History of the Amersham Area

Clocks

IMG_1120These are long-case clocks made in Amersham, now in Amersham Museum.

The grandmother clock on the right was made by James Rogers of Amersham, born around 1729.  This 30 hour clock was probably made in Amersham around 1760 -1770 when many clocks still only had an hour hand.  The case is made of oak and the dial of brass that has been silvered.  (The clock was a very generous gift in 2010 from the family of Andrew Macdonald, who used to run an antique shop in Whielden Street.  The Friends of the Museum kindly paid for its restoration.)

Joseph Rogers, born 1760, probably the son of James, is believed to be the maker of the grandfather clock. A more advanced design about 30 years later, it has a minute hand. The painted dial was probably mass-produced by Wilson of Birmingham and then signed by our local clockmaker. The case is much taller and grander and has a “pagoda” style top.  (The clock was purchased in 2009 by the Friends of the Museum. Both clocks have been skilfully restored  by Geoff Mansfield.)

 

Ann Rogers' tombJoseph’s older sister Ann is buried in St Mary’s churchyard under an unusual cast-iron tombstone.

 

 

Minolta DSCThis is another example of a clock made by James Rogers which is privately owned.  It has a very ornate and elegant face with both a second hand and a date.  (Photograph by kind permission of the owner, John Nash)

 

 

Further research has provided more information about the Rogers family. James Rogers, maker of the older clock, was baptised in Great Missenden in 1727, the son of Thomas and Mary (née Clarke). He married Ann Willson in Bovingdon in 1752. They had 4 children: Ann, Mary, James & Joseph. Ann married Henry Woodbridge in 1774 and had 14 children. Ann died in 1768 and was buried at St Marys. She is buried under the cast iron slab in St Mary’s. Mary died in infancy. James married Martha Neighbour and moved to Watford. Joseph, the maker of the second clock, married Elizabeth Child at St Mary’s, although by the time he died, he was obviously a Baptist as he was buried in their yard. They had 15 children, some of who died young, some dispersed, and some remained in the town. James also married Ann Goodman in Amersham in 1769, and died 1793. He was listed as a Deacon of the Baptist Chapel. Ann died in 1816 and was buried at the Baptist Chapel also. The couple had two daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah.