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The Grandfather Clock

The Andrews family clock has been in the family for over 200 years. The cabinet is made of walnut, it stands a full 7 feet tall and the clock face is inscribed, 'Capt'n Newrack (sic) and Charlotte Andrew, Staithes. Newark and Charlotte are my 3 times great grandparents and it should be noted, are responsible for adding an 's to the surname, thus changing it from Andrew to Andrews. 

The clock face has an enamel finish (japanned?) and features Roman numerals, a second hand and a moon face which progresses with the month, such that if it is set correctly, it shows the phase of the moon on on any particular date. Although it is stated in my grandfather, Austin's Will of 1963 as being dated, '1792', in fact there is no date inscription. This is not to say that there was not one at one time, of course.

The clock maker's name, "Ashwin & Co, is inscribed on the rear of the movement and from the reference book, ' Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World', by Brian Loomes (an acknowledged authority on the subject) we learn the following:

"Ashwin & co, Paradise Street, Birmingham (warx) (1777-1791) clock dials and japanner." then the following entry:

"Ashwin & Byrne, Paradise Street, Birmingham (warx) (1792-1798) manufacturers of japanned aware."

The likliehood is, that the cabinet would have been made locally, by a cabinet maker, perhaps in Whitby and that the clock movement was purchased from Ashwin & Co. sometime between 1777 and 1798, when the business ceased. The date of 1792 stated above, may well therefore, be correct. Purchased from stock, shortly after the business changed into a partnership but actually made a year or two earlier, before the change of business name.

There is another indicator that this clock dates from before 1800 and that is that around that date the style of the numerals on clocks of this type, changed from Roman to Arabic.

It is not obvious whether the purchase of the clock marked any special event, or not. Newark and Charlotte married in 1769, 8 years before the clock maker was in business, their 25th wedding anniversary, if that was a particularly celebrated event in the 18th century, was in 1794, so that is a possibility, although it was the year his mother died and it was 11 years after his father had died, so it is unlikely to have been a gift from them. Possibly, it was just an indication that Newark had become a very successful and relatively wealthy, businessman, ship owner and merchant and he wanted one.

Andrews Grandfather Clock

Linked toNewark Andrew, (Master Mariner); Charlotte Elizabeth Barnacle

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