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Becoming a Freeman of the Clockmakers’ Company

Earliest surviving indexed copy of the Charter and Byelaws dated 1647

Earliest surviving indexed copy of the Charter and Byelaws dated 1647

The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers is an ancient City of London Livery Company, governed by its Royal Charter of 1631 and its bye-laws of 1632. It is not a club or a society.

Membership brings great pleasure to those interested in or employed in horology, but also a number of responsibilities and obligations, some of which include supporting the Company financially.

Application forms and details of membership can be obtained from The Clerk’s office, but each applicant for the freedom must be proposed and seconded by members of the Company, one of whom must be a member of the Court of Assistants.

Helping in the Company’s work

The Company has a long history. Among its Freemen have been some of the most famous clock and watch makers the world has ever known. These include Edward East (freed 1632), Ahasuerus Fromanteel (1632), Thomas Tompion (1671), George Graham (1695), Thomas Mudge (1738/9), John Arnold (1783) and many many others.

During their lifetimes they contributed to the upkeep of their Company and its traditions. A number, such as Henry Jones (1663), Charles Gretton (1672), George Graham and William Frodsham (1802), left charitable funds for the Company to administer. These were intended, amongst other objectives, to finance apprenticeships. Training support is still a charitable objective, the priorities being:

  • to support the educational work of its Library and Collection
  • to support and encourage horological education in general
  • to finance (where possible) horological apprenticeships, bursaries and prizes
  • to support general appeals for funding within the City of London.

The Company welcomes gifts of rare and interesting horological books and ephemera, together with clocks, watches, tools and other pieces of particular relevance and interest, to add to its Collection and Library (the oldest collection specifically of clocks and watches in the world).

Many such gifts and bequests have been received since the Library and Collection’s founding, in 1813. Especial generosity in the recent past have included the Hurle-Bath and Hurle-Bradley Bequests, the Beloe Bequest and Mrs Whiteing’s gift. All have made an unique and lasting contribution to the educational value of the Company’s famous museum.

Potential donors are requested to contact The Clerk’s office for advice on the most effective way to carry out their wishes.

Please also remember the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and its Charities in your Will.

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25th May 2018. All WCC members please sign in to the web-site with your ID and password and click on this briefing link. You will receive Consent Forms from the Clerk shortly and these need to be completed without delay.

The Clockmakers of London

New 88 page edition of “The Clockmakers of London” now published by Sir George White, with substantially revised text and a large number of stunning new illustrations. Read more about it  …. & you can buy it for £15 on this link.

Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS) Lectures

A formal affiliation was signed in 2014 between the WCC and the AHS. WCC Liverymen and Freemen are encouraged to attend the excellent AHS Lectures, which are free to WCC members and include teas before and wine afterwards, so are very social and interesting events. List of forthcoming lectures in London is on the AHS site.

National Benevolent Society of Watch & Clock Makers

The Hain Sanders Research / Personal Development Award

The Clockmakers’ Company recently launched The Hain Sanders Research / Personal Development Award, the purpose of which is to assist professional clockmakers and watchmakers in the learning of new skills or enhancing their personal development, and to support scientists researching the measurement of time or a closely related project. Click here for the application form.

Training to be a Clockmaker?