matthews, Aug 30, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2017
    Below are all the references I have to the Roskell's Liverpool activities after the death of Robert snr.

    John Roskell jnr son of Robert snr by his second marriage to Anne Kaye
    b. 22/03/1813 d ?
    1848/49 Liverpool Museum - watch manufacturer 21 Church Street
    1851 Liverpool Museum - watch manufacturer 21 Church Street
    1851 Liverpool Museum (census) - watchmaker Rogerson Green, Halewood age 36
    1853 Gores Liverpool - watch manufacturer Halewood House, Halewood
    shop at 21 Church Street ​
    1855 Slaters Lancashire 21 Church Street

    William Roskell son of Robert snr by his second marriage to Anne Kaye
    b. 10/12/1811 (DG d.1859),​
    1853 Gores Liverpool - watchmaker 7 Olive Mount Villa Wavertree
    1853/55 Liverpool Museum - watch & chronometer maker
    7 Olive Mount Villa Wavertree
    1857/58 Liverpool Museum - watch & chronometer maker 21 Church Street
    1859 Liverpool Museum - watch & chronometer maker 21 Church Street
    Home - Brick House Wavertree
    1859/64 Liverpool Museum - chronometer maker 21 Church Street
    1860/68 Liverpool Museum - watch & chronometer maker 21 Church Street

    William Roskell & Co (WRCo) / Roskell & Co. / Roskell & Co Ltd. / Roskells
    1864/65 Liverpool Museum - Chronometer maker 21 Church Street
    (recorded as Roskell & Co)
    1865/68 Liverpool Museum - chronometer maker 21 Church Street (WRCo)
    1865/72 Liverpool Museum - chronometer maker 21 Church Street (WRCo)
    1872 Liverpool Museum - chronometer maker 23 Church Street (WRCo)
    1880 Kelly's Watch & Trade - chronometer maker, watch & clock maker,
    wholesale & retail jeweller 21 Church Street (WRCo)
    1883 Slaters Liverpool - chronometer maker 21 & 23 Church Street (WRCo)
    1886 Liverpool Museum - chronometer maker 23 Church Street (WRCo)
    1893 - Liverpool Museum - Chronometer maker 28a Church Street
    (recorded as Roskill & Co Ltd)
    1897 - Roskell & Co. Letterhead (D Penney AH30/1 - see attached)
    - Watch & Clock Makers and Jewellers No 7 Office 12 Church Street
    1900 Gores Liverpool - watch manufacturers 12 Church Street
    recorded as Roskells​
    Thomas Russell & Sons at the same address

    William Leeming Roskell son of William Roskell (DG 1839 -1883)
    1861 Liverpool Museum (census) -watch manufacturer Green Lane age 21
    1871 Liverpool Museum (census) - jeweller, watchmaker etc. 57 York Terrace age 32
    with wife Mary (24) William (15 mths)
    1881 Liverpool Museum (census) - watchmaker's assistant 57 York Terrace age 42
    with wife Mary (34) William (11) Maud (6)

    Richard Roskell son of William Roskell (DG 1840 - died in 1882 at Bell Ville, Cordoba, Argentina)
    1861 Liverpool Museum (census) - watch case maker 20 Green Lane age 20
    1864/65 Liverpool Museum (street directory) - watch manufacturer Woolton
    1868 Liverpool Museum (street directory) = watch manufacturer Grove House Woolton
    1871 Liverpool Museum (census) - watchmaker age 30 1 Chapel Street,
    with Bertha (37), Mary (6), Anne (5), Richard (4), Mary (1)

    My conclusion is that it was after the death of Robert snr that various forms of Roskell & Co appeared and that they were based at the 21/23 Church Street addresses. There appears to be a strong connection to the activities of William Roskell. Dave Green has a note that William died in 1859, but the name William Roskell & Co. continued until at least 1886. The 12 Church Street address, identified in a letterhead as Minster Buildings, was probably an 'office address' being also occupied by Thomas Russell & Sons in 1900.

    The letter identifies a Kew certificate # 19198, the Kew records might provide further information relevant to the activities of the Roskells at the end of the C19th. There appears to be only one reference to the limited company in1893. It is not recorded on the letterhead, which is perhaps a little strange. I have performed a quick search on the Companies House site and although Roskell Ltd. does not return any results, Hunt & Roskell (00053220) is recorded as being incorporated on 7 July, 1897. I have no idea whether the records are complete for the period before 1900, but if they are there is no evidence for a Roskell Ltd.

    John
    314745.jpg
     
  29. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    John, the information that I have on Thomas Russell indicates that the Company moved to the 12 Church Street address in 1877. Coincidence?
     
  30. Allan C. Purcell

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    Hi John,

    Thanks for finding the piece in Glasgow, I recieved the same info from Alan Treherne years ago. I can now stop looking for his letter. I forgot all about Glasgow. I put it down to old age.

    Please keep up the good work. Though I must say the Roskell story now has a begining and almost an end.


    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  31. John Matthews

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    I had a similar thought .... but surely if it was more than a coincidence, it would have turned up somewhere, wouldn't you think?

