James McCabe (c1748 – 1811)
James McCabe, son of Patrick McCabe, was born in about 1748, in Northern Ireland, probably in the small town of Lurgan. Patrick McCabe made clocks and watches in Lugan and taught his three sons the trade.
James was working in Belfast around 1770, with his brother Thomas. James moved to London in 1775 with a new business in Fleet Street. He married Elizabeth Burn on 20th June, 1779, and by 1794 had six children and the family had moved to Stoke Newington. In 1802 the business moved to the Royal Exchange, where it continued for the rest of McCabe’s life.
McCabe was freed of the Watchmakers’ Company in 1781. His firms’ names and addresses, during his lifetime, were :
1775 11 Bells Building, Fleet Street
1775 2 Salisbury Court, Fleet Street
1781 34 King Street, Cheapside
1789 8 Ironmonger Lane, Cheapside
1802 97 Cornhill, Royal Exchange
James McCabe used verge, cylinder and duplex movements, some with repeating work. The following is a rough guide to serial numbers used :
1775 No. 431
1781 No. 1095
1785 No. 1930
1810 No. 6794
McCabe died in Stoke Newington on 6th October, 1811, reportedly of “mortification of the leg”. He was survived by his wife and eleven of their thirteen children. The family remained at Stoke Newington until Elizabeth died on 20th May, 1833. The business was inherited by the youngest surviving son, Robert.
Pair cased lever, c1840.
Brian Loomes. Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World (NAG Press, 2006
Paul E. Hackamack. Antiquarian Horology Journal, Vol 10, p308.
Ernest H. MacLiaim. Antiquarian Horology Journal, Vol 18, p552.