He was born in 1736 at a hamlet called Hunters Holm close to the river Lyne in the parish of Arthuret, Cumberland. His parents were Edward and Jenetta Blacklock.
In 1753 he was apprenticed to the clockmaker Archibald Lawrie of Carlisle for seven years.
He married Hannah Liddle of Burgh by Sands at the parish Church of St. Mary's, Carlisle on 14th February 1767.
The couple moved to Longtown in 1768 and began the Blaylock Clockmaking busines
LONGCASE CLOCK BY JOHN BLAYLOCK (1) OF LONGTOWN
This must be one of the finest clocks made in Longtown and it remains a true testimony to the craftsmanship which existed in this remote and rural area of north western England. The oak case with mahogany crossbanding and fancy inlays has many features associated with the area such as the ogee moulding to the hood door and fluted columns to the hood. These columns have wood reeds inserted into the flutes of the lower section, copying the brass reeds found on London cases. There is blind fretwork to the lower trunk corners and the base has two ogee bracket feet at the front only. The absence of feet at the rear of the case allows the clock to rest against a wall, again a typical feature of north western England.
The inner surface of the movement front plate carries the scratched signature of William Milne of Longtown indicating the clock received his repair services on various dates from 19 June 1883 to 23 September 1898. William Milne is recorded as a Watchmaker, High Street, Longtown, in the Bulmer's Directory for 1901.
The brass dial is 13 inches wide with moonphase in the arch, the moon disc being incremented forward each 12 hours by a mechanism sometimes called a crows foot, activated by a pin on the hour wheel. The steel hands are original to the clock.
View of the movement frontplate showing the normal 8 day strike arrangement used on Blaylock clocks. The rack hook and lifting piece are both pivoted on the right hand side. Two separate flags are attached to the rear of the rack hook and lifting piece which pass through a cut out section in the front plate to intercept a pin on the warn wheel. The rotation of the warn wheel is controlled by these flags which provide the lock and warn positions of the strike train. In this arrangement there is no tail to the gathering pallet.
View of the rear of the dial. The dial plate has cut out sections which are not seen from the front of the dial as they are hidden by the separate chapter ring. This type of dial is often referred to today as being of the "cartwheel type". The purpose of the cut out sections is probably to save on the expensive brass used in the making of the dial but also serves to reduce the front end weight of the assembled dial and movement. A brass dial without these cut out sections has a tendency to topple forward when being assembled to its case which is not at all a pleasant experience for both clock and clockmaker! When a moon disc is fitted to an eight day clock with a seconds hand as here the positioning of the dial components is critical. It can be seen that the bottom part of the moon disc just manages to clear the hole for the seconds hand pipe. On his thirty hour clocks John (1) of Longtown used a gearwheel to drive the moon disc but this arrangement is not possible on his eight day clocks as the gearwheel would be obstructed by the calendar ring and seconds hand pipe. A lever arrangement usually referred to as a "crows foot" was used instead.
Rear view of the dial showing the moon disc operating mechanism.
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Page last updated
01 January 2006