Mail guard watch by George Littlewort

1825 in London
Mail guard watch by George Littlewort (watch; lever movement)

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Mail coach guard watch by George Littlewort, London c.1825. Lockable wood and brass rectandular case, engraved with ‘George Littlewort No. 197, General Post Office, by the Kings Letters Patent London W.R.’ The back has a sliding cover to give access to balance for regulation, and to the winding square. White enamel dial with gold hands. Movement of three day duration, with lever escapement . Purchased by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1960. Clockmakers' Museum No. 482

Up until 1846 the General Post Office (GPO) mail was carried by horse and coach, in the custody of the mail guard. The guard was provided with a watch which was set by a GPO official and then locked in its box so that the hands could not be tampered with. The guard had to report the time of arrival and departure of the mail coach at each stage of the journey, the time being entered by the postmaster on a time-bill.


The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), steel (metal), wood (unidentified), glass and enamel
overall: 100 mm x 73 mm x 35 mm,
watch and lever movement
Lent by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers