Updated 4 Sep 2014

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 543


Clockface about 1860 by William Evans.

Photo credit: pickypixies
Shopfront in Dale Rd, Matlock c1905.

Melissa Jones emails from Santa Rosa, California:
I happened to run across your site when doing some research on a grandfather clock left to me by my parents. The face looks quite similar to the one shown on [this] webpage. The face reads:"Wm. Evans, Machynlleth" A paper attached inside the clock reads:"Feb. 18, 1950. The works of this clock were made in England and brought over to the U.S. by a Mr. Lytell in 1863. The works were installed in this case Feb. 22, 1950." I am wondering if you might know of someone in the area whom you could refer me in order to discuss the clock.
Best, Melissa J. Jones, Santa Rosa, CA

Peter Heyes wrote to Melissa::
Thanks for the photos. It is a very attractive dial. The birds painted to the centre were 'optional extras' that you had to pay extra for! The dials were made in Birmingham and supplied to the clockmaker to mount to his movement. Quite why the seconds hand was in the wrong place is quite a mystery. It is perhaps that at one time a different movement has been 'married' to the dial. This happened when clocks were of very little value and it was often cheaper to change the movement rather rather than repair it (probably swapped for a movement of similar age that was just in better condition). Sometimes clocks that ran for just 30 hours (daily wind) were upgraded to 8-day (weekly wind) movements and sometimes they don't fit correctly. However yours was probably always an 8-day clock - we know because it had a seconds dial painted. Seconds dials on 30 hour clocks were very rare. The design of the dial tells us how to date it. From the images alone, I would have said about 1835. The corner decoration is almost Regency period (ie around 1815) but the numerals are heavier, like you see in the 1840s. I don't think we'll find much more about the maker. The little bit of info I sent came from a specialist publication on Welsh clocks. Perhaps the next source of inquiry would be to look at the various census for the town around the 1830s.

I hope that helps, and that you'll get lots of pleasure from your clock when it returns.
Best wishes
Peter Heyes

Posted 1924. Dale Road from the South west, probably taken 20 years before posting. The large Old English Hotel is in the distance. Nearer is W.Evans & Son, watchmaker. The son Charles Evans describes himself as a "refractionist" in the Census. We would call the profession "optician" today, which fact is proudly displayed by a giant pair of spectacles, and signs reading "Eyesight Testing Room". Nearer still is Harker's, chemist and druggist.
Another William Evans longcase, made at Wirksworth, for sale on Ebay, located in Cheshire. Looks nice and clean, inside and out.

William Evans 1830-1914.

William Evans was born in Nottingham, and moved to Wirksworth as a young unmarried watchmaker before he was 21. His wife Mary Cooper from Nottinghamshire died at 29, but he married Hannah a year later (also from Nottinghamshire) and had 4 children by her. William died in 1914 aged 85.
William described himself as a watchmaker, watch and clockmaker, jeweller and (aged 50) as a Master watchmaker. His shop was in St John Street, Wirksworth for 40 years from 1851, when he moved to better premises on Dale Street, Matlock. His eldest son William died at 18, but second son Charles trained as a jeweller and "refractionist" (today called an optician) and eventually took over his father's business in Matlock.
Bertram Haworth (1904-1998) remembers William Evans' business near the Market Place, Wirksworth, and describes a Mr Millington who took over when Evans moved to Matlock.
An example of William Evans' work is shown. It is a grandfather clock dial from around 1860 and measures 14" by 20". The paintings on the face surround show a shepardess in the arch and dogs and sheep in the corners. It has its original winding hole collett and datewheel, with four short dial feet at the back.
The clock described by Melissa Jones. However, the maker may be a different Wm Evans, no conection has yet been found between the one in Derbyshire and Wales!

Large Mantel Clock made by WM Evans Wirksworth, 27" high x 14.5" wide, made in Mahogany, circa 1870, in working order.

