R.W. Symonds, A Book of English Clocks, King Penguin, 1947, p. 79, pls. 68B & 70
Thomas Wright was made free of the Clockmakers' Company in 1770 and died in 1792. An ingenious and successful clock and watchmaker he was much favoured by King George III and given the Royal Warrant 'Watchmaker to the King'. A table clock by Wright in the Royal Collection with an ormolu and Blue John case by Matthew Boulton is illustrated in Cedric Jagger, Royal Clocks, 1983, p.98, pl.134. His influence and high regard is clearly demonstrated by the fact that it was Thomas Wright that Thomas Earnshaw turned to to show his designs for his new spring detent escapement in 1781. Wright commissioned Earnshaw to make a watch employing the escapement and this Earnshaw did in two days. Wright then spent the next year testing the watch which sadly appears not to have survived. After protracted negotiations regarding the possibility of Wright patenting the new escapement they came to an arrangement whereby Earnshaw would make watches for any makers who desired them and charge, in addition to the cost of the watch, one guinea payable to Thomas Wright to cover the cost of taking out the patent, which was at that time about £100. The patent, dated February 1st 1783, number 1354, displays not only the spring detent but also the drawings and description for the ingenious and handsome pendulum employed on the present regulator. The patent reads as follows: B an horizontal bar the upper side of which is made of steel or iron and the lower side of copper, zinc & silver or brass compounded with other metals so as to have the property of expanding more than the upper side and the two metals being fastened together by solder screws or rivets will when worn raise the ends at C.C. and when cooled the contrary which will raise the rods F.F. which are fastened to the ends of the crossbars C.C. and pass loose thro' the Ball and at the lower end are fastened to the crossbow G.G. which is compounded like the upper only the upper side is the most expansive metal and when it receives a greater degree of heat becomes raised in the middle wherein is fixed a piece of steel of other metal which passes up to the centre of the Ball which rests on it so that as the pendulum Rod expands or becomes longer the Ball of the pendulum is by means of the two crossbars B.B. G.G. raised in the same proportions so that in all degrees of heat and cold pendulum remains the same length.
The present clock is a wonderful example of the rare combination of precision timekeeping and best quality cabinetmaking. The case has wonderful slender proportions with excellent colour veneer, the beautifully carved columns flanking the narrow trunk door serve to accentuate the almost feminine appeal of this clock. This was almost certainly Thomas Wright's own regulator which he may well have kept in his house rather than at the shop. There is no reason to believe that the label pasted on the inside of the trunk door declaring that the clock was sold for 20 guineas by Wright's daughter in 1795 is anything other than fact.