Allan Kitchen commented that he recently acquired a longcase clock by Andrew Latter, dating to around 1720, which, considering the circa 1770 clock in my possession, would make Latter’s working life around fifty years – not inconceivable for the eighteenth-century. Altogether more feasible though, would be the maker of my clock was related to an earlier clockmaker, also Andrew Latter.
Yesterday I received an email from clock restorer, John Mathieson of Tonbridge in Kent, who cited Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World, Volume Two, by Brian Loomes which lists “Latter, Andrew, Lantern Green nr Tunbridge Wells, Kent, early 18c; also Latter, Charles – same place and period”. John pointed out that Lantern Green is the old name for Langton Green which is less than two miles from Speldhurst.
Apparently Pearson’s Kent Clocks and Clockmakers makes no mention of any Latters.
Today I am in receipt of another email from Ron Fisher, himself a resident of Speldhurst, who informed me of the burial records of two Andrew Latters, one on 15th of August, 1716 and the second on the 16th of March 1793.
The 1832-34 Pigot’s Sussex Directory lists a Thomas Latter at 29 All Saints Street, Hastings under the heading ‘Watch & Clock Makers and Silversmiths’. Hastings is about thirty miles from Speldhurst.
It would appear that the Latters were involved in the clock trade for several generations and seemingly, produced fashionable, quality clocks. I find it somewhat odd then that so little information exists about the family.