PROPERTY OF THE ORIGINAL OWNERS FAMILY
[correspondence from] Richard Monkhouse, three autograph letters signed, to his brother John Monkhouse, providing extensive fraternal advice relating to life at sea, promising him that “when you are capable […] I can procure you the Master, of some of our Vessalls”, and with family news including the death at sea of their brother Thomas, 8 pages, folio, Whitehaven and elsewhere, 28 January 1776 to 29 March 1778, crude tape repairs, browning and chipping
[with:] Six receipts and summary accounts of John Monkhouse, relating to maritime voyages, 1783-91
[also with:] three later documents: a letter by Jonathan Monkhouse, a customs license, and a genealogical note, 1810-1856
John Monkhouse, the middle brother (1760 - 1814) married Jane Tillstone, the eldest daughter of a prominent Rope Maker in the prosperous shipbuilding town of New-Shoreham (later known as Worthing) John was recorded as a Captain by the age of around 31, and listed as Gentry in the Universal British Directory of 1791.
Richard Monkhouse, his elder brother, was stationed in Whitehaven with his wife, Hannah, and his ship, “ the Prosperity.”
The third brother, was Thomas Monkhouse. He died at sea in 1776 and is mentioned in the letter, dated 25th of May 1777, addressed to John Monkhouse.
This chronometer is likely to have been the possession of either John or Richard Monkhouse, and has remained within the family ever since. It features a John Arnold movement that dates from about 1784 and is quite an early example of an Arnold spring detent escapement. As was often the practise during this period, the case was updated 'in-house' by John Roger Arnold and has London hallmarks for 1809. The dial was certainly updated at the same time, as was the mahogany box. Using the tables compiled by Vaudrey Mercer, it would appear that the movement is part of the fourth series - 'of the second kind' - as shown in both Vaudrey's 'Arnold and Sons' and also Hans Staeger's, '100 years of precision timekeepers' (although the present watch is not recorded.)
With thanks to Jonathan Betts for his help with this footnote.
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