In 1977 Doctor John Blake Penfold published his book The Clockmakers of Cumberland which is a wonderful collection of information on Cumberland Clockmakers gathered over a period of some forty years. It includes a detailed history of the Blaylock clockmakers of Longtown and Carlisle, Cumberland, England. I freely acknowledge the information I have drawn from this source.
The purpose of these web pages is to provide the reader with an outline of the Blaylock family and their clocks which have passed through my hands.
Cumberland is the old county name for a north western region of England which included the northern part of the Lake District up to the Scottish Border. To the south was Westmorland and to the east Northumberland and Durham. Cumberland is today part of the new county of Cumbria.
Clockmaking in the region is considered to have commenced in the late 1600's . Brian Loomes of Pately Bridge, Yorkshire, an antique clock dealer and prolific writer of clock books has identified a clock made by Aaron Cheesebrough and which is dated 1689. This clock is not signed with a place name but is thought to have been made in Penrith or close by. It is possibly the earliest clock made in Cumberland. Other early Cumberland makers include, John Sanderson, Richard Sill and John Ismay of Wigton.
The first member of the Blaylock family to make clocks was John (1) who was born at Hunter's Holme on the north bank of the river Lyne in 1736. He was the son of Edward Blacklock and the former Jenetta Coltherd who had married at St. Michael and All Angels' church, Longtown, on 26th May 1730.
On 2nd February 1753 John Blacklock was apprenticed to the clockmaker Archibald Lawrie of Carlisle for a period of 7 years. The family name is usually written as Blacklock in the parish registers until about 1800 when it changes to Blaylock. All the known clocks made by the family are signed Blaylock.
The type of clocks made by the Blaylock family were chiefly longcases (grandfather) of either 30 hour or 8 day duration. One unusual feature of some of their 30 hour longcase clocks made in Longtown, is the addition of moonphase indication in the arch. This type of clock is said to have a "rolling moon" and whilst it is often met with on 8 day clocks, it is quite rare on a 30 hour. Both brass and painted dial examples are known. A musical longcase is recorded by Dr. Penfold but its whereabouts today is unknown. English dial clocks were made by John (3) together with a skeleton clock, a marine chronometer, at least two bracket clocks and numerous turret clocks for public buildings. A number of watches are also attributed to the family.
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12 March 2011