    John
     
  32. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    It is hard to believe that such a transaction would have gone unrecorded, you're right. However, there does seem to be a bit of a cloak over the whole of the industry arena around this time; I have read several contradictory accounts of the origins and development of the Thomas Russell & Son enterprise for instance. The only other thing that I have been able to turn up on the Roskell story is from the 1874 Green's (no relation :)) Liverpool Directory, Private Address section where William Roskell appears at 57 York Terrace with no reference in the Trade Address section. From that it would appear that he was one of those operating from premises 'in the back yard'.

    One line of thought could be that whoever was running Robert Roskell & Co at the time when the partnership was dissolved shut up shop and simply sold rights to the name?
     
  33. Allan C. Purcell

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    #33 Allan C. Purcell, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Hi Dave and John,
    I have had a quick look at the Russell Co. history, and came accross "Ezine Articles" One of these is by C. Ward. (The watchmaker). In this piece he says Russell's moved into 20 or 22 Slater Street as early as 1848, and later to 32 Slater Street. It's worth a look. From this article I don't think they bought out the Roskell's?

    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  34. novicetimekeeper

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    Now I have seen the clock I think it falls in the numbering system as 1840s/50s would suit it I think. An English carriage style timepiece movement would be the best description, platform escapement, single fusee, decorative finning on pillars.

    None of the Roskell pendulum clocks I have seen was numbered, I think this was perhaps supplied though their watchmaking supply chain.
     
  35. John Matthews

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    #35 John Matthews, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2017
    I have conducted a brief search in regard to the 'juxtaposition' of the Roskell and Russell businesses in Liverpool in the second half of the C19th. I concur with Dave's inference that the readily available sources do not present a clear picture - perhaps not surprising given the pressures on the industry at the time.

    As far as I can determine the Russell businesses principally operated in Slater Street during the 1850's and 1860's By 1879 they had opened their 'cathedral works' at 18 Church Street and the advert (attached) from Kellys 1880 watch trade directory, puts their offices in the Sandon Buildings.

    Slaters 1883 Liverpool directory is the last entry that I believe records both Russells and Roskells trading as discrete manufacturing / watch finishing entities, Roskells at 21 & 23 Church Street and Russells with their works at 18 Church Street - clearly in very close proximity, but with no indication that they were in any way linked.

    There is somewhat questionable reference on the Liverpool Museum site for Russells & Co Ltd., chronometer maker, operating from 28a Church Street in 1893. I wonder if this represents a last effort by the Roskell family to retain a manufacturing presence.


    In Kelly's 1894 Liverpool directory, there is no mention of Roskells. Russells have an entry for the works at 18 Church Street and for the first time, offices at 12 Church Street. A few years later we know that Roskell & Co were operating at 12 Church Street, from the letterhead published in Penny's article. In Gores Liverpool directory of 1900, Russells retain both their office and work address. There is is an entry for 'Roskells' as watch manufacturers with just the office address of 12 Church Street. The title of 'chronometer makers' associated with the 21/23 Church Street address had been dropped.

    I can find no evidence that Roskells was bought out by Russells, but I would not be surprising if some of the watches sold by Roskell's in the late 1890's were sourced from their very close neighbour.


    John
    314819.jpg
     
  36. Allan C. Purcell

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    #36 Allan C. Purcell, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2018
    Hi Nick,
    I have over the years seen many clocks of all types by the firm Robert Roskell, and thought I might share my thoughts on the numbering of their clocks. See below.

    Regards,

    Allan.
    roskell clocks.pdf
     

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  37. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    I agree with there not being that many, I look at loads of auctions, I've seen two clocks this year.

    The numbering on this one is far too high for a T&R clock.

    Graham has seen it and may have an idea on date.
     
  38. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    Not much to go on from the rather poor pictures supplied by the auction house, but the lever appears to have parallel sides and the balance wheel is brass, which suggest that it's fairly early, say, before the middle of the century. Can't really get any closer than that. I guess the case is chinoiserie revival?

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  39. novicetimekeeper

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    According to one of my books Purvis of North Audley street was making platform escapement clocks in 1825 with the platform vertical, so 1840s 1850s seems ok.

    When I am able I will add the details to the thread.
     
  40. Allan C. Purcell

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    Hi Nick,
    Are there photographs of this clock, we could take a look at?

    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  41. novicetimekeeper

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    As I said, when able I will add details to the thread.
     
  42. Allan C. Purcell

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    #42 Allan C. Purcell, Sep 5, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Hi John,
    I have collated a list from E.Surry Dane's book "Peter Stubbs and the Lancashire Hand Tool Industry" These are names other than those in Stubb's list.I have only taken out those who were making watch movements-or were watch movement manufacturers. I think there are one or two surprises in these lists. John Roskell is listed 1825 W/M Manufacrurer.?

    Regards,

    Allan


    315273.attach.pdf
     

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  43. John Matthews

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    Hi Allan,

    I have seen reference to John Roskell at Farnworth previously. He is listed in Baines 1824 trade directory; in the same directory there is a listing for Robert & John (Robert's brother) at 13 & 14 Church Street Liverpool. In 1824 John jnr (Robert snr's son by his second marriage) would have been age 11, I think this must be a different John Roskell

    From 1825 to 1832 Robert snr was joined by his son Nicholas, from 1832 to 1842 it was Robert snr and Robert jnr and finally from 1842 to 1847 John jnr worked with Robert snr. In 1842 John jnr would have been 29 and prior to that he is listed in 1839 & 1841 as a watch maker in Liverpool.

