This information has been updated with many thanks to Miles Harrison, who has recently published a new book "Exeter and West Country silver 1700-1900".  This is an extremely comprehensive book and can be bought directly from Miles - simply click HERE

Francis Parsons' career is quite complex as he worked with a number of business partners. The dates are approximate but as accurate as we know of:

13th December 1797 - Alone
22nd December 1797 to 25th March 1800 - with Stephen Crees
28th March 1800 to 28th November 1802 - Alone
4th December 1802 to 23rd March 1803 - with John Bennett
15th January 1803 to 31st May 1805 - Alone
8th June 1805 to 24th December 1806 - with Joseph Goss
2nd January 1807 to 6th August 1808 - with B Goss
19th August 1808 to 30th November 1810 - Alone
4th December 1810 to 6th August 1814 - with Joseph Goss
27th August 1814 to 2nd November 1815 - Alone
25th November 1829 to 20th August 1831 - Alone

Francis Parsons recorded work with B Goss from 8th January 1807 to 6th August 1808. We do not know what the B stood for but we do know his surname was Goss. Given that they only worked together for 18 months it is hardly surprising that they did not have a great deal of work assayed. As far as sugar tongs are concerned, there were a total of just 63 pairs of tongs assayed, as follows:

8th January 1807 - 3
22nd January 1807 - 7
31st January 1807 - 8
2nd February 1807 - 4
7th May 1807 - 6
3rd October 1807 - 2
14th Ocrober 1807 - 8
9th December 1807 - 10
4th March - 1808 - 6
31st March 1808 - 1
1st June 1808 - 8

Therefore a total of only 63 pairs of tongs were assayed by this partnership

This maker is also interesting in that it allows us to date the combination of Lion & Duty mark quite well. It means that we know that the combination of oval duty mark and oval Lion passant were in use during this period. These tongs are fairly standard style Exeter tongs, with the expected crude bright cut engraving.

Click here to see some tongs by Francis Parsons alone

Click here to see some tongs by Francis Parsons & Stephen Crees

Click here to see tongs by Francis Parsons & Joseph Goss

Click on a picture to see more details