Vale & Rotherham movement

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Omexa, Jan 21, 2015.

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  1. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Well as you can see I am still not purchasing Pocket Watch movements, this one can be a "Mechanical oddity". I had never seen a "Vale & Rotherham" movement before soooooooooo! guess what. I know that Vale started in 1747 and in 1790 Richard Rotherham became an Apprentice to Vale. He later became a Partner in the Firm and the Firm was renamed in 1842 to Richard Kevitt Rotherham & Sons. So this movement is before 1842. Regards Ray 1.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 2.jpg

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  2. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Interesting Ray, inasmuch as your movement is marked Liverpool. I understood that Samuel Vale was a Coventry man, in fact he served as the Mayor Of Coventry on more than one occasion and, as far as I know all of the different iterations of the Company were Coventry based. This movement would seem to suggest that they had a Liverpool outlet although I suggest that the watch was Coventry made.
     
  3. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi DaveyG, I think that you are right and it was made in Coventry. Maybe the Liverpool shop sold Pocket Watches made in Coventry but marked Liverpool? I have not seen a Pocket Watch marked Vale & Rotherham before. It runs OK so it shows that it was quality. Regards Ray
     
  4. Tom McIntyre

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    When we were in Coventry visiting the Watchmaker's Museum a few years ago, the Rotherhams factory building was very prominent.

    I also learned that Bonniksen had been heavily involved with them. Of course that was a lot of years after Vale.
     
  5. paulabc

    paulabc Registered User

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    I have researched Vale and Rotherham. These are my results. I have never found a Richard Rotherham apprentice in the register of duties paid for apprentice indentures 1710 to 1811.

    Rotherham and Sons. Spon Street, Coventry. Watch and Clock Makers.


    The firm was claimed to be founded by Samuel (l) Vale in 1747. He built up a substantial business, taking on several apprentices and from 1780 partners. Several marriages between members of the partners families helped cement the partnerships.
    There were also connections with other Coventry watchmakers and Liverpool watchmakers.


    Samuel Vale, son of Benjamin Vale apprenticed to John Vale, watchmaker, of Coleshill Warwickshire on 23 May 1743 may be the founding Samuel Vale.
    In 1758 Samuel Vale, watchmaker of Coventry took Edward Farmer apprentice.
    In 1760 he took George Howlette apprentice.
    In 1765 he married Mary Carr.
    1771 Samuel Vale, watchmaker was mayor of Coventry.
    c 1780 Samuel Vale established a partnership with George Howlette.
    c 1786 Samuel Vale died, and his will refers to the recent partnership of himself, George Howlette (of Coventry, alderman), and his son-in-law John Carr, watchmaker. By this will his widow Mary Vale (nee Carr) succeeded him in the partnership. His son Samuel (ll) Vale now a minor, later succeeds his mother as partner.


    30 April 1791 a loan document shows the partners as Mary Vale widow, George Howlette and John Carr, watchmakers, loan to John Whitwell.
    1791 British Universal Directory Coventry, Vale Howlette Carr & Co clock and watchmakers, Coventry.


    George Howlette son of John and Sarah was baptised at Bedworth on 3 April 1745, apprentice to Samuel Vale watchmaker Coventry 1760, partner with Samuel Vale 1780, then also John Carr 1785. George Howlette watchmaker Mayor of Coventry 1784 and 1792. Universal British Directory, 1791, Coventry, Vale Howlette Carr and Co clock and watchmakers. George Howlette died in April 1811 and was buried at Bedworth 27 April 1811.


    John Carr, son of Thomas and Mary, baptised 7 March 1755, Berkswell. Married Ann Vale daughter of Samuel (l) Vale at St Michael Coventry 21 February 1771. By 1791 partner with (Mary) Vale and George Howlette. Liverpool St Peter, John Carr widower watchmaker of Coventry married Mary Platt widow.
    Mary Platt nee Tarleton was the daughter of William Tarleton, watchmaker of Liverpool. Her first husband William Platt was the son of Thomas Platt, and Bidgett Kevitt, who subsequently married John Rotherham. John Carr died in Coventry 4th quarter 1838.




    By 19 July 1810 Samuel (ll) Vale and John Rotherham have become partners.
    Indenture of David Dry, son of Thomas Dry, weaver of Coventry to Samuel Vale, George Howlette, John Carr, and John Rotherham of Coventry, partners and watch manufacturers.
    Samuel (ll) Vale watchmaker Mayor of Coventry 1811,1812,1813, and 1814. born January 1772, died January 1843.




    John Rotherham, was baptised in Claverdon 21 May 1758, and married a widow, Bridgett Platts, nee Kevitt at St John the Baptist Coventry 6 December 1786. They had seven sons, of whom only Richard (l) Kevitt Rotherham became a watchmaker and partner. John Rotherham of Fleet St, Coventry was buried at st John the Baptist 15 February 1823.


