Henry Jones, 1642-1695) was one of London's pre-eminent clockmakers from in last quarter of the 17th century. He is thought to have been the son of William Jones, Vicar of Boulder, Southampton. Having begun his apprenticeship in August 1654 he was passed over to the great Edward East and eventually given freedom in July 1663. Between 1664 and 1693 he had fourteen apprentices including his two sons William and Henry. The number of apprentices taken by a Master can be read as a barometer for how prosperous his workshop was. The average might have been approximately five, whilst makers such as Daniel Quare had fifteen and Thomas Tompion had no fewer than twenty three.
From The Early Clockmakers of Great Britain (B. Loomes, 1981) comes a series of interesting incidents that have been recorded in the Clockmakers' Company records;
January 1673-74 he complained that Robert Seignor had erased his name from a Royal clock (or had caused Edward Stanton to do it.) In November 1678, he was on a special meeting which suspended John Matchet for being a Catholic. In July 1679 he had a great quarrel with the fiery John Nicasius, in which the latter was judged to be wrong. In October 1692 he gave £100 for the use of the poor.
From the little we know about Jones it would appear that he was a political animal within the Clockmakers' Company. He Assistant in 1676 aged 34, Warden 1687-90 and Master in 1691.
Jones's movements and cases were all heavily influenced by his Master Edward East 1602-c.1693. What sets Jones apart from the most other London clockmakers was the individuality of his work. Like Tompion, Knibb and Quare (at his best), his works gives the impression that he had a close influence on each of the clocks that left his workshops. The present clock, dating from around 1670, has a pretty 9½in. dial, the movement has long thin plates with no fewer than seven latched pillars and square section steel strike arbors. The pendulum is an excellent replacement and like so many clocks from the architectural period the narrow case caused problem to subsequent escapement restoration. Close inspection of the sides of the trunk reveal two neat oval patches that cover up the butchery caused by an inexperienced clockmaker who had restored the escapement only to realise that the new anchor and escape wheel caused the pendulum to swing in a greater arc than the case would allow.
Architectural clocks by Henry Jones are few and far between and despite some of the evident restorations to the case this clock is an extremely rare survival.