Friday, 1 May 2009

Part Exchange in the 18th Century

1 November 1752 Exchanged a Silver Watch with Mr John Colton in Turncalf Aley for a pinch Beack watch Double Gilt with Gold a new one he brote with him from London No.8990 makers name Kover London gave in Exchange as by his receipt for the same £3.0s 0d

I'm not sure I would have swapped a silver watch for a pinchbeck one. The alloy is an 18th century invention by Christopher Pinchbeck. It was copper and zinc and closely resembles gold. I have found online references to the watchmaker Kover. A watch made by him was stolen in 1761 and came to court, as described here. Should Thomas's watch have survived, we could identify it as we have the serial number. Another reference tells us that a watch by the same maker was sold at auction in 2005. Without an appropriate subscription, I can't tell you where, apart from the fact that it was in UK, or how much it fetched.

21 December
Paid Mr Robt. Evans Two Guineas for asking Mr Yardley Willmot Counclers Opinion of my great great Uncle Richd. Tyes Will & my Fathers John Tyes Will and my Bror. John Tyes Will all Deceased. £2.2s

I have a copy of John Tye senior's will. It is odd in one way in that it leaves nothing to his eldest child, who I believe to be his daughter Elizabeth. She died in 1726 not that long after her father (1719) so perhaps she was ill/disabled already by the time he made his will? When John Tye senior died none of his children were even teenagers. His eldest son, John, was to receive what his mother had as a life interest. Otherwise, all is left divided equally, held in trust until they are each 21 and "theirs equally share and share alike".

I will come back to this post and edit it if I find more about these wills.


  1. Hello Madelaine

    I inherited a very worn non-functional pocket watch that is marked with the word KOVER on the dial and has Kover LONDON 7629 engraved on the back of the mechanism.

    I have discovered little more about the watchmaker Kover than you have. An expert from The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers has said that he is inclined to think that Kover was either Dutch, or was an invented name.

    I would love to have an electronic copy of the page from the Account Book that refers to the Kover watch; would that be possible please


  2. See my Kover, London - 18th Century Watchmaker Blog