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 Trowbridge I was apprenticed in January 1717 and died in 1756. We have no records of any sugar tongs by Francis Trowbridge I so all future references to Francis Trowbridge will refer to Francis Trowbridge II.
Francis Trowbridge II was born in 1750. He is recorded as free on 2nd November 1776, on the Freeman's list as a jeweller. He took on a number of apprentices, including John Sweet.
Click here for sugar tongs by Henry & John Sweet.
He first worked with William Ashford, starting some time before 1784. On 22nd January 1784 their partnership was disolved and Francis Trowbridge continued on his own. The assay register does record 6 pairs of tongs sent in by Francis Trowbridge on 13th November 1783 and another 7 pairs on 6th December 1783. This is before their partnership had been formally disolved. Prior to this there are many entries under the names Ashford, Ashford & Co., Trowbridge & Ashford, Ashford & Trowbridge and Trowbridge & Co. The last known entry for assay of a pair of sugar tongs was on 18th January 1798. In total Francis Trowbridge had 347 pairs of tongs assayed, the bulk (some 294) were assayed in 1794/95.
Francis Trowbridge on his own had the following tongs assayed:
1783/84 - 26 pairs
7th August to 1st December 1784 - 2 pairs
March 25th to August 7th 1794 - 21 pairs
August 8th 1794 to August 7th 1795 - 294 pairs
1797/98 - 4 pairs
On this basis, I will assume that most Francis Trowbridge tongs will be dated 1794/95.
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