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British Industrial History

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John Wyke

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John Wyke (1729-1787) of Liverpool

John Wyke's company made watches, hand tools, lathes, gear cutting machines, etc, for the clock and watch making industry.

John Wyke was born in 1729 at Sutton (Lancs), probably at the Moat House. He was innovative and ambitious, and he developed products including machines for cutting gear wheels for watches. The conservative Prescot watchmakers did not take kindly to his developments, and he moved to Liverpool, buying bought land off Dale Street, where he built for himself a residence, coach-house, stables, garden, manufactory, warehouse, and other buildings all grouped about a large rectangular courtyard. The entrance was through an archway from Dale Street, and his garden extended in Tithebarn Street. He became famous for his tools and machinery, and excelled in the quality of his motion work, chains, main-springs, and pinion wire. He had fifty drawings showing every size of every part of watch and clock. When he made his will, his friend William Roscoe drew it up, and he had his wife as one of the executors. He died in Liverpool in 1787 and was buried at Prescot. He left bequests to his clerk and the workmen employed in his watch factory, and also to charities in his native town of Prescot.[1]

Map here showing his premises at Wykes Court. The site later became the site of the Liverpool Gas Light Co.[2]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'PRESCOT WATCH-MAKING IN THE XVIII CENTURY' by James Hoult, 1925
  2. [2] Liverpool History Society, Wykes Court, Dale Street