Photo taken:1930s

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EVANS tree

   1837             1829            1840
   Mary     1857    William 1867    Hannah
   1866             1914      |     
                   |      |        |        |
                  1868   1870     1871     1877
                  Emily  William  Charles  John

Census, cemetery and Parish Register entries

    #148---St John Street---[Wirksworth]---
    W148a     William        EVANS          Head      U  21  M   Watchmaker          Nottingham NTT
    Tradesman entry 1857
    EVANS William [St. John's st, Wirksworth] Watch & Clock Maker
    #4---St John Street---[Wirksworth]---
    W485a    William      EVANS        Head    M 30  M  Jeweller              Nottingham NTT
    W485b    Mary         EVANS        Wife    M 23  F                        Eastwood NTT
    W485c    Thomas       HENSHAW      Lodger  U 30  M  Solicitors man clerk  Loughborough LEI   Managing
    Burial entry
    B 1866jan22 EVANS Mary(Wirksworth)[29],#2000
    Monumental Inscriptions
    [QC175]..... In/memory/of/SAMUEL COOPER/of Wirksworth
    /who died December 26th 1865/aged 51 years/also of JOHN son of
    /SAMUEL and ANN COOPER/who died March 21st 1865/aged 25 years
    /and of/MARY EVANS/their daughter/who died January 18th 1866
    /aged 29years.(Limestone headstone & kerb)
    [QC215]..... Sacred/to the memory of/ANN/wife of the late/SAMUEL COOPER
    /who died February 6th l892/aged 77 years/also of/WILLIAM SHAW
    /born January 28th 1854/died January 24th l9l9/also of/ANNIE
    /the beloved wife of the above/who died Aug 15th 1934/aged 79 years. 
    (FOX) (Marble headstone & double kerb)
    [QC216]..... With Christ which/is far better/In loving memory of
    /WILLIAM HARRY EVANS/who died Jany 26 l888/aged 18 years.
    (Marble cross & kerb)
    Baptism entries
    C 1868feb09 EVANS Emily=William/Hannah(Wirksworth)[Watchmaker],#144
    C 1869nov21 EVANS William harry=William/Hannah(Wirksworth)[Watchmaker],#234
    C 1871jun11 EVANS Charles walter=William/Hannah(Wirksworth)[Watchmaker],#339
    C 1876sep10 EVANS John frederic=William/Hannah(Wirksworth)[Watchmaker],#658
    #47---Market Place---[Wirksworth]---
    W374a     William      EVANS        Head    M 41  M  Watch maker           Nottingham NTT
    W374b     Hannah       EVANS        Wife    M 31  F                        Brinsley NTT
    W374c     Emily        EVANS        Dau       3   F                        Wirksworth
    W374d     William H    EVANS        Son       1   M                        Wirksworth            Harry
    W374e     Annie        ROWLAND      Servant   13  F  Domestic servant      Wirksworth
    #71---Market Place---[Wirksworth]---(RG11-3419-3-p14)
    W386a      William       EVANS        Head    M 50  M  Watchmaker (master)   Nottingham NTT
    W386b      Hannah        EVANS        Wife    M 40  F                        Eastwood NTT
    W386c      Emily         EVANS        Dau       13  F  Scholar               Wirksworth
    W386d      William H.    EVANS        Son       11  M  Scholar               Wirksworth
    W386e      Charles W.    EVANS        Son       10  M  Scholar               Wirksworth
    W386f      John F.       EVANS        Son       4   M                        Wirksworth
    #87---St John Street, Greenwich House---[Wirksworth]---
    W389a      William       EVANS        Head    M 60  M  Watchmaker,jeweller   Nottingham NTT
    W389b      Hannah        EVANS        Wife    M 50  F                        Brinsley NTT
    W389c      Emily         EVANS        Dau     S 25  F                        Wirksworth
    W389d      Walter        EVANS        Son     S 20  M  Watchmaker,jeweller   Wirksworth
    W389e      Frederic      EVANS        Son       14  M                        Wirksworth
    #7---Dale Rd---[Matlock]---
    Mk0645a  William       EVANS        Head    M 71  M  Watchmaker,jeweller   Nottingham NTT
    Mk0645b  Hannah        EVANS        Wife    M 61  F                        Nottingham NTT
    Mk0645c  Charles W     EVANS        Son     S 30  M  Refractionist,jewelr  Wirksworth            Jeweller
    Mk0645d  John F        EVANS        Son     S 24  M  Clerk in bank         Wirksworth
    Mk0645e  Emily         EVANS        Dau     S 32  F                        Wirksworth
    Mk0645f  Sarah         EATON        Servant   14  F  Servant general dom   Cromford
    1911 Census for Dale Road, Matlock
    William        EVANS  Head  Marr  M  80  1831  Nottingham  Watch Maker   
    Hannah         EVANS  Wife  Marr  F  70  1841  Eastwood    No Occupation   
    Charles Walter EVANS  Son   Sing  M  40  1871  Wirksworth  Jeweller And Optician  
    1914 Burial for Matlock
    William EVANS, born 1829, Death Dec 1914, age 85 Matlock

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