    Richard Kevitt Rotherham, son of John and Bridgett, was baptised 28 March 1789 at St Michael, Coventry. 21 March 1812 he married Charlotte Carr a minor, with the consent of her natural and lawful father, witness John Carr senior and Mary Carr.
    Their first child Mary Ann Rotherham, born in 1813 shows Richard Kevitt Rotherham of Spon St, Coventry, Watch Manufacturer. They had two sons John Rotherham (1815 to 1875) and Richard (ll) Kevitt Rotherham (1820 to 1866) who both joined the business.
    Pigott in 1822 shows (Samuel ll) Vale, (John) Rotherham & Son (Richard l Kevitt Rotherham) Watch and Clockmakers, Spon St, Coventry.
    Samuel (ll) Vale in the 1841 census appears to be retired, and is shown as Independant and living with his son Samuel (lll) Vale, a solicitor, in Spon St, Coventry.
    Coventry archives have a photograph from 1863 of four generations of Rotherhams, Richard (l) Kevitt Rotherham, his son John Rotherham, his son another John Rotherham and his son Hugh Rotherham, who all ran Rotherham and sons.
    29 May 1867 indenture of Henry Skinner to John Rotherham and John Rotherham junior Watch Manufacturers. Richard (l) Kevitt Rotherham and Richard (ll) Kevitt Rotherham have died, and the business now continues with the descendants of John Rotherham.
    John Rotherham born June 1815 died 30 March 1875
    John Rotherham born Nov 1838 died 21 May 1905
    Hugh Rotherham born Feb 1861 died 24 Feb 1939, brother Kevitt Rotherham born 27 March 1864 died 26 March 1950, and brother Ewan Rotherham born Oct 1877, died 27 January 1942.

    I think the repetition of names in different generations has led to some errors in earlier publications.
    Paul
     
  6. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    That's great research Paul and very interesting stuff. It is, I find, a lot easier with the benefit of the internet and genealogy sites to get a decent perspective on how the generations were structured. I found the same sort of discrepancies when looking at the Roskell family. Have you any connection to the Coventry Watch Museum Project folks?
     
  7. paulabc

    paulabc Registered User

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    Hi Davey, yes I have been in touch with them, and with Graces Guide.
    Paul
     
  8. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    I just noticed an interesting thing. Reading through Paul's research again I noticed that John Carr was married to one Mary Tarleton. In my devilling about in the Roskell family tree it came to light that Robert Roskell, renowned watchmaker of Liverpool, was first married to Eliza Tarleton (d1807) who would have been Mary's sister.

    There's a tenuous Liverpool connection for you Ray
     
  9. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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  10. paulabc

    paulabc Registered User

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    There is another Coventry Liverpool connection. Bridgett Kevitt and her first husband Thomas Platt had a son William Platt, who was the first husband of Mary Tarleton married 14.8.1792. Bridgett Kevitt then marrying the first John Rotherham in the Vale partnership.
     
  11. John Matthews

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    As I have been working back through my collection, I have reached the point where I was purchasing Coventry watches and I have been attempting to get a better handle on the prominent watch making families and how their businesses evolved. Having reached my #42, a 1910/1911 London cased Rotherhams 3/4 plate single roller, I decided to turn my attention to that particular company and their antecedents. In searching the forum I came across this thread, with the excellent account of their history provided by Paul in 2015. I have primarily used his research to construct a family tree and added additional information from other sources. It seems to me more appropriate to append the family tree here, together with a few photographs of the watch, rather than start a new thread.

    There family tree is fairly complex and you will definitely need to use the Adobe Reader facility to magnify it to see the detail. The family relationships are in black and the business relationships in blue.

    John

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  12. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Ray- you must have a copy of Priestley- The Rotherham story is in there. Your movement is c1825/26? Best Allan.
    PS. John your Family tree is imprssive.
     
  13. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi Allan, I clicked on the wrong thing; sorry. Can a Moderator please undo this? please undo. I am having trouble getting to some of your answers; I have reported it to IT Staff. Regards Ray
     
  14. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Ray- if it gets painful let me know. Best Allan.
     
  15. Tom McIntyre

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    I would be delighted to undo whatever needs undoing, but I cannot decipher the direction. What is "this?"
     
  16. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I have no idea Tom- please ask Ray. Allan.
     
  17. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Thanks Tom, I sorted it out myself. In my efforts to find out the problems I had been having I pressed the wrong thing and banned-ignore Allan Purcell; it was his posts that I had been having trouble accessing. I have sorted it out. Regards Ray
     
  18. RickyB

    RickyB New Member

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    15736125233141770669430606556591.jpg Hi, I just purchased a Vale& Rotherham, but it is stamped LONDON. Could that be possible?
     
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  19. gmorse

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    Hi RickyB,

    The name 'Vale & Rotheram', (note the spelling), was first recorded in 1822, and 'Vale, Rotherham & Sons' around 1823. This continued until 1841, when the name became 'Rotherham & Son'. I can find no reference to any London operation, the company being Coventry based throughout the long life of the business, which finally ceased trading as recently as 1973. (Information from Philip Priestley's reference book on English watch cases). There are known examples of Vale & Rotherham's movements dating from the 1820s or earlier, with serial numbers in the 6000s, although caution is always advisable when considering serial numbers out of context.

    Given the above, I have to question whether this is really by any of the Rotherham companies.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  20. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Graham - I am not entirely in agreement, in that I think that it is probable that it was made in Coventry by Vale & Rotherham.

    My logic is that Vale & Rotherham movements post ~1822 (it was sometime about this time that Rotheram changed to Rotherham, I believe) are found with both Liverpool and London after the signature. There is evidence that other Coventry manufacturers signed there products in the same way, during the period when cased and uncased movements were being exported to the American continent. You also find that the 'look' of the finishing has been done to reflect the signature town - this example and that of Ray's in the intial post. So while none of these companies had registered premises in either London or Liverpool, there was commercial advantage of signing their products in this way. Whether this was solely company driven or that of an enterprising export agent. I am not sure.

    In earlier post on this thread Dave indicated a possible connection to Liverpool from the earlier partnerships on Vale side, there is also some evidence of family links to London. However, I think it is more likely that it was commercial drivers that are responsible for the addendum to the V&R signature.

    John
     
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  21. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Yes, I could well be mistaken in this, I'd overlooked the possibility of a little creative 'marketing' on the part of the manufacturers!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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