Francis Watkins 1723 - 1791

Nationality:
British; Welsh
born in:
Newchurch, Powys, Wales, United Kingdom

about 1723 - born in New Church, Radnorshire, Wales; 1737 - apprenticed to Nathaniel Adams, instrument maker, at the Golden Spectacles, Charing Cross, London; completed training with Edward Scarlett senior and Henry Walder at the Archimedes, Globe and Sun in Soho, London; about 1747 - began trading in own right at Sir Isaac Newton's Head, 4/5 Charing Cross (1747); Charing Cross (1774-82) & 5 Charing Cross (1782-4), London, England; 1750 - apprenticed Addison Smith; 1753 - apprenticed Henry Pyefinch; 1758-1761 - agreement with John Dollond (1706–1761); 1763-1774 - partnership with Addison Smith as Watkins & Smith; 1784 - Francis Watkins retired and was succeeded by his nephews Jeremiah Watkins (d. 1810) and Walter Watkins (d. 1798); 1810 - William Hill (d.1847), an employee, ran the business; 1818 - Jeremiah's son Francis Watkins (1800-1847) became a partner and the firm traded as Watkins & Hill; 1856 - acquired from the family by the C A and F H Elliott, sons of William Elliott, a mathematical instrument maker;