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In the book "Clocks and Clockmakers of Tiverton" there is a photo of a 30-hour brass dialled clock of the 1760-70 period. It has the makers signature "Wm Bradford of Drayford". The centre of the dial features a well-engraved shipping scene, possibly of Plymouth Sound, with ships, buildings and fortifications. William and his wife Elinor had a son William baptised in Witheridge Church in 1776. William senior was mentioned in the will of James Bradford of Stockleigh English, dated 4th June 1779. Father and son were clockmakers and clock repairers. In 1789 William senior was paid 14 shillings for repairing the church clock at Cheriton Fitzpaine, and in 1838 William junior did two years work on the same clock for £4 18s. In 1801 and 1802 a William Bradford was paid for repairing the clock at Rewe.


By 1808 the younger William had moved to Tiverton, where he was listed as a watch and clockmaker in the Directories for 1822-3 and 1830. Some time later he moved his business to Mary Arches Street, Exeter. The vestry minutes of Exeter St Thomas for 2nd May 1846 noted an agreement with him to repair, improve and maintain the church clock there. He died in 1849.

William senior lived in a cottage halfway between the bottom of Have's Hill and Drayford Bridge. The photo shows the board on the wall which had Roman numerals and the words "Wm Bradford, Clockmaker" on it. The cottage, and consequently the board, were demolished in the 1960s.

In the Devon Directory for 1878 there is listed a Witheridge clockmaker and watchmaker called Robert Edward Downing, about whom nothing is known.

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Last Edited 03/07/2006    Copyright © 2000-2006 Witheridge

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