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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/176
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1866-1945
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 12 production units.
Name of creator(s): Parkinson and Frodsham | clock and watch makers


Administrative/Biographical history:

This firm of chronometer, clock and watch makers was established in 1801 by William James Frodsham (1778-1850) and William Parkinson (died circa 1842). It traded from 4 Change Alley 1801-90, 16 Queen Victoria Street 1891-2, 35 Royal Exchange 1893-5, 15B Royal Exchange 1896-1905 and 5 Budge Row 1906-47.

Initially the firm specialised in marine and pocket chronometers. It had an extensive export business, and supplied the Admiralty and numerous shipping companies. After the founders' deaths the business was continued by Frodsham's elder sons and grandson until 1912, when the name and business were sold to the foreman, William Harris. Harris and his son Geoffrey ran the business successfully until 1944 when the firm's premises in Budge Row were bombed. Geoffrey Harris worked for a time from home, but Parkinson and Frodsham ceased trading in 1947.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Parkinson and Frodsham, clock and watch makers, comprising a watch manufacturing book 1872-1925; a register of clocks and watches supplied to retailers 1866-1914 and a record of retail sales 1911-4; clock and watch repair books 1937-45; customer accounts 1923-40 and 1932-45 and lists of customers and manufacturers in the clock and watch trade [1900-1941].

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS number, assigned during cataloguing at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library by the Clockmakers' Company, having first been acquired from Mr K. G. Brown, a Frodsham descendant. They were catalogued in June 1982 by a member of Guildhall Library staff. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Guildhall Library also holds the records of Charles Frodsham and Company; see CLC/B/043. For the Clockmaker's Company see CLC/L/CD.

Publication note:

The history of Parkinson and Frodsham is described in R. V. Mercer's The Frodshams. The Story of a Family of Chronometer Makers (Antiquarian Horological Society monograph 21, 1981).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
January to May 2011.

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