John Ellicott FRS, 1706-1772, was one of the most pre-eminent clock and watch makers of the 18th century. He took premises in Sweetings Alley, near the Royal Exchange, about 1728. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1738, serving on its council for three years. His friends included such luminaries as Sir Hans Sloane, John Senex the clebrated globe maker and the astronomer John Hadley. Ellicott even had an observatory set up at his home in Hackney.
In a portrait painted by Nathaniel Dance he is shown with drawings of his compensated pendulum and it is for his work on the pendulum and temperature compensation that he is perhaps best known. In 1751 he presented a paper to the Royal Society Contrivances for preventing the Irregularity of Pendulums Arising from Temperature. He also read a paper detailing the Influence which two Pendulum Clocks were observed to have on each other.
Above all, Ellicott was renowned for the consistent fine quality of his clocks and watches. The present clock is a rare three train example of a clock that Ellicott made usually with a two train movement, only occasionally did he employ an enamel dial. The wall bracket is a particularly rare survival which shows this clock off to excellent effect. Ellicott was particularly keen on using wall bracket where the lower body of the bracket may be slid forwards to reveal a key compartment.