JOYCE James Brown

Name James Brown JOYCE
Country Of Origin England
Born 1826
Died 1897
Birth/ Baptism Born approx. 1826, Wimborne, Poole, Dorset, England
Bapt. 5 March 1826
Parents John and Mary Joyce
Apprenticeship unknown
Skills Clockmaker, Watchmaker
Work Locations Hobart
Street Address
Murray Street, Hobart
Liverpool Street, Hobart
5 Argyle Street, Hobart
Macquarie Street, Hobart
Marriage/Spouse 20 November 1855, St James Church, Melbourne, Victoria, to Charlotte Waters.

13 August 1861, Lyttleton, Wesleyan Chapel, Canterbury, New Zealand, to Eliza May. James was recorded as a widower.

Other 1851 Census: Clock and watchmaker, Wimborne, Dorset.

Approx. 1853: Emigrated to Australia to try his luck at the goldfields.

November 1853: Advertised clock and watch repairs, Murray Street, next door to the Birmingham Arms, Hobart (late of London).

February 1855: Relocated the business from Liverpool Street to 5 Argyle Street, Hobart (opposite Swedish House).

The Hobart Town Advertiser 29 May 1855:
‘J JOYCE, Watchmaker, informs his Friends and others, that he has returned to his late Quarters, nearly opposite Hedberg’s, Argyle Street.’

Approx. late 1855: Moved to Canterbury, New Zealand.

Approx. January 1857: Returned to Hobart, advertised as a watchmaker in Macquarie Street, two doors from the office of The Mercury.

August 1857: Invented and manufactured a large novel clock, reported by The Tasmanian Daily News, 21 August 1857:
‘NEW AND USEFUL INVENTION. There has been on view for some time past at the shop of Mr Joyce, watchmaker, Macquarie Street, a novel kind of clock well worthy of inspection. This ingenious piece of mechanism shows the hour, time of day, day of the week, day of the month, month, year, and whether leap year or first, second or third year after it. The hands showing the day of week, day of month, month and year in relation to leap year, never require altering or correcting. The figures showing the year require correcting once only in 100 years. This ingenious construction has been invented and manufactured by Mr Joyce himself, and as a specimen of mechanical art is certainly unrivalled by anything we have seen in Tasmania.’

By April 1858: Moved to Nelson, New Zealand, and advertised the same clock.
Worked as a watchmaker in Christchurch for about three years before purchasing land, settling there, and creating a profitable farm.

James Joyce’s famous clock that made the news in the 1850s reappeared in recent years, but not in great condition. It was the movement only, no case, weights, or pendulum, and minus a few hands. Nevertheless, it was sold by Dunbar Sloane Auctions in New Zealand on 31 May 2017 for NZ$9,000.

Death 7 September 1897, Sumner, New Zealand
Brian Loomes, Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World, Complete 21st Century Edition, 2006, p434.
Trenton Firth, The Watchmaker, Watch and Clockmakers of Australia Inc., Volume 53 No. 6, December 2017.
Web: Ancestry: Dorset England Baptism 1826, England Census 1851, New Zealand Cemetery Records 1897.
Births Deaths Marriages Victoria, Marriage Registration No. 3118/1855.
Colonial Times 29 November 1853, 13 February 1855, 22 January 1857; The Courier Hobart 12 August 1857.
Papers Past New Zealand: Colonist 2 April 1858, Press 18 September 1897.