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Clockmaking Family: Gill

Clockmaking Family: Gill in Rye, East Sussex

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Carol Smith
10 May 2017

Hello again Celia,

Yes, Dan Gill is engraved clearly on back of watch workings and has a small 'l'. I had thought that was a mistake made while engraving and didn't realize it was an abbreviation. The number would be a serial no. but am having no luck finding any records of them. Have checked out the hallmarks and found the makers of the case. The date mark is 'I' which signifies 1803-04.Also in the case between the watch and outer case are several pieces of paper l assume were placed there as packing? Some of these are printed business labels of other watchmakers...Dibley and Bourn. Can't find any info on them ...maybe they worked for Daniell. There are also some intriguing hand written notes on back of some referring to my family name but so old and fragile l cant make out the writing. The watch is missing its small hand and is not going. I have not fiddled with it though and will find someone suitable to repair. Thanks for your interest and help.

Cheers,

Carol

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Brian Conway
9 May 2017

Glad to hear I have helped you progress.

Brian
British Banking History Society

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Celia Syversen
8 May 2017

Delighted to hear from you, Carol, especially as I thought the trail had "gone cold" long since! Is there a small "l" after Dan, indicating an abbreviation? This is how the name is engraved on our longcase clock. Some years ago we went to Rye and just scraped into the Public Library before closing time: there we found "The Clockmakers of Sussex" by E.J. Tyler, publ ca 1987 by The Watch & Clock Book Society, P.O.Box 22, Ashford, Kent. An entry shows: "DANIEL GILL, Rye b 1759. Only clockmaker in Rye in UBD (Univ British Dictionary) 1798; paid by church 1805-10 for work on clock. thirty-hour LC brass dial birdcage movement. Another, silver centre to dial. Another, George Hotel Rye (NB by me: this clock has been stolen, said the hotel!!) Verge watcges known. Eight-day LC movement plain silvered arch dial. Was also a banker. His shop in High Street now bears a plaque." As Daniel Gill made verge watches and was active until at least 1810 (still only in his fifties), surely it's quite possible that he made yours? Wonder where the S43S came from? Does the watch still work? Our "Daniel" as we call him keeps remarkably good time, although he did have a major overhaul some years ago, which cost even more than we paid for him at the outset! Yes, we always refer to our clock as "him".) Believe there were other Gills - a Samuel in Rye and a William in Hastings. Good luck with your further search. All good wishes, Celia

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Carol Smith
23 Apr 2017

Know this is a long shot Celia but just today looked on back of an old pocket watch and found Dan Gill and a No. S43S. I am in Australia and know family moved from Sussex area in about 1830s. Am thinking this watch must have been made earlier than that if Daniel stopped watch making in 1794.

Cheers,

Carol Smith.

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Joanna Monnington
13 Jun 2012

I've just found another interesting snippet regarding Daniel Gill - From the Sussex Weekly Advertiser.
17 September 1810
The unfortunate convict, Wilson, who was executed on Saturday the 8th
inst. at Horsham for a burglary in the shop of Mr. Gill, watchmaker, at
Rye, wrote a letter a few days prior to his execution to Mr. Gill, informing
him in the most solemn manner, that he had given three of the stolen
watches, all new ones, to a Corporal of the regiment to which he belonged;
two to Privates, and that two others were hid in a wall at Winchelsea; he
also stated that an accomplice named Hodges had all the rest of the stolen
property with which he deserted soon after the commission of the robbery.
In consequence of this information, Mr. Gill went to Dover where the
regiment then was and endeavoured to recover some of his property; but
the parties accused by the letter of the convict denied ever having had the
watches; and all he has been able to recover is two, one or both of which
have been found in the wall at Winchelsea.
Shows how things haven't really changed that much for shopkeepers/jewelers (apart from the execution)!

