Edward Banger

Bracket clock, English, c 1706.Edward Banger is somewhat of a mystery. It is most probable that he came to work with Tompion, as Tompion, with so large a workforce, preferred to employ apprentices to journeymen. Banger was apprenticed to Joseph Ashby, but was `turned over’ to Tompion on September 27, 1687, for a period of seven years.

He became free of the Clockmakers Company in 1695 and was shortly after this date himself employing an apprentice. He married Tompion’s niece, Margaret Kent and appears to have been a most industrious workman. He was taken into partnership with Tompion in 1701 and clocks from this date are signed `Tompion and Banger’. This period was one of the greatest for bracket clocks, particularly those with Grand Sonnerie striking. Many of the finest examples were made during the Banger period and it is strange that in 1708 the partnership seems to have been abruptly terminated. Many have speculated that he `became in debt’ or had some other fault, but nothing is really known. One point of interest is that from this date he did not make any further clocks or watches on his own and did not continue to work as he would have done if merely `dismissed’.

Tompion was anxious that Banger should not benefit from his will, as leaving lands to his niece Margaret Banger he adds `shall be in no sort, subject, or liable to the acts, debts, forfeitures, Incumberance, Intermeddling Disposition or Control of her said Now Husband’. Tompion had obviously fallen out with Banger in no uncertain manner. But according to this will, he was still the `husband’ and alive. Incapacitating illness could have caused such a change in his fortunes, more particularly if he had contracted the `pox’, so common a disease at this time. It would leave him with mental and physical deterioration, preventing further work of the high order to which he had undoubtedly attained. No record is known of his death.

Image copyright Ingenious

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