    John
     
  44. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi John,

    I too was thinking about Roberts brother John. 1825 was also the date the brothers ended their partnership. John lived till 1859. We need to know more about John.

    Best,

    Allan.
     
  45. John Matthews

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    Allan,

    We do know more - see my original document in post 1. In Gores Liverpool directories he is listed in 1825 & 1827 as a gentleman residing at Doe Park, Much Woolton. In Burkes Landed Gentry of 1846 he had an address in Wilton Crescent, London and is listed as a banker at Preston. All the evidence I have seen indicates that having left the partnership with Robert snr he ceased to be involved in the watch trade.

    John
     
  46. Tom McIntyre

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    It sounds like he was fully occupied just counting his money. :)
     
  47. John Matthews

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    A footnote:

    In Pigots 1828 commercial directory I have found listed as Bankers in Preston 'Lawe, Roskell, Arrowsmith & Co.' Fishergate. In the same directory Lawe, Roskell & Co are identified as treasures of the Saving Bank, Chapel Street, Preston. Moving forward in time it is possible to trace the Roskell name as a banker in Preston through to the 1840s. In 1829 Baines Gazetter Lawe, Roskell & Co are listed as provincial bankers in Preston. In 1841 Pigots directory Roskell, Arrowsmith & Co bankers, 31 Market Place Preston. As it seems unlikely that there would be two bankers by the name Roskell in Preston and as Burkes Landed Gentry in 1846 (& 1849) identify Robert's brother as a banker in Preston, I think we can be fairly certain that John moved into banking when his partnership with Robert ended - as Tom says to count his money

    In my searches I have found that Roskell was a name fairly common in the North West during the late C18th, C19th and early C20th, individuals are listed in the directories under various trades; I have no doubt that some were related to Robert snr, but the watch movement maker identified in Farnworth, was not, as far as I have, this far, been able to discover, a close relative.

    John
     
  48. Allan C. Purcell

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    Hi John,
    First class research, It was just that I came across the John Roskell in that list and dropped him in without thinking-I only put the list on to help those who like to interpret the initials on their watch plates. (Myself included).

    Thanks again,

    Allan.
     
  49. novicetimekeeper

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    #49 novicetimekeeper, Sep 7, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    I thought I posted this yesterday but here it is again

    The auction of the early platform escapement roskell clock has ended so I can post a link.

    Only the front but it has an early platform escapement with horizontal balance wheel. Name engraved on backplate with number that appears to fit in with the watch numbers listed earlier. Chain fuse with finned pillars.

    I thought it would go well above the estimate of £500-£800, I thought it might make £3K, in fact it did better and made £3600. It is early, it is small, and it is attractive. I think it is pretty rare too.

    A SMALL EBONISED TABLE CLOCK by Robert Roskell, Liverpool, the single fusee movement with signatu
    upload_2017-12-30_11-19-38.png
    Screen capture inserted by staff to preserve integrity of post.
     
  50. John Matthews

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    #50 John Matthews, Sep 8, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2017
    In an earlier post, I indicated that I had drawn a blank when searching for references to Roskell Ltd. Today I was reminded of the association between Roskell & Nicole Nielsen, when browsing David Penney's site. To quote David

    "Robert Roskell, famous watch, clock and chronometer maker, one of the most influential of Lancashire watch manufacturers ... formed an association with the London firm of Nicole Nielsen at the end of the 19th century, an association that allowed Roskell to use NN's London Street address."

    I have been checking the London trade directories in an attempt to determine the time period of the Nielsen association at the 14 Soho Square address:

    1882 - Nicole Nielsen & Co only
    1884 - Nicole Nielsen & Co only
    1895 PO Directory London - Roskell, Robert & Co Ltd
    watch maker 14 Soho Square
    (Nicole Nielsen - at the same address)
    1897 Roskell & Co. Letterhead (D Penney AH30/1 - see earlier post)
    Watch & Clock Makers and Jewellers No 7 Office 12 Church Street
    1899 PO Directory of London - Roskell, Robert & Co Ltd
    wholesale watch & clock maker 14 Soho Square established 1790) (late of Church Street, Liverpool)
    (Nicole Nielsen & Co Ltd (late Nicole & Capt) - at the same address)

    I have not found any later entries for Roskell, but I don't have access to a complete set of trade directories. From what I have it would appear that the association corresponded to a period which began after Nicole Nielsen company name changed to Nicole Nielsen & Co Ltd. ~1885 when Emil Nielsen became manager and ended when Emil died in 1899.

    Others who have greater knowledge of Nielsen may be able to provide further information

    As a side, in scanning the London directories, I also found a number of references to the Roskells as solicitors including a Charles John Roskell in 1899 with a company in Grays Inn of Witham, Roskell, Munster & Weld - I suspect descendants of Robert snr's brother John.

    John


     

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