William Prevost, B.c. 1662, probably of French extraction, was believed to have apprenticed in London and then settled in Newcastle where other clockmakers such as Abraham Fromanteel had already settled. He married Margaret Badudouin of Stepney in 1690.
Year-going clocks are exceptionally rare, nearly all of them being timepieces only; the present clock is extraordinary in that it also strikes the hours for the full year. The most prolific maker of year clocks was Daniel Quare, 1649-1724, but most if not all of his were timepieces only.
The present clock is purported to have been made for a competition between Prevost and Deodatus Threlkeld, 1657-1733 another Newcastle clockmaker. This took place in 1698 and the two London clockmakers, Edward Burgis and Samuel Watson were the judges. Threlkeld won but it was later alleged that Threlkeld cheated owing to the fact William Threlkeld (his son or nephew) was engaged to marry Samuel Watson's daughter Mary.