ABBOTT Francis

Name Francis ABBOTT
Country Of Origin England
Born 1799
Died 1883
Birth/Baptism Born 11 August 1799, Derby, England
Bapt. 12 August 1799, Derby, England
Parents John and Elizabeth Abbott
Apprenticeship Possibly with Whitehurst and Son, Derby, England
Skills Clockmaker, Watchmaker, Jeweller, Silversmith, Chronometer Maker, Instrument Maker
Work Locations Hobart
Street Address
74 Murray Street, Hobart
Marriage/Spouse 25 October 1821, Derby, England, to Mary Woolley
Trial 19 August 1844, Central Criminal Court, London
Sentence Seven years transportation for obtaining two gold watches under false pretences
Arrival June 1845, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) on the convict ship, Mount Stewart Elphinstone (1)
Police Number 15560
Convict Assignment 12 months probation period at Oyster Cove.

James Robe watchmaker, Liverpool Street, Hobart

John Dryden, Crown Inn, Perth

Ticket of Leave 27 March 1849
Conditional Pardon 30 July 1850
Other Pre 1845: Worked in his trade in England: Derby, Manchester, and London.

Other skills: Instrument Maker, Astronomer, Meteorologist.
Honorary Member of the Antiquarian and Chronological Society of London.

Author: A Treatise on the Management of Public Clocks (London, 1838), A Descriptive Catalogue of Horological and Astronomical Machinery, The Pocket Card Dial (1849).

1849: Opened business in Hobart.

Colonial Times 18 May 1849:
‘FRANCIS ABBOTT Begs leave to inform the Public, that he has taken the Premises next door to Buckingham House in Murray Street, where he intends to carry on the business of Watch and Clockmaking in all its branches, from the largest Turret Clock to the smallest Pocket Watch.
F.A. hope that, from thirty years’ experience in the art, both practical and theoretical, and a close connection during that time with most of the leading houses of the trade in England, he will be able to give every satisfaction to those friends who may please to favor him with their demands.
Plain, Spring, Quarter, Turret, Chime, and Astronomical Clocks; Skeleton and Watchman’s Timepieces; Patent Lever, Horizontal and Duplex Watches, Chronometers, Carriage Clocks, Breguet Watches, and every description of Horological Machinery, repaired or made to order.
Correct Mean Time kept by Solar and Stellar Transits.
Murray Street, Hobart Town, May 18, 1849.’

His wife Mary and family received free passage to join Francis and arrived on 22 April 1851 on the ship Ann Thompson.

Francis manufactured and maintained large clocks and scientific instruments. In addition, he utilised his astronomical and meteorological skills at Rossbank Observatory and his private observatory in Hobart.

Notable Clocks:
Installed clock at Government House, Queen’s Domain, Hobart.
Manufactured the first colonial-made eight-day clock for the Crown Inn at Perth (John Dryden) as reported in the
Colonial Times on 30 July 1850:
‘It is made for the Crown Inn, at Perth, and a drawing of the house and sign is painted on the arch of the dial. This is the first clock we believe of this description made in the colony by Mr Abbott.’

Death 18 February 1883, Murray Street, Hobart, recorded as an 83-year-old watchmaker
Cause of death: age and natural decay
H.G. Hamburger, Australiana on time, Australian Antique Trader, October-November 1985.
Helena O’Loughlin, Francis Abbott, Apprentice, master, convict, Australian, Clocks Magazine, Volume 37 Number 1, 2014.
TAHO: CON33/1/66, CON18/1/45, CON14/1/21, CON13/1/9, CON28/1/2, CSO24/1/262/5875 1851, GO33/1/70, CRO96/1/1 Diary of Alfred Abbott 1858-1861; RGD35/1/10 no700 Death 1883.
Web: Ancestry: Derbyshire England Baptism 1799; Australian Dictionary of Biography,; The Companion to Tasmanian History,
Colonial Times 1 June 1849; The Examiner (Launceston) 21 February 1883; The Mercury (Hobart) 23 November 1903.