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Appleby History > Miscellany > Clockmakers

The Clockmakers of Appleby

There is a history of clockmaking in Appleby Magna.  Many villagers have examples of the work of these artisans.

This article by Richard Dunmore first appeared on the "Horological Wiki" sponsored by Richards of Burton (Clockmakers), which is no longer accessible.


For the sake of clarity I have numbered the clockmakers with identical names.

Joseph Baker 1 (1673-1747)

Appleby Magna village clockmaker; details from Appleby Parish records & Accounts & Minutes of Appleby Grammar School whose clock he serviced for 5s per annum. Son of Katherine and Henry Baker. His elder brother Henry Baker (1669-1723) may have looked after Appleby School clock. Father of Joseph Baker 2 (1724-1784), clockmaker of Appleby. Appleby Great School Clock was supplied by Jos. Moss 1697 and listed in the school building accounts. Nothing is known about Joseph Moss, whether he was clock maker or just a retailer.

Joseph Baker 2 (1724-1784)

Clockmaker of Appleby; details from Appleby Parish records & Accounts & Minutes of Appleby Grammar School whose clock he serviced. He was also their clerk and received 9s p.a.. Described as Clerk to this parish in parish registers. Younger son of Anne and Joseph Baker 1. Father of Henry Baker 1 (1761-1826), clockmaker of Appleby. Maker of longcase clock inscribed JOSEPH BAKER - APPLEBY in Leicester Museum collection, dated c.1775 recorded in John Daniel, Leicestershire Clockmakers 1975. Daniel clearly had a limited idea of the Baker family, describing this Joseph, erroneously, as 'father' of Henry Baker 2.

Henry Baker 1 (1761-1826)

Village clockmaker Appleby; details from Appleby Parish records & Accounts & Minutes of Appleby Grammar School whose clock he serviced. Also described as watchmaker 1805-06. Youngest son of Ann(e) & Joseph Baker 2. Father of Henry Baker 2, his only son.

Henry Baker 2 (1785-1860)

Village clockmaker, Appleby. Only son of Amey and Henry Baker 1. Described as clockmaker in Appleby parish registers. Pigot, Commercial Directory, 1835, decribes Henry Baker as 'clock & watch maker and bell-hanger'. Engaged to clean & repair the Great School Clock of Appleby Grammar School in 1812. Made a clock for the English School (part of AGS) 1841 and another for the new village National School 1844. This was a 'weight driven wall clock with circular, painted dial' and is now in the Leicestershire Museums collection - John Daniel, Leicestershire Clockmakers 1975. Died at nearby Austrey (Warwicks) and buried in Appleby churchyard in 1860, beside his wife. Inscribed gravestone lies SE of the church in the old graveyard near the E boundary. Father of Joseph Baker 3 (b.1815) watch and clockmaker of St Martin's Birmingham - Joseph 3 brought his children back to Appleby for baptism. Last attended School clock 1848/49. In 1851/52 succeeded by Thomas Reeves at School and as village clock and watch maker.

Joseph Baker 3 (b.1815)

Watch & Clockmaker of St Martin's Birmingham; only son of Henry Baker 2 of Appleby Magna. Married to Martha. Appleby parish registers show that he brought two daughters back to Appleby for baptism, in 1844 & 1850.

Thomas Reeves (1822-84)

Clock & watch maker, Appleby Magna: White's Directory of Leicestershire, 1877. Appears to have succeeded Henry Baker 2 who last attended the Appleby Grammar School clock 1848/49. Reeves repaired School clock in 1851/52, then annual cleaning until c.1879. In 1879/80 he was succeeded in the school employment by George Reeves his son. Information from Appleby Grammar School account book.

George Reeves (1851-c.1931)

Clock & watch maker - Kelly's Directory of Leics & Rutland 1925. Son of Thomas Reeves. Attended to Appleby Grammar School clock from 1879/80. Last mention in AGS accounts 1930/31.

© R & J H Dunmore, revised May 2009


See also:

Appleby In Focus chapter 23: Making a LIving in Early Victorian Appleby, by Richard Dunmore

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