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Joanna Monnington
13 Jun 2012

Hello Celia, that photo is amazing - the case and face look identical to mine - just not sure what is on the silvered dial due to the reflections. Well done for seeing that other thread - I'm just getting used to how these message boards work! I think the reply I sent to you yesterday has just appeared as well! Kind regards, Joanna

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Joanna Monnington
12 Jun 2012

Dear Celia, that happened when I messaged you last time - the website seems to log you out if you take to long. Luckily I went back and found what I'd written still in the box! If it's easier my email is joannamonn@btinternet.com Kind regards, Joanna

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Celia Syversen
12 Jun 2012

Hallo again Joanna! No, my message hasn't appeared, but in the interim I have discovered two interesting things: under the heading "Daniel Gill - 1795" on the Rye Message Board, a Dane called Rene Breck posted a message in 2010; I have also discovered, quite by chance, a picture on www.antiquesrye.co.uk/Gill_clock_Rye.htm

This shows a clock, remarkably similar to our "Daniel" (as he is affectionately called) with the caption: ca 1770 SOLD. Struck me that this could possibly be the clock purchased by Rene Breck ... We shall, perhaps, see! Regards, Celia

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Celia Syversen
11 Jun 2012

Dear Joanna, I attempted to send you a fairly lengthy reply immediately after writing to Brian Conway, but it hasn't appeared on the Message Board! Will wait some days to see whether it turns up. Regards, Celia

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Celia Syversen
7 Jun 2012

Dear Brian Conway, Many thanks for the info, which has also had the happy side-effect of putting me in touch with Joanna Monnington again! Yes, I knew that Daniel Gill was a banker, but had no further details about this part of his career. Fascinating what can be done on the Internet, isn't it? Always happy to hear anything else that might turn up! Regards, Celia Syversen

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Joanna Monnington
6 Jun 2012

Dear Celia, so sorry I have only just realised you answered my comment in 2009! I think this conversation is quite lengthy!!! They must have improved the website as I actually received an email telling me Brian had commented but had no idea you had done so a couple of year's ago! My clock has no date on the dial but as Daniel Gill went out of business in 1794 and my ancestor who bought it was born in 1771 - I'm assuming it was one of his later clocks. it is about 6'6" tall, wooden case (mahogany?)with a pretty dial. Gold coloured filigree in the corners and a silvered face with flowers engraved on it as well as "Daniel Gill" and "Rye". It has large Roman numerals and smaller Arabic numerals in the outer circle. Would send you a picture but don't seem able on this message board. If you are happy to put your e-mail up here I could then send a pic. My clock originally had a rope driven movement but someone replaced this with chain which then damaged the pins in the wheels. My father then had it repaired in the 80s. Kind regards, Joanna

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Joanna Monnington
6 Jun 2012

Thank you Brian, that would explain "Banker 1791" on the plaque - obviously a man of many talents.

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Brian Conway
5 Jun 2012

Are you aware that Daniel Gill became a partner in the private partnership bank - Rye Bank - sometime around 179x-1829. Barfoot & Wilkes' Universal British Directory has him as 'silversmith, watch & clockmaker, agent for the Royal Exchange Fire Co.'. The bank existed from 1790-1893 when it was taken over by Lloyds Bank.

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Celia Syversen
8 Dec 2009

Dear Joanna Monnington,By sheer chance, I "happened upon" your message only recently; after all this time you have almost cetainly forgotten about replying to my query! Yes, I have seen, again by chance, the plaque in Rye and also found a little info about the Gills in the Public Library, but was surprised not to find more. Have also discovered (on Ancestry.com website) that the family came from the Hastings/Eastbourne area. We have a 30-hour Daniel Gill clock: in an oak case with brass dial. When we bought it the label said "1795" but I am not convinced that is correct. Would be interesting to see a picture of yours! Regards, Celia

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Joanna Monnington
24 Jan 2008

Hello Celia, I've just come across your message having googled "Gill Clockmaker". I have a clock purchased by my Great, Great, Great Grandfather from Daniel Gill. I also have a photo of the plaque on the wall of the house in Rye stating that they were clock makers from 1680 to 1791. Followed by the words " Daniel Gill, Banker 1791". Do you know if Daniel went from making clocks to banking? Sorry I haven't any info on the family to help you.
Kind regards,
Joanna

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Celia Syversen
22 Jan 2007

Interested in getting in touch with anyone who has info about the Gill family, clockmakers in Rye, esp. Daniel Gill ca 1795

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